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DEATH ROW – EPISODE 7

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DEATH ROW EPISODE 7
© Aaron A. A

Location: GRAND CASTLE PRISON

The door of the small VISITORS’ ROOM 1 opens.

The room has a small table and just two metallic chairs bolted to the floor. There is a chair on each side of the metallic table.
Zac Larbi is led inside by two armed prison officials.

As usual his hands are handcuffed, and his feet chained.

He is wearing the white uniform of prisoners with black stars in them.
He looks up and sees AMA BOATEMAA sitting on one of the chairs looking at him silently with tears falling down her eyes.
Across the room is a tall bearded gentleman leaning against the wall with his arms folded across his chest.

The moment Zac sees AMA BOATEMAA tears come to his eyes, and his legs buckle for a moment.

ZAC LARBI
(painfully)
Ama! Oh, no, no, no! I can’t take this! Please, please, take me back! I can’t face her, please!

AMA BOATEMAA, traumatized, gets out of the chair and rushes at Pastor Zac Larbi, but one of the armed guards moves forward and prevents her from embracing the prisoner, his face grim.

GUARD 1
(harshly)
You can’t touch the prisoner, miss. Sit down. You have just ten minutes.

AMA BOATEMAA turns a tortured face towards the bearded stranger leaning against the wall.

The man says nothing, just watches them.
Saddened, AMA BOATEMAA walks back to the chair and sits down.

Zac is staring fixedly at the stranger with a slight frown, and with very bright eyes.
One of the guards pushes Zac into the chair, and then he walks towards the metal door and raps on it.

There is the sound of the door being locked from the outside.

The guards stand on each side of the door with their guns held at the ready across their chests.

The stranger then moves from the wall and stretches his hand, and suddenly the heads of both guards drop to their chests, although they are still standing and holding their guns.

And then both of them begin to snore gently.

They are asleep.

AMA BOATEMAA and Zac look at each other, stunned.

The stranger waves his hand again, and the chains and handcuffs around Zac’s hands and ankles fall away silently.

Zac is free.

They both look at the stranger with absolute awe.

He nods once.

THE STRANGER
You can hug him now, Ama, if you still want to, that is.

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The girl makes a strangled sob in her throat, and stands up.

Zac also stands, and the two of them move round the table, and are soon clasped in the fiercest of embraces, whispering endearments as they weep heartbreakingly.

AMA BOATEMAA
(tremulously)
Oh, Zacky, Zacky, Zacky!! You will kill me, Zacky!!

ZAC LARBI
(crying)
I wronged you, Ama! I hurt you! You shouldn’t be here! Oh, I’m so ashamed! Curse on the day I turned away from your love, Ama! Curse be the day I allowed them to confuse me, to deceive me with those fake visions of Yaa Pomaa and me! Forgive me, Ama, my love!

Their hug is fierce, their love great, their emotions strong.

Ama Boatemaa winds her arms around Zac’s neck, and she draws his head down.

AMA BOATEMAA
Nothing to forgive, my love! In the end, our love reigned. I hear Yaa is going to marry that crazy Ato!

ZAC LARBI
(nodding)
Yes, she told me. I spoke to her on the phone this morning. I still erroneously believed she and I were meant to be together, but seeing you here, after all the pain I gave you, proves to me that you, and not Yaa, is my true partner in the vineyard of our Lord. Ama, my only true love!

Forgive me, Ama Boatemaa! I love only you.

Their lips come dangerously close together.

THE STRANGER
(sharply)
You two better behave yourselves. The spirit of the Living God is in our presence, and you better show some respect before I struck you down!

Both of them look at him, and even though they are still crying, funny smiles split their faces.

AMA BOATEMAA
(ruefully)
Oh, sir, please! He could be gone tomorrow. At least, let me kiss him once!

ZAC LARBI
(gently)
Yes, please, just once, before I die, let me feel the kiss of true love.

