What Happened On Saturday?

Hello.

I have been away for so long, so long blogging feels odd, like a beginner taking the first strokes in a swimming pool. I intended to break the silence with a post entirely different from what you are seeing, but it is. And what can the petite me do to twist the fingers of fate?

Well, today’s Saturday, the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Makes it a special Saturday. And I’ve written about this Saturday. What exactly went down on Saturday? That Saturday?

Please, this is entirely fiction. Do not draw historical conclusions. Thank you very much. Soon, I’d get back to blogging, and stating the reasons for the absence. Enjoy.

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“Saturday was smack-down. Right before the smash, no one predicted the outcome. It was unprecedented, yet predestined.”

The boy giggles. “Father, you’re speaking literature.”

Josiah smiles. “Forgive me.” He sips from the bowl on the table. The boy turns ever briefly to consider the trembling water. It is calm after a few seconds, as if it was never disturbed, much like the sea of Galilee responded when Christ gave the command.

Josiah walks to the shelf pushed against the north wall of the room. “Samuel, come.” He’s speaking the boy’s name for the first time, and it tastes sweet. Honey

“You have a kid story on this festival?”

Samuel stretches his fingers to the second row and runs them along five, ten books, stopping on a hardcover. The book is coated in dust as expected, a problem Josiah handles with a rag. He moves to the table and shifts the bowl of water.

He raises his head to find Sam by his side. Hunger bites the kid’s smile.

“See, Good Friday. Enough historical research and opinions. Ashterah, Easter eggs, buns, blah, blah, blah.” Josiah feels the anger in his tone before he looks at the boy. “Sorry.”

Sam shrugs.

He turns two leaves. “And the resurrection, which occurred on Sunday.” Three pages were dedicated to the happenings on that day – the attire Mary had on while she approached the tomb, how she could have observed the angels with naked eyes, debates ranging from what Peter said to how John reacted.

“What do you want me to see, father?”

“This.” Josiah jabs a finger at a page filled to the half with words. Saturday. “Nothing much is said of Saturday, except that it had to pass.”

“But…”

“But showdown occurred on Saturday. The devil thought he was winning, and the next snap, he was under Christ’s feet. Christ had won. He was raised by His Father. It’s like having a two wrestlers tug, with one bound for defeat. In a thunderbolt, the condemned has forever knocked his opponent out.” Josiah exchanges a glance with Samuel. “How does that sound?”

“Surreal.”

“It was real.”

“Yes, Father. It was.” Samuel watches the grandmother clock nailed adjacent the doorpost. A quarter before seven pm. Almost dinnertime. He turns slowly. “Father, why did Jesus not rise on Saturday? Why Sunday?”

“Why not Monday?” Josiah asks. “Did the Lord require forty-eight hours before the resurrection could take place?”

Samuel stares.

“No, don’t answer. As you know, son, the details of his death, burial, and resurrection, were recorded to the details by the prophets.”

“And by the psalmist.”

The passage came to Josiah as if he were just reviewing it. I am poured out like water… My bones are out of joints… They pierced My joints and feet…

“The twenty-second psalm,” Samuel says.

“The twenty-second psalm,” Josiah says. Hence, The Lord is my shepherd. Because he rose… the twenty-third psalm.

“He rose on Sunday.”

“Oh, He did.” There’s a gurgle in Josiah’s throat, like wine signaling to burst. “He did, so we live.”

There’s a knock at the door. “Mother,” Sam whispers.

Josiah, leaning on the wall such that his view is to the window, nods and shuts his eyes. Footsteps fade.

“What happened on Sunday?” Sam asks.

“Rejoicing. Rejoicing in heaven, rejoicing that’s not an everyday occurrence.” There’s a steep silence, then a soft whoosh.

“Rejoicing,” Josiah whispers again, eyes unopened. He sings into the darkness.

A Story From A Story

“He’s there.”

I did a half-circle. The boy was present, alright, but lifeless at it. Had I not watched him earlier, I’d assume he was a joker, a mannequin. His size hadn’t reduced, though. I decided to play on.

“You see him now?”

Clap, clap, clap. Now’s the perfect time for clapping, because I’ve got novels. 

In Monday’s post, I mentioned not having any book to read and how empty that could make a writer feel. Well, not anymore. I have thirteen novels now, e-books, courtesy of a mate. And to make the icing more lip-smacking, it’s the Left Behind series. 

