THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 22
CAPO DI TUTTI CAPI
Location: GOLGOTHA HEIGHTS INT. CHURCH HEADQUARTERS
Hideous is still curled around his ankles, and the Shadow-Thing is still resting on the side of the Hummer, motionless, silent, and watching.
A little help here, God, please!
And then, thankfully, it happens!
From the other direction a motor-bike appears, approaching tentatively, its tiny horn blaring disconsolately. It is a pathetic cheap machine… but it is shrouded with the glorious force-field!
Saved again… but this time Yaw Boat knows that it is no coincidence!
Somehow, somewhere, a secret sympathizer is cutting him a few edges, pushing a few freebies down his way, helping him, answering some little prayers until – when?
Suddenly Boat’s feet are free as Hideous scampers for cover with a terrible screech of fear, shooting straight into the air in a frantic straight line!
Boat smiles nastily and looks at the side of the Hummer.
Shadow-Thing is long gone!
Suddenly Boat feels like jumping up and dancing or screaming out his joy! He is that elated!
The two cops are slightly crouched now, lips bared in that goofy way Boat has come to know, their eyes caged and full of fear as the motor rider approaches.
Yaw Boat propels himself to his feet and swings a right fist from the hip. It is a perfect upper-cut that sends the cop with the gun crashing down, unconscious even before he hits the ground.
The other cop drops his handcuffs and tries to reach for his gun. Boat’s shoulder crashes into him, and he flew backwards, his head going through the space left by the exploded window of the car in front of Boat’s burning car.
Boat staggers blindly forward, pushing and elbowing people out of his way.
The motor-rider is quite young. His face looks distraught, concerned and bewildered. He swallows with fear as Boat stumbles towards him.
He is obviously scared of this big, bloodied and dizzy man coming towards him.
Boat holds the handlebars of the bike and looks desperately at the young boy.
Listen, pal. I know you’re a good Christian. At this very particular moment in my life I need to see my father desperately. He is also a very good Christian. Do you think you can give me a ride to Golgotha Heights International Chapel?
He stares hard into Boat’s eyes, trying to allay his fears and to convince himself that Boat is being sincere and not speaking rubbish out of a crazed mind.
Never in his life has he been so sincere, and after a moment of inward debate the boy reluctantly nods slowly.
Okay, sir. Get on!
Thankfully Boat climbs unto the bike.
The young man turns it round and moves off.
Boat revels in the glow of the force-field, and allows it to wash over him. His head drops now and then to the rider’s shoulder, but the man doesn’t give any sign to indicate that he is offended.
Pain is a limb now, a constant companion that refuses to part from Boat. Fatigue weighs down heavily on him, and all he needs is a cold shower and a long sleep.
How he wishes for those days when he is king of the town, living without a care in the world, living life to the full each day.
But how ancient those days seem to him now; it is hard to believe that only twenty-four hours ago he has been free of all the mess he now finds himself in.
But he has defeated them, yes. It had been hard, real hard, but in the end he is headed where he wants to be. Evil has tried its best to stop him, but here is, riding to his father, protected by this young man and his force-field.
That makes sense, in a way.
Finally, they arrive at the church premises.
Golgotha Heights International, Headquarters.
It isn’t a building; it is a city.
Boat’s father had acquired the land when it was still virtually a forest on the outer fringes of Beach County, and he had only goal in his mind: to build a spectacular house for God.
With a long-term project in mind he had bided his time and developed it in stages. The end result is amazing. Golgotha slowly took shape, became a giant, and soon turned out to be an imposing edifice that decorates the whole region.
It has several well-structured flat-roofed buildings – administration blocks, sports complex, multi-lingual service blocks, baptismal pool areas, conference sections, recreational facility complexes, restaurants and play pens – that stretches as far as the eye can see.
The main entrance is decorated by a huge sculpture of Jesus hanging on the cross at Golgotha; it is encased in a circular glass structure that is erected on a spectacular octagonal fountain.