THE STRANGER
(calmly)
The law of the Lord knows no compromises, fools! Sin is sin, and you better kill that fornicating spirit rearing up between you before I strike you down with incurable leprosy! Enough! Sit down now.

The two of them part reluctantly and sit down on the metallic chairs.

They hold hands.

Zac cannot take his eyes off the stranger.
He is awed.

ZAC LARBI
(amazed)
I had a dream last night. I was fasting and I was praying and my soul was down, and I fell asleep, and I saw you, and I knew my God has sent someone to come and comfort me.

THE STRANGER
Good. You speak true vision. But frankly, I don’t know in which direction the Lord is leading me. I’ll ask a question, and if you lie the spirit of the Living God we serve will strike you dead right this instant!

ZAC LARBI
(smiling sadly)
I’ve never been one to lie to the spirit of God, sir. All my life, I’ve asked God to do as He sees fit. That is why I’m of good cheer today, because the strife I’m going through is not even remotely close to what Job went through. And I know my God will not suffer me to go through a strife I can’t cope with.
Please, sir, ask your question.

THE STRANGER
Did you kill those women?

ZAC LARBI
As God is my witness, I’ve never laid eyes on the women before.

The stranger sighs, looking puzzled and sad for a moment.

THE STRANGER
Then what happened? It means that whilst you were asleep at Camp Golgotha, with no one in your room except yourself, someone who looked exactly like you was creeping around the dark committing these atrocious crimes!

ZAC LARBI
Or someone dressed like me.

THE STRANGER
No. That cannot be possible. No mask will be that perfect. The person walked like you, talked like you, dressed like you… in fact, he was you in every detail. And yet, I perceive you were never born a twin! How can this riddle be resolved?

ZAC LARBI
Then I have no idea who he is, sir. I’m at peace, though. May the will of God be done in my life. If I live, I’ll live for the Lord, and if I die tomorrow, I’ll die in the Lord. That is all my soul needs.

THE STRANGER
I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do next, but yes, the Will of the Lord will be done, and I will be shown a way. Now, if you don’t mind, we have to go because time is of the utmost essence now. You two can continue later, when you are set free, Zac.
Zac jumps to his feet, and there is the jingle of chains, and he looks, alarmed, and sees that once again the handcuffs are around his wrists, and the chains are around his feet, miraculously.

ZAC LARBI
(awed)
That is so awesome, sir! Maybe, one day, God will consider me fit too, and fill me with such anointing as you have. I don’t suppose you’re going to tell me your name, are you? In the dream I had, your face kept changing, and I couldn’t see it clearly. It seemed to me that God sent someone to help me, but I wouldn’t know that person’s name.

THE STRANGER
My name is of no import to you now, Zac Larbi. I’ll leave now.

He snaps his fingers, and the guards open their eyes, and one immediately glances at his watch.

GUARD 1
Ten minutes are up! Visiting is over!
Zac and Ama Boatemaa smile at each other, and he raises her hand to his lips.

ZAC LARBI
(tearfully)
Keep praying, my love. Maybe all is not lost.

AMA BOATEMAA
(crying)
I’ll be waiting for you outside, my love. We have the rest of our lives together.

The two doors on each side of the room open simultaneously.

Zac is taken through one, and the visitors leave through the other.

Once outside, they sit in the stranger’s plush car and he drives away in silence.

Ama Boatemaa suddenly reaches out and places her hand on that of the stranger as it lies on the steering-wheel.

THE STRANGER
What ails you now, miss?

AMA BOATEMAA
(smiling)
Thank you, sir. Thank you very much!

THE STRANGER
(glancing at her)
Thank the good Lord, not me. Unless you want-

AMA BOATEMAA
(laughing shakily)
I beg you, I don’t want any leprosy from head to toe. I thank God very much.

THE STRANGER
(smiling gently)
That’s more like it, damsel.

AMA BOATEMAA
(giggling)
Damsel. DAMSEL? Who uses damsel nowadays?

To be continued

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