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Promise stood before
Sir Gideon and the beings under the water, she had been transported via spirit
travel- something she’d heard of but had never witnessed. She watched the queen
start her incantations and her mind began to drift as she wondered why she was
here, what on earth had possessed her to decide to follow this path but then,
she thought of the wealth, the riches, the fame and all that she had now that
she’d only dreamt of before. The incantations were sung and Promise watched the
girls dance around with strange looking pots.
“The sacrifice must
be with blood!” One of the girls said.
Promise didn’t
flinch she had no idea that they were referring to her.
“Promise!” They
called out.
“Yes….” She replied.
“Your next
assignment is that you present something that has blood flowing in its veins.”
“Blood? You mean,
like an animal?” Promise asked.
“No, an animal is
too little and its blood, insignificant.” One of the girls said.
“I don’t understand…”
promise said.
“They mean, human
sacrifice. At certain points of your journey to wealth, riches and fortune, you’ll
have to sacrifice someone and for the first time, it’s advisable to sacrifice
someone closest to you.”
“What? This is not
what I signed up for?”
“You signed up for
everything the day you came here and asked for my help!” The queen shouted.
“Sir Gideon, please
tell them that I can do anything…I will do anything, but I can’t spill blood.
That would make me a murderer!” She cried.
“Aren’t we all
murderers? Look at it this way, it’s just human life, besides many people say
death is more preferable to life.” Gideon said.
“No, I can’t.”
Promise said.
The girls turned to
her in anger and walked towards her with long whips in their hands that seemed
to have materialized from nowhere. They began to beat her. The whips were so
painful and she had never felt anything as agonizing in her entire life.
“Please…please…stop…stop.”
Promise cried.
The queen raised up
her hand in a bid to tell them to stop. The girls stopped.
“Who are you
offering up to us?” The queen asked.
“Remember it has to
be someone close to you.” Sir Gideon reminded.
Promise sobbed and
said.
“I have no one close
to me…my closest and most dearest was my mother.”
“Well, you have
people close to you in your day to day life as a pastor.” The queen said.
“Gift is close to me…”
She started.
The girls descended
upon her again with their whips and she cried out, when they stopped, the queen
said.
“Gift is one of us.
She’s one of our eyes in the world.”
Promise was surprised
by the revelation, she’d always wondered where Gift came from but she’d never
bothered to ask.
“I….really….don’t
know…” She started but when she saw the girls advance towards her again, she quickly
said. “Bernard!”
The queen nodded her
head and picked out something from a very black pot and handed it to one of the
girls who gave it to her. It was a very small knife.
“Stab him with this!”
The queen said.
“Stab?” Promise
asked.
“Yes, and don’t
worry about the knife wound, once you stab him, push the dagger into him till
it disappears into his body, and once it does that, there’ll be no trace of the
stab wound.” The queen said.
“How do I even kill him? Murder needs strategy.” Promise said.
“Don’t worry about that, you’ll find a way.” Sir Gideon said.
Promise nodded, she
had tears in her eyes. Bernard had been there for her when nobody was, he had
stayed with the church and had sang with all his heart in the congregation of
God’s people and now, she was repaying his good service by killing him. She
felt so devastated.
“You also have
another task to compete.” The queen said. “Your mentor, Sir Gideon brought you
into the fold when you had nothing. You need to appreciate him.”
Promise didn’t understand.
She said. “Thank you sir Gideon.”
“In appreciation for
all he’s done for you, you will be a part of his life, you will warm his bed as
he wishes and you will be loyal to him all the days of your life.”
Promise stared at
all of them in complete confusion.
“Warm his bed?”
“Are you getting to
attached to Japheth?” The queen asked.
“I err…I’m err….”Promise
stammered.
“We could change him
you know, to someone else different.” The queen said.
“No…I am fine with
him.” Promise said.
“We don’t care about
who you are fine with, all we care about is those we are fine with. I leave it
to sir Gideon to decide if you need to change him or not.”
Promise nodded, she
felt so numb. No one had warned her that she’d be going through this once she
signed the lines with her blood. She felt so sad, how could she murder Bernard?
He was her trusted friend, her choir master, he stood by her and the church,
she couldn’t pay him back with death. That would be so cruel. She thought.
Sir Gideon stood and
watched Promise fight with her conscience, he smiled.
