“Don’t waste God’s time with useless prayers, pastor,” Bobo said, his voice worried. “I’ve already prayed for forgiveness. Why should I pray for forgiveness again? And you want me to pray for rain. But it is already raining. Please, pastor, don’t waste God’s time like that, I beg you.”
And yes, he was right!
The heavens opened, and the rains came down in a mighty, thunderous spray as if a dam in the sky had burst open! For a split-second, even Jon Fii was stunned!
He had not expected anything like this, no!
Maybe a darkening of the sky, a few thunders, and later a little shower in a day or two! But this sudden downpour, intense and heavy, made him dumb for a moment.
And all around him was that element of great shock.
He saw it on the faces of the king, the queen, and the people of the palace. The silence was made even more intense by the power of the rainfall.
It was broken by Bobo, who got to his feet with a great whoop at the sky as he clenched his fists! This served as the impetus that broke the stunned silence in the palace! The queen squealed with delight, and the king did a sort of crazy little dance on the veranda. The old men and women joined in, and soon it was a weird spectacle of people shouting and dancing with delight, and incredibly, they got down from the verandas and stepped into the rain.
Jon Fii smiled broadly as he looked at them.
“This is what God can do!” he screamed with ecstasy. “This is what the Lord is capable of!”
Pastor Atoklu, weeping in the rain, put his hands on Jon’s shoulders and danced crazily, and it was around that time that Jon Fii noticed that Sophia was no longer in the palace!
“Where’s Sophia?” he shouted above the lash of the rain.
“What fire?” Bobo shouted at him with a comical look on his face.
“Sophia!” Jon screamed louder.
“The witch?” Bobo shouted and pointed at the entrance. “She ran outside in shame with her buttocks shaking like abonsam taawa! Hey, pastor, be careful with that witch! The way she’s fine, if you don’t take time she will make you toke-toke like a sheep… meeer-meeer-meeer!”
Jon Fii moved away from Kwabla’s hands and rushed towards the entrance. He heard the old pastor calling him but he paid no heed. He blasted out of the palace and came to a stunned stop!
The rutted street in front of the palace and down the stretch was filled with hordes of screaming, dancing, happy people! The children were mostly naked, and some of them were rolling around on the ground and in the muddied pools of water!
The older folk were doing really crazy dances.
But their faces… that was the real gem!
He had never seen happier, relieved faces!
The rain was intensifying as he peered through the bodies! Many of them were dancing around him now, hailing and touching him!
Jon moved from them with courteous smiles, searching frantically, and then, in the distance, tearing away, he saw the flash of white!
Jon Fii dashed through the throng of bodies as he raced after her, his long legs carrying him across the ground. The rain lashed ferociously at him, and he avoided the hands that reached out to grab him, keeping her in sight as she rounded a corner!
He increased his gait, moving swiftly through the corners and alleys of Obosomfie as he raced after her, and everywhere he turned there were people in the rain, screaming in their frenzied jubilations!
He was gaining on her now as they approached a magnificent white edifice in the distance. She was tiring, and suddenly she took a look behind and saw him coming after her. He saw a look of dismay on her face as she increased her gait.
“Sophia!” he shouted frantically. “Wait! Stop, damn it!”
Jon was almost out of breath from his exertions, but he raced after her, pumping his arms harder, and soon he was directly behind her. He reached out to grab her arm, and she spun to face him with a knife in her hand, her face frantic and filled with hatred.
“Stay away from me!” she hissed as the rain fell on her. “Stay away from me!”
“You’re going to stab me again?” he shouted over the din of the rain. “You want to bury me alive again, Sophia?”
He saw her lips quivering now, and again he saw how painfully beautiful she was, a beauty so pure and ethereal, dark and shiny, a woman created with infinite attention to detail.
Her lovely eyes were filled with pain and panic as she held the knife and glared at him.
“What do you want from me again?” she cried forlornly. “What do you want, Jon Fii? You just humiliated me in the worst way, and rendered me powerless in the sight of the palace elders! You’ve given them rain, something I haven’t been able to do in years! What more do you want from me?”
He looked at her with gentle eyes and held out his arms.
“I didn’t give them rain, Sophia,” he said gently. “I’m but a man, simple and without power. But, there’s a Lord who lives, and who has more power, love, grace, and promises divine happiness than you’ll ever get doing what you’ve devoted your life to. Please, Sophia, let me help you out of this.”
