Death Row Episode 5

Death Row – Episode 5

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DEATH ROW Episode 5

The people in the room remain fixed, unable to move, until the stranger has gone outside, gotten into his car and ridden away.

That is when they are finally are able to get out of their seats.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(screaming)

FIND THAT MAN! I WANT HIM ARRESTED! I WANT HIM TO FACE THE FULL RIGOURS OF THE LAW!

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

(calmly)

He hasn’t broken any law, sir.

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE

(angrily)

What do you mean he hasn’t broken any law, Bediako?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

(calmly)

And on what charges are we going to arrest him, sir? That he barged uninvited into our meeting? That he put a spell on us and we couldn’t move? Do you know what will happen if we say the man came here and spoke to us, and none of us could move from our seats? Do you know what the press will do to us? Please, calm down.

What Chief Inspector Bediako is driving at sinks in, and they look at each other, but the politician is still angry.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(furiously)

This never happened, do you hear me? Tomorrow, six in the morning sharp, we shall all witness the death of Pastor Zac Larbi! Nothing has changed, do you hear me?

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE

(angrily)

Yes, I agree. The execution goes on.

JUDGE AWEDEGA

(uneasily)

Gentlemen, let’s be rational, please. We must admit that the man is not mad, and that somehow he was able to render all of us powerless, much as we would want to deny that fact. We must look at this… what did he say… this doppelganger thing.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(explosively)

And what the **** is this doublegang bulls***?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

(calmly)

Doppelganger, sir. Doppelganger. It is of Germanic origin. Doppel in the German language means ‘double’, and Ganger means ‘walker or goer’. Thus doppelganger means a ‘double-walker’.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(angrily)

And what does it mean, and what is its significance here, in this case?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

I must admit that aspects of this case have worried me. First, I was a bit worried by the fact that the man in the videos used his right hand dominantly, whilst Pastor Zac is seriously left-handed. That aside, the Pastor passed the lie detector test we made him go through. Now, this hasn’t occurred to me, but somehow the idea of a doppelganger seems a bit plausible. A doppelganger is a double counterpart of a living person.

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE

That is madness, Bediako! What are you talking about?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

It is not madness, sir! Have you heard of the saying that everyone has a twin somewhere? In the past, when a person dies, his doppelganger might be seen somewhere, and people believed they had seen ghosts. Doppelgangers of persons exist. They resemble each other physically, behaviourally and in every way.

They dress the same, speak the same, walk the same… in fact they are exact replicas of each other but they are not twins or related in any way. If you see them it will be like you’re looking at twins, but in the real sense of the word they would not be related in any way! They have different parents and sometimes live in different parts of the world, but when you see them together sometimes their own mothers can’t tell them apart.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(angrily)

Hogwash! That is bulls***! The execution goes on!

JUDGE AWEDEGA

(carefully)

Maybe we have to wait. Pushing it back an hour or so won’t hurt anybody, and we wouldn’t have to explain to anybody. That man said this doppelganger of Zac will commit a similar crime at the crime scene. Let’s send the Chief Inspector and his men to stake out the place. If nothing happens, and no doppelganger is caught, then we go ahead with the execution.

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Why are we letting this stranger suddenly affect us so? Why should we allow some strange man to change what is established by law? It sounds like madness to me!

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(pugnaciously)

We don’t wait! We go ahead. Six in the morning, sharp. No mad man is going to run this country, do you hear me? This is the law, and nobody is above the law. Execution goes on as planned, do you hear me?

Location: GRAND CASTLE PRISON

Pastor Zac Larbi is lying on the simple cot.

He is dressed in the prison garb, and he is silently meditating.

There is a sharp rap on the metal bars, and he looks up.

The chaplain is standing at the gate, and there are five armed men with him.

SUPT. KWESI AKYAW

(solemnly)

Pastor Larbi, your execution is at six in the morning. As the law requires, we’re supposed to give you a last meal, anything you want, just name it. Your dinner today will be special. Just name anything you would like to eat.

Zac stands up and walks slowly towards the bars, and the look on his face is serene indeed.

ZAC LARBI

Thank you very much. But I will not be taking dinner today.

SUPT. KWESI AKYAW

(raising his eyebrows)

Really? Are you fasting, perchance?

ZAC LARBI

(calmly)

That’s between me and my God, sir.

The chaplain nods once, and he stares at Zac with some confusion. For a moment it appears as if he is going to leave, but he hesitates, looking very uncomfortable, and clears his throat.

SUPT. KWESI AKYAW

(softly)

Listen, my brother. I’ve heard rumours that you’re a virgin. I don’t know how true it is, but coming from Apostle Aboah, I must assume that is true.

Zac giggles suddenly and shakes his head.

He is genuinely entertained.

ZAC LARBI

(smiling)

Yes, Chaplain, it is true.

SUPT. KWESI AKYAW

(taking a deep breath)

Listen, if you would want to, I can send you a woman, or two, even three women, if you so require. You know, to experience how it feels like before you go, you know.

And Zac Larbi laughs so hard that tears come to his eyes.

ZAC LARBI

(laughing)

Eeeei, Chaplain! I’m going to die and you want me to take atopa to Heaven’s gate? Fornication? I beg you wai, please let me take my virginity to heaven wai!

He goes back and lies down.

The embarrassed Chaplain turns around and begins to walk away, and he can still hear the soft laughter of the condemned man in his head.

*****************

Location: GRAND CASTLE PRISON

At 5:30 in the morning the Observers’ Lounge of the Execution Room is full.

