Proverbs 6: 27
“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his cloths being burned?” was the last thing I heard the priest preach, he was standing on the pulpit, sweating and speaking to the congregation of not more than twenty people.
I wasn’t here because I wanted to hear him preach or because I wanted to dwell in the gatherings of brethrens. I wasn’t here to listen to the choir sing or give offering.
I wasn’t even here to speak to God.
I long since closed that chapter years ago when I watched my family die…sort off.
They came and killed us, then they prayed for us saying they that we were sending us early to God and heaven, and I wonder..which?
Where was God and heaven when they killed us. Maybe not giving a shit.
I thought he was the great punisher, but he didn’t lift a finger, not even when my little baby brother was thrown to his death, not even when my mother was raped, not even when they shot my father too many times than I could count..he didn’t send his angels to keep charge over us, now I have to do his work for him.
I thought He said “No weapon formed against us shall proper?”
Well…those knives and guns..and fire.
It did prosper. It burned the house to the ground..with our bodies inside
Now , I know hell is empty, because all the demons were here..feasting and causing harvoc.
Well, I would make a new hell for them..and send them there.
How I survived?
Well I would tell you. For now, I am waiting for him.
One of them stood right in the middle of the church, praying people to God.
The day they set fire to everything I loved, even me, it was the day i then began to learn who I was.
And who I was..was the girl that would watch them…Burn, from the fire I was rebirth from.
My name is Rena, the punisher of sins…and I was the one with whom Revenge became a weapon.
Frederick is worried, he comes out of the room, he places his hands on the shoulders of his wife
“Be hopeful, all would be well”
But Sophia is crying “ He is sick and we don’t have money to take him to the hospital, we can’t keep him at home anymore fred, he would die, our son would die, do something please” she begs
He had lost his company to his best friend , and kicked out. It’s been two years and they have practically being living from hand to mouth, he had been working on a new farming project but the flood kept ruining his crops, this was the second time he was taking money from the bank, he couldn’t take anymore, he had bills to pay.
They had to move from their house to sell it, but it didn’t even scratch the surface.
“He won’t Sophia, he won’t.”
They could hear him coughing in the other room
“Mother, Jude is coughing out blood again and his fever is worse,” Rena came out holding a bowl filled with red liquid,
Sophia gets up and runs into the room, Fred follows her , she gathers the three year old in her arms. He is shirtless, his eyes are barely open. The room is hot… she dips in cloth in water and wipes him, he convulses again, and then screams out in pain,
Tears are streaming down her eyes…
“Help my son Fred..help him please…don’t let him die pleaseeeee” she wails
Frederick , broken, seeing his son in that state leaves the room, he goes to cry outside
“Father..don’t cry, jude would be fine”
He shakes his head “I don’t know what to do Rena. No one will help me, I am owing the bank, my company is gone and even the farm too. We have been suffering like this for two straight years but this Is worse..Jude is getting worse everyday and I don’t know what to do or where to get help from Rena, if I don’t take him to the hospital , he would die Rena, my son, your brother will die”
“I must go to him, I must” he gets up, “watch them Rena, if anything call me” he goes to the door
“Where are you going to father” Rena follows him to the door
“He has to help me, even if it’s for my son ,he can keep everything else”
He was talking about Patrick. Friend turned Foe.
They had been friends since college.
Frederick has spoken to him about a business that Patrick wasn’t interested in at first. Frederick soon after begins to work on his one and grow the company. Sophia was his assistant .
Two years later they afforded a small office and acquired five staffs. He marries Sophia months later and they had Rena. At the end of 5 years they were 100 staffs and a bigger office space to accommodate them. They had their second child, Jude.
Patrick strolls in one day out of the blue, they catch up and Patrick says he would love to partner with him.
And he had nothing to his name other than the bag he carried and the cloths on his back. He had just left a nasty divorce, his wife took everything. He was left with nothing. Frederick felt sorry for him. Frederick took him in and gave him a job.
Frederick makes him partner.
That was his mistake .
