The machine Gun Preacher Saving Sophia

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THE MACHINE GUN PREACHER
SAVING SOPHIA
EPISODE 9
Kwabla was shocked when he saw the young men attacking the soil with the shovels.
This was, in a way, a great miracle!
He knew nothing would have made them dare to undo something the fetish priestess had done, but even though his heart was warmed by this incredible gesture, he knew that was too late!
Jon Fii had been inside that grave for too long, pressed down by rocks and sand, and bleeding from a wound that the wicked Sophia had inflicted on him.
He sank on his haunches and wept softly as more soil was scooped out of the grave. And then, quite suddenly, he heard a harsh roar behind him, and he turned sharply.
A huge figure was coming towards him!
It was Bobo the Killer, the thug Jon had sacked from the church earlier!
Kwabla’s heart beat with trepidation and he jumped to his feet, quite convinced that the thug was going to beat him up mercilessly now that he knew Jon Fii was buried alive!
Bobo’s huge muscles rippled as he looked down at the carnage in the yard, and then at the grave. He demanded from the men if Jon was still in the grave because his men had come to inform him that the fetish priestess had buried the pastor alive.
The men, scared of the thug, confirmed that indeed the pastor was in the grave.
And then Kwabla received his second shock of the dawn!
Bobo began digging the soil out of the grave!
He worked like a robot, his shovel going in and out with frenzy, working with a sense of urgency, and then suddenly the shovel thudded against the rocks!
More men joined in as the rocks were removed and thrown out of the grave, and then suddenly, Jon Fii’s head and shoulders emerged.
He was so still, so inert, as if he were sleeping, and Kwabla burst into fresh and louder tears, aware that the miracle he was hoping for had not worked, and that the young man was dead!
More people came into the church yard as the body of Jon Fii was gently lifted out of the grave and placed on the ground near Kwabla. He was smeared with the wet soil such that his skin was not visible. He really looked horrible and messy.
“Please, take him inside for me,” Kwabla managed to say. “I’ll clean him.”
And then, as they made to lift the young pastor, he coughed suddenly and sat up by himself.
All of the people fled!
They screamed and fled from the courtyard!
Even Kwabla raced up the stairs and was almost into the church when he came to a stop suddenly. Breathing hard, he turned around slowly.
Jon Fii was standing now, and was brushing mud from his face with disgust!
Bonifius Kwabla Atoklu stood on the top step and shouted.
“Jon Fii!”
“Why are you shouting?” Jon asked as he stepped over the carcass of a goat.
“Kakalika! Is that you?” Kwabla asked. “Is that you, please?”
Jon shook his head and laughed.
“Pastor Atoklu, you should know better,” Jon said.
“Kakalika!” Kwabla screamed. “God be praised!”
He came down the steps with outstretched arms and embraced the young pastor tightly, oblivious of the mud still plastering Jon.
And he wept bitterly!
When the villagers saw Kwabla embracing the man who was supposed to be dead, the brave ones among them ventured tentatively back into the courtyard, and leading them was the giant Bobo.
He came forward haltingly and stopped five paces from the two men. His face was filled with terror as he craned his neck and pointed with a trembling hand.
“Are you a ghost?” he asked in the Twi language.
Jon pointed a stiff forefinger at Bobo.
“You I’m angry with!” he said harshly. “You had the audacity to sleep with a woman in the sacred house of the Lord! Have you no respect?”
And at the sound of his voice, Bobo shouted in a great voice, turned around, and rattled off a series of excited sentences in his local dialect! More of the people rushed fearfully into the courtyard to stare at Jon Fii with awe on their faces.
Bobo took three steps towards Jon, and then he stretched out a finger tentatively, trembling all the while, and then poked Jon with the finger. When he felt Jon’s body, he poked again just to be sure, and then he stepped forward and clasped a hand on Jon’s shoulder.
“You’re powerful!” he said in awe.
And then the people swarmed all over Jon!
They were speaking excitedly as they touched him in wonder, and one man even parted Jon’s pyjamas shirt to examine his skin, and he screamed with horror and moved away, trembling with fear. He tried to run away but Bobo held him tight and spoke rapidly to him.
The giant then looked at Jon Fii with a scowl.
“This man… he says he saw the Bosombaa stabbing you with a knife, and you were bleeding!” the giant said. “Is it true?”
Jon Fii opened his shirt and ran his hand down his stomach.
“She stabbed me, and I bled, but look, my skin has closed up again,” he replied calmly. “That is the miracle the God I serve can do!”
The people chatted excitedly, and several of them touched Jon’s stomach to ascertain what had happened. Suddenly, they became animated, and they spoke excitedly with great wonder. They smiled at Jon and looked at him with hope, and with admiration.
They moved away in little groups, still chatting excitedly.
“Listen,” Jon said to them. “Tomorrow, I’ll clean up this place. I’ll appreciate any help I can get. And on Sunday, the day after tomorrow, this church will be opened. I expect to see all of you!”
They nodded animatedly, and as they moved away Jon smiled and looked at Kwabla.
“You know, God always does beautiful things,” he said calmly. “I could have spent years here telling these people about grace, about redemption, and the culminative effect of their sins, and they would not have been moved because they believe in signs, in wonders, and in the mysteries of life just as their fetish priestess had been showing them.”
“But this dawn, they’ve seen something more powerful than they had ever seen,” Kwabla said with mounting comprehension. “Kakalika! A living testimony!”
“Exactly, my friend,” Jon Fii said with a smile. “They’ve been used to the wickedness of Sophia and her gods! They had seen her destroying things, taking lives, and they live in terror of her. But, tonight, they saw a different kind of power. They have seen a man live, a man saved from death, a stabbed man who has recovered. It is hope, it is a glimpse of a power that does not destroy, but restores… Pastor Atoklu, this is the time for you and me to rise up and take this opportunity, and redeem Obosomfie!”
“Me?” Kwabla said as he shook his head vehemently. “No, no, no! Kakalika, no! They’ve seen me messing up, becoming a drunkard… no, Jon! They have no respect for me!”
“They saw you descending into the doldrums!” Jon said fiercely. “They saw you descending into a life of decadence, into a low ebb, and yes, they lost respect for you! But, when you put on fine clothes, and mount the pulpit, and tell them how low Sophia and her vile gods took you, and how high God has now raised you, you will touch their hearts!”
“Kakalika, stop it!” Kwabla cried with tears in his eyes. “I’m no longer a pastor! I have been excommunicated, and my clerical has been taken away!”
“By men!” Jon said harshly and put his hands on the old man’s soldier. “You were disowned by men, sir! But the harvest is great, and the workers few! God has seen it best to raise a flock for you, sir! This is your church, and you’re the senior minister here! I believe I was brought here to make you see a new light in the Lord that chose you, and anointed you as his servant. Grasp it, sir! Grasp it! This is your time!”
And then Pastor Kwabla nodded, and his head came up a bit higher, and his shoulders squared up. He wiped tears from his eyes.
“Thank you, my son,” he whispered and nodded. “Let us sell our Lord to these people!”
They had been so animated that they had forgotten for a moment that Bobo was still with them. As they began to climb the steps, he spoke hurriedly.
“Please, Pastor Fii!” he said suddenly.
Jon turned and touched his forehead.
“Oh, Bobo, forgive me, my brother,” he said in Twi and extended his hand. “I forgot to thank you for taking me out of that grave. Thank you, sir. Thank you very much and God bless you.”
“Well,” Bobo said as he fidgeted. “I need a little favour.”
“Go ahead,” Jon said instantly. “Anything I can do to help, I will.”
“Well,” Bobo said. “I left some old pictures of my mother and me in the church, and some very important things from my dear mother.”
“Yes, I saw them,” Jon Fii said. “In a little green box under one of the beds.”
“Yes, exactly!” Bobo said passionately. “It means a lot to me, sir. I beg of you, that is all I want to take, please.”
Jon Fii nodded and stepped towards the man.
“How many people are in your gang, Bobo?” Jon asked.
“Thirty,” the man said promptly.
“Good,” Jon said and put a hand on the giant’s shoulder. “I’ll keep that box in safe custody for you.”
“No, I want it now!” Bobo exploded. “It is my treasure!”
“I understand, but you didn’t let me finish my submission, Bobo,” Jon said, unperturbed by the violent action. “I will give you that precious box, Bobo, if you and your gang come to Sunday church service. If you come, and stay for the church service to end, I will give you back your box!”
“Fuck that!” Bobo exploded. “I saved your life, man! I need that box!”
“No!” Jon said, and his voice was cold now, the smile disappearing from his face. “You didn’t save me! I could have spent one year in that grave and still survived if God wanted me to! Do you understand? You will come to two consecutive Sunday Church meetings, you and all your followers. And after the service, on the second Sunday, I’ll give you back your box. And it is not negotiable! Do you accept or not?”
“I accept!” Bobo screamed. “I accept your terms.”
“Good,” Jon said with a smile. “I’ll see you on Sunday then. And thanks again for helping me out of the grave.”
Bobo watched the young pastor climbing the steps with the old pastor, and then he sighed heavily.
Who was this man?
And then Bobo smiled.
This man had beaten him, the only man who had been able to do that. And the man had survived certain death! Heck, he had even recovered miraculously from a deadly stab wound!
But all those were really not significant, no. They paled in significance to the one glaring fact that had astounded most of the villagers who had witnessed this: this strange, new pastor had survived the attack of no other than the dreaded Bosombaa, the only person Bobo feared on earth!
No one – no bloody one – had ever survived an attack from that Bosombaa Sophia! And, to make it worst, he had been told that the man had actually struck the witch!
Now how was that even remotely possible?
Anybody who even looked at the Bosombaa in a way that displeased her suffered her wrath! Many people had rotten up and died simply because they displeased her!
And this man had actually struck her and lived? He had actually survived an attack from her panther, and from her grave?
“Heyiyayaya!” Bobo said as he walked out of the church courtyard with an awestruck expression on his face. “This man has something! He has something than a blowman!”


Sophia woke up in the morning and sat morosely on her bed for a while.
The shrine had a huge compound, and there were other men and women who served her. She had a huge building for herself, though. It was fitted with modern fittings that made life bearable, in a way.
She had not had any cause to be unhappy here. The power she wielded, given her by the entities that reigned in her life, had always been exhilarating. To be able to do as she pleased, and to make people cower in her presence, was a fulfilling experience.
Even the king of the land shivered in her presence, and did not take any decisions without consulting her. Many people, including supposed men of the Bible, came to her for fortune, for a piece of the mystic, a little flash of power for them to impress and make money.
To Sophia, there was no other power, no other element mightier than she was!
The name of the Lord was an abomination to her, and that was why she had waged war on all pastors that dared to set foot on Obosomfie! This was her terrain, and her domain! She was the power and the queen.
But then, suddenly, that young man with the penetrating gaze had appeared, the man who had hit her and apologized to her, a man who had looked down on her with contempt, and somehow been able to stand worst evil rays.
But, in the end, like always, he had succumbed to her superiority, and lay under rocks and soil.
And yet, her night had not been peaceful!
She had seen that face over and over – staring at her!
Not with hatred, not with evil, not with dislike… but with compassion, warmth, and forgiveness!
Sophia stood up from the bed with a little cry of disgust!
No!
That man was dead, and she was not going to allow him or his memory to assail and cripple her!
She was naked as she moved from her bedroom and crossed her living room. Her incredible figure seemed like a dream as she glided towards a set of decanters at the far end of the room.
She reached for a long tumbler of blood from the table, and suddenly she felt a severe cold in the room, and a humming sound behind her.
