One Sunday Morning

Melinda loved Sunday mornings, not because it was a sacred day or because it was God’s command to keep it holy. She loved Sundays because that was the day she got to see Pastor Dave. She was in love with him even though he was married both to God and to the woman he had taken vows with fifteen years ago. But that wasn’t going to stop Melinda; she always got her man one way or the other. Today she knew would be the day. She was dressed in the sluttiest dress she owned. It left nothing to the imagination. Her boobs and bum could be seen by anyone who caught the slightest glance of her. It was a beautiful day outside as she drove to church. The sun blazed with such glory and happiness spreading its joy on the people that lived in Abuja after a long and severe harmattan. Considering Melinda was already late she got to the church in record time. She knew she had exactly ten minutes to make the impression she wanted on Pastor Dave. So when the woman in the blue battered 504 dressed in black buba cut in front of her and parked in the space she was reversing into, she swore with the venom of fire.

As luck would have it she found another by the entrance of the church. She touched up her make up and took a shot from the whiskey flask homed in her car. Full with Dutch courage she walked into the church at exactly the moment she wanted. The congregation were about to sit down after a praise and worship session. Pastor Dave was standing at the pulpit about to deliver his sermon. The tall albino man that fainted every week was just getting up. She smiled as she made her way to the front of church; she knew everyone was staring at her. The single men praying God would reveal her as their wife, the married men cursing their luck at not seeing her while single, while the women burnt with envy. She walked as if floating, her eyes locked with her love’s eyes. She knew today would be the day she finally got him.

That was when she heard him shout out something she couldn’t make out but she was sure she heard HIS LIGHT.

Nkem had been crying every day for the past eight years. She wanted a son. No, forget that, she wanted a child. She had tried everything she could ever since Bayo and her decided to have babies. Why wouldn’t God bless her with a child; didn’t He think she was worthy? Was she an evil mum in her past life? Whatever it was please she needed God to bless her today. At first she thought it was nothing, maybe they weren’t having enough sex but after a year of non-stop copulation she started to worry. Bayo’s mum and sisters were not helping matters either; her mother-in-law kept turning up every month with a new distant cousin to help out as the domestic. Each one Nkem made sure she got rid off as quickly as they came. She knew what her mother-in-law was doing. She pretended that she didn’t understand them but heard when she told Bayo that the distant cousins all had good child bearing hips and were at his disposal.

She made him take the test after it was confirmed she wasn’t the problem. He wouldn’t agree at first but she insisted and after months of refusing him her body, he agreed. She could see the fear in his eyes as the doctor explained the procedure to him. He turned down the use of movies to help him produce his sperm. They were in the room together, her busy working on him, him pretending to enjoy it. It took longer than normal but finally he came into the specimen cup. There was nothing wrong with him either. She saw the joy on his face and that night they did an extra round almost like an announcement of his manhood to the world.

Her friends told her to try a spiritualist. That God worked in various ways and had messengers everywhere. To her shame she did but after another year of sacrifice after sacrifice she gave up. That was when Tony her driver told her about Pastor Dave of the Holy House Redeemed Church. He told her of the special event held for barren women and the testimonies every week of women taking in. After two weeks of going she became an usher and she started to know things about Tony she didn’t know before. Like he was the father of seven children, that his wife used the pill but still his sperm found a way through. That Bayo was actually a distant cousin and in their tradition if a man could not get his wife pregnant his brothers will volunteer to help. So when she laid there, Tony on top of her having sex with her she prayed that God would forgive her betrayal but still bless their union with a baby.

That was four weeks ago and she was pregnant but she didn’t know yet. She had sung more than anyone during the Praise and Worship session, praying God would finally bless her. She felt a pain in her tummy and bent over holding it. The harlot woman walked past her on her way to the front of the church dressed in the most revealing dress she had ever seen. Behind her was another woman, one she had never seen before in the church. She was dressed in a black buba her hands hidden, on her face the look of determination and joy. Maybe she should have noticed something strange about her but the cramps in her tummy was getting worse. However the other ushers noticed, they were all running towards the woman in the black buba screaming and causing a commotion.

