A girl walks home alone at night: meeting the devil

A deserted neighborhood, a lonely road, a single faintly flickering lamp post casting a weak light. A girl walks home alone at night. Shadows pool in, surrounding her, engulfing her. Nothing occupies her thoughts except her lover’s face, the smile that comes freely to his big watery eyes and his full sensual lips. Half a mile to reach their nest of love. She can feel his phantom touch, his phantom soft kisses, and hear his keen phantom voice asking how her day had been. Her face brightens. If you get close enough you can see a bright aureole emanating from her. She is pure. She is irresistible.

Hands of iron grab her, they reach for her innocence. She is pinned down. The paunchy men face her, their faces twisted in lust, their lascivious mouths drooling. The take their time to tear her clothes into shreds, in awe of their own vile nature all the while. She is slapped around, gagged, beaten, throttled and suffocated. Then they take turns in removing her soul piece by piece. She never gives in; she never tries to plead, not for a moment. She directs her eyes at the heavens in rage; she mumbles a prayer to her God. Her God doesn’t answer.

The men are busy at it, crying in ecstasy, giggling maniacally. With eyes welled with tears she rakes the soil with her bare hands in unfathomable rage, helpless, in agony, yet exhausted. Tears have now obscured her vision and the pain has dulled most of her motor functions. Yet she hears; she is aware.

Earth splits before her, a shock wave of sound and color penetrates her, for a moment, and then it’s gone in a flash. The men carry on their obscene ritual as if nothing extraordinary had come to pass. She slowly raises head and sees the devil: her pain subsides like the tides.

“My child, are you in distress?” the devil questions.

She rolls her teary eyes but manages a smile.

“Who are you?”

“I’m death my child”, the devil drawls, “I’ve come to end your pain, let go child. Nothing ever came of hanging on to a lost cause”.

“Is this to be my death then, and this is how I leave this world?” she replies.

“Do you think I give a choice?” death keens.

“God doesn’t want me to die, he is here with me” she tells.

“God isn’t here my child; he’s waning like the moon, Middle-East has weakened him beyond salvation. And to think that the one who is meant to offer salvation is incapable of saving himself……” death jokes.

The girl says: “Am I to die now, can you not use your hellish powers on these puny humans who are despoiling me and let me walk free?”

Death replies: “ I could, but would that thrill me? I doubt it. Cruelty is my trade child. You see these men who are inside you, they too thrive on cruelty. It’s almost done. Give in. In appreciation of your daring humor even at the face of death itself, I shall do you the courtesy of granting you safe passage”

The girl: “Oh please, safe passage? I was attacked less than half a mile from home. If I’m not safe to walk a deserted street unmolested, how safe would the passage to hell be with you, tell me oh master deceiver? Take your mercy and your pity and be gone”.

The devil is enraged. In a swirl of dark smoke, the bowels of the earth swallow him. He is gone. The girl is still being penetrated nevertheless with slackened speed. Perhaps the men are exhausted. Several more minutes pass which feels like a lifetime to her. Then it’s done. A craw bar hits her squarely on her temple with ferocious will. A blinding light erupts. She is conscious and yet unconscious. Images prance through her mind: her childhood: her mother lulling her to a sweet slumber, her parents waving at her, her first day at school; her teenage years: the very first time she kissed a boy, laughing in the sun with her mates; her early youth: the day she bought a pair of trousers for her father and a blouse for mother with her first salary, the day she met the love her life, the images soar. The moment passes, she exhales, all blissful oblivion. If you look at her face you could see a single tear is about to escape her peaceful blood-soaked face. Now the tear stretches and rolls, it travels the length of her left cheek and joins the multitude of soil particles that reach ever eagerly to embrace its warmth.

The men walk away………to face another day.

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Nandun Dissanayake

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