Sophia gasped and slowly put the glass tumbler back on the table.
When she turned around slowly, she saw them.
Four shrivelled pale entities that looked like old men were hovering above the floor. They had white skins and long, grey hair that fell from their heads and trailed down their faces.
They were joined at the hips, and had flashing red eyes. Their shroud-like apparel glittered as they glared at her, and Sophia sank to her knees immediately and bowed her head.
These fused spiritual entities were her masters.
And she could see they were displeased.
“Have I erred, Masters?” she asked in a halting voice.
“He lives!” they hissed dangerously in four different voices, all high-pitched. “Look!”
Sophia raised her head, and in the space between her and the evil entities, she saw him, that handsome, young man she had buried… and he was now wearing shorts and a T-shirt, his feet encased in sneakers!
And he was with some of the villagers!
They were cleaning the church!
Sophia gasped and almost got off her feet, so complete was her shock!
“Kneel!” the entities hissed at her. “He is a danger to us! A great danger! And you will not defeat him unless he sins of the flesh! You’re going to him, to lure his mind and his heart, for we perceive fondness in his heart for you! When you make him fall from grace, in the lust of the flesh… only then will he be vanquished! Are you listening, Earthling?”
“Yes, my Masters!” Sophia whispered with a trembling fear. “I am awaiting your directions humbly!”
“You will deliver him to us here, in the catacombs… and we shall tear him to bits!”


THE MACHINE GUN PREACHER
SAVING SOPHIA
EPISODE 10
Sunday finally came.
It had been a week of cleaning up and repainting the church.
Jon’s escape from death had drawn more people to the church, and when Sunday finally rolled in, he was surprised to see that the attendance was more than half the capacity of the auditorium.
These were people who were starved for the word of God, people who lived in hardship and were ready for a message of hope and peace. Pastor Bonifius Kwabla Atoklu had bought a black suit and white shirt from a local store. Actually, he had ordered it from the shop owner who had gone to the city to purchase it for him, the price borne by Jon Fii.
He looked resplendent as he sat on the raised platform at the head of the congregation. He had tears in his eyes as he watched the young, handsome, pastor preaching.
Jon’s voice was gentle and beautiful, his words conversational as he moved amongst the people, speaking directly to others whilst addressing them all. His message, titled Back To Our Lord, was so touching and power-filled that Kwabla saw many of the people weeping silently as they faced the consequences of their past sinful lives.
And none wept more profoundly than Bobo the Killer, who was in the front row and followed Jon’s preaching closely.
And then Jon Fii handed the microphone to Kwabla to preach on Being Born again. Afterwards, he led the prayers, and when he made an altar call almost all the people rushed forward, including Bobo and a young woman whose face, arms and visible parts of her legs were covered with scars.
She followed the service with total passion, and Jon noticed that she shed genuine tears from a troubled spirit, and Jon kept looking at her. And when the altar call was made for new converts to give their lives to Christ and get converted, Jon watched the woman coming towards the altar with the crowd, and then she stopped suddenly and spoke to Bobo.
Bobo consulted his wristwatch and then spoke to the woman.
Obviously, she had asked for the time.
And when Bobo told her the time, a look of sheer dismay crossed her scarred face. Jon scowled deeply. He had never seen such a look of fear, terror, dismay, hopelessness, and sheer helplessness rolled into one.
The woman instantly turned around and ran from the church as if the devil was after her. Jon was stunned! That woman had just missed a call to salvation! What if she fell down dead the moment she left the church? She would have died in her transgressions!
What had made her so terrified that she forgot everything, and forsake salvation for?
Jon bid his time.
After the altar call, they took the new converts through the programme, and told them they would be baptized on Friday, a day most of them would not go to the farm or lake to fish because it was a day of the gods, instituted by Sophia.
Jon had made food available for the church members.
He had contracted some two restaurants to provide jollof rice and plain rice with beef sauce for the people, so after church they all retired to the canopies erected in the courtyard to have lunch.
They were such a happy, bustling, singing, and laughing bunch that people that were passing by looked at them with wonder. Jon and Kwabla invited the passers-by, and many of them joined in the feast, and promised to be in church.
Jon eventually made his way to Bobo’s side.
The giant’s face was animated with happiness as he looked at Jon. He was eating jollof with his huge hand, and had stuffed his mouth with food.
“Shish pushininny ish shrilly guushh!” he said with a broad smile.
Jon smiled.
“I can’t understand you,” he said. “Swallow the food in your mouth first.”
Bobo nodded, swallowed slowly, and then drank water.
“I was saying this Christianity is really good,” he said with a smile. “I’m so excited. I can’t wait to get baptized!”
Jon smiled.
“Yeah, it is great to be in the Lord as a new convent,” he said kindly. “Especially for someone as crazy as you.”
“Ohhhhhhh!” Bobo said with an embarrassed smile. “I’m sorry, Pastor. Please don’t remind me of that thing again! Are you not the one who just said when we believe and become Christians, God forgives and forgets all our sins?”
“Yes, I said that,” Jon said calmly.
“Ah, then why do you still want to remind me of the sinful things I did in the church, pastor?”
“Do I look like God to you?” Jon asked.
Bobo chuckled, choked, and took a sip of water.
“You’re not God, no,” he said levelly. “But you’re God’s servant, no?”
“Yeah, I am.”
“So, if the master Himself has forgotten, why does the servant keep on and on about me shafting… about what I did in the church, huh? Are you more than the master, pastor?”
Jon chuckled suddenly and nodded.
“Bobo, I like your faith,” he said gently. “After your baptism, you’ll become the first officer I appoint. You’ll be a deacon!”
“Swine!” Bobo cried excitedly; his whole face very happy. “Abodam! Yes, yes, yes!”
“And I think he’s going to make a fine officer,” Pastor Atoklu said as he joined them. “Kakalika!”
As Bobo laughed and continued eating, Jon broached the subject that had been disturbing him for a long time now.
“Bobo, there was this woman in the church today. She had scars on her face and parts of the body. During the altar call, she asked you for the time, and when you told her, she fled from the church. What’s her story?”
The happiness disappeared from the giant’s face immediately, and he carefully put his plate down on the bench he was sitting on.
“Ahhh, pastor, hmmm,” he said in a heavy voice. “She’s Aba Dade. She used to be beautiful, very beautiful. But, she agreed to be Kwame Essuman’s girlfriend. He’s the son of the Nifahene, a sub chief of Obosomfie! And he’s been beating her badly, pastor! She had to be home at a specific time, but she delayed in the church, you see. That was why she had to ran home, but I’m sure he’s going to beat her mercilessly! Most of the time, she ends up in the hospital.”
Jon looked at Bobo with horror.
“A man that beats his wife so badly?”
“Wife?” Bobo said and shook his head. “She’s just his girlfriend! He has not performed any marriage rites. He says she’s his property and so he would not marry her. His father is the Nifahene, like I said, and so Aba’s parents cannot force him to pay the bride price.”
“Goodness me!” Jon whispered with horror.
He listened to Pastor Atoklu and Bobo telling him more stomach-churning atrocities that Kwame Essuman had put Aba through, and he decided to find a way to end it.
He did not have to wait for a long time, as it turned out.
Jon was with Pastor Atoklu inside the office writing their first report on their first Sunday, when there was a commotion outside, and suddenly a breathless, gasping, and sweating Bobo rushed in.
Jon got to his feet immediately with concern.
“Bobo, what’s wrong?” he asked.
The huge man had to take several gulps of air before he could speak.
“Aba Dade!” Bobo gasped at last. “Rushed to the clinic! Kwame Essuman beat her so badly!”
Pastor Atoklu saw the cold look that entered Jon Fii’s eyes as he wordlessly picked up his coat and put it on.
“Take me to the clinic, Bobo,” he said simply.
The three of them went to the clinic.
Jon could barely look at the poor woman!
The man had really messed her up! Her face was swollen, one of her eyes so puffed up that the eye appeared to be bulging out. Her jaw was almost broken. One of her arms was broken, and she had a horrible sprain in her hip.
Crying beside her hospital bed were her parents, who informed them that Kwame beat up Aba mercilessly because she had not come home on time to sit beside him as he ate, and he had had to get up to fetch his own water when food choked him.
“The girl that prepared the food, and laid the table for him before coming to church, was not there to fetch water for him to drink, and so he beat her this severely?” Jon asked softly.
Maame Atonsu, Aba’s mother, nodded profusely.
Jon was breathing hard when he headed for the door.
“Jon!” Kwabla cried in alarm as he chased after the furious pastor. “Jon! Don’t do any of your machine gun things, my brother! That boy is the Nifahene’s son! The church is situated on Nifahene’s area of jurisdiction! Stop, Jon, please!”
Jon barely heard him. He spoke to Bobo.
“Do you know where I can find Kwame Essuman?” he asked tightly. “Do you know his house?”
“Erm, yes, but he would not be home at this time,” Bobo said quickly. “He’ll be at the palm wine bar drinking and playing draughts.”
“Take me there, please.”
“Yes, pastor,” Bobo said excitedly and led the way.
“Jon!” Kwabla cried as he tried to hold the young man’s arm. “A pastor does not give reign to his anger, my son! You’re supposed to be different, to use love and compassion! What are you going to do now?”
“My dear Pastor Kwabla,” Jon said calmly. “I’m not giving vent to my anger, no, far from that. I’m just going to have a word with Kwame Essuman, that’s all.”
The bar was packed with a lot of screaming, shouting men and women who were drinking palm wine and akpeteshie with fried, pepper-laced pork chips.
Many were also playing draughts.
Bobo pointed to a tall, muscular, bearded man sitting on a bench with a calabash of palm wine in his hand. The man was insulting one of the men seated across from him, and the man was silent.
“That’s Kwame Essuman,” Bobo said, his voice worried. “Be careful what you say to him, pastor. He’s a very strong and very violent man!”
The bar was hushed up as Jon Fii strode towards the tall, muscular man. They all looked at the new pastor as he walked across the floor of the bar. Kwame Essuman watched him coming, and there was a contemptuous look on his face as he suddenly put his calabash down and stood up belligerently.
He was a head taller than Jon, and looked really mean and fierce.
Jon stopped within touching distance.
“Are you Kwame Essuman?” he asked gently.
“Yes,” the man said wrathfully. “And if you want to know if I beat up Aba and landed her in clinic, yes, I did it. She’s a fucking slut! That bitch went to whore in your church, pastor, and left me to eat alone and fetch my own water. So, you better turn around and walk out of this bar before I pull out your intestines through your anus!”
There was a great roar of laughter from the crowd, and a lot of hooting.
Jon smiled and beckoned with his hand.
“Please, can I ask you something?” he asked with humility. “I don’t want anybody to hear.”
“Sure, pastor,” Kwame said belligerently. “But it better be good, you pussy, otherwise I’ll rip out your penis and feed it to you!”
He bent low, and Jon put his lips to the big man’s ear.
“You’re not a man,” he whispered into Kwame’s ear. “You’re a woman, and you don’t have a penis! You have a big, fat, wet, vagina!”
Kwame gasped and straightened, and his eyes were incensed with fury as he drew back his right hand and slapped Jon heavily across the face!
Jon reeled back under the influence of the blow and sat down heavily on the floor with his ears ringing! The people in the bar screamed with delight to see the pastor floored so heavily!
Bobo rushed forward to help Jon Fii to his feet.
Jon turned and headed to the door where Pastor Kwabla was waiting, quivering with fear. The people, seeing Jon leaving, laughed with glee and some even spat at him, calling him a bloody coward!
