To Hunt A Level Four – Part 9
As the last words left her mouth, so did she live the world of the conscious: with the soft exhalation of breath.
Femi laid her head to rest on the floor and sprung from his feet. He jumped over the chasm and made his way carefully to the parlor. Save for the deep trench in the floor, which revealed dark earth, and the crack in the wall, which revealed the street, his sitting room seemed untouched by Destruction’s presence. Femi located the keys to his 2009 Toyota Land Rover. He ran out the house, down the side of the building to where his car was parked, along the length of the building. From this side of the house, it didn’t look like anything had happened to the building. The vanilla paint hadn’t even cracked.
Femi entered the black car, powered it up, and drove it to the front of the house. He ran back into the white room, where he hoisted Scarlett’s form onto his shoulder and carried her into the car. When she was lying safely in the back of his car, he went back into his house to see what he could salvage from the mess.
Rubble littered the floor. Femi retrieved a black backpack from his room, which seemed to be intact, and packed a lot of money from his safe. He also packed two changes of clothes, his cell phone, a tooth brush, and his 9mm shot gun. His progress back to his car was slow as he took time to espy properly, the extent of damage Destruction had caused to the building.
It was extensive. Through the crack, he could see all the way across to the very end of the building, where a smaller bungalow was built.
Back outside, people had begun to notice the structural changes made to the building. Femi got into his car and drove out the compound. As he navigated the highway, he couldn’t help but feel that he was being followed. Two hours after Scarlett had given him the address, he got to Lagos Island, where the address Scarlett had given him was located. He met another traffic gridlock which he had to grind through before he exited the highway into a residential neighborhood.
It was a church.
It was a structure that spoke volumes. It spoke of a time lost, when it had hosted hundreds, who would come to worship God. It spoke of a time when children danced around its now desolate compound. It spoke of a time when the leaves where green and the windows gleamed in the rising sun. Now, it was a shadow of the past. A mere ghost no one sees or recognizes.
The church’s white walls had undergone a most horrid metamorphosis to the incredibly repulsive black and grey it now was. The structure seemed to be composed solely of ply wood that had rotted to the very core, hence, threatening a collapse. The yard around it had four spiny trees whose branches resembled the tentacle of a giant malevolent creature, whose purpose was to prey on the dying and the old. On this yard, black, crispy-looking leaves carpeted the floor so that it made the church look like a celestial dark house.
Femi would have drove on and forgotten the abandoned church had he not noticed Simon and two other strange men walking up the small path towards the old front door. They seemed to be doing so in a manner suggestive of secrecy. Their furtive eyes swept the surrounding houses and the street. Simon’s eyes fell on Femi’s passing vehicle, but since the vehicle was passing and its occupants prevented from view by the darkened windows, it didn’t hold his gaze for too long.
Femi made a circuit round the church and came to its door once more. By this time, the three men were gone. He pulled into the driveway and parked beside the church. Gently pulling Scarlett’s unconscious body from the car and placing it on his shoulders, he carried her to the front door and pushed it open. The moment the doors swung open, five bright blades were thrust to his face.
The blades held, a fraction of a second from piercing his throat. Femi let out the air that had snagged somewhere along his respiratory tract. They looked young, and they all wore black robes, meaning they were senior hunters. Two were Caucasian males while the remaining three were black; though, Femi couldn’t tell where they were from. They looked like foreigners.
“He’s one of us.” Femi immediately recognized Simon’s voice, even before he saw him walk down the aisle to the door. The hunters scattered and disappeared back into the shadows.
Simon heaved a sigh and shot him a sharp gaze. Then he looked to the figure he carried and his look of irritation became overshadowed by fear.
“Scarlett,” he whispered and rushed to the door, where he checked her pulse for a moment. While he still ascertained her state of health, he said, “What happened? I told you to stay out of trouble.”
“She found me,” Femi replied. “We got attacked by Destruction.”
As if he had been hit by a ball, Simon jolted backwards a few feet. He glared at Simon for a full minute, then said, “Follow me. She’s barely alive.”
Femi hoisted her onto his shoulders properly and started down the aisle after Simon. The church auditorium was quite narrow. It had only one central aisle and four columns of pews. Much of the sides of the hall was hidden in the dark, which was where the hunters probably inhabited so as to observe what went on outside the building. Down the aisle to the podium and beyond, they came to a non-descript and almost imperceptible door by the side of the altar. There, they were met by a solitary figure, who sat before the door. He seemed to be in some form of trance as he had his head bowed.
“David,” Simon called.
The man snapped up and on seeing Femi, he shot to his feet. “Who is he? And who has he got on his shoulders?” His eyes glared with murderous intensity.
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