Death Row (Episode 11-16)

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*#Death Row*
*#Episode 11*

The reverend then gives her a lot of cheques and an A4 sheet with his bank details on it.
REV. OBUOBI
My dear, kindly deposit these cheques in my account for me tomorrow, okay? When the pressure comes down a bit I’ll go to the bank and open a joint bank account with you. You’ll be a signatory too, and can take any amount you want!

Kesewaa’s face beams with pleasure!
It is getting better and better!
She is going to enjoy life!
KESEWAA
Yes, Apostle, I’ll do that!
She puts the cheques in her bag and waits with the other elders and pastors for the new Apostle to finish eating, and then she cleans up after him.
Happy and elated, they all head for the entrance, planning to go home and prepare for the evening’s ordination.
When they arrive inside the church auditorium, they see Amina coming towards them.
Kesewaa quickly puts her basket down on a bench and rushes forward to meet Amina.
KESEWAA
(excited)
Ami! What’s going on? What’re you doing here?
Amina looks at her best friend and shakes her head sadly.
AMINA
Where’s Akoto, Kes?
A sudden look of guilt crosses Kesewaa’s face and she looks away quickly.
KESEWAA
(defensively)
You know what he wanted to do to me, Ami!
AMINA
That’s not what I asked! We haven’t found him in more than a week! He’s here, isn’t he? What have you people done to him?
Kesewaa looks over her shoulders with sudden worry, her face concerned.
KESEWAA
(anxiously)
Shh, shh, shush, Ami! Please keep your voice down!
Irritated and angry, Amina brushes past Kesewaa and walks towards the group of powerful men of the church.
Kesewaa, frightened, tries to hold her back, but Amina shrugs free.
She stands in front of the pastors, elders and the powerful Apostle Ebow Obuobi.
She glares without fear at the man of God, and her beautiful face is flushed with anger.
AMINA
I know Akoto Nyameboame is here. Please, where is he, and how is he? You must release him to me immediately, otherwise when I come back I’ll be with the police!
The other men look at the Apostle.
It is evident that they are very uneasy.
Kesewaa has now reached her friend’s side and she takes her arm angrily.
KESEWAA
(furious)
What the hell is the meaning of this, Ami? You’re embarrassing us!
Amina whirls on Kesewaa and speaks with all the venom she feels.
AMINA
(acidly)
Shame on you, Kes! Shame on you! How can you betray Akoto’s love like this? Let me tell you something you don’t know, friend! I introduced Akoto to you, remember? I told you I met a man I loved very much, a man I wanted to marry! Of course Akoto’s mother didn’t want him to marry a Northerner, although Akoto had by then encouraged me to embrace Christianity!
Her face was passionately frantic now.
AMINA
I introduced you to him, in the University, and the next thing I knew, he fell in love with you! But I wanted him to be happy, because I loved him so much, and his happiness was more important to me than mine! I never dated again, because he was the only man I knew I was going to love! And so I supported you, as a friend, and kept all the pain inside, refusing to be jealous! I sacrificed my love for your happiness, and yet you stood aside and let this happen to him? Akoto told me this man of God wants you and that is why he said all those terrible thing about your fiancé. Is it true?
Kesewaa sighs with discomfiture and looks guiltily at her friend.
KESEWAA
Yes, Ami. I won’t lie to you. Akoto uses demonic powers, and it has made him very sick! I’m sorry about that, but the Apostle is going to cure him. But yes, we’re going to get married, the Apostle and me.
AMINA
(disgusted)
Jesus! You’re such a fool, Kes! You throw Akoto away for this filthy man?
REV. OBUOBI
(furiously)
Hey, better watch your arrogant mouth, and the way you speak to a man of God otherwise I’ll let the most hideous of diseases befall you right now!
That one gets to Amina.
She spins, and with a stiff forefinger she jabs the chest of the man of God as she speaks angrily.

