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The days slowly progressed into weeks and months and
Promise’s church became widely known. Alice never stopped praying and teaching Japheth, they both studied the bible and grew closer to God.
There was a preparation for the biggest crusade in the
history of the church and Promise wanted all hands on deck with the project, so she called the church workers.

“We have a big crusade in three days, and we can’t fall
short of expectations. I expect all the church branded items to be sold at
every side of the church, I also expect my security team to be on standby, the
deliverance ministers, I need you all to be ready because this crusade is going
to be power-packed, we will have people falling from their seats to the ground
and even rolling about and I need you all ready.” She said. “I also need my magazines with my picture on it and testimonies within to be sold too…everyone at the crusade must have a copy of the magazine.”
Everyone nodded in affirmative. Alice was there, she didn’t
have a role yet in the church but she didn’t care. She was growing spiritually in God’s word and that was all that mattered to her, the fact that she spent most
of her time in God’s presence made her stronger. Promise had stopped paying her
any salary so she taught in a small school close to her house and fended for
herself.
The church workers turned to leave but Promise’s clipped voice
said.
“Alice, Gift…do stay behind.”
Gift stopped in her tracks and turned to walk over to the
chair before the pastor’s desk, she sat down and crossed her legs. Gift’s style
was impeccable and her looks were always on point. Alice stood beside the door
and waited, her worn-out slippers made her feet seem as though they were touching the
bare ground.
“This is a very big crusade and I need the both of you to
work together on this.” Promise said.
“Both of us? How? Why?” Gift asked.
“I need Alice to monitor sales and I need you, Gift, to be
in charge of the items in general. I also need you for a lot of other things
but I’ll explain it soon.” Promise said.
“Alice hasn’t really been in the church, only God knows
where she disappears to, during vigils and church programs. Alice doesn’t belong
in this church.” Gift said with spite.
“Right now, we all need one another to make this retreat a
progress!” Promise said quickly. “Alice, I’ll need you to follow Gift to her
office and know how best to assist her.”
Alice nodded. Gift stood up and walked out of the office
while Alice followed closely behind. They reached Gift’s office, an office
well-furnished and quite spacious.
“We still have some items left over and we have a new
shipment coming in today. Check my cupboard at the corner, I have a book with
the list of items of new shipment.” Gift said with an air of superiority. “And why do you
smell this way? Don’t you use a deodorant?”
Alice didn’t respond, she walked over to the cupboard and
checked for the book, and just as she was checking, she saw something move
inside the cupboard. Alice was startled at first but continued her search but
more carefully this time as she hoped it wasn’t a rodent that was inside the
wardrobe. She had just pulled out the book when she saw the thing curled at a corner.
“It’s a snake!” Alice shouted.
“What? What are you talking about?” Gift asked.
“There’s a snake in your cupboard.” Alice screamed.
Gift hurried to the cupboard and saw the snake lying there
and was surprised that Alice could see it.
“Where is it? Where is it?” Gift asked.
Alice saw a sharp scissors from the corner of her eyes and
taking it, she struck the snake on the head.
It was as though fire had exploded through Gift’s brain, she
stood there immobile for some seconds and stared at Alice, helpless of what to
do.
“Blood of Jesus Christ.” Alice shouted and struck the snake
again.
This time, Gift fell to the ground unconsciously.
“Gift! My God! Gift! Are you okay?” Alice shouted in alarm
and crouched beside Gift. The lady was not moving so she ran out of the office
and called security to take her to the church clinic. The men carried her out
of her office.
When Gift was taken away, Alice turned back to face the
snake but it was gone.
“Where is it?” Alice asked, scattering the books and
checking the whole cupboard. “It was here. I struck its head. This is stange!”
After searching for the snake to no avail, she left the
office.
********
Gift lay in the church clinic, her body was there on the bed
but her spirit was far away with the queen and her girls.
“Aaaaaarggghhhh…my head…” Gift cried.
The queen didn’t look too pleased, she was angry.
“How could she? How dare she try to kill your essence?”
“I am in great pain….so much pain mother.” Gift cried. “Promise
is going to be the undoing of our mission in the world. I told her to sacrifice
Alice….long ago…I told her.”
“Summon Sir Gideon now and ask him to summon Promise.” The
queen said to one of the girls who bowed at her command and disappeared.
“The crusade is in three days…I don’t think….oh my head! I
don’t think I’ll be strong…enough to…be there…” Gift cried.
“You have to be there! How else will we deposit traces of
our spirits in the heads of the people? We need you there…we need one of our
own there.”
Gift rolled on the ground, she was covered in the skimpy
covering of the queen’s girls and she looked terrible.
“This is not going according to plan…if you’re not there, it
will be a disaster!” The queen proclaimed.
********
Promise was at her desk when one of queen’s girls appeared
to her. She startled.
“Are you still afraid of us?” The girl asked.
“Why shouldn’t I be? You barge in on someone even without
any permission or warning.”
“We don’t need permission, we own your soul.” The girl said.
“What brings you here?”
“There’s a summoning.”
“Summoning?”
“You need to come with me now! In spirit.”
“What? Now? I am preparing for a crusade and I have a lot to
do…”
“Now!” The girl said and disappeared.
There was a knock at the door and Alice entered without
waiting for a response.
“Gift …is in the clinic. She fainted!” Alice said.
“What?”
“You have to come now!”
“Okay…I’ll be right with you.” Promise said.
As soon as Alice left, Promise ran to lock the door to her
office and spirit-traveled.
*******
“What is the meaning of this?” Sir Gideon thundered at her.
“What’s the meaning of what? It’s not my fault that Gift is
in this condition.” Promise said in self-defense.
“That woman needs to be cut off from your ministry or she’ll
ruin us all.”
“Alice? Ruin us? That’s not possible!” Promise shouted.
“How could she have seen the spiritual snake in Gift’s
office? That snake wasn’t to be seen by human eyes but she saw it.” The queen
mother said.
“I can’t explain it…but…but…” Promise started.
“There’s a mole in your ministry and Alice is the mole. Your
workers are not praying to God but to us, they don’t know it but that’s what
they are doing whenever they kneel in that church to pray. But this your Alice,
she seems to have a church somewhere, and she’s spiritually nourished too.” The
queen mother said.
“I can assure you, Alice has no other church aside from
ours.” Sir Gideon said.
“Yes she does…” Gift said with much difficulty. “Alice’s
heart is godly and she shouldn’t be with us.”
Promise looked at them in silence.
“What do I do? Should I send her away?” Promise asked.
“Send her away? Just like that? So that she can come back
claiming she saw your mother in a dream? No way!” The queen r said.
Promise was alarmed that the queen knew that Alice had
dreamt of her mother before returning to the church.
“What would you have me do?”
“Kill her!” The queen said. “And do it quick before the crusade.” 
“What? Do you know what that means? How can I kill her just
days to the crusade? That would raise eyebrows and …and…workers would shift
their focus from the crusade and think of her death.” Promise said in panic.
“If I were you, I’d kill her now…” The queen said.
“She has a point queen, I am in the world and I run a big
organization as hers and I know that if she does that, lots of questions would
be raised and it will shake the faith of many. Let’s leave it till after the
crusade.” Sir Gideon said.
“I want that crusade to work out perfectly and I don’t want
anything to spoil it for me. Am I clear? That crusade will help me send many of
my spirits into the world to work through people and I won’t have anything
block that. Keep Alice at bay and finish her off at the end of the crusade.”
The queen said in finality.

To be continued on Thursday….

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