Ye Anointed

THE CALLING

 

The young man stood in the middle of the hall, admiring the hundred-year-old oil painting hanging above the entrance to the cathedral. Of all the paintings that hung in the hall, he only had eyes for this particular one; in it, a dark-skinned man draped in flowing red robes and donning a rosary which he held tight. The man in the painting had a very intense gaze that seemed to pierce into the young man’s heart. Flanking that one were four on the left and three on the right. He often wondered whether he would be worthy enough to be with those brave men.

“I hope I’ll be like you someday,” he told him as he bowed; suddenly, a bump on his hip sent him toppling to the cold marble floor. He felt a strong but shaky grip pull him back up and face him towards an elderly priest looking at him through wide-rimmed glasses, his hat struggling to stay on his grey afro.

“Sorry Luke,” Father Jeremiah said as he pointed up to the painting. “So, what does Matthias Bwire have for you today, Luke?”

(Illustration by Marie Ginga from a photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash)

“Nothing much, I just wonder about him.”

“Hmm, are you looking to be the eighth one on the wall?” Jeremiah asked, pointing to an empty slot where the three paintings were hung.

“I hope so. I mean, it’s not like I’m seeking out my own personal glory, but I would like to be remembered the way these guys were remembered.”

“Isn’t that the very definition of seeking out your own personal glory?” Jeremiah asked, chuckling.

“No, I  – hmm, never mind,” Luke said, his face falling as he went back to looking at Matthias.

“Well, what did he do differently? What do you know about him, Father Jeremiah?” Luke asked him, a tinge of frustration in his voice.

“Well,” Father Jeremiah started, “first tell me what you know about your great great grandfather.”

“That he founded the church, organized the first ministers in the country after we achieved independence.”

“And?”

“There’s more? That’s all I know.”

“Christ Almighty,” Father Jeremiah grunted, “you mean Ezekiel didn’t tell you?”

“Tell me what?”

“How?” Father Jeremiah started, taking off his glasses and peering at the youthful man, “How is it that one from a lineage of great men of faith isn’t aware of his own ancestry? Hasn’t the story been told in your family?”

“What is it?”

Father Jeremiah pointed to the painting of Matthias as he went on.

“That man was the first to conduct a successful exorcism of a particularly stubborn spirit. Despite village elders offering to do the same, none of them had any success with it. Afterwards, it seemed that only his descendants could fight this particular demon. Even your father, Ezekiel, had to go toe to toe with it at some point.”

“Is that why he died?” Luke asked. Father Jeremiah smiled a bit and held Luke’s hand.

“It was natural causes, Luke. I guess his heart wasn’t as strong as his spirit, and it must have given in shortly afterwards.”

“But he died for the service, didn’t he?” Luke asked, his eyes beaming, “He gave his life for what he believed was the right thing. That’s what he said was one of the greatest things a man could do.”

“Is that what you’d want to do, Luke?” Father Jeremiah asked, his heart warmed at the young man’s enthusiasm.

“I understand that we’ll all die someday, so if I should go when serving my God, then so be it. I’ve chosen to be here, and I know that that alone puts me in the enemy’s path. When the day comes, then I will go with my head held high,” Luke said, staring at Matthias’ painting again.

“And with you being the eighth person on that wall of heroes, yes?”

“With all due respect, Father Jeremiah…”

“That’s quite a speech,” Father Jeremiah cut him off; “It’s easier said than done.”

“Jeremiah, let’s go,” they heard someone say. Beneath Matthias’ painting at the door stood a few ministers, each one beckoning him to join them. One of them, a tall bespectacled one, sauntered over to them and smiled at Luke.

“Father John,” Luke said, bowing in reverence.

“Why don’t you come with us, Luke?” he asked him.

“That isn’t necessary…” Jeremiah began before he was cut off.

“Oh, but it is,” John went on, “haven’t you told him yet?”