AMINA
(wrathfully)
Go ahead and do it, I dare you! You can’t do me foko! Do you hear me? You can’t do me foko! I come from the No

rth! My father, my grandfather, my brothers and my uncles are all Mallams, do you hear me? Only I became a Christian, through Akoto, and my family disowned me!
She takes a step closer, and her fury is sizzling and absolutely volcanic.
AMINA
These powers you’re exhibiting to impress these people doesn’t tickle me one bit! Do you know why? It’s because I grew up in the midst of gods who give eye-boggling demonic powers to my family, and so I’ve seen them a million times! My father can hammer a fresh egg with a cement block and it will never crack! My grandfather can make a person break down with leprosy and cripple a human being with just a flick of his hand!
She laughed then – a sharp vicious explosion of sound – but it did not soften her eyes.
AMINA
My brother can hang in the air for an hour and make the ground open up and swallow up a cow! And my cousin sleeps in a room full of poisonous Mamba snakes, and they all slither away from him with fear! My brother can stand a hundred metres away, raise his hand in the air, and a man will be lifted into the air and slammed on the ground with such force that he would lose all his teeth!
She drew nearer still to the man of God, her face filled with passion.
AMINA
If you’re a man, touch me! Just touch me right now, and all the evil and demonic powers of hundreds of Mallams from my village will visit you this evening and there you will witness the amegah of all evil forces! Now where the hell is Akoto?
She has spoken with such zeal, such fury, with such power, that the people around her are suddenly filled with more than unease.

and arrange for an ambulance for Akoto.
She gets out of the taxi at the entrance of the huge hospital just as a huge, black, sleek Escalade with tint windows comes to a stop.
Amina pays the taxi driver and as she begins to walk towards the hospital she casts an admiring look at the Escalade again.
The driver’s door opens, and then he steps out!
Amina comes to a complete halt!
She is shivering as her mouth opens with a combination of shock and horror!
The man who has emerged from the luxurious car is tall and handsome.
He is wearing a black suit with a white shirt and a black tie!
A circle of hair around his lips formed a moustache and a beard, and he is wearing a hat.
He is also wearing dark shades!
He is the stranger!
The man in her dreams!
The one she sees in the maze in her dreams!

 

*#Death Row*
*#Episode 12*

The Stranger appears…things are going to heat up!
Read on…
They are a little scared, but Reverend Obuobi only laughs.
REV. OBUOBI
You have the impudence of an unbeliever, and of course I don’t want to taint the memory of my dead father with a show of vengeance, otherwise you would not have been able to walk out of here on your own two legs! The man you so obviously want to fornicate with is sick, very sick! I was trying to help him, to break the curse on him, but I lost my uncle, and in my grief I have not been able to pray for Akoto. You should leave him here so that we pray for him, or you can take him away. The choice is yours. But remember, if you take him away, he will remain the way he is now. He will never get well!! The ushers will show you where he is! Come, brothers, let’s go and plan!

The men file past Amina and head for the entrance.
An usher comes towards Amina, his face scared, and speaks to her.
USHER
Please, follow me! The cursed one is in the Miracle Room!
Amina follows the Usher to the Miracle Room.
The young man opens the door, and when Amina enters she stops suddenly and great sobs rack her body at what she sees!
Akoto is sitting on the floor with a leash around his neck like a dog, and the end of the leash is chained to a concrete pillar.
His lips are twisted savagely to the left, and his fingers are gnarled and curled and stumpy with leprosy.
His legs have shrunk like a cripple’s!
He stinks because evidently the room is not hygienic, and he has urinated on himself several times.
It seems he has been starved, and so he has not soiled himself with faeces, thankfully.
Amina is horrified!
She can barely see because her tears are falling hard.
Akoto sees her, and he tries to speak, but he is too weak, and tears flood his face as he makes weak gestures towards her with his leprous hands.
Kesewaa has followed Amina!
She has not seen Akoto again since the night he had been taken to the Miracle Room.
What Kesewaa sees shocks her so much that tears come into her eyes immediately!
KESEWAA
(stunned, aghast)
A. N.! Oh, dear Lord!
Amina can barely walk.
She stumbles forward and sits on the floor.
She gathers Akoto into her arms and holds him tightly.
AMINA
Oh, Akoto! My love! My only love! What have they done to you? Get the damn chains off him this instant!!
USHER
(rattled)
Yes, Miss!
He goes out and comes back a few minutes later with a bunch of keys and unlocks the leash around Akoto’s neck.
KESEWAA
(tremulously)
I didn’t know! Oh, Akoto! I didn’t know! I’m so sorry!
Amina looks at Kesewaa with acid in her eyes.

