To Hunt A Level Four – Part 8

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To Hunt A Level Four – Part 8

“For who can stand before Destruction? Hath God not said it? Dust ye came from, to dust ye shall return. I am come to return you to dust. And so shall it be, that I return you to dust.” He laughed them to scorn—a sound most loud, most harsh, and most harrowing.

O for a thousand tongues to tell of the great terror that pervaded Femi’s soul! Terror so great that he did not realize when Scarlett wriggled his right arm to regain his attention. The mere proclamation of Destruction had forced upon himself a depression so great he struggled ten thousand leagues beneath its eternal weight. Indeed who could stand before Destruction? Indeed, who?

“Snap out of it, Femi!” Scarlett roared, a speck of desperation tainting her voice.

“Leave him!” Destruction boomed in reply. He smashed one feet into the ground and an earthquake immeasurable on the Richter scale shook the building. Splinters flew as darts everywhere. Loose cement fell to the ground. A gaping crack ran the length of the wall. The house divided along its center and separating, it revealed a deep chasm from which white smoke poured into the world. All these happened in a heartbeat, in a flurry that was beyond the grasp of the human mind. One moment, the house was whole, the next, it was a ruin—the result of a devastating war.

“Fear ye not my majesty?” His voice grew more enraged with each utterance. “Are you not terrified by my presence? Worship ye not the magnitude of my power?” Destruction laughed again and Femi could feel himself slinking back into shock.

Scarlett sprung to her feet. At first, she whirled around in the dense white smoke, which had placed in the realm of the unknown the exact location of Destruction. But then, she positioned herself in the direction where his voice had last reached to them from. All Femi could perceive of the hunter were her fists, which were symbols of her fearlessness—something Femi had kicked to the curb the moment Destruction made his appearance.

“He that dweleth in the secret place of the most high,” she said with a little caution, “shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Destruction roared in laughter—so hard, that a slight tremor developed in the earth. “What is it ye folks say nowadays—are you kidding me?” He laughed hard again.

Not deterred, Scarlett continued. Femi could feel her power build. “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in HIM will I trust.”

“And where is He now?” Destruction interrupted his fits of laughter to proclaim. Shortly after, he continued. Femi could imagine him laughing on his belly, enraptured in boisterous mirth. However, he felt like something was changing in the room, insidiously, surreptitiously, unrevealed and covered in a holy darkness, that change flourished.

Scarlett continued, “Surely He shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence.”

Destruction choked. There was a startling silence. A wind began to stir in the room.

Scarlett’s voice took on more strength and conviction. “He shall cover me with His feathers, and under His wings shall I trust: His truth shall be my shield and my buckler.”

“No—wait! What are you doing?” Fear filled Destruction’s voice.

“I shall not be afraid for the Terror by night—”

“No! Stop that!”—the wind grew to a noisome whirl.

“—nor for the Arrow that flieth by day.”

Destruction screamed in anger and fear and marched towards them. The smoke parted his way with forceful exertion, however, an invisible force got a hold of him and held him bound in unseen fetters. He struggled and experienced no avail.

Scarlett’s voice rose to a bellow. “Nor for the Pestilence that walketh in the darkness.”

“Wait! Speak it not!”

“Nor for the Destruction that wasteth at noonday!”

The roar of the hurricane in the room drowned her last words. The hurricane swept Destruction off the ground. The smoke, though it still veiled everything perceivable by sight, swung around Destruction with the speed and violence of the winds.

“I charge you in the name of God: be gone!

The hurricane leapt to put into execution Scarlett’s command. It sprung off the ground and carried Destruction, who still screamed—bound—in fury, out of the room. Soon after, the smoke dissipated. Soon after, Scarlett collapsed into Femi’s hands, weak and falling unconscious. Her face had wetted with perspiration; every muscle was slack as though she was on the brink of death. The very breath of her nostrils were shallow and hot.

For a moment, Femi shifted his gaze from her pale face and swept in his surroundings. The room had totally cleared of the smoke: it was a sight of true and utter destruction, a scene of profound desolation. The house had separated along an axis less than four feet from him, revealing the parlor, the compound, and the street outside through a gaping crack. The crack ran for at least twenty feet into the ground, forming a chasm. Loose sand and rubble fell to the ground at the corners; the ceiling threatened to cave in. It would, Femi noted, in a few minutes.

Femi looked back down at Scarlett and saw that she had been looking on him the whole time. She smiled, her eyes drooping. “Twenty six, Allen Avenue. Take us there now.” She paused. Femi saw from the tightness at the corner of her eyes that each word she spoke required an exertion of strength. “Ask for Jonathan,” she breathed, “he can locate the witch and you can help him. Destruction will be back.” As the last words left her mouth, so did she live the world of the conscious: with the soft exhalation of breath.

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To Hunt A Level Four – Part 7

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To Hunt A Level Four – Part 7

When he finally regained his wits, he found himself on the floor and a blade pointed to his forehead.

Femi heard a wail proceed from his lips. It was a pathetic sound that remained aloft in the small room. The lady sniggered and shoved the blade to his chin. Femi’s body trembled at the mortal cold touch of the bright blade and let it raise his head such that he gazed upon this beautiful death. For she was both beautiful and deathly.

Her face must have been divinely sculptured, no doubt created to lead the legendary amazons. Her skin was pale and smooth, a supple combination that called and pleaded and appealed for a touch or at least a longing for a touch. Her lips were thin and pressed into a line, but they were luscious. They were blood red. Her eyes…her eyes were a startling hazel.

