The Broken Wings of Forgiveness

Michael, a humble, devoted, kind husband and a caring father was struck by a tragedy that weakens his faith in good. He abandons everything to seek and to serve cold justice to those behind it. As he joins forces with a powerful and mysterious deity on the condition that he has to save mankind and most importantly, track down his real enemies. The battle he faces makes him embrace his sole purpose in life, but what he later discovers will either make or break him.

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5. Error in Terror

 

Michael got himself a hooded shirt and some fresh pair of jeans at a nearby boutique, he dropped the clothes he wore earlier in a refuse dump on his way down an alley, he took a cab to go meet his new acquaintance, Big Grandy, and at exactly eight in the morning, Big Grandy was at the spot. Michael whistled from across indicating a signal of invitation and Big Grandy walked towards him, the two men walked away from Big Grandy’s domain and into a small restaurant nearby, they both ordered some light food and Michael explained to Big Grandy that he needed his help to settle some scores but that he only required a backup buddy, sort of a sidekick and offered an attractive amount Big Grandy could not refuse. The two men arranged to get a car from the ghetto and some tools to run their mission. Michael also promised more cash to Big Grandy if the mission went successful, Big Grandy was happy either way. ‘My baby’s momma gonna be happy with me man, this will cover my butt for eight months man. I am down for whatever, Mr M,’ said Big Grandy, while counting the cash offered to him by Michael.
The two men left the restaurant after Michael paid the bill, Big Grandy ran back later into the restaurant and picked the full bottle of soft drink and a burger Michael left on the table and rushed out as he glared at the old couple on the other table.
Michael and Big Grandy got the right vehicle they needed for the job, and also some guns and enough bullets for a small assault enough to take an entire football team, but manoeuvring through the city with such heavy gear would put them in trouble with the law, especially with the current situation in the city and around the world and constant presence of law enforcement agents in and around the city. Big Grandy came up with an idea, he virtually knew all the officers in the city, thanks to his record-breaking jail time served. He had been in and out of prison and jail cell quite enough to have some inside men especially the patrol officers. The men decided to make their move after sun down, so they planned to meet at twelve midnight.
To cover up what they would carry, Big Grandy planned to hide the weapons in frozen food packages just in case anything happened, it was a good idea but Michael felt stuffing them inside a deflated spare tire in the trunk would be best, they ended up using both methods. However, Big Grandy added some icing on the cake by inviting his cousin for the party, Michael wasn’t comfortable having a third person but in the end, he agreed because Big Grandy’s cousin looked tougher than the two of them combined and after a short chat, Michael left the two cousins and took a cab back to town. They agreed to pick him up at the rendezvous point at the appropriate time.
Michael arrived at the church on the hill side, paid the cab fare and entered the church, he sat down on the seat on the second row looking at the giant crucifix hanging up on the wall in the church. Michael didn’t come to pray, he only wanted to get things clear with the preacher and his wife concerning what they told him the other day. After a while, Pastor James saw him and came to him, he directed Michael to the basement to show him something, and Michael went after the preacher down the basement through an entrance from the right side of the church altar.
There they met Sabrina serving food to a man, as Michael climbed down the stairs he noticed a man wearing a white seamless robe, the moment their eyes met, Michael stopped. Pastor James turned and smiled at Michael, inviting him to come down. Michael did but his eyes were entirely focused on this man he was seeing for the first time. There were half burnt candles lit all around with one new candle on the old table at the centre of the room. Sabrina smiled at Michael like she always did and he sat down as directed, opposite the man.
Sabrina brought some food to him and there was a small basket of fruits on the table as well, but it was obvious Michael wouldn’t eat. Sabrina and her husband, the preacher, excused the two men and went up, leaving Michael staring at the man opposite him at the other end of the table.
The man did not say a word to Michael, he laid his spoon back in the plate on the table and sipped the water from the glass cup served to him by Sabrina. ‘Do you love sports?’ asked the man, who was now looking at him, but Michael did not talk.
‘Funny how a little accident that dislocated your big toe makes you despise sports, but you wouldn’t have been a good player anyway, you were not moulded for such skills,’ added the man.
‘How did you know about that? I never . . . told anybody, not even my wife,’ said Michael.
The man smiled and reached for an apple from the fruit basket and after taking a bite, Michael noticed that the fruit melted in the man’s mouth like cotton candy as the man looked at the apple and said, ‘I knew its name before it was brought forth and it was predestined to be served to me on this day at this hour, just like this, while you are seated on that very chair, Michael.’ The man leaned his right elbow on the table and said, ‘we cannot go talking about things I know that you do not know or the things you’d later find out which your spirit has found out but your flesh is yet to accept its reality, like you’d asked me how I knew that you have been moving around with a loaded semi-automatic pistol. Your friend Grand S. Simons aka Big Grandy did tell you how to use it safely, didn’t he?’ added the man. ‘The gun would go off in the elevator when a lady who was out walking her two dogs in the hotel premises walks into the elevator, they would make the other woman in the elevator, who was cynophobic, jump out with fear and hold you accidentally triggering the pistol in your pants, and you and I both know that you strapped it in the wrong position, Michael,’ said the man, who took a bite at the apple again.
