Rephrasing KINGwax’s words,
“The line between fiction and a lie is very thin”.
Oludare, a young man, who has only been trying to make a living through his talent- writing, mulled over this as he sat with his notebook and a pen, willing to write.
His eyes pulled him to the bible on the table; and with the inexpensive table clock that thicked so loud, he remembered that he has to be in the church in an hour’s time, for the evening bible study service.
As an avid church goer, born and bred a Christian, he struggled between accepting that what he was about to do was trying to sell a lie or just trying a new profession.
Since he started living with his gradma, after his parent’s death, he has been fed and made drunk by lectures of morality by his grandma, who wasn’t comfortable with him writing fiction, the moment she noticed that he showed interest in it.
“Did you know any actor?” His grandma once asked.
“Yes, ma’am.” Oludare answered. “Anorld.” He said.
“Well, I don’t know any Anorld, but I am sure that he would have been said to be dead in one movie and still appear in another, right?”
He nodded reluctantly. “It’s just a movie.”
“No, it’s just a lie. If they try to tell us he is dead, then he should stay dead and not appear in another movie!”
“It is a profession, mama.”
“And what did you think of that profession, assuming we just have to believe it is a profession?”
“I think it’s okay, grandma.” Oludare had replied innocently, between mouthfuls of the malnourished meal he had no choice but to eat. Things are hard, he just had to live on.
His grandma smiled and reached for her tattered bible, which as an illiterate, she never read. With that, oludare knew he was in for a long session of preaching.
“My son, let me tell you this, the bible says that no lair will see the kingdom of God.” She waved the bible in his eyes and oludare swallowed hard.
“But…” He had wanted to say, but his grandma dived into his words;
“There is no ‘but’, my son. These actors and writers of fictions are definitely going to hell!” She sounded convincing.
“But, mama, these people are just…”
“They are just telling lies and acting it. Actors pretend to become what they aren’t just to make money! The Bible says that money is the root of all evil. My son, you cannot start writing lies and selling them just because the devil painted it as a fiction. You are just selling your soul to the devil because the Bible says that the devil is the father of lies!’
“But, Jesus also spoke in parables, mama.” Oludare protested and argued further- an action he will learn to regret. “Those parables are not real occurrences, mama, they are fictions like…”
The rest was history. His grandma didn’t wait to hear the rest of his blasphemy. He was dragged to church and made to go through deliverance sessions for being possessed by demons. Those were minuscules if he had to recollect being brainwashed with lectures every minute!
“There are other things you can do with your talent, son.” The Reverend advised after weeks of deliverance sessions, fastings and lectures.
“Like what, Sir?” He asked.
“You can join the evangelism team and win souls for Christ.”
And that was what he did without choice. He didn’t argue again. He already has a frail and dry figure due to serial fasting- the calamity he brought on himself for arguing with the Reverend.
The clock’s hand struck aloud, again, and his mind was back from the journey to the past. The time for the Bible study is upon him. His mind sat on the fence that lies between the decisions of writing and attending the church program. He was in dilemma.
Then his phone rang- it was the Reverend. He watched it rang out. Once, twice, thrice and many more time. Then there was a text message;
“Brother oludare, you are needed at the church for the church service. Please, be on time.”
He knew why he was needed. For many years he had only served the church. He never got a formal education since he stopped after his grandma died and he was farmed to the church. Though, he learned to read and write, but, not enough to be in the college.
Things have been very hard for him because of this. The only jobs he had settled for were the ones for his calibre and nothing more. Everything have failed around him and he almost felt useless. Since he was sacked from his last job, he only ate whenever any of the church members sees it fit to drop a penny in his hand. His instincts were now jeering up for survival, and he must act- an writing is no more excluded!
His phone rang again, and in anger, he watched it rang out.
“I think I have had enough!” He told himself. “God didn’t give me this gift for nothing.”
With impulse, he picked his pen and write the first line in his notebook- the first time he would do that. He had only written so much in his mind, but, the sorrows and pains he always go through were too quick to erase it all.
When he read what he wrote, he smiled and read it aloud:
“In the end, when everything failed, your talent will ride on the back of your little education and take you to your destination.”
He felt good. And when his phone rang again for the umpteenth time, he pressed hard on the ‘red button’ to switch it off. Then he balanced himself on his chair and started to write.
“Once upon a time, there lived a man who didn’t know how to make a dime, even with the talents that surround him like the yams in the barn…”