THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 36
I leaned forward, my expression probably very confused.
Well, you’re losing me. What kind of God are you serving anyway? Why does He give you this gift and then in the end you fall prey to this same demon you’re supposed to have absolute power over? Now why should Pastor Anderson be afraid of this thing? Surely he and his family have that glorious force-field? Isn’t it written somewhere in the Bible that you Christians have some kind of armor that defies attacks from principalities and dark forces?
Bonner was unperturbed.
He raised his glass and sipped some orange juice in quick jerky drags, and then he set it down carefully.
Force-field, that’s nice. We call it the Glow. Well, yes, you’re once again right. The Legion will have no dominion over us so long as our faiths remain full. But, alas, so many things can happen and drag your faith down, and make you vulnerable to the malicious atrocities of the Legion and demons like it. Once your faith begins to ebb, and you know you’ve infuriated the Legion, you begin to get worried. Listen, I’ll cut to the chase where Anderson is concerned. No need to bore you with lengthy rhetoric. You see, barely a year ago something terrible happened to Paul Anderson here. A young couple who had been married for barely three months had a disagreement in our church. The distraught husband appealed…no, begged , Anderson to intercede on his behalf. Paul summoned the young wife, right there in his office. She had the Glow, and no one was a more passionate lover of the Lord than that lady was. Truth of the matter was, it was all an illusion. You remember that false glow Elaine had? Well, the dark forces are getting better at making copies of it to deceive the Unblinds. Bottom line … she seduced Paul, right there in the church house.
I was chilled to the bone.
It was a painful story, one that needed to be kept between the couple whose perfect life had been shattered no doubt by that single act of infidelity.
A man of God whose call was to get rid of the uglies had himself fallen prey, and by that act had laid his soul bare.
I understood their pain and felt the terror that had pushed them to the brink and made them tell me – a perfect stranger – the sordid side of an otherwise good man.
I looked at the woman; her head was bowed, but not with shame.
Her hands were still linked with her husband, and I knew that she understood the sin as something that couldn’t have been avoided, as something that happened on a realm higher than what humans existed in.
She had obviously forgiven and forgotten about it.
Her look of solemnity stemmed from the fact that her husband’s image had no doubt dropped a shade in the eyes of a stranger like me, and she was also affected, and felt a part of the shame her man could be feeling at that moment.
That was the power of unbridled love.
It happened five years ago. He should’ve confessed it to his wife, and she would’ve helped him out of it. We all would’ve helped him, but he was so ashamed and so devastated that he kept it a secret, and it ate into him, completely rusting his armor. He didn’t tell us about it until the killings started a week ago.
Killings? What killings?
Bonner sighed and waved a hand.
Oh, I put it badly. Forgive me. I should’ve said the slaughtering. Not of human beings, but large herds of sheep and cattle, littered all over town. For the past seven days we have woken up and found decapitated animals on the streets and on the farms, their entrails forcibly pulled out. Even dogs, ducks and chicken have not been spared. Country folk wake up to the horror of their entire livestock brutally massacred. It has thrown a scare into the citizens of Portville who don’t know what is going on.
I was chilled to the bone as I stared at them in horror.
That’s how it begins, isn’t it? My father told me the Legion forced him to kill animals in the beginning.
Bonner drank all the juice and carefully set the empty glass down. He pursed his ancient lips, and when he looked at me I saw something close to apprehension in his eyes for the first time.
That’s not the connection, son. I don’t know for certain that each time the Legion occupies a new soul it forces him to kill animals first as prelude to the taking of human life. What I know for certain is this: animals died in hordes before the Legion killed my son. Ten years later I was almost killed when a possessed man almost ripped me open. Seven days before that attack animals also died. Hundreds of livestock died before Clement was murdered. And now, here in Portville, animals are also being ruthlessly slaughtered.
I turned horror-struck eyes toward Anderson, and found him staring at me with wide frightened eyes.
His face was wet with perspiration even though the room was very cool. He nodded wanly.
Yes, Yaw, the Legion is right here in Portville … and it has come for me. The sad thing is that my faith is completely gone. I never forgave myself for the sin I committed, and now try as hard as I could, I still feel alienated from God, and you know the consequences of that.
I chuckled nervously and leaned back, evidently looking puzzled.
Wow, does it work that way? I mean, isn’t there something in the Bible that says all a sinner needs to do is to confess his sins to God and repent of them and voila, the slate is wiped clean?
Once again Bonner and Anderson exchanged looks, and the old man nodded once, as if he was being given an insight into something that had eluded him for a long time.
It is supposed to be even simpler than that. A contrite heart is always a joy to the Lord, and we all know that the moment Paul regretted the incidence in his heart God forgave him. That aside, the life of the Unblind is a hard one, and the Legion has the propensity of kicking fear into your heart. Trust me, once that vile thing lays his eyes on you, you’re a goner. Even with a wee little bit of self-doubt no Unblind can take on the Legion. That thing is from old, and it has battled great men of God for a long time. It is dangerous, and only a faith-filled man of God can have a chance against it.