AMINA
Well done, Kesewaa. Go and marry that pastor, and I wish you all the luck. You know something? I’m going to care for this man, and I don’t care if he doesn’t get well. I’m going to stay with him, and love him, and make him happy so that he won’t even remember the nightmare you are!!
Akoto hears everything, even in the darkness of his afflicted soul, and he turns his face into Amina’s neck and begins to weep pitifully.
Kesewaa, shattered, cannot take it anymore.
With a sob she turns and flees from the room!
With the Usher’s help Amina takes Akoto to the washroom and cleans him up.
She also cleans the room, and they carry him to a bed in the Miracle Room.
Amina goes out and buys water and milo and prepares his favourite drink for him: cold cocoa drink.
She feeds him, and he eats hungrily, and this makes Amina cry even more!
To see a rich boy who has everything at his beck and call reduced to such a shell really tears her heart apart.
She looks at him out of her loving eyes and kisses his cheeks.
AMINA
My love, I’m going for an ambulance to take you to hospital, okay? Don’t worry at all! I fasted and prayed for three days, and I had a recurring dream in which a tall stranger in a black suit kept telling me that everything is alright. I’m sure God has heard my prayers, and things will be alright. Don’t worry, love! I’ll be back soon.
Akoto smiles out of his twisted lips, and Amina leaves quickly.
She decides to go to the Eden Hospital, where Maame Akua is on admission,

*#Death Row*
*#Episode 13*

People are staring at the man as he crosses to the entrance of the hospital and approaches Amina.
She closes her eyes and shakes her head hard, thinking she is hallucinating.
She opens her eyes again and he is right there!
He is not smiling, and his face is grim and extremely wrathful, as if he is very angry.

AMINA
(gasping)
Y-you! I-I s-s-saw y-you in… I saw yo-yo-you in m-my dr-dr-drea-dreams!
The stranger doesn’t even stop to look at her, but he speaks in a calm, deep, bass voice.
THE STRANGER
I know, lass.
He walks past her.
Amina turns with a strangled gasp and follows him.
He is not in a hurry, but his legs are long, and his strides sure, so she had to run to keep up.
She reaches his side and reaches out to touch him, and when her hand touches him it further confirms to her that she is not crazy, and that the stranger she has seen in her dream is indeed here.
He enters the reception and does not stop to ask direction.
He enters the elevator, and Amina follows him in.
She is not surprised when he punches the number for the fifth floor, where the FEMALE WARDS are.
AMINA
Please, sir, who’re you? What’s your name? How come I saw you in my dreams after my fasting and prayers?
He looks at her, and the harsh lines of his face does not relax, and indeed he does look a trifle irritated by her questions.
THE STRANGER
You prayed to our mighty Lord Jehovah.
AMINA
(softly)
Yes, I did! And for three days I saw you in my dreams! And now you’re here! I’m a bit petrified, really, and freaking out a little, if you see what I mean.
THE STRANGER
No, I don’t see what you mean. And I certainly owe you no explanations, lady.
The lift doors slide open, and the stranger walks out.
He strides along the corridor, and presently arrives at WARD 5, where Maame Akua is still lying on a bed, attached to the life support machine.
He slides the glass door open and enters the ward with Amina close behind him.
There are two male doctors and a female nurse in the ward, and they both look up at the new entrants.
DOCTOR GYAMBIBI, the elderly man who has been attending to Maame Akua, looks at Amina and smiles.
DOCTOR GYAMBIBI
Oh, hello again, Amina.
AMINA
(unsteadily)
Hello, Doctor.
DOCTOR GYAMBIBI
Is this Madam Akua’s son? Mr. Akoto Nyameboame?
AMINA
(licking her lips)
N-no, please. He’s a f-friend.
DOCTOR GYAMBIBI
In that case you two have to wait outside for a while. Visiting hours is still about an hour away.
AMINA
Yes, Doctor. Please, sir, we have to wait outside for a while.
The stranger does not bother to listen to anyone.
He walks forward briskly and stands at the foot of the bed looking at the frail woman attached to the life support.
The younger doctor has a name tag on his coat lapel which says he is DOCTOR AKWASI KISSIEDU.
DOC KISSIEDU
Look, sir, with all due respect you should go out. There is a procedure going on. You can come in when we’re done.
The stranger looks at the doctor without expression.
THE STRANGER
(calmly)
You say there’s no God, and you’re bitterly fighting with your wife because she chooses to worship God. She believes that only God can heal your daughter, who was born a week ago with a weak heart, and not expected to live past two weeks.
The doctors exchange startled glances, and the nurse gasps with shock.
Doctor Kissiedu puts the clipboard he is holding down with a curse and approaches the stranger angrily.
DOC KISSIEDU
(enraged)
Now, look here, you bastard! How the hell did you know that?
He is reaching out to push the stranger in the chest, and the tall man’s stare drills into him.
THE STRANGER
Believe me, Akwasi Kuntukununku, you don’t want to touch me!
Doctor Kissiedu pauses with even more shock!
The man has just mentioned his childhood name, the name he has shirked many years ago, the name no one knows.
He gasps, and he drops his hand, and he takes a step back.
DOCTOR GYAMBIBI
Listen, sir! What game do you think you’re playing with ME?
The stranger reaches out suddenly and touches Maame Akua’s right foot.
THE STRANGER
If I be a man of the Almighty Jehovah, then with the power vested in

