Him

When he spoke, all listened. His presence demanded attention and once he was amongst people, their knees bowed to his existence. He was their Messiah. The founder and creator. They worshipped him and glorified him, similar to the ways Jesus was exalted. He had no name, he was referred to as ‘Him’, he represented every single being in society, the women, the men, the children, the animals, he was all of them combined into one. When individuals had complications within their marriages, or between families, they called Him, and through the power God had given to him, he’d resolve all. This world had no difficulties, and they had Him to thank.

He kept order in society, kept the bad out of sight and professed the good. He was fair, they had no objections because he spoke for the people, what they wanted he provided, what they detested, he removed. Why would anyone have any grievances? Instead they showered him with gifts, to signify their thanks; gold, frankincense and myrrh was presented to him, and he accepted each one. He’d smile, and place two light kisses on each individual’s cheek, to show his appreciation. He’d then throw a celebration for his people. Music accompanied with food was presented, whilst the biggest gift of all was being in his presence. For the last hour of the celebration, he’d come and join in, greeting all the families, as he was familiar with everyone. He’d smile, laugh and say a prayer or two, but soon after, he and his guards would return to his temple. Some would cry, and others would plea for him to stay, but he always raised his right hand and smiled, reassuring them that he’d be back; and that was enough for them to suppress their pleas.

He never walked alone; guards always surrounded him, one in front of him, two at each of his sides and one behind him – he had eyes at every angle, the way he liked it. Every night they’d walk him to his room, which was draped in silk and duchess satin, with fine oil and perfume positioned in every corner. He lived like a king, he was wealthy, never had to struggle, and he wanted to make sure none of his people had to struggle too. Whilst he slept, his guards took place outside his door, protecting him day and night.

But, what they couldn’t protect him from was his dreams. Things he attempted to conceal, memories he buried so deep, he was unsure he could find. But dreams revealed all. Every breath he took as he slept revealed more of the past, opened more of the closed doors he’d oppressed many years ago.

What he feared to tell all, was spoken so clearly in his visions. And it always started from the beginning, because in the beginning, there was no land or sea, no creatures to roam the earth, no humans, no day or night, or no sky. There was just a void. God looked upon this Earth and saw potential, he created what we are all familiar with today, light, dark, sky, land, sea. But something was absent; something was missing from this world. He placed six men unto the Earth and gave them the grace to never age nor die, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Xyloism. Each man held the same beliefs, but all in different perspectives. God wanted each man to work together, to build the Earth into the strongest form where religion and the word of God was taught and spread throughout many nations. Each man agreed to do so, and swore an oath to work hand-in-hand to turn Earth into the greatest planet known to man. For many years, the men came together and worked cooperatively to build Earth.

Until one day.

October 31st, the day when one man understood his power and strength was above natural. He realised he didn’t have to work with these other men to fulfil the realm he’d always desired. They’d done most of the work together, but what he now knew was that he didn’t need them anymore. He knew he could run this planet without them overruling his plans. On this fateful day, he used his power to create an abyss within the grounds of the Earth.

Before any man could stop him, he had gained control over each and every one of them, and sent them into this darkness he had created. He had become impractical and selfish with his powers, greed had consumed him, he no longer treasured the gift God had given him, but he had now begun abusing it. At first he relished living the life he believed he created, took pleasure in living in the world alone. He had plans, he wanted to build a society that only looked onto him for help, that saw him as his saviour, but the only people on the world at that time were the other men he’d thrown into the abyss he’d created.

He needed to create his own man, and woman even. He wanted to build a society that worshipped him, and believed in him. He had morphed into a man who had lost the power to sympathise, but gained the power to purely focus on the microcosm he was so sure to build. No one could stop him, not even God. But what he hadn’t known was that God had seen everything, and had let him get away with all. Because God knew justice was coming, no matter how long it took; it would come, and be his Achilles heel.

It was mid-day, many people had already overwhelmed Him with gifts, prayers and thanks, and like routine, he kissed both cheeks and accepted each one. Today he thought he’d give his people a celebration, a chance for them to rejoice and him to be glorified by these blinded people. As he sat amongst them, children ran around and played with each other, elders sat around a table and ate, whilst others praised his name. But what He hadn’t known, was two children had run into his temple, playing the traditional hide and seek. It was normal for children to play around with each other, they were told to view each other as family, blood or no blood related.

But, they were told never to play in the temple. That was the one place no one had ever stepped foot in. But they were young and fickle, who could blame them. You see, Adam was quick, too quick for Eve, he thought he had the best hiding spot, he’d ran down these grand stairs and pushed open a door with bars. He then hid in a cupboard and waited until Eve found him, which he was sure would be a very long time.

