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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