Scarlett snarled deeply. Yet, twisting her face in the most grotesque of ways did nothing to ruffle her splendor. She had a powerful energy revolving her being, crashing into the walls of the room, and reverberating back upon them. She was in control. She was in charge. She was a senior witch hunter.

She looked deep into his eyes. “You failed,” she whispered, like the whisperings of lovers in the night. “You have failed your sacred duty. The Conclave has sent me to clean things up.”

“Is that why you came?” Femi’s hurt had evolved to anger. “To rub in my failure and then kill me?”

She gave a sarcastic smile. The whole room lit up like the first few minutes of dawn as her lips revealed a perfect set of white teeth. She descended to her knees—a fluid and graceful motion that could have fooled the eyes for the pleasure it gave. There was an erotic softness to her eyes, to her gaze, and to the way she held her lips. “If I wanted to kill you,” she breathed, causing Femi to pull nearer to hear, “you’d already be dead.” She rose to her feet, turned, and walked back towards the mirror.

Now that she wasn’t so close, Femi realized he was short of breath. He sucked in a lungful of God’s precious air and let his heart calm down, all the while observing the witch hunter. Femi felt two emotions towards her. Envy and yearning. She possessed an uncanny audaciousness that bothered on impudence. The way she strode, you could have mistaken her for a king—not a queen, but a king! A brash king. Yet, there was no atom of masculinity to her. He found himself envying these qualities and yet yearning for the girl that she was.

Femi was close to twenty six and had no person in his life. It was a cold and dark place to be, and it was where Femi had made a home.

“Why have you come, then? Where have you come from? You are not from these parts are you?”

Scarlett stood before the mirror gazing around the frame as if observing the complexities of the artlessly designed glass. Whatever had piqued her interest about the mirror, it could not be observed by the mere eyes.

“Where I come from is none of your business,” replied Scarlett. “Why I’ve come is to kill the level four that you failed to kill.”

Femi scrambled to his feet. “Hey, I was told it was a level one. I certainly wasn’t expecting a level four! Someone messed up at the Conclave.”

Scarlett swung around to face him and took two quick steps towards him. Femi took an equal number of steps backwards and tried to force his body out of the fits of trembles that had wrapped around him.

“Are you listening to yourself?” She had a look of disgust on her face. “There’s a powerful witch running amok and you’re playing the blame game?” She drew nearer. “You know why I attacked you? It was to test you. To see if you were worthy of a promotion. But you failed. And Simon’s request will be denied.”

For a few seconds, they glared at each other.

“The Conclave has placed you under my direct command. You will do whatever I say.”

A spirit of anger fell upon Femi’s heart. He felt a great urge to grab a hold of the girl’s head and smash it into the wall. But even that couldn’t have quenched his fury. He bit his lips. “What do you need?”

“Look,” Scarlett started after a deep breath. Her demeanor seemed to have softened. “There was a breach at the Great White Temple. You were never meant to go up against a level four. You could have been killed. I’m sorry about that. But I need to locate this level four and find out what evil plan it has.”

Femi nodded. “How can I help?”

“Last night, when you were attacked, what did you see? What did it look like?”

“Nothing,” replied Femi. “It was definitely not human. But it had the form of human and was cloaked in a thick darkness that covered the whole street.”

“What?” Scarlett must have meant that as a question to him, however, it came out as a whisper and her eyes had already lost focus. She was in shock.

“Why? What kind of creature is this?” Fear taunted Femi’s heart. He furiously fought to keep from falling into it.

Scarlett’s gaze slid to him. “Open your scriptures to Psalms ninety one and verse five and six, and read aloud.” Then she turned and looked away.

Femi brought out the black book and searched out the passage. He felt like there was a swirl of utter despair around him, and that at any moment, he would fall in, never to see the light of life again. His finger settled on the scripture and he read. “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

Femi heard it—an almost imperceptible sigh escape the mouth of the red draped figure before him. Her shoulders were slack in resignation. Her head a little hung in submission. “The world is a very dangerous place, Femi,” she said wistfully, “a very dangerous place.” Her tone carried a hopelessness that made Femi want to cry out in distress.

“What does that mean?” Femi asked.

Still backing him, she said, “There are four of them. Four spawns of a level four. Terror. Arrow. Pestilence. Destruction. You fought Pestilence, the one that walketh in darkness.” She was quiet for a while, then she added, “you shouldn’t be alive. They want you alive. Which means whatever they’re planning, you’re an important piece.”

“How can that be?” Femi replied, few seconds from irreparable panic, “the witch said my living or dying was of no consequence to their plan.”

“Does it surprise you? Are they not children of the one who is father of all lies?”

There was a silence.

“There’s one more thing.” Scarlett turned.

“What?” asked Femi.

“These four: Terror, Arrow, Pestilence, Destruction—they are related. Pestilence and Terror are night creatures and so they only operate in the night. Arrow and Destruction are day creatures and so they only operate in the day. When one comes—”

“Others will follow,” Femi cut her off with a whisper. “Terror, Arrow, and Destruction.”

She nodded. “There will be deaths. Deaths on an unimaginable scale. We can’t let that happen. I can’t let that happen.” Her resolution was evident both in her tone and in her eyes.

“How can we stop them, then?”

