But there is something strange going on!
Obuobi’s voice is amplified, as if there are a million living things inside him all screaming!
People can hear the voices of men, women, children and animals coming from the apostle’s throat!
Apostle Obuobi stands up and steps out of his ceremonial dress, still screaming in the million voices of the things inside him!
Quite suddenly he takes off his singlet and throws it away, and steps out of his trousers.
Now he is wearing only boxers, and his hands hold the edge to rip it off.
The stranger approaches and points a hand at him.
Be still, demons! In the name of Jesus Christ whose resurrection power has filled us with the authority over all demons, I cast you out of this man, you host of demons! Come out of this vessel!!
Apostle Obuobi falls down on the podium, jerking spasmodically as hordes of demons leave his body, but of course only the stranger sees the terrified horde of demons leaving the man’s body and crashing out of the windows with screeches of terror!
And soon Apostle Obuobi is lying on the podium, shivering and weeping like a child!
And something else is happening!
Elder Ampofo screams as he feels pains in his eyes…
Mrs. Sika Nyantakyi screams and falls down, her body once more gripped with paralysis!
And one by one people fall as all the diseases Reverend Obuobi has cured fall back on the people who were cured!
Elder Ampofo is blind again!
Mrs. Sika Nyantakyi is paralyzed again!
There is weeping, wailing, mourning and gnashing of teeth all around the church auditorium.
Sheer terror has gripped everybody as they stare at the stranger.
Kesewaa is holding her mother and wailing in anguish!
Mr. Nyantakyi is weeping inconsolably!
The stranger looks at Amina.
He’s coming. Go and meet him!
Amina, weeping with unbridled joy, runs hard towards the entrance that leads to the Miracle Room, but Akoto Nyameboame comes out through the doorway!
He is completely healed, and although his clothes are dirty, he looks handsome and fit!
He and Amina embrace tightly, and their tears merge.
Amina, Amina, Amina! What a fool I have been, throwing away the gold of your love for the glittering beauty of Kesewaa which is as vain as it is hollow! Please, my love, how does Mrs. Amina Nyameboame sound to you?
She laughs hard with total happiness and squeezes Akoto hard.
(dying with happiness)
Oh, what a terrible name! Amina Nyameboame! What a horrible name, my love, but one I’ll wear with pride and happiness my whole life! I love you, Akoto. Always have, always will!
The stranger cannot stand all the cries of pain and horror around him.
He spreads his arms wide and speaks.
None of you deserve redemption, because you foolishly followed signs and wonders, forsaking the Gospel of our Lord! To show you that there is indeed joy and peace in the God we serve, you will receive your healing again only when a real servant of God lays his hands on you, and pray for you! And I know of no better servant of God than one called Akoto Nyameboame!
The auditorium is hushed as all eyes turn to Akoto.
The fake Apostle Obuobi stands up groggily.
He is shivering as he walks towards the stranger, and then he stops in front of the tall man.
He clasps his hands in front of him in supplication and speaks passionately with tears in his eyes.
Please, please! How can I also get this great power? I didn’t know there is a power that is far greater than the powers from the underground of the earth! Please, sir, take me as an apprentice, or let me give you money! I have a lot of money saved and I can give half to you so that you let me have this incredible power! I can make you rich! Just teach me how to get a power as great as yours!
There is death on the stranger’s face as he raises his hand!
Apostle Obuobi clutches his chest with a loud wail as shards of acute pain shoots through his body!
He screams in agony as he looks at the face of the stranger, and sees that there is death in the man’s eyes!
Reverend Obuobi knows that he is going to die, and even as the pain in his heart intensifies and sudden tears fall down his face, he begs for his life!
(in an agonized whisper)
There is still rage in the stranger’s eyes, and he squeezes harder, and Obuobi falls to his knees in excruciating pain!
Suddenly the stranger’s other arm comes up, as if he is shading his eyes from the glow of something too bright to watch.
The stranger speaks with frustration!
No, no, no! Don’t do this to me, Gabriel!
It appears that he is speaking to somebody or something that is invisible, and again an eerie silence reigns in the church room, and it is only Obuobi who continues to moan with his pain.
