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.