Sunday, September 23, 2012

Good and Evil: The Barren Land

Good and Evil
Part 2: The Barren Land

The seal to the prison had been broken, and the fallen angels in slumber had awoken. They both looked at each other in confusion as their chains melted away and their prison disappeared around them. They found themselves in a freshly dug hole and were greeted with two dead bodies, one of them still twitching.

“Is it time?” The taller one asked.

“Doesn't seem like it.” The relatively shorter one answered while looking around. Harut and Marut had been condemned to sleep in their underground prison till the Day of Judgment. Their sin, disobeying God. Their motivation, love of a human woman.

“This does not look like the Day of Judgment. It appears we are in the middle of nowhere.” Harut checked his hands and feet, the chains had disappeared without leaving a mark.
 “Doesn’t appear to be Babylon either; their buildings are similar to the nation of Aad.” Marut could always see over great distances, he could see two towns nearby.

“Have we been forgiven?” Harut was still confused.

“Our wings would be back if that were the case, we are still trapped in these mortal bodies.” Marut could not hide the disappointment in his voice. The human bodies could only hold so much of the angels' powers, and without wings, they were just a fraction of their true selves.

“If God did not forgive us, then how are we out of the prison?” It seemed as if Harut was about to ask many questions, but he was interrupted by the sound of a pickup truck stopping nearby. The angels had been to many worlds, and had witnessed many technologically advanced civilizations. They had seen similar travelling devices before, so the vehicle did not surprise them; however, the woman who stepped out of it did.

“Zora!” Both of them could not believe their eyes. This was the woman. Before meeting her, they taught magic to the people of Babylon during the day, and ascended to the heavens during the night.

“Shouldn’t you be in heaven right now?” Marut asked with a hint of sarcasm.

“You haven’t aged a bit.” Harut still had the hearts for her, even after all the years of punishment.
“We need a more private place to talk.” Zora was as cold as ever.
“There is no place where He can’t hear us.” Marut hissed, his eyes shooting daggers at the woman he once loved.
“Oh, but we can always try.” She snapped her fingers, and with that the two fallen angels felt their bodies disintegrate. The experience was more painful than anything either one of them had felt before. They wanted to scream in agony, but had to wait till their bodies came back together, this time in a barren waste, most probably on another planet far away from Earth.

“Before the two you start speaking, let me fill you in on the details.” Harut and Marut were still recovering from the painful journey, but Zora wanted to make sure she dominated the conversation.
“The words you taught me. The words that were supposed to give me the ability to fly to heaven, those words failed. I spoke them, and I found myself here, on this barren land. I spoke them again, and I was back in Babylon. I do not age since then, and nothing can kill me, so I guess I have to thank you for that. But I have to ask you, why did you betray me? I mean you drank the wine, and you killed a man for me. You even worshipped an idol just to make me happy. But you didn’t teach me the right words, why is that?”

Marut was about to say something when she interrupted again. “It doesn’t matter now. What matters is that I was finally able to free the two you. And now you will help me go to heaven. Not by doing good deeds. Not by dying a pious woman. You will help me go to heaven alive, in my physical form.”
“Let me guess. The two dead bodies on top of our prison were your doing.” Marut sounded disappointed and resentful at the same time. 

“You figured out a way to break the seal.” Harut was elated.
“Do not allow yourself to be fooled by this woman, brother.” Marut warned Harut. “She hurt us once, she will hurt us again.”
“Not if you help me go to heaven.” Zora smiled. The same smile had made the angels forget about their calling, and had set them on a path of sin and disobedience. 

“Why are you so obsessed with heaven? Why do you not try to go there like a normal person?”
“You mean by asking for God’s forgiveness? By committing good deeds? By being kind to my fellow humans?” Zora could not hide her skepticism. “If you haven’t noticed, the punishment for my sins is immortality. While the two of you slumbered, I have seen all my loved ones age, and wither, and die, right before my very eyes. I have seen humanity destroyed by great floods. I have seen the destruction and rebirth of civilization. I have seen the rise and fall of empires. I have seen it all, and I am bored. Just like I was in the ancient times.”

“We will not be your entertainment this time around.” Marut said in a firm voice. Harut seemed confused and double minded, but he kept quiet.

“Then you will rot here until you change your mind. The horrors of this place will make you yearn for your prison.” With that, she snapped her fingers and disappeared into thin air.
“What did she mean ‘the horrors of this place’?” Harut asked Marut. The two angels looked around but there was nothing and no one on the barren land. Even with his supernatural sight, Marut could not see any living being on the planet. 

“Let us explore this land, and let us pray for God’s forgiveness. That is our only option.” Marut sighed as the fallen angels got down on their knees and looked to the sky.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Good and Evil

Part 1: The Awakening

 “Keep walking!” The cold voice sent chills up his spine.