“Told me what?” Luke asked, eyeing Jeremiah.

“You expect this old man to get straight to the point?” another priest, tall but well-built said as he and the others joined them.

“Gentlemen, we can handle this ourselves…” Jeremiah started before he was interrupted.

“Luke, we need your help,” Father John said, “we are going to conduct an exorcism, and we need your help in particular, as this spirit…”

“Is it the same one you were telling me about just now? The one my father had to go against?” Luke asked, practically shouting in excitement.

“Ah, so you did tell him,” A short priest amongst them, Father Malachi, said, “yes, Luke. It’s the same one.”

“Well, what must I do then? But I’ve never done something like this? So how do we…”

“Relax, Luke,” the bulky priest, Father Andrew said with his hand nearly crushing Luke’s shoulder, “we’ll guide you through it. Besides, I don’t know if you know this, but your father went up against it when he was younger than you. Just a few days after his 21st birthday. By that metric, you’re 5 years overdue.”

“I wonder why,” Father John said as they all frowned at Jeremiah.

“He needed to be part of us first. You can’t expect…”

“We’re getting late,” Father John interrupted, “Luke, let’s go.”

“Wait,” Father Jeremiah interjected, holding his hand, “we need to discuss this with Luke first. It has to be his decision, or have you all forgotten?”

The others traded looks and nodded in agreement as Father Jeremiah and Luke talked on the side.

“Take me with you, please,” Luke begged, clasping his hands together.

“Luke, do you see that man over there?” Father Jeremiah spoke, pointing to the man wiping the floors that smiled and waved at both of them.

“That man is also in service to the Kingdom. It may be menial labor, but it is considered worthwhile. The problem with your generation is wanting to serve in the spotlight as if it will get you closer to heaven. It will not.”

“That’s not true, Father!” Luke snapped, “I’ve done everything without asking for recognition…”

“This isn’t as simple as ushering people in a service, Luke,” Jeremiah interrupted, “this is real warfare. Do you understand? You have never come across the true face of evil as I and those men over there have. I suggest you think on that before you commit to such a task.”

“Please, Father,” Luke begged, almost kneeling, “I need to do this.”

“Why Luke? Because your father and his father before him did so?”

“YES!” he declared, “All my life, all I’ve ever heard is how my father was a great man, and that I’ll have some big shoes to fill. My classmates used to say that I didn’t amount to much in comparison to him, but I knew my day would come. And after he died, I made a promise to come here and try to continue his legacy, and now that I know this, I intend to do so.”

“Yes, Jeremiah,” Father John said as he joined the two, “let him fulfill his calling. There’s one last picture left to hang up on the wall.”

“That’s not the point…” Father Jeremiah started before the others came up to him.

“He is the last of his line. Don’t hold him back from his calling,” the priest interrupted, the others nodding in agreement.

“Well? We’re wasting time,” Father Andrew said, holding Luke’s hand as he stared at Jeremiah, wide-eyed.

“I am with you, aren’t I?” Luke said, trying to persuade, “Where one or two are gathered, isn’t that the Word? Please, sir, please.”

Father Jeremiah sighed and simply nodded, watching Luke spring up to his feet.

“Ready when you are!” he squealed, smiling broadly as the other priests scowled at Jeremiah.

“Why are you trying to stop this?” Father Malachi asked him as they walked to the waiting car. Before he left, Jeremiah looked up at the paintings; the previously unemotional faces now wore sinister smiles on their faces, with Matthias seemingly nodding at the priest. They then turned, one after the other, to look at the empty slot, at which point Father Jeremiah said to himself:

“Luke, I’m trying to save you…”

✸✸✸

THE REVELATION

 

They were chauffeured in a white Mercedes van away from the Baroque-style cathedral, down the hill from which it stood, along the busy highways and finally to a worn-out tarmac road, in an abandoned part of the city. There, a derelict chapel barely stood; its brick roof was torn open, its door hung onto the frame for dear life, and its previously white sheen replaced by a moldy coat that did very little to protect it from the elements.

