A tlsplacer and friend, Ayomidotun Fadeyi (one of the previous Write Right judges, as well as designing that bad ass Burden of Proof cover and the #ChildNotBride logo that went viral) has been nominated for a well deserved Best Young Entrepreneur in Branding and Design in the Unveiled Young Entrepreneur Awards. I endorse him because he truly deserves to win. Vote for him here http://unveiledprojectng.wordpress.com/votingpage/
Another tlsplacer is in a pageant and needs your support to win. Like her page on fb here. That’s how you vote for her. https://m.facebook.com/pages/Nigerias-Centenary-Pageant/332276626903551?id=332276626903551&_rdr
As promised, here’s an excerpt from Guardians of the Seals, the novel I’m working on. It will change everything. Next Monday, I’ll post a Baba Risi’s Court where I’ll reveal some interesting stuff. Keep reading tlspalce.
Jacob woke up, with a slight start. He just suddenly felt that he was not alone. He got up from his sleeping skin and scanned the room in the darkness, before shedding his cloak. In his undergarments, he moved silently to the door. When he got there, he was startled. Out in the open, under the moonlight, stood an unarmed man. He wasn’t trying to hide or conceal himself. He stood there, as if he had been waiting for Jacob to come out for long. Strangely enough, the man looked familiar, like someone he had seen before, but he was unable to see the face as clearly as he would have liked to. From the way things looked, he had no choice but to come outside and confront the man. He could not afford to look afraid in any way. He quickly sized the man up. They were both unarmed so they were even on that. He was well built and was wearing nothing but a loincloth, showing off a barrel chest and arms that fit the proportions and strength of his chest. His feet were a bit apart, as if planted into the ground for solidity. From his general demeanor and stance, Jacob guessed that this man was a skilled fighter. He stepped out and a gust of wind hit him from the left, sending a chill through his bare skin. He approached cautiously, one step after the other, half expecting the man to make a move for him with each step. Beads of sweat formed along his brow. He steeled his nerves and while still out of arm’s length, he called out in as manly a voice as he could put on “who are you and how may I help you?” The man did not respond to his question, but rather just stood there, looking at him as if to say “come and make me go away if you dare.”
Unexplainably, Jacob felt all the pent up tension inside him let lose into a rage that caused him to fly at the man to knock him down. But the man stood, solid as a rock to Jacob’s assault. They locked arms and stayed this way for a couple of minutes, each trying to push the other backwards, each trying to get the other to give ground. But whatever ground any of the two men gained wrestling was momentary, for even as it was made, the other would push harder and they would return to the original position. They seemed to match each other, move for move, shove for shove and thrust for thrust. And so, they went on for hours, oblivious to the passing of the time from thick of the night into the first lights of day, till both men were covered in sweat in spite of the cool breeze rising from the Jabbok. As the day began to break, the man made one final push to fell Jacob. Jacob lost his balance and would have fallen, had he not deftly twisted and used the very arm that was used to push him to regain his footing. Now, it was bright enough for Jacob to make out the features of the man he was wrestling. And his discovery startled him. For the face he looked into as he peered at the man was his own; line for line, furrow for furrow, and hair strand for hair strand.
And then the man reached out to touch his thigh where it joined with his hip. Jacob felt a searing pain shoot through his body, hitting his brain with such force that it nearly sent him reeling backwards. But he clung on to the man still, willing himself not to fall, knowing this was no ordinary man and needing to know who this was. The man, seeing nothing he did would cause Jacob to let go of him spoke for the first time since they started wrestling.
“Let me go no, for it is daybreak.” His voice was an exact replica of his own and it sounded to Jacob as if he was talking to himself. Jacob responded “I will not let you go, who are you? From where did you come? A mere touch from you just put me in serious pain. Why did you then wrestle me for so long if you could so easily dispose of me?”
“I cannot answer so many questions at once. If I were in your place, I would let me go before daylight fully breaks. No man sees me fully revealed and lives.”