To celebrate, I wrote a story. Off-the-cuff. I was thinking about being able to describe negative emotions and the lines I wrote about doubt to a friend. The rest is below. 

But, I ignored the rule of editing, so all errors should be forgiven. 

Enjoy. 

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The first day I stumbled into the boy, I thought he was gauche. The third finger of his left hand was completely tucked in a nostril. He looked at me and picked out residue, then tapped it away. Next, he tiptoed to the nearest table and, with all the force he could draw from his belly, – which was a bucketload, given his stomach was like a gourd, like stretched wineskin – he guffawed. 
A lady slicing into chicken almost fell off her chair, serrated knife tipped towards the boy. The boy was already moving. He’d found a table with spaghetti as the main course. As his eyes rolled, I observed something strange.

His stomach kept increasing. The faster the roll, the larger the growth. It was surreal, like a Star Wars effect. 
The boy stopped by a bald server and swept off a glass of wine. If the server felt anything, his expression didn’t reveal. The lady with a knife had adjusted. No one seemed to notice. 
I pulled up. The boy was twice his size. He’d grown as tall as a basketball center guard, and a blow from his leg would knock out a pro wrestler, no doubts. Yet, he was searching, searching for more. It wasn’t just food. Gold bracelets, fabrics with intricate designs, keys kept in holders, he swooped them all. He had no bag or purse, no hidden wallet, much like the disciples sent out to witness. But except disciples left humans feeling queasy like the humans ate maggot, this was no disciple. 
I approached another observer at the north of the hall. A dirge of a countrysong warbled through the hall. 
“Hey.”
“Hello you,” the observer replied. He was fondling a bottle of water, sealed. Didn’t look like he’d had anything all day. 
“You’ve been watching since.”
“Is that a crime?”
“Didn’t say so.” I wasn’t calling for a fight. “See, I’ve noticed something. Wanna seek your opinion.”
He was looking past me. “Say what.”
“There’s this boy who’s been taking others stuffs and no one seems to know.”
“I don’t see no one.”
“He’s there.” 

I did a half-circle. The boy was present, alright, but lifeless at it. Had I not watched him earlier, I’d assume he was a joker, a mannequin. His size hadn’t reduced, though. I decided to play on. 
“You see him now?”
“Hey, guy,” observer called. His gaze was fixed on the boy. “I don’t know who’s nuts, you or me. I’m looking where you said and I only see a family of six at a table. No boy packing other people stuffs.”
My lips parted slowly. A drop of spittle hung on the lower lip. “But…”
“Look, I haven’t had nothing all day. The food here wouldn’t satisfy me. If anyone is doing the packing, that should be me.” He shook his head and squeezed the bottle. I looked away. “I’d sure love to meet the boy.”
I turned. 
He was gone. 
Something blazed by, like a bazooka travelling at neck-breaking speed, like a maniac groom pursuing his bride. 
The boy was gone too.

As I wrote, greed kept ringing. Do you suppose the story portrays greed? Dissatisfaction? Comment your opinion.


Catching Up 

Ralph is his name… He’s realized he’s on an island, as I am.
This is my first post for 2017. It was worth writing and sharing.

​  The first page of ‘Lord of the flies’, a young boy with a round nose wakes and observes his body feels like a sauna. His shirt, torn, sticks to his skin like adhesive, and heat shoots up his leg. A voice calls out. He spins slowly. The lad who called is rubbing his cheek, stumbling towards the boy.

“Hey,” lad shouts. He’s struggling to cover the distance. Fats of flesh flap on both cheeks.

The boy struts forward. “What’s your name?”

“My classmates, in school, they call me Piggy,” the lad whispers, “but it isn’t my real name.”

“Piggy,” the boy claps. “Piggy, Piggy, Fatty.”

“Don’t shout. I don’t want the others to know.”

The boy stops. Arches eyebrows. “There are others?”

“A plane,” Piggy says. “We was on a plane. Excursion. The plane crashed.”

The boy looks around. Up ahead, there’s a vast emptiness, bordered by a calm sea to the left and swirling tall trees on the right. He assumes one has coconut – the one with broad, wretched leaves. 

“A crash, you say?”

“The hostess said before everything passed out. Crash.” Piggy follows the boy. “You didn’t say your name.”