Michael quietly pulled out the gun from his pants and realised it was loaded, he then disengaged the safety and kept the gun on the table without uttering a single word.
The man kept the half bitten apple on the table, he smiled at the apple and the apple went back to its natural order, back to its untouched form as if no one had ever eaten it, Michael was amazed. ‘I can make your life worth and fulfilled my child, blessed and crowned with such glory more beautiful and healed than this fruit be,’ said the man, as he stood up from his chair and moved to the chair next to Michael.
‘Everything that you see unfolding in your life and around the world is far beyond your understanding of things, this is the time that mankind hoped it would never come, the time both the heavens and the damned are all aware of its inevitability, the line has been drawn, Michael, and I do not expect you to fathom any word I shall utter to you for now but I guarantee you that if you will keep aside what your heart intended to do after sun down, then I shall guide thee and be with thee and use thee for a far more glorious, heroic journey. You are more than what this world intended to make out of you, you are more than an unforgiving cold-hearted killer triggered by the loss, and what this cruel world and its wickedness schemed to implant in you. You were created a king to fight alongside a glorious army to usher in a glorious beginning that had for long passed in the realms of the Father, a heavenly army such that no man nor the damned have seen, so do not take that path for you won’t like what your canal ears shall hear! It will destroy the man in you if I step aside and let this wicked world take thy heart hostage,’ added the man, looking straight into Michael’s wandering eyes. ‘The entire plan of what came, what is, and that which is to come is all in the good book that you so trusted until the night Jana’s spirit departed from this world.
I know your pain my child because I know thee before thou formeth in Esther’s womb,’ the man said, smiling at him. Michael was shocked because this man knew his mother’s name. ‘Yes, I do know Esther and the names of her forefathers and ones before them. The time of the reign of darkness has come to its edge, the time of light is here to stay that is why things are as they appear now, darkness is giving way to light and it does not like what was decreed by the Father and so shall not vanish without a fight. Here lay little or no time for the dark one to devour and take the ones who put their trust in him as fast as he can, but I ask that you lay down the sword of this age that you carry and follow me, and I shall speak into thy hands a great and mightier sword. Take the vengeance off against men who wronged thy humble heart and do not let it be corrupt by what the dark one has put thee through, thou art a man of great integrity and countenance. Let not what is meant to pass away hold thee from passing through the golden gates, which is laid open for all they that received the free gift of the Father.’ These words came from the man.
Michael stood up quietly without saying a word to the man, he was about to leave and then remembered to pick his gun, and after picking it, he strapped it on the left side of his waist and as he was about to walk up the stairs, the man said, ‘woe unto man whose enemies trampleth upon his purpose and wageth ceaseless war upon it before he knoweth why he walketh the earth! Do not let what is of this world deter thee from thy sole purpose bequeatheth by the Father unto thee, Michael.’ He stopped, sighed and then walked away without turning back neither saying a word to the man, all the while the man kept his eyes on Michael and kept smiling until he disappeared. ‘I shall be when thou seeketh and shall appeareth when thou needeth me whenever thou art ready my child.’
Those were the words that echoed like a whisper in Michael’s heart as he walked up the stairs.
In the church were the preacher and Sabrina are on their knees praying, the sound of Michael’s footsteps made them stop praying and they both turned. Michael was walking fast going out of the church building. Sabrina quickly stood on her feet and followed him calling but he didn’t turn, he ran out of the church and far away into the bushes, Michael ran until he almost lost his breath, he stopped under a tree and lay on the ground looking up at the sky through the leaves. Michael was totally confused, he had no idea what just happened, he took a nap under the tree and by the time he was up, it was already sunset so he rushed to the hotel and on his way, he got a call from the detective that Junior was planning to meet the two men around midnight at the address he sent to him earlier. Michael thanked the detective and hung up and as soon as he ended the call he scrolled through his phone and dialed Clara’s number, she told him that Junior said his father’s body won’t be put to rest till the killers are caught and put to justice. She sounded worried about Michael and he told her he was doing fine and thanked her for her concern, she wished him well and told him to take care of himself and his daughter, telling him that she was planning to leave town the next day to a much safer place but would come back when things calm down or for the old man’s burial when the date is set. She also explained to him that a circular was posted and the company was closed for a week or until things settle as the country itself is bracing for defence against threats by terrorists and other neighbouring nations, all government offices were shut down and all private companies were advised to go on a lockdown until the country is safe for business.
On reaching the hotel, Michael waved at the receptionist who smiled at him and made his way to the lift, there were two people inside—a man wearing a black shirt and a woman in a pink gown—and as the lift was about to close, a woman with two dogs pressed the button and entered with them, this made the other woman in pink ran behind Michael screaming and shaking. Michael quickly pressed the button and the lift opened again, Michael then asked the lady with the dogs to please kindly move out and take the stairs with her dogs that the other woman was afraid of dogs. The lady with the dogs was offended but she had to go out as the two men stared at her, after she walked out, the woman in pink thanked Michael and he said no word but smiled at her as the lift closed.