When Jon reached Pastor Kwabla, however, he did not walk out.
He removed his coat and handed it to the startled pastor.
“Jon!” Pastor Kwabla said with fear. “What are you doing? What did you whisper to him?”
“I asked him if he wanted to go to heaven, and he hit me,” Jon said with a wicked smile on his face as he removed his clerical. “Everybody saw him hitting me first. That’s what I wanted.”
Next, he removed his cuff links and gave them to Bobo, and then he opened the top buttons of his shirt.
Then, Pastor Jon Fii began to roll up the sleeves of his shirt.
There was dead silence in the bar now.
He rolled his sleeves all the way to his elbows, and then he turned and fixed Kwame Essuman with fierce eyes, and began to walk towards him.
A pin dropping would have sounded like bomb in that absolute silence in the bar! Kwame Essuman was staring at the pastor with fury as he accepted the challenge and walked towards Jon.
“I’m going to break you like Jesus was crucified, pastor!” he screamed and rushed towards Jon.
He swung a horrible right haymaker, but he did so in ignorance, quite unaware that the pastor he was facing had received intensive training in martial arts and in military training when his father was alive.
Jon slipped effortlessly under the blow and delivered a terrible criss-crossing combination into the left and right side of Kwame’s ribcage! The bully grunted with agony and took a quick step back.
Deliberately, Jon stepped forward and swung a straight right blow into the bully’s right eye, the same eye that he had smashed Aba in!
Kwame screeched and tottered backwards as he grabbed his eye.
Jon’s kick smashed into the helpless man’s balls!
The crowd groaned as Kwame grabbed his balls and looked at Jon Fii with mounting horror!
Suddenly, he reached into his boot and pulled out a knife even as his balls flamed up with agony. He thought the sight of the knife would make the pastor flee, but Jon simply nodded and waited for the agony to leave Kwame Essuman for a moment.
When his balls stopped paining a bit, Kwame screamed and rushed at Jon with the knife slashing towards his throat. Jon Fii side-stepped the thrust, grabbed Kwame’s hand, and then flipped him forward and backward in a savage move, stepping viciously into the side of Kwame’s right knee and breaking the joint.
As Kwame’s horrified scream filled the air, Jon bent the hapless man’s arm behind him and pushed up, dislocating the shoulder savagely, and then he swing Kwame in a reverse twist against the thrust of his hand, and broke his arm exactly where he had broken Aba’s arm!
The nasty sound of breaking bone made the people groan with horror.
Jon was not done, though. He lifted the bully up and slammed him down on the floor!
Kwame Essuman was weeping now as agony flared through his body! He looked up at the pastor and quivered with terror! Jon dropped to one knee, clamped a hand on the bully’s neck, and began to squeeze the air out of his lungs.
Kwame Essuman thrashed weakly under this strangulation. His tongue popped out, and his face began to swell.
Pastor Kwabla rushed forward with fear and grabbed Jon’s arm.
“Kakalika!” he screamed. “Jon, you’re killing the man! You’re killing him!”
Jon Fii released the choke hold.
Kwame Essuman wept bitterly and coughed through his agony.
“You’re killing meeeee!” he wept. “Pastor, you’re killing meeeee!”
“Listen, you dog!” Jon hissed furiously down at the bully. “You come near Aba again, I will kill you! You so much as touch a single strand of hair on her head, and I will kill you. Do you fucking understand?”
“You’re killing meeeee!” Kwame wept.
Jon slapped him heavily across the face.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” Kwame cried. “I understand! I understand, pastor, please, please, please, please!”
“Abowa!” Jon Fii whispered and then got to his feet.
He glared around at the hushed people in the bar, and then he took money from his pocket, counted out some fifty-cedi notes, and handed them to a man nearby. “Send this fool to the clinic.”
“Yes, yes, pastor,” the man said as he trembled with fear.
And when Jon Fii turned to walk out of the bar, many of the patrons quickly moved out of his way, causing Bobo to laugh uproariously.
When they came out of the bar, Pastor Atoklu faced Jon with a dismayed look.
“Jon, kakalika, what’s the matter with you?” he asked in an exasperated voice. “You told me you were going to speak to him!”
Jon Fii took a deep breath and nodded.
“I spoke to him in a language that he understood, sir.”
“Oh, cut out the nonsense!” the senior pastor screamed. “Ah, are you a pastor, or a Kung Fu blowman? You took off your coat, rolled your shirt, and fought in a drinking bar! What sort of a pastor does that, Jon? You were just like a thug in there, no different than the fool!”
“He got the message, sir,” Jon Fii said quietly. “He’ll not touch Aba again!”
“What about the church?” Pastor Atoklu exploded. “The church should be your prime aim, your main concern! They just saw a pastor fighting, kakalika! A pastor throwing blows and fatally wounding another human being! How would they understand when you speak to them about love and forgiveness, about turning the other cheek? You’ve just dealt the image of the church a big blow.”
“No, sir,” Jon said softly. “The congregation now knows that their pastor has their interests at heart, that the church will take care of business, sir. These people are a violent people! They believe in wickedness, and in the evil heart of man! This is the only language they understand, sir!”
“No, Jon, no!” Kwabla shouted. “Ahhh! Kakalika! How can a pastor take off his coat and throw blows? What sort of pastor are you?”
Jon looked at his senior with very cold eyes.
“Do you believe that I am a man who was ordained by God?” he asked softly.
“Look, Jon, I am…”
“Do you believe God ordained me?” Jon shouted into his face.
“Yes.”
“And do you believe that my actions are accountable to the God I serve?”
“Yes, Jon, God will hold you responsible for your works under his name.”
“And you believe that the wages of sin is death, and that if I use the name of God in iniquity, God will deal with me, and bring me into judgement?”
Pastor Kwabla nodded.
“So, what’s your problem now?” Jon Fii asked. “Are you now God to judge me?”
And then he turned and walked away from the senior man of God.
“Pastor Apokla, I’m not happy with you,” Bobo said as he looked at Kwabla.
“Atoklu, my name is Atoklu, not Apokla!” Kwabla said with indignation.
“Sorry, pastor,” Bobo said with a scowl. “But I’m not happy with you. Today, when you were preaching, didn’t you tell us about the pastor in the Bible called Sha or something, who called bears to chew some children that laughed at him?”
“He was a prophet, my friend, not a pastor. Prophet Elisha. Yes, and so what?”
“Aha!” Bobo said. “And you said even God got angry and rained water that killed everybody on earth, even pregnant women, and little babies. And later, God rained sheer fire on the people of Modum and Rarara!”
“Kakalika!” Kwabla shouted. “Sodom and Gomorrah!”
“Whatever, whatever!” Bobo said with disgust. “And now this wicked Essuman beat poor Aba, hurt her badly, and Pastor Jon beat him back. That is sweet! We’re all happy! The people in the bar will even come to church! He did not burn him with fire, or drown him in water, or call bears to eat him. He just gave him blows! So, why are you angry?”
“What you’re saying happened in the Old Testament, my friend,” Pastor Kwabla said. “This is the era under the grace of our Lord! Such things do not happen! He’s a pastor, and his dialogue should be love and compassion, not blows!”
“We don’t need love and compassion here, Pastor Koklu!” Bobo said indignantly. “Obosomfie needs blows! This is old tessment or whatever for Pastor Jon Fii, so leave him alone, you old sakora man!”
And then Pastor Kwabla simply laughed.


THE MACHINE GUN PREACHER
SAVING SOPHIA
EPISODE 11
Jon Fii could feel the animosity, hatred, and absolute rancour when he stepped into the courtyard of the palace.
Messengers from the palace had come to inform him in the church that he had been summoned to the palace of Nana Bosoma of Obosomfie that evening.
Jon had known immediately that it was as a result of his taking down of Kwame Essuman, the son of the Nifahene.
“You see what I was talking about?” Pastor Atoklu told him fearfully. “Now, you’ve put the existence of the church in Bosomfie in jeopardy! I won’t be surprised if they order us out of Bosomfie for this!”
“Sir, you worry too much,” Jon Fii had told him calmly. “If it is the wish of our Lord to remain here, we will remain here.”
Jon Fii had taken a bath and then retired to his makeshift room to pray and call on the face of the Lord before going to the palace. He had spent almost three hours on his knees praying fervently to God, and then he got up and got dressed in black trousers, black shoes, and a white shirt. Lastly, he fixed his clerical, and then left for the meeting at the palace.
Pastor Kwabla, Bobo, and some of the new congregation followed him, but they were not allowed to enter the palace with Jon.
They waited for him outside the palace, and Pastor Kwabla told them to pray for their pastor silently.
And now here he was, standing in the middle of the courtyard of the palace.
They had not even offered him a chair to sit on.
It had been built in a square with rooms on all sides, forming a square courtyard. Three verandas – the one facing him, the ones on each side of him – were filled with people, mostly aged.
He noticed that they were all wearing red or black cloths, a symbol of the serious nature of the meeting. The only person in white was the fetish priestess, Sophia,
She was wearing a lovely white dress, and she was sitting on a low stool on the left of the king, her cold eyes fixed on the tall, handsome pastor who was standing calmly in the middle of the courtyard.
On the king’s right was the Queenmother of Obosomfie, an elderly woman called Mensiwaa.
Filling the other chairs were Elders, Kingmakers, and sub chiefs of the land.
Jon Fii did not see a single friendly face in the gathering.
He noticed that in the middle of the courtyard was a hideously-crafted god that looked like half-human and half-beast. Its legs were smeared with thick blood that had congealed partly.
He could feel the pull of evil in the palace fiercely, and he knew this was a very trying moment that could make or break the power of the church in this district.
The linguist was a short, bald-headed man that was holding a long staff. No one was allowed to speak directly to the king; all communications with the king was done through the linguist.
Standing behind the group of people were the fierce, muscular, and scary Obrafos, the executioners of the palace! They were wearing shorts, and their faces were hideously-painted. The swords in their hands looked extremely wicked. Their fierce, evil eyes were fixed with murderous intents on the pastor.
Jon Fii sighed deeply and walked a little forward to be near the king.
“Stop right there, stranger!” the linguist bellowed furiously. “Not another step forward! Do not anger the gods!”
Jon Fii ignored the linguist and still walked forward.
The executioners growled with ominous threat, and Jon Fii saw them brandishing their swords.
Again, Jon ignored them and walked to stand in front of the king.
He spoke calmly.
“I am a man of soft voice. I cannot stand over there and shout, Nana. So I have to come a bit nearer so that you can hear what I say.”
Some of the executioners were approaching, but the king waved his hand, and they retreated to their positions.
The king was draped in huge, red cloth. On his head was his crown, and around his arms were amulets and gold ornaments. He was a stocky man with fierce, close-set eyes and lips that were thin.
His eyes blazed with fury as he pushed his cloth off his shoulders and leaned forward slightly.
“You impudent, little oaf!” he said fiercely. “You disregard our customs! Do you not know that you cannot speak directly to the king?”
Jon looked right back at the king without baulking or batting an eye.
“Indeed, I do know the customs, Your Majesty, and I beg you sincerely to forgive my impudence, but I meant no disrespect to you. I do believe that right here, as we speak, everything is against me, and my presence here in your town. And I feel that unless I speak to you directly, as your humble son, perhaps my words would be misconstrued by an interpreter!”
There was an angry gasp all around, and Jon felt their wicked fingers being pointed at him, especially by a tall, grey-haired man sitting beside the Queenmother. This man bore an uncanny resemblance to Kwame Essuman, and Jon had no doubt that this might be the Nifahene.
