THE VISITOR Episode 3
Caleb returned to meet with Tony after a sight of his church which was reduced to the flames of fire. Tony had promised him a tale concerning the man behind the entire disaster in his church. Seated behind the man riding the neat motorcycle skillfully on the road, he thought of so many things. The early morning breeze helped in blowing several thoughts into his head. Who could it be? Who could have had the nerves to perpetuate evil in the house of God? So he kept thinking until the motorcyclist pulled up in front of the hospital. The signpost held the name boldly in blue and red on its white background.
‘Beulah Clinic.’ Caleb read silently as he pulled out his wallet to pay the man.
‘Don’t worry pastor!’ The bike man said. ‘Just say a word over my life and I shall prosper.’
‘You’re truly blessed.’ He said in smiled. ‘And may God prosper this seed you sowed in my life this day.’
‘Amen!’ The thirty something year old man echoed with grimace on his face showing the depth of his belief.
He smiled softly, bent his head for a tap from the anointed one before he sped away. Caleb stood for one second watching him fade into the dusty air of the dry season before he recalled that the dying boy in the hospital was waiting for him. He might die at any time. But certainly not without the only information he needed to track down the enemy that has so destroyed their lives. With this, he rushed into the reception, waved at the nurse on duty and sought his way into the corridor of the hospital.
‘Excuse me sir!’ The nurse called out opening the lock that barricades her from patients.
Caleb stopped and looked at her.
‘You don’t barge into a hospital like that.’ She cautioned. ‘Who are you and what do you want?’
It was at this time Caleb noticed that the nurse addressing him wasn’t the same as the one he met when he brought the boy to the hospital. Bleeding profusely.
‘I’m sorry Nurse.’
‘My name is Helen.’ She cuts in sharply. ‘What do you want?’
‘I need to see a certain boy in ward six.’
There was momentary silence as Helen opened her record book to cross-check.
‘Where you the one that knocked him down?’
He didn’t know what exactly to answer.
‘This morning, along a path that leads to Heavens’ Assembly?’ Helen asked again.
‘He was pushed into the road and…’
‘Save the explanations.’ She interrupted. ‘You can go ahead and see him. Provided you came with the amount needed to clear his bill.’
He was already getting irritated by the hostility of the impatient nurse. He zoomed off even before her words fell through. In a matter of seconds, he was standing in front of ward six. He jerked the handle of the door subtly and walked in.
The boy opened his eyes as soon as he felt the presence of someone inside the ward.
‘Go back!’ He screamed.
Caleb got startled instantly. But that didn’t stop him from closing the door quietly and finding his seat beside the injured boy.
‘I’m here.’ He said. ‘You promised to tell me who exactly is behind the ruins in our lives.’
‘You came at the wrong time.’ The boy said with his eyes wide in fear. ‘Many waters have passed under the bridge. It’s already late. I can’t say anything. Not anymore.’
Caleb was downcast. He ran his eyes on the dirty clock hanging on the wall. It was still some minutes past noon. What does he mean by lateness?
‘Please, talk to me. Make it as brief as you can.’ He urged on.
‘Just go and never return to this clinic.’ The boy blurted with his eyes tearing apart.
‘What are you saying?’
‘You heard me right.’ He said almost screaming. ‘Go. Save your life. Save the flock of sheep God handed over to you.’
‘You are so complicating. You asked me earlier to come back for a confession. Now you’re asking me to leave. Are you sick?’
‘Just go! Go pastor and save the lives of your sheep. Go to the house.’ Tony cried louder.
‘What about the story?’
‘I shall leave the tale behind in this ward.’
‘I honestly do not understand what you’re saying.’
‘Something terrible is happening in your house as we speak. Go back home.’
That was the statement that got Caleb up from his seat. He made straight to the door but Tony’s scream got him halted.
‘Pastor!!!’ He screamed so loud. ‘Please, don’t leave me here. They will kill me if you do.’
Utterly amazed, he stood transfixed at the door not knowing what other step to make. Though he needed to officiate the child dedication ceremony in his church, he stood back, knowing that there was something about the dying young boy which he needed to unravel.
But in the deepest part of his heart was Junior, the miracle baby that came through his prayers after twenty years of barrenness.
Junior laid lifeless on the Matron’s table inside her office.
‘I knew you will always come back to us.’ The matron said with a fake smile visible on her lips.
Junior was still. Eyes closed with no sound of breath as a dead child that he was. With a red clay pot in the matron’s hands and red material tied around her head, nobody could hear the utterances that followed her smiles.
And someone knocked.
‘What!’ She exclaimed fearfully.