It takes a year for Patrick to have all the information he needs, get the board on his back by bribing them. Incriminating the ones who wouldn’t bulge in criminal offences and blackmailing the others who threatens to go against him
Two years later, Frederick gets voted out of his company and Patrick takes over. Not a penny to his name and his company sold and signed off as Patrick. He had lost all his hard work and sweats to his friend who he tried to help, but who turned around and stabbed him in the back, bribing even to the top officials, even the judge wouldn’t take his case.
Out on the streets and only their mansion for possession, Frederick and his family tried to start all over.
Things got hard, things got even harder. Looking to go into farming as it seemed to be the next best thing, he had taken loans from the bank using his house as collateral.
When the rains and storms came , it ruined all their year’s work in one night. No matter how many times they tried to get up, someone or something tends to kick the stool from under them causing them to fall to the ground.
Selling the house didn’t help, the debts seemed to pile up. Working minor jobs here and there didn’t even scratch the surface. Soon, Sophia took up jobs as a cleaner and Rena as a babysister..
And yet, it was hard to live by. Until Jude fell sick, and it drained the little changes they had for medicine.
And as the days and months rolled by, the little chubby jude became weak and frail, sicker than ever.
He couldn’t sit here and wait for his son to die, he needs to take him to the hospital and hospital costs money.. a good one.
He had nothing else to give up or sell, and even if it meant him selling his soul to the devil himself he would, just to save his son.
He walks under the heavy rain, he flags down a taxi and directs them.
Even the bastard bought their house as soon as it went up the market.
Today he wasn’t here to fight him. Today he was coming to beg him for his own money, but it don’t matter, he can keep it, he just wants him to help his son…so he doesn’t die.
They don’t let him in, they throw him out of the house and set the dogs on him.
He goes back the next day and the next day and the next.
It’s the third weak, Jude can barely stand nor talk, his wife has since given hope..praying that God takes him away so his suffering stops.
Rena stares at the frail body of her brother with tears in her eyes. It must have been a week ago any of them ate.
Frederick vows to do whatever thing possible to make sure his family doesn’t die. Anything .
So he had gone one last time, but he didn’t go alone.
He had a gun tucked under his shirt.
“I need to see Patrick..tell him I am not leaving here until he comes out” he says
The guards were laughing at him, holding on to the collars of their dogs, good things they weren’t carrying their guns..yet.
He had time .
“You can set your dogs on me again and again but I would still come back, those wounds only hurt me for a night, the bruises and scratches , the ointments would heal, but as long as they haven’t touched my soul…I am still alife and I would be here every day until it does. So come out and face me as a man…if you dare” he says, he knew where the camera was, he knew Patrick could see him, he spoke directly to it.
He was expecting them to release the dogs. There were three of them, he had 6 rounds of bullet in his gun. If he is fast enough he can shoot them down.. take two of the bodyguards before they get their guns from their table, which was in the office behind them as they left and came outside to meet him.. hoping to scare him again with setting the dogs on him.
Well today he wouldn’t run.
But he sees them listening in on coms, then they smile at him..
“Today is your lucky day, Boss wants to come down and set the dogs on you himself cockroach” the one with the big teeth says
Atleast he wasn’t calling him a frog or rat’s balls.
He sees Patrick coming out from the big doors opening for him by his own butler,
“Don’t you get tired of being beaten, chased, flogged, getting injured and being humiliated Fred, why don’t you give up?”
“No I won’t get tired, not when my family is restless and have nothing to go buy”
“But you are trespassing “
“On my own property Patrick, no matter what you did and who you did it with, no matter the fact you changed all the deeds to your name from my house to my company..you can not be the owner of it all, and one day, one day karma will strike”
“And you are Karma?” he laughs
“Not today, I am not here to fight you over these” Frederick spreads his hands over the place
“Yeah..glad a couple of years on the streets eating from the gutter have finally kicked in some sense into you..you can’t beat me”
“Atleast the streets thought me the importance of family over wealth. So for now…you can have it all.”
Patrick claps slowly “Wow after fighting me left right and center trying to claim what is mine ..well..what was your is now mine so..yes..mine. you finally give up and come all the way, drenched in wet cloths to tell me? Wow, should I get you a cold drink, maybe champagne to celebrate or wait till you come to beg me for forgiveness ?”
