He is the latest noise in the region. His fame extends even beyond the region. To all Christians that hear his name, it signifies an avenger of some sort. I could not believe it the first time I saw him live. He looked like Jesus if the pictures of Christ aren't playing tricks on us.
Not big, not small, the weight equals the height. That is exactly what Reverend father Thomas is. Not big, not small. He had returned from Rome a year and life ago and was posted to the interior village where many were wondering if he will last there but they need not have entertained such talk. That according to him is where God wanted him to be.
“Never for any reason influence anything that warrants posting in your life. God works in mysterious ways. You don’t scuttle his works. Anywhere he fixes you, stay”
What were his words for his congregation when he first got a hint of what they were saying about him and his parish? He thought that most people are overhyped and overestimate the western world. Humans don't usually value what they have. Why would any sound mind exchange the tranquility of this town for the noise and dust of the so-called cities? “No, I like it here” he had said to himself.
The priest had been the latest thing in devil casting in Christianity in the region. In fact, even the pagans with all their oracles and deities were so afraid of the name of the man that only that name alone does wonder. Too many occult-related deaths, threats, and cowing going on in that region for long that development of every kind had been foreign to the region.
Since the man came back not up to two years now, it had been many of the dreaded that had been leaving the earth to other planets and almost all the unwritten rules instituted by most occult groups had been fizzling out on their own.
Father Thomas on his part was wondering what had been happening. He had not been doing anything he has never done before in terms of prayers but he could not understand how a man should be afraid of his fellow man to the extent of handing over his land and giving out his daughters in marriages to suitors he doesn’t like due to fear.
How will a group of people be running the state governors and other local officials out of the road and rendering their orders useless in the name of having unseen magical powers? The other day, what he saw in the city junction surprised him. One wealthy merchant the story circulating claims has powers unseen before practically ran the governor convey out of the road with a warning thrown out of the window to be careful for it will not be that mild next time.
The cult is entirely controlling the region of 35 million people. Instituting their laws and executing judgment. Father Thomas's first encounter with them was four months ago.
One that returned from the city he knows not or cares to know had swaggered into his service at the wrong minute and instead of joining those waiting at the door for the proper time to enter as with the custom of the church, he swaggered inside and the church Warden was even kowtowing out of fear. The priest observing him from the altar had ordered the churchwarden to match him out, the man was looking for looking at him as f he had said something unsayable. The fear written on his face was so probable that the priest felt it from the altar.
Eyeing the man, father Thomas knew he could handle him man to man. He marched down from the alter and went to where the man was sitting and asked him to wait outside.
“ I can see you are new here. You are yet to know all the rules and protocols and those…”
“ I said outside. I don’t care about your rules and regulations or if they are protocols. Out immediately”
“ Don’t embarrass yourself or start anything you couldn’t finish”
“ you are the one that has started something you could not finish and if you don't get up now, I will embarrass you too”
None refused to shift ground. The priest became inflamed as the man smirked. He seized him by the hand and the man was surprised by the force behind the grip in an attempt to free himself, the grip tightened more and was still doing when the pain became more painful, the man cried out as he was being lifted like a kid and being half dragged and pull out of the church. “If you ever waste time following my orders again, you will not have time to be sorry. Do I make myself clear?”
“ Good, now we have understood each other, out of this compound”
To date, the Armageddon the whole church and community was expecting to be unleashed by the man is still being expected.
More parishioners had withdrawn their wards from mass servants group fearing physical and spiritual attacks. The priest started house calls within days of this incident, and never for once used security ordeals to move around. He was substituted for the choir's groups and some Catholic men's organizations(CMO) to serve in some masses for many had withdrawn from their wards.
When they did house call on the family leaving near the cult man's house, after the overnight vigils, in the morning when the light had come out and they saw about fifty-something JUJU portions on the ground surface there, many of them looked as if it is the only thread that was tied round in a circle and some are little rods with a black thread tied around them and key locked on each before burying it in the compound. Only heaven knows what they are for.
“Gather all in that bag and we will be set to go”
None of the twenty prayer warriors he came with made a move. They were all eyeing each other and eyeing the priest pretending not to hear what he have repeated thrice.
“ You there, gather all this nonsense in the bag. We are almost late.”
Once more, there was no response and that was when the priest realized what was happening.
He picked the bag up and started going systematically through the compound picking with bare hands all the JuJu portion he could see. When the bag is full, he picked the bag up and asked one of the warriors to bring the remaining two.
After behaving as if the cloud was about to fall on him, he brought out his handkerchief and used his left hand to pick the remaining ones.
“why handkerchief and why your left hand?”
“ So that if it wants to wither my hand, it will be the almost useless left one father”
“And you believe that handkerchief will prevent it from being active if it is?”
“ it can dilute its efficacy”
“ So, you believed that JUJU is still active after our all-night prayers and your contributions that made it possible?”
“ ha, father, Mr. Chris you pulled away from the church has his house over there. He is not on good terms with our host. That group is something else”
The priest eyed him askance as they finished packing and went home.
Days later, the number of the mass servants tripled and the number of house calls increased to hundred folds with trepidation from parents on their Warden that accompany the priest.
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Belief is a terribly powerful thing, isn't it? Even the men who follow Thomas hedge their bets with handkerchiefs, and he's got to prove himself over and over. But that's how beliefs change, isn't it? Repetition, proof. Of course, physical violence is a powerful motivator. "Humans don't usually value what they have." This is very true. The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. "To date, the Armageddon the whole church and community was expecting to be unleashed by the man is still being expected." I like this. Critique-wis...
It came to my mind to peg It to the imagination of the reader. Let the reader conclusion you just did In their own way. Exactly what I had in mind is what you just did. Thanks a lot for reading and for your detailed analysis. Highly appreciated.