Why does it have to be a man filled with faith? Damn it, but wouldn’t it be thrilling if, even
without faith, a man of God can face that thing and deal with it, fuelled by the fact that God is with him?
Again there was silence, and then Bonner sighed softly.
You remember that I told you I was sad when we realized that God has chosen a complete novice as the next Unblind? I was even confused and for a moment I was scared, thinking that we made a mistake and couldn’t interpret the prophecy well. Now I’m beginning to understand. With that kind of one-track mind, maybe the Legion will finally meet its match. Now it is here, but we don’t know who its host is. That’s what makes it so frightening. It could be anywhere, and it has sensed Paul’s fear. It thrives on fear, and it will come soon. It is now up to you, Yaw. I don’t know how you’re going to do it, but you have to find it before it gets to Paul.
I shook my head numbly; suddenly I needed some air. The enclosed tightness of the room was suffocating me, crushing in on me.
I looked at them, and felt the paralyzing weight of their dependence, and for one moment I balked. I couldn’t have that responsibility on me.
I had come to Portville to find help from them, to be possibly rid of the gift, or whatever it was, but now the scene had changed, and the rules were a whole lot nastier.
The game plan had become one of death, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for anything like that.
Desperately I got to my feet and faced Bonner.
There just might be a little problem with that. Look, I came here to get some help, ok? Sure, I exorcised that demon in Samantha Gaisie. I dealt with the Legion when it occupied that duck, and maybe somehow I set Bruno on Andy Okai. Fine, cool. That shows I still have some power, right? But guess what, until I got to Jackson Peak, my life had suddenly become like that of any ordinary man.
Explain yourself, son.
Well, sure. Why not? What I mean to say is that ever since my father’s death I haven’t seen any demons, taking out Jackson Peak, that is. I haven’t seen anybody with a force-field, or the Glow, whatever. My eyes are normal. I think maybe I have lost the gift of the Second Sight, or that I’m close to losing it!
Bonner smiled wanly again, and I saw the relief on his craggy face.
You still have it, son. What has happened is that you’ve entered a transition. You can’t take out what happened in Jackson Peak and look at things in isolation. When you received the gift you were a sinner. You hadn’t repented of your sins then. You were just like a kid with a precious diamond. You virtually had no power in you, and the demons and minions were not afraid of you. At that point in your life you had not been covered with the complete armor and weapons of an Unblind, and apart from the fact that you could see those vile things your gift was simply uselss. Now things have changed. When you repented of your sins at the time your father was in agony, and when you finally accepted Christ into your life – you became an Unblind, and became fully clothed with the power of your gift. Now you’ve become a symbol of terror to those same minions and demons that had no respect for you. Are you beginning to understand now?
I sat down again slowly, reached for my glass and took a mouthful of orange juice.
I nodded slowly.
I think I’m beginning to understand. What you’re telling me is that now the demons avoid me, right?
Avoid? That’s a passive word. No, now they flee from your presence. Consider this; a person is standing in the middle of a road, lazing around, nonchalant to the world. Now there’s a bend in the road, okay? Now, if a car is approaching from the bend, that person’s ear will pick out the sound of the car long before it rounds the bend, right? That person then takes evasive actions by moving away from the middle of the road so that the car does not run him over. That’s how it works. Evil is now afraid of the presence of God’s power in you, and long before you get to them they sense that power and flee! Now, if that continues, you may always be a step too late. It is now up to you to hone your skills, to understand the power that is in you and let it guide you. Now more than ever you have to learn fast! You also have that power in you to sense them before they know you’re close. You have the power to come upon them so suddenly that fleeing would be too late. You have to develop that ability. It is of great importance.
And you’ll teach me?
We can share our experiences with you, son, but we can’t teach you. You’re God’s chosen one, and He himself shall teach you the rest.
That was about all we talked about that night.
Eventually Anderson and his wife left us in the study, and I was happy inside to see a little relief on their faces when they knew I was going to stay, and face the Legion.
I stayed long into the night with Charles Bonner, and later walked with him out of the study to his room, which was on the ground floor, two doors away from mine, and as I helped him into bed he asked me to draw up a chair and sit for a while with him if I wasn’t feeling too tired.
I was fast beginning to like him.
Maybe we complemented each other in a way, and our souls were on the same course. He had lost a son violently to the Legion, and I had lost both parents to the same vile being.
Silently we reached out to each other, and clung to the belief – though none of us voiced it – that we have found what we lost somehow.
I plagued him with questions, and he gave me an insight into the Bible and the life of an Unblind, teaching me in a way that kept me craving for more.
