Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Fall

He had been dead before, and he was dead now. He had been dead before he had jumped and yes, he was definitely dead now. Children around him had grown up attempting to understand everything their lives had to offer; the security of a family, the love of a sibling, the innocence of youth and every other emotion that colored their lives. His eyes had never felt colors, or beauty, and so his heart had accepted darkness as a part of life. And death was the only thing he had ever truly understood about life. It had been his mother and sisters first, raped and burned alive. Then it had been his father. That was when he had died, only that his breath hadn’t left him.
He had been too young to understand religion then. And he had never really been sure ‘which’ people had destroyed his family and with it, his life. The anger and the tears had led to loneliness. Alone, he had been incapable of everything.  But life always finds a way. His mind taught him to steal, and his mindset taught him to survive.
The meeting with the messengers had been a coincidence. They said they had a message for him, a message sent by God. They had made him remember his grief. The scene of his family’s death had always flashed in front of his eyes, but never before had it been so clear. His pain had never before been so apparent, his mind, never so obsessed. They spoke of retribution, and revenge. He had been powerless when they had been killed, but the messengers could give him power now. They spoke of the revolution, and sacrifice. He had been chosen for heaven by God himself, but before that, he had a final duty to perform. He had to avenge his family’s death. ’They’ had to be killed. His mind was a blank slate, and the messengers left no stone unturned to fill it with a deadly vengeance.
The training was grilling, but it gave him a reason to breathe, a reason to be. He was explained his final duty. The bomb would explode on sudden impact with the ground, they told him. His means of revenge, and of reaching heaven was strapped around his body.  For the first time in his life, he anticipated something. Revenge was sweet.

There was never a dearth of visitors in the valley. The orange of the sun filled the sky as the vibrancy of life filled the air. The hills separated the valley from the waters on the other side. Everything from the setting exuded tranquility. Except for the man on top of the hills, bound by revenge. He felt the soft rubber across his chest, his key to freedom. All that was left to do now was to jump. The young child in the valley looked up at him for an instant, and then went back to playing with his car. It was then that he jumped. The hills were high, and gravity just didn’t seem fast enough. It was as if he was gliding through the air, reaching his final destination. And he was happy, because he knew he had done the right thing. He closed his eyes just before the final impact and smiled his first smile in a long time, and his last.
The young child was completely engrossed with his red car. The cold air from the mountains blew across his young face, and there wasn’t a care in the world. He looked up at the sudden noise of splashing waters that vibrated through the air. His brain was too young to comprehend that a man had just fallen into the lake beyond the hills, or even that his innocent smile to a stranger on the hilltop had changed the fate of many around him, or that his innocent look had made someone realize that this was not the enemy he was seeking, neither was this the conclusion he had ever anticipated. The sudden noise was forgotten. His wonderful red car was so much more important.