Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ten seconds of eternity


A bright, sunny morning. Sound of scores of busy shoes on the cement pavement. A row of impressive high-rise buildings defining the skyline of a prosperous city. It all seemed so far away from where he stood. Soon the heat would become oppressive, and make it impossible for him to go about bare feet on the roads. He started running.

The ground beneath his bare skin was cold. So cold that the warm streaks of red almost felt good. He was tired, and spent. Every inch of his rough, dark skin glistened with beads of sweat. The world around him erupted in a roar.


Why was everybody screaming? A flicker of orange gave him the answer he was looking for. Fire! But how? No! Them! He ran, but an anonymous pair of hands would not let him go. No! He watched helplessly. From the ringside, he could do nothing but scream at their pain.

He lay still. Mixed with the din of the crowd he could make out the dull, regular beat of his heart. He knew that sound. It was the sound of blood rushing through his body, feeding it, reviving it out of slumber.


The sun shone into his dry eyes. He turned his face, and got up from his bed. A bed. A proper bed. It had been only two years since he had started. It was tiring work, and he was often sore for weeks after a night of work. But work meant money. Money, which meant food and a bed.

He was sprawled on the ground, his arms to his side and legs parted. His muscles were stretched to the limits of his endurance. He could not curl his fingers into a fist.


It was then that he had heard a voice. So clear, so alluring, so powerful. It had moved him from the throes of exhaustion into a frantic madness that night. He searched the crowd for his muse.

It was art. It had always been art. Wrapped in sweat and blood, amidst raw animalistic cheers, it was made by his bare hands. Tonight, however, he knew he had reached his peak. It was time to fall.


She had tripped, and fallen into her arms. Laughter, and locks of blazing red hair had filled up the space between his lines. The smell of the air had morphed his senses out of sheer ecstasy.

He could not feel his legs. He could not feel pain. The stab of the rib, which had cracked when he fell, was causing a sensation his nerves could no longer register.


He registered his biggest ever win that week. He was the king. He had seen it all, done it all, and conquered it all. For his queen. It was
his kingdom to build, his art to perfect, his love to love.

Time was running out. His breathing was becoming erratic. A cold was enveloping his being, his head brimming with thoughts was not thinking like a survivor anymore. It was time.


It is not the right time. I am not the right person. He never understood the right. His kingdom crumbled like a castle of sand. The waves washed over, removing all traces of humanity from his world. A world, which was never meant to see his art. Only his fights.

He prayed. He had never prayed before. He did not know how. It did not matter now. He tried opening his eyes. When he managed to catch a glimpse of the world, it was dark.


He turned dark. Dark as the corners of the night lit by the full moon, dark as the mind in which burns the last remnants of life. His fists became savage. He had wanted to build a kingdom. He had wanted to become king. He did. Of hell.

Slowly the world parted. The rivulets of blood stopped. The pain returned in a sharp burst. He gasped for a breath of air.


Air that scorched flesh. Eyes, red with murderous hate. A hand raised to strike fear into the dead. All it took was a smile. Another smile. Small, tender hands. Innocence.

He coughed. His body contracted like an elastic band snapped from its binds. A strength, beyond human, moved his fingers. He had to stand up. He kept praying.


He had walked into the ring holding her hand. She had waved him goodbye, and wished him luck. He let go. This was his life. He had to live one last time.

He turned, bent over. His arms started shaking when he put the weight of his body on them. He was on his knees. He must stand up. Tonight. This was his death. He had to die one last time.


  1. tag, tag. sorry if you've done this already. i'm curious. :D

    copy pasting:

    You’ve been tagged (don’t blame me, I didn’t start this!). And as a ‘tag victim’, you are supposed to do the following:

    1. Come up with 8 different points of your perfect lover.
    2. Mention the sex of the target.
    3. Tag 8 victims to join this game and leave a comment on their comments saying they’ve been tagged.
    4. If tagged the 2nd time, there’s no need to post again

  2. I've been tagged with this tag before and I quote my answer here to be preserved for posterity (bear my illusions of grandeur for a second, will ya!).

    "What can I write in eight points that I have not already written eighty times before. Besides, what difference does it make.

    (Okay, maybe if wrote this now I'd drop the previous sentence but what follows still is what I think)

    The perfect lover
    in points of eight,
    Would hardly cover
    a lifelong mate.

    What would do
    good, if she
    was perfect too,
    but not with me.

    Love her still
    in spite of fate,
    For a lover's will
    follows no point of eight.

  3. Seems as if he lived his entire life in 10 seconds...

  4. Finally somebody says something about the story! I thought nobody was noticing :(

    :) Yes.. 10 seconds can sometimes subsume a lifetime.