Death Row


© Aaron A. A

The Prophet stands in front of Zac, his long face filled with false piousness, his hands open in a semblance of meekness, his eyes exuding a compassion that Zac knows isn’t real.

Zac, Zac, Zac! You know this little incident has had a very grave impact on the church! We’re losing a lot of our congregation as a direct result of the backlash from this case. Surely, you don’t want the flock to scatter, do you?

What do you want from me, Prophet?
(smiling sadly)
You’ll be dead in three days, my son. Now, the congregation is depleting simply because you have not shown any sign of remorse for these dastardly acts. They want to see the humility you always extol them to show. Remember, most of them came to the church because of your charisma and the zeal you showed, and most of them are in the church because they love you.

Now they see you as a murderer, and they don’t want anything to do with that! But, if you go public and show some regrets, and tell them that you’ve been working with dark powers and that they should stay in the church and learn from the Goodness of Apostle Aboah, it will stop the defection, and bring this glorious church back to its stature!

Zac Larbi stares at the Prophet, totally shocked.

You want me to say that all the miracles I did were by the powers of Satan?

Now, look, my son! You don’t have to believe it! But it is a sacrifice to save God’s church! Just a little sacrifice. Already everybody believes you’re a demon worsh¡pper, so confessing to it in publicly won’t change anything. In the next office are some selected journalists from some television, radio and newspaper companies.
Just use five minutes to meet them, and apologise and show some regret and confess that you’ve been a Satan worsh¡pper all along, and that the Apostle had no link to what you did! Just as Jesus Christ sacrificed for sinners, this is a small sacrifice you need to do to save the church! If you confess like that the people would stop leaving the church, Zack.

Zac takes a painful step from the man, his face screwed up with pain.

I curse the day I will let the devil take credit for the wonders God used me to do! Let me die, and let me die in shame, but I will NEVER denounce my living God, do you hear me? NEVER!!

The Apostle pushes the Prophet aside, and once again he slaps the hapless Zac twice across the face.

Blasphemer! Satan apprentice! Worker of iniquity, of things vile! You’re a demon, Zac! May you die in pain! May the God we worsh¡p torture your soul in hell!
Zac falls to the ground as the man of God continues to punch him.

It takes the combined efforts of the Prison Chaplain and the Prophet to pull the Apostle off Zac.

The chaplain opens the door of the office.
Come, take him away to his cell!
Three prison officers enter and lift Zac off the floor.

He is bleeding from the nose and the l-ips where the Apostle has punched him.
He looks at them with, incredibly, compassionate eyes.

I forgive you, Apostle! May God forgive you too.

He is taken away, and the three men in,side watch him leave with impotent rage!
It is evening.

The gigantic and luxurious auditorium of the church is filled to capacity.
There are the usual congregation, and there are other people who have come to church just because of the court case and Zac’s imprisonment.

And then there are the journalists!
From television, radio, print and social platforms.

They are present to capture the views of the church leaders on the death sentence passed on Pastor Zac Larbi.

The raised platform where the Apostle and the Elders of the church sit is luxuriously-decorated with expensive leather chairs, a deep-seated sofa for the Apostle and his wife, a gigantic gold-framed portrait of Jesus and other Christian paraphernalia.
The cameras are rolling…

The Apostle is preaching, and his topic is on the joys of truly worsh¡pping the living God.
Sitting on the front row in the congregation are Ama Boatemaa and her parents.
She is trying to be calm, but the Apostle’s words are really hurting her.

She begins to cry when the Apostle suddenly states that they visited Zac Larbi in prison, and he confessed to being a demon worsh¡pper, and that he got his powers of healing and miracles from Satan.

No, no, no! What’s he saying? That can’t be true? Zac will never say such a thing!
Her mother, OBAAPA SISI, put an arm around her daughter’s shoulders and pulls her close.

Her father, AGYA KOFI, pats her hand reassuringly.

There, there, my dear! Do not fret yourself so much.

The Apostle continues to say a lot of derogatory things about Zac, and finally ends his preaching:

Today has been a sad day for me. Zac is more than a son to me, and to listen to him crying and begging to be forgiven by the congregation really cut my soul open. We prayed for him, and we exorcised the demonic spirits in him. He is going to die, yes, but we are convinced he will die a changed man, and his soul will be for the Lord.

We beseech the congregation to pray for him for the rest of the week. The will of our Lord will always be done, and no one can escape from sin even if they cloak themselves with the facade of being righteous! May the Lord be with us all!
There are cries of anguish from a lot of people in the congregation. People begin to weep again, and the cameras of the journalists go round slowly, capturing every scene.

Apostle Aboah sits beside his beautiful wife in the sofa, and he begins to weep uncontrollably, and his wife puts her arms around him to comfort him.

A tall, well-built middle-aged man stands up and walks towards the altar, his face very sad.

His impeccable suit, shoes, and ornaments indicate that he is a very wealthy man.
He raises a mournful beseeching sinner’s song as he picks up the microphone.
Several voices join in the song, and finally he stands behind the pulpit and speaks gravely.

(in a deeply accented voice)
I’m Elder Senanu Setorworfia! It is indeed a great shock to us that a man we so much respected, a man we so much believed in as having the spirit of God, finally turned out to be a demon-worsh¡pper, filled with the vilest spirits! We’re going to pray, that God will spare us such a presence ever again in this church…

As he continues to speak, saying really bad things about Zac Larbi, a tall man in dark suit sitting in the back row stands up.
He is wearing a hat, and has a really thick beard, a full moustache and overgrown sideburns.

Conspicuously, he is wearing dark glasses even in the evening setting of the church.
He begins to walk down the aisle towards the podium with his hands linked behind his back.

When he passes the front row Ama Boatemaa suddenly gasps with shock.
Her mother looks at her with concern.

What’s it, my dear?

That’s the man, Sisi! The stranger at the court! The one who promised to take me to see Zac!

To Be Continued…

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