Death Row Episode 8

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Location: CENTRAL POLICE STATION

All the necessary documentation for the execution of Pastor Zac Larbi have been obtained and duly signed.

At the Central Police Station, the Member of Parliament, the Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolis, Judge Atinga Awedaga and Chief Inspector Kwabena Bediako are putting final touches to some of the documentation.

They are in a small conference room.

The room is plush and air-conditioned.

There is a knock, and a Sergeant walks in with unease written all over his face.

The people in the room are sitting around a rectangular glass-topped table.

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

(tiredly)

Yes, Sergeant, what can we do for you?

SERGEANT

(nervously)

Erm, there’s a man outside, sir, saying it is urgent he sees you. He says it is about the Zac Larbi case.

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

(gravely)

And this man gave his name as?

SERGEANT

He wouldn’t say, sir. He only-

And that is when the door opens again and the tall stranger enters.

He is wearing dark-blue trousers with a white shirt and matching tie, and he has a white hat on his head and brown sunglasses.

His face is covered with a lot of hair: side-burns, beard, moustache.

He walks forward without any hesitation, and there is something about his demeanour that brooks no argument.

He stops and regards the four people in the room.

THE STRANGER

(calmly)

You people should postpone the execution because you’re about to kill an innocent man.

The people around the table look at each other with varying expressions of anger, irritation, and mirth on their faces.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(angrily)

And who might you be, sir? And who gave you the authority to come in here with your nonsense?

The stranger turns his attention to him.

THE STRANGER

I’m not subject to your authority, sir, or any authority under the sun.

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE

(smirking)

Another nutcase. A self-styled evangelist, no doubt, living in the woods.

JUDGE AWEDEGA

Chief Inspector, would you please get this clown out of here?

THE STRANGER

You will listen to what I have to tell you. If you go ahead with this execution, the wrath of God will be on you, because the blood you’re about to spill is innocent blood, and the human life you’re about to end is God’s anointed vessel.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

(shouting)

Will you cut out that crap, you mad bastard? Arrest this man, Bediako!

THE STRANGER

(calmly)

How can he arrest me, when he can’t even get out of his chair?

All of them begin to speak at once, with varying degrees of anger.

Chief Inspector Kwabena Bediako puts his hand on the glass-topped table to leverage himself up, but he finds out suddenly that he cannot stand up.

He tries again and again, but it seems his body is suddenly glued, and although he can move his hand and legs, he cannot leverage himself up! He simply cannot get out of his chair!

The others are staring at him with anger at first, and then all of them try to stand up, and they find out that they also cannot move out of their chairs.

After several attempts to stand up and failing to do so, they turn stunned and scared eyes on the stranger, whose face is impassive and whose eyes had a glint of fury in them.

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MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

A fucking magician, are you? No wonder you’re dealing with the same demonic powers that evil Pastor deals in!

THE STRANGER

(calmly)

There’s no evil power that can be capable of rendering all of you powerless to move. You watch your words, mister. You’re slowly stroking my ire, and believe me, you won’t like it one bit if I get angry at you for ridiculing the ways of the Lord. Like I’m saying, you should postpone the execution. It shouldn’t happen tomorrow.

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

(intrigued)

And why? WHY?? You’re being abstract and absolutely nonsensical! If you have some evidence, Mister, give it, and stop trying to scare us with your supernatural powers!

THE STRANGER

(nodding)

You seem like a fair man, Mr. Bediako. Has it occurred to you, watching all the videos of the killer, that he used his right hand dominantly, whilst Pastor Zac Larbi is left-handed?

JUDGE AWEDEGA

(scoffing)

Is that all the evidence you have? He could’ve have used his right hand deliberately, and that is exactly what he did.

The stranger turns his gaze on him, and his face is not nice at that moment at all.

THE STRANGER

I watched you in the courtroom, Mr. Awedega. I’ve had the compulsion ever since, and the urge, to do something to hurt you because, of a truth, you did fill me with ire in that courtroom with your blatant disregard for the human characteristic called truth. If I had had my way, you would’ve suffered a most tragic malady in that courtroom.

As it is, my ire is severely stoked, and my control is stretched to the utmost. I’ll give you a modicum of advice, though. It will be in your best interest not to utter any word further, otherwise, I will call the wrath of the Almighty on you, and believe me, Mr. Judge, you won’t find the judgement I give you savoury in the least!

He speaks with such passion, with such authority, and with such malice, that it finally communicates to the people in the room that indeed, the stranger is somebody they do not want to cross.

There is a sudden coldness in the room, and a palpable danger, and many a throat goes dry.

Judge Awedega seems to shrink further into his seat, and on his face is palpable fear.

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO

(softly)

You don’t really believe you can just walk in here and tell us to stay the execution for a day, and we follow like lame sheep, do you? No, Mister, you need to give us something more, otherwise, the execution will go on. That is the law of this country. A competent court of law and the Appeals Court both found him guilty!

This is the law! And the Bible even stipulates that what belongs to Caesar should go to Caesar! So give us something more, otherwise your threats will not avail to anything!

The stranger looks at the policeman and nods.

THE STRANGER

Like I said, you’re a fair man. The crimes levelled against Pastor Zac Larbi were in truth committed by his doppelganger. Tomorrow, you’ll execute Pastor Zac Larbi in the morning, six a.m. By seven a.m. the doppelganger will commit the same crime at the same point. If you delay the execution by even one hour, you will catch the doppelganger in the act.

The stranger turns then and leaves the room.

To Be Continued…