Eve saw him run into the temple, she knew it was wrong, it was the one place they weren’t allowed to go, but she couldn’t stop him, even after she chased him into the building and down those stairs, she still couldn’t catch up to him. She didn’t really know where she was. It was dark, with candles to substitute for light, it was even cold there, she wished Adam hadn’t run into the temple. She came across a black door, there were no windows nor was there any light seeping through the cracks of the door, just pure darkness. She knew how Adam could be, she knew he thought he was the best at hiding, so she turned the knob and pulled the door open.

It was dark, no light seemed to have roamed this room, she took a candle and called out for Adam once, twice. No reply. She took a step inside, her fears slowly increasing, each step seemed to horrify her more and she couldn’t explain why. She never had a reason to be afraid of the dark before, but this wasn’t just a room with no light. It was a room with no life, nothing. Comprehending this room was something Eve couldn’t do. It made no sense to her. She shone her candle forward and jumped seeing five men chained and tied down. To what, she couldn’t see, but they were prisoners in this room. One man looked up at her, a tear rolling down his unclean cheek, whilst his eyes became dilated due to the light. She knew she needed to call for help, what she was seeing wasn’t right. She turned around to get some help but ran into Him.

He wasn’t the same, something had changed about him, he wasn’t the man she saw everyday. He had dark eyes and a pale face. He lifted her up, head between his hands and without hesitation snapped her neck, and threw her lifeless body to the side. Adam held his mouth and forced his cry back. He didn’t want to believe what he had seen, let alone understand it, but everything had sadly become so clear for such a young boy like Adam. He tucked himself deeper into the cupboard and closed his eyes, hoping he wouldn’t find him there, and kill him like how he had just done to Eve.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

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Three Sisters

Scene 1:

Stage lights turn on. The stage is set in a woman’s bedroom. In the middle of the stage a man lays dead on the floor, three women are on the stage. One is standing near the body, close to a chair near a mirror. The other is sitting on the bed in shock whilst the last is kneeling down close to the woman on the bed.

 

ANNA:             Is he dead?

(DELILAH nods)

DARCY:            Are you sure?

(ANNA bends over and checks for a pulse, then jumps up when she realises he’s dead)

ANNA:             He’s dead Darcy. What the hell went on here Delilah? He’s dead!

DELILAH:         I-I-I know that Anna.

ANNA:             Was it murder, self-defence or naturally?

(DELILAH remains silent)

ANNA:             Did you kill him on purpose?

(Silence)

ANNA:             Jesus, he’s dead. I can’t believe you killed your husband!

DARCY:            Stop panicking Anna.

ANNA:             What! There is a dead person lying on our sister’s bedroom floor! And that person is her husband.

DARCY:            I know that Anna! I know, but that isn’t helping. So stop panicking.

(DARCY looks at DELILAH’s hands, covered in blood)

DARCY:            You need to wash your hands Delilah, get his blood off your hands.

(DELILAH gets up to exit on the right side of the stage, before leaving she looks at her sisters, then exits stage)

DARCY:            This is a mess.

ANNA:             (Whispering) Mess? Darcy, this is more than a mess, this is murder. She murdered him Darcy, our baby sister killed her husband, how the hell do we sort this out? And what about the police?

DARCY:            (Whispering) Don’t you think I know this is way out of our hands. I know she killed her husband, and I know we need to call the police, but we need to know why she did it. So instead of asking questions that I can’t answer, just help me try to solve this.

(DELILAH returns on the stage with a hand towel. She places the towel on the bed and looks at her husband dead on the floor, her eyes water)

DELILAH:         What have I done? What have I done Darcy? I’m going to jail. No one will believe my story (cries).

DARCY:            (Comforting DELILAH) It’s okay, stop crying, I know it looks bad now, but it’ll get better, trust me.

DELILAH:         How Darcy? He’s dead, I killed him, and no one will understand why.

DARCY:            They will.

(DELILAH nods then stops crying)

ANNA:             So, how are we going to fix this?

DARCY:            Right now, I’m not too sure, but we will.

ANNA:             We don’t have all the time in the world Darcy, he’s dead and if we want our sister to get away with this, we need to get rid of the body.

DARCY:            (Looking at ANNA) Well do you have an idea? Or are you just going to keep reminding me that he’s dead, because I can see that.

ANNA:             Let me just remind you all that the more time we waste trying to be calm, is the longer we have a dead body in the bedroom. If we don’t do something soon, people will wonder where the famous Paul Willingham has gotten to. And then when he doesn’t answer anyone’s phone calls, they’ll turn to Delilah.