“Wait you actually came to beg me for forgiveness?” his eyes sparkles
“No, I came to beg you..to help my dying son. And I swear I would never come through this gates again. Never .
I would forget all these..even to the shoes and cloths you wear is all mine ..i will never show my face here again, my son is dying, he is terribly sick and I know since you have all my money and connections and God knows what else you have acquired in my absence.. make a call, get my son into a good hospital and let them treat him, pay for his expense that’s all. Just for him..that is why I have come and I hope you see reason with me”
“Is that all?’’
“Yes stupid. Okay. “
“But..you have to kneel down and kiss my shoes”
“I said you have to kneel down and kiss my shoes. No better still, crawl down here, and lick it, then I would give you what you need for your son, money, finest doctors, the whole shebangs, and you have 5 minutes before I change my mind”
Frederick is silent.
Frederick goes on his knees, he wasn’t thinking of the humiliation he was getting, the guards were laughing, the staffs had begun to laugh peeping from the house. He was concerned, for his son, he would eat shit if he was asked to.
He got to his feet, and licked it, he gave him the other he licks it too.
“oh wait…” Patrick spat on his shoes bending down “Now do it again slowly “
Frederick looks at him
“You have a minute left Fred..tick tock tick tock says the clock”
Closing his eyes, almost gagging , Frederick licks the spittle of both shoes. He gets up, even the faces of the guards and Patrick had looks of disgusts
“My son..” he wipes his mouth
Patrick looks, thoughtful, then he suddenly bursts out laughing . He laughed so hard even the guards joins in
“Oh am sorry, wow, I didn’t think I would live to see this day. Thank you, my shoes look good but I have to give it away now…don’t want your smell all over my legs. Eww . but I felt good seeing you go low, I was tempted to crush my sole over your head but..hey, I never hit a man when he isn’t looking. So thank you for brightening up my evening. You can leave now.”
“But you said-“
“Oh I lied. Guards, release the dogs on him, and make sure he doesn’t come back”
“Patrick please ..my son will die please “ Frederick goes on his knees again, holding onto his shirt “I beg you..please , save him, he would die”
Patrick kicks him away “Well, I hope God gives him little angel wings when he gets to heaven, if he does that is, that little rat..never liked him” he says walking away.
The guards were smiling at him, rubbing the dogs head “Kill” they say to the dogs and the laugh
He wouldn’t run, he wouldn’t run
He reaches for Patrick. He was going to do whatever it takes to save his son.
The gun he places to Patrick’s back as he grabs him “I am a broken man Patrick, I have lost everything..because of you, but I won’t lose my family and I won’t let my son die. I would die first, so unless you give me means to help my son, I would kill you, then I would kill myself, and don’t you dear call my bluff” Patrick is fighting to breath as Frederick holds his neck, his guards are ready to bounce, running in to get their guns and coming out
“Shoot him..shoot him” he bellows “No don’t shoot him, you would shoot me .”
“That’s if I don’t kill you first “
Frederick whispers “Tell them to drop their gun”
“You won’t leave her alive, you are a dead man Fred. Dead..i would kill you myself ..i will Argh—”
The gun went off, taking away one of his toes
“I said..tell them to drop their guns”
Partick was crying in pain..”Drop it, fxxking drop it. Get away you fools get the fxxk away’’ he grabs Frederick’s hands, but he is stronger “Okay okay I would give you what you want . A million, two, five, it should cover it won’t it”
“Just give me what I need for him..i don’t care about the rest, now move” he pushes Patrick up the staircase and into the house, using him as a shield, just incase anyone tries to be funny. “I would shoot you again , and I would aim at a more delicate area if they don’t back off” Frederick warns ,
Patrick tells them to back off..away from them.