Scarlett shook her head. “You don’t seem to understand.” She came up so close to him that he could perceive the alluring freshness in her lustrous black hair. “Going up against any of these dark spawns is suicidal. We go after the level four. We kill her, and they’ll vanish.”

“Simon says the level four witch went to Enugu. But Enugu is a large place. It’s like finding a drop of water in an ocean.”

Scarlett smiled. “I know a guy.”

That was all she got out of her mouth before the door broke free of its hinges with an explosive sound and flew into the room. Scarlett jerked him down in a duck as the door tore over their heads and smashed into the mirror.

A deep laughter rumbled into the room from the adjoining parlor. Smoke flowed in overlapping waves into the room and soon, they were engulfed in a flood of white smoke. A figure stood in the doorway and remained. From this figure proceeded forth another deep and dreadful laughter.

“Who are you?” Scarlett’s voice was hard and strong, but her hands still gripped Femi’s body, and they trembled with fear.

The figure came into the room and let loose a guttural laughter that shook every bone of Femi’s body. It was fear unspeakable—full of terror!

“I am the Destruction that wasteth at noonday. I am the father of Pandemonium, and Chaos and Mayhem are my children. All die before me and behind me there’s only grief and sorrow. Darkness is my birthright, eternal sadness for menfolk is my earnest desire and sole purpose. I am the author of fear and the messenger of death. None can stand before me. No life can exist in my presence. I have come to finish what Pestilence started. And I shall finish what Pestilence started.” He laughed again. And again. And again—an unending melody of their departure from this life. The white smoke had thickened such that nothing was visible save the figure of a man, which man was no man, but Destruction that spoke with a deep rumble of a voice. “For who can stand before Destruction? Hath God not said it? Dust ye came from, to dust ye shall return. I am come to return you to dust. And so shall it be, that I return you to dust.” He laughed them to scorn—harshly, loudly, and harrowingly.

To Hunt A Level Four – Part 6

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To Hunt A Level Four – Part 6

“I go kill you if you no commot here, now,” the man roared with a sharp, evil look.

The short man remained unfazed. “Kill me?” His features took upon themselves a fearful display of fury. “KILL ME?” Then without warning, he vaulted forward.

Femi’s breath held in his chest as he watched the short man bring his weapon to bear on the taller man. The machete came up quickly and deflected the shard of bottle. A rapturous gasp rippled through the multitude. For a second, the two men were separated by the force of the deflection; but it was only a second. The two men snarled and attacked each other again.

Femi turned his back on the scene. His heart was already pounding away. He had two choices: abandon his bike and run or stay. However, abandoning his bike wasn’t an option he could afford. It had cost a fortune to acquire such finely sculptured piece of machinery. Having made his decision, he retrieved his book and white stone from his jacket. He found a scripture in the book of Philippians chapter four and verse seven, and with his faith, he highlighted: and the peace that surpasseth all understanding. “I believe, I receive,” he muttered. And just as the words escaped his lips, a boldness like an overcoat was thrown on him. Suddenly, he felt like he had power of this crisis.

He turned around and marched through the cheering crowd into the safe distance they had left between themselves and the wrestling men. As he approached them, the crowd fell to whispers. And then to silence. The men, who were now on the floor, devoid of their weapons which were strewn about, paused for no reason and looked up at him. There was a confusion in their eyes, like the transient confusion that is the remnant of a long sleep.

Femi towered over them. “This is my bike,” he said, feeling his words flow forth from his mouth in waves of irresistible power, exerting irresistible control upon all who would dare listen. “I will mount it and drive away. And as I do, you will not fight over this matter again. You will forget you ever saw me.” Femi swiveled on his heels and faced the crowd, who looked upon him, aghast. “And that goes for all of you.” His hands traced an arc along their faces.

The men remained locked in a motionless wrestle, looking too stunned to fight. The crowd had stilled, not a muscle moved, yet they looked at him, eyes full of wits, minds muddled by a power that was beyond them. It was peace: power over crisis.

Femi felt a smile slither onto his face. He walked around the men on the floor and mounted his bike. Producing the keys to his bike from his pocket, he fired the engine. He remained motionless, unnecessarily, on the bike for a full minute, just to remain within the vicinity of his great display of power. It gave him pleasure to see the multitude remain gripped by an unseen force—a force he commanded. He revved the engine.

The moment he started moving, they parted, creating a path for him. He drove through the path until he was through the last row of people; he zoomed off into the early morning traffic.

Before he turned into the highway, he looked back and saw that the crowd had begun to disperse. Femi chuckled. Power over crisis.

He got to his house less than twenty minutes later. It was a respectable three story building, home to four families and two singles, him included. His apartment was the forward one on the ground level, near the gate, the one with the small verandah. The house was empty and silent—in fact, the whole street was silent, unlike where he was coming from. Most people were already at work or toiling in the traffic snarl that stretched the distance between Ikorodu and Mile Twelve.

Femi brought the bike to a stop in his parking space and dismounted the vehicle. He basked in the euphoria he felt about handling the situation with his bike until he got to the door that led into his house. The moment he was by his door, memories of last night’s encounter came back to him forcefully. Bitterness settled in afterwards. He turned the knob and let himself in. Once he was sure the door was locked behind him, he threw himself on top of his sofa. There was a level four on the loose. How had he survived? Simon said he had been spared. Why? Witches, especially level fours, didn’t just do anything. Whatever they did, it was for a reason.

