CISTERN. . .an excerpt (Prose)

Posted: October 12, 2014 in PROSE
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by Oluwatosin Lion Oni

Alex spied through the window sill in the library, he could see clouds forming horse shapes and wingless cherubs, many of which take recognition in his imagination only. Nigrescent nimbi lower, the prequelling lightning uncracking and cracking like slavetrader’s whips, preface to the rain to pour at large. He walked away, towards the egress. But not away enough. Like a conspiracy expressed in rain, the sluice-gates of the skies, whose iron clang and bang was earlier heard in the jarring baritones of thunder, opened wide and rain, appendix to the peroration gush out in thick fingers of water that they obscure everywhere; eyes could not see more than an inch into the distance. He could return upstairs, for now he was already downstairs, to the company of the birthday celebrant or enter into the rain and soak the ego of his starch-stiff shirt. No longer reckoned with, those who profess nephology, for the clouds have disowned their habits of revealing their menu. In consequence, people always carry along their umbrella for impromptu cloud-crybabying.
Alex heard footfalls, of, many, people, all, from, diverse reading-rooms in the library, all rushing to towards him where he stood gazing at the energetic ranting rain, all with their umbrellas unfurled, ready to daunt the rain and run towards their car. Alex, on your own, on your own.
Bintu, in her economy of strides finally came out of the library, but without an umbrella like Alex. An EOD sat in the open. It could be hers, he thought. Spoilt brats in capitals ride far better horses than this. And what is their sin? They keep their fingernails unbroken.
They waited under the architrave, for an hour, of silence that has deep evenings. Silence except the continuous rant of the heranguing rain, the implacable tantrum of the thunder, the unveiled langour of lightning. It was silence, silence uncontaminated with the impurities of words. And words are holy, these equal words folly. Some nods of consent finally agree to shush the rain and put the clouds in chains. Bintu moved towards the car. Ah ha! It was hers after all, he thought. She sped away in full speed.
The clouds burst again, heavier. The rain wad not even about him, but in silence and noise so mingled together like mixed metaphors, people take magnified meanings in innocuous happenstances. He stared at his wrist, spying at time, the warder of existence, and the hand of the warder said a quarter past five. If he could make it to Arinkerindo bus stop, he would get a car his street-bound.
Ten minutes later, he saw it not, the car, black in complexion, just three weeks old, Cinderella by name, Bintu’s. That could not be her voice, because they cut through the heavy thunderstroked rain. Thunder spoke, ‘Get in’, and who can say no in thunder.
The drive was snail- sluggish; lesser rains than this have mutated landscapes, displaced houses and spoilt lives, it has soaked both merchandise and dreams beyond caulking. Familiarly, Bintu navigated through the thick of water already lording it over the tarmac: each car pointed at each other its full light, the necessary provocation in a rain-drenched noon verging on evening. . .

Oni Oluwatosin Joseph. Photo Courtesy of Facebook, Oni Oluwatosin's Image

Oni Oluwatosin Joseph. Photo Courtesy of Facebook, Oni Oluwatosin’s Image

Oni Oluwatosin Joseph, a poet and word acrobat, writes poetry and prose and play; he is working on a novel, The Half Circle and the Full Drums, and a collection of short stories, Going to Gambia.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

  1. Ezeamalukwuo says:

    Where is the rest? What happened next? This is very good, I must confess, very mature and the language is sophisticated, a bit foriegn, british, like the narrator schooled or grew up there. “How does one say no in thunder” Okigbo’s great line. . .very very very brilliant. . .

    This is really new and refreshing. Can we have more, because my interest is piqued and I will like to know what happened next. Like a romance novel I guess.

    Keep it up my good man.

  2. enyonam says:

    i love the language…. brilliant!!! and he calls himself “word acrobat”, wish i could disagree. finally, refreshing use of creative language that is not verbose… am in love.
    “… enter into the rain and soak the ego of his starch-stiff shirt”

  3. Anene Francis says:

    hmm, with my dictionary by my side, I fear no Lion roaring with frightening vocab. Lol
    * Nice story, stuffed with numerous figures of speech and it seems that the principal aim is to engage the imagination… More power to your elbow.
    * The cloud is the cistern… Ehm, The birthday was held in a library? Interesting.

    (Need more proofreading. Some unnecessary commas, etc)

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