THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 55
OF CONFESSIONS AND DEAD CROWS
It took quite a little time, but finally she was all cried out.
And then, in a halting pained voice, she told me about Fred Anderson, her father’s older and only brother, a man who had been her favourite uncle.
He was such a distinguished gentleman, and I really loved him. I was only thirteen when I stayed with him at his country house. He was rich, you know, and his money saw Daddy through school and supported our family during the initial hard years. Their parents died quite early so he was more of a father to Daddy than a brother. I wasn’t alone with him at his house, though. Each Christmas most of the kids in the family went to him, you know, from half cousins to his distant relatives. He was kind and quite good, so everybody loved him.
On that cold Christmas Eve the uncle she loved so much had gotten drunk – or pretended to be drunk – lured her to his room and then he had raped the terrified teenager.
The traumatized child had not been able to tell anybody about her predicament. It was only when she started feeling funny and began throwing up that she had confessed to her best friend, also a teenager but who ‘knew’ the other side of life.
They had come together, and some of her friend’s hippie pals had sent her to a dirty doctor in a seedy neighbourhood where the abortion had been done.
Nicole, young, confused and hurt, had been terrified about carrying her uncle’s baby in her. She hadn’t known whether the baby would be her child, or her cousin. She couldn’t live with that reminder for the rest of her life, and so she had gone in for the abortion.
Uncle Fred Anderson had died the following year, gunned down by what the cops suspected to be armed robbers.
Nicole had kept her secret for years, but she had never been able to get over what had happened, and the guilt had plagued her for ages, despite her earnest attempts at atonement with God.
Finally she had confessed to her parents when years later, because she had been feeling suicidal and hated all boys.
They had had prayers, but Nicole, young as she was, had convinced herself that God hated her, and had grown with it despite receiving counselling from renowned people of God.
It had always hampered her spiritual growth.
But not anymore. She had prayed when that evil Elaine had her, and God had responded. That was what she had needed all this while.
And of course the evil ones had chipped away at her, slowly but surely, until she had no defence left.
She admitted to having been feeling terribly guilty the last couple of days, and had slowly sunk into depression.
That had been the work of Elaine and her demons, of course, filling her head and heart with such evil talk that she had succeeded in alienating her from the love of God.
She whispered tremulously as the last vestige of tears glittered on her lids.
But not anymore. Now I’ve moved from the dead to the living, from darkness to light, and with you at my side, nothing shall ever scare me again.
As I kissed her, on the cheeks this time, I wondered…and I feared.
Later on in the morning, after a sombre breakfast, she wanted to go out even though radio reports indicated that there was going to be a terrible storm later in the day.
I wished dearly that she would stay indoors until the storm – which they said was going to be a hell of a tornado – was over.
She was adamant, though.
It was as if she didn’t want to stay in the Mission House, and I couldn’t blame her too much.
What she had gone through had been cataclysmic, to say the least.
She seemed okay, but I knew better; she was still grappling with it, and she still felt shaky.
It would take some time before she finally lived down that nightmare, and that was why she felt the uncontrollable urge to get out of the house and find fresh air to breathe, at least for a little while.
I knew that she was going to have sleepless nights, and that there would be times when she would bolt up in bed screaming. She hadn’t been prepared for that kind of potent evil that had messed her up, and she was going to suffer.
Her pain was my pain, and because I felt responsible for it all my fury became a constant beat of my heart, a sizzling cauldron that was threatening to metamorphose into hatred.
There was a hunger in me to go out there and seek out Andrew Okai, but as I left Nicole’s room to get ready for our outing I knew deep in my bones that the end was near.
The day was going to end in a brutal way, and I knew that one of us – the demons and I – would not make it.
Nicole wanted to go over to her office first.
She said there were some documents that needed to be signed. After that we would decide where to go next. She wanted to go to the beach, but somehow I wasn’t too keen on that. There was a restlessness in my inner core that just wouldn’t settle down no matter how hard I tried.
I hesitated in front of my door, and for no reason at all my body went cold. I froze, and for a long moment I felt a strong repugnance to enter the room.
