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DEATH ROW – EPISODE 9

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DEATH ROW
Episode 9
© Aaron A. A

The people in the room remain fixed, unable to move, until the stranger has gone outside, gotten into his car and ridden away.

That is when they are finally are able to get out of their seats.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
(screaming)
FIND THAT MAN! I WANT HIM ARRESTED! I WANT HIM TO FACE THE FULL RIGOURS OF THE LAW!

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO
(calmly)
He hasn’t broken any law, sir.

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE
(angrily)
What do you mean he hasn’t broken any law, Bediako?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO
(calmly)
And on what charges are we going to arrest him, sir? That he barged uninvited into our meeting? That he put a spell on us and we couldn’t move? Do you know what will happen if we say the man came here and spoke to us, and none of us could move from our seats? Do you know what the press will do to us? Please, calm down.
What Chief Inspector Bediako is driving at sinks in, and they look at each other, but the politician is still angry.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
(furiously)
This never happened, do you hear me? Tomorrow, six in the morning sharp, we shall all witness the death of Pastor Zac Larbi! Nothing has changed, do you hear me?

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE
(angrily)
Yes, I agree. The execution goes on.

JUDGE AWEDEGA
(uneasily)
Gentlemen, let’s be rational, please. We must admit that the man is not mad, and that somehow he was able to render all of us powerless, much as we would want to deny that fact. We must look at this… what did he say… this doppelganger thing.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
(explosively)
And what the fvck is this doublegang bullshit?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO
(calmly)
Doppelganger, sir. Doppelganger. It is of Germanic origin. Doppel in the German language means ‘double’, and Ganger means ‘walker or goer’. Thus doppelganger means a ‘double-walker’.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
(angrily)
And what does it mean, and what is its significance here, in this case?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO
I must admit that aspects of this case have worried me. First, I was a bit worried by the fact that the man in the videos used his right hand dominantly, whilst Pastor Zac is seriously left-handed. That aside, the Pastor passed the lie detector test we made him go through. Now, this hasn’t occurred to me, but somehow the idea of a doppelganger seems a bit plausible. A doppelganger is a double counterpart of a living person.

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE
That is madness, Bediako! What are you talking about?

CHIEF INSPECTOR BEDIAKO
It is not madness, sir! Have you heard of the saying that everyone has a twin somewhere? In the past, when a person dies, his doppelganger might be seen somewhere, and people believed they had seen ghosts. Doppelgangers of persons exist. They resemble each other physically, behaviourally and in every way.

They dress the same, speak the same, walk the same… in fact they are exact replicas of each other but they are not twins or related in any way. If you see them it will be like you’re looking at twins, but in the real sense of the word they would not be related in any way! They have different parents and sometimes live in different parts of the world, but when you see them together sometimes their own mothers can’t tell them apart.

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
(angrily)
Hogwash! That is bullshit! The execution goes on!

JUDGE AWEDEGA
(carefully)
Maybe we have to wait. Pushing it back an hour or so won’t hurt anybody, and we wouldn’t have to explain to anybody. That man said this doppelganger of Zac will commit a similar crime at the crime scene. Let’s send the Chief Inspector and his men to stake out the place. If nothing happens, and no doppelganger is caught, then we go ahead with the execution.

DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Why are we letting this stranger suddenly affect us so? Why should we allow some strange man to change what is established by law? It sounds like madness to me!

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
(pugnaciously)
We don’t wait! We go ahead. Six in the morning, sharp. No mad man is going to run this country, do you hear me? This is the law, and nobody is above the law. Execution goes on as planned, do you hear me?

Location: GRAND CASTLE PRISON
Pastor Zac Larbi is lying on the simple cot.
He is dressed in the prison garb, and he is silently meditating.

There is a sharp rap on the metal bars, and he looks up.

The chaplain is standing at the gate, and there are five armed men with him.

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SUPT. KWESI AKYAW
(solemnly)
Pastor Larbi, your execution is at six in the morning. As the law requires, we’re supposed to give you a last meal, anything you want, just name it. Your dinner today will be special. Just name anything you would like to eat.

Zac stands up and walks slowly towards the bars, and the look on his face is serene indeed.

ZAC LARBI
Thank you very much. But I will not be taking dinner today.

SUPT. KWESI AKYAW
(raising his eyebrows)
Really? Are you fasting, perchance?

ZAC LARBI
(calmly)
That’s between me and my God, sir.
The chaplain nods once, and he stares at Zac with some confusion. For a moment it appears as if he is going to leave, but he hesitates, looking very uncomfortable, and clears his throat.

SUPT. KWESI AKYAW
(softly)
Listen, my brother. I’ve heard rumours that you’re a virgin. I don’t know how true it is, but coming from Apostle Aboah, I must assume that is true.

Zac giggles suddenly and shakes his head.
He is genuinely entertained.

ZAC LARBI
(smiling)
Yes, Chaplain, it is true.

SUPT. KWESI AKYAW
(taking a deep breath)
Listen, if you would want to, I can send you a woman, or two, even three women, if you so require. You know, to experience how it feels like before you go, you know.

And Zac Larbi laughs so hard that tears come to his eyes.

ZAC LARBI
(laughing)
Eeeei, Chaplain! I’m going to die and you want me to take atopa to Heaven’s gate? Fornication? I beg you wai, please let me take my virginity to heaven wai!

He goes back and lies down.

The embarrassed Chaplain turns around and begins  to walk away, and he can still hear the soft laughter of the condemned man in his head.

To be CONTINUED

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