“It’s strange,” he thought, “That she should feel so much guilt for such a minor misdemeanor.” The people she should have hurt, felt none, cause they did not know of it, the woman she had sinned against, was someone she did not know off, till the deed was done, and the one she apparently sinned with, could not care less. He could see her through the mist of the rain across in the café; her eyes still betrayed confusion and pain.
Sin, confession and truth…..he wondered watching the women, what it was all about? The Ten Commandments, the seven deadly sins - all now quite defunct, aside from the strange guilt she felt.
Thou shalt not do many a things…..like though shalt not use patriotism as a refuge for buying the dirty bomb! Now that constituted good old sin, dark and rampant, even Faustus would not hold near such depravity. And he laughed aloud, people on the street stared, many felt a shiver down their spines.
It was strange how the World leader, Tin pot dictator and the Terrorist, were equally chest thumping in their declaration of Nationalism. “To keep our people safe,’ each one of them said. Oh yeah, bump of people, finish off a part of the earth, to keep your nation safe, and of course the contamination of the regions. But he had work to do…..in his briefcase he carried that little job that would change destiny….
“Where has the earth come from, who knows that,
What shall happen when it goes, no one knows that either”
Misinterpreted lines from the Rig Veda…..strange words to go through one’s head.
The rain was heavier, possibly the last great refreshing rain that the earth would ever know. The smell of fresh grass in the urban landscape left him with a nostalgia he could not afford. The postmortem of time, the actuality of everything changing in a few minutes from now, like a birth and then a quick death. For him there were no forty virgins, just an ancient prophecy that he had to fulfill in one way or the other.
Would the angels arrive or Kalki descent, or will the air become too tainted for anyone to arrive too offer redemption.
Moving inside the café, he ordered what would be the last cup of non-contaminated coffee. Grinning he shook his head thinking, “Enough power to unseal the seven seals of Revelation! Unleash the Gochihr comet!”
“You are mixing up religions,” the voice suddenly piped up next to him. “The end of the earth will be much simpler, we will all have enough and then simply die off!”
She had heard! Strange, the words were never said aloud, and how could she read his mind, “How do you know, what I was thinking about?” he asked. She was startled, the guilt still overwhelming her. “Did I say something?”
“Yes you did, about me mixing up religions,” he replied, with as much ease as he could. Warily she looked at him, whispering, “ I kind of thought you said Book of Revelation and the Gochihr comet together, one Christian, the other Zoroastrian….both about the end of the earth. I was not talking to you, just responding to the words.”
How could she read his mind, the Mephistophelian rage? He almost had the man on the cross, exchange his life for a better one and give up redemption. And had even helped spill enough blood on battlefields to call it righteousness. How could this dumpy, housewifely thing, so guilty about her aborted affair, hear the thoughts?
“Do we know each other?” he asked, normally a pick up line, this time it was genuine….had they met.
For a minute, she looked confused, and then she said rather meekly, “We have met haven’t we?” Had they? Everyone on the point of breaking a social rule and justifying had met him, at least for split second. Seen them all, right from the adulteress, to the person who decided to drop the bomb in Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. “Perhaps we have,” he acknowledged.
Then he saw the intense look in her eyes. Never liked intense women, turned him off, yet this one could read his mind. He nonchalantly asked, “So you read about religion and such like?” She shook her head, “Nope, it bores me, I used to, but now have collective fragmented Googled knowledge.” Then she took a deep, slightly frightened breath, “But it seems that you are concerned with the end of the earth.”
Fire and brimstone, he could cast her down now, this café and the earth, he did not even need the damn bomb he was carrying. Yet there were times when even Mephistopheles felt powerless. “We are all concerned with death, are we not? You know, the day we are born, we are doomed to die,” he replied as simply as he could.
She shook her head, “Death does not frighten me, life does. In this adventure, there are things that come up to change everything in one snap second.” Clicking her finger for emphasis, she added, “Like this!”
Then she stopped, why was she talking to this handsome yet strange fiendish creature with such intimacy? She had almost confessed her insane escapade to him. They had met before, somewhere and very closely.
He was unnerved; you could face the greatest heavenly warriors and yet shy away from a mousy woman. Blustering he said, “We all have our reasons to do the things we do, even the guy who waits for the end of time.”
“It’s not the need to see the end of time. Sometimes we are just not able to see eye to eye with someone who has given us the power to be what are now. An urge to rebel or even overthrow the power, and look beyond redemption. Of course, we don’t want to be ourselves,” she blabbered on irritatingly. Dear God, where was the confessor when you needed him? This one really could do with one, the priest or the psychiatrist.
He wondered for split second, has she figured who he was? Who was she?
The looking across at the now setting sun, he knew the bomb in his bag had to be detonated. The nuclear fall out would quick and devastating.
The voice next him piped up again, “You know, there is no point in trying to end the earth in a flash. It will happen on its own. Worse, it will simply decay just look around you. Pollution, radiation, facile material of mined uranium flow into village streams green house grasses, corruption, ever rising buildings….it’s happening. We don’t need the bomb to destroy us, nor the asteroid, we are doing a marvelous job on our own. Everyone one of us….”
He had to ask her, mindful of the dirty bomb in his bag, “Do you know me?”
Shaking her head, she looked at him, this time her mousiness had gone, “I don’t know you, I feel you, I sense you and sometimes I am you – as you are me. Involved in the same game of living and making some sense of existence, just as you did, in the beginning of time. We are all cast out of heaven… never ever to return.”
Looking beyond at the horizon, the words came out as they did many years back. For a minute, she saw the power and tiredness, the need to defy the truth and let the earth burn. She quietly whispered, “The seven deadly sins….” Then she left, walking out in the rain. It seemed to clean her up, wash away everything and even enter into the soul.
He to got up, the bomb untouched in his bag, there was no need to use it as everything was heading to an inglorious end. Then again, who knows, perhaps there was redemption, even for him…..only it had to wait, as doomsday still had not arrived.