“Is this?” Luke started before Father Jeremiah interjected.

“St Matthias Parish. Where it all started.”

“I’m guessing that’s why people don’t live here anymore?”

“You think so? Demonic screaming does little to improve the property value of a neighborhood,” Father Jeremiah quipped.

“Demonic screaming?” Luke asked, his eyes widening at that phrase.

“Luke,” Father John said as he pulled out a recorder, “you should know what we are going up against.”

He pressed the red button at the top, and what followed was an ear-piercing scream that made Luke wince and even cover his ears.

“What is it?”

“Who. It’s a spirit that haunts this particular chapel every now and again. It’s the reason those houses are empty,” John went on, pointing to a row of moss-covered, Mediterranean-style houses.

“I told you,” Father Jeremiah said, “real warfare.”

Together, they walked slowly into the worn-out cathedral, avoiding the rust-laden nails, into the procession; on either side, the pews stood thin, eaten to the bone by termites and mold, still facing the broken altar that stood in front of a large stained glass window that bore the image of a young boy lying on the floor with his hands in the air.

“I don’t recall the Messiah wearing Vans. Who is that?” Luke asked, eyes fixed on the image with his hands crossed on his chest.

“The founder,” Father Jeremiah said.

“No seriously,” Luke said, laughing a bit, “who is that?”

“Really. The founder of the church,” Father Jeremiah repeated.

“Tell him,” Father Andrew said.

“Tell me what?” Luke asked. The other priests gathered around Father Jeremiah, and one nudged him to spill the beans.

“Wasn’t it Matthias who founded this church?” Luke asked again as he faced the priest, “which is it then?”

“Luke, that boy you see there is the real founder of this church. But he didn’t do so in a pleasant way.”

“How?” Luke asked.

“Many years ago, this church was the greatest of its kind, attracting people from all over the globe. But it fell hard when this boy came into the question.”

“How?”

“Go on, don’t be shy” one of the men, scar-faced and missing an eye asked as he glowered at Luke.

“Okay, I’m getting to it,” Father Jeremiah said, “anyway, there was a time when a visiting pastor was invited into the church. Young and full of life he was. Came with a battalion of a team. Their praise and worship team was unlike anything we had ever heard. His message of God having a plan for everyone was what people needed to hear, especially in those trying times. He even performed miracles right here for all to witness.”

“Okay? What does this have to do with the boy?” Luke asked.

“Get to the point, Jeremiah!” the one-eyed priest urged.

“Unfortunately, someone pointed out something in his miracles. That he was using only people that he came with. It was a boy of about fourteen. The man got angry and accused the boy of interrupting the Lord’s work, so he called his parents to bring him to the front.”

“What did he do?” Luke asked.

“He accused the boy of being demon-possessed, and everyone, including his own parents, believed it. He thought he could beat the disobedience out of him, and with his parents’ permission, he proceeded to do it. However, he was angry that the boy had called him out for the conman he really was, and in that anger, his beating became personal. The boy cried and cried until he made no sound.”

“He – he killed a child? A priest killed a child?” Luke asked, disgust resonant in his voice as he held his head in disbelief.

“Not only that,” Father Malachi added, “when he realized that the boy had indeed died, he told the parents that they could simply ‘make another child. A better and more obedient one’.”

“Oh my God,” Luke said, his hand covering his mouth as he processed the information.

“Before any serious action could be taken, he went on to take over the church and fired all the ministers here, claiming that they wouldn’t do what needed to be done. Even people who questioned his methods were expelled from here on grounds of being heretics who questioned the proper way of doing things,” Father Jeremiah went on.

“Yes, nothing angers a false prophet more than being exposed in his lies,” Father Andrew added as the others hummed in agreement, seeing

Luke’s mouth dropped open at what he heard.

