- The Storried Platform
ANNOUNCING THE JULY 2017 #SMC WINNING ENTRY – ROTIMI AKINSOTO’S “GOD AND PENDULUM WALK HAND IN HAND.”
We are at once fascinated by this simple story that almost everyone who has attended the university can relate to. There is always that student in the room who can barely eat but remains undeterred by the circumstances in which he has found himself. In our story, all that the author had left to hold on to was hope and his doting mother.
The power of this story lies in the evocative language and the varied choice of words the author used in conveying his personal experience and delivered a story of surmounting the odds of lack and deprivations to become a success.
The story is dark for it’s most part, but it still delivered on the theme that weeping may indeed endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Finally, we are also much impressed and hooked by this great opening:
“I got off the bunk gently so the metals wouldn’t creak. My stomach growled loudly and I wished I could reach and crush the life out of whatever it is making that awful sound inside of me.”
“GOD AND PENDULUM WALK HAND IN HAND.” – By Rotimi Akinsoto
I got off the bunk gently so the metals wouldn’t creak. My stomach growled loudly and I wished I could reach and crush the life out of whatever it is making that awful sound inside of me. The girl beneath was sound asleep as were the “Big girls” occupying the bunks at the opposite direction. My hands were my fins and eyes as I set sail through the pool of darkness. Something clanged under my foot as I waded past the makeshift kitchen; I swayed and waited for my roomies sheets to rustle with my ears reaching for sound. No rustling, no sound and I proceeded to my cupboard as gently as I could. The first layer was hollow except for a salt riddled tooth-brush and a small vase of Seriki petroleum jelly. A quarter bag of Garri was in the second layer, I unknot the sack and poured two handful of the milk-colored substance into a cup of water and then stir vigorously with a spoon. Two soundless gulps were enough to drain the whole thing. I didn’t rinse the cup; I closed my cupboard and retired to my bed just as soundlessly as I had come. I shut my eyes tight to get some sleep and abruptly my lids flicked to the ceiling blotched with shades of black above me. It began to whirl before my eyes, at first slowly and soon frantically.
Mama had called rather too early than normal, her voice, as always was distant and void.
“How is your study?” She’d asked.
Instead of fine, I should’ve told her that the ceiling of my room had begun to spin before my eyes each time I took Garri to bed. How words in my books had begun to slant in vagueness and how often they crept out to dance before my hungry eyes, but I did not—for I know what she would say. She often says:
God and pendulum walk hand in hand; they tick in piecemeal, but tick exceedingly great
Mama and I officially died when Papa slept the deep sleep of death two years before, by then I was still a sophomore and ever since our lives have been hurtling endlessly with nothing foreseeable to break our fall. Mama sold all that she has to pay my third and fourth-year fee exactly six months after Papa greedy kinsmen claimed everything we own on the basis that Mama had me instead of a boy. It was Garri throughout the session and now, even as a final year student, I still wait until midnight to drink Garri just to avoid the pity glances of my roomies. I lost weight drastically so that I get nauseated at the sight of mirrors and bones, bones especially because they look more like me and I loathed everything that reminds me of me. The pendulum is ticking slowly to my liking, one step at a time, minutes creeping into hours, hours into days and days into weeks and my eyes reddened from reading those slant vague words that crept and dance. I sucked my breath, turned the pages over and ran my hand through to stretch the creased part out. I didn’t cross-check my booklet for errors for fear of seeing them dance. I placed it gently on the small heap of booklets already at the podium and made for the exit with many angry eyes plunging me from behind.
I’m here, singled out of a crowd of students and dignitaries, my tiny hand shrouded in the bulgy hand of the guest of honor amidst the intermittent glimmer of light that shone on my face from numerous cameras and the rapturous cheers from the throng. I had just been named the best graduating student of accounting department with many mouth watering job offers. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or do both at a time. My eyes, in all whirl wide about the crowd at the convocation ceremony and I saw Mama, she stood alone so I would easily spot her. Our eyes lock and slowly her face creased into a smile, so did mine, and her words about God and pendulum came to heart.
We are at once fascinated by this simple story that…