In the house Frederick asked all the staffs to leave, he pushes Patrick into the room, to where the safe was, where he used to keep money
“Hurry, I don’t have time” he says pointing the gun at him “Try anything funny I swear I would kill you”
“You won’t get out of here alife Frederick”
“I don’t care, at least we would be dead together “
Patrick puts some cash from the safe into his briefcase and hands it to Frederick,
‘’I am surprised you are not asking me to sign off the properties back to you now”
“I said , I am not interested in that…I just want to safe my son. Unlike you, I stand by my word’’
“you are a stupid man Frederick, this act has already signed your death sentence .you should put a bullet in me you know, my toe would heal, it hurts like shit now and the blood is soiling my posh carpets but it would heal, but I won’t forget it..so my advice to you is to put a bullet in me and end it all”
“I am no killer “ Frederick says grabbing him back and heads back downstairs
“Give me keys to one of the cars , and no one should follow me. When I get to a safe distance I would drop you off. Any funny business and I would kill you even if I am not a killer “
A few minutes later , Patrick is driving , the gun is pointed at him, they disappear down the road, no car follows them
“Stop the car and get out” Frederick orders.
“You made the biggest mistake of your life Frederick” Was the last thing Ferderick heard when he zoomed off leaving Patrick by the side of the road.
He gets in an hour later .
“Where did you get the money from” Sophia asks him
“It doesn’t matter, I would answer all your questions, let’s take him to the hospital Now, Rena help your mother ” he shakes Rena awake
It’s another hour when they are ready, Rena hears knocking at the door
“Who would be knocking by this time of the night?” Sophia raises her head, as she carries Jude, “Check the door Rena”
Rena goes to the door, were they have been managing to call a home was a small house , barely homely, but it served as shelter for the impoverished, just like them
BANG BANG BANG!!!!!!
Rena reaches the door and opens it ..”Yes please ?”
“Hello pretty girl, is Frederick Price here?”
“yes , and you ?”
“Oh some people who came to collect something that belongs to our boss” he had big sets of teeths
Sophia comes forward, jude in her hands, Frederick behind her carrying a small bag for Jude and Sophia, she would be staying in the hospital with Jude while him and Rena remain here. He carried the suitcase of money in the other hand
“Who is there Rena?”
“Some men father, they said-“
They kick the door open, and the two guards are smiling at him again
“I believe you took something from the Boss, he wants it back, and your soul” he laughs
They didn’t come with the dogs, they came with guns and knives, a gallon of fuel, and the other one already had a lighted cigar in his mouth.
“Fred, what’s going on. Who are these men..what did you take from their boss ..who is their boss?” Sophia holds tight to Jude, fear in her voice, she pulls Rena to her.
Frederick pushes his family behind him “I can’t , my son is sick. If he wants to harm me, he can do it later,now I have to take my son to the hospital unless he dies”
“Well Frederick ..that is why he sent us, to accelerate the process of his death , of yours and everyone else..spawn and spouse. “
“What..what are you saying, Patrick sent you to kill me and my family, if he wanted to kill me he should have come to do it himself, while send thugs to do it”
“Actually, who says I didn’t come myself , I would hate to miss this. Hello Sophia, nice to see you again under this circumstances, too bad our meeting would be short” Patrick enters the small house, a wicked smile on his face “I told you ..you should have put a bullet in me Frederick, I won’t make the same mistake. Take the money away from him, then send his son to meet Jesus, and his angels, then, let him watch you take his wife from behind over and over and over again. The girl..she always had dark eyes boring into my soul when she looks at me.. kill her as well. And let him watch. Then…I will be the one to put the bullets in you myself Frederick” Patrick says
Frederick fought them off, but it was no use, they tied him to a chair, made sure he couldn’t move his neck..they dragged Jude away from Sophia, her screaming only landed her slaps and kicks..then they took him outside and threw him over the roof, watched him roll down and fall to the ground.
Rena had been kicked and beaten, too weak she sobbed on the ground. They took turns in raping her mother over and over and over again.
Frederick’s voice had broken from shouting and pleading and cursing to damnation, he had begged and begged and he was broken.
Sophia laid numb on the chair they tied her to.
Patrick sat on the chair, watching it all, with a smile. No remorse. No conscience he watched it all..happy, satisfied , fulfilled .
“what else Boss?” the one who had a white mustache to his jaw asks, adjusting his trousers. There was a skull tattoo on his right shoulder
Sophia was bleeding, she was weak..they had tied her hands and legs apart as well.
Rena had crawled outside, cradling her dead brother in her arms. He had fractured his skull when he hit the ground . Died immediately . she cried for her brother, her mother and her father.