The king scowled and held up a hand, and the dark murmurs died. He leaned forward again and glared fiercely at Jon.
“Alright, let us talk, young man,” he grated in a cold voice. “How come you’ve been in my town for a number of days, and you have not shown the respect due me by presenting yourself and your credentials? Don’t you know that as a pastor, you were supposed to call on me first? Or because you’re a man of the Word, you impudently think you’re above the customs of the land?”
“I was informed that you gave an order, several years ago, that you do not wish to receive any pastor in your palace unless you expressly demanded it, Your Majesty,” Jon said calmly. “If that order has been revoked, it was not communicated to me. I stayed away because I respected your order, and waited for the appropriate time to call on you, Your Majesty!”
The king snorted, and for a moment he looked disconcerted as he remembered that indeed, he had issued such an order based on a directive by his Fetish Priestess. He leaned back in his throne and put his fingers to his lips as he looked at Jon Fii.
Sophia kept looking at this young man, this man who showed no fear, this man she had buried alive! She recalled other pastors who had been summoned to this palace, and who had stood in the middle of that imposing courtyard quivering with fear.
But this man knew no fear!
Indeed, he seemed to command an air of confidence and charisma that was beginning to unnerve the grim members of the palace, and this was beginning to make Sophia angry.
Who was this man?
“And since you came here, you have only sought chaos instead of peace!” the king said grimly. “We heard the sounds of gunfire here, and learned you were firing a gun!”
“Indeed, it was so, Your Majesty,” Jon said. “But there were no bullets, only rubber bullets. The men refused to leave the church, and I had to drive them out. But, Your Majesty, Bobo is now my friend, and a member of my church. He was the leader of a bad gang in this village, but now he has changed, and I guess that is preferably better than what he used to represent!”
“It may be so, Pastor!” the king said fiercely and leaned forward. “But I hear that today you assaulted a royal son of this land! You have beaten Kwame Essuman so badly that he is in the hospital right now! A man of God, a man of peace, and you’re responsible for this chaos? Are you out of your mind?”
“Kwame Essuman is a fool,” Jon said calmly.
Even Sophia gasped at this insolence!
There was a loud outcry from the people all around the palace!
They gesticulated with fury and rained insults and curses on the young pastor. One old man even stood up and spat in the direction of Jon Fii.
“Your insolence is abominable, young man!” the Queenmother spoke angrily and pointed a finger at Jon Fii. “Your mother should be ashamed for raising a son like you!”
“He is a goat!” cried Opanyin Essuman, the Nifahene, father of Kwame Essuman. “He is an accursed goat! An imbecile! He should not be allowed to stay a second more in this village of ours! You fool! If I had my way I would have you beheaded right now!”
“Start with beheading your son!” Jon Fii shouted now, his voice so furious that every other voice was silenced. They gasped, startled, as he took fierce steps to stand facing the Nifahene. “Your son is the goat, sir! He has been beating Aba Dade for many years, and you never saw anything wrong with that! Are you aware that Aba, who’s not his wife, but a girlfriend, is in the hospital right now with a broken arm, a broken hip, and a dislocated jaw? If you raised that goat of a boy, then you deserve to be beheaded, sir!”
His rage was palpable as he glared at the Nifahene, who suddenly licked his lips with trepidation, aware that the young man’s words had held enough ire to cow the others into silence.
The Queenmother turned and looked at the Nifahene with sudden horror.
“Agya Essuman!” she said quietly. “Is it true? What the young man just said… is it true that your son beat up a young girl that badly?”
Opanyin Essuman sank back slowly into his seat, and there was a cagey look of guilt on his face as he shook his head numbly.
“Oh, my Queen, it was just a little domestic misunderstanding,” he said weakly.
“Domestic?” Jon Fii exploded. “Domestic you said? He is not married to her! He has refused to marry her but forces her to live with him as his wife, and beats her mercilessly! Who in this palace will allow his own daughter to be treated like a slut, like this man’s son has been doing to Aba Dade? Who will tolerate that?”
And he looked around threateningly at the faces of the men, and he saw them wilting under his gaze.
The king narrowed his eyes as he looked at this young man.
Certainly, this was not what he had expected, and things were not going as they had planned, and executed. This man was dangerous, as the Fetish Priest had informed him, and his continuous stay in Obosomfie would spell further doom to his people.
The advantage, he saw, was fast slipping, and he needed to set things right immediately before this man scuppered their plans.
“Thank you for bringing that injustice to our attention, young man,” the king said grimly. “But, you erred! You had no right to touch a royal! The best you should have done was to report Kwame’s behaviour to any of us, and we would have served punishment to him! For raising your hand against a prince of this town, young man, you have greatly displeased the gods, and the only punishment for that is to ask you to leave this land and never return! If you had been one of us, we would have flogged the hide off your back right where you stand!”
Jon Fii scowled and came to stand in front of the king again.
“Do I take it that a royal son of this palace can punish Kwame Essuman for his wickedness?” he asked grimly.
“You do not ask me questions!” the king bellowed with rage and leaned forward furiously. “But yes, you impudent whelp! Only a royal can punish a royal in this town! And you will be marched straight to the lake and put on a canoe and taken out of Obosomfie for daring to raise your hand against a royal son of the land!”
And then Jon Fii did a very curious thing.
He unbuttoned his sleeves and began to roll them up his hairy arms.
The executioners roared and brandished their swords again.
Sophia watched him, and this time her eyes narrowed.
Jon Fii finally looked up at the king.
“You cannot banish me,” he said grimly. “You cannot drive me out of here!”
Again, there were furious cries from the crowd.
Several of the aged people removed their sandals and threw them at Jon Fii!
Many of them spat at him!
“Guards!” the king roared with wrath. “Take this piece of cow dung away from me and throw him into the lake if you must! He will not spend another day here!”
The executioners rushed at Jon Fii.
One grabbed him by the shoulder, and Jon spun around and crashed a blow so devastating into the man’s jaw that he crashed to the ground and remained still.
And when he bent and picked up the sword the executioner had dropped, and pointed it at the other advancing executioners, they stopped dead in their tracks with confusion and stared at him.
“You cannot touch a royal of this town!” Jon Fii screamed at the executioners, intentionally turning his back on the king. “My mother’s name is Adwoa Nipayede Mensiwaa! And she was going to be the Queenmother of this damn evil town, but my father fell in love with her, and took her away, and she never wanted to set foot here again because of your wickedness! And, in her stead, her younger sister became Queenmother of this land! I am more prince than Kwame Essuman, and I’m more royal than he will ever be! And if I beat him, I had every right to, because I come straight from this palace!”
And when he dropped the sword and turned around, the Queenmother was on her feet, and tears were streaming down her face, and her hand was clasped to her breast.
“Ah!” she moaned as her face trembled, her tears flowing wildly now. “Is that you, Yaw Bosomfi? Oh, oh, oh, oh! Is that really you?”
There were tears in Jon Fii’s eyes as he held out his arms to her.
“Hello, mother!” he whispered in a choked voice. “I’m home. Finally.”
The Queenmother screamed, and she launched herself from off the veranda, and Jon Fii caught his aunt in midair, and they embraced tightly as tears fell down their faces.
The king’s eyes were popping out of his head as he leaned back weakly.
“Gods of Obosomfie!” he whispered with shock.
“Yehowa!” the Nifahene whispered as his old face became greyer, and he put trembling hands across his face.


THE MACHINE GUN PREACHER
SAVING SOPHIA
EPISODE 12
Sophia was horrified!
This was not how she had envisaged it, no, not in the least!
She had put fear in the people of the palace, telling them that the presence of this man in the town, especially after putting his hand on Kwame Essuman, a royal, symbolized evil and there would be more hardships in Obosomfie if the man was not driven out of the town!
In the end, as always, they had trembled with terror and summoned the man, fuelled by the wrath of the Nifahene.
It should have ended in the pastor being dragged out of the palace and bundled off to the lakeside and banished from Obosomfie forever!
That was exactly how it had supposed to play out!
Not like this!
She watched, mesmerized, as they all got up to welcome this son of Obosomfie, this boy whose mother could have been the Queenmother if she had wanted to, this boy who could have been made a king if he had been available!
They stood up from their seats – the elders, kingmakers, wisemen, sub chiefs – and they welcomed this royal son who had come back as a man of the Word.
And Sophia saw the happiness on the Queenmother’s face as she wept and sang the ancient songs! The king stood up and approached the new pastor with a broad smile on his face, his arms outstretched to embrace Jon Fii.
“Stop it, Nana!” Sophia screamed in a strident voice as she took a step to the edge of the platform.
Her voice lashed through the gathering, freezing everybody out so that the excited babble of voices died down. The king turned slowly with dismay on his face and looked at Sophia, whose face was filled with wrath.
“Bosombaa of Obosomfie,” the King said in an unsteady voice. “What is this? This is the return of our own son, a prince from the House of Bosomfi, a royal house where our kings and queens are chosen, my own sister’s son! Surely, this is the time to welcome him back home!”
“No!” Sophia screeched in a furious voice. “That man is cursed by the gods, by the great spirits that keep Obosomfie! He is the main cause of the rains being delayed this season too! He must be cast out! If he remains, the rains would not come!”
“But he’s a son of Bosomfie!” the queen cried in a passion-filled voice. “He could have been king of this land! Why should the gods abandon one of their own, their own son?”
“Because the path he treads is not the path of the spirits of Obosomfie!” Sophia hissed as she floated off the platform, causing the people to gasp with fear.
She did not come down on the ground when she stepped off the platform, but she was suspended in the air, walking effortlessly in space to come face-to-face with Jon Fii before settling slowly down on the ground beside him.
“This man has never been to Obosomfie, because his heart is evil, and his parents – including his mother – considered him too pure to be tainted by the sins of the land! So, he’s nothing but an interfering stranger! We know that for several years there have not been rain, and the lake has dried of fish! Hunger has threatened this land for many years! The gods want to show mercy to Obosomfie this season, and will surely bring the rains and the fishes and the food if only we will obey them! Keeping this man here is a disobedience! If the rains don’t come down this year, real starvation, diseases, and deaths will occur in alarming numbers! Drive this man out!”
And as the fear began to increase, and it was evident that the terror of the people was coming back to assail them, Jon Fii began to laugh softly and with real mirth as he looked into the passionate face of the fetish priestess.
“Wow, you never give up, do you?” he asked softly. “You tried to let a panther chew me up, you tried to stab me to death, you even buried me alive… and here I am! Hasn’t it occurred to you yet that your gods are powerless against the God I serve?”
There was a gasp of terror from the people of the palace, and the queen put her trembling hand across Jon Fii’s mouth.
“Yaw Bosomfi, I beg of you, do not blaspheme!” she cried with horror. “Oh, woe, woe, woe! Now you need to make a sacrifice to the gods for this sacrilege!”
“I will not sacrifice to the gods!” Jon said, and his eyes fixed squarely on Sophia’s haughty face. “For years, you abandoned the Lord, and chose to serve gods! Are you experiencing hunger and droughts? Why should you expect the heavens to open and shower rains on this sinful land? The rains have stopped and there’s hunger here because of the useless gods you worship! Because of the satanism and the occultic tendencies you practice here in this town!”
He saw the people moaning with great horror and clamping their hands to their ears, and then making low, mourning sounds as they dropped to their knees and made weird gestures.
