They get ready to shoot the stranger.
But then he speaks.
You’re bleeding to death, Tawiah. Stick your hand in the earth around your feet, and the bleeding will stop.
Indeed, blood is shooting out of Tawiah’s torn fingers in wild gushes.
Terrified, he bends and puts his stumps into the earth, and then he withdraws his hand, and the bleeding has stopped, astounding all of them.
What the f***?
Kill him now!!
Abokyi Sereboe, I see the Angel of Death standing behind you! You’ve lived your life of violence from the infancy, and killed thirteen people in total. I wish I can help you, but I can’t. Alas, you’re going to die in your sins! How painful! But then, the Good Book always chastised us that he who lives by the sword eventually dies by the sword if he doesn’t change his ways.
You bastard! You f***ing bastard! Die!!
He fires his gun, and it blows up in his hands, shattering his wrists, and then one bullet flies backward and smashes into his throat.
He clutches his throat with his bloodied hands, staring with fear at the stranger, and then he falls on his back, jerks spasmodically, and remains still.
Adamu drops his gun and tries to flee, but he cannot move a limb!
He is rooted to the spot!
Tawiah also tries to run, but finds out he cannot move too.
Who’re you? Oh, who are you? Please, whoever you are, spare our lives! Please, please, spare us, sir!
Like I told your friend here, I’m a messenger of God. I called the police on my way here. They’re going to arrest you. Tell them the truth, otherwise I will come and pay you a visit, and believe me, you don’t want me paying you a visit!
Just then the thieves hear the sirens approaching, and several minutes later a police assault vehicle appears.
The vehicle comes to a halt and heavily-armed huge policemen come out with drawn guns.
One of a them, CHIEF INSPECTOR NII LANTE, walks towards the stranger with shock on his face.
CHIEF INSPECTOR LANTE
You! You spoke to me! You told me that the members of the Sereboe gang are here!
I did. Those are Sereboe’s acquaintances.
CHIEF INSPECTOR LANTE
He’s the one lying over there. His gun exploded in his hands and he died!
A police sergeant is standing over Abokyi’s body.
Inspector, come see! It is indeed Sereboe!
CHIEF INSPECTOR LANTE
I’ll be damned!
My work here is done. I’ll be on my way then.
CHIEF INSPECTOR LANTE
No, no, wait! You have to come to the station with me! There’s paperwork to be-
Sorry, but I’m not going to any station. There’s somewhere else I must go.
He gets into his beautiful and sleek Escalade, executes a tight U-turn, and then he speeds away.
They stare after him in incomprehension.
CHIEF INSPECTOR LANTE
Who is that guy? How did he know the Sereboe Gang we’ve been pursuing for more than ten years is here?
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There are five doctors and three nurses in Kwame Awuah’s ward.
Maame Akosua is weeping uncontrollably, and Enyonam is holding her as the doctors fuss around the patient.
Maame’s eyes are focused on Nana Yaw as he and the other doctors professionally go about their business.
She is convinced that he had something to do with the sudden multiple-organ failure of Mr. Kwame Awuah, but she has no proof.
She is determined, however, that if something bad happens to Kwame she will go to the police and lodge a formal complaint.
Suddenly the door opens.
She looks up and gasps!
There is a man standing in the doorway!
It is the bearded man she has seen in her dreams!
The black beard, sideburns and moustache!
The dark glasses. The black suit, the white tie!
The tall stranger!
Good grief! Dear sweet Jesus! It is him! It is him!
Who? Who, dear?
God’s messenger! The man I’ve been seeing in my dreams each time I fasted and prayed for Kwame’s healing!
The stranger surveys the room calmly, and then he walks inside and closes the door behind him.
He links his hands behind him and walks forward.
Nana Yaw turns from the bed and approaches him.
Who are you, sir? We have an emergency here, and visitors are not allowed now. If you’ll kindly wait outside, we’ll attend to you later.
I came to see that woman over there.
Maame Akosua rushes forward, wiping tears from her eyes.
He came to see me, sir.
You bring your private visitors here? To my father’s ward? You’re fired, woman! Get the hell out of here!
The stranger’s face hardens as he glares at Nana Yaw.
You’re alive because she is here, you fool! And she has a right to be here more than you, vermin, and you know it!
Nana Yaw is stung by the insult, and rage suffuses his face. He glares at the stranger with mounting fury.
You get out of here, mister, before I beat you up to pulp! Get out!