“Give me the gun, get the money”
These were handed to him, “lay his family close to him, let him see them once last time before I send him to hell”
They dragged the kicking and screaming Rena inside, the boy they held him by his leg while he dangled, blood dripping from his skull.
As they pulled Sophia , the one with the white mustache runs a knife through her heart as Frederick and Rena cry out.
“Papa..” Rena grabs his hands tied behind
“I am sorry, I am so so soryyy. Jude, Sophia ..Rena, I am soo Soorryy” the tears flowed freely
Patrick is toweling over him…”You should have put a bullet in me Frederick. Now I would show you how to not let a man live who have hurt you”
He points the gun to Frederick “Kill me…you have taken everything from me..even the most important, I will welcome my death. I only pray your day of retribution comes knocking . “
He cocks the gun, Rena musters the only strength she had and covers her father, the gun goes off, she drops to the ground
He cocks the gun again , and he releases sick bullets into Frederick’s chests , without blinking
“Burn the place down.” Patrick says walking away
“Well…atleast let me say a word of prayer, I am catholic , I never send them to heaven without praying for them” the one with the big teeth says as he laughs
‘’ whatever “Patrick says “I would be in the car’’
“From ashes to ashes , dust to dust, from the ground you came from, so you shall return. Father, the little one wants to come to heaven, make him tiny little wings so he can fly. And the mother…she was mighty sweet….let her be amongst the maidens in heaven. And the girl…brave child, maybe she can be an assistant to angel Micheal, he is in charge of your heavenly army right. Oh and Frederick…well put him anywhere. Well, sorry we sent them to heaven early, some people don’t deserve to suffer lord. So…make them comfortable. Amen “
“Amen” the other laughs “Dick”
“Hey language, God is still listening . then he does the sign of the cross” grabbing the fuel they begin to pour it round the tiny house, over the bodies..
The one with the big teeth lights another cigar, “ such a waste you know…”
They make for the door…letting the fuel trail behind them as they pour it to the door..stepping away from the house, he gives the cigar to his friend, who takes a drag…and hands it back to him
“Burn in Peace” he smiles throwing the cigar into the house
Entering the car, they pull away..
The house goes up in smoke, Red flames and crashes to the ground
Death in Ashes ..
How did I survive?
I didn’t .
I died that day with my family, atleast I thought I did .
Until I woke up months later, my body different from what it was.
They said they saw me crawl out the next day
They said..when the house went off in smoke, it was a miracle I was a life, barely alife . no one would have survived it.
They said…I can never be the same anymore..
But they didn’t realize that I didn’t want to be the same . I wanted to be different.
They killed my family and burned us .
It’s a miracle I am alife, but I think I am alife for a reason…Revenge
10 years later and the memory is still fresh.
10 years later all that runs in my blood is the desire to kill each of them. One after the other for killing us.
10 years ..
I have healed during that ten years, but my scars were evident of it all.
I have lived, knowing that one day, I would be strong enough, brave enough to do what I have dreamed off since I was 13 when they came for us.
And I have searched and searched for them when I got back from the clinic the good Samaritans had taken me too. Putting me in a foster home for years, but no one wanted a child who was deformed by fire.
But I didn’t mind.
I waited, bidding my time, waiting for the right time.
As soon as i clucked 23..i knew they couldn’t keep me any longer. I took my bag, boarded the next bus and came back here..
Right to the very spot they burned us.
It was a barren land now..but it was sentimental to me.
I didn’t know if they found their bodies to bury, or if the forces of nature washed it away with the earth as the rain came, then the storm and then drying up the ashes back to the dirt of the earth.
It took me a year to track them down.
And now I was here… waiting to met out my first punishment.
He didn’t look much different ..he still had big sets of teeth, he had grey hair now, the only thing different about him was that he was now a priest ..presiding over a few congregation members ..
I look around as they all raise their hands to the heaves when he asked them too closing the service . I watch them all file out..one after the other. I waited.
I see him blessing them.
I laugh.. it was funny ,
The killer becomes a Priest .
A taker of life now a supposed giver of life, in a sense .
But you see.. I am not God.
I don’t forgive sins. I mett out Punishments for sin
And today…I would send one of them to my preferred hell.
