General Fiction posted January 14, 2017


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Hands fell on me from the sky and blessed me.

The Pondering Continues

by Lloyd T. Okoko

What's Up With That Dream? Contest Winner 
My biceps jerked. My footsteps quickened as the drum-talk from the wrestling arena upbraided a weakling who dared to touch the tail of a lion. This wrestling match is for men and not women! It further reproached and started paying obeisances to the leading wrestlers: both dead and alive of the clan.

A high pitched shout suddenly hushed presupposed victory narrowly slipped out of hand. And then it came. The roar of people that often followed the lifting high and throwing of a contestant on the ground surged high and pervaded for sometime before subsiding. The sound of the wrestling drum increased in tempo; distributing verve to the sinews of the weak and strong that trodded the foot-path with us in that fateful dream.

They were all young boys like me; and I perceived all of them to be my friends. But I could not recognise anyone of them. The only thing I could vividly remember was that we all trudged on; occasionally brushing aside the branches of trees that strayed on our path.

Maybe, it was a path we were not used to taking at other times: otherwise, we would not have been suprised seeing the foot-path end in front of a mud-hut with an oldman seated on a collapsible chair in the veranda.

The oldman was weeping. Suprisingly, the sound of his cry muffled that of the wrestling drums. We were all dumbfounded and gave him audience. When he started talking, he spoke as if he was speaking to no one except me.

"There is nothing more profitable than living a humble life, my dear son. Humility is the key to greatness. It is the key to a good life. I beg you to please follow the path of humility if you must rise to become a great factor in any human endeavour. Just take a look at me: I was once the greatest wrestler in this community. But today, I cannot even jump accross a gutter. A cripple! That is what my being allergic to humility has fetched me," the old man briddled and continued crying.

"But where are you from?" I asked, not knowing that my question would irritate the oldman who simply growled and disappeared.

"What was the wisdom in asking where he comes from?" Someone from behind shouted at me. I slumped crestfallen on the ground and watched my friends go back the way we came.

I stood up and tried to go back but an unseen hand pulled and held me back. I thought it was the oldman but he was gone. I stood there rumaging through the words of the oldman when all of a sudden the mud-hut started shifting diagonally to my right revealling a straight foot-path.

I stepped into the foot-path and started walking. I had not moved up to five steps when I felt hands fall upon me from the sky and blessed me.

"I have given you everything. But do not look for trouble," the personality who owns the hands declared over me and disappeared just the way the oldman had disappeared.

I woke up and pondered over the dream. That was in January, 1976. This is yet another January; precisely after forty years. The pondering still continues.




Writing Prompt
Write a short story in regard to a dream that you have experienced that may have troubled you in some way. What did you do to help yourself through it?

What's Up With That Dream?
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