THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 37
® 20+ SNVL
THE LEGION REIGNS
The dog’s head came up, but was stopped short by the restraining muscles of the man, but again Bruno shook his head savagely and pulled in maddened fury.
The man screamed again, and this time his clenched fists beat helplessly against the huge head of the dog, his continuous wail a terrible sound that tortured my eardrums.
What was probably the whole of the man’s stomach and entrails were clutched in the dog’s mouth. I was dimly aware that Nicole was screaming behind me, and I was aware that the dark liquid spreading in the dim light was the man’s blood.
The man just couldn’t stop screaming.
Strangely, in that moment of confusion I wanted him to stop screaming more than I wanted to deal with the evil demons.
His screams were that bad, and they made me feel crushingly inadequate.
You vile thing!
And then the dog whirled round and saw me for the first time.
I stared into its baleful eyes, and then I saw a flicker of surprise, or fear, and then it charged me.
It jerked suddenly to a stop, as if it had ran into an invisible wall. Its eyes swept from side to side, desperately seeking an escape route.
And then it whimpered, and began to cower.
There’s nowhere to flee to, you vile piece of s***!
As it cowered I began to move toward it.
Yaw, be careful!
She moved forward and suddenly clutched my upper arm. I glanced at her, my concentration broken.
That split second was all that the Legion needed. With a growl it bounded forward, away from me, straight at the pastor and his wife.
Screaming, the two of them fell down on the bed. The body of the dog crashed into the tall French windows behind them, shattering them, and then it was out unto a small terrace.
I shook myself free of Nicole and bounded after it.
I was aware that I was running barefoot over broken glass, but I felt no cuts. The dog vaulted over the railing and fell off.
I followed, and leapt off the railing.
The dog’s head seemed to twist round entirely and glared up at me. The anger was the adrenaline that drove me forward.
Gone was the fear. The only thing I wanted to do was to get hold of it and tear it to pieces.
We fell two floors unto the soft green grass below. The dog whirled at me, growling, and saw the look on my face. It took frantic steps back, its growls reduced to whimpering again. I was still crouching, and my right hand came up, pointing at it.
You vile s***! This night you shall know the power of the Lord.
Basically that was all I got out.
Suddenly Bruno’s neck began to elongate. It was as if a giant had taken hold of his head and was pulling it off.
I knew I had to act, to do something, but I was once again paralyzed by the sheer evil of what I was seeing. The dog’s neck became longer and narrower as its head was forcibly pulled outward.
And then the huge head was torn off the dog’s body. It fell on the grass, rolled a few feet, and came to a stop, tongue still beating rapidly in its delayed agony throes.
The body of the dog fell, blood pumping out of its neck, its legs jerking spasmodically, its tail beating a rapid tattoo on the grass.
There was a flap of wings above me, and I looked up to see a huge crow … the big ugly white crow … passing just over my head.
And then, thrown vividly against the wall, I saw that shadow – the same three legged, three-fingered horned piece of garbage – and it was moving swiftly.
The shadow of the crow was also thrown against the wall, and the Shadow-Thing leapt. It merged with the crow, and with another mighty thrust of its wings it swung savagely away, gaining height in a kind of diagonal flight.
And I watched it go.
I saw its crimson eyes staring down balefully at me as it rose higher and higher into the night sky.
I could have commanded it down. I could have transported my soul out of my body and gone after it. I could have done a dozen things right.
Instead my limp body stayed on the grass, and my stomach lurched as I vomited all over the green mass and on my own right foot.
There was no strength left in me. All the energy had left my body, and I fell down limply.
My body began to shake hard. My breath was short, and more sweat poured off me.
My stomach lurched again, and I vomited some more.
I tried to push it away, but I couldn’t.
Yes, I had seen those eyes, and beheld what that thing was capable of doing. My confidence suddenly deserted me, and I had very serious doubts now about my ability to stand another encounter with that demon.
I didn’t know how long I stayed crouched down in the grass whilst the screams of the gutted man washed down to me through the broken window.
The nightmarish stupor only left me when I heard the sirens.
Medical staff … and cops!
I got to my feet instantly.
I dragged Bruno across the grass to the edge of the trees, and came back for his head. By the time I got to the edge of the trees again the ambulance had rolled into the yard and white-clothed medical guys were getting out their gear.
When I returned to the house I saw Bonner and Paul Anderson Junior walking toward me.
The young Paul was holding a shovel.
Thought you might need this.
Bonner said gravely, indicating the shovel with a slight thrust of his head. The harsh lines of his face revealed the deep sorrow he was feeling.
