A lot of people screamed when Julie pulled the trigger.
The Chief Inspector took several steps away with horror. Even Abednego shut his eyes at the last moment, and Jacob fell forward with a horrified grunt.
The judge put his face flat on the bench and wrapped his arms around his neck as his body shook with the horror buffeting him.
It was only Sandra who kept staring with a fascinated gloat on her face, expecting a shower of blood, bone and brains to spray the courtroom.
However, the pistol simply disintegrated in Julie’s hand the moment she pulled the trigger…just like that!
The bullet clip fell out first, then the barrel fell off the pistol, and then the trigger guard also slipped off, and the trigger itself, all of them clattering on the table in front of her…just pieces of metal!
There was a stunned silence in the room, and Julie stared with uncomprehending eyes as the pieces of dark metal on the table which, until a few seconds ago, had been a fully functional police revolver!
The Chief Inspector’s horror changed to great anger in an instant.
“Oh, you stupid bitch!” he whispered as he stepped forward with his hand raised to slap Julie. “What have you done to my gun?”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a cool voice said from across the room, and all eyes turned toward the voice.
A tall man in a beautiful black suit, white shirt and a cowboy hat stood up from where he had been sitting all along in the corner of the room, and began to walk slowly forward.
Julie turned and looked at him, and her breath almost stopped!
The man had a thick growth of beard and moustache now, but Julie saw the incredibly-handsome chiselling of his face, and saw his eyes, and knew he was the same man, the stranger who had appeared so mysteriously in her ward and prevented Doctor Dei from killing her!
The Chief Inspector stayed his hand as he glared at the stranger.
“And who might you be?” the Judge asked in an authoritative voice. “How dare you interrupt court proceedings without the proper recourse to me?”
“Your authority does not extend to me, sir,” the stranger said without breaking stride.
The huge, burly policeman, the one who had smashed Akwasi Dapaah’s face much earlier with the butt of his rifle, stood up from a row quite near the stranger, and marched angrily toward the stranger.
“Massa, you better turn round and get the fuck outta this room before I mess up your ugly face for you!” he said arrogantly and with threat in his voice.
The stranger looked at the policeman with very cold eyes.
“Do your worse,” he said calmly. “I must tell you though, that it will bring only excruciating pain to you, mostly because of the young man you manhandled this morning, which sorely vexed my soul.”
The huge policeman, always a bully, was instantly incensed by this man’s arrogance. He swung the butt of his rifle in a savage arc, just like he had swung it at Akwasi Dapaah, intending to smash in the stranger’s face, possibly in a worse way than he had hit Akwasi.
But as the rifle butt began to move forward, the policeman screamed with sudden excruciating pain as both of his arms snapped back as if by an invisible giant, and twisted cruelly up his back, snapping his arms at the shoulder joints and the elbow joints!
The gun dropped from his useless hands as tears of anguish fell down his face. He stared at the stranger with sheer horror, and a moment later the nasty sounds of shattering bones filled the courtroom as the policeman’s thigh bones broke, and he crashed heavily to the ground, screaming with such agony that it rendered everyone mute with horror.
The stranger stepped past the screaming policeman, and his eyes were cold as he surveyed the other people in the room.
“And you will keep quiet!” he said, and immediately the policeman stopped screaming, but muted groans emitted from his throat.
The stranger walked forward purposely, and his gaze swept over Sandra, Jacob and Abednego, and each of them dropped their eyes because they could not bear to look at him for fear that he might strike them down even harder than he had done to the policeman.
There was something about him, a cold aura of power that struck fear into the hearts of those looking at him.
He raised his hand slightly, and the huge doors of the courtroom swung shut with a bang behind him, and then he looked acidly at the judge for a moment before turning his back on the bench and staring at a weeping Julie with hard eyes.
“So, you learnt nothing from our last encounter,” he stated, and his voice was cold. “You had the audacity to think about taking your own life?”
Julie shook her head numbly as her tears fell.
“What can I do?” she whispered with great agony. “How could I stop myself from being suicidal in the face of everything happening in my life at the moment? My life is destroyed. I’m paralyzed, my parents are dead, and I’m facing a long prison term! What can I do? Isn’t it better that I die?”
“Death is eventual for every soul, but it is a great sin to those who take it by their own volition,” the stranger said coldly. “Killing yourself will send you to a place you would take eternity to regret, woman! You’re lucky, because that young man prayed for you, and you have been singled out for salvation.”
