In The Perils Of Darkness – Episode 5

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In The Perils Of Darkness Episode 5

© Lewis Dampson

The next day, Gabriel fell sick as a result of a hangover and was rushed to the school clinic. He was now facing consequences of his actions the previous night.

Meanwhile, senior Eugene paid him visits while he was admitted at the school clinic. He started preaching to him to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal savior.

The more he preached to him, the more it fell on deaf ears. Gabriel had already tasted the fruits of sin and was now enjoying the bite. He didn’t want any religious fanatic to jeopardize his new found happiness.

During one of his visits, to persuade him further, senior Eugene decided to continue his life story. “Gabe, do you remember where I stopped when I was introducing myself to you?” he asked. “Oh yes! I remember. That was when we were interrupted by the school’s bell,” Gabriel replied.

“Good! I would like to continue. I hope you wouldn’t be bothered?” senior Eugene broached the subject cautiously as he didn’t want to do anything that would hamper his attempt to change Gabriel for good.

“Not at all, in fact, I really enjoyed it and I was waiting for the day you would continue,” he said. Senior Eugene moved closer to Gabriel’s sick bed and continued his story.

“As I said earlier, I was a very bad boy then and nothing could change me. I use to bully my fellow colleague students. Nobody could dare stand in front of me because of my stature. I maltreated anyone that didn’t share my views.

I was punished several times by my school authorities in order to correct me but all to no avail. My parents were being called upon several times but as usual my mother defended me even in front of the school authorities.

I was the king in my own world. I graduated from stealing petty cash from my friends to stealing people’s goats and sheep. My friends and I even went to attack a foreigner and made away with his money one night. I was being advice but all those people experienced either insults or assaults from me. Nobody could advise me. I soon graduated to smoking marijuana at Junior High form three. I sneaked into the bush most of the time with my town friends to smoke the substance every day. School meant little to me. I was on top of my own world. I didn’t know was called addiction at that time of my life. I became addicted to marijuana and suffered withdrawal symptoms when I didn’t smoke it within a space of three days. The petty money I was being given in the house couldn’t sustain my recent activities.

I stole money from my mother, stole most of her jewelries and sold them all in an attempt to raise capital to buy my marijuana. It didn’t take long before people started suspecting me for all the recent stealing that went on in the neighborhood. During one of my operations, luck run out on me and I was apprehended red handed. The furious mob decided to lynch me.

They mercilessly assaulted me with clubs, stones and whatever they could lay their hands on. In deed I thought that was my last day on earth. They suggest all sort of brutal acts to end my life. Some suggested they should burn me alive with tires while others suggested they run a nail through my skull.

I must confess Gabe, it was a very frightening sight to hear people describing your death like that. I didn’t know how it happened, but miraculously, a policeman came to the scene. He ordered all of them to stop beating me and said the case was now in the hands of the government.

That was my redemption. I was dragged to the police station amidst slaps. Although the policeman told the mob several times to stop beating me, it fell on deaf ears. He really couldn’t do anything about the slapping because he was short of manpower.

When we arrived at the police station, they were shocked to realize I was a minor considering my body mass. They therefore called for my parents. They came immediately to bail me out. They were horrified with the thought that they almost lost me. My mother lamented and regretted never reprimanding me whenever I went wrong.

After my bail, I returned to the house as a changed boy. I quickly turned over a new leaf following my experience with near death.

A young guy one day came to my house. He was preaching from house-to-house. I quickly gave my life to Jesus Christ at that very instant. It wasn’t easy breaking free from smoking. I really suffered due to withdrawal symptoms but by the help of the Holy Spirit and prayers from Bro. John (the young guy who preached to Eugene), I was able to recover and came out of that bondage.”

“See Gabriel, I can see you following exactly my old paths. I don’t want you to go through what I experienced before you learn your lesson,” said senior Eugene with anguish in his voice. “Who knows, you might not be lucky as I was,” he quickly added. “Please change your ways and follow me to Scripture Union before you make a mistake you can’t erase.”