            (DELILAH starts crying again)

DARCY:            See what you’ve done!

ANNA:             What! I’m just saying the truth and you know it Darcy! You know people will wonder where he disappeared to, and who do you think they’ll turn to next? His fucking wife, that’s who.

(DARCY walks up to ANNA and stands directly in front of her, making DARCY move backwards, up against the chair in front of the mirror)

DARCY:            You are not helping Anna! Don’t you think I’ve considered that, I know people will question his disappearance, but you saying it does not solve anything! Are you here to help or just to state the obvious?

(ANNA slowly sits on the chair, looking down)

ANNA:             I-I came to help.

DARCY:            Well then start doing it!

DELILAH:         It’s true though isn’t it Darcy? (Both ladies look at DELILAH) What Anna is saying is true.

DARCY:            No –

DELILAH:         You don’t need to lie to me; I’m not your baby sister anymore!

DARCY:            Look at what you’ve done Anna.

ANNA:             I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be harsh Delilah. I just wanted you to understand that this situation is beyond Darcy and I. And I’m scared Delilah, he’s dead and I’m scared, I’m terrified for you, you’re my baby sister and your husband is dead. But, I will never leave you because your problem is mine too. I’ll be there every step, even with the police.

DARCY:            Not the authorities –

DELILAH:         I should have called the police!

DARCY:            No.

DELILAH:         I should have!

DARCY:            No Delilah.

DELILAH:         I’ve made everything worse for myself.

DARCY:            Delilah stop!

(Everyone looks at DARCY, who is pacing around the room.)

DARCY:            Maybe not calling the police isn’t such a bad thing, they may have gotten your story wrong and where would that have gotten you? Locked up and thrown in jail. So please, can we not talk about the police? We can consider them later on, but right now we need to actually hear what went on before reporting to them. Okay?

(ANNA nods along with DELILAH)

DARCY:            Delilah, I need you to recall what happened here before you called Anna and I to come and help you. And make sure you don’t miss out anything, okay?

(DELILAH nods)

DELILAH:         I came home late, even though I knew that would have made him angry. But I had work to complete, if I didn’t get it finished I would have been on my third strike and I couldn’t afford to lose my job. So I stayed, but not for long. (Pause.) Then once I had gotten home he was quiet, really quiet. I thought maybe if I cooked some dinner he would be fine. But he ate it and then went to bed. Still silent. (Pause.) I knew he was angry and I was scared, he wasn’t speaking to me, and I knew how that always ended. Once I was ready to go to bed, he was already waiting for me. Sitting on the bed, just anticipating my arrival. I changed and tried to climb into bed and then he spoke. He shouted at me, (her voice begins trembling) I tried to apologise, I really did, I said sorry. I told him what would have happened if I didn’t stay, but he didn’t listen. Instead he got angrier that I was responding. Then he got up, and slapped me, hard (touches her cheek). I screamed and then he started beating me, non-stop. He was furious; he started strangling me (chokes back a cry). I was going to die Darcy, I didn’t know what to do. Then he pushed me onto the dresser and watched me change colour, from white to blue. I knew I was going to die, at the hands of my own husband (begins crying). I loved him. But he just wouldn’t stop hitting me, his grip got firmer around my neck, so I did what anyone would do, I grabbed the closest thing and hit him on the head with it. I wasn’t going to let him kill me, so I kept hitting him. Even though I couldn’t breathe, I still hit him, he fell in the middle of the room, and I just didn’t stop. If I did he would have killed me Darcy, he would have (starts crying).

             (The room falls silent after DELILAH has finished speaking, ANNA is visibly crying, whilst DARCY is standing watching the man on the floor)

ANNA:             Why didn’t you tell us he was hitting you Delilah?

DELILAH:         He said he would do worse if I told anyone.

ANNA:             We’re your sisters, we would have helped you, I can’t believe you went through all of that alone. (Grasps) I’m so sorry Delilah… how many times has he done this to you?

DELILAH:         I don’t know.

ANNA:             Last Christmas you had a black eye?

DELILAH:         It was him.

(ANNA’s cries become audible whilst DELILAH silently cries)

ANNA:             Oh Delilah, I’m so sorry.

(ANNA goes to DELILAH and embraces her lovingly)

DARCY:            (Monotone) I’m proud you killed him.

(Both ANNA and DELILAH look at DARCY)

DARCY:            And anyone who believes that you did this intentionally without any reason is a fool.

ANNA:             Are there bruises.