“But what can I do?” Julie whimpered tragically. “Please help me! If it is God I should know to make things alright for me…please help me find God!”
He nodded then, and he sighed.
“And those are true words coming from a contrite heart,” he said, his voice a bit gentle now. “It is true as the Bible says. When we seek the true God with all sincerity and with all honesty, turning our backs on sin, indeed so shall we find the gracious Lord. Are you ready to leave your sinful life behind, and live in the Lord?”
“Yes, I am!” Julie cried, her heart broken. “I need peace! I need great peace otherwise I’ll surely die!”
“You cannot lie to the Lord, and you cannot use trickery to get into the Kingdom of God!” the stranger said. “If, indeed, you have seen the wrongful ways of your life, pray to God now. If indeed, you’re genuine to become a true Christian then, for a fact, all other things would be added to you. Pray now. I don’t have all day to dally here with you, for I have much to do.”
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And so, for the very first time in her adult life, Julie closed her eyes, and with tears blinding her, she prayed to God, and sought a higher level of peace and release for the agony in her soul.
She prayed silently, her heart broken and contrite, her tears a testimony of the release her soul sought…and a moment later the harsh lines on the stranger’s face softened, and what appeared to be a tiny smile played around the edges of his lips.
“You glow now, with the force-field of the Lord,” he said slowly. “Welcome home, maiden.”
Julie opened her eyes, and although her tears fell, she smiled, and her face was radiant and peaceful.
The agony, the sheer torture, the unbearable pain…were all gone!
In her heart was a bubble of joy, and a strong strength that made her feel that she could face the whole world alone in a war if need be.
The stranger extended his hand, and suddenly there was a beautiful leather-bound Bible in it.
“Here, come for it,” he said gently. “Meditate on the Word day and night, and let your heart dwell and be glad in the love of the Lord.”
Julie reached for the Bible, but her hand could not reach it.
“I’m sorry, sir,” she said. “You have to come a little closer and give it to me.”
“I have no time for lazy individuals!” the stranger said with a scowl. “You come for it!”
“But I can’t walk, sir!” Julie said in anguish. “My legs are paralyzed!”
“Who said you can’t walk?” he asked softly.
Julie gasped, her eyes going wide with disbelief…
Could it be true?
Was it even remotely possible?
Could she dare…should she dare?
She took a deep breath…and got up on her feet!
Just like that!
She took a step, and another, and then she screamed and began to jump up and down with unbridled joy, with absolute happiness! She was cured! She was healed! The paralysis was gone!
“This is a vexation of my soul!” the stranger said with a scowl. “Are you taking the Bible or not?”
And, instead, Julie wrapped her arms around the stranger and gave him such a fierce hug that he was momentarily taken aback.
“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!” she cried.
“Stop blaspheming,” he said gently, pushing her back. “Now, take the Bible!”
Julie giggled and took the Bible, and the stranger turned away from her immediately and began to walk away.
“Wait, sir, please!” Julie cried as she ran up to him. “Please, what is your name? Please, I want to know…I do need to know!”
“My name is of no import to you, lady,” he said and turned his back on her. “Stay at the feet of the Lord all your life, and no weapon of destruction will touch you.”
Julie watched with tears and a bubbling heart of joy as the stranger walked away.
He stopped briefly to touch the shoulder of the weeping policeman on the ground.
“Don’t heal him!” Julie screamed with a frown. “He’s bad! He hit Akwasi!”
The stranger looked at her darkly.
“Your ways are not the ways of the Lord, woman,” he said, and then he held the policeman by the shoulder and dragged him up.
The man felt a bolt of energy moving through him, and then he got to his feet, completely healed of his broken bones.
He moaned and took fast steps away from the stranger with terror on his face, and then he fell on his knees and held up his hands!
“Please, don’t hurt me, please don’t hurt me, I beg of you!”
The stranger looked at the frightened policeman, and there was remorse on his extremely handsome face.
“Indeed, I sinned by using the powers of the Lord to punish so brutally,” the stranger said softly. “But I am just human, and my heart indeed vexed sore at the way you treated Akwasi Dapaah. Do, please, forgive me, and may the Lord forgive me too.”
He stepped past the huge policeman and walked quickly toward the doors.
Julie watched as the doors opened on their own accord, and the stranger walked out of the courtroom!
To be continued