Monday, August 13, 2007

Endless Days

Endless Days
© 2007 / a short fiction by ShaKri

THE WORDS OF THE PROPHET ECHOED in his serene mind. The local Fate Pundit who would sit shrinking his aching lungs had proclaimed into the pimpled teen-ridden face of what was to come. Days of grandeur and nights of galore – a pristine combination of everything that was good and holy, would be his to command. His path to glory would find him soon, Fate Pundit declared while paving a path quite unfamiliar to the young lad. Strewn with honey-bathed concubines and damsels of beauty immaculate, Fate Pundit had continued, will be the road on which the lad’s sight would settle. No height too high, no peak too weak, the old bag went on while coughing his fluids into a shapeless pan, adding to the colorful tones of a rainbow that formed on the pimpled terrain.

The screaming neighbor’s relentless canine broke what was supposed to be a never-ending journey strung together with all sorts of pleasantries. And just like that, he knew it was day break.

His limbs found life as they worked in harmony to get him ready for the day. The words of Fate Pundit continued to echo inside him long after the aging spirit’s silhouette had vanished in a whirlpool of mixed emotions. Even as he splashed the ice cold water onto his warm face, the missing pimples reminded him of a timeline that had brought him so far. He looked at himself in the mercury framed on the wall and no longer wondered.

He no longer wandered.

Accompanied with a plethora of blessings he left his flaky-walled edifice. Stuck in between two other sorry looking peers, was this miserable excuse for a dwelling that he had acquired several moons ago. Soaked in disrepair and seeped in noises, it boasted of quite a diverse population. Leaking aqua-ducts and dying fire lights had done little to hinder the silk route that had been handed to him. A rare beam of overwhelming confidence graced his being as he took one well placed step after another. The smile that embraced and cradled his soul was a mere reflection of what he had known all along. He knew – he just knew – that nothing would stop from finding that nest of success he had worked so hard to achieve. For a lad barely out of his sexually curious years, he sure was going to find more reasons to make his kin proud. Those velvet-glazed nights of tears and fears that originated from his roots were now going to be cared for. The job at hand would find success as would everything else it was connected to.

He waited patiently at the usual bus stop with his briefcase. Polished with the best available shoe companion and adorned with the finest double-breasted suit on the market, he was quite the image of a perfect gentleman. His looks were what would bring him bliss, he was certain. It was all about making an impression, he was told.

Like a necklace sown together with different flowers, stood with him a flock from various corners. Eager beavers like him, working class folk with chatter for the road, whiny mothers with whinier children reluctant to be school-bound, necking couples who probably had a disorganized date ahead of them, studious young blood that buried its faces in Calculus and Discrete Mathematics as it seemed convinced it was all about what the pages proclaimed.

Yes. He saw them and all and smiled to himself at how similar they all looked. People with a purpose. People with a destination.

The state run public transport squeaked to a lazy halt during the next five minutes. The wanderers with a goal huddled behind one another in the hope of bagging a seat. He was seventh in line, he calculated, and smiled again – seven was his lucky number. He had arrived in the city on the seventh day of the seventh month of the twenty seventh year of his life. He had acquired a residence on the seventh floor that overlooked the seventh main road. He had seven pairs of underwear and the locker combination for his briefcase was 777. The day was the seventh of July and the time in his watch said 7:16AM.

Yes – this was definitely the day he had been waiting for. His attempts at impressions and attentions would finally find the much coveted reward that was so rightfully his. He had to be at the interviewer’s beeline at eight, so he had plenty of time.

Once the doors hissed their way open the curious line began it’s ascend. One after another, they shelled out currency and seated themselves in places they found by instinct. He let the elderly lady in front of him choose her seat and he settled down next to her. Her aging skin had reminded him of Fate Pundit and hence his decision to spend some time with the woman.

They exchanged quick smiles of courtesy and the bus moved on. Whistling past a yawning city it made its way to the City Center. He adjusted his silk tie that had a well-checkered design and propped his hair right once again.

‘Big day?’ asked the woman next to him noticing his care for the looks.

‘Yes. The biggest, in fact,’ he responded as the bus made its second stop.

More people, more reading, more chatting, more smiling, more laughing and definitely more goals. He continued to observe the ant hill of activity that was taking place on the ride. Self-absorbed and monotonous individuals with a reason to find the end of the day. They knew what they were up for. They were aware of what their day would look like. They were intensely at work with what they thought would bring them joy. Yes. They knew it all.

What they did not know, however, was what was going on with one of their co-passengers. A neatly dressed man ready for an interview of a lifetime. An eight o’ clock appointment that could not be missed. A year long preparation that would find fruit on this auspicious day. A world of endless beginnings would find only one common fate. What they were clueless about was the seven kilograms of the finest explosives that slept peacefully inside the case that was locked with a key marked seven-seven-seven. What they did not realize was that at exactly seven-forty-nine, just outside the bustling City Center, the prim looking man would bow his head down for a few seconds in silent recollection of the Fate Pundit and roll up the wheels on his fate folder to seven-seven-seven. What they sat oblivious of was the fact that in the following heartbeat, the bus, the passengers, the street, the neighborhood, the shops, the bystanders, the sidewalk, the street signs and the road will be strewn with mayhem and death. What they did not figure out was that their day, as they knew it, would never end.

‘It has been a pleasure being with you. Please wish me luck,’ he said to the aging soul who sat looking at the passing streets like an interesting painting of her life.

‘Certainly dear,’ she said as she kissed his forehead. ‘I wish you the best with everything you have planned for yourself. May the Almighty bless you with all that is holy and good.’ He acknowledged it with an affectionate smile as he proceeded to bow for a quick prayer.

The children had gathered for their morning breakfast at the school near the City Center when the clock tower struck seven-forty-nine. This day would never find its end.


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