(DELILAH nods)

DELILAH:         I know I should have told you all. I was just scared he was going to hurt you. Plus, mum was going through that heart problem; I didn’t want to add my stress on top of the family stress. I thought he’d stop; I thought our love was stronger than this, but things changed.

ANNA:             Darcy, what are we going to do? He hurt our sister, we should report him to the police, her bruises will be enough evidence right?

DELILAH:         I don’t want everyone to know. I don’t want my name in the media.

DARCY:            We will figure that out when it comes.

(Gets her phone out)

DELILAH:         What are you doing?

DARCY:            Calling the police, now I know what happened. You were just defending yourself. I’ll get the police here, so they can hear what happened to and take this scumbag out of here. Everything will be fine Delilah, I promise.

(DARCY kisses DELILAH’s head then leaves the stage)

DELILAH:         Not the police Anna, I’m scared.

ANNA:             Don’t be, you heard Darcy, she’s going to sort this entire mess out.

DELILAH:         She can’t though.

ANNA:             It’s okay Delilah, he can’t hurt you anymore, the police will take care of everything.

DELILAH:         They can’t, they can’t…I’ll go to prison.

ANNA:             (Hugging her) It’s okay, shush, everything will be fine.

DELILAH:         It won’t, because…because…this is my fault.

ANNA:             (Looking at DELILAH) It’s not Delilah.

DELILAH:         (Crying) I hit him first Anna. He was sleeping when I got to bed. And then when I tried to get in, he pushed me out, said he was angry with me and that I should sleep on the couch. I said sorry, but he ignored me. So I tried to get in the bed again. He pushed me out. So I started hitting him, we got into a fight, but he was trying to stop me, not attack me. He pushed me, so I shouted at him, he slapped me, and before I knew it, I grabbed the closest thing and hit him over the head. He never got back up. Anna, I killed my husband…

ANNA:             Oh my God. (Letting go of DELILAH) Why did you lie to us?

DELILAH:         Because I knew what would happen to me, Anna please don’t let Darcy know.

ANNA:             Has he ever hit you?

DELILAH:         Yes, but this time it was my fault. Anna, if I didn’t aggravate him, he wouldn’t have pushed me. I caused this argument.

ANNA:             Jesus Delilah, what have you done?

DELILAH:         Darcy can’t find out…

ANNA:             Why?

(DARCY enters)

DARCY:            The police will be here soon, don’t worry Delilah, this nightmare is over (coming to hug DELILAH).

(Whilst DARCY hugs DELILAH, DELILAH looks at ANNA, with tears in her eyes)

– End Scene. Curtains Close.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Under The Bus Shelter

Each droplet cascaded down his face, the rain failed to stop for two days, the only difference about today was that the clouds had descended to join in on the game the rain had already started. He couldn’t see. The fog had taken his sight and the rain had physically trapped him under a bus shelter. The street lights did next to nothing on creating a sort of path for citizens to follow, the weather had control of everything and everybody. This was recorded to be the worst day in the year, but he knew that the weather wasn’t the reason this day was the worst – it was the earlier events. He looked down at his jacket that was completely soaked, ‘Superdry my ass.’ He’d spent good hard earned money on that coat, which did nothing other than invite the rain and keep him wet, rather than keeping him dry. The irony he thought, Superdry insinuated that anyone wearing it should remain dry, but here he stands, his shirt underneath his jacket soaked, and his face and hair drenched.
He knew he had to keep moving, there was no point staying under the bus shelter, the weather wasn’t going to ease up, according to the weather man, who finally was right about the weather. He looked to his left and to his right, not like he could see anything, but just to make sure where he wanted to walk was clear, as he was planning on sprinting home.

 

She dashed under the bus shelter and took a loud exasperating sigh. She’d jinxed herself, nobody told her to utter those fours forbidden words, ‘What could get worse?’ And here she stood, under the bus shelter, hair soaked and a lousy jacket to protect her from the rain that seemed to continue to pour without anyone’s consent. The fog had her running into multiple people. She’d never had to say ‘sorry’ or ‘excuse me’ so much in her life, until today. She squinted down the road, hoping for a bus, but knew that’d be a slim chance with how the weather was panning out. Her glasses were literally futile now, as drops of rain had blurred her vision. She sighed again, and looked around, noticed many people under the shelter. A elderly woman stood, what seemed to be huddled to the corner, visibly cold and worried, but remaining quiet. She could barely make out the features of the old woman’s face, as the rain destroyed her sight, so she continued to look on. Another woman, of similar age to her, stood looking angry and frustrated. She continuously checked her watch, and looked to the sky as though a plea for God to reduce the rain, or do something for everyone to make it home, but she guessed her pleas were gone unheard. A man nearest to the edge of the shelter stood posed for a dash. He kept watching the sky, the sidewalk and the rain all at once, as though he was weighing up the odds. She chuckled lightly to herself and shook her head, they’d be no way he was getting anywhere far with the way the sky had cried for the past two days. But he clutched onto his hood and seemed to be pumping himself up. She would have loved to watch him try to make it even across the road without turning back, but her glasses had began fogging up again and she didn’t have any dry wear to try to clean her lenses.