me by the Holy Spirit, arise from this bed, woman, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
And Maame Akua suddenly sits up in bed, coughing!
She looks around, her eyes once more normal, her limbs once more cured.
She stares at the stranger standing at the foot of her bed with stunned incredulity.
MAAME AKUA
You!
THE STRANGER
Yes, me.
MAAME AKUA
(unsteadily)
I saw you in my dreams! I was lost, and you took my hand and led me to my house!
THE STRANGER
Then get up and go to your house, woman, and stop your muttering! I have other things to do before the day ends!
He turns and walks towards the door.

*#Death Row*
*#Episode 14*

The doctors, absolutely scared, jump out of his way with looks of dread and confusion etched deeply on their faces.
The nurse is trembling rather badly by what she has seen, and she gives a startled scream and jump to one side as Maame Akua tries to get out of the bed.
The stranger is out of the ward again!
Amina quickly approaches Maame Akua and takes hold of her shoulders.

AMINA
(excitedly)
Mama, please, wait here! Don’t go anywhere, okay? I think we’re going to bring Akoto home!
MAAME AKUA
(puzzled)
What’s going on, my daughter? Where’s my son?
AMINA
(tearfully)
God sent us a helper, Mama! I’ll explain later, but I need to go!
Maame Akua holds Amina’s hand, and tears are running down her cheeks.
MAAME AKUA
(unsteadily)
Amina! You’ve been an angel! I saw you in a dream too, with Akoto, and he was so happy, and I know God wants you to be his partner! Forgive me, daughter, for being a bad Christian and thinking some tribes are better than others! I should have encouraged Akoto to love you a long time ago!
Amina smiles.
AMINA
Our God makes everything beautiful in His own time, Mama! And I know the time is now! Please, lie back down. We’ll be with you soon!
She turns and runs out of the ward after the stranger.
Doctor Kissiedu looks at Mama Akua for a moment, and then he suddenly curses and turns for the door.
He goes out and sees the stranger striding purposefully away.
Doctor Kissiedu begins to run hard, his heart thudding with sudden resolve.
He passes Amina, and then he reaches out and catches the arm of the stranger.
A violent vibration blasts through him, as if electricity is passing through him.
He gives a muted scream and scrambles back, and would have fallen if the stranger hadn’t reached out instantly to hold him steady.
THE STRANGER
I gave you a warning about touching me, Kuntukununku!
There is abject misery in the doctor’s eyes.
He is trembling fiercely.
DOC KISSIEDU
(pitifully)
Please, please! Please help my baby girl! She will be dead by the end of this week! Please, I beg of you, save her!
The stranger steps away from him and heads for the elevator without a word.
Doctor Kissiedu once again runs round him and falls down on his knees in tears, reaching out bravely to hold the man’s leg.
This time there is no violent vibration.
THE STRANGER
Now what ails you, Kuntukununku?
DOC KISSIEDU
(shouting)
I hate that name! But you can call me that, it’s okay! Please, my daughter! Please, please help her!!