“Fortunately,” Malachi added, “the authorities soon got involved and called for an investigation. His flock scattered, at least those who weren’t incarcerated, and he was tried. He got away, but the bad publicity made people avoid the church altogether, and the real nail in the coffin came when people who lived around here reported hearing – things.”

“What kind of things?”

“Screams. Horrifying ones, like someone was in pain. Many of them recalled that the screaming sounded a bit familiar, and many vacated the area. Those who stayed decided to investigate, and on doing so, they found no one here, but they could still hear the screaming, especially at night. They couldn’t reach their pastor, so they called in another pastor to help.”

“Matthias?” Luke said, smiling.

“Yes, Matthias,” Father Jeremiah said, “he was the one who helped identify and exorcise the spirit. It’s believed that only those from his bloodline can deal with this particular one, and over the years, your ancestors, including your late father, have had to deal with it, and they were even known as ‘The Anointed Few’.”

“Wow,” Luke wondered, leaning on a pew as he smiled broadly, imagining his old man at the forefront of keeping the spiritual peace.

“Jeremiah?” the one-eyed priest started.

“Again?” Malachi groaned, “what is wrong with you?”

“It’s important he knows so that he is aware of things, isn’t it gentlemen?”, he asked them, his voice a tone deeper than usual. The men looked at each other and then nodded.

“Soon you’ll be called,” Father Jeremiah said as he turned back to Luke.

“Wait, what do you mean I might be called?” Luke asked, snapping out of his reverie as he walked ahead, “isn’t that why I am here?”

“Luke, you’re young. You don’t even know…” Jeremiah started.

“But if this is my calling, then shouldn’t I…”

“HELP ME!!!”

✸✸✸

THE SERMON

 

The screams made Luke nearly collapse as he shuddered, turning back to face the priests.

“You heard it too, didn’t you?” John asked the others as they hummed in agreement.

“It only starts when one of them is in the building,” Andrew said.

“And when they touch the bench,” John added, watching Luke running back to them.

“Who was that?!” he asked them.

“What did you hear, Luke?” the short priest asked him.

“It was probably nothing…” Father Jeremiah started.

“Luke, what did you hear?” the one-eyed priest interrupted Jeremiah.

“It sounded like someone calling for help,” Luke said. The priests sighed, almost in relief, save for Jeremiah.

“Luke, are you sure you heard correctly?” he asked the young man.

“What are you doing??” Malachi asked Jeremiah again.

“I need to be certain,” Jeremiah said firmly.

“Really? Because it sounds like you’re trying to…” Malachi went on.

“Jeremiah’s right,” the one-eyed priest interrupted again, “Luke, you said you heard someone call for help. Men, why don’t we spread out? We might find the source of the noise.”

“You can’t!” Jeremiah yelled before Andrew gripped his shoulder and said:

“Yes, we might find the source of the noise if we spread out.” as they did so, Andrew whispered to Jeremiah:

“Put your feelings aside and be ready.”

“Why don’t you try to remember where it came from, Luke?” the one-eyed priest said, pushing him forward slightly.

“Okay, um, where was it?” Luke asked, walking forward. As he did, the men spread out; they were spaced a bench apart in a parallel line to the one-eyed priest following Luke closely, all with their hands behind their backs.

“Where was it Luke?” he asked him. Luke turned from side to side with every few steps he took, still not hearing anything. He thought he caught a glimpse of movement ahead of him, but it turned out to be a rat; just then, as soon as he took a step forward, he heard it.

“PLEASE STOP!!”

“You hear it too?!” Luke asked the priest behind him, taking a step back; the man lied and shook his head, looking from left to right at the other priests, who also shook their heads. As they took out their weapons, Father Jeremiah walked over to them, shouting:

“Luke, are you sure?”

“JEREMIAH! WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO SAVE HIM?!” Malachi demanded.