It was something I had never experienced before. The hand that reached for the handle trembled a little, and I shook my head angrily. This wasn’t the time to get jittery.
I swung the door open and entered…and then I just stopped, going so completely still that anybody seeing me might have thought for a moment that I was carved out of marble.
I was dimly aware that the little television perched in its corner was still on, and in some crazy way my mind was just detached enough from the horror in front of me to signal the fact that I might have left that television on for quite a spell.
The volume was turned way down, and I couldn’t hear what the man in the expensive-looking dark suit was saying.
He seemed to be deeply agitated as he was interviewed by an unseen reporter. My eyes scanned the little white letters on a blue background scrolling across the screen.
It seemed that a very dangerous woman, pregnant for seven months, had escaped from a maximum security prison, killing four cops in the process, something like that.
But that wasn’t important.
What was important were the dead crows in my room!
My room was filled with them.
They were all over the bed, on the floor, on the dresser … everywhere. There were even some on the ceiling fan. Their black eyes were open in death, but they managed to exude pure hatred as they glared at me. Huge, dead white crows!
The smell in the room was mildly unpleasant – it was that faintly repulsive scent of dirty feathers – and I stood just inside the room because I couldn’t walk further in without stepping on them.
I was sure my heart stopped beating for a spell.
Of all the things I had seen, and of all the things that had happened to me, the sight of the dead crows filled me with more fear, and made me feel unbearably inadequate.
My horrified eyes took in the scene, and I raised my eyes to the huge windows. One of them had crashed out, maybe by the weight of the crows as they blasted into the room, and yet no one in the house had heard glass breaking.
And then I saw the surviving crow.
It was sitting absolutely still on the window sill.
It was that same big crow, that same evil leader of the pack. Its dirty wings were folded back, and it regarded me with latent hatred in its black eyes.
It regarded me without expression for a moment, its black eyes immovable orbs that sought to probe my inner being, and then quite suddenly its eyes glowed bright red, like huge fire flames.
We stared at each other, hate for hate, and then it turned slowly and unfolded its wings. It flapped once, and flew out of my window.
I didn’t know whether the icy feeling deep in my guts was fear, or a simple paralysis of my functioning nerves.
I had to reach out and hold unto the wall, my forehead pressed to its cool surface as I breathed deeply, fighting the faintness that threatened to overpower me.
A FINE DAY TO DIE
After a while I heard the little taps on the door, as if whoever was knocking didn’t want to draw too much attention. Still dazed and wondering how anything could be so evil, I cracked the door open.
Old Bonner was standing there, his face grave.
Sensed trouble. Are you alright?
Without a word I stepped aside and bid him to enter.
He shut the door behind him slowly, and his face was grave as he looked around. He didn’t look scared, at least not in the way the whole sight had driven a cold wedge into my brain and put a halt to my thinking processes.
If anything, the expression on his face was more anger than fear, and as he moved slowly toward the window sill where the other one had been, he began to nod his head.
Watch out. Glass splinters all over the place.
He nodded again, and then he stopped. Once again he looked around him slowly.
I leaned back against the door and folded my arms.
Mean anything to you?
He turned slowly and faced me, and then he nodded once.
Should’ve told you about it. It slipped my mind, but it shouldn’t have. My mistake, so forgive me. This must’ve been very harrowing for you.
That, and some.
He nodded again.
We used to call it the Gathering. I told you about how the Legion used to announce its presence by killing a lot of animals, didn’t I? The Gathering has occurred each time the Legion came back and attacked an Unblind. One Unblind woke up one day and found his room filled almost ceiling high with dead cockroaches. That same day the Legion appeared and killed him. Another Unblind entered his church one dawn and found the pews filled with the butchered carcasses of rabbits. Before he could raise an alarm the Legion appeared and ripped him apart. I found my car filled with huge crawling ants three hours before my son was killed. Paul V. Clement entered his bathroom and found his tub filled with hundreds of dead snakes and three gigantic anacondas coiled around each other. Roughly about five hours later the Legion manifested in your father and killed him.