Present are family representatives of the five women who had been brutally murdered.

There are people from high society; politicians, government and the judiciary.

The Member of Parliament, the District Chief Executive and Judge Atinga Awedega are in the front seats.

There are observers from the clergy, and Apostle Kweku Aboah and Prophet Ebow Bio are present.

Also present, far behind the Apostle, is Elder Senanu Setorworfia.

Sitting behind the politicians are reporters from various media stations who are there to observe but not take any pictures.

Outside the prison walls a lot of people are waiting, including a weeping Ama Boatemaa.

At 5:45 a.m. the curtain that covers the glass panel that separates the Observers’ Lounge from the Execution Room slowly rolls apart in two ways, revealing the room where Zac Larbi is going to be executed.

The room is painted white, and the bed is high and white with clasps running along its side.

There is a heart monitor and some other machines around the bed. There is a doctor and two male nurses, all of them wearing white tunics.

The babble in the Observers’ Lounge dies down as the observers stare at the macabre permanency of the execution room.

At 5:50 a.m. a door at the end of the Execution Room opens, and Pastor Zac Larbi comes in accompanied by some top-ranking prison and police officials including the Chaplain.

Zac looks peaceful, and his face seems to be shining.

He is wearing a white overall.

His hands are handcuffed in front of him.

As he stops a prison official steps forward and unlocks the handcuffs.

The doctor speaks, and Zac removes the overall.

He is wearing a white T-shirt and white boxers underneath.

Inside the Observers’ Lounge Elder Senanu and a few others begin to weep silently.

Zac then climbs onto the bed and lies down on his back.

Clasps are fastened around his upper and lower arms, thighs and calves, and finally around his forehead.

The Chaplain is praying now.

Afterwards a high-ranking official reads from an official document, and then they all step back.

The doctor is seen drawing the deadly drug into a syringe.

Zac’s heartbeats are picked up by the heart monitor and beeps through speakers so that the others in the observance room can hear.

The doctor approaches Zac with the syringe.

Many more are weeping in the Observers’ Lounge now, including two members of the family representatives, and a reporter who turns her head, unable to watch.

The nurses have tied a rubber band around Zac’s upper arm to make the veins stand out.

The doctor inserts the syringe and depresses the plunger, and all the deadly drug enters Pastor Zac Larbi’s bloodstream.

Just then a telephone rings inside the Observers’ Lounge, startling the onlookers.

It is the telephone of the Member of Parliament.

He picks it up and looks at the screen, and his heart gives a painful lurch as he sees that it is from Chief Inspector Kwabena Bediako.

The Member of Parliament looks at the wall clock.

It is 6:00 a.m.

His heart beating with fear, he picks the call and puts it on loudspeaker.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(trembling)

Yes, Chief Inspector?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

(voice strident)

STOP THE EXECUTION, SIR! WE HAVE CAPTURED THE DOPPELGANGER!! JUST LIKE THE STRANGER SAID! WE CAUGHT HIM WITH ANOTHER WOMAN AND HE WAS TRYING TO RAPE HER IN THE SAME BUILDING THE OTHER WOMEN WERE KILLED!!

HE LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE PASTOR, JUST AS IF THEY’RE TWINS!! A REAL DOPPELGANGER, SIR! DEAR LORD!! THE PASTOR IS INNOCENT!!! PLEASE, STOP THE EXECUTION!! PASTOR ZAC LARBI IS INNOCENT!! THE DOPPELGANGER IS THE CULPRIT!!

The Member of Parliament gets to his feet as his whole body is suffused with deep pain. His phone falls as he rushes to the glass partition and pounds hard on it!

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(screaming)

STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! HE IS INNOCENT! STOP IT!!

The body of Pastor Larbi is lying still on the bed, unmoving!

The heart monitor is now fluctuating, and now it is flat-lining with a long unbroken beep.

Pastor Zac Larbi is dead!

Location: GRAND CASTLE PRISON

There is pandemonium in the Observers’ Lounge.

People are trying to find out what has happened, and as the truth is passed around, that the real murderer has been captured, people burst into spontaneous weeping.

In the Execution Room the doctor is told of what has happened.

He quickly rushes to the body of Pastor Zac.

They fuss around him, injecting another drug directly into his heart, but to no avail!

Judge Atinga Awedega is trembling, and he is sweating so badly that they clear a space on the floor and put him down so that he would not pass out. He was making gurgling sounds in his throat, and there was real terror on his face.

The Member of Parliament is pressed against the glass, shivering, his face shattered with remorse and haunted pain, shaking his head numbly with the depths of his acute horror.

As the doctors struggle over the body of Zac Larbi, the curtains come back together slowly, blocking the view of the Execution Room from the sight of those in the observation room.

The doors open, and people begin to rush outside, weeping and wailing.

Apostle Aboah and Prophet Bio are sitting rigidly.

APOSTLE ABOAH

(shivering)

We’re dead! Oh, what have we done, Ebow? What have we done? We are ruined! He was innocent all along! Oh, God, forgive us! Oh, my Lord, I have sinned! Dear God, what have I done? Oh, Zac, Zac, my son! Zac, forgive me! Awurade Nyankopon!

PROPHET BIO

(unsteadily)

Let’s calm down, please, Apostle. We don’t know what is happening now. Who did they capture? Is it a twin? I heard the man mentioning some double rangers on the telephone. Let’s just wait, okay?

Elder Senanu has dropped to his knees and he is weeping inconsolably.

Story continues…

© -Agyeman

All Rights Reserved.

 

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