“Save him? Who are you trying to…?” Luke began inquiring, but the one-eyed priest took his hand and forcefully placed it on the pew next to him, numbered 8; in that instant, the screaming got louder and louder, until Luke fell to his knees, covering his ears.

“WHERE ARE YOU?” Luke shouted out. he looked back to see the men also covering their ears, barely hearing one of them speaking, only managing to hear the end of the phrase as soon as the screaming stopped:

“….has begun.”

Before he could ask what he meant by that, Luke heard sniffling coming from the front of the church, towards the right.

“Do you hear that?” he asked the one-eyed priest, who unsheathed a long metallic rod.

“Where is it, Luke?”

“Over there,” he said, pointing to the right of the altar as he walked over.

The whimpering turned into sobbing the closer Luke got, and he was so engrossed in it that he barely noticed the men walking with him, all wielding a weapon. He got to the source of the noise, his eyes widening as he saw… nothing.

“Wait, I thought there was… what’s going on?” Luke asked, seeing other priests spread out on all sides of the church, the closest one only a few inches away from Luke, all with their hands behind their backs.

“Jeremiah,” Malachi said, “please, now or never.”

“Maybe we should reconsider…”

“Jeremiah, please! You’re wasting our time!” John yelled at him, “you know that his bloodline is the only one that can stop it. Start now!”

“Start what? Is it time to exorcise the demon? What should I do?”

Luke saw Jeremiah come closer as he took out the book, albeit reluctantly; it was unlike any he had read in the library; black with strange symbols on the cover that seemed to glow red.

“What is that?” Luke asked Jeremiah for the last time before he faked a smile and asked the rest.

“Well then, praise his name?”

“Amen!” the men said.

“Is he here?”

“He is waiting patiently,” the men said again as they all clapped once in unison and held on to their weapons.

“What’s going on?” Luke asked, his voice shaky as he approached Andrew, “Father Andrew, what are you…”

Before Luke could continue, he heard someone clapping from the empty church. None of the men did it, as they all stood still, scowling at him.

“What’s going on guys? Please tell me. What should I do now?” he asked them while breathing faster.

The men said nothing, including Jeremiah, as they stood still, watching Luke try to find the sound. He turned his neck everywhere but saw nothing. Yet, he heard another person clapping, and another followed, and another; soon, the whole church was filled with resounding applause.

His jaw dropped to the floor when he saw a roof tile rise from the floor and back onto the roof, as its supporting rafters moved themselves into place. Then, the worn-out paint rose on the walls like someone waking up; the shards of glass rearranged themselves into the panes, and the dull interior came to life with bright sunlight that illuminated the front of the church, despite outside being gloomy. He stood in the middle of the church, looking at Jeremiah, wondering whether he saw the same thing.

“Father…” he started, but not before he saw him, and the others vanish slowly. Before he completely disappeared, a man ran right through the elder, make a beeline to him and hold him by his shoulders, saying:

“Sit down, young boy. The service is starting.”

“What the hell?! Who are you?!” Luke shrieked.

“The ceremony is starting,” the man said again in a deeper voice.

Luke tried to run off in a panic-stricken frenzy, but the man picked him off the ground and sat him in the middle of one of the pews, numbered 8.

He saw a woman, plump and beaming with life hold his hand, and another slowly appear from thin air, a man smiling from ear to ear also holding his hand tightly. They all looked bigger than him, and the pews seemed to grow in size and he could barely see above them.

The other church members appeared from thin air, standing as they applauded the man who now stood at the front, arms raised as if he was asking for more. Luke leaned forward to see a hooded man with a club in hand, staring directly at him, then pointing to the front.

“Praise his name church?” the man at the front asked everyone.

“AMEN!” they screamed with joy, applauding as the previously worn-out musical equipment drummed to life with fast-paced rhythms.

“What is going on?” Luke asked. He held his throat, wondering why his voice had become lighter, like that of a child. He looked back and forth at the two who held him in place, breathing rapidly and sweating profusely.