“Stop it, Yaw Bosomfi!” the king screamed. “You’re bringing more curses on this land! Maybe, we should really drive you out of here for your doctrine of the foolish white people! We’ve always worshipped our gods, and they’ve protected us from generations! Don’t come here with your foreign and evil religion, with your blaspheming, and cause hunger, deaths, and diseases!”
“You’ll continue to have deaths, hunger, diseases, and shortage of rains if you continue to worship these gods, and continue to keep this idol in the palace. If you burn this idol, and turn back to God, who owns the skies and the rains, His blessings would come back down on this land!” Jon cried and pointed to the hideous idol in the middle of the palace, his face filled with fury.
The people screamed, and now all of them fell down flat on the floor!
Even the Queenmother fell down on the floor, and they began to moan and pull their ears, begging for forgiveness from the gods and begging to be pardoned, and that they were no part of the sinful man!
“Now, you have done it!” Sophia hissed furiously, and suddenly her hair stood up straight on top of her head again, and Jon noticed that her eyes had become entirely white with no irises and pupils – just absolute whites!
Her fingers were crooked like talons, and her lips opened in a vicious snarl.
“Now, you’ve insulted the gods beyond measure, and you’re going to burn where you stand, you are an abomination of the land! You’re going to burn to death!”
She levitated into the air again and began to move backward as she pointed both her hands at Jon Fii.
“Don’t do it,” Jon said softly as he shook his head at her. “Whatever you’re doing, Sophia, don’t do it. What lives inside me is too strong for whatever powers you have, and frankly, I’ve had enough of you. Do not dare raise your hand against an anointed servant of the Lord!”
“Burn!” Sophia screeched with unbridled hatred. “Burn, burn, burn!”
A thick wall of fire suddenly blazed up around Jon Fii.
It surrounded him completely in a perfect circle, but it was about three feet away from him, and it began to close in fast on him.
Jon calmly dropped to his knees, bowed his head, and held up his palms, and then he began to pray softly.
Suddenly, in a fiery whoosh, the circular fire blasted off Jon Fii as if a massive hand had thrown it, and it suddenly fell on the idol in the middle of the palace… and began to burn it mightily.
Sophia crashed to the floor!
The people in the palace who had been lying on the floor slowly began to sit up as the strange fire consumed the idol!
There was no sound!
They stared with bulging eyes!
And then, suddenly, Sophia began to scream!
She was being drawn relentlessly towards the fire!
She tried desperately to prevent herself from being drawn into the inferno, but there was nothing to hold on to, and she moved relentlessly towards the giant ball of flaming fire!
And then she turned frantic eyes towards Jon Fii, and he saw the confusion and terror in the depths of her eyes. Her face was no longer fierce and evil. It was the frantic, terrified face of a beautiful twenty-year-old woman who was being drawn to death, and did not understand why.
This woman had been possessed and used for evil!
She had been responsible for the destruction of many people on this land, used to hold the people in bondage, and used to pillage the land. Now, in the face of a mightier power, she had failed, and the gods she served had now abandoned her!
She was being drawn into the fire to burn by the fury of the evil entities she served, entities that would no doubt claim somebody else to do their biding when this vessel had been disposed off.
And as Jon looked into her frantic eyes, and saw her terror, he was moved to compassion and, still on his knees, he reached out suddenly and grabbed one of her flailing hands. He held on tightly, but the evil force drawing her forward pulled mightily at him now, and began to drag both of them towards the fire!
Jon shut his eyes again, and offered his prayer calmly.
“Father, my Lord Jesus, please forgive her, for she knows not what she was doing,” Jon prayed softly. “She is a lost sheep, and You are the Great Shepherd. Save her, my Lord, through your unending mercies, and grant her a chance at salvation! In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ I have prayed… amen.”
He opened his eyes.
Her eyes met his, and he noticed that her feet were almost in the fire, but the force pulling them had stopped, and Jon slowly pulled her towards him.
He got to his feet and pulled her up.
Her lips were quivering as she stared into his face with confusion and yes, a bit of fear. Jon turned and looked at the king and queen who were still sitting on the floor with dazed horror on their faces as they looked at the idol which was now a hulk of coal.
“The rains are a creation of the Lord!” Jon shouted. “The fishes are His creation! You were seeking for salvation from the wrong places, from the wrong entities! Why seek for favour from the sick, when the divine owner is still a living God? Do you doubt the power of the Lord? His anger is against you, for turning to idols and principalities! How many years have you been without rains? You, Nana, you’re the king of this land, aren’t you?”
The king, still sitting on the floor, nodded numbly as he stared at Jon Fii with incomprehension and a little fear.
“And you all are the leaders of this land!” Jon shouted, turning slowly to look at the stunned faces of the people around him. “You have tried many idols, many spirits, many destructive ways, and still this land is barren! Well, why don’t you try something else? Are you willing to end the hardship on your people? Then, by jove, you need to seek the face of the Lord! Right now, right here, get on your damn knees and beg for mercy, apologize for your transgressions, and pray to the Divine Maker of the universe! Get down on your knees, goddamn it! Now, all of you! Get down on your knees!”
They looked at each other with dazed eyes.
“Listen, you people,” Jon said desperately. “God’s anger is not against me! I can pray for you if I want, but as long as you, the leaders, remain unrepentant and gaze on the Lord with disdain, His mercies are not going to come down on this land! It must come from you! Your contrite heart and fervent prayers must reach up to the Lord! So, stop your fucking bullshit and get to your fucking knees and pray ferverntly!”
His voice was a whiplash, authoritative and filled with disgust.
And then the queen slowly moved to her knees, and she reached out and tugged the king’s cloth. Almost in a daze, the king also knelt.
Slowly, slowly, the great men and women of the palace of Obosomfie got on their knees, raised their hands in supplication, and began to pray.
Jon Fii took a deep sigh and slowly fell to his knees, closed his eyes, and began to pray.
Only Sophia, confused and suddenly vulnerable, remained on her feet.
She had never been allowed near this religion. She had hated it to her very soul, and hated these silly men of the Word. All her life she had hounded them, disgraced them, killed some, killed their families, made some mad!
They had been like putty in her hands, always filled with fear and lust, incapable of thought in her presence! She had had nothing but disgust for them.
Until this young version had arrived, and he was filled with something she had never seen before, resisting her in ways she had never been resisted before!
And this day, this evening, he had saved her from a horrible death!
As she looked down at his bent head, she felt a conflicting set of emotions! She wanted to kill him, and yet a part of her wanted to kneel with him, and look into his eyes again, and see that expression he had looked at her with.
All these years she had been in turmoil, troubled at how the lives of the people became oppressing and difficult each year. She had begged those entities she worshipped to bring down the rains, but it had never happened, never!
But now, she heard the rolling thunders, and she gasped, and looked into the sky!
Sophia’s mouth opened with great wonder when she saw the dark, ominous clouds that had gathered in the air!
She barely heard the frantic sounds of the prayers around her as she gazed up at his wonder!
Outside the palace, Bobo looked into the sky and his huge face split into a grin.
“Yei!” he screamed shrilly. “Yei! Is that the beginning of rains? Yei! Yei! It is the pastor! I swear this is the pastor!”
And before Kwabla could stop him, Bobo turned and pushed the startled warriors out of the entrance to the palace and rushed through the doorway! With a cry of fear Kwabla raced after him.
“Bobo, Bobo, they’ll kill you!” he screamed frantically. “Come back, come back!”
And suddenly, they burst into the courtyard of the palace, and both of them came to stunned stops at the sight that met their eyes!
All the people were on their knees on the floor!
All of them, except the witch!
“Kakalika!” Pastor Bonifius Kwabla Atoklu whispered with shock.
“Kakalika you will say, koshiaa!” Bobo screamed with a broad smile of wonder on his face. “You were insulting Pastor Fii, huh, huh? You see? Now you see? He’s more than the Esha and Ejah and Jerrymi you mentioned, huh, huh? Abooowa!”
And, excited and totally uncontrollable, Bobo the Killer, a giant who had previously been a hardened criminal, raced to the middle of the courtyard, knelt beside Jon Fii, and pushed the man’s head hard.
Jon opened one eye and turned to look at Bobo.
“Herh, pastor, you’re bozin rough!” he said with a loud giggle. “Shit, you’re more bozin than Sinsin!”
Jon Fii giggled in spite of himself.
“Bobo, damn it, I’m in the middle of serious prayers here,” he said. “You mean Samson.”
“Oh, comot!” Bobo said with a great giggle. “Samisins, Sinsin, all is Sinsin. Herh, pastor, you’re bozin! I check you!”
“Stop the crap, Bobo, you’re distracting me,” Jon said with an elated smile. “Pray with me, my brother. For the prayers of the righteous availeth much.”
“What are we praying for?” Bobo asked excitedly. “Let me pray too.”
“For forgiveness, and for rains,” Jon whispered.
“Kai, pastor, you must not do that!” Bobo said.
“Do what?” Jon asked, confused.


THE MACHINE GUN PREACHER
SAVING SOPHIA
EPISODE 13
“Don’t waste God’s time with useless prayers, pastor,” Bobo said, his voice worried. “I’ve already prayed for forgiveness. Why should I pray for forgiveness again? And you want me to pray for rain. But it is already raining. Please, pastor, don’t waste God’s time like that, I beg you.”
And yes, he was right!
The heavens opened, and the rains came down in a mighty, thunderous spray as if a dam in the sky had burst open! For a split-second, even Jon Fii was stunned!
He had not expected anything like this, no!
Maybe a darkening of the sky, a few thunders, and later a little shower in a day or two! But this sudden downpour, intense and heavy, made him dumb for a moment.
And all around him was that element of great shock.
He saw it on the faces of the king, the queen, and the people of the palace. The silence was made even more intense by the power of the rainfall.
It was broken by Bobo, who got to his feet with a great whoop at the sky as he clenched his fists! This served as the impetus that broke the stunned silence in the palace! The queen squealed with delight, and the king did a sort of crazy little dance on the veranda. The old men and women joined in, and soon it was a weird spectacle of people shouting and dancing with delight, and incredibly, they got down from the verandas and stepped into the rain.
Jon Fii smiled broadly as he looked at them.
“This is what God can do!” he screamed with ecstasy. “This is what the Lord is capable of!”
Pastor Atoklu, weeping in the rain, put his hands on Jon’s shoulders and danced crazily, and it was around that time that Jon Fii noticed that Sophia was no longer in the palace!
“Where’s Sophia?” he shouted above the lash of the rain.
“What fire?” Bobo shouted at him with a comical look on his face.
“Sophia!” Jon screamed louder.
“The witch?” Bobo shouted and pointed at the entrance. “She ran outside in shame with her buttocks shaking like abonsam taawa! Hey, pastor, be careful with that witch! The way she’s fine, if you don’t take time she will make you toke-toke like a sheep… meeer-meeer-meeer!”
Jon Fii moved away from Kwabla’s hands and rushed towards the entrance. He heard the old pastor calling him but he paid no heed. He blasted out of the palace and came to a stunned stop!
The rutted street in front of the palace and down the stretch was filled with hordes of screaming, dancing, happy people! The children were mostly naked, and some of them were rolling around on the ground and in the muddied pools of water!
The older folk were doing really crazy dances.
But their faces… that was the real gem!
He had never seen happier, relieved faces!
The rain was intensifying as he peered through the bodies! Many of them were dancing around him now, hailing and touching him!
Jon moved from them with courteous smiles, searching frantically, and then, in the distance, tearing away, he saw the flash of white!
Sophia!