For what reason had he been spared? As Femi yet pondered these things, he heard a most peculiar sound come from his white room. Peculiar because it would have belonged to a man had his mind followed logical reasoning. But Femi refused to believe there was a man in his house. Maybe because the ramifications were too severe to contemplate; maybe because he was scared. He remained riveted to the sofa, his breathing becoming a terrifying sound to his ears.

The sound came again. There was someone walking in his white room. The hellish terror of a thousand damned souls gripped his body. Why, he did not know. Femi wrestled with his jacket to get out his faith and his scriptures. He sprung to his feet once he had the two sacred objects in his hands. He had the scriptures open to the armory in Ephesians and activated the sword of the spirit.

Femi held the white gleaming blade to his face and drew nearer to the door. The door handle looked as pale as death. Femi understood quite well that the moment he touched that handle and confronted this trespasser, death could fall on him swiftly. Grabbing a hold of his mind before it became ensnared by fear unspeakable, Femi gripped the handle and twisted. He rushed into the room until his eyes fell on he who had entered his house. Then, his legs lost its impulse and froze, leaving his body standing immobile at the center of the room.

There, before his mirror, stood a tall figure draped in a red robe. This figure became aware of his presence and yet remained facing the floor-to-ceiling glass. Femi peeked beyond the slender shoulders into the mirror and observed that this figure was that of a lady; a stunning half caste. Her eyes darted across the surface of the mirror to look into his: they were a storm of burning concentration. A swirl that could only be described by two word: eternal deepness.

Femi looked away.

He felt the air charge with power; power that was quickly building.

“Who are you?” Femi dared a question at the senior witch hunter. “And why have you come?”

The lady straightened her robe and turning to face him, she said, “I am Scarlett. And I have come to slay you.” Without warning, she vaulted into the air. Around her, gravity seemed to lose its meaning because she skipped higher into the air, when she should have been falling. At the top of her ascent, a blade much similar to his appeared in her hands. She descended upon him with a snarl, a poised blade, and a deadly beautiful face which wanted nothing more than to see his head roll off his body. Her read robe rapped in wriggles around her in an unending song of his demise.

Her blade struck his with a blinding flash—a flash that disoriented him. A sudden space emerged between his palms. Where the sword had been a moment ago, held in his grip, a volume of air occupied. His palms clasped each other, his sword shattered by the force of impact. Still shocked, he felt a fist strike his chest, sending him reeling, breathless, to the back of the room. When he finally regained his wits, he found himself on the floor and a blade pointed to his forehead.

To Hunt A Level Four – Part 5

Witch hunters-1To Hunt A Level Four – Part 5

Simon pushed the sheet of paper into his robes, looked around the scraggly, little apartment with disgust, and left the room. At his car, he said to Femi. “You survived the impossible today, Femi, for this I commend you. And I will make sure I petition the Conclave to consider you for promotion. However, I fear I know why you were spared. If what you have described here is correct, then something big is afoot. The witches are mobilizing for a major attack.”

This struck a chord of utter despair within Femi.

Simon got into his car and started the engine. The glass rolled down and he stuck his head outwards. “Stay out of trouble, Femi. Stay away from hunting for a while, at least until I’m sure of what we’re dealing with.”

“What’s going to happen now?”

“Well, I have to consult with my superiors. We have to get through to the Conclave. They might require you to give a detailed account of what you experienced. So return home, stay away from work, and rehearse in your mind all that has happened today. I’ll contact you soon.”

Simon revved his engine, pulled away from the side of the road, and drove down the street towards the highway. Femi wanted to say more—to know more—to be involved in a greater degree in hunting this level four—yet, it was not his place to question a superior for he had to count those who labored in the service of God above him of double honor. Resignedly, he began his ascent up the street till he got to his bike.

The street on which he had parked his bike—the one that twenty minutes on adjoined the highway—bustled with streaming workers on their way to their jobs, salesmen hanging around the opening of their shops, soliciting patronization, children in flocks trekking to their schools, cleaners in orange uniforms, sweeping the sandy asphalt with long brooms, and the area boys—full grown men of great disrepute, of a hardened heart, and of a great and rabid penchant for violence that was nothing short of demoniacal.

As usual, three of such men were involved in a brawl that was quickly drawing the attention of passersby. Naturally, Femi couldn’t care less if they stabbed themselves to death as they threatened to, however, as he drew nearer the mouth of the street, when he realized that the object of this quarrel was his bike—or rather, who gets to extort money from him for parking his bike on their turf—a sudden fear gripped his frame.

He paused first, mere feet away from his bike and the attending throng of muscular, bare bodied men—bare bodies that revealed hideous scars, some old, most fresh. Femi took notice of one particularly short man whose features belonged to the devil—belong to the devil for who else save the evil one would wield a weapon (a shard of bottle which at some time had belonged to the whole of a wine bottle) against a man with gleeful eyes?—because he was the one who held claim to Femi’s bike. His opponent, a rather tall and lanky fellow yet not lacking in rigid qualities and his own large number of scars, stood him up with a weapon of his own—a long machete that was sharpened perhaps for the sole reason of splitting the air to its components—though with an uncertainty about him and certainly without delight.

This ghastly company was not without movement and sound. They moved, as one, in sweeps and lurches around his bike and a cacophony of shrieks and yells held around them. A small crowd had already gathered though at a safe distance.

Femi pondered on his next course of action. He—or more appropriately, his red bike—was the reason for this bitter scuffle. It would be no great exertion of will power for one of the foul characters to bury an axe in his head, thus ending the fight. He had to act with caution. But what could he do?

