Blue House Square

Who ever saw us that night would have thought that we would not twitch even at the sight of the devil himself. Saturdays at FEDIBU came with so much freedom, no classes and no prep. After diner we all formed groups, some discussing, some playing and others washing. This was a very difficult day to bring everyone together for night devotion unlike other days when we were restricted to classes and preps.

There were however few of us who despite the pleasures that came with Saturdays still insisted that we gather on Saturday night like other days to have our night devotion before going to bed. Carried away by our gist and plays, after dining on this very Saturday, Kamsi one of the few devoted students in dorm B, who was often mockingly referred to as “holy holy” announced “leave the hostel for prayers”. It was as though she was speaking to the bunks, each one of us engrossed in the things we were doing. She kept on calling on us and shouting, it was dark outside and we heard someone shout “Snr Chinedu is coming”. This was one phrase that sent us up on our heels, and brought our senses back to what was expected of us. The fear of Snr Chinedu our hostel prefect we usually said is the beginning of wisdom.

At the sound of this we all walked nimbly most of us leaving our slippers behind. We all ran outside and suddenly there was this odor of sanctity ,it was as though as soon as we took on the first praise to start our devotion, the holy spirit descended on us and one would wonder if we were the ones several minutes ago ignoring the call for prayers.

Just like one thing leads to the other, praise led to worship, and worship to testimonies. We were all engulfed in the spirituality of the atmosphere and there was a call for all prayer warriors to step up to the platform. These were people we made mockery of on normal days ,but this day was in no way normal to us, and as they walked up to the platform there was not even a slight whisper of “S.U” OR “holy, holy” as we usually mocked them. The person who had summoned them began the Pentecostal routine “ as I was praying I had a vision”. Surprisingly there were still no jeers, and she continued. “In this vision I saw myself on one of the trees in the main field, I was struggling to get down but I was surrounded by so many people with very scary faces trying to get hold of me.”

This vision of hers swept fear in the minds of so many of us and behind me one of the stubborn girls in my hostel stood and I heard someone shout
“Jesus Christ” it was as though my sense of hearing was failing me, but I was sure that this sound was from her. I was shocked because she was one of those who do not step their feet into the chapel in a full term, she hardly paid attention to Godly things. As if this surprise was not enough she raised her voice from the crowd ”let us all go and pray in the field” now the thought of this sent shrills down our spines, it was going to be a very fearful journey to embark upon, because the field was very far from our hostel and it was already few minutes to mid night. But with the odor of sanctity of this day no one tried to object and we all matched to the field, some of us bare feet. When we arrived at the field we saw the trees on the field still the way they used to be, no scary faces and no Uchenna , but we still did not turn back, we have been made to believe that all these things are beyond the eyes of the physical.

We however began to scream aloud in prayers, determined to release Uchenna from which ever tree she was been held hostage “spiritually”. All the prayers I was ever thought were released from my mouth that day, and at a time I was running short of things to say and I began to sing, tired of singing I summoned courage and opened my eyes. It was the last day of the month, and then there was always full moon at the end of the month and the beginning of it, so with the light from the moon I was able to see the faces of my hostel mates. It was a scenario I wished I could capture, and invoke later for some of the faces I saw on this night’s special devotion were hardly seen during other devotions, they were obviously on another realm, hands clasped together, eyes tightly closed with their mouths moving with so much passion.

We woke up very late Sunday morning, exhausted from last night’s experience.



22 thoughts on “Blue House Square” by JENNIFER EKENE ONOCHIE (@manieek)

  1. Oops, strange story, I am trying hard to get the idea behind the story yet can’t put my hand on anything, is there supposed to be a continuation too?
    Unfortunately, the story was riddled with several typos and I struggled hard to understand these lines cos of the typos and the sentences
    “But with the odor of sanctity of
    this day no one tried to object and we all
    matched to the field, some of us bare feet.
    When we arrived at the field we saw the trees
    on the field still the way they used to be”
    Didn’t get odor of sanctity, is there anything like that?
    And some of us bare feet, shouldn’t it be some of us bare footed.
    I think if you just dedicate more time to the piece and with good editing, it will come out the way you want it
    Welldone.

    1. Yeah…i agree with you Paul. ‘Odor’ should be replaced with ‘Air’ or something like that.

      And those typos….!

    2. Thanks Paul and Seun. your replies meant a lot. Well i was right about the odor of sanctity,its more like a pervasive quality or attitude. The typos wud be taken care of thanks.

  2. spiritual… lol… good one

  3. It’s a good story…though it does not have a strongly resounding theme. And then some typos ‘diner’ should be ‘dinner’ and ‘preps’ should be ‘prep’…as it is not a quantifiable noun.

    I like the story. What sells it to me is your narrative…and the ease with which you capture the emotion and mindstate of a set of rebellious students. Being an alumni of a boarding school, i can easily relate to the behaviour and mind set.

    Well done.

    1. You are right, it was quite easy getting along and the theme and the ease of narration were good but those typos really didn’t help

    2. Thanks,would take care of the typos

  4. Jennifer, as a fellow writer and a bother, {i’m from Delta state too}, will like to say you need to look at this again. i am guessing you are a writer with a passion but you hurried this out, ver much hurried. the most important thing is that you have written it out.
    Practice they said makes perfect.
    as a graduate of English/Lit, i dont think there is much i can say. at the risk of sounding critical, i want to speak about your FEAR or AVERSION for COMMAS. they are missing conspicuously:

    There were however few of us who[,] despite the pleasures that came with Saturdays[,] still

    The fear of Snr Chinedu our hostel prefect[,] we usually said[,] is the beginning of wisdom.

    At the sound of this[,] we all walked nimbly most of us leaving our slippers behind.

    keep the ink on the paper

    1. Thanks would take care of my punctuation.
      cant help but also notice:i think its practice they say,not said. Thanks all the same

  5. well..the tittle and the body really dint work for me..

    i tried to see what you intend portraying…i commend you for that.

    well keep writing..the finish line is very close for you.

  6. i didnt really get the gist…

    1. If there’s one thing here, its that the gist is easy to comprehend, maybe you should read it again sir

          1. Ask am oh! Em, Mr. Febby!

  7. It didn’t quite work for me. I didn’t feel the story. There is a huge chunk missing in the Transition from reluctance to active prayer. U didn’t handle that area well enough.

    1. Thanks,i will do better

  8. I agree with Raymond. One moment, the girls are rebellious and carefree; the next moment, even those who would not normally be praying are now prayer warriors.

    I think the story would work better if you made it clearer that this was a strange occurrence. So for example, instead of this paragraph:

    “At the sound of this we all walked nimbly most of us leaving our slippers behind. We all ran outside and suddenly there was this odor of sanctity ,it was as though as soon as we took on the first praise to start our devotion, the holy spirit descended on us and one would wonder if we were the ones several minutes ago ignoring the call for prayers.”

    you could have:

    “At the sound of this we all rushed out quickly, most of us leaving our slippers behind. When we got outside, we all felt this strange air of sanctity. None of us could explain why we did so, but we started singing praises, and we felt as if the holy spirit had descended on us. Looking at us, one would wonder if we were the ones several minutes ago ignoring the call for prayers.”

    1. Works better…

  9. My in-law *winks*… I have to be firm here…
    This will possibly make a beautiful story if the right elements are incorporated, it felt very bare to me with hardly any juice or punch…there was nothing to look forward to, hardly anything to remember.
    Was there a reason why the phrase “odor of sanctity” was used twice in this short piece?
    I’d recommend you rewrite this piece and expand it to tell more and arrive at your story gradually.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS>>>

Leave a Reply