The huge, black, heavily-armoured police van passes through three fortified and guarded gates before entering the main yard of the GRAND CASTLE PRISON.
It goes forward a bit and then takes a left turn towards the administration block.
It stops behind a long, flat rectangular building that has several offices along its length.
The armed policemen get down, and the back of the van is opened with a series of keys.
Two huge policemen climb inside the van and each takes the arm of Zac Larbi and pulls him forward roughly.
Zac is helped down by two burly policemen on the ground as others cover him with guns.
His wrists are handcuffed behind his back, and there are chains around his ankles, weighed down by metal balls which are apparently heavy because he can barely move his legs.
He indeed cuts a pathetic sight as he is dragged towards one of the office rooms. It has an inscription carved into an aluminum plate fixed on the door. It reads:
SUPT. KWESI AKYAW
One of the prison officers knocks on the door, and then opens it.
Zac is pushed rather cruelly into the huge office.
It has a desk and a high-backed swivel chair in one corner.
There is a small fridge and a filing cabinet. On the walls are a few paintings depicting biblical passages.
There are about five armchairs in the room.
And there are three men already waiting in the room.
The prison guards left the office and close the door behind them.
One of the men in the room is the burly Grand Castle Prison Chaplain, Superintendent Kwesi Akyaw, and he is wearing his uniform.
The second man is the tall, lean PROPHET EBOW BIO, a devout man of God of GOLGOTHA HEIGHTS INTERNATIONAL, the church that Zac attends.
The third man in the group is the short, obese APOSTLE KWAKU ABOAH, Founder and General Overseer of Golgotha Heights International.
The Superintendent is sitting behind his desk.
The two men of God are sitting in the armchairs.
All of them are unsmiling, and have very grim looks on their faces.
As Zac stands there, facing them with a thudding heart, Apostle Aboah gets to his feet, his face enraged, and then he takes three steps forward and slaps Zac hard across the face!
You bastard! You ungrateful murderer! How could you do this to the Church? HOW COULD YOU???
He raises his hand again to strike, but the Prophet gets up and pulls him back.
That’s okay, Kweku! That’s okay! He doesn’t deserve any chastisement from you! Let the Lord God deal with him!
Zac Larbi looks at them, and although his lips tremble, and tears course down his face, he does not utter a word.
The Apostle is shaking with rage as he glares at Zac.
You were homeless, Zac Larbi! Your parents died in a fire when you were only five years old! I took you in, and I brought you up! I gave you the best education and treated you like my own child, and you know I had five children already, three boys and two girls, and I could’ve thrown you to the wolves!
But I treated you even better than my own children! I made you a Pastor in God’s own church! I gave you a house of your own, a car of your own, and gave you the daughter of one of the best and richest men in the country to marry! You grew up under the feet of the Lord! I raised you right! So what’s this? WHAT’S THIS, YOU MURDERING INGRATE?
Five young women! FIVE WOMEN! You captured them, RAPED them, and then BLUDGEONED them to death, you sick little bastard! What the FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU??
His pudgy face is filled with rage, disgust, and pain.
He is trembling rather badly.
I’m glad you remember that you raised me under the feet of the Lord, Daddy-
(cutting in harshly)
I’M NOT YOUR BLOODY DADDY! STOP CALLING ME DADDY! I’M NOT DADDY TO A BLOODY MONSTER, A HEARTLESS BEAST! I’VE DISOWNED YOU!!!
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That one really hurts Zac.
He looks down at his shackled feet, and he cries with anguish.
Several times he tries to speak, but his voice is choked with his tears, and nothing comes out, only little croaky sounds.
Finally, after a while, he seems to get himself under some semblance of control and looks up again.
That is the most painful thing I’ve ever heard you utter, Apostle. I never imagined you could ever say that to me.
I’ve said it, AND IT STANDS! YOU’RE NO CHILD OF MINE!! AND I DISOWN YOU!!
So be it, Apostle. I do thank you, though, for taking me in and raising me up in the paths of the Lord. There’s nothing more precious than being brought up right in the ways of God, and for that, I’ll forever be grateful to you.
You’ve seen me, Apostle! You’ve seen how the Good Lord favoured me! In church, at Camp Golgotha when we go on retreats, everywhere, you saw how God used me to minister, to heal the sick, and to win souls! Why then do you ALSO believe me capable of these heinous crimes?
BECAUSE YOU SOLD YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL! BECAUSE YOU RAPE WOMEN AND BLUDGEON THEM TO DEATH, CUT OFF THEIR HEADS AND EAT THEIR HEARTS!
THAT’S WHERE YOUR EVIL POWERS WERE COMING FROM, DEVIL WORSHIPPER, AND YOU DECEIVED US INTO THINKING YOUR GRACE CAME FROM GOD!! MAY YOU ROT IN THE HOTTEST DEPTHS OF HELL FOR DOING THIS TO THE CHURCH!!
If you believe this of me, then there’s nothing to say. I will die the day after tomorrow, but I’m not afraid. I know my ways are right with God, and I’m innocent. Even if God does not vindicate me, I still give Him worship, and adoration, and will never condemn my God.
The Superintendent finally gets out of his chair and comes round the desk, his voice is agitated when he speaks:
SUPT. KWESI AKYAW
How can you stand there and claim to be innocent, son? A court of seven jury members found you guilty. The Appeals Court found you guilty. Alright, let’s even discount the verdict of the courts. I also am a member of Golgotha Heights, a great church that holds a Christian Revival Retreat at Camp Golgotha on the mountains twice every year.
Two years ago, five women went missing from the retreat grounds. Our security cameras showed you capturing them and dragging them out of the camp! There is an abandoned cabin in the woods, and that is where the police found the headless bodies of the women! They also found video recordings you apparently made yourself on a camcorder and forgot it in the cabin, and these videos showed you raping the women one at a time, and then bashing their heads in with a heavy stump of wood.
And then you cut out their hearts. You ate some of the hearts raw, and cooked some! And you stand there and claim innocence? Meanwhile there was no question about a disguise because the man in the videos spoke like you, looked like you, and in fact, you’re that man! And there is absolutely no record of your parents giving birth to twins! So how can you stand there and claim innocence, my son? That is an insult to sane people like us!
Yes, sir. I saw the videos, and indeed the man in the videos looks exactly like me, so exact that I’m even shocked to my bones, and I still don’t understand it. But that is the truth…he just looked like me, in every detail, but it wasn’t me! He’s still out there somewhere. But it doesn’t matter now. Everything is in the hands of God!
SUPT. KWESI AKYAW
My God! You’ve no heart! You’re indeed an animal!