The Sacred Grove of Oshogbo was one place I had been looking forward to visiting in Nigeria. As prevalent as indigenous religions still are in West Africa, it is often hard to find public expressions of them in towns and cities; the Christianity brought by European slavers and colonialists has taken root and pushed most of these religions out of mainstream life. But in the Sacred Grove shrines honor all the local deities, including Obatala, the god of creation, Ogun, the god of iron, and Oshun, the goddess of water, whose aqueous essence is made manifest by the river running through the trees. The place is unique in the Yoruba religion, and that intrigued me.
Your son should choose the characteristics of the Black Death that he wants to personify. Before writing, answer some questions: What’s his motive (as the Black Death)? How does he feel about the “work” he is doing? Does he have a visible form or is he invisible? If visible, how do humans see him? Try to keep the personification consistent throughout. Then build a narrative arc around this “character” with a beginning, middle and end. Perhaps tell the story of visiting on a particular family. What does he learn from the experience? What is the point (thesis)?