Who’s that man? How’s he doing? Will he pull through?
I asked as I took the shovel from the trembling hands of the young man
His name was Bruce Andoh. He was one of our pastors. He was stationed at Apremdo. We recalled him for re-posting because he ran into some headaches with the local congregation. He reported last night, and we were going to meet him this morning, you know, point out a few of his shortcomings and stuff like that before posting him to another assembly.
I shuddered and exhaled, staring at him with my face all screwed up.
He bled to death. Do what you got to do, Yaw. The cops’ll be here pretty soon.
For a moment I stared at him, my gaze questioning.
The cop – if it is that Chief Inspector Frost – might want to know how the dog died. Just bury Bruno, and we’ll tell him you shot him with Andoh’s gun. I figured that a blast in the neck from a double-barreled gun might just explain the decapitated head of the dog.
I stared at him dumbly.
He had not even seen Bruno’s body, but he knew how the dog had died.
He was a Seer.
You saw what happened.
(nodding his grey head)
I saw. I just think it might be a little awkward explaining what really happened to the dog to Frost. He’s a pagan who believes in evolution. God doesn’t figure in his scheme of affairs.
I thought the cops here were selected by some special kind of council, and that they were all Christians. Explains why Portville has one of the lowest crime rates ever.
Frost’s good at what he does. He was transferred here after he lost his wife. A demented man he sent to jail was released on parole and the first thing he did was follow Frost’s missus to a supermarket and strangle her. The murdering devil claimed in court later that he was a self-proclaimed Messiah of God sent out to clean the world of filth, but actually he was a mad man through and through. We thought having Frost here would give us the opportunity of turning him toward God, but the loss of his wife affected him too much, and now he believes all Christians are criminals underneath. Would’ve been unfair to request that he be transferred out of Portville again after fruitlessly trying to convert him for years. We still have hopes that one day he would turn out a true believer. Remember to handle the shotgun when you get it. You have to get your fingerprints on it.
I stared at him a moment longer, and then I nodded with understanding.
I turned and left them.
The hole I dug was deep, and I pushed Bruno into it gently. I had to lean forward to drop the head, and then I covered it up, stomping all over it to give it a good solid look.
Finally I stood back and surveyed my handiwork, nodded with satisfaction, and then headed back toward the house.
From far away I heard the sirens again, and I wondered if Chief Inspector Frost was on his way to the grounds.
It was time to get my fingerprints on the shotgun.
Police Chief Inspector Jack Frost turned out to be a tall narrow man who chain-smoked.
Even at dawn he was impeccably dressed in a dark suit, clean shirt, grey tie and a dark Stetson. His long narrow face was completely cold, and his dark eyes were sharp, at times appearing to be staring straight into one’s soul.
There were huge bags underneath his eyes, and his complexion had the dark glint of one who spent a lot of hours outdoors. He didn’t take off his hat, but I saw that he was graying at the temples. I put him in his late fifties.
Chief Inspector Jack Frost was not only cold and apparently competent, but also a very hard man indeed.
His assistant was Sergeant Kweku Abbiw.
He was the complete opposite of Frost. Short, fat, pot-bellied and wearing a crumpled dark trousers and a green cardigan over yellow shirt which poked out unfashionably underneath his cardigan simply because the cardigan was inches too small for his obese frame.
He had a double chin, was bespectacled – he had one of those glasses which had round thick lenses which made the eyes appear recessed and foxy – and had the annoying habit of licking his lips rapidly and poking the tip of his tongue through his lips as he listened or thought of something.
I was in the shower when Junior came and told me they had arrived and were waiting in the living-room. I dressed quickly and stepped out.
Bonner had organized a quick meeting where we had all agreed on what to say, and when I entered the living-room I sought out the old man. He was sitting in a manual wheel-chair by the tall French windows, and he gave me a little nod as the cops moved toward me.
I could feel the fear in that room.
Pastor Anderson and his wife were sitting in a wide sofa, and Nicole perched on the arm of the seat and was holding unto her mother’s hand. She had pulled on a white bathing robe over her negligee, and she cut a spectacular figure even at that time of day.
The servants were huddled close together, still shaking.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
Mr. Yaw Boat. I recognize you. You killed the dog. We have the gun. Would you please step outside with me for a moment?
As we made our way toward the door Nicole and Bonner began to rise at the same time.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
No, you stay here.
His lips barely moved, and he didn’t break stride, but the authority was there in his voice. I understood then why Bonner had been so apprehensive about him.
He was a hard uncompromising man.
I noticed that their police sedan was huge and clean.
Black, powerful … a man’s car.
