Hello readers, this is the compilation of my short story tweets on #noLight showcased on the Twitter Fiction Festival last week for those who couldn’t follow my live tweets. Enjoy, comment and share!
In the beginning, there was light and the inhabitants lived happily.
Then, darkness descended on the region. And the darkness was very great
And gross darkness was upon the landscape; and mosquitoes hovered over the bodies of the inhabitants.
And with the darkness came heat; and lo, the heat was very great, for the people drowned in their sweat.
And they grumbled saying, why is there no light for we have paid our dues to the king.
Now, the matter was brought before the king. And the king decreed, let there be light. Then the generator coughed and sputtered and died.
Wherefore it was told the king, The generator dost not work, for its engines have waxed sore & the pistons have become old.
Then the region sank into deeper darkness. And the king became worried, for the kingdom had no light.
And the advisors of the king said unto him, Let us seek out men of expert opinion who have knowledge of light to research this problem.
And the king saw that this idea was good. Then a committee was formed of various men and women; people who had knowledge of light & how it worked.
And the committee was given ninety days to find solution to the problem of light. And they were furnished with plenty of meat and drink.
And they were charged thus, Behold, the eyes of the people are upon you. Hasten to find us a solution to the problem of light in this kingdom
…That ours may be a kingdom whose light shineth from afar off and can be seen from the heavens.
Then the committee went straight to action poring over countless journals published by accomplished light scientists of time past.
They also asked questions & sought opinions of scientists from other kingdoms.
And the king was pleased with the progress that had been made.
After many days, the king’s advisors came to him saying, It is not good that we keep our efforts to ourselves
… Let us therefore make known to the people all we have been doing about this great darkness, lest they become angry & rise up against thee
Then the king inquired of his servants, Who shall we choose to tell the people of our efforts?
And they replied, There lives in our kingdom a certain storyteller, whose fame is known far & wide; and whose reports the people believe in
And the king sent for the storyteller and said unto him, You shall tell the people of our efforts, that they may not be without information
Then the storyteller bowed before the king saying, O king, I am humbled by this appointment, for I am not worthy of such great task
But the king assured him saying, Fear not, for you shall be given all that you need to accomplish this task.
And the storyteller began to tell stories of the king’s efforts at restoring light from that day on.
At the time the storyteller was invited into the king’s presence, the kingdom had been without light for sixty days.
And the people grew restless for they could not refrigerate their food neither could they watch television.
After the time allotted to the committee elapsed, they presented a report of all their findings to the king
And the leader of the committee rose up & said, O king, after reading numerous books & asking diverse questions, we have found a solution
Then the king said unto him, Tell us speedily that which you have found.
For we have waited too long And the committee leader answered saying, this darkness is the work of saboteurs whom we do not know, for they have infiltrated our kingdom
…These saboteurs, my king, have destroyed the cables carrying electricity to our kingdom & blocked the supply of water to the power plant
Then the king replied, This situation is very grave indeed. What should we do that we may overcome these obstacles?
And the committee leader replied, Let guards be posted at the power plants and along cable routes to prevent the saboteurs from vandalizing
…Then let engineers come together to repair the generator and broken cables. Moreover, send men to the river to remove the blockade
…So shall we have light and the light of our kingdom shall shine to other kingdoms and shall be visible from the skies
And the king, with his advisers was pleased with the suggestion and he sanctioned it.
Now, the storyteller was there to write down all that had taken place and to publish it for the reading of all the people
Then the king addressed the people saying, This darkness is the work of saboteurs dwelling amongst us.
…But we shall find them out and make an utter end of their activities. And the people cried with one voice, Away with the saboteurs!
But the king quieted them, saying, Verily, unless we exercise patience and allow our guards do their work, we shall not catch the saboteurs
On the morrow, the king’s bodyguard came and told the king, We have word on the saboteurs, for they are the sojourners who dwell among us
…But we cannot arrest them for they hide among the people. And the king sent for the storyteller saying, the saboteurs are the sojourners who dwell among our people.
…Therefore, hasten and publish this news so that our people can expose them and hand them over to the captain of the guard
Then the storyteller went to work publishing news about the saboteurs. Thus by sundown, everyone in the kingdom had heard about the saboteurs
And the people rallied together and seized every sojourner that was found within the kingdom so that none escaped And the sojourners were taken outside the city gates and stoned to death.
Then, the people returned to their houses confident that they would have light.