 

She thought about her husband at home by himself and tried to control her irrational thoughts. Harold was old and couldn’t move around as freely as he once did, and she knew by now he’d be panicking about her whereabouts. But she was also old and fragile herself and this bloody rain had forced her to remain under this bus shelter, which was steadily getting more packed by the minute. She’d been there for almost twenty minutes now; seen people come and go. Some would make it as far as Bennie’s sweet shop and return back to the shelter, where others, those she referred to as the bravest of them all, would manage the rain and continue on with their journey. She wished she were like them.
She had a husband who would be worrying himself sick if she didn’t return soon and she didn’t want to imagine him stepping out to look for her. She’d only said she’d be doing some food shopping and wouldn’t be long. And ever since his accident, he’d been glued to the TV, so when she told him she was going he was very adamant that she stays indoors because the weatherman claimed today’s weather was going to be a whole lot worse than yesterday. But she didn’t believe Harold or the weatherman. And now here she stood, clasping her bag and hoping the weather would slow down for just a few minutes so she could get home. The buses seemed to not be in service due to bad weather and cars had slowly stopped driving passed her, which only meant the roads were too dangerous for vehicles to be running. She sighed again and looked at the sky, praying Harold had patience and would wait for her at home.

 

That’s it, this is definitely the worst birthday ever.’ She thought to herself after finding a spot under the bus shelter. Her hair appointment was cancelled the day before, so the money she’d brought on her hair (that she’d bragged about for weeks) was wasted, as it wasn’t going to be used for her birthday. The restaurant she called for her boyfriend and herself had somehow lost her reservation number and to make matters worse she was trapped in the rain she fought so hard to dodge. She planned that she’d leave her house extra early to get some food supplies, to make this day somewhat worth celebrating. But some mother at the store had found an issue with every item she brought; making her fifteen-minute shop, turn into a thirty-minute moan.
She looked down at her waterproof Uggs and screamed in her head. They said waterproof, but this rain was on a whole other scale, she wasn’t sure her Ugg boots could withstand this rain, and by the feel of the little tiny wet drops of water tickling her toes, she knew they were damaged. She checked her phone, realising her phone had low battery and stuffed it back in her pocket.
Was this rain trying to symbolise how her new year was going to turn out? Because nothing had gone according to plan, if anything her life seemed to fall apart after hitting the age of twenty-five. She huddled deeper into the bus shelter, feeling stray rain droplets caress her face. As she moved back, a man ran passed her crunching her foot and further damaging her boots. She looked down in horror to find a black, wet footprint across the front of her beige boots and felt the urge to scream. She looked up to see if she could catch the man, but he was gone. She was about to stare at her boots again, feeling the need to cry her day away, when an old lady caught her eye and gave her an unapologetic smile. ‘Today couldn’t get any worse.’

 

He couldn’t contain his audible laugh. Everyone had given him funny looks earlier on in the day, questioning his attire. Looking at his wellington boots and umbrella and chuckling to themselves, as he seemed to look overdressed for the rain that was only spitting at that time. But look who prevailed! Yes it was raining and heavily too, but he was prepared and now watching a man sprint from the bus shelter to his next destination and observing the many people camping under the bus shelter, had him laughing. Nothing was going to stop him, not this rain and definitely not the judgmental stares he was receiving as he walked passed everyone.
He wanted to shout, ‘you should have been more prepared!’ but he wasn’t that much of a dick. So he watched them all bunch together like an awkward extended family meeting and laughed some more. Today hadn’t been the best day for him. Money was tight and the rent was coming round fast again. He tried to get a second job – but with his attire he hadn’t managed to impress anyone enough for a handshake and hopeful words. But the sight he was seeing had definitely brightened up his day.
A woman stood looking at her ruined boots, another kept constantly wiping her glasses, a man kept searching for a bus that was never coming and an elderly lady watched the sky. And there he stood, opposite them as dry as he could possibly be, under a sturdy umbrella that wouldn’t flip inside out against a strong passing of the wind, in a raincoat that didn’t keep him warm, but did keep him dry and in boots that fought hard against the rain. He shook his head and continued with his journey home. ‘Should have come more prepared.’ He thought.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun