THRICE Fiction Apr. 2014 - Page 22

Laughter. “So when she keeps doing that, na trouble de sleep, inyanga wan wake am. The man will be looking at her from the corner of his eyes and be saying: ‘Heeeee!’ Then before you know it, the walk changes…….”. I waddled out of the stage to mimic the pregnant woman’s swag. Raucous roar. • My next manifestation at the sanctuary was after two weeks clear. Two weeks as in clear two Sundays in between when I didn’t attend church. The earlier absence had hangover to blame while soccer pleaded mea culpa for the later miss. It was to be another miss this Sunday because I over slept but I rebuked Satan and made it half way into the sermon. Half a loaf was always going to be better than no bread. My arrival time was good enough for the gallery again. I repaired upstairs, hopeful. I was ushered to a seat at the near end, close to the staircase entrance. I sat and bent down by habit, my eyes closed in prayers. When I opened my eyes and sat up, I scanned the aisles on the gallery. She wasn’t there. Fuk-up! On the screens, the day’s message title was emblazoned: O GOD, WHEN THOU WENTEST FORTH …….. Ps. 687-8 . Daddy, going on with the homily filled the frame. He wore his trademark hands-free microphone and strutted the alter, ipad in hand: “Can somebody read from the Living Bible or the New International Version?” One of the pastors from the Pastors’ Bay stood and a media hand relayed the cordless mic to him. He read: O God, when you led your people from Egypt, when you marched through the wilderness, the earth trembled and the heavens poured rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. The pastor yielded up the mic and sat down again. “Thank you for that,” Daddy complimented. “This is just so that somebody will not be confused by the quaint wording of the King James’ Version. Today, you cannot write ‘wentest forth’ except you want to score F in English. But I do like its richness. When it speaks of when God wentest forth, it is referring to the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night with which the Almighty led the children of Israel out of Egypt. The awesomeness of the Almighty made the earth to quake and the sky to bow down. That is what happens when God intervenes in your situation …..” The cameras swapped and Camera 2 beamed the pews on the ground floor. “….When you are going through a wilderness experience, let God lead the way; let Him wentest forth, amen!” “Amen!” “Let Him be your pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire 20 by night, amen!” “Amen!” Just then, the sweep of the camera lens brought in the center left column and who was smack on the aisle – Jennie, my First Lady! There in full force!! The camera faced her front but aint no doubt, her fit-to-die-for curves were intact behind. Her Rear Majesty! From then on, I could not be bothered with who wentest forth or whatever. If I couldn’t espy my quarry, service wasn’t worth it. I got restless thereafter thinking of how I can re-unite with First Lady. Then I did a double take and picked up my Bible and exited: “I’m coming,” was for my bemused neighbour. Past the usher’s quizzical looks by the doorway again: “I’m coming.” I trotted downstairs and onto the ground floor main entrance. “No more seat,” the head usher protested. “Go upstairs.” “I know,” I barely said, breezing past him toward the centre left aisle. Jennie was upfront. Surely an odd seat could have been skipped somewhere or someone could have exited. I encountered her downstream colleague at the tail of the aisle: “Guy, abeg, see if you can get me an empty seat somewhere,” I coaxed pointing to the extreme left column. “Yes, he enthused, moving up the aisle. I trailed him. Midway, he turned to the right row and pointed to the empty seat at the far end. Here? “O thanks!” I picked through the five pairs of legs and sat down with one person between me and the other aisle. Stretching to look ahead, I could see Jennie’s torso. Her waist downwards were partly shielded by a plantation row of heads and head gears, I bid my time for when she was bound to amble past my row. Upfront, Daddy went on and on. He was itemizing How to Make God Lead You. On the screens, the bulleted sub heads rattled off: • Live Holy • Be Submissive • Invite Him to Lead You. The children of Israel - which of these did they? The Man of God presently climbed down the alter leaving his ipad on the lectern. The cameras and microphones trailed him into the pews. The miracle segment was underway. He went down the aisle two columns away from mine. The first victim of the day was a woman. “You,” he pointed at her near the front row. She stood up on cue. “Your husband is not here with you — right?” Obviously. There’s no man seated beside her. “Yes,” the tentative lady said. “I see two of you living separately in two different cities.” “Yes, he was transferred to Port Harcourt.” “The Lord says you make haste to join your husband for that is the beginning of your separation if you don’t. Clap hands for Jesus!” With that he was done and the lady made THRICE FICTION™ • April 2014 her way out to sow a seed into the stationed receptacle by the alter. Picking on his next victim, Daddy told her she had just discovered she was pregnant and was contemplating abortion for they had six children already. “Is your husband here?” Why wouldn’t you know? The man stood beside the woman on cue. Turning to him, he continued: “My brother, even you have not been told. You’re just hearing it, right?” “Yes, Daddy.” “Don’t be offended with her. She ‘s looking at it from the point of view of Man – seven children with the state of our economy.” The rest of the church watched enraptured. Turning again to the woman, Daddy continued: “My sister, the baby you carry is exactly 26 days, 8 hours and 17 minutes old.” The church clapped and Z[Y