As he was yet considering the matter, he heard a sharp and swift grating sound. This dreadful sound was attended by flying sparks that originated from the ground between the two protesters. Femi fled the scene just as his heart fled his chest. Once he was several yards away, he turned and observed that the mass of area boys that had attempted to settle the wrestle and prevent it from ascending to an all-out provocation had dispersed as well, leaving the two men facing each other without fence. The small crowd had increased to a multitude.

Femi looked more closely at the ground and realized the cause of the sound and sight. The one wielding the machete had scrapped the ground with it, sending forth sparks in all directions and letting loose that horrendous grating sound. Now he had the sharp end of the murderous instrument of death pointed down at the short man.

“I go kill you if you no commot here, now,” the man roared with a sharp, evil look.

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To Hunt A Level Four – Part 4

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Before today’s update, I’d like to say that I got off to a rough start with this story. But I think I’ve got my footing just right. The writing has been a little dis-satisfactory (at least, I think so–what do you think?) but this is a first draft, so it’s kinda okay ish. Before I publish this story as an eBook, it’ll go through series of edits. However, from hereon out, the writing should improve a bit. ENJOY this part!

To Hunt A Level Four – Part 4

A hand prodded his shoulder. “Femi. Femi. Are you alright?”

Femi came around with a resounding headache. At the first, his body refused the commands he gave it—stand up!—eyes open!—lips apart!—choosing rather to remain sprawled on the rocks ridden ground under the reviling and scorching gaze of the sun. But soon, after much prodding and pleading (at the mere thought of waking in the middle of the road in the middle of the day, Femi’s mind had become inundated with insufferable shame) his body began to respond, if mournful, slight movements could be regarded as a response.

The figure standing over him belonged to that of a young man. He leaned in so that his plump form blocked the sharp rays of the sun. The man’s eyes were a constant swirl of consternation and glee. This man that had brought him from the pit of a swoon wore black regal robes that twirled gracefully around his shape. The bare skin on his ebony head shone with all the radiance of a glittering surface.

Femi soon recognized the man that now looked deep into his eyes. And with this recollection came a sudden flush of anger which quickly fizzled, giving way for exasperation. For this man that looked at him was his superior, his handler. He was a senior witch hunter, something Femi desired to be and wasn’t.

The man offered a hand which was veiled in the expensive black he wore. Femi took it and was jerked up to a sitting position. Muscles snapped. Femi let out a loud groan.

Now he was sitting, he could see that a small crowd had gathered around him. Curious eyes gazed upon him, some with confusion, others with contempt. This crowd was not without murmurs for they babbled as he stretched his muscles. They babbled even when he became still with the contemplation his last encounter.

“What happened?” Simon asked. He descended the air to a crouch. Yet, for his tall person, he still towered over Femi. There was an energy to his presence, a vitality to his eyes. He exuded power. Boldness. Courage. Traits that Femi desired to exhibit.

Femi shook his head. “I don’t know. The witch was more powerful than I anticipated. It couldn’t have been a level one. The message I received was wrong.”

“The information we receive is never wrong, Femi.” There was the hint of a scold in his voice. Though he put a veil of confusion around it with his blank expression.

Femi looked back down on the ground. “It must have been wrong because the witch spawned a creature. Only level fours and beyond can spawn dark creatures.”

Simon nodded for a while as his eyes lost focus on ruminations that were beyond this plane of understanding. “Indeed, it was a level four. And how is it you’re still alive?”

“I fought it with the light.”

Simon seemed to stiffen at this proclamation. There was a visible change in the air around him. An uncertainty had snuck up on him and now had him in its tightening embrace. “Say that again,” replied Simon in a whisper.

“I fought it with the light.”

This time a tiny, almost indiscernible, wail escaped his lips. A question came in his eyes—a question he dreaded to ask for he knew the answer and feared its import with morbid passion. “This creature you fought,” said he alas, “did it walk in darkness?”

Femi observed Simon’s accelerated heartbeat from the ripples in his robes. It gave him a twisted satisfaction to see that the power figure could be unsettled, too. “Well, yes, sort of—I mean, there was darkness everywhere and it seemed to release this darkness from its whole being. I never got a real good look at it.”

Simon shot to his feet. “Get up and follow me.”

Femi slowly got to his feet. The crowd had started to disperse, though they still shot him glances, some of confusion, others of contempt.

People were everywhere. On the road. In fenceless compounds. In verandahs of multi-story buildings. The whole place pulsed with a vibrancy that contrasted starkly the experience of last night. Mysterious exotic sounds, noises, sharp arguments, loud hawkers—all these synchronized into a steady melodious drum that flowed up and down the street.

Soon, Femi was forgotten by the hundreds of people on the street. He followed Simon to where his black SUV was parked, beside the witch’s house.

A couple walked out of the corridor with their child. They passed by Simon and Femi without as much as an acknowledgment and headed up the street. Simon crossed into the compound and approached the house.

“We need to find out where the level four witch went to,” Simon said, on entering into the corridor. A nauseating smell slithered into their nostrils—a mix of vomit and excreta, Femi supposed. He gagged on the odor, turning away from the depths of the corridor to the source of light and air, the doorway to the open.

When he had recovered from his nausea, he turned around and saw Simon no more. The door into the witch’s house, a door he had failed to open—a sign of his apparent failure to stop the witch—stared open at him. Femi hurried to the door. He stood at the door way and peered into the dark room.