Michael got back into the room and met his daughter with Paul and Samantha. Gillian jumped on him, smiling. He sat down, ate some food offered to him by Samantha, and thanked the two for looking after Gillian. He lied to them that he went to the office to have some issues cleared, he then asked Gillian to excuse the three of them so she went to the bedroom leaving them by the diner in the parlour. Michael was quiet at first and after a long silence he removed the pistol and kept it on the table, scaring Samantha. Michael also kept the pictures of the two men he got from the detective and explained to them how he got it and what he intend doing that night, they tried to talk him out of it but he refused to listen. He told them that he needed to do this for Jana.
‘What do you think Jana would really want, Michael? Take matters on your own and stain your hands with blood? What if the authority finds out? Think about Gillian!’ said Paul. The two tried to persuade Michael but he kept a deaf ear to their voices.
While they were talking, Gillian walked excitedly and asked Paul and Samantha to tell her father about the man that came to see them. Michael hid the gun under the table cloth. ‘What man, sweetie? What man is she talking about . . . huh?’ asked Michael, who turned to the couple.
Paul and Samantha looked at each other and Paul said, ‘it’s the um . . . Ambassador, he was here.’
‘What Ambassador?’ he asked. His daughter, out of excitement, described the man and the description matched that of the man he encountered at the church basement. Gillian went ahead to say that the man was the same man she kept seeing in her dreams whenever she was attacked, but that in her dreams he was always shining brightly with such great light. ‘Remember that man I told you, Daddy, that saved me from the lions in my recurring dream the other day?’ said Gillian as she sat on his thigh, smiling.
Michael asked gently about the time the man came and when they told him, it was about the same time he was down at the basement in the church. What marvelled him was how the man was able to be in two places at the same time. Paul told Michael he had a confession to make, he explained to Michael that he and Samantha have been under attacks and many mysterious things have been happening to them, that was why they left their town and ran to the city after Samantha had an encounter with the Ambassador and He told her in a dream that safety would come through this land and so they packed and moved here before the chaos hit the city, the idea of Paul coming for an assignment was a cover up not to make him think they were weird or crazy if they had opened up to him in the first place. They told Michael that Samantha has been having miscarriages whenever she took in since their marriage for four years, and it has not been easy for them since until they decided to sincerely pray over the matter, but the lord has blessed her womb and she was three months pregnant and that they believed this baby was here to stay, the two looked so happy talking about their unborn child.
Samantha explained how she saw herself carrying rocks in her stomach which were put inside of her by Hibnus who came in the form of a dark-figured woman in a dream, and the Ambassador appeared and Hibnus fled, so the Ambassador removed the rocks from her stomach and told her she shall be the joy of many as her womb shall bring forth what it was moulded to hold for nine months in the shortest time possible known to man, and that the Ambassador has been visiting her night after night and had appeared to Paul too several times. Since then, the two were instructed to come to the city according to the instructions by the one they called the Ambassador. He told them that shelter shall be laid in the midst of darkness in this very city. Michael felt the couple were losing it, he began to think that everybody around him was either running mad or that they were playing pranks on him, he wanted to laugh and call them fools but his mind was on his mission.
The couple went ahead and told Michael that they had no idea what those words meant when the Ambassador spoke to them in a dream but they obeyed with faith and without question. Michael knew that Paul had no reason to lie to him but watching Paul being caught under such religious web stunned him, he felt that maybe he should ask the couple a few more questions. He told them that the person that approached him in front of the hotel called himself Hibnus and it was a man, not a woman.
Samantha excitingly told him that Hibnus can appear in many forms— at night is a woman and in the day a man. Michael then asked her how she knew all these. She then told him that once the Ambassador touched her hands, she knew all within a flash of a second. ‘An immeasurable load of knowledge was passed to me in the form of light within a short period,’ she added.
Michael then asked, ‘so you’re telling me that all these is real; the unborn child, Hibnus or whatever it’s . . . his or her name is, the rocks, the shiny guy in white and . . .’
Samantha and Paul uttered ‘yes, Michael!’ at the same time.
‘Yes, Daddy!’ Gillian added too, smiling.
He giggled and asked them to give him some time alone to think, he then secretly took the gun on the table and walked out of the hotel room.
It was already 10 p.m., while sitting by the swimming pool staring into the water, Michael got a text message from Big Grandy about the operation, he wanted to know if the mission was still on as planned.
Michael replied with a positive response. There were too many things on Michael’s mind, processing all these things he was bumping on was weighing his senses and judgment down, he did not ask any further questions because his attention was more on the clock than any other mystery he had seen or heard so far and he didn’t know what to believe anymore. Killing the two men and finding out why they attacked his family was the only thing that clouded his mind. He went back to his hotel room, Gillian had slept off, Paul and Samantha were sleeping on the couch in the parlour. Michael then shut the door quietly and took the stairs through the exit door on the other end via the public pool section to avoid being seen by the receptionist.