Jon Fii dashed through the throng of bodies as he raced after her, his long legs carrying him across the ground. The rain lashed ferociously at him, and he avoided the hands that reached out to grab him, keeping her in sight as she rounded a corner!
He increased his gait, moving swiftly through the corners and alleys of Obosomfie as he raced after her, and everywhere he turned there were people in the rain, screaming in their frenzied jubilations!
He was gaining on her now as they approached a magnificent white edifice in the distance. She was tiring, and suddenly she took a look behind and saw him coming after her. He saw a look of dismay on her face as she increased her gait.
“Sophia!” he shouted frantically. “Wait! Stop, damn it!”
Jon was almost out of breath from his exertions, but he raced after her, pumping his arms harder, and soon he was directly behind her. He reached out to grab her arm, and she spun to face him with a knife in her hand, her face frantic and filled with hatred.
“Stay away from me!” she hissed as the rain fell on her. “Stay away from me!”
“You’re going to stab me again?” he shouted over the din of the rain. “You want to bury me alive again, Sophia?”
He saw her lips quivering now, and again he saw how painfully beautiful she was, a beauty so pure and ethereal, dark and shiny, a woman created with infinite attention to detail.
Her lovely eyes were filled with pain and panic as she held the knife and glared at him.
“What do you want from me again?” she cried forlornly. “What do you want, Jon Fii? You just humiliated me in the worst way, and rendered me powerless in the sight of the palace elders! You’ve given them rain, something I haven’t been able to do in years! What more do you want from me?”
He looked at her with gentle eyes and held out his arms.
“I didn’t give them rain, Sophia,” he said gently. “I’m but a man, simple and without power. But, there’s a Lord who lives, and who has more power, love, grace, and promises divine happiness than you’ll ever get doing what you’ve devoted your life to. Please, Sophia, let me help you out of this.”
“What do you care?” she screamed at him. “It is the life I chose to live, the life I accepted to live! What do you care? Even my own parents gave me away willingly to live like this!”
“Because they didn’t know any better!” Jon screamed. “They were told you would die if you didn’t serve the gods! Their love for you made them give you away to preserve your life! But that was wrong! It’s never too late to know the truth, Sophia! Let me help you! Please, let me help you find salvation! The path you’re treading is dangerous, and would lead to death, and eternal suffering!”
He took a step towards her and she raised the wicked-looking knife instantly.
“What do you care?” she screamed. “You’re only interested in my body, aren’t you? Like all those disgusting men! You see my body, and my beauty, and you want to hold me and stick your damn penis into me, don’t you? You pretend piety and holiness but deep inside you’re nothing but a lusting turd!”
Her face was bitter, her expression filled with disgust, but he took another step towards her.
“I’m not afraid of you, Sophia,” he said gently. “And yes, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. But no, I do not lust after you. I’ve dedicated my life to the Lord I serve, and I do not bother myself with the desires of the flesh. Maybe, I’ll marry someday, have a family, kids and all, if the Lord so desires me to have. But right now, my joy is only in serving my God!”
“You lie!” she hissed and pointed the knife at his face. “That is all you men want! Pussy! A tight, wet, frigging pussy! And I can see it in your eyes now, you filthy pig!”
“Look hard, Sophia,” he said with a smile. “I don’t even know what a pussy looks like. Well, I might have seen a few illustrations when I was at school, and the occasional pussy of a child here and there. Right now, in the rain, I saw some naked kids. The only adult pussy I saw recently was covered with hair, but I didn’t really get to see its details.”
She scowled at him.
“An adult pussy?” she asked in confusion. “A woman?”
“A young girl, around your age, I guess,” he said. “Tried to seduce me. Some had tried in the past, a lot of women, actually. But I stopped them before they got naked. This one was naked when she came in.”
She nodded with contempt.
“And you did it, didn’t you?” she asked, her voice filled with disgust.
“On the contrary, no,” Jon replied. “I kicked it. Can you believe that? Everything was offered to me, and I kicked her in the pussy so hard that she was on admission at the hospital.”
“What?” Sophia whispered, and her beautiful eyes became round with wonder. “You kicked a naked girl right there?”
“Yep,” he said with a chuckle. “Landed me in police cells. My apostles were embarrassed, thought I was a disgrace to the church, so they decided to punish me by sending me here. They didn’t know, though, that they were sending me to my mother’s hometown, and that I am actually a prince here. That’s what the Lord can do, Sophia.”
He was near now, and the knife in her hand was pushing against his chest.
She looked into his eyes, and for a moment it was as if they were alone in the world, the two of them, one incredibly handsome, the other breathtakingly beautiful.
Her voice was not quite steady as she gazed at him.
“You’ve never been with a woman?” she whispered.
“No,” Jon said gently. “My mother… she was a good woman, and a good Christian. She raised me up right, and I grew up hating immorality. Do you know why she left Obosomfie and never came back?”
Sophia shook her head, and she was unable to drag her eyes away from his face. This was the closest she had come to a man, apart from the fetish priests that she worked with at the shrine, and the old men at the palace. No man had ever been allowed to stand this close to her in conversation.
But from the very second she set eyes on this man of God, he had been different from all men, and affected her in a way that had frightened her, and was terrifying her right now.
“The knife is hurting me, Sophia,” Jon said calmly. “You better stab me with it, or take it down.”
Her hand trembled as she finally dragged her eyes to the point where the knife was digging into his chest.
“I’ll stab you, Jon Fii,” she said in an unsteady voice. “I’ll stab you to death.”
“Go ahead,” he replied calmly and took a step forward so that the knife dug deeper into his chest. “Go right ahead, Sophia, if that will make you feel better.”
The tip of the knife had penetrated his shirt, and she could see a trace of blood where it had nicked him, but the rainwater quickly diluted it. Sophia stepped back with a moan and dropped the knife. She raised troubled eyes to his gentle face once more.
“What are you doing to me, Jon Fii?” she whispered in a tragic voice.
Jon reached down and slowly held her hands in each of his.
“My mother was a princess here,” he said gently. “My father was a rich contractor who came to build a bridge to span the lake. He was a Christian, and he fell in love with the princess. They married right here, but my mother refused to leave Obosomfie because she was in line to be the queen. But, when I was born, she was told the gods wanted me to be the next fetish priest.”
She gasped and shook her head numbly.
“Oh!” she whispered with terror. “You’re the Bosomti! The head of the gods! The one whose mother carried her away?”
He nodded once.
“Yes,” he said with a smile. “She did not want me to be the Bosomti and get involved with all that evil, so she finally gave up her ambitions as the next queen and left this town. But she knew I would be troubled, and could be dragged back to work as the Bosomti, so from the moment she was free of this village, she and my father made sure that I was brought up well in the hand of the Lord. I’ve never strayed since, and the Lord’s eye has always been on me. So, Sophia, you’re now ruling on an evil throne that was meant for me.”
“Oh, Jon!” she whispered fiercely. “You rejected them! That’s why they’re so hellbent on having you, on killing you, on destroying you! Please, you don’t know what is in store for you! You must leave immediately!”
“I can’t leave,” he said with a gentle smile. “My God wanted me here to plant a church, and bring His people back to worship him. God wants me to help you come out of this evil, and that is exactly what I’m going to do!”
“You can’t save me!” she screamed and pushed him hard in the chest. “I sold my soul! If I move out of that shrine I’ll be dead! You’re going to die too! They want me to seduce you and take you to the tombs beneath the shrine where you’ll be forced to worship the devil! Go, Jon Fii!”
He looked at her, stunned, and this time he trembled a bit as he took a step nearer her again.
“You know what you’ve done, right?” he asked unsteadily.
“What?” she whispered.
“You revealed the plans of the evil hosts you serve,” he said calmly. “You were supposed to seduce me, and take me to this place of death. But you didn’t. You told me instead. Why, Sophia? Why did you do that?”
She could not look into his eyes.
Her eyes were fixed on his lips, and she noticed how the rain dripped off his chin. He noticed how the rain had moulded her dress to her amazing curves, how her nipples were sticking out of the dress, her breasts proud and undefiled.
“Go, Jon, please,” she whispered.
“Why did you reveal what you were supposed to do to me!” he almost shouted.
“I don’t know!” she screamed and finally looked into his face with a tragic look on her face. “I don’t know, Jon Fii, damn you! You confuse me! I hated you so much! I hated you with every last breath in my body! And I wanted you to die… but when we buried you in the grave, I wanted to take you out again! You make me feel what I have never felt! You make me wish I were just an ordinary girl, free to laugh and roam, to play in the rain… to have something different. Go, Jon, I beg of you!”
She turned hurriedly, but Jon caught her arm swiftly and drew her against him.
Without realizing what he was doing, without thought and conscious effort, he slipped his arms around her!
The gesture made him gasp because he had never done that before… and somehow, it felt right to have her in his arms as the rain beat down on them with renewed intensity.
“Let me go, Yaw Bosomfi,” Sophia whispered weakly against him. “I beg of you! I’ve committed an abomination by refusing to do that which I was ordered to do! Today, they almost killed me in the fire, and I know that when I go back there, I’ll surely die for my failure! But, you have made me feel something I’ve never felt before! It is enough, please. Let me go.”
“I will never let you go, Sophia,” he whispered.
There was a strange note in his voice that made her stiffen for a moment, and then she looked into his face, and gasped at the look of tenderness she saw there.
It was not that look of fevered lust that she was used to seeing on the faces of men that looked at her. This was a look that was quite pleasant to see, a look that made her heart flutter for the very first time, a look that spoke of trust, of warmth, of dependability, and yes, a hint of lust.
And, without meaning to, the fetish priestess of Obosomfie slipped her arms around the man’s waist and, for the very first time in her life, rested her cheek on his chest.
Without meaning to, his hand came up and gently smoothed down her hair.
None of them saw that far off, at the entrance of the shrine, ten old men wearing only calico cloth around their waists and holding long, white staffs, were lined up with eyes that glittered with pure evil!
And they did not know that far above them

in the dark sky, the four evil entities that were joined at the hip were glowering down at them, and were descending swiftly with evil incarnate shrouding them!


THE MACHINE GUN PREACHER
SAVING SOPHIA
EPISODE 13
“Don’t waste God’s time with useless prayers, pastor,” Bobo said, his voice worried. “I’ve already prayed for forgiveness. Why should I pray for forgiveness again? And you want me to pray for rain. But it is already raining. Please, pastor, don’t waste God’s time like that, I beg you.”
And yes, he was right!
The heavens opened, and the rains came down in a mighty, thunderous spray as if a dam in the sky had burst open! For a split-second, even Jon Fii was stunned!
He had not expected anything like this, no!
Maybe a darkening of the sky, a few thunders, and later a little shower in a day or two! But this sudden downpour, intense and heavy, made him dumb for a moment.
And all around him was that element of great shock.
He saw it on the faces of the king, the queen, and the people of the palace. The silence was made even more intense by the power of the rainfall.
It was broken by Bobo, who got to his feet with a great whoop at the sky as he clenched his fists! This served as the impetus that broke the stunned silence in the palace! The queen squealed with delight, and the king did a sort of crazy little dance on the veranda. The old men and women joined in, and soon it was a weird spectacle of people shouting and dancing with delight, and incredibly, they got down from the verandas and stepped into the rain.
Jon Fii smiled broadly as he looked at them.
“This is what God can do!” he screamed with ecstasy. “This is what the Lord is capable of!”
Pastor Atoklu, weeping in the rain, put his hands on Jon’s shoulders and danced crazily, and it was around that time that Jon Fii noticed that Sophia was no longer in the palace!
“Where’s Sophia?” he shouted above the lash of the rain.
