Hell’s Gate 1

“I have been away from church 1 day, it feels like a century already”

Solitary places have their way of catching our attention, such places we revere. Grey, black, white, its so harsh, the memories or stories that take us up those stairs and along the corridors. The morgue, ICU, cemeteries, the church aisle.

Dupe (give thanks) was on her way to the same pulpit, down the same aisle which bore her father’s casket to the pulpit. The same hands had wiped tears, were clapping and the same lips that mourned were cheering. She was wedding her brother!. Lost in the conurbation now called Lagos, Ifelope (love pays off) had not only lost her sense of community, the community was lost in an ever growing bastard society.

The communities birthed by the speed of media and inter-change of cultural values through social media had made a point of creating volcanic changes in the minutest parts of the Nigerian cultural life. Even faith had become a bastard, heinous crimes against nature were the general allure. Everyone wanted some!

Except of course the likes of Pitan (tell a tale), he had followed the mad crowd with one purpose only “kill the abomination”. Slips his hand under his flowing jalamia (cloak-like), he feels the sharp edge of his blade. Well honed to precision, “rebuking all disobedience” he muttered the phrase of scriptures as he rounded the bend to see the church bell in the distance clanging away.

The Pastor presiding, lost in his own conceited piety derived not from lack of keeping but rather from an excess of it. His belly barely allowing him to see the scriptures written, he skipped quite alot, fitting whatever he felt suiting. “Brothers and sisters, we are here witnessing the HOLY matrimony of the Ireguns, they have been with us and dined with us”.

Just as the pastor took a moment to catch his breath, a loud noise from behind the pulpit cracked the walls hiding the vestry. Oyinade screamed out wide-eyed with the naked choirmaster in her wake. The church door flung open as a bewildered Pitan steps in to find half of the church soaked in their own blood, many already dead and the other half taken the fastest routes off the grounds….

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