by Tolu Abrahams
Smoke is everywhere. Smoke as thick as fog; smelling as delicious as suya prepared from a dozen cows. The air is hot. Hairs on my hands are roasted and crisp. A small hand flies through the air and lands like a bold taunt just beyond the rear tyres of the Hilux van. There is a green wristwatch on the hand. There’s a picture on it: the demonic cartoon character. I take it off and put it in my pocket. I kick the hand under the van and squat again.
I crouch behind the vehicle’s rear tyre. I stick my head out and look around; the closest person to me is about five yards away and he looks harmless. Like everyone else he is motionless. Stunned, shocked, still. They all appear stuck in amusing and awkward postures. I am tickled by the woman wearing a plastic bag over her synthetic weaves. I notice a fat man behind a tree, attempting to hide his body and also his three fat children, I smile.
“Ahhhh! Help us!” A woman screams suddenly. From where I am hiding, I see she is trapped under two bodies and the carcass of a motorcycle.
“Mogbe,” “Egba mi,” “Ewoo,” many scream, running every which way, .
Like a choral conductor, I wave in ecstasy and pretend that I am coordinating their screaming and scrambling in every direction. The woman with the plastic bag runs, screaming in my direction. Her hair and its plastic bag cover have melted into a boiling Cupio Dissolvi liquid. It runs down her face and neck. Her face is distorted, her ears are melting. The substance flows down her shirt into her skinny jeans; it leaves a smouldering trail of scalp and skin.
Everyone I can see is covered in soot from head to toe. They are running out of cars and homes, leaving bags, shoes, and toddlers behind. In five minutes, streets are empty and I can hear sirens in the distance.
This is my first time assignment, and it is better than I expected.
I placed the explosives in a shopping bag and dropped it at the bus stop. Six minutes ago, a young man carrying a little boy kicked it as he ran towards a waiting bus. The bag flew three feet in the air and exploded on contact with the bus. The buses’ door and the conductor leaning against it shot through the air. I watched the burning door as it soared in the air like a splendid magic carpet until it crashed with a nearly billboard. The billboard, the flaming door and the broken conductor fell to the ground squishing and igniting commuters below.
The car directly behind the burning bus crashed into it, the force of the crash pushed the already burning bus forward into the nearest passenger bus. The bus and car exploded within seconds scattering flaming car bits and body parts as far as eyes can see. Several other cars crashed into one another as they all attempted escape by turning back.
After taking one last look with pride and joy, I came out of my hiding place and ran down the street, around the corner, and towards my home.
Ten years ago, I met the Lord and He called me into his army. He told me I had been given the burden of Apostle Paul; the glorious ministry of teaching His word to the Cupio Dissolvi gentiles. He showed me visions of his eternal home and told me that when my work was done, I would be called up to be with Him.
“But I am straitened between two; having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, a thing by far the better—”
I have been faithful to His calling and now I am ready to depart. These gentiles, however, keep needing more; more prayers; more counsel; more anointing oil. They care too much for this world and the things in it. I shared earnestly of my visions, of the streets without potholes, of the beautiful women, of the robes with golden buttons. I pleaded with them day and night. My love for them constrained me, you see. I could not depart because they were still here, needing me and depending on me. I prayed some more, I taught some more. I waited for them to read The Book for themselves and understand that death was better than life and departing was better than being in this world of tempting allure. I preached with tears in my eyes every chance I got. They all agreed that heaven was better, but they seemed too scared to go. I had no choice but to start helping the Lord’s people leave to be with Him.
I started with the people dearest to me, my mother got ‘sniper’ in her akamu, my dad got a blow to the head from a ‘stranger’, the woman I was to marry drowned in her bathtub, my altar boy bled from a cut to his jugular. When I was done releasing my dearest friends and family,
I began to follow people around. I visited homes to pray and teach The Word. When I
determined they were saved, I helped them depart unto glory. I set fires to homes in the
middle of the night and waited with a cutlass for anyone who escaped the flames. Forty
nine souls I helped this way, but it was too much work for little results. I have helped Cupio Dissolvi. More people today than I have in five years and by the grace He gives I will do even better next week.
Hateful to me is this earthly life, oh how I long for Christ.