*******
Bernard was flirting
with Gift, he had always liked her from the very first day he set his eyes on her.
“We are in the house
of God, Bernard, stop looking at me like that.” Gift said smiling at him.
Alice walked in on
the two of them. Bernard saw her and was taken aback.
“Alice!” He said in
surprise.
“Hello Bernard…”
Alice greeted.
“What are you doing
here? You were sent away.” Gift said.
“Well, I spoke to
the pastor and she told me to come back.” Alice said.
“I’m going to meet
the pastor right away, I won’t tolerate such rubbish!” Gift said and walked
away.
As soon as she left,
Alice addressed Bernard.
“Glad to see me?”
“Well, I guess I am.”
Bernard said, obviously not too happy that she had barged in on his flirting.
“I see you didn’t
miss me one bit.” Alice said.
“Listen Alice, I
know we are meant to stick together in times like this but…you spoke against
the church and I am on the church’s side.” Bernard said.
“Do you want to know
why I came back?” Alice asked.
Bernard shrugged.
“I was visited in a
dream by the late pastor Hope, she told me to return to the church.” Alice said.
“What are you now? A
dreamer? Pastor Hope is dead and whoever spoke to you in the dream was an evil
spirit.”
“Listen to me
Bernard, I know you might not want to believe it but God is not present in this
church.”
Bernard stared at
her horrified at what she was saying.
“What are you
saying?” He asked.
“I was once prayer
coordinator remember?” She said. “Even though I wasn’t meant to be one but it
seemed God placed me there for a purpose. Do you know that anytime I close my
eyes to pray within this church, I feel some kind of prayer block? It’s like
there’s something blocking my prayers from going up, I can’t explain it. So,
one day, I went to our former church which is now a bookshop and asked the
couple there if I could sit in a corner and quietly pray and they agreed. When
I opened my mouth to pray, I felt so much peace. Something tells me that all
the prayers said in this church doesn’t go to the right place.”
“Hey! Alice, if you’ve
come to poison my mind about whatever rubbish you think you know, you better
stop it! If you’d excuse me, I have other places to be at.” He said walking
away but when he reached the exit door he turned back to regard her. “You’d
better thank God that I like you and I remember all the times we used to be
close if not, I wouldn’t waste a minute reporting you to the pastor.” He said
and stormed off.
Alice stared at his
retreating back and shook his head, something told her that whatever had
bewitched Promise had ensnared him too.
********
Japheth was reading
the bible the maid had got him but his mind kept going to the one he had seen
in Promise’s room. What was that? He asked himself. The bible he had on his
laps showed him the truth but the one he’d opened in Promise’s room showed him
something he couldn’t even describe.
He refocused on the
bible and kept reading till he reached chapter that he really couldn’t understand.
He found that he needed a teacher, someone who had enough knowledge of the word
and who could teach him things he didn’t understand.
He left the room with the bible and
headed out to the sitting room, he was just about to turn on the television
when he heard the doorbell. He waited for the maid to answer the door but
remembered that she had informed him that she was going to the market so he
walked over to open the door.
“Good morning, Japheth.
Promise sent me here to get her tablet.” The female at the door said.
“Hello Alice, it’s
been quite a while…of course do come in.” He said.
Alice walked into
the house and he went to get the tablet which he handed to her.
“I don’t see you in
church.” She said.
“I come often but I
love to sit at the back and observe.” He said with a smile.
She noticed the
bible that was open on the couch.
“So, you’d rather
prefer reading the word in the comfort of your home than actually hearing it
through sermons.” She said.
“Well, funny enough,
I just began reading the bible…I didn’t use to read it before but now, I feel
it wants me to read it so…” He said with a smile.
“That’s good.” She
smiled.
“I’m finding some
chapters quite difficult to understand, do you know anyone who could help me?”
Alice looked at him
in surprise.
“Promise can..”
“She’s really busy
with the church so, I don’t want to bother.”
“Well, if you don’t
mind, I can stop by from time to time to help you…I’m not a pro but I have practically
read all the books of the bible.”
“You would? That’ll
be great.” He said happily.
“I’m not doing much
at the church, you see, so I can chip in here.” She said.
“Okay, maybe after
dropping off the tab with Promise, you can come back if it’s convenient.” He
said.
“Ofcourse it is.” She smiled.
To be continued on SundayHe He Heh

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