Gabriel listened attentively to senior Eugene’s advice. He was really touched by it. He couldn’t get rid of the voice inside of him telling him to go along with what senior Eugene was saying. But one way or the other, another voice inside him, a louder one, was telling him something different.

Which of the two voices was Gabriel going to heed? Will he heed to senior Eugene’s advice and cut all ties with Emmanuel and his gang or will he rubbish the advice and continue to follow Emmanuel?

___

Which of the two voices was Gabriel going to heed? Will he heed to senior Eugene’s advice and cut all ties with Emmanuel and his gang or will he rubbish the advice and continue to follow Emmanuel?

Gabriel got well within some few days and resumed classes. He was constantly of the advice senior Eugene gave him when he was on his sick bed.

For some few days, he ignored Emmanuel and his gang. He hardly spoke to them even when they were inside the dormitory. Emmanuel on the other hand was wondering why his new convert was avoiding him. He really needed to get some answers. He was in the process of creating Gabriel in his own image “the cobra”, as he was popularly known.

He really needed a successor to carry on with his work once he was gone and he wasn’t going to accept any defeat on that quest.

Emmanuel saw Gabriel sitting on one of the benches on the school’s compound. He walked to him and sat beside him. “We will meet again tonight. I hope you are coming along?” he asked. “Where are we going?” was the response.

“Don’t be a fool, you will know when we get there,” Emmanuel said. “My friend, this is not a matter to be deliberated on!! If you really want to enjoy this school you should better start following my instructions!! I am not asking you, I am telling you!!! Bring along with you a red cloth and twelve candles. The candles must be of different colors. Colors like red, blue, black etc.

Go to Osman, he sells those things,” Emmanuel added. “Make sure you get them before 11:45pm today. I will come for you and God help you if you don’t have them ready!” Exclaimed Emmanuel. Gabriel was now very confused.

He really didn’t want Emmanuel to be his enemy considering how brutal he was. He wanted to go and report the issue to senior Eugene but lacked the courage to do so. Actually, he was shy to deliberate with anybody because he thought he would be laughed at of being a coward.

He quietly pondered over the issue for some time. After two hours of thinking, he came to a conclusion. “I think I should obey Emmanuel. On a more serious note, I don’t want to be in his bad books.

I can always repent and give my life to God later as senior Eugene suggested. I’ve come to think of it, I really had fun the last time and I believe there are more in store for me.

Gabriel managed to locate Osman and got all the items ready for the night. At quarter to 12:00am, Emmanuel came to wake Gabriel up and signaled him it was time.

Gabriel got up quietly from his bed, took the items he bought earlier in the day and followed Emmanuel out of the dormitory. This time around, they didn’t go out of the school premises, but went into the bushes.

They came to a cleared area in the bush. Emmanuel ordered all the guys to dress for the initiation ceremony. They all stripped naked and tied around their waist the red cloth. Osman blind-folded Gabriel and led him to the center of the created circle. They lit their candles, sat on the bare ground, crossed their legs and begun to recite some incantations.

After a brief incantation, Emmanuel went to Gabriel and told him to repeat these words: “This day, I Gabriel Smith accept the great “one eye” as my lord and savior. I will obey his commandments and serve him faithfully. I give my heart and soul to the great master “one eye” and promise to be a loyal servant. Bless me master “one eye” and make all my wish come to pass.”

After the recitation, Emmanuel brought out a sharp knife. He made a cut on the tip of Gabriel’s fore finger. The then brought a calabash to collect the blood. Everyone present did the same thing. Emmanuel then mixed the blood with a concoction and gave it to Gabriel to drink. All the gang drank from the same calabash after Gabriel drank the concoction.

They stripped him naked and tied around his waist the red cloth. Osman took led him to a space provided for him and told him to sit in the position everyone sat. Before Emmanuel could utter the next sentence, a flash light from nowhere shone on them.

They were all confused. They were wondering if it was one of the other cults or the school authorities. The flash light was drawing closer. Their hearts were racing and each one of them started sweating profusely under the evening’s cool breeze.

They didn’t have anywhere to escape to. They felt like throwing up and they felt chills all over their spine. Their muscles lost strength. They were just waiting for fate to decide.

To be continued

 

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