In the island of Vinstelle, its inhabitants were having a presently normal day. Eat, murder, more evil, repeat. These people were thorns among roses. They lived on a beautiful island, however the air rotted with the smell of the dead. Evil was ever present in every heart and mind. Each person lived for no one but themselves. This place may as well have been hell on God’s created earth.
Despite the evil that dwelled about a day’s sail from the calm shores of Stellavin Island, Christians lead their normal, simple, day-to-day lives. Amidst these, Mr. Raz Sty, voted for as the most inspiring, honest, loving, compassionate, devoted man from most Stellavinians, was, that particular day, to be crowned the president of Stellavin. The ceremony was one of colour and joy. People, happy to have a man such as him to be their leader, laughed, jostled and jumped to get to a spot where they would be able to have a good speculation of the event. With all that said, there was one small group of people who did not, in the least, agree with the choice their Island was making. One of those people stood out from the rest. He was taller than the average guy, with a body that’d make trees cry out with jealousy. Dominic, was not a proud man, and lived his life all out for His Creator.
“This is one decision I know will be largely regretted by our people in time to come.”
A young woman, standing beside the towering man, glanced down at his hands, which were opening and closing into fists.
“You need to calm down Dom. Our Father knows what we need to do, and we will do what He wills us to do.”
Dominic stared at Raz who was up on stage ready to receive his certificate of appointment over the Island. One of the men in the circle ran his bronzed hand through his light brown hair. “Amen, Sister Momina. Father does not want us to act on our own anger, yet in his love.”
The eldest of the group, a huge, black man with fiery hair, slapped Dominic’s back “You know what Bonifacy? I say let him get angry! Righteous anger was what our Lord had. He drove people away with his own whip!”
“I know that. I said ‘our’ own anger, Baldwin.”
“Sh, sh, guys. Look.” Momina’s black curls bounced as she turned her head towards the stage.
“And so, we, as a body of Christ, family together in oneness on this blessed Island, hand you, Mr. Raz Sty, the honour and responsibility to watch, teach, train, love, and show us the right way as our first and new President of Stellavin!”
The whole crowd of congregation shouted and cheered, throwing hats up into the sky. People hugged each other and smiled, all trying to invite the new president to their house for dinner. Raz beamed and shook their hands, thanking them kindly and gently refusing their offers. As he was gradually walking down the stairs, Raz tripped on someone’s shoe and fell the rest of the way down and landed on the grass with an audible thud. Everyone gasped and stopped what they were doing. Dominic bent down, picked Raz, who had fallen into his strides’ way, up with ease and set him up straight.
“Thank you, ah…?”
“Yes. Thank you, Dominic. Bless you. Perhaps you would like to entertain me at your house for dinner?”
“Sorry, sir, but I have business to attend to.”
Raz’s face reddened with surprise at this unexpected refusal to eat with him, the president. In a huff, Raz stalked off to his awaiting car with his newly found paparazzi following close behind him.
“Are you sure? It could have been, I dunno, a tattoo from his youth life.” Bonifacy shovelled lasagne into his mouth.
Him, Dominic and Baldwin were all feasting on Momina’s delicious meal, a few days after Raz’s ceremony. Momina, washing up dishes, came up behind Dominic.
“If Dom says that’s what he saw, that’s what he saw. Now you,” she leaned around to look into her husband’s eyes, “Have responsibility to look into this and find out if what you say is true. And you guys,” Momina straightened and focused her gaze into each or their eyes too. “Now we all have to make sure we aren’t making assumptions that may not be correct. We need to be, veracious.”
“Huh?” Baldwin displayed a blank look on his face.
Momina sucked her teeth and went back to the sink. “It means we need to speak truth.”
“You are right, Mina,” Dominic concurred, as he set his cutlery down. “It is time we found out about the man everyone’s thinks they know all about.”
Down at Port Rudder, on Vinstelle Island, two men moored their boat to its shoreline and jumped out of their watercraft. A group of savage-looking men greeted them with spears, growls, and hatred that burned from their eyes. One of the men, in a great, tall top hat held up his hands in a peace gesture.
“I am Raz. I am expected by your chief.”
