Chapter 37

Sunday Morning July 29th, Atlanta GA

I went into church ready to speak, but something was wrong inside of me. It actually started yesterday afternoon. Over the previous few months I had gotten used to this masculine purring inside me. It was as if it were a spiritual confirmation that my desire to be an influencer in Washington D.C. was coming about.

But yesterday I experienced what I did while Dr. Dale was praying except it was stronger and longer. I can’t explain it except to say, something changed. I don’t know what. The purring and the inner Cheshire cat smile were gone. I called Clyde, who I had been unusually kind to and I was back to my normal self. I was able to say the things to him I wanted to. None of them pretty, of course.

Surprisingly he remained quiet and patient, as if he knew something I didn’t. This paranoia made me even angrier. I could hardly control my rage. I was glad my home is on a compound with no one near me, because the yelling I did and the words I used were “unbecoming of a lady.”

I had a terrible night’s sleep and got up still feeling the rage and ugliness, and sick to my stomach, to boot!

When the worship music started, I was all over the auditorium. I was bouncing up and down on my toes and raising my hands. Although, now that I think about it, I couldn’t raise my hands all the way up, because of bruising on my shoulders and back.

Yesterday afternoon I had fallen. Actually, I didn’t fall as much as I felt thrown to the ground, which is stupid, because I was the only one in the house. At any rate, I remember falling to the ground at least three times and one of the falls was down my stairs. I decided I was lucky to have stood up with no broken bones, but I had some nasty bruising.

This morning, during the worship music I let myself go, something I encourage, but seldom do, myself. It was good to hear those in my church applauding their pastor who was “Letting the spirit lead her.”

Did I hear someone say, “For a change?”

Must be my paranoia.

When it was time for me to speak, I walked up onto the stage carrying my Bible. I had an odd sensation walking up onto the dais.

Actually, I had a few interesting feelings. The first one was a sensation of heat in my hands. I had never experienced that before.

The second came when I heard my congregation gasp. I didn’t understand why, until I looked at the platform and all of a sudden, in slow motion, it started to move. It was very odd. I remember thinking, “Why would my stage be moving?” And then I realized it was me. I was moving unnaturally.

Immediately I leaned over to grab the floor with my hands before I found it with my face. I feared that if my face hit first it would smudge my makeup. Then I heard Anthony, my bodyguard, running up to me. But by the time he got to me I had taken a knee and was gathering my senses.

I slowly stood and walked over to the podium. By now, my Bible was burning in my hands. It was as if I couldn’t hold it, it was so hot. I said, “I suppose I need to start exercising so I can dance around our church in the future.”

Everyone chuckled and then I felt the building spinning again.

I heard the congregation give another corporate gasp.

But the building wasn’t spinning. I was spinning, and I was headed for the floor.

An hour later I awoke in my office. Anthony was there as was Clyde, his wife and his bratty children.

I asked, “Did I fall down?

One of Clyde’s insolent kids said, “It looked like you were thrown down, pastor.”

“I don’t think you should be alone tonight.” Clyde said.

I tried to say, there was no problem. That I was just exhausted.

But he said, “The deacons and I talked. If you don’t mind, we’re going to spend the night with you. Your house is big enough my kids will stay out of your way, and my wife can see to all your needs. Then tomorrow we’ll see how you feel and decide what to do from there.”

I was glad, but I wasn’t going to admit it. Something was wrong with me, inside. I heard that rude kid say, “Yep, she looked just like my doll when I throw it on the floor.”

 Monday July 30th, Atlanta GA

Clyde came into my office where I was having a late breakfast. Worry was etched into his face.

“What is your problem?” I said with as much scorn as I could.

He shut the door which worried me for a moment. Was he going to do me bodily harm? But he sat in the chair next to me and said, “Ma’am, since Saturday afternoon I have seen unparalleled activity from the FBI and Homeland Security in your personal files.”

“What does that mean, Clyde?”

He sat back and acted very strange. For a moment I thought he was contemplating what was best for him, rather than me.

“Talk to me, you fool.” The rage I felt inside me was palpable. But he remained silent, calculating. I felt my face get flush, and then he said.

“They seem to be looking and gathering. . .”

I shouted, “Looking and gathering, what, you imbecile?”

“Information, ma’am. They are looking at travel plans, personal notes, and bank statements, both in the US and offshore. . .”

He stopped as if he had just finished calculating. And then he said calmly, “Ma’am, I think you’re blown. I think they know all about you and over the weekend decided to start seriously putting together a case against you.”

“This is your fault.” I started to say, but stopped, because if he was right, I would need his help. I had planned for this contingency when the very first person died who was, well, within my sphere of influence.

Anyway, it was time to start schmoozing him and keeping him on my side.

“Clyde, I am prepared to make you a very rich man, if you will help me.”

“Of course, ma’am. How can I serve you?”

“I need to disappear, Clyde, and disappear permanently.”

“I understand.”

“Just shut up and listen to me. I have been planning for this possibility. I have a house no one knows about. I will go there tonight and remain there till you have helped me with my other tasks.”

“Like the church?”

“Of course not, they can take care of themselves. But Clyde, I have a fake passport and credit cards, as well as a location I’ll go to. The only problem is, I will need to attend to one area that is very private, and I’ll need someone I can trust. So, I’ll need to you to handle it.”

“Yes, ma’am. What would that be?” he asked.

I looked at him warily for a moment and then realized he was all I had to work with.

I went on, “I need all my cash and offshore accounts moved to a different account, under my new name. I can do all of it myself, except the final confirmation from my business manager which will be you. If you do this for me, I will give you a cool one million dollars, Clyde.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he responded and his eyes twinkled, I suspect out of greed. The fool won’t know what to do with a million dollars.

Thursday Night, August 9th, Atlanta GA

I was flying to a little-known Island in the South Pacific, where my cash would sustain me for the rest of my days. I had developed a relationship with this resort a number of years ago, and paid them in advance, telling them that one day, I would just show up.

It is a decent sized island. There are a number of smaller hotels and motels and a bunch of cheap and trashy hovels, but the luxury hotel here is magnificent.

When I arrived, the manager remembered me immediately and acknowledged my new name without saying a word.

Before I had left, I ordered Clyde to get himself a throw away phone that I could reach him on when I got to my secret location, which I would never reveal to him or anyone, for that matter. The money transfers were happening according to my instructions, which I verified before I left. But now that I was here, I wanted to follow up on them.

I called Clyde and the phone rang and rang. No one picked up. “Idiot,” I said into my phone, and changed into my $600 Jimmy Choo Romy 60 pumps, in black suede. I needed to have a spectacular dinner tonight.

 Friday Morning, August 10th, Macon GA

I wanted to be in on this arrest and the one later in the day in Atlanta, so I flew down with my team and we met Clyde Smith entering his office at the Warner Robins Air Force Base, Counterintelligence Unit. He didn’t even fight. He didn’t struggle, in fact he poured out his beat-up heart so quickly I was glad we recorded his blathering while we were in the car on the way to a local jail.

Part of my team went to his home to collect his computer and anything else we needed. It is always a devastating surprise for a wife and children to find out the “love of their life” is on his way to jail. Clyde’s family was now the bearer of that weight. I never let my people leave until someone comes to the home to console the wife and children. When this occurred, they headed to their business jet, on route to Dobbins Air Force Base, near Atlanta.

My plane had just been diverted from Dobbins, because the Atlanta compound, where we expected to arrest Apostle, Pastor Mortenson, was empty. She was nowhere to be found.

My team would stay there though and gather as much information as they needed to put her in jail when we found her.