I received the news calmly, it seemed, but deep down where it mattered fear was crystallizing, and although I fought it, it was to no avail.
This heinous group of demons knew how to loosen up a man for the killing alright. I breathed shallowly and forced myself to concentrate on the task at hand.
It was all I could say for the moment.
He tilted a high-backed chair savagely, and as the dead white bodies of the crows fell from the chair he sat down carefully, and kicked more dead crows away, clearing a crude circular carpeted space in front of him.
Finally he looked at me.
So this is the day, son. This is your Gathering, and within a few hours you will have your final encounter with the Legion.
Either I die, or they die, isn’t that the way it is?
That’s the way it is, son.
We stared at each other for a long time. There was a lot more to be said, but at that moment we both knew that somehow enough had been said; anything more would break my fragile defence.
We both knew that latent evil was in the air, and that it was all too possible that the next day wouldn’t find me alive.
I’m going out with Nicole. The situation here is quite a hitch, isn’t it? I don’t want her seeing this horror of the dead crows or knowing anything about it.
Bonner nods sombrely.
Go on, son. No one would know. Paul has some huge paper boxes in the attic. I’ll call him. The two of us can get rid of this pile, I guess. You go on and have a little fun, but beware. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Legion attacks in the next few hours. Beware.
I wondered briefly if I heard a note of doubt in his voice.
Was his coolness forced?
Was he deeply worried about me because he didn’t have faith in my abilities to triumph over that evil despite the awesome power that had been placed in me?
I cleared the ugly bodies of the crows in my path, opened the wardrobe and selected a pair of black jeans and a nice open-necked T-shirt. I changed my shoes for a pair of comfortable sneakers, and then I went out without a further word.
I had wanted to say something to him, at least a quick good-bye would have sufficed, but just before I came out of the room I had hesitated and looked over at him, and I had seen him staring at me with such great grief that the rest of my self-confidence shattered immediately.
I saw in that look that Bonner was a grieving man, and that he had no faith whatsoever in me.
To him I was already dead.
I actually found myself enjoying Nicole’s company even though I was forced to look at everybody twice and looked over my shoulder at every turn.
She wanted to do things a little differently that day so we didn’t take any car; we went by bus. I hadn’t been on public transport for quite a spell, and thus I found the sudden experience exhilarating.
The golden rays of a warm sun had already suffused the city with enough goodwill to deliver a promise of a fine day. It was maybe made more poignant by the fact that it could be the last day in my life, if Bonner was proved right.
A fine day for dying, I thought wryly and smiled.
Nicole was happy, totally unaware of the storm that was brewing. Whilst I rejoiced in her company, probably for the last time, I was also a bit disturbed because of my uncertainty of providing adequate protection for her against the Legion if it should decide to launch an attack.
I knew perfectly well how destructive that group of demons could be, and how they could use loved ones as weapons.
But there again it wouldn’t matter if there were a thousand miles between Nicole and me because if the Legion decided to use her to get to me distance was of no consequence, and so also was shelter.
Thus the safest place for her was probably by my side.
We got off the bus and boarded a taxi to Dash Securities, her workplace.
It was a plush ten-storey glass and glitz splendour that took my breath away. Her office was on the seventh floor, and when we got out of the lift she was all smiles.
Evidently she was well-liked – no wonder – because everybody drifted to her, from the security men in the lobby to the top-ranked executives as we moved along.
She didn’t hesitate to introduce me as her fiancé, though, and from the little dark glances I managed to catch from some of the flashy bachelors I guessed the competition in that department had not been restricted to Andrew Okai.
Her office was huge, befitting a true Assistant Director, and it was luxuriously furnished.
She did what she had to do, and when we were leaving she asked me to wait at the reception as she discussed a few tentative points of a new contract with the Director.
I sat in an excessively huge stuffed chair and lazily leafed through a complex magazine on Information Technology whilst admiring the golden sight of splendid skyscrapers of business Portville from the windows of the reception.
The receptionist was a beautiful shapely woman with red lips who gave me generous smiles that I returned because I was slightly flattered by her obvious interest in me.
To be continued…
© – Agyeman
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