THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 50
Hey, wait a bloody second, you mean sonofabitch!
The Angel of Death didn’t seem to hear me because I felt its constricting presence under me, lifting me up and away from my body as people were rushed out of the reception area of the hotel.
My body was suspended, tilted sideways toward the pool.
I could see that my legs were twisted at very awkward angles, and my head was indeed split into two with some gooey white stuff spilling out; brain matter, more like.
Move into the water, goddamn it!
And then, as if it had heard me, my body began to roll, slipping off that concrete slope by some gravitational force, sliding by painstaking miniscule grades as my soul rose higher and higher, and the Angel of Death placed his hands on me, lifting me away slowly … and then my bullet-riddled broken body splashed into the swimming-pool.
I almost heard the eerie sigh of the strange being bearing me away, and then he seemed to drop me and ascended gradually without my soul…
And then I was falling, easing my way through the water, seeing my bloodied body sinking slowly toward the floor of the pool. My soul smashed into my body, and we became one again.
Mercifully everything blacked out immediately, but not before I had seen the Angel of Death moving slowly toward the skies, and then disappearing into the clouds.
I came to a choking awareness.
I tried to breathe, and got a jolt as water rushed through my nostrils.
My eyes sprang open and my limbs flailed.
I was still in the pool … but I was moving.
I was moving!
I held my breath and brushed my hands over my head, expecting to feel the gaping wound where the bullet had split the skull open, but nothing. No pain, no wound.
My hands were all over my chest and stomach. Nothing! But I had hit hard concrete, hard enough to break all the bones in my body.
But I was whole!
But then there was crimson all around me. The water was filled with blood, evidence that I had entered it fatally wounded.
Damn me to ashes, it had worked!
But I was drowning.
My exhilaration was so complete that I had forgotten for a moment that I was in the swimming pool. Already I felt movement above me and looked up. About three people were coming down toward me, obviously a rescue party.
I kicked upward, swerving them, and surfaced.
I looked into the dark sky and felt like hollering my head off. I gasped painfully for breath and as the would-be rescuers surfaced alongside I grabbed the concrete edge of the pool and pulled myself out of the water.
A sizeable crowd had gathered even at that late hour. A few hotel security were around too, and their faces were so filled with disbelief and shock.
AN OBESE WOMAN
(explaining to a young couple)
My God, he jumped from the top floor! Of all the silly things to do! These young men are mad!
A THIN MAN
No, no, no! He didn’t jump! I was in that chair! He fell on the concrete, and his body was broken! There was blood all over him! That man should be dead!!
There was confusion, and I walked quickly out, heading for the sliding glass doors.
Sir, sir, I think you ought to come with us. What you did is certainly against hotel regulations.
I glared at him.
I was entering the reception area, and could see from the clock above the long mahogany desk that it was three in the morning.
I’m sorry, but believe me, you don’t want to detain me.
They paused, about four of them, looking puzzled.
There’re bullet holes in your shirt, sir! I really think you should come with us!
I glanced down at my wet clothes.
Hell, you’re right, dude, I got bullets holes in my fucking shirt.
He wanted to pursue it, but one of them – a tall, lean man – grabbed his arm and shook his head.
The huge car park was almost empty, but my Chrysler was parked where we had left it the previous night.
Hideous was splashed on the roof of the car, tentacles spread luxuriously.
It was the demon that saw me first, I guess. It suddenly balled itself into a quivering little ball, and its one pink eye turned to me, filled with sudden panic. Its haunches were tensed below its body, ready for flight.
I pointed a finger at Hideous.
You keep still, motherfucker!
It hissed, its fear sending out a repulsive odour from its body.
My wrath was so full it was choking me.
You piece of shit! Just burn! In the name of Jesus Christ just fucking explode!
I saw the intensified panic in its eye, and heard its wail of frantic pain a brief second before bloated and shattered into smithereens, and I got a lifetime of satisfaction from that sight.
I laughed maniacally as the pieces of Hideous began to burn, and heard its screams of abject pain and horror.
Oooohhh yeaaaaahh! That ones for Bob, you motherfucker!!
My car keys were still in my pocket, and I deactivated the alarm and got in the car.
My turn was tight, and I shot out of the car park.
Once more the chase was on, and this time I was armoured.
I had seen death. I had chatted with death, and it had turned out to be something terrible, something scary, something diabolic. They had killed me, and I had returned from the verge of death.
The wrath was a bitter feeling in my gut.
I was so angry that I wished those demons were facing me now.