And it came to pass on the first day of the month that the generator was repaired & it came back to life; and there was light in the kingdom
And the people rejoiced & were exceedingly glad for they had lost plenty food to spoilage and many had endured so great a heat
Therefore, the king ordered a feast to celebrate the arrival of light. And there was plenty to eat and drink
And the people feasted for three days, after which they returned to their daily business.
Nevertheless, the water supply to the power plant remained blocked.
But after ten days, the generator began to violently shake and make grumbling sounds.
And the light came and went. On the twelfth day, the generator ceased to work and there was darkness.
And engineers were sent to find out why the generator did not work. And they returned saying, the pistons are old and the fuel leaketh.
And the king was perplexed for the generator was just repaired
And he said to his advisers, Did we not just replace the pistons twelve days ago? And they replied, Yes we did.
And the people began to grumble against the king saying, let us stone the king and his advisors.
Now there was a certain man in the kingdom who had a beautiful daughter.
And this daughter was his only child. And it came to pass one night when there was no light, that his daughter forgot to put off the candle before she slept
And the house caught fire and burned his daughter and all his belongings. And there was nothing left.
Then the father came home and saw that his only child had been burnt to ashes, (for he had gone hunting) and he rent his clothes &wept
And his neighbours consoled him saying, It is the will of God.
But he refused to be consoled for he loved his daughter very much. And the storyteller broadcast the news of the incident.
Thus, the story was spread abroad and many people learned of the incident
And they protested in front of the palace for three days and three nights; and there was much burning of rubber and destruction of property
Then the king summoned the storyteller into the palace at night. And he said unto him, What is this that you have done?
…Knowest thou not that such a story is not good for the progress of the kingdom? See now, for thou hast caused unrest in the kingdom
And the storyteller answered saying, I was just performing my duty of informing the people. But the king would not listen to him.
And he sent him away from his presence in anger saying, You shall not publish any story which shall cause unrest in my kingdom.
Then the storyteller left the king’s presence, albeit with a troubled heart.
And it happened that as the storyteller was leaving the palace, he passed by the dwelling of the captain of the king’s guard. And he heard voices speaking in whispers.
And he drew nearer and behold it was the captain of the guard & the committee leader. And another man joined them whom the storyteller did not recognize
But they did not see the storyteller, for they were in a deep conversation. And the captain of the guard said unto the committee leader, You have done well, for the people shall bother us no longer.
Then the committee leader answered him saying, Yes my lord, they now look for saboteurs amongst themselves.
… And the storyteller maketh our work easy, for the people believe his words.
Then the captain of the guard asked, Where are the new pistons? And the man whom the storyteller knew not answered saying, Verily, the pistons have been packaged for sale to the merchants from the east.
…Moreover, guards abide at the river day and night, making sure that none removes the blockade.
Then, the captain of the guard replied, Well done faithful servant, for you shall be promoted above your peers.
After hearing these things, the storyteller was afraid and hastened to turn back towards his house, lest he be discovered.
On the morrow, the storyteller requested to speak with the king in private and he was taken into the inner court and told to await the king.
And the storyteller was in awe of the inner court for it was lit like the heavens and the atmosphere inside it was cool like no other
And as he admired the inner court, the King emerged from his inner chambers and spake to him saying,
What ails thee? And the storyteller told the king all the things he had heard the captain of the guard say in the night.
And after he had said all these things, the king answered him saying, You worry too much over many things, for these matters concern you not
…Worry not yourself for I am aware of all that you have told me. For there is nothing new under the heavens.
And lo, the storyteller was astonished, and he opened his mouth to speak but words failed him.
And the king said, Therefore, only one thing is needful; go your way and forget all about this evil business under the sun.
But the storyteller said, The people shall know the truth, for it is their right and I shall tell it to them
To which the king replied, then shall thy secret be revealed, which thou hidest for long. That handsome lad, Luke, whom thou makest love to
And, the storyteller was dumbfounded and began to tremble, for the king had spoken the truth. And he feared for his reputation
Then the king smiled and said unto him, Everyone hath secrets and thus is the reality of life. And the storyteller earnestly prostrated himself before the king saying, What would you have me do?
Then the king said unto him, Arise therefore and keep telling the people of stories of sabotage, that they might hold their peace
…For they believe thy reports. And people will run helter-skelter but they shall not find the truth. For the kingdom must thrive and men must continue to do business.
And the storyteller arose and carried his pen & paper and went away from the presence of the king.
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