THE STRANGER
I am but a mortal, Kuntukununku. I have no power to heal your daughter!
DOC KISSIEDU
(weeping)
Oh, please! Damn it! Damn it, man! That woman you just cured… damn it, she wasn’t expected to live! She was brain dead, man! Only her heart had a trace of life! She wasn’t supposed to wake up and be able to speak and be cured of all that massive organ and tissue damage! But you healed her!
THE STRANGER
Get out of my face, Kuntukununku! I have no powers, I told you, fool! I didn’t heal that woman. I’m but a messenger!
DOC KISSIEDU
(desperate)
What? But you healed that wo-
AMINA
(breaking in)
He didn’t heal the woman, Doc. God healed her. That’s what this man is trying to tell you!
Doctor Kissiedu’s eyes fill up with tears now.
Still on his knees he raises both his arms upward and shuts his eyes as tears rack his body.
DOC KISSIEDU
I believe now, sir, that God does exist, and that His son Jesus Christ died for my sins! I repent of my sins, please! I’ll be going to church with my wife, always! I’ll get baptized! I believe, God, dear Lord, please heal my daughter!!
The stranger looks at the broken man and steps past him again.
THE STRANGER
In two minutes your wife will call and tell you your daughter is now crying, and that the doctors have taken her out of the support system, and she is breast-feeding her! The Good Lord has heard your prayer, and Heaven is happy because another lost sheep has come home, Kuntukununku, you fool!!
The Doctor springs to his feet, but the elevator doors are open and the stranger has entered with Amina.
DOC KISSIEDU
Wait! Please, sir, wait! I-
The elevator

doors swing close, and just then the doctor’s phone rings.
He takes it out with trembling hands.
It is his wife!
He picks the call.
DOC KISSIEDU
(weeping)
Hello, darling. Ewura Adwoa is up, out of the life support system, and you’re breast-feeding her for the first time, isn’t it? Wait for me, I’m coming over right now.
There is a strangled gasp in his ear, and his wife begins to cry uncontrollably.
MRS. KISSIEDU
(tremulously, stunned)
How did you know, my love? How did you hear of the awesome miracle that just happened? I was watching her and suddenly she opened her eyes and started crying and the doctors came in and took her out and listened to her heartbeats and gave her to me to feed and they’re all confused and waiting to run scans and tests and they can’t understand wh-
DOC KISSIEDU
(overwhelmed, weeping)
Darling, darling, darling, please breathe! Breathe, my love! I know what happened! I have the strangest news for you, darling. Wait, I’m coming over to the Maternity Ward right now! We’re going to church this Sunday!!

*#Death Row*
*#Episode 15*

The stranger enters his Escalade, and Amina opens the passenger door and sits beside him.
He drives fast but carefully.
The interior of the car is luxurious, and she notices that there is a huge Bible in the backseat of the car.
She does not ask him where they are going because she knows already, and her body is tingling with anticipation.

She simply can’t wait to see Pastor or Reverend or Apostle Ebow Obuobi again!
There are a lot of vehicles in the car park of the Golgotha Heights International Church when they reach there.
The stranger parks the car and gets out quickly.
Amina also gets down and runs after him. He enters through the doors of the church.
It is packed to capacity once again!
The upper and lower terraces are all filled to bursting limits.
A great banner announces the ordination of Reverend Obuobi to Apostle status.
There is a gigantic picture of Ebow Obuobi serving as the background of the podium.
Reverend Obuobi, wearing the beautiful ceremonial gown of Apostles, has already been ordained, and he is now walking towards the pulpit to preach as loud applause ring through the church.
Kesewaa is also getting off the podium after completing another beautiful song.
The stranger is striding purposefully down the aisle, and Amina notices with glee that he looks very angry indeed.
The new Apostle is smiling with pride, but suddenly he sees the stranger, and the smile disappears from his face.
He gasps, and quickly drops the microphone.
Reverend Obuobi moves from the pulpit, and his right hand quickly drops into his side pocket and he brings out one of his mysterious candies, similar to what he has used to kill Bishop Osuanyi and strike down Akoto and his mother.
He moves forward and stands on the edge of the podium and looks at the stranger with confused eyes.
The stranger has reached the front, and many people are looking at him, both with fear and awe.
The stranger turns right and walks towards the door that leads to the interior offices and the Miracle Room.
An Usher suddenly approaches him with a grim scowling face.
USHER
This portion is out of bounds, sir. You can’t go this way! Kindly let me show you to a seat!
The stranger does not stop, but suddenly the golden curtain hanging in front of the door rips down the middle with a furious ripping sound with no one touching it, and then the door blasts off its hinges with a mad, furious, exploding sound!
The Usher turns, stares at the door and then he begins to quiver!
He swallows hard, and then he steps aside quickly.
Amina almost laughs as she watches the stunned looks on the faces of everyone present, especially Reverend Obuobi whom she can see is suddenly sweating profusely inside his ceremonial dress.
The stranger marches on, and Amina stops.
She is having so much fun watching the terror on the once-pompous face of Obuobi that she wants to savour it.
The stranger disappears into inside.
He locates the room where Akoto is lying weakly on a bed, and he enters.
He finds Akoto lying on the bed where Amina had left him earlier, still with leprous hands, crippled legs and a twisted mouth.
The stranger’s harsh face softens quickly as he sees the terrible thing Ebow has done to this humble Christian.
Akoto is watching, and he makes strange noises when he remembers what Amina had told him about a tall and handsome stranger coming to help them.
THE STRANGER
Because you have always served God, He will never abandon you, nor let your toe stumble! Be blessed, little brother! Stand up, in the name of Jesus, get dressed, and go home. Never abandon the path of righteousness, for God loves you!
Akoto feels a warm glow passing through him, and then his sick limbs straighten out, and he watches, dazed, humbled and filled with joy as the terrible affliction Obuobi has placed on him slowly disappears!
He looks up, but the stranger has left the room again!
He stands up, sniffing with passionate tears, and slowly begins to put on the rest of his clothes.
The stranger walks back into the church where there are mumblings of confusion all around, but t

