ISSN 2371-350X

Fiction: The Story of Jonah (2071 AD)

Wanuri Kahiu

 

By

Damilola Jonathan Oladeji

 

 

God spoke to me just some few days to new year, it was 2071 in Nigeria and we had finally come to terms with the fact that there would never be a revolution. I remember my father was so passionate, he died believing that the poor man would gain the “kingdom” and the ruling class would be put to shame.

My father died in deeper shame than any of his contemporaries because he had given a word from God that never came to pass, he died in a delirious state. It was always as if he was with us one minute and the next he would be asking questions that no one could give answers to. God had crushed him but he could not get himself to accept, he was a believer.

Before father died he called me and warned me that God was going to come for me soon, I should be expectant. I was never far from the beer parlour or brothel for this singular reason, I knew that God was picky when it comes to the places he visits. So on the night he came into my room and told me I had to visit Aso Rock (Presidential Villa) to deliver a message, I cursed my alcohol therapist who had pushed me to make a new year resolution against beer.

Why would God want me to go all the way to Abuja, seeing that we had become more of a war zone than before. Bomb shells dropped at intervals in the east, the cabals fought to conquer the resistance that had cornered oil wells and prevented the northern refineries from augmenting their meagre output. I knew my journey would go round the western borders along the coastline and through green fields of the Yoruba cities. They had managed to rebuild their empires and were a prospering people, I would have no difficulty reaching the Villa through this route. I chose the road towards the South South, where death, suffering, deprivation and hunger was prevalent.

I knew God was moving along those western countryside, he was with my people and they managed to flourish through the turbulence. The eyes of the lord had moved off the East and South-South territories, I was desperate to find the darkest filth and sin that would get him off my back. Maybe if he saw me with those daughters of Jezebel that lined the streets of Warri, if he smelt the heavy stink of booze and vomit, maybe he would go back to his comfort zone. So I fled in the morning of the new year and took a night train into the heart of the wreckage and desecration that littered the Southern horizon.

I lodged in one of the busiest motels known for reckless orgies, where the sexual rumps were a steady run from morning till night and morning again. I locked myself in a room, one of the tiniest parts of the motel. The foul smell was heavy, the drink was flowing, they passed me my portion of the liquor while the atrocities played out in various shapes and forms. Women were raped in daylight, daughters and fathers, men and their partners freely explored every sexual craving.

I relaxed and allowed the evil surround me, I was sure he would never find me. Until the booze dried up! Suddenly everything went wrong, men turned on themselves and stabbed each other to death, businesses shut down, the streets became quiet and ghostly. Hunger and fear crept into town in a way no one ever expected, people died on all sides.

The pub, bar and eating houses called a meeting to deliberate the sudden turn of events. They tried their luck on a social manga app, that basically decides whose luck is good or bad. The bad luck fell on the man who owned the motel where I was lodged, he pleaded and denied to no avail. Everyone in the motel was searched and tried, the men were angry. They said maybe some demon was using someone in the environment. I was the only stranger around so the consensus was that I must be the one who had brought upon them the bad luck, I was as surprised as they were because in my opinion God could not have found a way around this dark, evil town, or could he?

The next day I was to be burnt at the stake because I confessed to the crimes levied against me which included “treachery against a God” “mocking divinity” and bringing evil upon the town. They had me tied to a stake and children spat on me, threw tomatoes in my face, they even allowed their dogs to piss at my feet. Exactly as the clock struck noon on the next day, the executioner set fire to the stake and I started to feel the heat rise around me.

Fear and panic struck me and I began to cry, I made a vow to go to Aso Rock. In that moment, a bird as big as an airplane swooped down from the clouds, it opened its mouth and carried me and the burning sticks in its beak. It quickly swallowed, maybe because of the blazing fire and I had to roll around in its belly to find more of the liquid I saw around, I used this to quench the fire while I thought about what I was supposed to say to those stubborn politicians who deserve only to die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damilola Jonathan Oladeji

Damilola Jonathan Oladeji is a Real Estate practitioner who loves to employ words. He is a Nigerian who believes in the power of spoken words to tangibly influence tomorrow, Mummify the past and keep the present in perspective.
He writes poems to capture the moments, stories to entice the readers into great attitudes and he loves the sound of music.

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