By 12 a.m. he was already at the rendezvous point and immediately after he got there, Big Grandy and his cousin picked him up. Big Grandy’s cousin was very excited about the mission and just couldn’t wait to get a piece of the action. On their way, Michael told the men that when they get there, they would wait for him outside until he gave them a signal and if he didn’t show up within the specified time or signalled them they should come in thirty minutes. The two men were high on marijuana that they puffed earlier before they picked Michael and it was obvious that big Grandy’s cousin was a trigger-happy young man. Michael asked Big Grandy’s cousin what he did for a living and he said he was a rapper and wanted to be a rap star someday, he said why he volunteered for the job was because Big Grandy used some of the money from the deal to pay for his studio session that day, he even wanted to play his demo CD for Michael but Big Grandy insisted he wait until this was over.
Michael then promised to support him on his album once it was over. Big Grandy’s cousin, who was sitting on the passenger’s side, was so excited that he mistakenly fired a shot in the air through the sunroof as the men passed over a small bridge that night. Big Grandy, who was driving, slapped his cousin and collected the gun, the men went down taking a shortcut through the bushes and arrived at their destination.
They parked not far from the estate fence and as planned, Michael took a pistol and a dagger while Big Grandy had a shotgun wrapped on his shoulder and a pistol in his hand but his cousin held up two semi-automatic, closed bolt and blowback-operated pistols variant generally known as the Uzi. Michael and Big Grandy didn’t even know how he got the guns. ‘If you had money to buy that, cousin, paying for a studio session shouldn’t be a problem, man!’ said Big Grandy as the two entered into an argument. Michael left laughing saying, ‘thirty minutes, boys, thirty minutes!’
‘Yes, boss, I got you! I got ya back!’ answered Big Grandy, who turned and slapped his cousin on the head again.
Michael jumped off the fence and into the compound through the backyard, he saw a man making a phone call in the kitchen downstairs. The house was a semidetached duplex with a concrete fence separating them, dogs were barking from the other house so he quickly moved and lay on the ground, the man making the call looked around and saw no one then continued making his call.
A honk was heard from the frontage of the house so the man left the kitchen, as Michael was about to make a move toward the kitchen door, he heard a thud and another thud and on his amazement, Big Grandy and his cousin had already made their way through the fence too. He was mad but could not say a word so he gave them a hand gesture to calm down and not make any sound because Big Grandy was knocking his cousin’s head when they landed. He asked them to come over, which they did, crawling like soldiers under barb in combat training. The moment they got to him he whispered to them to stay put and not move till thirty minutes have passed and they nodded in agreement at the same time like dogs.
Michael tried to open the kitchen door but it was locked, Big Grandy nodded and quickly tried it with some tools he had and it popped opened. ‘Now, that’s what’s up!’ whispered his cousin, smiling with his two front broken teeth. Michael noticed the two missing teeth and was speechless so he made another gesture telling them to wait and they nodded again in agreement. Michael crawled in gently through the kitchen and overheard Junior’s voice shouting and lamenting. He stopped and squeezed himself to a good hidden spot behind a refrigerator, and from what his ears could gather—a television in the house was switched on so Michael could not hear them clearly—Junior was telling the men that he didn’t ask them to kill anyone, he said he made it clear that he only wanted to send a message to Michael but not by killing his wife. Michael was able to have a faint glimpse of the three men talking from where he was now standing, one of the men who was smoking got mad and pointed a gun at Junior, telling him to sit down, which Junior did without question.
‘Take that gun off me, Martin, or I won’t pay you guys the other half . . .’ said Junior, ‘besides, why should I pay you guys, you didn’t do as instructed,’ he added.
The men laughed, one of the men frisked Junior and pulled a gun from his holster and kept it on the table and told Junior they weren’t working for him, he didn’t understand what they were saying until one of the men called out to William, Junior’s nephew.
The weather forecast on the television was still loud and one of the men turned the volume down cursing at the lady in the television at the same time for no reason. William came down from the spiral stairs smoking and hysterically laughing at his uncle. Junior did not understand what was going on and so was Michael, from where he was standing. William was holding a glass cup half-filled with red wine and instead of drinking it he poured it on Junior’s head. ‘Are you out of your mind, William?’ Junior exclaimed.
‘Sorry, Uncle Cee . . .’ answered William, laughing. ‘What’s the meaning of this?’ Junior asked again.
William then sat on the glass centre table facing Junior, while laughing he kept the cigarette and grabbed hold of the pistol on the table, sighed heavily and said, ‘the end, Uncle Cee, the end of you after . . . grandpa.’