he moment he appears all the noise dies down.
They all watch with trepidation as he mounts the podium and stands facing an evidently terrified Apostle Ebow Obuobi.

REV. OBUOBI
(uncertainly)
Who are you, and what do you want here?
THE STRANGER
(acidly)
You worker of iniquity! You vile evil man, filled with everything despicable! How dare you! Do you think you can touch the anointed children of God, Akoto Nyameboame, his mother and Osuanyi Ayeh and go scot free? Listen, the hand of God is stretched upon you, and judgement is passed on you this very day!
There are gasps of horror from the onlookers.
Apostle Obuobi takes a step back and pushes the candy between his teeth and begins to bite.
REV. OBUOBI
Keep away from me! I’m a man of God, and you don’t want to taste my power!
THE STRANGER
Funny little fool! Do you think biting the candy can harm me? Go on, bite it and bite off your legs, fool!
Obuobi bites, and he screams with pain as he feels his thighs puncturing painfully, and blood stains his dress.
His eyes open with wide sudden horror then.
The stranger turns and faces the congregation.
THE STRANGER
You fools! The Bible says judgement will begin from the house of the Lord, and for a fact I understand that now! You allowed this demon to lead this church? A man who has built his faith on evil, to trample on you and scatter you like wheat for his own selfish gains? Because you chased after signs and wonders, forgetting the righteous path of the Lord, you allowed this to happen in the house of the Lord!
REV. OBUOBI
(screaming)
It’s a lie! It’s all a lie!
The stranger whirls on him with fierce eyes.
THE STRANGER
A lie? So what you have sown in this church, without the knowledge of the late Bishop Osuanyi is a lie?
The stranger’s hand slashes downward, and immediately the area in the floor in front of the pulpit cracks open, revealing a secret crevice!
The crevice is just in front of where Kesewaa is standing, and she looks inside, and screams with terror!
She moves backwards fast, but loses her balance and falls down.
REV. OBUOBI
(screaming)
No, no, no, no, no, noooooo!!!!
People are looking into the crevice!
It contains a lot of hideous things!
There is a huge live anaconda in it!
There is a skull, there is blood, and there are pieces of human anatomy in it!
THE STRANGER
That is the source of his power, his evil power! A man who extols himself, and does not even acknowledge the authority of God and Jesus, and you all fall for his false worship! The evil one came, and succeeded in scattering you like wheat! May God have mercy on all of you!
He slashes his hand again, and immediately there is a whoosh as a great fire erupts in the crevice, burning the secret shrine.
The terrible anaconda rears out of the crevice, huge and terrible!
The people who had not yet seen it scream with terror, and there is a mad rush towards the entrance.
THE STRANGER
(angrily)
Perish, you vile thing, in the name of Jesus!
And the gigantic snake suddenly explodes into ashes.
Apostle Obuobi screams suddenly and falls on the podium, thrashing as if he himself is on fire!
REV. OBUOBI
(screaming)
HELP ME, PLEASE! PLEASE HELP ME! PLEASE, HELP ME PLEASE! HAVE MERCY! I’M DYING! I’M BURNING!!
What would you do if you were there stranger?

