“Warfare” by Edem Dotse.

My mistake was not waiting for instructions from the other side. Without clearance, I shot up into the night sky, my thick black hair flapping against my face. Times had changed, and we did not usually fly out at night, on Thursdays or Fridays. It was too dangerous. I had heard too many a tale about deadly encounters with warring angels to be so foolhardy. But I was desperate. I knew I was running out of time and I had to complete my assignment. My host was becoming unsettled. I could feel her, restless in her sleep as the grisly details of the night unfurled in her mind, as a dream.

It was a bleak, rainy evening. I was on my way back from a meeting in Dzodze with the group of elder witches who hired me concerning a stubborn relative, known simply as ‘the target’, who was impeding the progress of my assignment in the life of my host. Several suggestions were thrown around, including sickness and financial setback. However, nothing conclusive could be decided.

I felt my body jerk violently amongst the clouds. I delved into my mind, feeling for the connection with my host. She was decidedly disturbed. But her moans and grunts were distant, and I could only faintly feel them. I dipped lower into the atmosphere to navigate from the clouds. I thought it might be the turbulence distracting me. But our link seemed to be growing thinner with each passing moment. I did not understand why.

Then, I felt it. It was faint but clear, like heat radiating from a light bulb in a ceiling.

There was another being in the sky.

I was not prepared for a fight of any kind. I flew higher up into the clouds, hoping that they would cloak me. Whatever it was, it was getting closer. I could feel it getting closer.

The connection to my host dropped before I knew what was happening. Something was wrong. She had woken up. I began to panic. The link would come back in short flashes every now and then from her thoughts, but I could not piece together what was happening. So as dangerous as it was, I shut my eyes and let the night dissolve around me, until all I saw and felt, from the external world, was nothing.

 Darkness… Flash! Walking, Stairs… Streets… Cars, traffic…

The series of images came in quick flickers, akin to the death of a fluorescent light, declining in pace and intensity. Bits of disjointed sound came in the same way. I focused as hard as I could, but she was awake, and miles away. I would get nothing. Amidst, the chaos, I heard a voice I recognized. A voice that filled me with dread. It was the target.

And that was when I felt the push.

I was sent spiralling downwards in the sky by a shove from a huge creature. I looked above me as I fell to see a silhouette of wings in the distance. I spun around as quickly as I could and flew back up. There was nowhere to go in the open sky. I had to fend the angel off or I wouldn’t stand a chance.

Rising up in the sky, I saw a blur rushing towards me. This was no ordinary angel, he had incredible speed. I summoned all the force within me and fired a blast of energy through my right hand. He swiftly dodged, delivering a punch to my face. I was sent reeling backwards. In my confusion, I could still hear fragmented voices.

 Break! Break every chain!

The angel was rushing up towards me. I spun out of his way and fired a blast of energy into his back. The resulting explosion sent him hurtling higher up into the skies. I spread out my arms for balance and stretched them towards him, waiting ‘til he descended into my crosshairs. I began powering up energy through my arms. I would finish him off, here and now.

“Arghh!” I felt a searing surge in my right shoulder, which knocked me off balance. As my arms flailed in free fall, I felt more pain shoot through my right thigh and screamed out. I looked down to see the tip of a steel broad head, glowing red hot, sticking out of my bloodied leg.

There was another angel.

 We send arrows! Arrows to scatter the enemy!

The arrows came in quick succession of each other. I twisted my frame so that I would begin to fall headfirst and get a closer look. My injured shoulder made it difficult to navigate. I felt weaker and weaker as I fell.

 We arrest every opposing force!

The angel had descended upon me, gripping me tightly. I was beginning to lose consciousness. I felt my body being pulled, and its wings flapping above me. Suddenly, there was a sharp pain in my head. The connection to my host was back, and stronger than it had ever been. I finally realized what was happening. I would not make it.

It was all over.

Evil spirit, we command you- leave her! Leave her!

——————————-

“They marked her for death. But they will not get her. I say they will not get her!” The pastor cried out.

Ewurabena’s eyes opened. She gasped and began panting heavily, realizing where she was- lying on the floor at the All-Night deliverance service. Yao, who had invited her, was standing in the distance, praying loudly. She sat up, with tears in her eyes, enchanted by the sounds of the organ. She was still breathing heavily, from the horrible, horrible nightmare she’d had.

The pastor took her by the hand, and lifted her up into a teary embrace as the audience applauded.

“It’s alright,” he said, “It’s alright. You are free. ”

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