“FATHER JEREMIAH…” Luke began at the top of his voice before he saw a ghostly hand swing across his face; the woman smacked him and pursed his lips together.

“Keep quiet, Christopher!” she said. Luke panicked; not at being called Christopher, but by the fact that her face, semi-transparent as it was, had cracks all across it, with eyes black as night peering down at Luke.

“OH GOD!” he said, right before the man punched him across the face, after which he placed a finger on his lips.

“Be quiet!” he snarled, loud enough that the people in the front could hear. They turned to the man and woman, talking amongst each other.

Luke managed to wriggle his way out of their grip, but before he could leave, the man grabbed him by the shoulder and placed him back on the seat; the others then turned to face him, their hands supported on the bench as they leaned into Luke, their black eyes all focused on him. Luke turned to see the others do the same. One after the other, they each stopped clapping and turned to face him.

“Church. I’m informed that there is a heretic amongst us,” he heard the pastor say.

“There is,” they all said at the same time, their unified voice sounding like a growl.

“Is he here?”

“He is,” the people said in unison, still eyeing Luke, “the troublemaker is here.”

“Come, child,” he said. With that, the people paved a way for Luke; he jumped off the high pew and dragged his feet to the procession, an ant in comparison to those around him.

“Come,” the pastor said. He turned to look for Jeremiah, but in his place was a man with horrid scars on his face, one across where his left eye used to be, smiling down at him. He pointed to the altar, and Luke turned back to see the choir standing on either side of the man of the cloth; all of them had the same semi-transparent look with black eyes that dripped tears of tar down their cheeks.

Luke started to the front, unable to avoid looking up at the people who watched him. The hooded men also went there, matching his pace on either side of the church, not looking away from him. Just as he got to the front, on his right, he saw a child curled up at the foot of the pew; his skin was pale with cracks riddling every part of his body, the right half of his face charred, and his eyes dangled from the visible sockets.

“Same,” the boy said, trying to hold the dangling eyes with his palm; no, it looked like he was turning them towards the pastor, who stood in front of Luke, crouching to get a better look at him. His eyes looked like two black moons that peered down at him, projecting darkness and malice, but that didn’t matter to Luke, for he thought the man looked familiar. The flowing robes, the depth of that gaze, its intensity; he could have sworn it was…

“Matthias? Father Matthias?” he said, taken aback by the man. The pastor leaned in further to Luke, the smile on his face twitching with anxiety. It then dawned on Luke.

“You were the con man?”

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, right before he stood and hyped up the crowd. They cheered jubilantly.

“Friends, we are gathered here today after many years to do what is required of us. We are the chosen people, and it is only through us that the evil that has plagued this kind of town of ours can be eliminated. Now, let us not waste any more time. Young man, state your name!”

Luke’s lips trembled as he shook his head; he turned to see everyone staring down at him, with one person putting his face right into Luke’s. He turned back to the pastor and said:

“L – Luke Bwire.”

“Ah, Mr. Christopher. Welcome. Why do you not listen to your parents?”

“Wh – what?” Luke stuttered.

“Why are you disobedient?”

“I’m not – I don’t – I don’t even know who they – um, I don’t…” he tried to speak, but the sight of the one-eyed man standing right behind him only magnified his fright.

“I know what it is,” the pastor said, walking behind Luke to the congregants, “this is a spirit. An unholy and unclean one, manifesting itself as disobedience. Ladies and gentlemen, this boy, sweet as he is, is possessed!”

“What the hell is happening?!” Luke asked himself, shuddering at the sight of the now jeering congregants.

“The same thing,” the boy spoke, Luke, turning to face him.

“What do you mean?”

“The same thing. The same thing, the same thing,” the boy said repeatedly as the congregants stopped, looking at the child. Then, the woman standing right above the boy looked up, opened her mouth, and wailed. Her neighbor also looked up and screamed as loud as he could. One after the other, like a well-rehearsed scene, everyone looked up and screamed.