It was most likely that this voice would be the last he would ever hear. It was a cold starry night, and there was no one within miles but Peter and Victor. The only sign of civilization was the road where Peter’s pickup had been stopped. Victor had been on his trail for a while, and had finally been able to overtake him, block his path, and point a shotgun at him. Peter had pretty much done whatever he was told since then, “do as the man with the gun says” he had told himself repeatedly during the long walk away from the road into the wilderness.

Victor was walking behind him with his gun constantly pointed at the back of his head. He was also making Peter carry a shovel. They walked for about 30 minutes before Victor started talking, “Did you think you could get away with it?”

“Get away with what?” Peter’s voice was shaky.

“With what you said in the shop, asshole” Peter could not see Victor’s face but he was sure he made a sour expression, and spat shortly after he said asshole.

“I apologize if I have offended you, but please let me go, I have a family.” Usually, Peter was a proud man, but these were not usual circumstances.

“Keep walking!” The cold voice sent chills up his spine.

“Think, think.” He tried to force his mind out of its sorry, frightened state. His brain decided to start from the morning. He had awoken early, had his morning coffee, kissed his wife goodbye and left the house, nothing out of the ordinary.

The odd thing about that day was that his boss wanted him to go to the adjacent town to pick up a delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables. For some insane reason, the truckers charged way too much to drive all the way to Peter’s town. It was cheaper to go out there and collect the shipment, and drive it all the way back to his town in his pickup.

While he was in the market, he decided to get a haircut. Victor’s hair saloon was the nearest he knew, so he went there. He still couldn’t think of what the hell it was he said to Victor to piss him off. The guy had done nothing when he was in town, but had chased him down and was making him walk to the middle of nowhere, most probably to kill him.

“Could you at least tell me what I said?” For some reason, most probably because his brain had gone into overdrive, he forgot the gravity of the situation and spoke in a loud frustrated voice.

“Stop!” Victor ordered and Peter did exactly that.

“Start digging,” Seeing that he had no other choice, Peter started digging.

“I am sorry, I apologize, I take back whatever it was I said” Peter was too scared to notice, but tears had started running down his cheeks. He did not want to die, he had too much to live for, and he most certainly didn’t want to die at the hands of some maniac, without knowing why. He decided to ask again.

“What did I say to you? Why are you doing this?” His voice was shaky again, this time due to the fact that he was crying while speaking.

“You look down on us all, just because you’re from a bigger town doesn’t mean you can look down on us. Very soon, I will be looking down on you.” Victor hadn’t bothered to answer Peter’s question yet, and it looked like he wasn’t about to start.

Peter kept digging, he was used to manual labor but for some reason his hands were full of blisters. The hole he was digging was now big enough to be a shallow grave. He usually loved silence, but this silence was getting to him. He knew he had to do something quickly or his end was inevitable.

“There is something here,” His shovel hit something metallic, and made that noise when metal strikes metal.

“Keep digging!” Victor wasn’t at all curios about what it could be, in the middle of nowhere, exactly at the random spot he had picked to be Peter’s grave.

Peter struck the ground again, and the sound of metal striking metal was much louder now. He looked at Victor, and this time Victor did not have to bark an order at him. He struck the ground again, and there it was, that sound again. Only this time he dropped the shovel as a result of the impact.

When he bent down to pick it up, he finally saw the object. It was a partially exposed metal surface with strange carvings on it. Maybe those were random designs, maybe some foreign language, Peter neither knew nor cared. What he cared about was Victor’s gun touching the back of his head.

Victor had come really close, and was standing just a foot away from him, just at the edge of the hole, so he could touch Peter’s head with his gun, and remind him of who was in charge of the situation.

Peter picked up the shovel again. As he got back up something strange happened. The carvings on the metal surface seemed to glow. In one final attempt to save his life he whirled and smashed his shovel as hard as he could where he thought Victor’s head would be.

The sound of the shovel cracking open Victor’s head like a water melon was not as loud as that of his shotgun going off. The side of Peter’s head was blown right off, he first dropped to his knees and then to the side, the blood from his wound filling in all the markings carved into the partially exposed metal surface.

Victor was on the ground, twitching uncontrollably until he too fell in the shallow grave. His death was not as quick as Peter’s, but the shovel to the head did its job.

As their blood mixed together to form a thin layer on top of the metal surface, something woke underneath. After thousands of years of forced slumber in the middle of nowhere, the prophecy had come true. Only fresh blood of a victim and perpetrator, mixed together from their fresh corpses, could break the ancient seal, and it did. 

Some may call it destiny, some coincidence, but the seal had been broken and the two fallen angels, who had dared teach magic to earthlings, were now free.