From Afar Watching Closely

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***

March 6, 2020

A long silence followed. Silence. The not so deadly silence.

It was a full moon outside, patiently watching for the clouds to pass.

Clack.Clack. Clack.

His footsteps echoed across the broken hallway ahead of him. He could hear the rustle of the Jamun tree-leaves outside the balcony to his left. Moonlight flickered on its top.

Plickk.Another lazy drop of water or sewage fell on one of the plastic bottles dumped in the corner, to his right.

Clack. Clack. Clack. Plickk.Clack.

He stopped. The hallway would open into an open space 10 meters ahead. But his eye caught movement on the upper floor to his right. A hole in the broken roof and wall encasing the moon.

The moon, he smiled. In the sky above us. By itself.All by itself.

The cool light of the moon, he thought. Nonetheless, it still is light. And just like any other light it brings out the darkness, the shadows, out of everyone. Out of everything. Dead or alive.

Cruel, he thought and sighed.

Plickk.

Right on time. He smiled.

Darkness. How much is there in us, all of us? he wondered.

Clack. He turned right and immediately stepped into the moonlight. His darkness raced across the floor and firmly planted itself on the wall. To his right.

“There you are, my silent companion.” he thought, looking at his eerily thin and slanting shadow.

They’re no different, he thought,eying the side of rubble of bricks and its puddle of shadow. “All you need is more light,” he said, taking out his smartphone.

He flicked the flashlight at the bricks. Darkness rose from the depths of the puddle, immediately engulfing his shadow.

“Are you in there?” he asked out loud, looking at the mighty shadow.

“My darkness?” he whispered.

Plickk.

He sighed and smiled.


Death watched him from afar.


***

May 7, 2017 Sunday

How should he do it?

Should he kill him? Threaten him? Bribe him?

Bribe?! He shouted, scolding his conscience. I will not break my code!

“What code?” he scoffed, surprised at how angry he was at the principles and morals that chained him. Are they morals, or just his own beliefs that he wants to believe? What was his justification for those morals again? God? Word of god?

Or the guy who said he has the word of God, and everyone believed his word. Why did he believe it anyway? Because it is the truth? Is that so?

Argh! He shouted in his head, now afraid of damnation at what he had thought, and which no one else could know. No one but God, he thought. He quickly prayed. His conscience trembling.

But the university test…

His smart daughter had worked hard. She had aced all the other tests. She couldn’t have failed this one.

Could she have done it because of that guy? The guy her father was rejecting? No. No! he told himself firmly. She was smart and practical, and he had brought her up well. He had, he repeated to his conscience.

“Sir, what happened?” someone whispered to his left ear. A man, tall and thin, was clumsily standing beside him with a knowing look. “Paper problem sir?” he rephrased his question. “It’s hot, let’s talk there” he said, pointing towards the shade under the Jamun tree.


From afar Death saw him as he walked into the shade.


***

March 7, 2013

“Darkness is the absence of light,” the teacher explained again patiently.

“But your shadow. I can see your shadow,” the boy pressed. “Why do you have a shadow when there is light everywhere in the room?” he continued.

“Shadow occurs when you stand in the way of light,” the teacher explained. “If you completely block its path, the shadow is dark. If you do it partially, the shadow becomes lighter” he stopped to let it sink in before continuing.

The student nodded, and looked out the window. A breeze rustled the leaves of the newJamun tree.


How will they meet me, I wonder?

Having lived their lives on the scattered crumbs of beliefs. Unreflected. Lacking Philosophy.

Death chuckled, before welcoming his two close friends to his table.

“Belief. Philosophy.” he said, tipping his hat to each.

“Death” they replied and smiled.


***

Genre Philosophy, Story 2