Come on! What do you mean this is not the appointed time for him? He killed Osuanyi Ayeh, and he still wants to corrupt the ways of the Lord! He’s greedy and unrepentant!! I tell you, this piece of dung doesn’t deserve to live!
The stranger becomes silent, only raising his arm higher to shield his eyes from whatever he alone is seeing.
He appears to be listening.
(in a calmer voice)
Alright, alright! I won’t kill him! I’ve sinned against my Father! Forgive me, Father, for forgetting that Your ways are higher than mine. I forgot that this vile man is also your creation, also your son, and you want to wait for him to repent too! I’m sorry, forgive me, Father! Only You can forgive me, because you are my Father, and it is only You I can sin against!
He drops his hands, and immediately the pain leaves Obuobi’s heart, and he begins to breathe with acute relief, but the horror does not leave his face.
And then, suddenly, the stranger draws back his left hand and slaps Ebow Obuobi so hard that he is slammed hard on top of the podium, and droplets of blood emit from his nostrils and his mouth!
The slap shocks everybody into silence.
It has been a most savage cauldron of fury unleashed in that terrifying slap.
The stranger holds up both hands in supplication and steps back, shaking his head at the angel standing on the podium whom the other people cannot see.
You didn’t tell me I can’t hit him, Gabriel, you didn’t! It is your fault, really, tell Father that, please!
He points a finger at the dazed Obuobi.
And behold, Saul was persecuting the Lord, but on the way to Damascus he was stricken blind, and sent to a man of God to be healed. In likewise manner do I strike you blind, deaf, mute and crippled in the name of Jesus! And you’ll receive salvation when your heart acknowledges the Lord, and Akoto Nyameboame lays hands on you, and prays for you!
And immediately as Ebow Obuobi screams, he suddenly loses his sight!
His screams ceases because he has become dumb and deaf.
And, amazingly, his legs are crippled.
There he lies on the podium, broken and pathetic as tears course down his cheeks.
And Akoto looks at Obuobi and smiles… but it isn’t a very nice smile!
The Stranger turns away, jumps down from the podium and begins to walk fast towards the entrance!
No, no, sir! Please wait! Don’t leave, please! Let me show you my appreciation!
The stranger speaks without stopping or turning.
Show appreciation to God, only God, fool!
They watch him go out the entrance.
Akoto shakes his head with wonder and wipes tears from his face.
Indeed, God is God! And God is good.
All the time, my love, all the time!
Kesewaa approaches Akoto, and her face is cut into lines of acute remorse, shame and longing.
Akoto, please, my love!
Your wetin? I beg, madam, wedge koraa!
He walks past her.
Kesewaa reaches out to touch him, but Amina slaps her hand away.
Stop it, Kes. He’s mine now!
Akoto walks past Mr. and Mrs. Nyantakyi.
(repressing his anger)
Abeg, massa, don’t start!
He walks past him too, and then he reaches out behind him.
Amina puts her hand in his, and together they walk out of the church.
After a while she slips her arm around his waist and he slips his arm around her shoulders.
Who was that stranger, I wonder? Wow, such awesome powers! And he was speaking to Jehovah God on the podium! Did God descend, you think?
(sighing and shaking his head)
I don’t think it was God. He called whatever it was Gabriel. I think there was an angel on the podium with us. That stranger is someone God loves so much! It’ll be so awesome to be loved by God like that, don’t you think? Damn, I’ll give all my riches to have powers like that!
I beg you, don’t let him come and slap you like a goat! Did you see the way he slapped Obuobi like a goat? Isn’t it a sin for a man of God to slap somebody like that?
It’s a holy sin, I guess! Just like Jesus beat the crap outta those gamblers in the church.
They burst into laughter…
The future seems so good.
But the stranger said you have to put your hands on those people – the blind and the sick, including Kes’ mother and Obuobi – and pray for them to receive healing. You should do that, please, my love.
Madam, abeg, Madam, make I go find some fufu and light soup with goat meat blow blow first wai, for my soul to descend first. They go fit wait one day!
You’re wicked, Akoto!
You sure? Forgotten how God rained fire on the Sodomites? Let me bluff small, my love!
They smile at each other.
Everything, indeed, works out for the best for those who love the Lord.
End of AFFLICTED chronicle