All these are separated by stretches of lush green grass, exotic plants and flowers, nicely-kept gardens, parks with benches and shades, beautifully-hedged walkways and smooth driveways, and given a supernatural aura by artistically-designed street lamps.
Small buses, luxurious trams and sleek sedans are neatly-parked on an ‘Official Vehicles Only’ car park where crowds of people headed for specific destinations on the premises can receive a free ride.
There is also a gigantic ‘Public Parking Lot’ and this is where the rider drops off Boat.
When Boat gets down he sees that the young man is looking at him with something close to pity on his face.
Fatigued, face-swollen, and incredibly dirty, he might have looked a sight as he fumbles out his wallet out of his back pocket.
I hope you find peace, mister.
Boat smiles wanly and pulls out clean bills.
I will, brother, hopefully I will find peace now.
Boat proffers the bills to the rider.
He looks at the money, bewildered.
Go on, take the money, my brother. Top up your gas and use the rest to chill. You’ve been a great help.
He eyes the money, and then looked at Boat sheepishly, but he makes no attempt to accept the money.
Boat sighs and pushes the bills into the boy’s top pocket and turns away.
Thank you, my boss. May God bless you!
The whole area is crowded as usual.
The evening services are obviously over and people are making their way to the car parks and to the roadside, chattering excitedly.
Evidently it has been a tremendous performance from Boat’s father, who has been the speaker that evening. From what Boat hears, it has been one of his ‘inspired’ fire-and-brimstone deliveries.
Although there is a General Overseer who is in charge of the Church, Joe Boat is really the power here. He owns the Church, and sometimes delivers the sermons.
He is a gifted preacher, and Boat has sometimes marvelled and been awed at how eloquent and really inspiring his father can be.
Mr. Joe Boat, multimillionaire, is one of the most powerful men in the world, and could have led a life full of fleshly enjoyment; he could have lived like a king, but instead he has devoted his life to serving God.
Boat walks through the crowd, pushing some people not so gently from his path. Several recognize hiim, and Boat can read the shocked disapproval on their faces, looks that condemns him for appearing in church looking the way he is, an obvious humiliation to his ‘divine’ father.
He pays no heed to them as he makes his way towards the row of church vehicles.
And then a voice explodes to his right, high-pitched, alarmed, and disapproving.
Yaw Boat! What happened to you? You look a sight! How could you-
She is approaching a side-entrance of the Executive car park, holding a pile of files in her arms.
Boat cuts in harshly, bitterly. He has just about had enough of everybody and everything jumping on him… plus, he has never really liked her anyway.
Where’s my father?
He’s at his private park, in here. He’s waiting for me. He’s been quite concerned about you all evening. Says you’re in some sort of trouble and he needs to see you. Come, let’s go.
She moves toward a small lighted gate that has a red neon inscription at the top that reads ‘Out of Bounds’.
A uniformed security guard opened the door for them and they go down a flight of stairs and then walks up a short lighted corridor that has a bigger door at the end.
This door opens unto a wide, underground parking lot.
Cars are revving up whilst others pull out.
Boat’s eyes scan the place quickly, and he sighs inwardly with great relief when he sees his father’s handsome profile across the row of cars.
He is standing with three men near his huge white Hummer.
One of the men with him is Chris Burns, the General Overseer of Golgotha Heights. The other two look vaguely familiar; Boat pays them no further heed.
Even from that distance he can see that his father is worried and in a hurry. He keeps glancing at his watch whist his right hand rests on the doors of his car, and his handsome face looks tense with worry for his son.
An overwhelming sense of peace floods Yaw Boat, and at that particular moment his love for his father soars, and he feels tears pricking his eyes.
Finally, he is here, and help is available.
Yaw Boat begins to trot towards his father, moving through rows of cars, ignoring the perplexed honks of reversing drivers who suddenly finds him in the way.