“What fire?” Bobo shouted at him with a comical look on his face.
“Sophia!” Jon screamed louder.
“The witch?” Bobo shouted and pointed at the entrance. “She ran outside in shame with her buttocks shaking like abonsam taawa! Hey, pastor, be careful with that witch! The way she’s fine, if you don’t take time she will make you toke-toke like a sheep… meeer-meeer-meeer!”
Jon Fii moved away from Kwabla’s hands and rushed towards the entrance. He heard the old pastor calling him but he paid no heed. He blasted out of the palace and came to a stunned stop!
The rutted street in front of the palace and down the stretch was filled with hordes of screaming, dancing, happy people! The children were mostly naked, and some of them were rolling around on the ground and in the muddied pools of water!
The older folk were doing really crazy dances.
But their faces… that was the real gem!
He had never seen happier, relieved faces!
The rain was intensifying as he peered through the bodies! Many of them were dancing around him now, hailing and touching him!
Jon moved from them with courteous smiles, searching frantically, and then, in the distance, tearing away, he saw the flash of white!
Sophia!
Jon Fii dashed through the throng of bodies as he raced after her, his long legs carrying him across the ground. The rain lashed ferociously at him, and he avoided the hands that reached out to grab him, keeping her in sight as she rounded a corner!
He increased his gait, moving swiftly through the corners and alleys of Obosomfie as he raced after her, and everywhere he turned there were people in the rain, screaming in their frenzied jubilations!
He was gaining on her now as they approached a magnificent white edifice in the distance. She was tiring, and suddenly she took a look behind and saw him coming after her. He saw a look of dismay on her face as she increased her gait.
“Sophia!” he shouted frantically. “Wait! Stop, damn it!”
Jon was almost out of breath from his exertions, but he raced after her, pumping his arms harder, and soon he was directly behind her. He reached out to grab her arm, and she spun to face him with a knife in her hand, her face frantic and filled with hatred.
“Stay away from me!” she hissed as the rain fell on her. “Stay away from me!”
“You’re going to stab me again?” he shouted over the din of the rain. “You want to bury me alive again, Sophia?”
He saw her lips quivering now, and again he saw how painfully beautiful she was, a beauty so pure and ethereal, dark and shiny, a woman created with infinite attention to detail.
Her lovely eyes were filled with pain and panic as she held the knife and glared at him.
“What do you want from me again?” she cried forlornly. “What do you want, Jon Fii? You just humiliated me in the worst way, and rendered me powerless in the sight of the palace elders! You’ve given them rain, something I haven’t been able to do in years! What more do you want from me?”
He looked at her with gentle eyes and held out his arms.
“I didn’t give them rain, Sophia,” he said gently. “I’m but a man, simple and without power. But, there’s a Lord who lives, and who has more power, love, grace, and promises divine happiness than you’ll ever get doing what you’ve devoted your life to. Please, Sophia, let me help you out of this.”
“What do you care?” she screamed at him. “It is the life I chose to live, the life I accepted to live! What do you care? Even my own parents gave me away willingly to live like this!”
“Because they didn’t know any better!” Jon screamed. “They were told you would die if you didn’t serve the gods! Their love for you made them give you away to preserve your life! But that was wrong! It’s never too late to know the truth, Sophia! Let me help you! Please, let me help you find salvation! The path you’re treading is dangerous, and would lead to death, and eternal suffering!”
He took a step towards her and she raised the wicked-looking knife instantly.
“What do you care?” she screamed. “You’re only interested in my body, aren’t you? Like all those disgusting men! You see my body, and my beauty, and you want to hold me and stick your damn penis into me, don’t you? You pretend piety and holiness but deep inside you’re nothing but a lusting turd!”
Her face was bitter, her expression filled with disgust, but he took another step towards her.
“I’m not afraid of you, Sophia,” he said gently. “And yes, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. But no, I do not lust after you. I’ve dedicated my life to the Lord I serve, and I do not bother myself with the desires of the flesh. Maybe, I’ll marry someday, have a family, kids and all, if the Lord so desires me to have. But right now, my joy is only in serving my God!”
“You lie!” she hissed and pointed the knife at his face. “That is all you men want! Pussy! A tight, wet, frigging pussy! And I can see it in your eyes now, you filthy pig!”
“Look hard, Sophia,” he said with a smile. “I don’t even know what a pussy looks like. Well, I might have seen a few illustrations when I was at school, and the occasional pussy of a child here and there. Right now, in the rain, I saw some naked kids. The only adult pussy I saw recently was covered with hair, but I didn’t really get to see its details.”
She scowled at him.
“An adult pussy?” she asked in confusion. “A woman?”
“A young girl, around your age, I guess,” he said. “Tried to seduce me. Some had tried in the past, a lot of women, actually. But I stopped them before they got naked. This one was naked when she came in.”
She nodded with contempt.
“And you did it, didn’t you?” she asked, her voice filled with disgust.
“On the contrary, no,” Jon replied. “I kicked it. Can you believe that? Everything was offered to me, and I kicked her in the pussy so hard that she was on admission at the hospital.”
“What?” Sophia whispered, and her beautiful eyes became round with wonder. “You kicked a naked girl right there?”
“Yep,” he said with a chuckle. “Landed me in police cells. My apostles were embarrassed, thought I was a disgrace to the church, so they decided to punish me by sending me here. They didn’t know, though, that they were sending me to my mother’s hometown, and that I am actually a prince here. That’s what the Lord can do, Sophia.”
He was near now, and the knife in her hand was pushing against his chest.
She looked into his eyes, and for a moment it was as if they were alone in the world, the two of them, one incredibly handsome, the other breathtakingly beautiful.
Her voice was not quite steady as she gazed at him.
“You’ve never been with a woman?” she whispered.
“No,” Jon said gently. “My mother… she was a good woman, and a good Christian. She raised me up right, and I grew up hating immorality. Do you know why she left Obosomfie and never came back?”
Sophia shook her head, and she was unable to drag her eyes away from his face. This was the closest she had come to a man, apart from the fetish priests that she worked with at the shrine, and the old men at the palace. No man had ever been allowed to stand this close to her in conversation.
But from the very second she set eyes on this man of God, he had been different from all men, and affected her in a way that had frightened her, and was terrifying her right now.
“The knife is hurting me, Sophia,” Jon said calmly. “You better stab me with it, or take it down.”
Her hand trembled as she finally dragged her eyes to the point where the knife was digging into his chest.
“I’ll stab you, Jon Fii,” she said in an unsteady voice. “I’ll stab you to death.”
“Go ahead,” he replied calmly and took a step forward so that the knife dug deeper into his chest. “Go right ahead, Sophia, if that will make you feel better.”
The tip of the knife had penetrated his shirt, and she could see a trace of blood where it had nicked him, but the rainwater quickly diluted it. Sophia stepped back with a moan and dropped the knife. She raised troubled eyes to his gentle face once more.
“What are you doing to me, Jon Fii?” she whispered in a tragic voice.
Jon reached down and slowly held her hands in each of his.
“My mother was a princess here,” he said gently. “My father was a rich contractor who came to build a bridge to span the lake. He was a Christian, and he fell in love with the princess. They married right here, but my mother refused to leave Obosomfie because she was in line to be the queen. But, when I was born, she was told the gods wanted me to be the next fetish priest.”
She gasped and shook her head numbly.
“Oh!” she whispered with terror. “You’re the Bosomti! The head of the gods! The one whose mother carried her away?”
He nodded once.
“Yes,” he said with a smile. “She did not want me to be the Bosomti and get involved with all that evil, so she finally gave up her ambitions as the next queen and left this town. But she knew I would be troubled, and could be dragged back to work as the Bosomti, so from the moment she was free of this village, she and my father made sure that I was brought up well in the hand of the Lord. I’ve never strayed since, and the Lord’s eye has always been on me. So, Sophia, you’re now ruling on an evil throne that was meant for me.”
“Oh, Jon!” she whispered fiercely. “You rejected them! That’s why they’re so hellbent on having you, on killing you, on destroying you! Please, you don’t know what is in store for you! You must leave immediately!”
“I can’t leave,” he said with a gentle smile. “My God wanted me here to plant a church, and bring His people back to worship him. God wants me to help you come out of this evil, and that is exactly what I’m going to do!”
“You can’t save me!” she screamed and pushed him hard in the chest. “I sold my soul! If I move out of that shrine I’ll be dead! You’re going to die too! They want me to seduce you and take you to the tombs beneath the shrine where you’ll be forced to worship the devil! Go, Jon Fii!”
He looked at her, stunned, and this time he trembled a bit as he took a step nearer her again.
“You know what you’ve done, right?” he asked unsteadily.
“What?” she whispered.
“You revealed the plans of the evil hosts you serve,” he said calmly. “You were supposed to seduce me, and take me to this place of death. But you didn’t. You told me instead. Why, Sophia? Why did you do that?”
She could not look into his eyes.
Her eyes were fixed on his lips, and she noticed how the rain dripped off his chin. He noticed how the rain had moulded her dress to her amazing curves, how her nipples were sticking out of the dress, her breasts proud and undefiled.
“Go, Jon, please,” she whispered.
“Why did you reveal what you were supposed to do to me!” he almost shouted.
“I don’t know!” she screamed and finally looked into his face with a tragic look on her face. “I don’t know, Jon Fii, damn you! You confuse me! I hated you so much! I hated you with every last breath in my body! And I wanted you to die… but when we buried you in the grave, I wanted to take you out again! You make me feel what I have never felt! You make me wish I were just an ordinary girl, free to laugh and roam, to play in the rain… to have something different. Go, Jon, I beg of you!”
She turned hurriedly, but Jon caught her arm swiftly and drew her against him.
Without realizing what he was doing, without thought and conscious effort, he slipped his arms around her!
The gesture made him gasp because he had never done that before… and somehow, it felt right to have her in his arms as the rain beat down on them with renewed intensity.
“Let me go, Yaw Bosomfi,” Sophia whispered weakly against him. “I beg of you! I’ve committed an abomination by refusing to do that which I was ordered to do! Today, they almost killed me in the fire, and I know that when I go back there, I’ll surely die for my failure! But, you have made me feel something I’ve never felt before! It is enough, please. Let me go.”
“I will never let you go, Sophia,” he whispered.
There was a strange note in his voice that made her stiffen for a moment, and then she looked into his face, and gasped at the look of tenderness she saw there.
It was not that look of fevered lust that she was used to seeing on the faces of men that looked at her. This was a look that was quite pleasant to see, a look that made her heart flutter for the very first time, a look that spoke of trust, of warmth, of dependability, and yes, a hint of lust.
And, without meaning to, the fetish priestess of Obosomfie slipped her arms around the man’s waist and, for the very first time in her life, rested her cheek on his chest.
Without meaning to, his hand came up and gently smoothed down her hair.
None of them saw that far off, at the entrance of the shrine, ten old men wearing only calico cloth around their waists and holding long, white staffs, were lined up with eyes that glittered with pure evil!
And they did not know that far above them in the dark sky, the four evil entities that were joined at the hip were glowering down at them, and were descending swiftly with evil incarnate shrouding them!


THE MACHINE GUN PREACHER
SAVING SOPHIA
EPISODE 14
She raised her face slowly and looked up at him.
Her lips were parted, and her hands moved up on his chest gently, and then she shyly put them around his neck.
The rain fell off her dark face.
He saw how smooth her skin was, soft and unblemished.