Junior looked at him and William smirked, saying, ‘oh, yeah! I knew about it before it happened, just as you’re about to be done with, uncle Cee.’ Junior got up angrily and pushed his nephew to the floor, breaking the table to pieces. Martins and Pattoski broke the fight between the two men, Martins hit Junior on the back of the head with the edge of his pistol and he fell to the floor.
Junior and William were both bleeding from cuts they got from the broken glass table, William was annoyed. While on the floor, unknown to the three men, Michael could see William pressing some kind of device that started to beep so Michael stepped out from where he was hiding, pointing two pistols at the men, he ordered Martins to drop his gun on the floor, which he did without hesitation. Junior got up looking at the wounds on his body, saying ‘oh, Michael, thank God you are here, these fools were trying to . . .’ before he could say any more, Michael pointed a pistol at him, so Junior slowly moved back and joined the other men. ‘Oh! Okay, all right, but I didn’t do it, Mike, I told you even the cops suspected me but I have got nothing to do with Jana’s death or my father’s. It’s my freaking nephew, could you believe this?’ said Junior but Michael ignored him and asked them ‘why?’ The four men looked at each other and none said a word.
‘I will tell you why,’ said a voice behind Michael. The individual placed a gun nozzle between Michael’s shoulder blades. ‘Drop your gun gently on the floor before I make you!’ said the individual again.
Michael kindly dropped the pistols as ordered and slowly turned, no one other than detective Samuel pointing a gun at him with his left hand in his left pocket as usual. ‘How the hell did you get that blood on you, son?’ said detective Samuel to William.
‘Your freaking brother-in-law almost killed me, what took you so long, Dad?’ answered William who moved across to the detective’s side, the other two men crossed to the other side as well. William hurriedly picked two of the pistols from the floor pointing it at Michael and Junior.
‘So, this is what it’s all about, huh? Said Junior to detective Samuel.
‘Yeah, I told you I will get your family . . . for shattering my life and that of my son, Cannon!’ replied the detective.
‘It was an accident you fool, get it in your head and get over it! You were there for Christ sake, Sam. You were right there, and what, you brainwashed your son too? You’re a madman!’ said Junior.
‘Who was where, what’s going on here?’ Michael asked. ‘Now here’s the screamer, Junior sent these two to kill your wife, you found their hideout and shot them to dead with a pistol you bought from the ghetto and they shot you in the process as well! Blah blah blah! End of story! Besides, why wouldn’t you want Junior dead? Well, I will tell you why, Michael. He has been banging your wife whenever you were in the office and when you travelled abroad with his father trying to make the company big, my friend. Oh, don’t you know?’ said detective Samuel, laughing, pointing his gun at Martins and Pattoski directing them to move back and join Michael and Junior as well.
‘Don’t listen to this madman . . .’ uttered Junior. ‘Michael, oh he will, he has to . . . every fool gets to know what he is someday or what he’s been taken for . . .’ said Samuel and he added ‘you know what, Mr Henning, you go run a DNA test on your daughter and tell me who you believe the real father is, but that won’t happen anyway because you, my friend, and all these puppets will all be dead by tomorrow, all of you. But before that, brother, why don’t you tell the good-hearted man here the truth about you and Jana, huh? Go ahead, man,’ said Samuel, pointing the gun at Junior.
Junior kept quiet and moved back a bit away from Michael and said, ‘you sick bastard!’
‘Am I? Open up or I’ll fill you up with lead!’ Detective Samuel threatened Junior again.
Junior looked at Michael and said, ‘I’m sorry, man, I didn’t know what came over me, and it was a long . . .’
‘What the hell are you talking about, Cannon?’ said Michael.
‘Don’t listen to this lunatic, he is crazy. It was a mistake, okay!’ said Junior, looking remorseful.
‘A mistake, is that what you call it? Huh! I know everything, you fool. Helen told me everything. Banging the man’s wife way back, she helped secured your job with the company because daddy’s lil boy Junior here promised to use his father’s influence to hook you up only if she gave him a taste of the pink apple, and she did. But the banging stopped after you got the job and that’s after he impregnated her with the child you called your own,’ said Samuel.
‘Shut up, you fool!’ said Junior. ‘You are lying!’ screamed Michael. ‘Oh, am I?’ asked Samuel.
‘Samuel this is not necessary, you have brought enough pain on this man’s life, let it rest, you bastard!’ Junior exclaimed.
‘No! We . . . yeah, we, have brought these on him— you, the self-righteous old man, and myself, Junior. I just decided to take advantage of the little dilemma to seal my own plans, that’s all and God will understand, the old man thought that by making Mr Nice Guy here head of his company, that justifies everything! Now, tell him the truth or I will shoot you in your balls, you fat chunk of grass,’ said Samuel.
Junior turned to Michael again and told him he was sorry that the story was true but it was a long time ago and that he actually forced her.
Michael refused to believe him, Michael learned that even the old man knew about it but warned Junior to stay away from Jana. Junior went ahead to explain that he actually forced Jana when she came to him to help secure a place for her husband in his father’s company, Jana was the one who connected Michael with the old man when Michael was struggling to get a job after he left his former place of work but she was only able to gain access to the old man after going through Junior.