Luckily I still had one old habit I hadn’t quite gotten to quitting yet.
In my former life of drugs and sex I always kept a small airtight briefcase in my car containing two sets of clothes.
It was one of the codes of the professional player: always keep nice clothes nearby for you wouldn’t know when you might need to change quickly to impress.
I parked the car on a lonely stretch of road, got out, walked to the boot and brought out the briefcase. I stripped off my wet bullet-ridden clothes. The dark suit, silk blue tie and the matching silk tie still bore the sharp lines of the iron and the folds, and I rubbed my hands down them a number of times to restore some sanity to the curves.
I applied some deodorant, dressed quickly, and splashed some perfume on me.
I stuffed my wet clothes into the briefcase again, and then I got back behind the wheel, started up and drove fast out of there.
Someone – or something – was going to pay.
It was as simple as that. I had been scared bad, and the scent of death still clung to me like some dank aftershave.
But no more.
I was tired of the running, and I had finally come into my own, responding to the calling.
This was Showtime!
I drove straight to the Portville General Hospital.
It was basically like the rest of the angel town.
Set apart from the city centre, its route was peppered with laboratories, pharmaceuticals, sports complexes, health shops and other glossy shops ranging from exotic foods to health-conscious fashion shops.
The four-lane street that eventually led to the gigantic hospital was something of an ostentatious exhibition.
The buildings were many, separated by glassy expanses and beautiful mini gardens.
At that hour of the dawn it would all have seemed pretty beautiful and peaceful, but something was happening there when I arrived.
I had felt rather strongly – from an alien kind of awareness – that the Okai-demon would go after Paul Anderson to finish him off as it had promised.
And when I saw the wailing sirens of the cops and firemen I knew that everything was in motion.
A security guard told me when I parked my car and got out that a portion of the Premier Male Ward D had caught fire.
He didn’t know whether it was an electrical fault or from a careless cigarette-smoking patient, but it had grown quite fierce, licking up the skies like ‘the devil’s own tongue’.
I strived to keep the worry from my voice.
Yep, sir. That’s where they keep all those fat rich folk, you know, politicians and the fucking loaded. They’re always doing crazy things like that. They’re gonna raze the whole fucking place to the ground one of these days, I tell ya.
I moved quickly, running when nobody was watching.
I knew what was happening. The fire wasn’t from an electrical fault or cigarette. It had been set deliberately to create a diversion.
If there was a D Premier Ward, then it presupposes that there would be an A, B and C.
The diversion would be aimed at drawing attention from where Anderson was being kept so that his death would be smooth and wouldn’t draw so much attention.
I followed the firemen and cops, and eventually came across four hulking buildings. They were buried in a profusion of royal palms and tall flower plants. They were lettered A-D, the Premier Wards.
The D was covered by a pall of smoke and an angry fire was licking it, but I could see that it was gradually being controlled. Shouts and screams were everywhere.
Police, firemen, nurses, guards – they were all milling around, trying to save patients and property.
I entered Ward C.
A serene reception – soft-coloured furniture, subdued ceiling lighting, a beautiful aquarium, very low soulful music, a glass-topped C-shaped desk – an indication of a hospital doing well.
Two tired-looking male nurses were behind the desk.
A hospital security guard was holding a plastic cup under a Nescafe dispenser, and he glanced at me briefly as I approached the desk.
The two nurses were not at all receptive, and when I enquired about Pastor Paul Anderson they told me there was an emergency, and if I wanted to see any patient I would have to come back in the morning during visiting hours.
No, please. You don’t understand. I have to see him urgently.
Why in the name of God do you need to see that man for at such an ungodly hour? Guy can’t even speak, for crissakes. He’s paralyzed from the neck down, and he’s been on a life-saver since he got here.
A cool voice said behind me, and I turned to see the security guard standing just at my elbow, holding his steaming plastic cup of Nescafe dangerously tilted.
That’s alright, fellas, He’s okay. He’s from the old man’s home. Wouldn’t hurt nothing to let him see the man, would it?
The two of them consulted briefly, and then one shrugged.
Well, guess not, if you can vouch for him. You have to take him, though. We’re a bit busy with calls here.
My new friend smiled.
He was tall and thin, spotting a huge handlebar moustache. It had been a long time since I saw anything like it; I thought they went out of fashion decades ago.
His eyes crinkled at the sides when he smiled.
“You might be wondering about me. The name’s Josh Aboagye. I’m a member of the church. Been seeing you and the pastor together quite lately. Come with me, I’ll show you to his ward.