*#Death Row*
*#Episode 16*

But there is something strange going on!
Obuobi’s voice is amplified, as if there are a million living things inside him all screaming!
People can hear the voices of men, women, children and animals coming from the apostle’s throat!
Apostle Obuobi stands up and steps out of his ceremonial dress, still screaming in the million voices of the things inside him!
Quite suddenly he takes off his singlet and throws it away, and steps out of his trousers.
Now he is wearing only boxers, and his hands hold the edge to rip it off.
The stranger approaches and points a hand at him.
THE STRANGER
(authoritatively)
Be still, demons! In the name of Jesus Christ whose resurrection power has filled us with the authority over all demons, I cast you out of this man, you host of demons! Come out of this vessel!!
Apostle Obuobi falls down on the podium, jerking spasmodically as hordes of demons leave his body, but of course only the stranger sees the terrified horde of demons leaving the man’s body and crashing out of the windows with screeches of terror!
And soon Apostle Obuobi is lying on the podium, shivering and weeping like a child!
And something else is happening!
Elder Ampofo screams as he feels pains in his eyes…
Mrs. Sika Nyantakyi screams and falls down, her body once more gripped with paralysis!
And one by one people fall as all the diseases Reverend Obuobi has cured fall back on the people who were cured!
Elder Ampofo is blind again!
Mrs. Sika Nyantakyi is paralyzed again!
There is weeping, wailing, mourning and gnashing of teeth all around the church auditorium.
Sheer terror has gripped everybody as they stare at the stranger.
Kesewaa is holding her mother and wailing in anguish!
Mr. Nyantakyi is weeping inconsolably!
The stranger looks at Amina.
THE STRANGER
He’s coming. Go and meet him!
Amina, weeping with unbridled joy, runs hard towards the entrance that leads to the Miracle Room, but Akoto Nyameboame comes out through the doorway!
He is completely healed, and although his clothes are dirty, he looks handsome and fit!
He and Amina embrace tightly, and their tears merge.
AKOTO
Amina, Amina, Amina! What a fool I have been, throwing away the gold of your love for the glittering beauty of Kesewaa which is as vain as it is hollow! Please, my love, how does Mrs. Amina Nyameboame sound to you?
She laughs hard with total happiness and squeezes Akoto hard.
AMINA
(dying with happiness)
Oh, what a terrible name! Amina Nyameboame! What a horrible name, my love, but one I’ll wear with pride and happiness my whole life! I love you, Akoto. Always have, always will!
The stranger cannot stand all the cries of pain and horror around him.
He spreads his arms wide and speaks.
THE STRANGER
(angrily)
None of you deserve redemption, because you foolishly followed signs and wonders, forsaking the Gospel of our Lord! To show you that there is indeed joy and peace in the God we serve, you will receive your healing again only when a real servant of God lays his hands on you, and pray for you! And I know of no better servant of God than one called Akoto Nyameboame!
The auditorium is hushed as all eyes turn to Akoto.
The fake Apostle Obuobi stands up groggily.
He is shivering as he walks towards the stranger, and then he stops in front of the tall man.
He clasps his hands in front of him in supplication and speaks passionately with tears in his eyes.
REV. OBUOBI
Please, please! How can I also get this great power? I didn’t know there is a power that is far greater than the powers from the underground of the earth! Please, sir, take me as an apprentice, or let me give you money! I have a lot of money saved and I can give half to you so that you let me have this incredible power! I can make you rich! Just teach me how to get a power as great as yours!
There is death on the stranger’s face as he raises his hand!
Apostle Obuobi clutches his chest with a loud wail as shards of acute pain shoots through his body!
He screams in agony as he looks at the face of the stranger, and sees that there is death in the man’s eyes!
Reverend Obuo

