The self-styled, self-proclaimed prophet of doom – formerly the Prefect of the Congregation of Faith – turned street preacher, walked down the streets of Nairobi in a gallop. His custom tailored Armani suit – his idea of sackcloth – made him stand out in the unprecedented throng of busy Nairobians.
Clutched in his armpit was a leather-bound bible – the only arsenal in his war on the Ancient Serpent. As he crossed beneath the concrete arch into Uhuru Gardens, he scanned the crowds as though he might find a familiar face: A brat yelling at his mother he wanted PS2 Six; a couple showering their little bundle of joy with so much love (what really mattered in his war); lovebirds canoodling under the palm thatched shades; college womanizers teasing coquettish, scantily dressed houris; lusty couples kissing in the open, doing what they are supposed to do in their dark, tart-jaded privacies in public; a lone dude with a paperback – people locked in their own strange worlds. They all seemed absorbed. Taken in; too busy for the world around them. Figuratively. Literally.
This is where it would start. And end. Probably. Preach the sermon of doom, fight the ancient prostitute of Babylon. Wake people from their apathy.
He opened his bible and read from heart from the book of Revelation. He knew very few would listen, but he was a renowned indefatigable man.
He tried to raise his voice – not even a single soul of the doomed race seemed roused. He moved around, preaching. Many thought he was crazy, one of the lunatic preachers who have crept into the church today.
People were engrossed in their own worlds. Many young, damned souls had their ears muffed by iPod buds, others were over-fondling. Hawkers were selling their merchandise like there was nothing going on.
Just about time, he thought and rose his voice above the clatter and disorganized hum of the park.
When his throat was almost drying up, and his voice became a deep, hoarse whisper, he decided to take a break. During the five-minute break, his life of another world came hurtling back on him.
Thirty years in the Catholic Church, serving it faithfully, only to be excommunicated for knowing what he ought not to have known and challenging Papal infallibility.
Being the Prefect of the Congregation of Faith was an achievement, getting his way into the conclave was another – but not being anyone’s pawn was a slammer. All he had to do was maintain his aim – fight the Ancient Serpent to the very end.
When he stood up again, he was all pumped up.
“The time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth,” the renegade preacher continued.