I murmured my thanks as we entered an elevator. It travelled just one block and stopped.
We were on an L-shaped corridor which was brilliantly lighted. We walked past another glass-encased nurses’ quarters and he waved to the three fresh-looking nurses in there.
When we went round the bend we met another security guard, this one big and muscular, and Josh Aboagye stopped.
You go ahead. The Pastor’s ward is the last door on the right.
Who, your pastor?
Yep. Man here is pastor’s friend. He wants to see him.
The other man gave me the look over, and then he nodded.
You have to wait a bit, though. There’s a doctor with him.
Aboagye’s eyes narrowed.
A doc? At this hour? Why something bad happened to Pastor Anderson?
The man shrugged.
“Nothing that I know of. This guy just came in about a couple of minutes ago, one of the visiting specialists, he said, and he had the tabs to prove it. We had orders since morning that he might come around, and he chose this hour to arrive. Said there was some complications he had at the female ward or something like that.
First the fire, and now a visiting doctor to see Anderson?
Well, I’ll ask him if I could see the pastor.
Aboagye waved me away.
I took just three steps, and then I saw it.
A black moving mass, a cloud of blackness with a violent inner core, and it was sidling up against the white wall.
It was sparkling, acutely agitated as if it wanted to be unleashed.
The shadow of death …
It was here again.
Death was in the air.
I quickened my steps slid past that vile thing, giving it a wide berth.
I could feel its intensity and the stench it exuded. This was prime evil, and I could hear the huffing crackling sound in it, the angry undertones of violence. It wanted to be free, but I had the impression that it was being kept tightly in control.
The door wasn’t locked when I turned the knob, and I entered quickly.
A large white room, recessed fluorescent bulbs illuminating everything adequately. The temperature was controlled by a faintly humming split air conditioner in the uppermost part of the right wall.
The bed looked huge and the pastor was looking very frail and tiny on it. He was surrounded by gadgets – machines that emitted beeps and sent images to four television screens on the wall.
There were gadgets fixed to his legs, arms and ribs.
Some were running into both nostrils. Some were being fed into his body intravenously.
He was absolutely still, but his eyes were wide awake, staring with panic at the white-clad bald-headed man standing over him and patiently extracting a clear colourless liquid out of a brown bottle with a syringe.
Samson Basoah, dressed just like a doctor, complete with disposable gloves and tiny spectacles perched precariously on his nose.
He was facing me, head bent as he concentrated on what he was doing. He didn’t look up as I entered although he would’ve heard the door opening.
Leaving it unlocked in the first place spoke of the man’s total confidence in himself.
He thought it was one of the nurses, or a doctor … or worse a security guard. He had no fear or use for them. He would deal with them in his own way.
I could hear Paul Anderson’s silent screams of horror, and as I closed the door gently I was suffused with a wrath so strong I trembled. I stood just inside the room and watched him.
He finished drawing the fluid into the syringe and slipped the bottle into the side pocket of the white overcoat he was wearing.
He lifted the syringe and checked for bubbles, tapping it a couple of times and depressing the plunger slightly to get rid of gathered bubbles … and then he finally looked up and saw me.
I took great pleasure in his quick intake of breath.
I saw the fear that filled his face, causing the blood to drain from that bestial face. His disbelief was so total that his mouth sort of fell open, and again this brought me considerable pleasure.
He breathed hollowly, and he swallowed deeply.
Slowly the mark of the beast emerged on his forehead, red and angry, blazing blood.
I took another step into the room.
He shook his head numbly, and then slowly he began to puff himself up, to give himself a slice of courage to face me.
I don’t know what happened, boy, but I believe we killed you. It is just a matter of killing you again.
I said nothing, but I took another step into the room.
I could see the sudden perspiration on his face now.
He glanced at Anderson, and then at me.
He was gauging distances, calculating his moves, weighing the odds. He was scared, but he aimed to go out fighting and causing the gravest destruction he could achieve in the little time he had.
Suddenly his right hand flew upward and downward, aimed at Anderson’s breast. He wanted to stab the sick man with whatever poison he had in the syringe and possibly kill him before doing battle with me.
The unfortunate thing was I had come into full control of the awesome power I wielded, and at the moment the syringe would have disappeared into the pastor’s body it simply disappeared from his hand.
He stood thus, transfixed, looking at his empty hand with stunned intensity.
He chuckled, a hysterical piece of cursed sound that only helped to aggravate the fury I was feeling. He whirled suddenly, and now his left hand was clutching a huge gun.
Die, you fucking asshole!
