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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Ding-Dong (05/16/13)

TITLE: In The City Of The Dead
By Olawale Ogunsola


In a city, all it's inhabitants were walking corpses of various heights and stature. engaged in all forms of occupation and profession.

As dead as they were, they never ceased being busy.

The Founder of the city loved all the inhabitants and wanted them to obey his rules and regulations to receive the breath of life.

No! They did not.

These dwellers chose Mammon as their god to provoke him.

They cared so much for Mammon.
They lived solely for and worried greatly to see him.

They worshiped and honored him with anything and everything.

The rich among them became arrogant because their mouths were filled with authority and earthly possessions.

They named streets after themselves and building skyscrappers and monuments to immortalise each other.

They lived in all comfort.

The poor of the city were not so.
They lived restless lives; rising early and staying up late, toiling for food to eat.
Their lives were miserable.

Differences in social status notwithstanding, they were united by love for pleasure- eating, drinking, dancing, marrying and giving in marriage.

None remembered the Founder, called The Father of Life. There was no room in their thoughts for him.

A few who seemed to have continual gasping in their breathing did not follow his rules and regulations.

These felt superior to others. They, therefore, prepared fancy robes to distinguish themselves looking at the rest disdainfully.

Not knowing that they were not alive yet.

All the ways of these inhabitants broke the heart of the Founder. He therefore decided to awaken them by sending a powerful and faithful messenger.

He found a route in a family that had something good before him among those that had some breath. He was satisfied to send his messenger through them.

Everything about him was different.
He came having a bell of life in his hand to turn the hearts of the inhabitants to the Father of Life.

He lived in the desert to eat uncommon food consisting of locusts and wild honey.
His best attire was made of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist.

His total separation made it possible for him to have a full breath of life.

To carry out his assignment, he rose early in the morning armed with his bell:
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

The dead complained, "He disturbs our peaceful sleep."

They conspired together against him:
To stone, blaspheme, beat or, if possible, kill him.

All to no avail.

He took his message to the door-step of those with continual gasping in their breath:

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Provoked more, they scowed and shouted, "He should take that to the dead and not us who have life. Is he better than us because he had been a brother to jackals and a companion of ostriches for long?"

He took his message to the camp of the worriors:
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Those in charge of the city's revenue were not spared.

Retiring to the bank of River Jordan, many who were dead in their tresspasses came to him dejected, "What shall we do then?"

He jingled his bell again, "Give from what you have to those who have nothing."

Those at the revenue offices came likewise, shivering, " What shall we do?"

"Do not collect more than what is appointed for you."

In the same vein, the brutal uniform men humbly bowed before him, "And what shall we do?"

"Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be contented with your wages."
* * *

One day, palace officials began to announce that the Monarch had set aside a day of merry-making in which no work must be done and everyone must be present.

They were welcome by jubilating ones who shouted, "Hail the king! United we stand in pleasure!"

On that day, a dancing competition was organised where beautiful ladies displayed their prowess to the rhythm of good music and the winner was announced. She was Herodia's daughter.

What was her award?

She demanded her mother's coveted desire which was given. It was the head of the messenger because of his earlier message:
"Repent, oh king Herod, because it is not lawful for you to marry your brother's wife."

The story is based on the life and death of John The Baptist.

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This article has been read 254 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/24/13
This is an interesting take on John the Baptist. I felt a bit confused as I read it and it might have helped if you had included that detail in the story, but it could just be me and others might have recognized it immediately. I think you have some terrific descriptions in this story and it's an interesting take on the topic. Good job.
lynn gipson 05/26/13
Interesting read...I enjoyed this. Nice job.

Blessings, Lynn
C D Swanson 05/27/13
Very different approach to the topic at hand. Good job with this piece. God bless~