Her long lashes were lying softly, her nose finely-chiselled. Her eyebrows had not been touched in any way, but they were long and curved, silky and beautiful. And her lips were full and luscious, oval and soft. The slight cleft in her elfin chin was lovely, her cheeks filled with blossoms as the rain slowly slid off them. Her ears were small and perfectly-formed, and they were not pierced because the priestess should not have any cut on her.
Her hair was dark and long, with a sodden lock falling across her beautiful forehead.
The young pastor’s right hand came up slowly, unsteadily, and he gently brushed the stubborn lock of hair off her brow, and at his touch her eyes opened finally, and she looked at him with the eyes of a lovely, young girl in the rain, a girl in the arms of a man for the very first time in her life.
They looked at each other like that.
“You confuse me, Jon Fii,” she whispered.
Without meaning to, his thumb moved slowly across her lips, and a slight frown creased his brow.
“All my life, I’ve never found a woman I desired,” he said gently. “I’ve never had a hunger for a partner. My passion had been the work of my Lord, and I was happy, comparing myself to the great apostles in the Bible whose love was so fierce that the company of a woman was an unwelcome intrusion.”
Her eyes roved his face, and he saw her face blossoming into the most amazing expression of delight as her cool fingers suddenly touched each side of his face.
“Likewise,” she whispered with a sad smile. “My heart had always been for them, the spirits, and the only time I had come close to a man had been to lure him to a disgraceful death, or a humiliation.”
“Is this one of those instances, Sophia?” he asked carefully. “This moment right here, with you in my arms and the rain on your face, when I feel like I want to hold you like this forever… are you luring me to death, still?”
And even in the rain, he saw the tears that bubbled in her eyes as she shook her head.
“No, Jon, no!” she said sadly. “This moment will always be dear to me. I wish, above all else, that times were different, that we met under peaceful conditions, under blissful settings. Boy meets girl, and magic happens!”
He took a deep shuddering breath.
“It can happen, Sophia, if you want,” Jon Fii said. “I know what I feel right now is confusing, but the Lord has always been in control of my life, and I want to believe that even now, He is in control of my emotions. If this is meant to be, then it is possible, and you must trust me to take you out of this.”
She put her hand across his lips suddenly and shook her head.
“No, Jon, please!” she cried fiercely. “This is madness! They will never allow me to leave, no, never! They’ll kill me first, and haunt you too, and eventually kill you! Whatever this is must end here!”
“No, Sophie,” he said gently.
She stiffened and suddenly tried to push out of his arms.
“Don’t call me Sophie!” she said fiercely. “No endearments, Jon, please. The name the gods gave me is not Sophia, Jon. I was given Sefiyo, the name of a fearsome goddess, but the villagers could not pronounce it well, and it eventually became Sophia, and I let them because, in a way, I hated that horrible name.”
“What name did your parents give you?” he asked gently.
She smiled then, and in her shyness she became the most exquisite human he had ever seen. She dropped her eyes and looked down at his chest.
“It’s okay, Jon,” she said.
“No, come on, tell me,” he insisted as he put a hand under her chin and raised her face again. “I want to know, please.”
“Nana Yaa Ahoufe,” she whispered, and then she giggled, just like a lovely, young woman.
“Apt,” he said wonderingly. “Nana Yaa the beautiful one. Regal. Royal, yes. Fits you to the bone, and the fact that you’re also a Thursday-born simply complements Yaw Bosomfi, doesn’t it?”
The smile died from her face and she shook her head once.
“You’re confusing me, Jon,” she said. “Don’t make me wish for things that can never be, please, don’t!”
“It can be, Naa Yaa!” he cried desperately as he put his arms across her shoulders and put his forehead to hers. “All these things that have haunted you are powerless against the God I serve! All you need to do is desire to leave them behind, and then I will lead you to salvation! You’ll be free, Naa Yaa! And this, this thing right here, can be something beautiful!”
“No, no, Jon, no!” she cried and began to struggle. “I don’t want to be responsible for your death, not anymore, please! You don’t know what you’re up against!”
He held her fiercely.
“Stop it, Naa Yaa!” he said desperately. “Don’t fight me! Stop it, please!”
He did not know why he was so desperate to hold on to her and take her out of the bondage she was in, and her wish to be free of him was hurting him in a way he had not thought possible.
He held her against him as she struggled, and then suddenly, she became still in his arms. Her body shook with tears, and her arms came around his neck as she held him fiercely.
And, in that heightened moment of personal turmoil and a furore of young, passionate hormones, none of them knew what happened, what prompted it, or what was really the catalyst.
It happened.
Their lips met, tentatively at first because it was a first for both of them, and then when the electric explosion hit and simmered down their hearts, their kiss became more explosive and urgent.
Pastor Bonifius Kwabla Atoklu, who had been chasing after Jon Fii with Bobo the Killer behind him, suddenly came to a stop when he saw them so close together and…kissing!
“Kakalika!” he said with horror. “Oh, my Lord Jesus help that boy!”
“Yo, pastor, yo!” Bobo screamed with sudden delight, jumped and punched the air. “Herh! That sassy and saucy witch always said no man could have her! Wanlahi, I wanted to rape her sometime ago and die! But look, abakade, pastor is chewing her mouth like Bosomfie grasscutter meat! Aboowa!”
“He just opened himself up for attack!” Pastor Kwabla said and suddenly began to run hard. “Fii, stop that, stop that right now, Fii! Kakalika, stop that nonsense right now, you bloody fool!”
Sophia felt her heart pounding with passion as he felt his lips on hers, his tongue probing hers. Her ears rumbled with the resounding blasting of her heart and the rush of her blood! She had never felt this hunger, never, no, not ever!
But even as her blood raced, she felt them behind her!
The four vindictive spirits!
She felt their pull, and heard their usual growl when they were displeased!
Fear blasted through her heart when she suddenly felt Jon Fii’s desire pushing against her lower belly, and she knew he was compromised! With a cry of fear, she pushed away from Jon and spun around!
And there they were, and they had changed now!
They had fused into one horribly huge, white devil with four heads and blood-red eyes! The four hands of this evil entity were several-jointed with serrated nails that looked like knives! Their four legs had several joints too, and a huge tail that resembled a striking mamba trailed from the monster!
Sophia had never seen it transformed like this before!
The four heads had white hair that looked like snakes, and their tongues were forked as they glared at her!
“YE SHALT PERISH!” they growled from four different voices. “THOU SPURNED US! WE SPURN THEE! BUT FIRST, THE FOOL DIETH, BECAUSE HE IS COMPROMISED!”
“No!” Sophia screamed and spread her arms wide as if protecting Jon Fii. “Leave him alone, please, I beg of you! Take me, kill me, but leave him alone!”
“Sophie?” Jon Fii groaned as he looked at her and saw the terror on her face, and then he looked around him with confusion. “What’s going on, Naa Yaa? Who are you talking to?”
She was looking into space and speaking as if she were addressing elements he could not see.
“Stay away, stay back, Jon!” she cried and pushed him behind her. “They’re here, Yaw Bosomfi! Run, please, run! They’ll kill you!”
“I am not running from any damn thing!” Jon said in confusion. “Come with me, please!”
He touched her hand, and she spun around to face him desperately.
“Jon!” she shouted with fear. “The demons I serve are here, and they’ve transformed into something fearsome. I can’t be responsible for your death, please, I beg of you! Get away from here!”
“Stop that this instant!” Jon Fii screamed. “I’m not leaving you alone!”
“YE FOOOOL!” the hideous demon boomed behind her, and then it suddenly slammed into the body of the fetish priestess. “YE SHALT DIE, PUNY MAN!”
“Jesus!” Jon whispered with horror when he saw how blood-red Sophia’s eyes had become, and how her hands had suddenly become like claws.
“HOW DARE YE TRESPASS ON OUR TOES WITH THY INIQUITY OF SIN, THY TRANSGRESSION OF A FORNICATING SPIRIT?” she said, and her voice was not that of Sophia at all, but the booming voice of something sinister, something that belonged to the sewers!
Suddenly, Jon felt his arm gripped from behind, and he spun around dazedly to see the horrified face of Pastor Kwabla.
“Jesus, Jon, she’s possessed by a demon of old!” the old man cried with horror. “Let’s get out of here!”
“No!” Jon Fii screamed. “This vile thing has no dominion over me! I’m soaked in the blood of my Lord!”
“You sinned, you fool!” Pastor Kwabla screamed. “Look down at yourself! You still have an erection!”
“Yes, I do, because I kissed a girl for the first time and got aroused!” Jon Fii screamed at the old man. “It is a sin, yes, desiring a woman I’m not married to, and yes, I’ve committed fornication in my heart! But I sinned against my God, and only He can punish me… not this vile thing that has possessed her!”
Sophia’s hands slashed across Jon Fii’s chest, the powerful blow lifting him high into the sky and slamming him down horribly on the ground!
Blood erupted from Jon’s mouth as he lay on his back, staring dazedly into the dark skies! He could barely breathe, but he turned around slowly on his hands and stared at the screaming, contorted face of Sophia as she walked like a monster towards him!
Her lips were drawn back in a ferocious snarl, her hands claw-like as she reached for him!
“Stay away, demon, in the name of Jesus!” Jon cried with anger. “My sin is against God, not you, and that does not give you dominion over me!”
“SINNER!” she growled. “FORNICATOR! ADULTERER! YE DIETH!”
She picked him up, raised him high in the sky, and slammed him sickeningly on the ground! Jon Fii could not breathe, and he felt his vision clouding!
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” Pastor Kwabla cried and touched Sophia’s shoulder. “I banish you, demons!”
Sophia struck him high on his head, and the old man flew into the air to slam hard on the ground!
“Ei!” Bobo screamed and rushed at Sophia. “You witch! I scatter you!”
His huge hands were bunched into fists, and his face was furious!
Sophia screamed at him and raised her claws, and Bobo spun around and began to ran away.
Jon Fii got to his knees groggily.
“Dear Father, your son has sinned against You, against your temple, for my sins of the flesh are against You! My sins are scarlet, and I do not deserve to gaze on Your countenance! But, from a sincere heart, I pray to You! Father, forgive me, for Your mercies are bountiful! Forgive my sins, wash me clean, and draw me closer to Your grace again! In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, amen!”
The monster was reaching down to tear Jon Fii to shreds when suddenly a bright light shot out all around Jon, blinding the demon and making it screech as it tottered back and crashed out of Sophia!
Jon opened his eyes and looked!
Sophia’s beautiful, frantic face was staring at him.
“Jon, it left my body, but it is here again!” she screamed. “You have… something around you, a sort of light… a glow! It can’t harm you! Please, go! Flee! Ran before it finds something to harm you!”
“It can’t harm us!” Jon Fii said.
“It has power over me!” Sophia screamed. “It can’t harm you, but you cannot harm it either because you can’t see…”
Suddenly, the demon blasted into Sophia again, and jumped high into the sky, back and away from Jon Fii.
“Sophie!” Jon screamed as he got to his feet!
Lord, how could a mere human being move into the skies like that?
Sophia crashed on the ground, near the entrance of the shrine, and again she was sucked high into the sky and out of sight!
Jon Fii began to race furiously towards the shrine!
The ten old men in the calico cloth pants suddenly drew swords from their staffs and began to move ominously towards Jon Fii!
“They’ll kill you, Jon!” Pastor Kwabla screamed weakly from the ground. “You don’t have the powers to deal with that demon! Jon! Listen to me, boy, kakalika! They’ll kill you!”
Jon barely heard him as he raced towards the shrine, and the killers met him with drawn swords…

CIA SUPPORT

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