bi knows that he is going to die, and even as the pain in his heart intensifies and sudden tears fall down his face, he begs for his life!
REV. OBUOBI
(in an agonized whisper)
Please…oh…please…have…mercy…on…me! Do…not…kill…me…pleaaaase!!
There is still rage in the stranger’s eyes, and he squeezes harder, and Obuobi falls to his knees in excruciating pain!
Suddenly the stranger’s other arm comes up, as if he is shading his eyes from the glow of something too bright to watch.
The stranger speaks with frustration!
THE STRANGER
No, no, no! Don’t do this to me, Gabriel!
It appears that he is speaking to somebody or something that is invisible, and again an eerie silence reigns in the church room, and it is only Obuobi who continues to moan with his pain.
THE STRANGER
Come on! What do you mean this is not the appointed time for him? He killed Osuanyi Ayeh, and he still wants to corrupt the ways of the Lord! He’s greedy and unrepentant!! I tell you, this piece of dung doesn’t deserve to live!
The stranger becomes silent, only raising his arm higher to shield his eyes from whatever he alone is seeing.
He appears to be listening.
THE STRANGER
(in a calmer voice)
Alright, alright! I won’t kill him! I’ve sinned against my Father! Forgive me, Father, for forgetting that Your ways are higher than mine. I forgot that this vile man is also your creation, also your son, and you want to wait for him to repent too! I’m sorry, forgive me, Father! Only You can forgive me, because you are my Father, and it is only You I can sin against!
He drops his hands, and immediately the pain leaves Obuobi’s heart, and he begins to breathe with acute relief, but the horror does not leave his face.
And then, suddenly, the stranger draws back his left hand and slaps Ebow Obuobi so hard that he is slammed hard on top of the podium, and droplets of blood emit from his nostrils and his mouth!
The slap shocks everybody into silence.
It has been a most savage cauldron of fury unleashed in that terrifying slap.
The stranger holds up both hands in supplication and steps back, shaking his head at the angel standing on the podium whom the other people cannot see.
THE STRANGER
You didn’t tell me I can’t hit him, Gabriel, you didn’t! It is your fault, really, tell Father that, please!
He points a finger at the dazed Obuobi.
THE STRANGER
And behold, Saul was persecuting the Lord, but on the way to Damascus he was stricken blind, and sent to a man of God to be healed. In likewise manner do I strike you blind, deaf, mute and crippled in the name of Jesus! And you’ll receive salvation when your heart acknowledges the Lord, and Akoto Nyameboame lays hands on you, and prays for you!
And immediately as Ebow Obuobi screams, he suddenly loses his sight!
His screams ceases because he has become dumb and deaf.
And, amazingly, his legs are crippled.
There he lies on the podium, broken and pathetic as tears course down his cheeks.
And Akoto looks at Obuobi and smiles… but it isn’t a very nice smile!
The Stranger turns away, jumps down from the podium and begins to walk fast towards the entrance!
AKOTO
(stridently)
No, no, sir! Please wait! Don’t leave, please! Let me show you my appreciation!
The stranger speaks without stopping or turning.
THE STRANGER
Show appreciation to God, only God, fool!
They watch him go out the entrance.
Akoto shakes his head with wonder and wipes tears from his face.
AKOTO
(shakily)
Indeed, God is God! And God is good.
AMINA
(thankfully)
All the time, my love, all the time!
Kesewaa approaches Akoto, and her face is cut into lines of acute remorse, shame and longing.
KESEWAA
(contrite)
Akoto, please, my love!
AKOTO
(softly)
Your wetin? I beg, madam, wedge koraa!
He walks past her.
Kesewaa reaches out to touch him, but Amina slaps her hand away.
AMINA
(giggling)
Stop it, Kes. He’s mine now!
Akoto walks past Mr. and Mrs. Nyantakyi.
Mr. NYANTAKYI
(shame-faced)
Oh, Asew…
AKOTO
(repressing his anger)
Abeg, massa, don’t start!
He walks past him too, and then he reaches out behind him.
Amina puts her hand in his, and together they walk out of the church.
After

a while she slips her arm around his waist and he slips his arm around her shoulders.

AMINA
(wonderingly)
Who was that stranger, I wonder? Wow, such awesome powers! And he was speaking to Jehovah God on the podium! Did God descend, you think?
AKOTO
(sighing and shaking his head)
I don’t think it was God. He called whatever it was Gabriel. I think there was an angel on the podium with us. That stranger is someone God loves so much! It’ll be so awesome to be loved by God like that, don’t you think? Damn, I’ll give all my riches to have powers like that!
AMINA
(laughing)
I beg you, don’t let him come and slap you like a goat! Did you see the way he slapped Obuobi like a goat? Isn’t it a sin for a man of God to slap somebody like that?
AKOTO
It’s a holy sin, I guess! Just like Jesus beat the crap outta those gamblers in the church.
They burst into laughter…
The future seems so good.
AMINA
But the stranger said you have to put your hands on those people – the blind and the sick, including Kes’ mother and Obuobi – and pray for them to receive healing. You should do that, please, my love.
AKOTO
(giggling)
Madam, abeg, Madam, make I go find some fufu and light soup with goat meat blow first wai, for my soul to descend first. They go fit wait one day!
AMINA
(laughing)
You’re wicked, Akoto!
AKOTO
(giggling)
You sure? Forgotten how God rained fire on the Sodomites? Let me bluff small, my love!
They smile at each other.
Everything, indeed, works out for the best for those who love the Lord.
THE END

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