She had informed Helen to ensure that nobody sees her no matter how urgent the case is. That moment was her private moment when she observed solemn worship to whatever god it was she served. Especially now that Detective Mabel just left her office bringing to her doorstep a child they have for months sought after. Her libations of praise were still in her lips when Helen’s knock brought her back from the realm where she travelled to. She quickly put away every implicating material that could tell a stranger what exactly it was she was involved in. And the baby, she wrapped back with a white cloth and placed him neatly inside the basket. She hid the basket under the table before she ordered the knocker in.
Helen jerked the door safely and peeped inside.
‘What is it?’ She asked sternly. ‘Thought I warned you never to allow any patient to pressure you into seeking my attention by this time.’
‘You did ma.’ Helen said calmly. ‘But the situation at hand needs your attention.’
‘And what could that be?’
‘It’s the pastor insists in seeing you.’
‘What!’ she exclaimed in utmost dismay. ‘Are you saying the pastor is still in this clinic?’
‘He is. He just came back.’
‘Go back to your duty post. I shall come and see him.’
Helen was already out of the office. Matron was highly infuriated. And at the same time glad that Helen disobeyed her with a knock. She left her office.
‘It’s about the Bishop.’ Tony began his tale. ‘I mean Bishop Sam Clef.’
‘What about him?’ He asked but Tony was a bit hesitant. ‘I’m listening to you.’ He assured him.
His words were still with him when the Matron jerked the door forcefully and followed her entrance with a scream.
Caleb was frightened.
‘You have to leave this ward right now.’ She said firmly.
‘I sincerely want to go ma. But the boy insists I stay with him.’
‘We are not going to obey his orders. You have to leave now. That I told you we don’t place money above human lives doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go and look for money to offset the bills.’
Though it was hard on Caleb, he decided to go. He walked again towards the door.
‘Pastor!’ Tony screamed. ‘You’re leaving me to the hands of death.’
The Matron went over to the bed and with a single glance that fell on him, he became as mute as a sleeping child. Caleb quietly walked out of the ward. Upon seeing that he was gone, the Matron opened her hand, looked up and muttered some words. A red knife fell into her hands.
‘This should be your end Tony.’ She said and stabbed him hard on the tummy.
There was no scream from Tony. If not, Helen would have heard it as she was just some steps away from the ward. She jerked the handle of the door. Putting her head first inside the ward, she met the greatest shock of her life.
‘Pastor!’ She screamed when she saw Caleb’s hand holding a knife against Tony’s tummy.
Rather than get scared, the figure held still to the knife, pulled it out and stabbed Tony’s tummy the second time. And the third time.
‘No!!!’ Helen screamed out of the ward.
She raced on the staircase. Her mind was somewhere. Somewhere inside the matron’s office. To tell her what evil her eyes beheld. To relay to her what her delay has caused to the clinic. While running, she collided with some nurses who were coming out from the other side of the clinic.
‘Matron! Matron!!’ She kept shouting until she got to the door and opened it forcefully without the most silent knock.
‘What is it Helen?’ The matron asked with feigned ignorance all over her face.
‘Death in the ward?’
‘Which ward? Which patient?’
Helen couldn’t voice out any more. She just ran out, hoping that the matron will be behind her. In tune with her thoughts, the matron followed her hurriedly and they raced through the flight of stairs until they got to the ward.
Helen nearly fainted when she opened the ward she once locked to avoid any criminal escape and not even a single fly was inside. No Pastor Caleb. No Tony. The fountain of blood she once saw were all dried up as though the clinic cleaner had done an afternoon surgery on the wards.
‘What is it Helen?’ Matron asked.
Her lips wobbled. What was she to give as response? That she once caught Pastor Caleb stabbing Tony to death not quite long. Not even up to two minutes.
‘Tell me what’s going on?’ Matron pressured. ‘And where is Tony?’
‘He was in this ward some seconds ago. Stabbed.’
‘You said what?’
‘I caught Pastor Caleb with a knife against his tummy which was why I came to call on you.’
‘What on earth are you saying?’ Matron asked. ‘That a man of God known all over in this community stabbed a boy to death? You should know the height of accusation you want to peddle around against this man.’
‘I caught him red-handedly.’
‘Then where are they?’
‘That’s why I’m confused. I think we need to make a report to the Police Station immediately.’
The matron was silent. She gave consent to Helen’s suggestion even when she knew the truth. After a quiet stare at Helen, she walked out of the ward. Helen ran her hand quickly on her eyes. Just to be sure she wasn’t in a trance.
‘Wake up Helen!’ She said with a slight tap against her body. ‘Wake up and stop dreaming.’ She said again.
But it was no dream. Her eyes saw the event. Crystal clearly like the morning sun during the early hours of the day. Though she was confused even as she left the empty ward, she was certain that she was going to stand before the whole world and tell them the sweetest tale of a Pastor killing a patient. Probably a member of his own church. Who knows? For more powers to perform miracles.
But so many things were hidden from them.
Story by: Martins Samuel