“Let us not waste any time,” the pastor said, “restrain him!”

With that, the one-eyed man grabbed Luke and pinned him down on his back; the hooded men rushed and pinned him down as the pastor took out a belt.

“We command this spirit to come out in his name. Come out!” he declared, slashing Luke across his chest with his belt. As Luke cried out in pain, the boy shrieked as well, clutching at his chest.

“Come out!” the pastor declared again, striking him once more across the chest. Luke cried out, and as he did, so did the boy.

“The same thing, the same thing!” the boy said, rubbing his chest like he was the one struck.

“PLEASE STOP!” Luke wailed at the pastor, who simply shook his head.

“Maybe this isn’t strong enough to expel the spirit. Come, do your best!” he directed the other men.

“Please no, please. PLEASE! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO…” Luke shouted, right before the club landed on his forehead, sending him into a daze; he saw the congregants disappear again and he was back in the church with Father Jeremiah and the other men for a brief moment, right before he was beaten back into the hollering church.

“COME OUT!” the hooded men shouted, each one taking a turn swinging at Luke.

“Help –someone please – hel…” Luke tried to speak, but the blood soaking his throat prevented him from speaking, the screaming congregants made it hard for him to ask anyone for help, and the boy seemed to match his every sound. He reached out his hand to the child as a last resort, but the child ran to him, held his face, and screamed into his bloody ears., right before Luke breathed his last…

***

They all stood over Luke’s battered body, Father Jeremiah doing his best to not look into the teary eyes that once looked up to him. The one-eyed priest placed his hand on Jeremiah’s back.

“We had no choice. I know he was a good one, but we had no choice,” he said.

“Gather around,” Jeremiah said, turning the pages of the book he held.

“Is he the last one?” Malachi asked. They put out a hologram projector of the main hall of their church; in it, they saw others celebrating as they pointed to a new painting that appeared in the church, one that resembled Luke.

“WE’RE FREE!!” they heard one of them say as they turned it off.

“We’ve done it,” Father Andrew priest said, “we’ve actually done it.”

“And to think that Jeremiah was going to deny us the right to do so,” Malachi scoffed. Jeremiah clenched his fist and puffed his feeble chest out, but simply groaned and sat down.

“A child shouldn’t suffer for the sins of his father,” Jeremiah said, “Luke was different. He was good, he would have actually made a difference…”

“It doesn’t matter,” Malachi said, walking over to him. His tone softened when he saw Jeremiah wipe a tear from his eye.

“It’s our duty. Whether or not we wanted to, it had to be done,” he said, placing his small hand on the elder’s shoulder.

“It is what we were called for Jeremiah,” John added, “please understand….”

“Shall we get on with it?” Jeremiah cut in as he sniffled; the others exchanged glances, then simply nodded.

“On this day, over a hundred years ago,” Jeremiah started, “our brother Christopher was killed by Matthias Bwire and his followers.”

“Curse him,” they chanted, tapping Luke’s body with their weapons.

“But Christopher wouldn’t rest until justice was dispensed to Matthias.”

“Curse him.”

“So it began. First, our grandfathers found Matthias and his young family.”

“Curse him.”

“And made him relive his sins, until the point of death.”

“Curse him.”

“And it was decreed, that all his descendants shall go through the same fate.”

“Curse him.”

“St Christopher’s Parish would call them to the service.”

“And each one would die by our hand.”

“Those that prey on the innocent and turn them to wickedness, they and their kind shall never roam the earth.”

“Curse them.”

“Now, we as Christopher’s relatives, have fulfilled our duties. The Bwire family is no more.”

“CURSE THEM!”

 

This story previously appeared in Dying Flame.
Edited by Marie Ginga

 

Kevin Ameyo often visits mythical lands, makes merry with fictional people and comes back to Earth to write their fantastical tales on his blog, The Words of a Dying Flame.
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