His deputy spoke behind me suddenly, startling me.
I had not seen him behind me.
Would you mind stating your name, address, age and purpose in Portville for the record, sir?
His voice was a screechy discord that I disliked immediately.
I reeled off the information.
Frost walked across the lawn, paused, and spoke with his back to me.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
Tell me what happened, Mr. Boat.
It was basic.
The dog had gone mad, probably rabid. Its bark had woken me up, I had rushed into the pastor’s room, and found Bruce Andoh about to shoot it.
His bullets had missed, and the dog had attacked him. It had then jumped out of the windows. I had taken Andoh’s gun, rushed outside and found the dog on the lawn. It had tried to attack me and I had shot it.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
Where did you shoot it, Mr. Boat? Head, chest, body?
As he spoke he was turning to face me, the shadows and the hat making his face almost invisible. He reminded me of one of the hit men in some of the old gangster clips, the James Cagney kind of movies.
I don’t really know. I think it took both bullets in the head. It was almost on me, see, and I had just a split second to react.
The words seemed to drag through my teeth.
Suddenly some of my confidence seemed to erode, and I found myself somewhat on the defensive.
I guessed Frost was that kind of man; he wasn’t really huge, but he had an imposing presence.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
What happened next?
His voice was still soft, but the in the semi-shadows his eyes seemed to glint.
I buried it. The family loved him very much, especially Junior, and I figured it might be a good idea to bury it before they saw him the way he was.
A mad dog chews a man for dinner and you bury it? Boy, talk about the age of dumbness. Did it ever occur to you that there’s such a thing as police procedure in cases like these and that there’s such a thing as collecting evidence and ascertaining facts prior to writing reports? Did it even occur to you that in circumstances like these it is always necessary to find out what happened to the dog so that preventive measures could be taken, especially if it turns out that whatever happened to it could or have already affected other dogs, hmm?
It took all my self-control from swinging round and burying a fist into his gut.
Instead I shrugged in what I hoped was a self-deprecating way, and smiled nervously.
Well, I don’t know, I wasn’t thinking right I guess. I didn’t think it was a crime, you know. Just thought it was an unfortunate affair. Sorry. The grave is right there on the edge of the trees. Maybe you would like to have it opened up again?
A STRANGE TOUCH
Frost took quick steps toward me and stopped within touching distance.
As tall as he was, he stood almost a whole head shorter than I was, and a lot leaner.
I could probably have taken him out if it ever came to that, but he still gave that impression of a man totally in control of himself, and I felt slightly at a disadvantage.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
I hate smart-ass guys, Mr. Boat. Those Christian freaks in there are lying, and so are you. Bruno rabid? Horses***! That dog’s probably the fittest and healthiest pet in the whole of Portville. And the friendliest too. Been known to take to every kid. Incidentally the Vet that takes care of our police dogs also attends to Bruno, and I called him before coming here. Turns out that Bruno had his shots only a month ago, and rabies vaccination was one of them. You’re all a bunch of f****** liars, that’s what you are. Now, tell me what the **** really happened.
I put my hands into my pocket.
Now he was on my home turf, playing hardball. He might be mean, but I had had run-ins with tougher cops.
Being in Portville, with all its delicate trimmings and washed outlook had floored me for a while, but now I welcomed his animosity and moved toward it.
It helped clear my head, and for that I was secretly grateful.
Didn’t your Vet also tell you that those shots aren’t a guarantee that a dog can’t go bonkers? Maybe it wasn’t rabid. Maybe it had some tumors in the brain, or it got infected with something toxic. I don’t know; the possibilities are huge. All that I know is that it went crazy, attacked a man, tried to chew me up and I shot it.
And that’s why you should’ve left the body here and not buried it, a****le.
There was so much a man could take, and I swirled on him so fast that he jumped back, his jowls shaking with alarm. I saw the sudden fear in his magnified eyes, and that was enough for me.
I won’t warn you a second time, Sergeant.
I had the satisfaction of seeing him swallow.
I saw him struggling to come out with a sharp retort, to reaffirm his authority, but he cast a quick look at Frost first, and suddenly I understood it all.
Abbiw was the boy who had always been accused of lacking character. Working with the hard-hitting Frost might be a great challenge to him.
Frost was probably his hero, possessing the kind of quiet toughness that Abbiw so envied, and as a result he was what he was: a weak man trying desperately to ride the tides.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
The dog indeed attacked Andoh, which I don’t dispute. What I don’t understand is why a gentle docile dog would suddenly go berserk. But that’s all for now, Mr. Boat. But do stick around ‘cause you’ll hear from me again. C’mon, Abdul.