The distance between them closes until, thankfully, Boat is within touching distance of his father, who is still slightly turned from him, and one of the men with him touches him on the shoulder and points at Boat.
Mr. Joe Boat turns toward his, his face clearing of worry and filling up with relief when he sees his son.
(choked with passion)
Dad! Oh, Dad!
Boat’s arms are outstretching involuntarily, reaching out for help and solace… for peace.
Yaw… my dearest son!
Joe Boat’s lips forms the words, and his arms come up, ready to receive his son and hug him.
The three men are moving away, paving way for father and son, and just at the last moment before their bodies meet, Boat’s gaze wavers momentarily and settles on his father’s shadow which is thrown against the white body of the huge Hummer.
Jesus, dear Lord,.. that shadow!
The shadow of the outstretched arms of his father, thrown out sharply against the Hummer, have only three fat fingers on them!
Boat’s horror-stricken eyes traced that shadow downward, from the body of the Hummer, to the floor, to where it joins his father’s feet.
Three huge legs …spiky protruding objects on its body…
Boat’s eyes go back to the shadow thrown across the body of the Hummer… no head, because it is too huge, and the head disappeared on the black background of the windows.
But, dear sweet Lord, it is it!
It is the damn Shadow-Thing…
And it is living inside his father!
Yaw Boat comes to a halt, too stunned to move, and at that particular moment he dies!
Yaw Boat’s heart dies!
His world dies!
His heart stops beating for a spell, and his eyes almost shoot clear out of their sockets.
Boat’s father grabs his arm in a vice-like grip.
He is a big man, and he is strong.
Boat’s mind is just about to explode; there they are, face to face at last, father and son, blood lines, next of kin… lovers from a pure strain.
Boat simply can’t breathe.
His legs buckle, and if it hadn’t been for his father’s firm grip on his arm, Boat would’ve crashed to the floor in his horror.
The terror he feels, the fear, the agony, is not like any he has ever known …so completely paralysing!
From now on, son, you can’t trust anybody. Evil is all around you, and once you’ve been chosen, believe me that these terrible forces will not let you go that easily!
How right he has been.
Oh, how right!
And then, suddenly, without warning, the second horror hits Yaw Boat as he looks at his father’s face!
Joe Boat’s eyes are a boiling, violent rainbow!
Conflicting, dirty colours roll in his eyes, from one shade to the next, a crippling, maddening spectrum of different colours!
Yaw Boat begins to weep bitterly as he watches his father’s face.
He just wants to die!
His father is also a vessel!
Judging by the changing colours of his horrible rainbow eyes, it seems his father is occupied not only by one demon… but a host of demons!
A Legion of Demons!
Because, blazing on his father’s forehead – thick, bloody, dripping, ominous, terrifying – dirtier than any he has seen so far, is the mark of the beast!
Location: GOLGOTHA HEIGHTS INTERNATIONAL CHURCH
Death has finally found Yaw Boat in his most vulnerable place… the arms of love!
A strange calmness slowly spreads over him.
Boat doesn’t know where it came from, but at the moment his heart almost gives up, the calmness begins to roll all over his soul, a detached balm that feels like drinking the coldest glass of water in the heart of the Sahara Desert.
Through the fog in his brain he is aware that if he becomes further traumatized, even one degree more terrorized, he will go insane.
The mysterious peace spreads through him, settling his nerves, forcing him to accept what has happened, and face it with all its ugly implications.
His own sweet loving father!
The only person he loves more than himself, his hero.
A man considered as one of the most powerful men of God, blessed multimillionaire… a man who has always showered Boat with nothing but pure love.
Where does reality end, and insanity begin? Is it a dream he will wake up from and find it his father there to cradle him and assure him that everything is okay?
Nothing will be okay ever again.
A lot of things suddenly make sense to Boat.
How else could Samson Basoah have gotten away with possible murder, and maintained that terrible temple in the house of a renowned man of God?
