Dodging Bullets in Church - Simply SAMAD

Simply SAMAD

A blog dedicated to short stories from Nigeria and exciting tales all over the world


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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Dodging Bullets in Church

On a beautiful Sunday, a Catholic church is struck by an unspoken brand of terror after the Reverend makes an announcement.

Once upon a time, an old church in a village was leaking and the walls were almost collapsing.

After the service, the Reverend asked the worshipers if they could organize a fundraising to rebuild the church...

He told them to contribute whatever God has blessed each and every one of them with.

"If you have some money, you can bring the money... If you earn a living by selling tomatoes in the market, you can bring the tomatoes and they get auctioned to raise the money... If you operate a hardware it would be even better, you can bring some nails and iron sheets for the roof... Bring whatever you have."

Eventually, it was the day of fundraising and worshippers came out in large numbers; some with money in their pockets. Others with goods depending on their jobs and sources of livelihood.

As they stepped arrived at the church, they were met by a strange sight; a coffin at the entrance of the church...


"Who had died?"

...but then again, it was on a Sunday and funeral services were never conducted on Sundays...

What was going on? People started talking in whispers; asking what was the coffin meant for and who was inside.

They started pointing fingers to an old man seated at a corner; he was the coffin maker...

Some looked at him in fear. For many others, it was open hostility; as if the man was cousins with death.

Looking at the old man was not easy for many. They had silently branded him the emissary of death - The one who did death's dark bidding.

The people said so much and thought about even much more all around the old man but he paid no attention to them. he just sat there as if they didn't even exist.

The Reverend had made it clear that people should bring whatever God has blessed them with and since the old man was a coffin maker, he had brought the church a fine coffin.

After the service, it was time to raise funds; those who had money contributed. People with hardware gave iron sheets and other building equipment and materials. Traders brought their tomatoes,' which were auctioned away.

Finally, the coffin maker dragged his coffin to the front of the church and stood still... People gasped and fell silent... You could hear a pin drop.

Suddenly an old man, a friend of the coffin maker stood up and offered N200,000 for the coffin on behalf of the Reverend... He said he was buying it for the Reverend...

The Reverend shot up so fast with eyes wide open; his lips suddenly very dry. He quickly offered N250,000 for the coffin on behalf of the leader of CWA (Catholic Women Association).

The Lady nearly stumbled as she sprang to her feet looking so shocked at seeing her coffin...

"No! No! No!" She shouted.

"It is not mine! I will buy it for the Catechist! N400,000, please... Please!"

The Catechist nearly peed on himself. He turned to look at her angrily as if to ask

"Do you want to kill me?"

Clearly, nobody wanted the coffin and it kept on being passed around until finally another old rich man stood and said that, he is offering N1 million for the coffin and added that he was buying it on behalf of the coffin maker.

The coffin maker smiled in a twisted way, took his coffin and returned it to his shop.

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