“Then what might I receive from you before I let you go, for I perceive you are no ordinary man. I will not let you go until you bless me.”
“You ask for a blessing like it is a thing to be given away in such a prosaic manner. If I indeed had a blessing, why would I bless you?” the man chided.
“I know the value of a blessing. My father’s blessing has brought me this far, a single blessing. Now bless me, because I will never let you go, unless you bless me,” Jacob insisted, tightening his grip on the man.
“What do people call you?” asked the man.
“Jacob,” he responded.
“So you have been called a supplanter all of your life. You are what you are called. My authority is above that of the one who named you a Jacob. Henceforth, you shall be called Israel, because tonight, you have prevailed with man and God.”
Jacob fell to his knees and held on to the feet of the man that had tacitly revealed to him his identity as God and wept. As he wept, he felt the tension and rage he had felt ease out of his body as the sweat had eased out of his pores when they wrestled. Somehow, he knew it would be alright. When there was no one else, God had come. Then the man lifted him up. As Jacob stood, he saw the man holding something in his right hand.
“Do you recall Bethel?” the man asked.
Jacob nodded his head in affirmation. “The place where you first spoke to me years ago, and where I made a vow to you”, he replied. The man smiled for the first time. “Now I have been with you all this time, watching you grow and increase. There is much you are yet to know. However, you received the first piece of this puzzle in Bethel. Now you will receive the second half. Not since the creation of this world has a man held this power in his hands. You recall that the angels came down to you straight from heaven on that day?” Again, Jacob nodded to mean a yes.
The man continued “The stone that was your pillow that night is the keystone, the baetylus of that portal into heaven. It was the same keystone that was used in Eden of the East when God came down to Adam in the cool of the evening. The seal has always been hidden in heaven. Now, the time has come to put the fate of man in man’s hand.”
With this, he handed what he was holding to Jacob. It was four different objects, each the length and thickness of his index finger, the color of clear water, you could almost see through them. When you looked at them, they looked like they were flowing water, solidified.
The man explained “In Eden of the East, was a river that divided into four; Gihon, Pishon, Euphrates and Tigris. The keystone was located at the point at which the single river divided into four. Each of the seals given to you represents one of these four rivers. When the seals are combined by naming each of the rivers and putting them together, they form one seal, the original river. When this seal is put into the keystone the way the original river flowed over it, the portal will be open, and you will be able to come into heaven. If Adam had waited, this would have been his today. But now this power is in your hands. Use it wisely, for you have access to the place where I am anytime you desire. You will meet people who have passed away before you. Your eyes will see things they didn’t know exist in this world, as they have never seen. Your ears will hear as you have never heard. You will have power over beings that have lived through eternities and whose powers span eons.”
Jacob looked the objects in his hands over. He felt the same sensation of an injection of external life into him that he had felt when he held the keystone. He relished the experience with nostalgia.
The man continued “You must realize being a Guardian of the Seals is a dangerous task. Lucifer and his minions, the enemies of your race from the very beginning seek to possess this power and wipe you out. They are here in your realm, with venom to last an eternity. Tread cautiously and wield your power with restraint. The purpose of the power is to preserve your line until the fullness of time when the Seed of the Woman will come from that line. Then, your adversary will meet his final doom, and you will have the ultimate freedom. Until then, keep this as a closely guarded secret, safe from the rest of the world.”
Then the man held his hand and moved it to his chest. As his hand touched the chest, a burst of light wrapped him and the felt himself fuse with a life that was higher than his. When the light faded away, he was alone and the four seals were no longer in his hand. In their place, four distinct tattoos had formed on his chest, each representing one of the seals he had held. He knew he must be at the head of his entourage to meet Esau. He also would need to pay a visit to Bethel to retrieve the baetylus too. There was so much to do and the time so short. He hurried into his tent and packed the few things he put together. It was a dejavu moment for him. It felt exactly like it did that day when he left home.
Follow @tundeleye on twitter for updates on Guardians of the Seals.