The tall Albino man was glad. Today he really felt the Spirit enter him; he felt the burning of Its flame take over him during the Praise and Worship. Maybe finally his prayers will be answered and God would finally forgive him his sins.

He had been tired, tired of being poor, tired of being the one from his towns people that always begged for money during their village Abuja branch meeting. His wife pretended to understand in the beginning but when each new Johnny just come from their village turned up in the latest Benz to their meeting she finally showed her true colours. First was the constant fighting, next came the disrespect. She would curse him in public, refuse to sleep with him at night and would go out partying instead of cooking his dinner. Then one day he came home and saw her riding Paul the neighbour on their living room couch as if her life depended on it, that day he knew something must change.

He had heard his townspeople talk about the prophet before, but he knew he couldn’t do what the others had done. He wasn’t built that way, but he wasn’t sure any more. You see poverty did strange things to a man’s morals. When the prophet told him it had to be his wife, that was the only offering his god understood, he knew he had no choice but to do it.

After her death the money poured in from all corners. He was finally rich. People respected him wherever he went, he had his abundance of women and no one asked where his sudden wealth came from. But he still wasn’t happy, what he did troubled his soul. At night he couldn’t sleep he would cry and pray and pray that God would forgive him. When he finally started sleeping the dreams started. It was the same one every night. He saw her covered in blood, wielding a knife and just as she is about to plunge it into his heart a bright light would blind her and he would wake up.

He saw Pastor Dave for the first time on TV. His preaching captivated him. He shouted big Amens when Pastor Dave prayed and that night for the first time he didn’t have the dream. He started attending his church and became known for throwing himself to the floor during the Praise and worship. Today on his way into church he drove past a woman dressed in black buba in a broken down blue 504, she was trying frantically to fix it. Something told him to stop and help her but he was already running late for Praise and Worship.

When he finally made it to church, he greeted Sister Nkem at the door and thought something looked different about her she had a glow about her. The service soon started and soon it was Praise and Worship time. After his latest encounter with the Holy Spirit, he saw the sister that all men in church complained about her dressing but secretly they all wanted a bit of her. It looked like she was walking towards the altar half naked. Then he heard Pastor Dave shout something, he couldn’t quite make it out but he was sure he heard PROTECTS US.

The woman in the black buba was fed up, fed up of what she perceived to be man’s inhumanity to man. Her father had five wives and because she was the only child of her mother she watched as he maltreated her. She was the only one of his kids not to go to school instead she worked in the farm from a young age. When she was six she watched the other wives gang up and beat up her mother, why she couldn’t tell. Then a few months later while her father was away, her mother was raped in the middle of the night. She was sure the other wives heard her screams but no one came to help her.

When she was ten she started hearing the voice. The voices consoled her made her feel safe. It was the voices that led her to Musa. Musa the cattle seller with the swagger of a hip hop artist. They fell in love hard and fast; and the voice left her. She gave herself to him before wedlock only for him to leave her for a sixteen year old. That’s when the voices came back and like in the Bible the voices came back seventy-seven times stronger. More evil.

It was the voice that told her to poison his cattle. She sat in the field and watched them die. As each dropped dead the voice rejoiced loudly in her. It was the voice that led her to the extremist group. The ones that told her that it was the Christians that were defiling her community. It was the Christians and their half naked women that enticed good men into committing sins of the flesh. The Christians had to leave, go back to the south and stop defiling her community. So when they asked her to wear the bomb the voice made her say YES.

It seemed like it wouldn’t happen, like something didn’t want her to do it. First her car broke down on the road. Then she saw an albino man in a car coming towards her. She smiled at him hoping he would stop and help her, but he drove past. The sticker on the back of his car read, “Holy House, come and be blessed.” That made her more determined. She managed to fix the car; the voice guiding her on what to do.