Michael didn’t want to accept anything he was told but he understood that with the depth of the situation of things, Junior would have no reason to tell jokes or lie to him. ‘So this is all a set-up? You set these things up all by yourself using your son, for what? What does my family got to do with this madness?’ asked Michael.
‘Revenge, he wants revenge just like the fool that he is!’ said Junior.
‘Revenge against who? You handed over the photos of Martins and Pattoski to the authorities as well?’ Michael asked again.
‘Yeah, I did, they are expendable,’ answered Samuel.
Tension rose like hot steam in the room with Samuel and William holding the guns, they were the ones in charge and calling the shots. Pattoski’s attention was on the other pistol on the floor.
Samuel interrupted, saying, ‘in the next life don’t be foolish, Michael, run a DNA test on every child a woman would tell you you fathered, don’t forget to ask the doctor to check if you are potent as well. I know everything, Michael! Everything! No hurt feelings man, a detective’s got to do what a detective’s got to . . . just as your pretty wife did! You think not having more kids after your first child was a problem from her side? You are kidding me man, you are as stupid and foolish as you look with those glasses, the world is not meant for people like you. You are a loser, I can cut you a slack and let you put a bullet on this rascal’s head before I shoot you myself, Michael.’
Everybody was quiet and Michael was angry but he was more interested in the story he bumped about Jana and wanted to hear more and as Junior was about to talk, Big Grandy and his cousin came out from their hiding place behind the detective and his son, William, cocked their guns and ordered the two men to drop their guns. His cousin ranted about the guns he carried and so warned the men not to try anything stupid, the two men dropped their guns and then were asked to go down to their knees and they did. Junior, Martins, and Pattoski were ordered to join them and they did with their eyes still set on the pistols not far from their position.
Big Grandy told Michael to move so he would waste them but Michael was curious, said he wanted to know what was going on. Michael moved a step further and asked the detective to talk, he kept silent so Big Grandy hit the detective with his gun on the back of the head lightly and moved back, then the detective began to talk, telling Michael how he and Helen were in love back in the days and planned on getting married but her family disagreed after they got engaged, so the two decided to have a baby in order to force Helen’s father to approve their marriage but the old man refused. So the day Samuel, Helen’s father, and Junior were arguing and quarrelling, when Helen was a few weeks away from delivery, Helen fell off the stairs and was hospitalised, she died but the baby was saved and since then Samuel swore to take vengeance on the family.
‘As foolish as you thought the old man was, he would never give the hand of his precious daughter in marriage to a deranged and possessed psychopath like you!’ said Junior.
‘First cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the speck out of your brother’s eye!’ answered detective Samuel.
‘Mathew 7:5,’ said Big Grandy, as he laughed and added ‘looks like y’all ready and prepared to go to purgatory, boys!’ ‘Oh hell, the president’s dead! Breaking news on TV!’ said Big Grandy’s cousin. All the men turned their attention to the television and it was true. ‘Yo, boss, turn the volume up, man!’ said big Grandy to Michael but Michael hesitated. On the television there was a footage of a burning plane with a text at the bottom of the screen saying ‘BREAKING NEWS: President’s jet shot down by terrorist minutes ago’. The news said no one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
‘This world is sick man, let’s get this thing over with and get the hell out of here, boss!’ said Big Grandy to Michael.
The five men on their knees were in the middle with Junior on one side and Michael standing. Big Grandy and his cousin were on the other side, Big Grandy asked the men to turn and face him, he then asked the detective to remove his left hand from his left pocket which he did, fast firing a shot at Big Grandy’s forehead using a small pistol from his pocket and one shot on Big Grandy’s cousin’s chest missing his heart by an inch, in a spilt of a second Big Grandy’s cousin screamed and opened fire at the men, both Michael and Junior jumped off to the left and right side respectively for their lives.
There were random shots fired from Martins and Pattoski as well who got hold of a pistol each on the floor but shots from Big Grandy’s cousin put bullet holes in the detective’s body, few shots hit Martins and Pattoski on the loins and throat but the two didn’t miss the shots they fired at Big Grandy’s cousin. Pattoski’s pistol rolled close to Junior and Michael watched Junior struggling to pick it up in the midst of the chaos, bullets were flying all round the room through the walls scattering the television and other furniture in the house, William’s chest was shattered with bullet holes too and some women from the next house were screaming.
The place was silent for a while, Michael could hear Pattoski groaning, coughing, and spitting blood through his mouth and nostrils. Blood stains all around the cushions and floor. Michael quietly stood up and almost got hit by the bullet Junior fired, Michael ducked behind a chair and then spotted a pistol from across on Big Grandy’s hand lying on the floor so he ran for it and picked it, quickly turned and fired three shots at Junior’s direction but missed because Junior was already headed toward the door and ran out.