The fierce men frowned and motioned for the two other men to follow them. Deep into the jungle forest they tread, once and a while falling upon dead bodies. Soon they opened to a clearing and in the middle stood a grand hut-like house. From the smoking hut came crazed children with formidable-looking mothers chasing them around with sticks.
“Are you sure they will not attack us?” the man that had accompanied Raz to this forsaken Island asked, shaking from within.
“No, Tomlin, I am not.”
One of the fierce men called out in a language unknown to Tomlin. Then, a man, round in all aspects, came out from the hut. Tattoos covered his whole being. The only piece of clothing he had was a cloth covering his front middle.
Raz stepped forward and bowed, “Chief Shiva, I have come bringing news of my achievements.” Tomlin stood straight, staring at his president, not understanding a word being uttered. “You sent me on a quest when I was but a young man. To bring down the Christians, and show the ever present power of our high spirit, Destroyer!”
With that phrase, all people within ear shot let out a string of chants and curses. Tomlin went pale and looked like he was about to faint. Shiva strode to stand right in front of Raz. He whispered something into his ear, stood back, turned to Tomlin and struck him with a mighty blow to his head with his club. Tomlin dropped dead, surprise forever etched on his innocent white face. A man stepped down and threw him over his shoulder and marched into the dark cave of a house, followed by sleazy, creep, Raz Sty and his commander, Chief Shiva.
Back on Stellavin, Dominic had found out much about their so-called “loving and compassionate” new president. He had hunted down every document with his name in it, every book that ever mentioned Raz or Sty. He even had found people, scared into hiding, who had known Raz in his younger youth and had uncovered truths that had turned his stomach into knots. He had talked with one old lady who had housed Raz when he first came to Stellavin.
“He never told anyone where he had come from or what he wanted from coming to this Island,” the lady had told Dominic.
“How then did you come across your conclusions to where he has come from?”
“Well, every night he would be in his room by exactly 8 o’clock. By 8:30, I would hear mumblings coming from his room. He would get louder, but no one ever understood what he was saying. Then we had a preacher come to board and he stayed in the room beside Raz. After many nights, the preacher came to consult me about what he thought to be. He had deliberately went to his room at the same times Raz had and listened to him talking.”
“A little nosy?” Dominic stated, writing notes.
“Perhaps. Or maybe just a concerned brother. As a preacher man, he had been to Vinstelle in what we all wish to do is to bring the Gospel to those savages. Anyway, he had stayed on that Island for a while, hiding and speculating their ways. I do not know how he was not found out, but he wasn’t. He told me that the talking sounded very much like the language of Vinstelle. Of course, I didn’t really believe him. No one from there would want to come here, especially by themselves. Eventually I had complaints about Raz and I had to kick him out. I had not seen him since, until, that is, he has become our president in which I am very wary of.”
“You and me both. Thank you very much for your time Mrs. Stradle.” The lady nodded. “I believe that this brings more truth to my findings.”
“I am sorry. You cannot be in contact with Mr. Sty. He is, out on business.”
Baldwin scratched his beard and frowned. Where does a small island President go out on a business trip? He put the phone on loud speaker. “Okay. Miss, it is very important. Is it possible for you to tell me where I could reach him?”
“Sorry again, but I don’t believe his accommodation has reception.”
Bonifacy raised his eyebrow at Dominic who shook his head.
“As a president, he doesn’t have a satellite phone?”
“Sir, please, I am not authorized to give out specific details of his whereabouts or his personal belongings.”
“He doesn’t have assistants with him to aid him on this trip he has taken?”
“I am not authorized to give out details of personnel.”
“I understand, Miss, maybe you could help me then?” Dominic nodded and pointed to a piece of paper in front of him.
“That all depends on what you ask and what answer it forms.”
“Please, Dotty is fine.”
“Okay, Dotty, I am doing a report on our new, first president and I just wanted to know what he was like before he got into this campaign?”
“Sorry, perhaps I could forward your line onto someone who knows a little more than me?”
Dominic shook his head and pointed to a place on the sheet of paper. Dotty Lang’s name was among some of the few names he had uncovered for having some sort of relationship with Raz, which meant she was lying in some ways.
“Dotty, I am sure you could help. I have reason to believe you did have contact with Mr. Sty while he was at college. Am I correct?”
“Ah, I’m sorry. I wouldn’t say…”
“You, in fact, um, courted him for a while, yes?”