And Samson Basoah has played along, feeding Boat’s ignorance, not letting Boat know the father he loves so much is also a part of the deadly game, the main fulcrum in the machinery around which everything else revolves.
Who are these people, and what plans do they have for him? What will happen to him? More importantly what does his father plan to do to him?
How can it be possible that this man he loves so much can be a part of this? As the fire-preaching man of God isn’t he supposed to be opposed to such evil? How come then, that his very soul is the seat of a terrible three-legged horned monster?
What the hell is going on?
Deep down in Boat’s heart is the hurt, the agony, the crippling panic that is caused by his feeling of helplessness, but he knows he can’t let it take over now.
Whatever happens from now Boat knows that he is going to lose a father, the only person who matters to him, but the terrible unbearable ache from that will come later, if there is going to be a ‘later’, that is.
A million unanswered questions plagues Boat’s mind, threatening to consume him, but these too can wait. If, by some strange intervention, he is able to survive this and meet Paul Anderson, everything will be made clear and maybe, just maybe, the agony of pure love betrayed by no other but his loving father will not totally tear him apart.
Yaw Boat thus forces himself to look into those infernal eyes – eyes that constantly explode into different colours – and then he tries to tug free from his father’s grip.
Let go of me.
His voice is raised. He doesn’t know whether he is speaking to his father, or the beast within the man. He just knows that he has to get away from this man.
Boat yanks his arm hard, trying to break his father’s hold on him, but he is as strong as a thousand Samsons, and his grip is one of iron.
Be still, son! Be calm. Everything is going to be alright. Just trust me, my son.
Trust you? Trust you? I’ll rather die first!!
It comes out as a wild shout, and he hears the audible intakes of breath from the three men with his father.
(with a horrified screech)
Yaw Boat! Really!
She sounds like an affronted nun.
Joe Boat smiles sheepishly at the three men and the other people who have appeared from nowhere; they are evidently other senior men in the church, and have been drawn to the scene by the sound of Boat’s high-pitched voice.
My son has been under a terrible strain lately. Please, excuse his behaviour.
He speaks with the wounded expression of the hurt pious father whose son keeps going wayward.
One of the men with him speaks; he is a white-haired.
Of course, Mr. Boat, of course. We understand.
All of them cannot, however, keep their stunned eyes from Yaw Boat’s face.
Let’s go home now, son.
And that is what finally breaks Yaw Boat’s heart completely.
That show of extreme love which he has relied on all his life, and which he is just finding out is laced with something much more potent and evil.
It breaks his heart and, try as hard as he can, he just can’t stop the tears from stinging his eyes, and spilling slowly down my cheeks.
Boat screams at his father then, unable to hold back the pain and the helplessness, the dejection and the unbearable agony.
I’m your bloody son! I love you! I love you more than anything, ANYTHING, Daddy! Why the fuck are you doing this to me?
For a moment – a very brief moment – Joe Boat’s eyes clear, and his grip on his son’s arm slackens.
Boat catches a glimpse of him then, his real father, way back down there, face tortured, real pain mirrored in his soul. But it is just for a fraction of time.
Let’s go home, son.
Joe Boat looks over Boat’s shoulder, nodding to somebody behind him.
Boat turns his head.
It is Samson Basoah.
He is immaculately dressed as usual, looking as huge as a mountain, but his face shows the bruises of the fight he has had with Boat.
Riding high across Samson’s shoulders is a gloomy-faced Hideous.
Joe Boat addresses the gaping church elders.
(in a pain-filled voice)
If you’ll excuse us, gentlemen, I have to take my son home. I’ll see you all tomorrow.
With words of solace and support to Joe Boat they turn in singles and twos and head for their vehicles and for the entrance. They have scorching looks for Boat, looks of loathing and distaste, blaming him obviously for making their hero’s world a living hell.
Panic grips Boat as they began to disperse.
He will be left alone with his father and his demons!
Boat begins to struggle furiously again, and his father has to hold him with two hands.