Michael looked around and everybody was dead— Samuel, William, Big Grandy, his cousin, Martins, and Pattoski all laid dead and wasted and the women from the other house were still screaming, Some blood stains were on Michael’s shirt, the dogs in the next house barked loudly as Michael searched Big Grandy’s body and removed the cell phone from his pocket and made his way through the kitchen door and jumped off the fence injuring himself upon landing. He limped and got to the getaway vehicle parked behind the fence and zoomed off.
Michael stopped somewhere along the way in the bushes and got rid of the weapons in the car, he limped back in and hit the gas but was losing his grip on the pedal as pain from his ankle weakened his push, he got to a bridge and he then looked around and then threw Big Grandy’s cell phone down into the water.
By the time he got back on the expressway, sirens and red and blue lights from both police cars and the military vehicles were moving up and down the city, many dignitaries with their escorts were on high speed headed to different directions. He got through and arrived at the hotel safe, he didn’t even park the vehicle appropriately and just pulled the hand break putting the car to a halt and made his way through the public pool side at the hotel as he limped, avoiding the reception which was filled with many people, Michael paved his way up painfully through the stairs and got to the room. Paul opened the room and called out to Samantha and the two held Michael and laid him on the sofa in the parlour in his hotel room.
The TV was on, set on the news channel carrying the breaking news flash still showing footages of the burnt presidential jet. Samantha quickly rushed to their hotel room for a first aid kit and as soon as she got back, Paul told her it was a minor pain on the big toe and a serious sprained ankle. Samantha then applied some ointments to it but with a careful look, she discovered it was a broken ankle, she asked Michael what happened as Gillian ran out and held him with tears in her eyes, he held her firmly and lied to them that he went to get some of his stuff from the office and was attacked on his way back by some men asking him for money but Samantha and Paul sensed he was not telling the truth, however, they were happy he got back alive.
‘Did you see the number of people down at the reception and did you hear about the president’s assassination?’ asked Michael as he panted, sweating in the air conditioned room. Samantha and Paul told him they saw it on the news channel. ‘I don’t think this city is safe any longer, everybody seemed to be running and the city is filled with law enforcement agents. It’s a total chaos out there, we need to get out of here before it gets major!’ added Michael but Samantha and Paul disagreed with him, that the Ambassador told them the city was the safest place for now and they would not leave until he told them otherwise. Every time the two mentioned the name of the Ambassador, Michael got uncomfortable and edgy. While they were talking, Samantha brought the men’s attention to the TV and over the news channel the reporter broadcast that ‘all world leaders have ordered their troops on full combat alert’. According to the news, war had already broken up in some countries around the world, the three of them looked at each other and as Samantha tried to find the chair next to her to sit down, the door on the terrace side broke open and the glass door shattered, pieces of glasses around pushed in by a strong violent wind with a loud bang. Samantha and Gillian screamed as the deadly wind threw Paul up against the wall. Samantha and Gillian held Michael strong and to their amazement, Hibnus appeared out of nowhere. Paul made an attempt to fight Hibnus but was smacked back to the wall again.
Hibnus pushed Samantha and Gillian to the floor and grabbed hold of Michael’s ankle twisting it clockwise and anticlockwise as Michael let out a painful scream and tried to fight it. Hibnus now transformed into the dark-figured woman, with her hair spread like tentacles in the air and her short tail was visible. Hibnus smiled and grabbed Michael and threw him across the room. Michael hit the ceiling and right before he landed on the floor Gillian screamed ‘Jesus! Save daddy!’ Right then, time stopped but Hibnus could move. Michael, Samantha, Gillian, and Paul were still and frozen in time but conscious of what was going on, a shiny bright white light sparked its way in the middle of the room and shined brightly blinding Hibnus who was about to make an attempt to disappear but was instantly vaporised. Michael was hanging in the air and so were the rest, then time continued and Michael landed on the floor, letting a painful moan out, the intensity of the bright white light subsided and transformed into a man, and Gillian rushed toward the man and buried her head in his arms as Paul and Samantha rushed and bowed at the man’s feet. He asked that Michael be brought to the sofa, he was laid and the man ran his hand gently around Michael’s ankle and it became healed, even his toe was made fine and the injury on the back of his head disappeared, leaving Michael feeling strong, energized, and fresh like a new born child.
‘Thy faith is great, my child,’ said the man, looking at Gillian. ‘I am here to take thee to safety, I am taking all the children with me to a safer place within the earth’s pelt for now and when the gates come finally opened, they and all that fight along the good side shall inhabit the place I have prepared for those of the father!
Yea and all the rest of Adam’s seeds that I have visited must walketh to where these innocent ones shall be, for in days to come the hour shall lose its weak hand. Time shall ceaseth but be not afraid, a great light shall guard and guide thee to where the young and innocents I saved for myself shall be, keep thy eyes opened and be yea vigilant,’ the man said, and then turned to Samantha, ‘thy womb shall bring forth its fruit when yea arrive at the camp I nested for my own before the gates come opened. There, yea shall be of joy and hope to many.’