And then, finally, I asked a question with a yawn, rubbing my eyes hard … and he answered me with a series of deep-throated snores. I smiled tiredly, stood up, drew the sheets to his chest and turned off the lamp.
When I opened the door his tired voice floated up to me.
Good night, Yaw Boat.
For a moment I stood frozen in the doorway, experiencing a terrible bout of déjà vu. I felt the sudden crushing waves of sorrow again as thoughts of my father flooded my heart.
Sleep tight, old man.
I stepped into the hallway quickly, closing the door gently behind me.
I undressed slowly, and then I took a cold shower.
I put on my boxers and lay in the huge warm bed. Various thoughts crossed my mind, both nice and nasty, but finally – as usual – thoughts of Nicole intruded, and I welcomed her fresh beauty as she floated there in my brain with her warm smile and wonderful eyes.
She lured me to sleep, and she was never far away from my arms, and even in sleep I could smell her perfume and feel her right there beside me.
I didn’t know how long I slept, but suddenly I came awake and found myself covered with sweat.
I was practically awash with it; my heart was pounding so loudly that I could hear it hammering forcibly against my ribs. I had a splitting headache, so painful that for a moment I could barely move.
And then, from long away, I seemed to hear Bonner’s words, uttered in a sleepy voice:
…each of us has his own unique way of telling evil is near. It could be sweat, or a headache, or sometimes even an abnormal thirst for water…whatever it is, there’ll be a sign, a beating of the antennae. You have to find it, hone it, make it work for you, so that you’re always a step ahead of evil…
This was it!
I had no doubt about it.
Wickedness filled the air, and it was choking me with its stink. Yes, it was there … a strong smell, a terrible blast of something cheap and nasty, a dank vile odor, a stink, an explosion so ugly that I almost threw up.
I shot off the bed and almost tore the door off its hinges, flinging it back so hard that the brittle brass handle broke as it cannoned off the wall.
I was aware that Bonner was also in the hallway, gripping his walking-stick hard, face awash with fear.
It is here!
He spoke in a crusty voice, his fear lending his voice an unreal thick slurring pitch, but I was already running down the hallway.
The stink! The vile odor. It was everywhere, all around me, choking me!
Oh, Lord, where is that vile piece of dung?
A scream! A shrill scream above me!
Upstairs. The library-study?
No, Anderson’s bedroom!
I took the stairs four at a time, rounded it, found myself in another hallway. Doors were opening on each side. At the far end of the hallway, near the library-study, a door opened and Nicole came flying out.
I barely paid attention to her. The scream came again, from an opened door on my left, about five paces away.
A door on my right opened, and a tall man wearing only the bottoms of his pajamas emerged. He was holding a double-barreled shotgun, the type that used a bolt action.
It took me a while to recognize him; he was the tall man at dinner earlier, the one who had played a Mozart classic on the piano so well … a man no one had introduced to me.
He was ahead of me, and he entered the room first.
No, stay out!
I rushed forward.
I entered Anderson’s room and paused briefly.
The room was almost dark, the only source of light coming from an overturned bedside lamp on the floor.
Anderson and his wife were standing up on the huge bed, hugging each other, the woman screaming, drawing as far away as possible from Bruno.
The woman was glowing, I saw … but Anderson wasn’t.
The huge dog was crouched at the side of the bed, ready to pounce on them.
It was making terrible growling sounds, and judging by the whitish stuff on the floor I knew that the mean animal was drooling savagely.
The tall man with the shotgun was aiming now, and I could see his finger tightening on the trigger as he focused on Bruno’s huge head, and then suddenly the dog spun away and shot into the air, as if warned by invisible radar of the threat behind it.
The shotgun went off, its flash blinding me momentarily, the heavy slugs gouging into the rich rug on the floor. Bruno was still in midair, growling, spinning toward his attacker.
And I saw its eyes blazing a terrible crimson!
The breath caught in my throat as I watched, momentarily frozen with horror.
The tall man worked the bolt action, desperately trying to bring the shotgun round to bear on the mad dog once more, his face changing rapidly from a look of confidence into total horror.
He had no chance.
Two hundred pounds of sheer muscle sank into his naked torso.
Even as I screamed and rushed forward the huge animal bore him to the floor, and the huge head of the dog came up, jaws gaping open, exposing its ugly teeth, and then that horror of sheer malice dropped down savagely and sank its reinforced jaws into the stomach of the man.
The man screamed … but it wasn’t like any scream I had ever heard.
It sounded like a strident wail, an incredibly high-pitched shattering sound that no human throat was supposed to express – and it was a sound I never wanted to hear ever again.
It was dragged from his very soul, and all his heart was in that ear-splitting expression of pain.
I heard the ugly sound of skin separating.
The teeth sank deep, and the dog shook its head savagely, madly, expanding its purchase of flesh, digging deeper into the entrails of the hapless man.
To be continued…
© – Agyeman
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