The air in there was stuffy, yet this did not deter Simon because he tore through every property in sight. The small room was tightly parked. Barely twenty square feet in area, the enclosure—because that was all it was, an enclosure formed with brick and mortar—was packed to the ceiling with bags and bags of cloths. A small bed took up the whole left wall, leaving a tiny area in the center for transit.

“What are you looking for, sir?” Femi whispered. He glanced back into the corridor to make sure it was still clear.

“Any evidence that tells us where this witch went to.” Simon paused. “Aha…” he whispered and held up a sheet of paper.

Femi resisted the urge to plunge into the room so as to scrutinize what had settled his handler’s curiosity. “What is that, sir?” asked Femi after another sweep of the corridor.

“It’s a train ticket. Our witch has gone to Enugu.”

Simon pushed the sheet of paper into his robes, looked around the scraggly, little apartment with disgust, and left the room. At his car, he said to Femi. “You survived the impossible today, Femi, for this I commend you. And I will make sure I petition the Conclave to consider you for promotion. However, I fear I know why you were spared. If what you have described here is correct, then something big is afoot. The witches are mobilizing for a major attack.”

This struck a chord of utter despair within Femi.

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To Hunt A Level Four – Part 3

Witch hunters-1

To Hunt a Level Four – Part 3

Femi exhaled softly and slid his hand to the door knob. The moment his fingers touched the cold metal, there was a great sound like a giant bell.

Femi froze.

A strong force like an explosion knocked him off his feet and sent him flying out of the corridor. He soared through the air and crashed into the road. A yelp of pain escaped his mouth the moment he struck the porthole-ridden road.
For a moment, Femi hovered on the brink of unconsciousness. What had happened? A dark mist clung to him and veiled his surroundings. The moon seemed to have hidden behind a cloud.
Femi heard footfalls approach him. He craned his neck and saw a tall figure from whom the dark mist proceeded. It was a creature of immense evil and power. Draped in black tattered drabs, it ambled towards him, slow, deliberate, its every movement a taunt, a jeer, a torture to Femi’s soul. This figure was cloaked by a mysterious darkness which Femi could not fathom.
Panic stabbed at his heart. There was no way this was a level one witch.
Femi looked around for his sword and found it not. His breathing became erratic, and his heartbeat at that moment would have differed not from a patient’s, who was in cardiac arrest. Femi would have cried out for help, but it was no use because they were in the spirit; even if an armed person passed by this moment, he would see nothing, and he would hear nothing.
Death was a merciless thing. Especially death that was sure. And Femi knew that as sure as the sun would rise again in the morning, he was going to die at the hands of this malevolent creature. As the presence of the dark being neared, Femi remembered a phrase and chuckled. The one that killed by the sword, would die by the sword. He had killed witches, he was about to die by a witch’s hands.

The creature in the dark towered over him and let loose a horrendous shrill scream. Incomprehensible dread fell upon Femi.

The creature pulled back its leg and plowed it into Femi’s side. Femi was airborne—and crashed into the ground with a scream. His heart hammered so hard that his whole body vibrated. Femi scrambled to his feet and backpedaled as the creature approached. Not much could be seen through its cloak of dark mist, however, Femi could make out a bony structure much like a man’s, with flaming sockets seeded into its misshape head.

Whatever this creature was, only level four witches’ could spawn it into existence. The thought further unsettled Femi.

Femi fished out his scriptures and his faith with terribly trembling fingers and found the armory in Ephesians. Now that he had been without his sword for up to a minute, he could summon it again. He highlighted the appropriate portion and returned the sacred objects back into his jacket.

“I believe, I receive!” he yelled, his hands clasped palm against palm in his front. The white glowing blade materialized before him. But before he could bring the weapon to bear on the creature it had gotten to him. So close that Femi could perceive the burning coal from the creature’s body, on which body Femi caught an unmistakable symbol and froze. It was a symbol he had never thought he would see in his life again—that of a cross embedded in the side of a crescent.

The creature struck his face and sent him airborne, again. Femi tumbled through the air at missile speed, senseless for a while. When he crashed into the earth, his body was assaulted by inhuman pain. Femi yelped yet this seemed to worsen the pain. However, what was worst of was the creature that still approached him. As Femi struggled to remain conscious, flashes of painful imageries from his past forced themselves through his mind. That symbol. His mother’s death. The thing that had killed her had had that symbol on its body.

The creature was standing over him now, and Femi’s anger raged. He had searched for the monster who had killed his mother. His handler had told him that creatures like that weren’t easy to find. They only came out of the darkness, when there was a major evil plot brewing. And so, even if he combed the whole earth, he wouldn’t find the creature that killed his mother. But now, that creature stood above him.

Femi sprung to his feet and threw his hand at the creature’s neck for a grab. The creature swatted his hands off course and instead grabbed his neck in a choke hold. Femi struggled, striking the slippery arm of the creature over and over again, but the creature’s grip was firm. It threw him to the ground.

“Finish that hunter off, so we can go to Enugu. It’s no longer safe around these parts,” said a shrill old voice somewhere in the distance.

“Hmmm,” responded the creature.

Femi bit his lips. The dark mist had thickened, threatening to suffocate him. An idea came to his mind. Femi scrambled backwards, putting some space between him and the monster, then he brought out his scriptures and laid it bare before him. He brought out his faith and swiped the pages of the book until it fell on the book of John. He highlighted the portion that said: and the light shinneth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

The creature stood above Femi, its right hand raised to strike.