The boy doesn’t answer. 

Ralph is his name, and his numbness is because he’s just realising they are on an island. As Ralph awakened, so did I. Not that my happening upon the island was without forewarning. There are some changes you can’t prepare for, changes ramming into the victim like the fender of a sixteen-wheeler.

For this reason, I was on hiatus for three weeks. Unable to access the internet community and brazing for a switch in environment, I had my arms open for the worst. All the plans for Christmas/New Year washed into the river without consideration.

This post should be for catching up, and here are the things I’ve navigated.

(The picture was taken last September. Then, I’d gained six pounds. Pretty certain I’ve burned twice more now.)
First, I was immersed so much in fiction I forgot fiction could happen. Consequence was I was denied access to social media and a week later, to writing. November had been my busiest writing month and I intended wrapping up during the festive season. But the event came as a thief in the night, literally. I’m not sure I’ve blogged since. 

In quick succession, I landed in new weathers. Given, I was ready, as much as ready went, but it’s been tasking. Some things exist that cannot be learned by reading, – and I say this as a writer – or by any other means. Experience matters. After all, what coach can predict the exact passes that would lead to a goal? Or the goal scorer and assister and exact second?

Before I moved, I backed up my writings and books on two disks – one with my brother, the other with me. I would be moving deviceless, I might as well have a contingency plan. And so this day, finding someone with a laptop, I plugged my disk and….

Empty books. There were zero books. Also, the one and a half novels I wrote was poof.

Now, here I am, two weeks into the year, writing my first post. I have a small device now – so small it takes one hour to type what I’d do in fifteen minutes. There are no books here (not novel, not classics, not how-to books, nothing), no music, no video, no manuscript to edit or finish. 

Luckily, I got a spiritual book from a senior. It’s one of the best things I’ve had this year. I’ve learned gratitude, joy, and satisfaction. I realized the day before penning this, someone in another milieu is having a similar experience. To that person, be encouraged. Believe in the Lord Jesus, sing a lot, laugh with strangers – they abound here – and be grateful. 

That’s it for today. I have a cough still. I haven’t read a novel this year. I can only write short stories, even started a Mysteries on Campus serial. I’m adjusting to typing on a small screen. There are many classes to attend. I can’t ascertain the amount of errors in this post. 

But, in all things, God is faithful. Say with me, “In all things, God is faithful. Amen.”

A Christmas Change

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We were taught, “Whenever you don’t feel like doing something, then go ahead and do it. For your feelings are the least thing you could ever trust.”

The beautiful thing about the world we inhabit is, there’s no absolute truth in this world. There’s my truth, your truth, and the truth.

The truth doesn’t change. Everything else does.

For this reason, I decided to trust my feeling the past two weeks. Not that I really had limitless options.

For fifteen days, I haven’t posted on my blog, my longest streak since I owned one. It was my intention to communicate with you readers at least twice between then and Christmas. On my Facebook wall, there’s no Christmas message. Not on any of my social media account.

How this started?

The week before last, the house was full. Christmas was waving ten fingers at us, saying, “I’m here, and that means you’ve gotta slow. Gotta slow down, gotta slow down.” I did not heed. Of course, I had things to do. And I wasn’t willing to get into the mood.

Twelve days ago, I still had a whole lot to catch up to. Writing, writing, preparing for changes, New Year resolutions, books to read, stories to share online, things to learn…

Ten days ago, something changed. James Scott Bell wrote in Plot and Structure, “There’s a door through which your protagonist must pass, almost always reluctantly. This door should lead to a change.” But it’s reluctant.

The best changes come after we’ve been pressed on every side. Same was mine. Passing through that doorway slammed a pause on everything. Suddenly, I wasn’t writing again. I wasn’t thinking of platform. I wasn’t interested in reading books. I just wanted to curl in the fetal position and let the tears roll.

And then, the inevitable frustration seeped in. It didn’t come like a truckload. It began as introspection, then concern, then panic, and finally fear. But then, I didn’t cuss.

Thanks be to God for that. It could have gotten much worse. I could have grown angry. I could have allowed the ill feelings grow.

I started to forget the essence of everything, focused on the present. I was bothered others were making progress. I was afraid the days I couldn’t work would greatly shape the future. I was bothered things weren’t running along the path I would. There was a willingness to trade joy for happiness, contentment for a feeling of satisfaction.