Abbiw was searching for a parting jab, and I glared at him. He tried to hold my gaze with a tough one of his own, but after a moment he turned round and followed Frost, his fat ass jiggling.
Only when the lights of their sedan vanished around the curve in the path did I breathe easy.
He didn’t buy it, did he?
I almost jumped at the sound of Bonner’s voice.
I turned round quickly, a little disconcerted.
My nerves were drawn taut, and the incident with Andoh and Bruno was still playing havoc with my senses.
Sorry, son, didn’t mean to startle you.
He gave a mighty sneeze.
He fumbled a huge handkerchief out of his breast pocket and blew his nose.
Coming down with a cold, I think. Nasty weather. Beware of Jack Frost – he’s a tough one.
I know. He didn’t buy our story. You know what, I had the strange feeling that he knew exactly what happened.
The old man nodded.
Maybe he did, but I doubt it. He’s aware that something heavy went down, but he’s also convinced that there was no evil motive behind it, or that any of us had anything to do with it. In his own way he respects the secrets of the church.
There was a little silence between us.
So what now?
I shuddered in the sudden chill.
He sneezed again, discharging a thin trail of phlegm down his right nostril.
He took out his hankie and carefully wiped it off.
We wait, son. Paul and his wife are understandably freaked out, and I want you to keep a keener eye on them. We want you to have an upstairs room next to theirs. He’s afraid to step out, but he can’t hide forever. The congregation needs him. The Legion will be back, of course, and that’s why you have to be with them all the time. I better get inside now; the weather ain’t helping my cold none.
We walked toward the door together.
The Legion is not a priority, son. You failed your call today.
He spoke suddenly, for a moment disorienting me with his sudden change of topic.
I stopped and looked at him, and I was alarmed at the quick anger that flooded me. It was anger born out of secret guilt, I knew, because ever since Andoh died I had been having troubled thoughts.
I felt as if there was something I could’ve done – something really important – but I had missed it.
Now wait a moment, Pastor Bonner! What are you talking about?
He faced me.
You’re in the battle zone now, son, never forget that. A man was down, dying, and you went after the Legion which was fleeing. Your fight with the Legion is secondary. Next time stay with the victim; you could’ve done a lot for him.
What’re you talking about? The man’s stomach had been chewed away, and he was bleeding badly. What possibly could I have done about it?
Without a word he held up his hand, and I saw a razor blade glinting in his left hand. Without warning his hand dove down, and he sliced the razor blade on the back of his right hand which was holding unto the cane.
Hey, s***! What did you do that for?
I shouted with horror, taking a step back, sick to my stomach.
Blood spouted across the back of his hand, pouring down the sides. He transferred the cane to his left hand and held out his bleeding hand, thrusting it at me.
(voice like a whiplash)
Take my hand! Now!
I took his bleeding hand, covering it with my right hand. I felt a tingle in the palm of my hand, something like a slight burning, like the pain you feel when steam from the kettle flashed across your skin briefly.
He drew his hand away and rubbed the back of his hand – the bleeding one, the one he had cut with the razor – vigorously down the front of his gown, and then he held it out again.
The skin had closed. It was old and gnarled, puckered with age, yes … but there was no wound, no razor cut, and certainly no more blood.
I looked down at my hand.
My palm was still covered with his blood.
It was a staggering moment, and I felt very faint and sick. I took faltering steps backward, sudden sweat forming on my face.
You underestimate the power God has given you, boy. Your gift is unique. You’ve been given so much power, more than any Unblind I have ever met! You even have the gift of healing!
Stay away from me! Just stay the **** away from me!
I turned and walked quickly away from him. I faintly heard the door closing, and figured he had gone inside.
I sank to my knees slowly to the grass, feeling the dawn dew soaking into the knees of my trousers. I took great wheezing breaths. I was choking, and my head was bursting. I felt the stickiness in my clenched fist.
Broken skin, somehow healed again!
Suddenly, overcome with a blinding ache, I brushed my hands on the wet grass furiously, wanting – needing – to have his blood off me, every little trace of it!
Dear Lord, what’re you doing to me … what the hell is happening to me?
Cool fingers suddenly touched the nape of my neck. Soft sweet feminine perfume flooded me – jasmine, yes, jasmine.
Nicole. Yes, it is her behind me.
… a man was down, dying, and you went after the Legion which was fleeing. Your fight with the Legion is secondary. Next time stay with the victim; you could’ve done a lot for him…
Oh God, no!
To be continued…
© – Agyeman
All Rights Reserved.