When she got to the church there was no parking and she wondered would this really happen today. But then she found one and parked just in time before the half naked woman; who swore at her. She walked into the church determined that nothing would stop her. Her buba hid the bomb strapped across her chest. She walked past the woman at the door bent over holding her tummy. She stopped half way down the aisle; the half naked woman was ahead of her at the front of the church. She was scared; scared of dying but then the voice told her she had to. She had to make them pay for all the injustice the world had given her. That by doing this she was helping cleanse the world so others wouldn’t go through what she did. She pulled her hand out of her buba; raised it up to reveal the trigger. That was when the ushers in the church finally noticed her, because they all started to run towards her. She saw the Pastor of the church stand with his Bible raised and say something she couldn’t hear as she pushed hard on the trigger.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Breaking News:

NTA News Reporter: There has been a suspected suicide bombing in a church in the centre of Abuja. The blast has killed over 400 people including the suspected suicide bomber. But our sources can confirm that 3 people survived the blast, claiming divine protection by a light.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The last thing Melinda saw when the blast went off was the look in Pastor Dave’s eyes. Then everything became blurred and she saw the light. The light seemed to radiate from Pastor Dave and covered the whole congregation. Bringing with it a sense of warmth and safety. That was when she felt it, not fear that she might die from the blood oozing out of where the ceiling had cut her thigh, but instead she felt shame, shame for trying to seduce a man so revered.

Nkem saw the light then collapsed after the bomb exploded. She couldn’t feel the splinter lodged in her tummy narrowly missing the baby that she didn’t know she had. But she felt safe, safe like a baby being protected by the love of a mother.

Even though the Albino man was buried underneath the pile of rubble that was slowly crushing him. He felt a big weight being lifted off his shoulders. He kept hearing repeatedly, ‘Give me your yoke and I’ll gladly carry them and make you clean again’ and at that moment he knew God had finally forgiven him.



46 thoughts on “One Sunday Morning” by Mee (@dkny111)

    1. @topazo I hope it’s a good wow ooo :) Thanks for reading and the comment

  1. My pal and fav writer,I salute! I enjoyed this!

    1. @Mimiadebayo I don’t trust this your “fav writer” anymore, you seem to call everyone that :)

      Thanks oo for reading and the comment glad you enjoyed it and see I took your advice about sad stories

  2. I’ve got only three fav writers on NS for now and you’re part of them. I see you took my advice. Thumbs up! Should i say my wishes publicly?(u know what I mean,right?)

  3. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

    nice, more comments AOR

    1. @nicolebassey thanks for reading and the comment. But abeg I’m an old man o what does AOR mean? :)

      1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

        Available On Request ;-)

  4. Lovely! I like the feelings it evokes… A few typos & misplaced punctuations here & there, but this is nice… Yea, so who are the three that survived?

    1. @wendeekay thanks for reading and the comment, I was a bit worried the emotions might not come through so I’m glad you got it. I will take on board all your observations. Thanks again

      1. forgot to mention the three people that survived are the people the story is about so Melinda, Nkem and the albino man.

  5. Bola (@basittjamiu)

    I dey lick my lips like say I chop food, na the story Oo! hehehe!

    your writing style is simple yet gripping. the flow was superb. the story was hmmmmn……….well written, but who are three that survived? I dey wait o
    weldone @dkny111

    Truly like this!

    1. @basittjamiu thanks o for the comment, glad you liked it, was worried the emotions might not come through.

      That’s what I aim to achieve, simple but gripping or emotion style of writing don’t know if there is a word for it but someone on NS described it as stream-of-consciousness so I’m claiming it :)

  6. Beautiful ending. As always, you deliver a vivid and well described story too.

    I like that typos were almost absent and that the story was crafted for fluid reading.

    Still, if I may, I should say I have a problem with how the backstories of the characters were written; I think the way you wrote them made it look like you were piecing different stories together to form a whole, which I didn’t think was well handled. Maybe the backstories need to be compressed. Maybe its because some of the transitions are not fluid (which might have helped the backstories to read much better). For example:

    “She walked as if floating, her eyes locked with her love’s eyes. She knew today would be the day she finally got him.

    That was when she heard him shout out something she couldn’t make out but she was sure she heard HIS LIGHT.

    Nkem had been crying every day for the past eight years. She wanted a son. No, forget that, she wanted a child. She had tried everything she could ever since Bayo and her decided to have babies.”

    The transition from Melinda to Nkem was too sudden, especially because you moved from the scene of the church to another scene in the life of another character. So, yes, with the way you wrote it, you needed to have put a scene break (****) between the paragraph that ends with HIS LIGHT, and the one that begins with “Nkem had been.” Other than that, the transition will need to be reworked to be more fluid.

    These are the typos I spotted:

    “You see poverty did strange things to a man’s morals.” In the context of the paragraph, DID should be DOES.

    “When he finally started sleeping the dreams started. It was the same one every night. He saw her covered in blood, wielding a knife and just as she is about to plunge it into his heart a bright light would blind her and he would wake up.” In the context of this paragraph, the second sentence should be written this way:
    “He WOULD SEE her covered in blood, wielding a knife and just as she is about to plunge it into his heart a bright light would blind her and he would wake up.”

    Well done, man. Keep improving your art. There is no end to learning.

  7. @chemokopi my OGA I salute you o. Thanks for reading and the comments, I really appreciate it.

    Asper the typos thanks for pointing them out and I’ll aim to improve.

    Asper the flow let me explain why it had to end there. The stories of all the individuals all lead to the point of the blast from their perspective.

    So at the point she heard him shout out “His light” was when the woman in black pressed the trigger for bomb.

    So after that I had to move the story on, to the next character, Nkem. Nkem’s ends when the other ushers run up to the suicide bomber as they see the trigger.

    The albino guy’s story ends when he hears the Pastor shout “Protects Us” again at the point where the bomber presses the trigger.

    So it all leads to the bomber raising up her hand to press the trigger, the ushers see it and run towards her and the Pastor shouts “His Light Protects Us.” as the bomb goes off

    Hope it explains the flow. Maybe I should have used breaks but thought this way works better.

    My Oga, I love the way you sign of your comments “There is no end to learning” I might steal it o :)

    Thanks again

    1. Hahaha, my brother, steal if you want o! No wahala, it’s all good man. Well done.

  8. I dunno, there’s something about this piece that prevented it from engaging me as it should have. The story flowed from your head but the arrangement wasn’t nicely done. The transitions as @chemokpi pointed out also wasn’t precise. It’s no small feat to cram multiple characters with such an in-depth background in a short story and still try to build a connection between them. It would require word play, a bit of dialogues, fluid transitions etc to make it entertaining. I salute you for taking it on. It’s the first step to becoming a successful writer. You’re a good story teller. You just have to work more on your delivery. More muse to your pen sir!

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      @francis you have spoken well.

    2. @francis thank you for reading and the comments. Yeah I knew it would be hard, but we can only learn by pushing the boundaries we are comfortable with. I will take your point and chemokpi’s and work hard on improving. Thanks again

  9. @dkny111,

    I like the way that you made the stories of the characters intersect each other; this gave the story a coherence it otherwise would not have had.

    I would have removed this line, as it gave the suspense away:

    “However the other ushers noticed, they were all running towards the woman in the black buba screaming and causing a commotion.”

    I also like the way you showed how the behaviour of her fellow worshippers would have reinforced the determination of the suicide bomber to carry out her act. But I was confused about this ‘voice’ in her head. Were you trying to show that the voice was an evil spirit? Or was it her mind cracking under the weight of the emotional trauma that she had gone through? If the latter, then it would have been good to show us an experience in her life that made her believe the voice when it said that Christians needed to be got rid of; this would have made her actions more believable.

    Lastly, I think the ending felt strange to me. It made Pastor Dave feel somewhat superhuman (because of “radiating lights” which may have been connected to the survival of the three), and detracted from the reality of the story.

    A couple of suggested improvements:

    “The sun blazed with such glory and happiness spreading its joy on the people that lived in Abuja after a long and severe harmattan.” > “The sun blazed with glory and happiness, spreading its joy on the people that lived in Abuja; it was especially welcome, after a long and severe harmattan.”

    “…he saw the sister that all men in church complained about her dressing but secretly they all wanted a bit of her” > “… he saw the sister whose dressing all men in church complained about, despite the fact that they all wanted a bit of her”

    But this was a very written story with a strong message. Well done.

    1. @TolaO thank you so much for reading and the comments. This story was very difficult for me to write and the message behind it kept changing as I wrote it.

      I agree maybe I gave away the suspense early but I don’t think the blast was the main story.

      I know the story has lots of messages but what I really wanted to come out is that God’s way of thinking isn’t the same as ours. The people that survived the blast survived because God is all forgiving and not because their lives deserved it.

      The Pastor wasn’t super natural at all, but it was his pray during the blast “His light protects us” is what emitted God’s saving power that protected the 3 of them.

      In regards to the voice, it came about her mind cracking under the suffering she had experienced and she was just latching out in general and not necessarily directed at christians.

      Hope I have answered your questions.

      Thanks for the improvement will take it on board.

  10. Nice, real nice

    1. @Olan thank you for reading and the comment

  11. i hope those voices died in d blast 2

    1. @Koollove thanks for reading and the comment

  12. Nicely done. The continuity could have been better, but it still works. I was a underwhelmed by some bits of it (the barren couple trope for example), though the meshing of the various viewpoints was engaging. I personally don’t care for morality lessons, but its a fine piece and you’re still brilliant!

    1. @hotchocolate Thanks for reading and the comment, glad you liked it. A few people have mentioned the continuity so will aim to improve.

  13. wow God is great, love the ending

    1. @yinkus101 Yes o God is great, far more greater than we think. Thanks for reading and the comment

  14. Writing a story with lots of main characters is not easy. You did a good job which I know will be made better when you take all the constructive criticisms into consideration.
    An interesting read twas for me, and I love the focus of your story. Well done Mee. $ß.

    1. @sibbylwhyte thanks for reading and the comment, yes it is hard especially since it’s a short story, but i’ll take all the comments and try and improve. Thanks

  15. @dkny111

    You wrote well bro…and it is an especially timely piece. Good job and hope to read more from you.

    1. @ayomitans I was wondering where you were, was going to call the police o to find you :) Thanks for reading man and the comments

  16. @dkny111, I like the way you experiment with the short story form we are used to. It works really well.
    Welldone

    1. @olajumoke thank you for reading and the comment

  17. I like. I very like. Reminded me of the movie, Vantage Point. Everything that should be said have been said.

    I think the sun should have spread it’s warmth…the sun doesn’t necessarily disappear during harmattan…or not…I don’t even know.

    What I don’t get is why only those three survived. What did they have that the 400 that died didn’t? If you could explain sir.

    1. @brizio lol men that question hard o, first of all thanks for reading and the comment.

      My thinking behind this story is that our ways of thinking and God’s is completely different. He saves who he wants, gives people second chances that us as humans don’t think they might deserve.

      So the answer is they have nothing different from the others, if anything maybe they were worse than the other 400, but God saves who he wants to save.

      Hope this answers your question

  18. @dkny111, you told a story, and it was captivating. Those three would probably have been nominated as the “most likely to die” because of their sins, yet, they survived. About the other mechanics (grammar, typos et al.), other readers have mentioned them, so I need not belabour on them. I really enjoyed this story, even though I hate the fact that a church was successfully bombed by a mental case.

    1. @febidel thanks for reading and the comment. Yeah that was what I was trying to show, that our thoughts are different from God’s and those we think don’t deserve mercy might not be the same to Him. Glad you enjoyed it.

  19. Beautiful story.

    Lovely telling.

    But problematic transitions and a somewhat incomplete ending.

    That’s my take on this. I love the synopsis of each individual’s personal life and misgivings. You painted them realistically and reminded us of the fact that not everyone that comes to church is a saint. However your story leaves some questions hanging which makes me to conclude that its incomplete.
    The ending did not seem accurate enough. The news report said 3 people survived but the last paragraph said a light covered a section of the congregation…

    I guess at that point at the end it became a bit confusing.

    I know if you corrected these anomalies it would rock better.

    Well done. i liked it.

    1. @Afronuts, whats up men long time. Thanks for the comment oo will take all on board. The story isn’t incomplete, yes the congregation got covered by the light but only three of them were saved the others were just led to the other side by God’s protection. But I can see why you would say it’s confusing. Again thanks and I’ll take them on board

  20. All i can say is well done.Pls keep up d gud work.:*

  21. @jade69 thanks a lot for reading and comment will keep trying oooo :)

  22. beautiful………..

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