“Courted? I am sorry, you must be mistaken. I don’t think…”
“Well, not courted then. Dated him? Went out with him? A close relationship, I have been told.”
“Yes. For a small while. Close would be an overstatement. He never shared anything close with me. I do not know why I went out with him in the first place. Now, please, I have said enough and you have no right to be scrounging around in my personal affairs.”
“Affairs? Now that brings me to my next question. You were secretly married to him and…”
“Let me finish. You both were married, then he had an affair and you broke your marriage. Now Raz has become the president and you two have become close again. This is not something hidden, Miss Lang. It is a matter of pure truth and a situation one could not deny.”
There was silence on the other end, then a beep, beep, beep came from the phone, signalling she had closed the discussion.
“Well, there you go.” Baldwin leaned back on his chair and grinned. “I’d say I did a mighty good job, wouldn’t you?”
Bonifacy nodded and looked at Dominic. He was gazing over the paper he written on, and on the other sheet he had noted on during the conversation.
“This confirms much. By her silence, her apologizing and her statements, she has established what we thought. We, as brothers, have searched for the truth in this and we have found it. Along with the tattoo Raz has in his side and all this information, it is very much safe to say the Mr. Raz Sty is a Vinstellian. Now, I think that my wife will be very proud of us all.” Dominic smiled wide and closed his eyes. “Thank you, Father, for the truth. Holy Spirit you have lead us into all truth. You told us to beware of false prophets, of wolves that come in sheep’s clothing. Father you showed us already what to do and all we needed to do was follow you. You have given us permission to judge those inside Christ’s body. And Father that is what we now will do. You have given us your power and dominion through Jesus and by Him we will use it.”
“Amen, brother.” Baldwin and Bonifacy chorused.
“What?!” Raz jumped out of his big office chair and stomped up to Dotty Lang. She stepped back under the smell of his heated breath.
“Well, sir, you were gone a long while, so, this Dominic man and his gang have been stirring up the people against you. Also, somehow, they have achieved their goal of cutting you out of office. People have believed them, and I guess, finally listened to Holy Spirit. They have voted you out and there are supposed to be men coming to remove you any minute.”
Raz seized Dotty’s arms and stared coldly into her wide eyes. “You do something about this right now, or you will regret ever setting eyes on me.”
Dotty squirmed under his strength. Yanking herself out of his grip, she stepped back again, glaring at him. “Nothing I have done or not done would I change. You are man of evil and care for only yourself. I regret right now ever setting my eyes upon your beastly bulk.”
Raz’s eyes burned in anger. His face turning as red as beet, he launched towards Dotty’s throat. Dotty moved, causing Raz to lose his balance. He stumbled upon a bookshelf. From behind, Dotty kicked him hard behind his knees. Raz fell, crying out. He turned abruptly, grabbed Dotty’s leg and pulled her down. Raz hurled himself onto her.
Squatting over her legs, his hands pinning her arms down he breathed, “I will not fail my chief nor Destroyer. If I go, you will go too.” Raz smirked. “A shame really that my small Dot should die this way. We were close, I shared my heart with you, yet you decided to be rid of me. However, I want to show a mercy to you, my Dot.”
“Don’t call me that,” she hissed.
“Okay, fine. But as I was saying, I will save you. If you help me, I will keep you. Is that a bargain or what?” Raz chuckled.
Dotty spat in his face. Raz frowned and mechanically lifted his hand to wipe his face. Dotty used her chance to lean into his other arm and bit down hard, also kicking him in the groin. Raz screamed out in pain. Dotty swiftly slid out from under him and ran towards and out of his office doors. She throttled right into the chest of Dominic.
“There. In there,” she sobbed.
Momina rushed to her and pulled her into her arms.
Directing the policemen with him, Dominic instructed, “Let’s remove Raz Sty. No more will my brothers of this Island be ruled by his hand. It is finished, Raz!” Dom called into the office. There was as ear-shattered smash and they all rushed into the room. Across the room they saw their last glimpse of Raz Sty.
He jumped out of the smashed glass window, falling and shouting, “I will not fail!”
They maneuvered their way through the shattered glass and peered out of the window. Five storeys down, the Vinstellian man lay motionless.
“There is now no one he has failed but himself,” Dotty murmured.
written by: Amariah Corowa