(A short story by Evans Ufeli)
My eyes blinked as the weather went hazy, perhaps it will rain today. I thought. I had spent the entire day working on a criminal case which requires a proof of the res-in-res- (the thing in the thing). Afterwards, it became clear that fatigue had taken the better part of me. I sat on the sofa at the reception but felt dizzy. So i took a novel to read, my mind kept drifting as my eyes traveled around the reception. The dark Mable floor glitters as the ray of the sun came on it through the window. The newly painted wall emitted creamy scent like a coffee kiosks in summer. The ceiling fan rowed in slow motion. I felt different at the reception as I gazed at pictures on the wall. It was beautiful .I guess I had never observed sternly the exquisite ambiance of my office. I held the book closer to my chest, my eyes were wildly open and it quivered. I thought of my life, my plans and ambition. I had not done too badly for myself but I felt there was something I should be doing that I still haven’t started. I kept ruminating on the layers of thoughts. Suddenly, in what seem like sleep-walk I became transfix in a realm I had never been. The journey was as fast as the speed of light. I felt a sensation of extreme trepidation all over my body. “Where am I?” I asked. Then I observed I was on an exquisite narrow road. “What kind of profligacy is this?” I queried. The streets were made of rare gold, silver and diamond. “This maybe where our politicians come to invest their stolen treasures” I thought .Our common wealth has been used to design a place like this and we knew nothing about it all this while. The houses had complex architectural designs. Some were named after people while other had no tag on them. I walked briskly to the inter-change to take a look at the beauty of a magnificent edifice. I stood there in a dropped jaw. I had always wanted to live in an environment so alluring like this and I had held this view tendentiously, perhaps my dream has come to pass. I thought. The weather aptly sooth the skin; the tranquility and humane exquisite texture of the environment gave it a resplendent look that beats the imagination. There were sizable drainage system; structural road networks and ingenuous residential layout of buildings. The spacious links and extensions was a proof that the designers was not from planet earth. The place is festooned with rich fittings and land space. The grasses were green and inviting as assorted flowers stray all over the mopping lines to give the it a beauty that leaves a man’s heart with too many questions. “I have not seen any of the occupants of these buildings.” I thought. Perhaps, they have gone on vacation. These were my thoughts when I had a loud voice behind me. I turned towards the direction while an image stood before me in flowing white apparel. I closed my eyes, knelt down with my two hands affixed to my ears. I prayed that God should deliver me from the hands of this subterfuge that has come to torment me in this new city where I desire to live all my life. I asked God to send his angel to fight this battle for me. As I prayed I shook my head in fervency. I think I actually lost my sanity at that point. The image was not move by my petition .I opened my eyes in faith that God had destroyed my tormentor only to find the figure closer to me. I quickly close my eyes again. This time the prayer went this thus. “Oh father in heaven I bind every spirit that torments the body, soul, spirit and might. I pull the host of demons out of my way in the name of Jesus Christ. Father your word says whatever we bind on earth will be bind in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven .Therefore I bind this reflection now. Every enemy that stands against my possession, my houses, my mansions before me now. Ah! I pull you down by fire. Eh! You… “Quiet!” A voice beaconed at me. I opened my eyes. I couldn’t look at him clearly. He possessed a glittering presence that made me trembled. He stood very tall, full of live and cleanliness. His beads were neatly carved. His presence sent guilt all around my head. “I had prayed wrongly” I thought. He bore an immutable saintliness that cause me to remember the complex driven letters of Paul to the Hebrews which opined promise and grace -“the two immutable things for which it is impossible for divinity to lie” his voice possess a clinch that is inexplicable. He sounded bass-like then echo-rendering. “You pray amiss all the time, so your plea is not answered” he said. I took time to look at him at the same time I felt I was standing before an extraordinary ruse. “You must learn to entreat accurately” “I don’t need the head gesticulation or the ‘’bindings’’ and ‘’killings’.’ I was shocked at how reverend himself. Who are you? I asked. So he sat. “Echoes of the infinite” he said. I shivered when I heard that. I turned to run but my legs botched me. I couldn’t move an inch. “Don’t be scared” he thundered. “I opted to see you today.” Ah! Me? I exclaim. At that point tears rolled down my chick. “Is it my judgment day’’? I asked.’ ‘’No my son “what? He called me his son? I thought. I don’t deserve to be called his son. “Please who are you’’? I gawk at his forthrightness. Every description of divinity I had ever read, he bored them all and even exceeded those scriptural descriptions. His voice secretes faithfulness; his appearance gong holiness – he was divine enough on that seat and also human enough to relate to me. “Do you know Abraham?” I asked “yes he became my friend for just one reason-obedience” he took up Isaac his only son when I made the request for sacrifice. Abraham is extremely faithful.’’ Can I find one like him among you’’? ‘’Fifteen billion years ago, I created the earth, made all creatures there-in and brought man into the earth to keep it. My words, statuses and precepts were meant for your good; your edification. But, you still have not made up your mind to live right. You kept losing out” .As he said those words I became cold with goose pimples all over my body. Why have I not been obedient to God? I asked myself “you offer lip services to me as though you knew me. You extort money from people in my name; you set up monuments which u call churches to milk the poor of their meager resources. There are those who worship me in truth and in spirit and I have blessed them. I have opened the windows of heaven upon them. I have caused them to prosper and be in good health. They will inherit this kingdom!” He spoke eloquently. I was full of guilty as he made those utterances I thought I should ask him to forgive me but the words stocked in my mouth “some of you have so elevated your status beyond the reach of those I wanted you to help. But as long as you do not make yourself available to the people I want you to help I will remain elusive to you. You have made greed your second nature. Your selfishness and self-centeredness is a mark of disobedience to my throne. I have made you a little lower than the angels so that you can show forth your kindness to your fellow men. But you have always chosen the destructive route’’. I went closer to him. I needed to know my spiritual status. “Of all your sins, one that amused me more than annoys me” he continued, ‘’is your recent insatiable quest for material things. Your ostentatious lifestyles beguile my principle and precepts. I do speak to men but men have made alters of lies out of my magnanimity. My commandment are sacrosanct and not an afterthought’’. Those words came to me so strappingly. I humbled myself in preparation to ask for clemency. I thought of the mansions, the beautiful environment and the sophisticated lifestyle. In the same manner I thought of my sins; the pains I have subjected myself to. My sins so confronted me that day that I felt I will never get hold of the richness of life. I saw that day. I beckoned my nerves to ask certain questions. “Do you live here”. I asked. “I live everywhere,” “your heart, here, in the waters, air, everywhere. I wanted to ask if I could take any of the mansions; then I remembered he said something about selfishness and self-centeredness so I changed the question quickly. “These mansions, do they belong to you.” Yeah! “I built them for man but his ways have made it so unattainable to him.” I was dazed at that statement. “You made it for man?”I whispered. So we have a place like this for man while we battle over despicable buildings in Lagos Nigeria. We pay two years rent up front, agency and agreement fee separate. Then we pack into miserable houses amidst smiles of achievement. When I thought of it over and over again tears began to drop from my eyes. It flowed uncontrollable .How foolish have made my life all along. “I am still on the mercy seat.” He said to me. “Go and tell your story, you still have a chance to make your ways straight and that of your neighbors- All this can be yours but obedience comes first. Read my commandments follow the revelation as it comes to you and you will find your destination right here. My son prepared this place for you a long time ago and it will remain yours as long as you obey my commandments.” As he said those words I made up my mind that I must stay here. I don’t want to leave this place to Lagos where life is midst with organic madness. I will not go back to the dingy slums, wretched housing estates. I will stay here I must not go back to struggle my way through work amidst city urchins whose recalcitrant behaviors turns me off. As I strayed through this thought an angel then appeared, smiled at me. “You can now go home.” He said. “Who”? “Me?”I asked. “No I don’t have a home.” I answered (Shaking my heads) I said “oh! You mean I can take one of the mansions? I said. “No”. He answered “You haven’t fulfilled the necessary conditions”. I know I haven’t done that but since I am already here let me just stay.’ “You have to go”. He said softly. “I cannot go.” I was created a little lower than you so I should be living here just like you do”. I bawl.“But you are still mortal.”He added. “Ok make me immortal, so I can remain here. See, you don’t understand where I came from. Life is terrible there. It’s Lagos! The population is unimaginable. We scuttle like rats. Some of us live in slums, houses that have neither windows nor doors, we just live! I have been privilege to come here at such a time like this, it will only be wise I stay back or perhaps go back and bring my family with me” The angel looked at me, how serious I was. He said I can go and bring my family. “Oh! Great angel you mean I can go and bring my family’’? Then a voice came to me “who is great angel”? She tapped me.

Then I woke up.

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