• Manan

A New Earth

This story was a part of a 7-Day challenge between 12 to 19 October to write a short fiction every day. I'll be posting some selected works here.



In the end, they didn't come from the sky. They came from within us, from under us. Their ships rose from the oceans, from the deepest abyss in the earth. They hovered above our cities, casting no shadows.


Even though they never came out, we knew who they were, we knew how they spoke. It was as if they had opened a connection to each and every living consciousness on earth. The message was simple: This has gone for too long, we had destroyed too much, we had forgotten our essence and it was time for our reckoning.


I for once welcomed it, I had lived a life too long, a life too painful. I tried running from it. Indulging in every sin possible. I had killed, I had raped. I cheated and manipulated everyone close to me till all that was left was myself. A being from hell.


One the second day they spoke again, 'Each of us is going to be linked to another consciousness', they said. 'Only one of us could go ahead, to the New Kingdom', they said. And just like that, the civilization turned wild, the rivers ran red.


I sat in the corner, locked away in my cell. Visions of my would-be killer haunting me. I knew her, I knew her so well. Even before I was connected to her she had haunted my dreams. How I ravaged her and cursed her being for eternity. I sat away in my cell, whimpering, praying she comes and liberates me from this existence. If anyone deserved heaven it was her. I could feel her, the anguish, the pain, the roaring void of revenge she had kept in her heart for so long.


And then she was there, with an ax in her hands. I saw myself through her eyes, a wretched self, a shadow of someone lost long ago. I felt nauseous looking at myself. A whimpering, crying disappointment of a man. But there was one last thing, one thing I could do. I could go with dignity. I knelt down, tried straightening my aching back and bowed my head. I would go with dignity. I would go with purpose, even though I lived without any. I could see her raising her ax, there was a whoosh, besides my ear and the ax planted itself on the concrete beside me.


And then she lost all strength, she fell down on her knees. Sobbing, crying uncontrollably.


I lifted my head


'All these years', she sobbed, 'I wanted nothing more than this, to cause you pain that you caused me, to send you to he-hell'.

'But in the last 7 days, I felt you. I could feel the pain that you are in and I realized, you are already in hell. You've already paid for your sins and I cannot do it. I cannot do it', She kept shaking her head, again and again.


Tears were streaking across her soiled face. And then there, perhaps for the first time in my life, I felt something. A fleeting whisper of something, something remote, something intangible. Something that could only be characterized as love but was much more, something bigger than either of us. And I put my arms around her and hugged her so tight I could feel her heartbeat coursing through me, And there, right there, two Beings, drifted into unconsciousness.


When I woke up, it wasn't like any place I remembered being. I felt whole and complete. I felt like I was born again. I looked around, Eva was there waking up. It was a cave perhaps. Or a house?


but what was a house? I was puzzled.


I got out, the sun was rising, its warm rays heating up the soil, I put my palm on the ground, I could feel everything, I could feel the earth, the trees, the insects. I could feel the presence of others, people who weren't here but I was with them. And then I looked up and remembered, the days gone by. The earth had gone back. The clock was reversed. We were the descendants of the lost civilization and now it was us, all of us to not go down the same road.


I took Eva's hand and held it firmly. She looked at me. It felt like a dream, the life gone by, fading from our memories like grains of sand. 'It is us now', I whispered. And we walked, with everything.




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© 2017-2020 By Hafiz Abdul Manan.

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