(screaming, frightened, desperate)
No, please, don’t leave me! Oh, please, please! Stop! Don’t let them take me away… they’re going to-
He doesn’t finish.
His father steps forward sharply, and Boat doesn’t see his left hand coming up until he chops Boat viciously in the throat with the edge of his left hand.
Boat gasps with acute pain. He grabs his throat as he sags, making choking noises as he struggles to breathe, tears of pain blinding him.
As Boat falls he sees Miss Bondzie’s ashen face.
She is staring at Joe Boat with something approaching horror.
She has seen the savageness with which he has struck his son, and she is horrified!
She has never seen him like that before, and has never expected her to ever hit out at his son because he loves Boat so much!
To her, and many others, Joe Boat is an angel personified.
Her hands are now pressed to her heart, and her eyes are bulging with horror.
Boat’s body goes through spasms as he fights for breath and consciousness, and his agony is doubled because of the emotional pain of that blow.
Physically it is painful, but deep down in his soul it tears his heart to shreds. He knows then that his link with his father is severed, maybe for ever.
He falls on his hands and knees, then on his side, and finally he rolls over on his back.
His father towers above him, and for another brief instant that horrible mark disappears from his forehead, and the crazy eyes recede too.
This time Boat clearly sees the pain-filled face that looks down at him. The face of a shattered soul, a lost man calling for help, a father tortured by what he is doing to his son.
Boat sees real pain, raw agony and remorse, and it finally sinks in to him that somehow it isn’t his father who is doing all these things… the demons in him are now running things, suppressing his father and taking over.
Almost with a rush Boat sees that thing within is father is taking over again, the mark blazing furiously, the eyes changing colours more rapidly, blazing death!
The Shadow-Thing inside his father is mad!
It had not liked the way Joe Boat has submerged its dominance, even if for a brief moment!
That tells Boat something else, and makes him accept what is happening more rationally.
Somehow, the person looming over him has his father’s face and features, but he is not the real Joe Boat. Somewhere deep there, lost and screaming, Joe Boat still exists, but his will is submerged, pushed down and trodden on. That is why Boat has seen the shadow of the beast, and not that of his father Dad.
Samson Basoah is bending over Boat. His coat parts, and Boat sees the gun in his shoulder holster.
Hope. Fight. Never give up!
Never ever give up!
These are beasties with fangs, Goliaths with a mean spirit.
Can’t afford to let them to have him, because they’re gonna maim him goooood!
Samson grabs Boat’s shirt to haul him up, and Boat pushes upward, his hand reaching furiously, angrily for the butt of the gun.
He yanks it out and rolls away, gaining his feet and releasing the safety. Blindly, without pausing, he fires in the general direction of his antagonists.
Samson dives for Joe Boat, pulling him down behind the body of a sleek black Lexus.
Yaw Boat is running again, as fast as his agonized legs can carry him. He hits the exit door with his shoulder, races along the short corridor, goes up the stairs and exits on the Public Parking Lot.
There are still a lot of people milling around, and when they see the gun in his hand they begin to flee and shout.
The startled security man at the gate tries to draw the gun strapped at his waist. boat closes the gap between them as as he quickly reverses the gun. He brings the butt down hard against the security man’s temple, and he collapses with a throaty ‘guusha’ kind of sound.
Boat jumps over his inert form and races blindly towards the main gate.
A harsh street lamp is behind him now, elongating his shadow on the concrete floor, and as he runs he sees another shadow looming large on the ground, behind him, the horned head racing past Boat’s shadow, hands balled.
Once again Boat steel’s himself for the blow, but when it comes it is once again still unexpected, still terrible, still excruciating.
It smashes against his back, causing spittle and drops of blood to spew out of Boat’s mouth as he falls. Boat crashes to the floor, banging his head hard on the ground, and the gun goes skittering under the parked cars.
Dazed, Boat lies on the ground as a large number of people began to gather around him.
To be continued…
©Aaron Ansah – Agyeman
All Rights reserved.