I’ve never been known to obey imbeciles, young man. I came here because the Lord sent me to this woman, and until the will of He who sent me is fulfilled, I’m not budging, you distasteful greedy mongrel!
Nana Yaw cannot take it any longer.
He swings a fist into the jaw of the stranger.
His right fist connects, and it feels like he has just hit his fist against a piece of hardened iron.
He screeches with raw pain as his fingers crack and break.
He takes steps back, staring at his fingers.
The three huge fingers of his right hand are twisted and broken, sending shards of pain through his whole body.
He whimpers with acute pain, holding his right hand in his left hand, his eyes dazed and clouded with pain.
There is silence in the room as all eyes turn to the stranger.
He turns his attention to Maame.
You’re really here! I saw you in my dreams! You’re really a man of God!
You have a problem. The Lord heard your prayers, and listened to you, and sent me here. What is it, woman?
Maame turns, weeping again, and goes to the bed.
She puts a hand on Kwame’s chest.
His eyes are now closed, and it is apparent that he is close to death.
Please, sir, help him. He’s suffering too much.
The stranger looks at Maame Akosua with incredulous eyes.
He walks forward slowly, and it is apparent that he is not pleased.
Him? Is this the man you prayed for?
Yes, sir! But why, you don’t sound pleased!
Because I’m not pleased! This is a man whom the Lord has blessed, and yet he doesn’t believe in the existence and sovereignty of the Lord! He makes fun of the ways of the Lord, and his utterances are a perversion of the Lord! I find him utterly distasteful!
Maame looks horrified.
But isn’t that how the Lord works sometimes? Remember Paul used to be Saul, a man who hated the Lord!
Don’t you start quoting verses to me, woman!
Nana Yaw is still moaning, making sounds of great pain.
The stranger approaches him and holds his damaged hand.
If I be a man of God, then in the name of Jesus Christ receive your healing!
He drops Nana Yaw’s hand…
The broken fingers have been restored to whole.
Nana Yaw makes terrible croaking sounds in his throat and moves away from the stranger with fear.
The other doctors and the nurse are now moving away from the bed as Kwame Awuah’s eyes open slowly.
He sees the man in the black suit, and Kwame’s eyes widen!
He remembers Maame Akosua telling him her dreams about a tall bearded man in a black suit.
The stranger turns towards the door, and with a cry Maame runs to him and falls down in front of him.
Please, sir, please, please, please! Help him, sir, please!
I thought you were in trouble, woman! I didn’t know you were only praying for that nincompoop who has denounced the Lord his whole life! He doesn’t need help! Let him die in his iniquity! He put his faith in his wealth, thinking there is no God, like a fool! If he had put his treasures in the Lord, he would’ve received tenfold riches and a thousand-fold health.
Tears drench Maame’s face as she holds the legs of the stranger.
But he believes now, please! He has repented of his sins! He’s ready to accept the Lord now! Sir, you helped his son by healing his hand!
Don’t blaspheme, woman! I have no healing powers! It is the Lord who heals!
I know, sir, sorry! But if the Lord used you to heal this son, then the Lord wants you to heal the father too! He’s suffering, please! His wife is cheating on him with his son, and I’m sure his son tried to kill him!
Nana Yaw gasps suddenly, his face shattering with sudden fear!
How had that witch known?
The stranger steps past Maame, still angry, and reaches for the door.
Suddenly he groans as a great expression of pain rips across his face!
He drops to one knee, gasping and holding his stomach, his face tearing apart with pain.
Father! You give me this pain because of this atheist? This man who blasphemes against Your name? It is not fair, Father!
The stranger grunts again, obviously in more pain.
Suddenly he drops on both knees and raises his hands in supplication.
He closes his eyes and speaks with pain.
I’m sorry, Father! May Your will, not mine, be done!
He remains on his feet for some time with his hands raised and his eyes closed.
And then his breathing seems to ease and he slowly gets to his feet.
He takes out a large handkerchief and dabs at the sweat on his face.
Please, what happened to you, sir?
The Lord decided to give me a stomach ache for disobeying Him. I guess I should be grateful because Jonah was in the belly of a whale for three days for disobeying the Lord of Hosts.
He walks towards the bed, and he stares down at Kwame Awuah, who is looking at the stranger with tears coursing down his face.
Maame comes to stand beside the stranger, and she speaks haltingly.
In my dream I saw you carrying-
So go and fill the bathtub with water, woman.
Yes, sir! I will immediately!
She quickly runs into the bathroom and turns on the tap in the bath after plugging the hole.
She is trembling when she goes back into the ward.
To be continued