The green glowed on the highlighted portion.

The creature roared and the flames in its eyes intensified. Claws sprouted out of its fingers.

“I believe, I receive,” Femi yelled, and then he added, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”

Light exploded from the scriptures with the force of a whirl wind. The darkness flushed backwards and the creature was pushed several feet away. The creature roared and pushed back the light. It opened wide its mouth and like a flood, greater darkness rushed out into the world and overwhelmed the light. The light receded, weak. The creature pushed harder, its hands still poised to slay.

Femi knew the only reason why this was happening was because his faith was failing. He didn’t have a strong enough faith to fight this witch. Femi bellowed. “LET THERE BE LIGHT!” And struck that portion of the scriptures with his stone. The light exploded outwards with renewed vigor, sending the creature backwards a few feet. But it was only a few feet, because it began to push back.

Femi’s hands were weak. He couldn’t keep this up any longer.

“Leave him and let’s go. He’s living or dying is of no consequence to us or to our plan,” the shriveled old voice said again.

“Hmmm,” the creature said, turned, and vanished. The light, now unopposed, shot outwards, expunging the dark mist from the area. The night became as it was, when Femi had first walked down the street: silent and dead with no soul around.
The world became dizzy and Femi realized that his body was falling to the ground. He lay motionless for a second, his chest rising and falling, and then the world turned black.

To Hunt A Level Four – Part 2

To Hunt A Level Four – Part 2

In modern day English, that could easily translate to: kill every goddamn witch alive.

Femi relented on the accelerator and turned into a small road adjacent to the highway. He rode for twenty minutes before he found the street he was looking for. He parked the bike at the mouth of the street and started down the rough road.

The buildings in this area could have been mistaken for the rubbles of Hiroshima after the nuclear explosion. Though they still stood, Femi had no doubt that the dilapidated structures would come crashing down with the push of his finger.

Femi came to a halt before a fenceless multi-tenanted bungalow, popularly known as face-me-I-face-you.

The street was dead and silent. Femi felt an odd presence envelope him. His heartbeat picked. Could the information have been wrong? He shook the thought out of his head. The information has never been wrong, he thought.

Femi brought out his scriptures and realized he could read it clearly in the strong moonlight. He found the armory in the book of Ephesians chapter six. All he needed was a sword and three minutes with the witch, and this would be a wrap-up.

Femi held the scriptures open to the armory in his left palm and withdrew the white stone—his faith—from his jacket with his right hand. He highlighted the part that said the sword of the spirit; the white chalk left a green luminescence on the written words. Femi stowed away the stone, stuck his hand forward as if holding a sword, and said, soft, “I believe, I receive.”

A long white sword shimmered into existence in his grip, first a shaft of white light, then a glowing white blade. The weapon pulsed with an ethereal power. An ethereal power that sent jolts of excitement through his veins.

Femi tucked the book back into his jacket. Before he approached the house, he glanced up and down the street once more. The street was devoid of life—devoid of sound. Good, he thought. No one to witness the great dispatching with which he was about to dispatch the witch.

Femi stepped over the gutter, which was the only structure that separated the compound from the street, and approached the open corridor.
Strangely, with each step he took towards the house, his trepidation abounded. Femi became worried. Why was he acting strange? This was not his first witch. As he pondered on his predicament, a thought availed itself to him. Maybe it was a warding spell. Maybe the witch was trying to repel him. Nice try, Femi scoffed and entered the house.

The strong glow from his blade chased away the darkness that had a moment ago abided in the corridor. There were four doors, two on the left and two on the right. According to the information he had received, the witch’s room was the second one on the left. Femi stood facing that door and listened intently.

No sound proceeded forth from the room.

But that didn’t mean nothing was being said. It could mean that he just didn’t have a strong enough hearing. It was at times like this that Femi wished he had a bigger faith. Then he would have activated Elisha’s hearing—when Elisha was able to hear what the king was saying in his bedroom. Then, instead of biking to his targets’ houses, he’d use Phillip’s teleportation—when Phillip teleported to Azotus. Then, instead of using a sword, he’d use Elijah’s fire—when Elijah called down fire from heaven with just a word. But now, all his faith was able to do was activate any weapon in the armory.

Femi decided he needed to talk to his handlers about increasing his faith. He was no longer a junior witch hunter. Though he had only been a hunter for less than a year, he had put in the grave close to seventy witches, some of which were level two witches! He was no longer a junior hunter, so his handlers needed to stop treating him as one.

He had proved to his superiors over and over again that he was capable of much more. Though it was against regulations for junior hunters to hunt witches without the whole armor of God, Femi never took the whole armor to kill level one witches. All he needed was the sword of the spirit and he was good. Senior witch hunters didn’t need breastplates and shields and helmets to kill a level one. Why should he?

Femi exhaled softly and slid his hand to the door knob. The moment his fingers touched the cold metal, there was a great sound like a giant bell.

Femi froze.

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To Hunt A Level Four – Part 1

Witch hunters-1

Witch hunters have existed for as long as witches and witchcraft have existed—since the creation of the first man. They live among us—no different from us—yet, they possess the skill and weaponry to slay witches wherever they are. There’s much contention as to who was the first witch hunter, Cain or Moses. Remember that bible tale about Cain killing Abel and God punishing Cain? Well, it turns out that Cain had thought Abel was a devil worshiper and had gone ahead to kill Abel.

