Short Stories, Tale Africa

How to kill a Holy Man (continued)

By Sir Amos Mwine, Uganda:

Lucas couldn't restrain his happiness. Quite promptly, he had shot up from his chair so much so that he had toppled it behind. With a sinister smile now, his face beamed with expectation. Finally, he thought, the truth will be revealed.

Everyone had thought the lanky man was surely heading to the pulpit but instead, he stopped just short of it and diverted to a small wooden boxed-in section just under the stage where the IT technician did his work. He handed the technician the compact disc, whispered a few words in his ear and then reached into his pockets and handed him a small brown envelope.

As soon as the technician saw what was inside the envelope, he swallowed hard and begun to look around. The envelope was pocketed stealthily by the technician and he held the other man's arm, the two walked out quickly.

No one knew what to make of it and so Fr. Jenkins shrugged it off, called back the attention of the congregation and continued with his sermon, 'Dear brothers and sisters, the verse reads as follows, 'And God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes; and their shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. Hallelujah!!'

'Hallelujah!' the people replied.

'Brethren, our dear brother has left us today but the lord tells us that he the lord almighty shall wipe our tears away. Amen?' he said fervently.

'Amen.' Now, as the sermon gained momentum, the IT technician quickly entered and repositioned himself. Then he looked around and closing his eyes, made a sign of the cross in the air.

'Brothers, we are all in great pain today but let me call to your attention the person in the greatest pain. 'Please,' he gestured at someone in the audience, 'Mrs. Mwaka, come to the stage, pray with me, come my dear sister… come.'

The woman came. She was voluptuous; even in her black kitenge, anyone could see this. But now she looked haggard, her light skin face quite pale and wet with tears. Jenkins held her hand.

'Now, everyone, stretch your hand towards this widow and the body of her dead husband before us. Let us pray together for this family… pray! Pray!'

The whole congregation took to their feet and in a moment, a sea of hands and voices stretched towards the woman who now cried more. But, if it was the case that this church was a wealthy one, then there was one thing that it had to have: A projector. And it had been rigged in such a way that the background on which it threw its picture was placed just above the pulpit so that the whole church could see what it displayed.

Today, everyone saw what it now displayed. As the praying gradually died out, other sounds from the projector pervaded the auditorium and its display called the attention of the congregation.

Everyone looked at the video that played on the projector and, one after the other, their jaws begun to drop in awe. For right there, in the stark clarity of the wide screen, were Fr. Jenkins and Mrs. Mwaka naked and holding each other side by side in bed. They were happy and Jenkins kept on whispering in her ear while she reacted with childish giggles, looking at him shyly, sweetly. Then, holding up her head, the father begun to kiss her while his other hand pulled a red duvet over themselves.

The sounds that ensued filled the room, 'Come on' the voice of Jenkins began, he laughed teasingly, 'you know I love you, and I want to make you feel good…'

'OH… father! This is wrong…'

'Come on my darling…don't be shy, how come you weren't shy the first and second time?'

Here, the congregation erupted into all tribes of 'Oh My God!', 'Lord save us!' and 'My Goodness!' standing, everyone shifted and craned their heads to get a look at Fr. Jenkins'. It was then that it dawned on them. There was no Fr. Jenkins. Instantly, he had recognized his voice and placed the event quickly enough to flee from the scene.

Instead, it was Mrs. Mwaka that they saw. She had fallen to the ground in despair and was now weeping in shame. Before the video could get any dirtier (and it was) someone stopped it. The mood had changed drastically: tears had been replaced by frowns and leers while words of sympathy were traded in for curses and jeers as one by one, the congregation exited the church in dead silence. No one dared to stay, no one but one young man: Lucas. He seemed to be enjoying himself, for he sat just as a boss would and looked straight at Mrs. Mwaka till she steadied herself and her teary eyes caught his stony and cold ones. And he laughed triumphantly as he swaggered towards her, 'So you thought you could kill Gavin, my father, and get away with it? You whore of a woman, did you really think I, Lucas Mwaka would let you take everything my father worked hard for? Your…' the words failed him, as revulsion ran through his body and he only relieved himself when his spat vehemently towards her and flounced out too.

Mrs. Mwaka stayed alone, her wails and screams of despair resounding echoes through the church. As she tore herself up in anger and loss, she thought about her plan. Where had she gone wrong? She was supposed to be swimming in riches by now…what had gone wrong?

The next Sunday, the New Canaan Cornerstone church, with all its grandeur and stature was as empty as it could get and all its faithful parishioners found themselves in different churches. In those very churches, it was announced that Fr. Jenkins had been found dead after hanging himself within the safety of his home. That very Sunday, Fr. Jenkins' body and spirit were to be prayed for; but no one knew whether to go or not, for no one knew how it would feel to see the man again. Many would remember the charitable work Of Gavin Mwaka, but still, few would forget how the holy man had shortchanged him of his wife.

Did the holy man deserve death? Maybe. But Gavin died knowing Jenkins had carnal knowledge of his wife, and this was revenge for him. He wanted an eye for an eye, and his favorite son, Lucas, had been but an accomplice. The plan had been perfectly laid, leaving his conscious free and exempting him of any sin. No one could stand and say he had had a hand in killing Fr. Jenkins, but many could say that the holy man had shortchanged him.

So, if you too ever feel the need to kill a holy man, this is exactly how you should do it.

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