Samantha smiled and so did Paul, their faces shined bright and glittered as they held hands, He then turned to Michael and said, ‘yea must not knoweth all but I shall come to thee once thou have made up thy mind and calleth in earnest, but this yea must do before the ears of the father shuts itself against the voice of men. There is a much greater task for thee when thou art ready but first yea must cast off all yea know of this dying world and what the tongues of men have planted in thy heart through thy ears and forgive yea must in order to soar with thy wings, my child, for where I am taking thee, not even the angels have seen,’ the man said, as he turned and looked straight into Michael’s eyes. His face shone bright and glittered, Michael could tell it was the very man he met down the basement at the church, the one they call the Ambassador. ‘I shall gather mine and all they who believeth and accepteth the lamb in the hour left thereof and shall reacheth out to all men before the last wind of time is frozen and imprisoned!’ he added and again turned to Gillian who was dipped in his warm loving arms saying ‘soon my child, all this pain, cruelty, and decadence shall give way to unmatched and endless joy and peace.’
Tears ran down Michael’s eyes and Gillian looked at her father, Michael, holding strong at the Ambassador.
‘Can we go now?’ she said, smiling, resting her head on his bosom and it got obvious to Michael that all she wanted was to leave with the Ambassador. Michael could see it in her eyes. Michael smiled at Gillian, then a great white light made its way through and engulfed the Ambassador and Gillian and they both disappeared leaving Michael, Paul, and Samantha in the room.
Twin explosions hit the hotel sending the three to the floor, the floor cracked open but the three were able to escape and made their way down through the heavily-piled broken stairs. Dead bodies and blood were everywhere, women screaming and crying, calling out the names of their children. As Michael, Paul, and Samantha made their way out of the degraded structure, a fog of dust was everywhere and people panicked on the streets running up and down, a state of pandemonium, and the earth shook as a short earthquake cracked some of the buildings standing.
While running on the streets, the three noticed how the entire city was in flames and yet there were some men breaking shops, looting, and some breaking into banks and moving out with bags of cash and only a handful of policemen bother to chase them firing shots at the criminals.
The three also noticed that there was no single child amongst all the number of people they saw, the entire crowd were running, houses were falling and the earth was shaking terribly. Street lights, cell phone masts, and electrical poles were falling, breaking, and smashing everything in their way.
There was total and complete chaos, nuclear alarm sirens could be heard from afar as debris and objects with smoke tails were falling from the skies on buildings and people, and from afar planes were sighted making a forced descent and one sighted in flames with numerous sounds of explosions heard across the city. Not a single child’s voice was heard and all the women that were pregnant appeared without womb and confused, the sun rose in the morning while the people were still busy trying to locate loved ones.
Above in the sky, the sun’s colour began to change to a duller tone because the clouds were turning thick and dark with smoke rising from the city, a horrible evil and loud sound was heard in the skies sending cold chills down the people’s spines as they looked up in search of what it might be but the sound stopped and nothing was seen. The earth stopped shaking, and debris stopped falling, as the entire city calmed leaving only smoke everywhere and people covered with dust.
Coughing their way through were Michael, Paul, and Samantha. Paul held Samantha’s hand tightly, the three helped those they could and people began to help the ones that were trapped beneath fallen buildings. Young men, women, and old came to the realization that they were all that was left and there seemed to be no single child in the city anymore, only the adults were left. The news of the missing children in every home was heard, some families talked about hearing their children talked with a stranger and seen lights in the children’s bedrooms before the earth started to shake, some men and women were on their knees praying in the dust and didn’t care, some were crying and many were trapped and dead in the buildings. Michael advised the two to go down to the church so they moved carefully between fallen structures and burnt cars through the city trekking to the church, they saw many horrible sights on their way and many deaths and still in their entire long trip to the church, there wasn’t a single child in sight.
They got to the church building at about nine in the morning and only half of it was standing, they saw pastor James rearranging the church seats and dusting them off, the pastor’s house was totally brought down and in pieces. The preacher saw them and ran to welcome them, Michael asked of Sabrina and the preacher told them she went to get some water so they could clean up the church seats. The four of them sat down on the dusty seats talking about what happened, minutes later Sabrina arrived with some men and women she met whom she invited to come and rest with them, she was happy seeing Michael and she didn’t bother to ask of Gillian as if she knew what happened, Michael smiled and sighed but could not explain nor say a word. ‘There is a message for you!’ Sabrina said to Michael, smiling.
After a long day’s work putting up the place, they were offered food and water, many other people came to the church and joined them while others kept their ears to the few radio stations that were available on air, listening to news and alerts on what was happening and were trying to understand why it happened. Both man-made and natural disaster struck the nation and many other countries around the world at the same time.
The wounded were attended to and were provided a clean tent to stay in and were catered for, smoke was everywhere from near and far, and after sunset, they lay on the benches in the torn church building. Paul arranged a good spot for Samantha to rest, and they slept in each other’s arms.

 

 

 

 

 

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