“What do you care?” she screamed at him. “It is the life I chose to live, the life I accepted to live! What do you care? Even my own parents gave me away willingly to live like this!”
“Because they didn’t know any better!” Jon screamed. “They were told you would die if you didn’t serve the gods! Their love for you made them give you away to preserve your life! But that was wrong! It’s never too late to know the truth, Sophia! Let me help you! Please, let me help you find salvation! The path you’re treading is dangerous, and would lead to death, and eternal suffering!”
He took a step towards her and she raised the wicked-looking knife instantly.
“What do you care?” she screamed. “You’re only interested in my body, aren’t you? Like all those disgusting men! You see my body, and my beauty, and you want to hold me and stick your damn penis into me, don’t you? You pretend piety and holiness but deep inside you’re nothing but a lusting turd!”
Her face was bitter, her expression filled with disgust, but he took another step towards her.
“I’m not afraid of you, Sophia,” he said gently. “And yes, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. But no, I do not lust after you. I’ve dedicated my life to the Lord I serve, and I do not bother myself with the desires of the flesh. Maybe, I’ll marry someday, have a family, kids and all, if the Lord so desires me to have. But right now, my joy is only in serving my God!”
“You lie!” she hissed and pointed the knife at his face. “That is all you men want! Pussy! A tight, wet, frigging pussy! And I can see it in your eyes now, you filthy pig!”
“Look hard, Sophia,” he said with a smile. “I don’t even know what a pussy looks like. Well, I might have seen a few illustrations when I was at school, and the occasional pussy of a child here and there. Right now, in the rain, I saw some naked kids. The only adult pussy I saw recently was covered with hair, but I didn’t really get to see its details.”
She scowled at him.
“An adult pussy?” she asked in confusion. “A woman?”
“A young girl, around your age, I guess,” he said. “Tried to seduce me. Some had tried in the past, a lot of women, actually. But I stopped them before they got naked. This one was naked when she came in.”
She nodded with contempt.
“And you did it, didn’t you?” she asked, her voice filled with disgust.
“On the contrary, no,” Jon replied. “I kicked it. Can you believe that? Everything was offered to me, and I kicked her in the pussy so hard that she was on admission at the hospital.”
“What?” Sophia whispered, and her beautiful eyes became round with wonder. “You kicked a naked girl right there?”
“Yep,” he said with a chuckle. “Landed me in police cells. My apostles were embarrassed, thought I was a disgrace to the church, so they decided to punish me by sending me here. They didn’t know, though, that they were sending me to my mother’s hometown, and that I am actually a prince here. That’s what the Lord can do, Sophia.”
He was near now, and the knife in her hand was pushing against his chest.
She looked into his eyes, and for a moment it was as if they were alone in the world, the two of them, one incredibly handsome, the other breathtakingly beautiful.
Her voice was not quite steady as she gazed at him.
“You’ve never been with a woman?” she whispered.
“No,” Jon said gently. “My mother… she was a good woman, and a good Christian. She raised me up right, and I grew up hating immorality. Do you know why she left Obosomfie and never came back?”
Sophia shook her head, and she was unable to drag her eyes away from his face. This was the closest she had come to a man, apart from the fetish priests that she worked with at the shrine, and the old men at the palace. No man had ever been allowed to stand this close to her in conversation.
But from the very second she set eyes on this man of God, he had been different from all men, and affected her in a way that had frightened her, and was terrifying her right now.
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“The knife is hurting me, Sophia,” Jon said calmly. “You better stab me with it, or take it down.”
Her hand trembled as she finally dragged her eyes to the point where the knife was digging into his chest.
“I’ll stab you, Jon Fii,” she said in an unsteady voice. “I’ll stab you to death.”
“Go ahead,” he replied calmly and took a step forward so that the knife dug deeper into his chest. “Go right ahead, Sophia, if that will make you feel better.”
The tip of the knife had penetrated his shirt, and she could see a trace of blood where it had nicked him, but the rainwater quickly diluted it. Sophia stepped back with a moan and dropped the knife. She raised troubled eyes to his gentle face once more.
“What are you doing to me, Jon Fii?” she whispered in a tragic voice.
Jon reached down and slowly held her hands in each of his.