“Forgive me father I have sinned” I say through the closed door, he was on the other side.
I waited till the last confessor left, I didn’t want anyone else to be there
“Tell me child, so I may usher in God’s mercies and grace”
“Okay Father ..you see, ever since I was young, I have always had nightmares and dream of certain men.. every night I see their faces, laughing over us. They jeer at us, they make fun of us. Then they do it all over again. Every night they claw at my skin, they rape my mother and they kill my father and brother, and when they leave, they set our house on fire. Every night, the same nightmare over and over again’’ I tell him
“Hmmm, my child, I am not a therapist, I think you should find one. They are things troubling you you need to get off your chest. Did anything happen to you when you were a child or did you experience something bad, that is giving you this nightmares. I can pray for you child, God would give you rest and peace of mind “
‘’Actually father it did. I remember my mother’s screams when the men raped her over and over again, I remember how they dragged my brother from my mother’s breasts and threw him over the roof and he rolled to his death, I felt his broken skull as I gather him in my arms.. I felt the bullet hitting my right shoulder when the gun went off. And I heard my father’s last cry when the gun went off over and over and over again. But do you know the worst part, was that voice, laughing, that voice sending mock prayers to the heaven, I could never forgot that voice … and when the fire began, and the heat burned through my body..i prayed to be able to hear that voice again…to silence it “
“Who..who are you?” I could hear the fear in his voice
“I am Rena, the one you burned in the fire, 10 years ago with her family. But today..i would be the punisher of your sins . so what did they say again…, you rule by the sword you die by the sword. But in your case…Fire for fire”
He gasps “ It-it ..”
“Do you remember that night father “
“No..its not possible, you all died. So long ago..it it can’t be”
I heard him fiddle with the door “My child. It –it was a long time ago, I have repented of my sins , given my life to Christ and he has forgiven me. And every day I regret it, I too have had nightmares of that little boy, and you and everyone. But I have renounced that life of evil child. I did and I am a new man. And thank God you survived, at least God has given you another chance. It’s a miracle . praise heavens !! my child..i am a new man. Forgive me..forgive me” I could hear him crying
But you see.. even I cried, even mother cried, even father cried. They didn’t let us go.
I am not God… I do not forgive sins
“Father…did you know I waited ten years for this. Do you think I would forgive you. Let me show you what you did “
I open the door from my end, and I open his, standing infront of him as he went on his knees, tears in his eyes…
I removed the overall I wore..and the hood over my head covering my face..
I saw him gasp
“There is nothing to forgive Father, for in my heart…its ,stone. And my body, this burns, this fire scars are enough reason not to forgive“
“My child …please have mercy” he says seeing the knife I pull out from behind me..
“Oh this is not for you Father , this is for the other one. This ..this is for you” I pull out a small gallon which I carried between my legs.
No one wondered why I walked funny entering into the church, they figured I was on old woman who had a problem walking, but I was carrying the gallon between my legs..
I poured it around him, kicking him back when he reaches for it
“My child, what are you doing ..my child?”’
“I am not your child …my father you took, my mother you raped, my brother you killed. You have no right to call me your child…you have to right to preside over people…you deserve your punishment..and you will Burn..just like we did “
I kick him back when he tries to struggle with me , locking him inside and Ignore his protest and screams
“No one will hear you. It’s just us two…now, now you can go to heaven..and tell my family I am sending the rest up there to meet them. That’s if you would be there…or burning in hell”
I light the lighter , I see his eyes flash, I see him strugglingto be let out, begging, banging, screaming
“BURN!!” I say.. throwing it inside
“I want my face to be the last thing you see… “
As he screams and struggles with the door, I don’t blink. The iron I use to barricade held on just fine
It took him a couple of minutes to go down…
Each time he tried to reach out for me, each time I use the knife to jab him back in
Each time his ,mouth opens up wide…I pour more fuel inside ..
Soon,the fire is spreading..
I turn away and walk out, letting him and the church burn behind me..
I have another one to find..
I hear he owns a night club..
Even the blade shines at night…
And I would find Patrick…now his death is one I desire the most.
I can already feel his blood at my fingertips..
I am not God…
But I am the Punisher of sins