He hissed and pressed the trigger again and again.
The bullets left the gun, eight of them, but instead of traveling at a speed so fast that the eye could not follow them, they sailed through the air sluggishly, lethargically, in perfect slow-motion.
The gun made no sound although there was no silencer attached.
Finally we all heard the clicks – the sound made by an empty gun.
He had fired all the bullets.
The slow-motion bullets struck my chest, one at a time, and they slid and fell at my feet with light metallic thuds.
He was standing facing me, gun still extended, and now I could smell his pungent fear as the sweat trickled down his face.
A man I had once loved above all else, a man who had been a friend and a guardian, a man who had sold his soul and caused great pain to many.
In that silent moment when our eyes met and held, a story of a lifetime was told, the good weighed against the bad, the judgment silently passed … and he was guilty.
Slowly he dropped his hand and shook his great head again.
What happened? You died! We saw you die!
I said nothing.
He took a longing look at the window.
It was closed and barred, reinforced with a metal sash mounted into the wall behind.
His lips came off his teeth in a poisonous snarl.
You can’t win, shitface! We’re far too many, and far too strong!
So you think.
He slid the gun into his pocket, and then his great hands balled up into fists, and his mark blazed angrily.
Are you going to kill me, Yaw? Is that what you want? Go on, shitface, do it now! Do your worst!
My voice was brimming with all my rage and disgust.
Suddenly I saw it, the Death cloud.
It whirled into the room – vibrant, sizzling, angry, evil, volatile!
I could see the tentacles struggling to come out of it, the nasty little faces that shimmered in there, wishing to tear, to possess, to destroy.
Samson was cringing now, his face filled with a terror that for a moment thawed my heart. He took frantic steps backward until his back came up against the wall.
No, you can’t do this! No human can do this, Unblind or not! Yours is not this power!”
The Death Cloud was all around him, whirling, wailing, howling!
I looked on, slightly afraid as I gazed on the sheer malice in that thing. It moved, agitated, swirling round and round, the little faces mad as they now gazed at me with hatred and impatience.
Samson was looking at me now, and there was a desperate look in his eyes, a look that told me he knew something, a secret that he was keeping tightly.
And suddenly it dawned on me.
They – whatever they were inside the Death Cloud – were waiting for me!
They could not act without my command.
And suddenly I understood: Samson Basoah knew about the Death Cloud, and he knew only I could control them. So long as I remained a novice they could only come so close, but they could not cause him any harm.
Maybe he saw the whole thing dawning on my face, because suddenly his huge frame began to tremble with great fear.
No, Yaw, don’t do this to me! Shoot me, push me out of the window, take my heart … but please don’t let me die like this! Yaw, please! Yaaaaaaaw!”
I looked at the evil force again, and I nodded slowly.
Go on, go get him!
I spoke, not with a vengeful heart, and certainly not with even fury.
At the last moment I realized that the power I wielded went beyond my personal vendettas. It was to be used impartially, without guile, without hatred.
So I pushed my hatred and fury aside; I even pushed thoughts of my father aside, and I was left with a simple truth: despite his charisma, despite all the good things the man Samson Basoah had done for me, he was evil, and didn’t deserve to live.
The terrible things inside the Death Cloud howled with glee and rushed upon the hapless man.
White and ash claws reached out and tore into the frenzied Basoah.
Evil being after evil being tore into him, reached in and grabbed.
His soul came out, a dirty soul that struggled brutishly, resisting the strength of the evil hands tearing into it. I could see the agony on the face of Basoah’s soul as it was being forcibly wrenched free.
Finally, with an evil whoop, the whole soul came out, gripped fiercely in the hands of the evil forces inside that ash cloud.
They enveloped it, screaming with frenzied evil, dragging that squirming little thing into their middle, eating it, taking it over, and in that manner they crashed through the wall with a final wail … and were gone.
The great hulk of Samson Basoah fell forward, hitting the floor hard, his head turned to the side, his tongue lolling out thick and blue, his face still bearing the mask of the terror he had experienced.
He was dead.
I could not stand it any longer.
I turned and rushed blindly through a side-door into the bathroom.
I barely made it to the sink, and then the vomit came spewing out of my mouth.
After a very long time I came to grips with what had happened.
I splashed water on my face and wiped it off with a hankie, and then I returned to the room.
Basoah was where he had fallen, horror-struck eyes still staring. I bent and closed his eyes, and then I turned my attention to Paul Anderson.
To be continued…
©Aaron Ansah – Agyeman
All Rights Reserved.