“My mother was a princess here,” he said gently. “My father was a rich contractor who came to build a bridge to span the lake. He was a Christian, and he fell in love with the princess. They married right here, but my mother refused to leave Obosomfie because she was in line to be the queen. But, when I was born, she was told the gods wanted me to be the next fetish priest.”
She gasped and shook her head numbly.
“Oh!” she whispered with terror. “You’re the Bosomti! The head of the gods! The one whose mother carried her away?”
He nodded once.
“Yes,” he said with a smile. “She did not want me to be the Bosomti and get involved with all that evil, so she finally gave up her ambitions as the next queen and left this town. But she knew I would be troubled, and could be dragged back to work as the Bosomti, so from the moment she was free of this village, she and my father made sure that I was brought up well in the hand of the Lord. I’ve never strayed since, and the Lord’s eye has always been on me. So, Sophia, you’re now ruling on an evil throne that was meant for me.”
“Oh, Jon!” she whispered fiercely. “You rejected them! That’s why they’re so hellbent on having you, on killing you, on destroying you! Please, you don’t know what is in store for you! You must leave immediately!”
“I can’t leave,” he said with a gentle smile. “My God wanted me here to plant a church, and bring His people back to worship him. God wants me to help you come out of this evil, and that is exactly what I’m going to do!”
“You can’t save me!” she screamed and pushed him hard in the chest. “I sold my soul! If I move out of that shrine I’ll be dead! You’re going to die too! They want me to seduce you and take you to the tombs beneath the shrine where you’ll be forced to worship the devil! Go, Jon Fii!”
He looked at her, stunned, and this time he trembled a bit as he took a step nearer her again.
“You know what you’ve done, right?” he asked unsteadily.
“What?” she whispered.
“You revealed the plans of the evil hosts you serve,” he said calmly. “You were supposed to seduce me, and take me to this place of death. But you didn’t. You told me instead. Why, Sophia? Why did you do that?”
She could not look into his eyes.
Her eyes were fixed on his lips, and she noticed how the rain dripped off his chin. He noticed how the rain had moulded her dress to her amazing curves, how her nipples were sticking out of the dress, her breasts proud and undefiled.
“Go, Jon, please,” she whispered.
“Why did you reveal what you were supposed to do to me!” he almost shouted.
“I don’t know!” she screamed and finally looked into his face with a tragic look on her face. “I don’t know, Jon Fii, damn you! You confuse me! I hated you so much! I hated you with every last breath in my body! And I wanted you to die… but when we buried you in the grave, I wanted to take you out again! You make me feel what I have never felt! You make me wish I were just an ordinary girl, free to laugh and roam, to play in the rain… to have something different. Go, Jon, I beg of you!”
She turned hurriedly, but Jon caught her arm swiftly and drew her against him.
Without realizing what he was doing, without thought and conscious effort, he slipped his arms around her!
The gesture made him gasp because he had never done that before… and somehow, it felt right to have her in his arms as the rain beat down on them with renewed intensity.
“Let me go, Yaw Bosomfi,” Sophia whispered weakly against him. “I beg of you! I’ve committed an abomination by refusing to do that which I was ordered to do! Today, they almost killed me in the fire, and I know that when I go back there, I’ll surely die for my failure! But, you have made me feel something I’ve never felt before! It is enough, please. Let me go.”
“I will never let you go, Sophia,” he whispered.
There was a strange note in his voice that made her stiffen for a moment, and then she looked into his face, and gasped at the look of tenderness she saw there.
It was not that look of fevered lust that she was used to seeing on the faces of men that looked at her. This was a look that was quite pleasant to see, a look that made her heart flutter for the very first time, a look that spoke of trust, of warmth, of dependability, and yes, a hint of lust.
And, without meaning to, the fetish priestess of Obosomfie slipped her arms around the man’s waist and, for the very first time in her life, rested her cheek on his chest.
Without meaning to, his hand came up and gently smoothed down her hair.
None of them saw that far off, at the entrance of the shrine, ten old men wearing only calico cloth around their waists and holding long, white staffs, were lined up with eyes that glittered with pure evil!
And they did not know that far above them in the dark sky, the four evil entities that were joined at the hip were glowering down at them, and were descending swiftly with evil incarnate shrouding them!
To be continued