I wondered if anyone would still visit my blog, if my Instagram account would now be banned (as if it were possible), if… ifs, ifs, ifs.

But.

Christmas isn’t about ifs. It isn’t about the things we do or do not. Christmas is remembering the Word became flesh, giving us power to be the sons of God, translating we who sat in darkness into light-givers. I consciously told myself, “I’m not worried about the things past or the things coming. I give thanks for the present, for the things done.”

And.

I am better now. Yes, I still haven’t written. Social media is playing background. Christmas is come and gone. The change remains though.

It isn’t about the turkey, or the dancing lights, or the deadlines. It is about reminding ourselves of who we are, as we believe.

A son and a daughter to our Father.

P.S: Thank you for staying here through 2016. For reading and liking and sharing.

2017 is four days away. I’m not a regular New Year resolutions setter. What about you? What do you hope to begin next year?

 

Preparation – The Irremovable Factor

​The simplest of things go a long way to affect futures. And funny, they don’t happen in seconds. They take years. Years to develop. Years to be hemmed and hawed and straightened till perfection.

Often, the people through which these simple things occur are far from perfect. They’ve been taught humility and discipline, perseverance and understanding, patience and honesty, yet they still show the other side of man.

Is there such a thing as the other side of man? You bet.

The childish Christian I am, I often expected success to be immediate, or at most, pushed ahead for a year, two max. Given, I’d read stories of Joseph and David and Moses. I knew Joseph dreamed at seventeen, became prime minister at thirty. I knew Dave slumped the giant at a similar age, but had to fight wars and wiggle under caves before being crowned king at…

Thirty.

Moses was the worst of the lot. Forty years of thorough demands. Even with this, he couldn’t hold back from spilling fire (not literally) when the fickle Israelites provoked this sage.

Welcome to the New Era. Or Testament. The disciples went with Jesus for three and a half years, receiving sermons that weren’t just lengthy but were truckloads slamming against the walls of their heart.

They were feeble when time came to give out.

But then, there was Paul. Paul didn’t experience the travails of the sage, or the parables of Pete.

He just went blind for three days, and then he was preaching.

Oh. Did I say just? You don’t just go blind, man. Without sight for three days. Really, there are so many things humans cannot perfectly comprehend until they take a sip of the experience. Here’s how to know.

Close your left eye. Walk to the nearest entrance. Now, shut tight your better eye – or right – and step out. Yeah, do it. March on with both eyes closed. Try crossing the four-lane highway or ordering decaf. Man your vehicle with eyes taped, or attempt hugging a loved one.

It’s terrible. A terrible situation. In fact, the only thing more terrible than been maimed is losing one’s soul, as Jesus said. 

So, there appeared to be only two options for me. Either the lengthy hemming that’s necessary for awesome expeditions, or the quick frightening experience that positions for exploits. Which would I choose?

I don’t know. Earlier today, I read a blog discussing preparation and the writer. It goes beyond the art of weaving stories. All things require preparation.

Ministering to a group of twenties? Prepare. Intend to pen a bestseller? Prepare. Want to hear from God and live as a son to The Father? Prepare. Interested in learning a new language? Prepare.

There’s no specific length. There’s no specific how.

But the place of preparation is irremovable. In spirit, in soul, in body.

Blind With Eyes

The past twenty days, I committed to an assignment that demanded a lot of sacrifices, blogging even. So now, with eyes heavy as dumbbells, having won the assignment, I sat to scribble a short story.

Kindly read along, and of course, forgive the covert absence.

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“Hello…”

The wind picked up my call, turned it in a rising turbine, and smashed against the trees bordering both sides of the path.

path-in-the-woods

I shielded my eyes and called again. Nothing. Nothing but the wind rolling and my heart slamming into the ribcages. One step forward.

“Hello.”

“Over here.”

Continue reading “Blind With Eyes”

A Bucket Of Gratitude

And you assumed this post would discuss buckets and how big our appreciation to God should be. Well, you aren’t completely off the mark. You aren’t exactly hitting bull’s eye either.

In America, where I don’t live, today’s Thanksgiving. Because I’m a writer and because I frequent agencies that are based in the United States and because I’m a Christian and thanksgiving is a part of us, I decided today not to blog about Thanksgiving cause, what would I say?

Continue reading “A Bucket Of Gratitude”