But he had been wrong and had gotten what he deserved. However, Moses received a word from God—a word that would go on to form the sacred mission of the witch hunters: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. And so right from Moses, the first great witch hunter, down to Paul of Tarsus, the witch hunters have hunted down and killed those who practiced the dark arts. Great men of history like Joshua, Elijah, David, Solomon, Isaiah were all members of this sacred order of witch hunters.

And now, Femi Johnson, a middle level bank executive, was part of that order.

Femi wriggled his fingers as his emotions rode high on the waves of Frank Edward’s song, Bianule. He observed himself in the floor-to-ceiling mirror in the white room. His black velvet jacket gleamed in the harsh fluorescent tube affixed to the ceiling. His matte black jeans clung to his thin legs. His black overcoat gave him that desperado feel. Today, he was going to kill a witch. Today, he was going to carry out his sacred duty.

Of course, all that was unnecessary. He didn’t need to have a special white room in which to prepare for his assassinations. He didn’t have to dress in black to hunt and slay witches. It was just that Femi had a proclivity for over-mystifying even the most mundane of tasks.

Femi picked up his scriptures, a squat thin book, and his faith, a small chalky stone. He placed both sacred items in his jacket and left the room.

During the day, he worked in a bank, but during the night, he sought witches’ covens and slew witches. It was his thirst, his hunger, to see the blood of those who practiced witchcraft run as the river Nile.

Femi wished he could say that he got his targets from the ‘spirit,’ but really, he got his targets from a dedicated website on the internet. Yesterday night, he had received a message. There was a witch somewhere near Mile Twelve. A level one witch, the message had said. He should have no problem dispatching the poor soul to Hell.

Femi was not one given to fear. However, the mysterious circumstances surrounding this mission caused his excitement to dampen. When a mission was given, a time frame was never given. Usually, he had enough time to scout the area, understand the terrain where the witch lived, and then plan an attack. But the message he had received was specific; he had less than thirty six hours to execute the witch.

Outside his apartment, Femi powered up his bike and rode out of the house. In minutes, he was gunning his vehicle down Ikorodu road. The highway was devoid of cars, so Femi drove in the middle of the road. His overcoat wriggled with a raping sound in the air behind him. At this time of day, when the sun was on the other side of the Earth, it was easier to kill a witch—potential suspects were sleeping.

Killing a witch wasn’t murder because God had commanded it. So, every time Femi went out hunting, he knew he was in the service of God. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, God had told Moses. In modern day English, that could easily translate to: kill every goddamn witch alive.

THE WITCH HUNTERS: To Hunt A Level Four – A Contemporary Fantasy

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Femi Johnson is a junior witch hunter who wants to be more. But when he discovers a daring, evil plot by an extremely powerful coven of witches, he realizes that being more isn’t always good.

The Witch Hunters; To Hunt A Level Four

Copyright 2015

by Kachi Ugo

It’s gonna be serialized here. So stay glued to your phones, laptops, and devices! I hope you enjoy it! To keep updated, you can subscribe to my blog (Left Side Bar).

Part 1 soon coming…

What’s Up This Year?

Happy New Year! I guess I’m allowed to say that this far into the year since this is my first blog post in the year. How have you been doing? I’ve been doing well. Well, great actually! I just completed my next novel, an upper MG fantasy adventure. I’ve had this story in me for a while, but I’m glad it’s finally out of my head and in my computer. Concerning publishing the book, I’m considering several options. I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve decided on what to do next.

Concerning the sequel to A Dark Christmas, I’ve started writing it. I have a title and a synopsis and a probable book blurb and the first three scenes of the story. I’m so excited about this project, and I’ll be talking more about it, later. It’s going to be roughly the same length as the first book. And I might release it by March or April, ish. That’s not a promise! If you’ve not read the first installment, be sure to check it out at Amazon (for $1.99) or at Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Scribd, or Smashwords. Or you could download a PDF version: HERE

If you’ve read A Dark Christmas, what did you think? As an author, I constantly improve on my craft. Your comments and reviews help me do that.

On to other things…

I just began writing another novel. I’m so excited about this project because it’s set in Nigeria against the backdrop of the Biafran war. It’s a military science story that I think will resonate with a lot of people for a long time. Though I’ve already written a few thousand words, I’m still researching the book. Hopefully, I will be done with the first draft by April.

Here’s my working title: A device that would have changed the outcome of the war. (It’s long, I know!)

It’s a daring story. A tale of grief, corruption, and unwavering loyalty in the face of certain death. It’s a story about the Nigerian civil war that has never been told before.

Here’s an off-the-top-of-my-head blurb: Chris John graduates top of his class at NDA after delivering an expert paper on advanced quantum physics. Less than four weeks later, he becomes an international fugitive. The army wants him, dead or alive. More importantly, they want what he possesses. A device Chris John has sworn to protect with his last breath.

I’ll be posting the first scene (rough, of course) of the book here soon. But after that, you might not hear anything about this project until it’s done, except the occasional word count or progress report. Fingers crossed!

Finally, I want to start a serialized story here on my blog. I would have started it last year, but I had trouble deciding between two stories that I wanted to tell. But I think I have that settled already. So very very very soon, I’ll start. I’m not saying anything about this story yet, but soon.

I love writing! But aside from that, what else do I do? Well, I’m a final year pharmacy student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I love learning about drugs. Though I’ve not quite gotten around to writing a medical thriller yet. Go figure!

Feel free to contact me anytime!

Kachi Ugo