A Man Under The Scorching Sun

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Riddles  |  House: Booksie Classic
A merciful killer? A Savior?

Submitted: September 02, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 02, 2014



A Man under The Scorching Sun 


When I was about to sleep, my good friend and fellow soldier handed me a folded letter covered with an envelope.

“What is it?”  I asked.

“This letter was written by our sergeant, you take a look at it, and I didn’t read it. We should not send this letter home if it contains anything bad” he replied.

“Why don’t you read it yourself?” I asked.

“It is too long.” he said and instantly lowered his head and dozed off.

Sergeant’s body was found by patrolling troops yesterday. They reported, that they saw him lying dead in a solitary burned down cottage in midst of woods; farther away from river bank. Troops found him out of sheer luck; since they were after a delirious lieutenant who had gone astray lately. To their surprise; they found a sergeant instead of their lieutenant. This sergeant, also a well-known patriotic man among soldiers, must have been killed by the everlasting enemy of our country; and surely must have been confronted by the deadly enemy bullet, despite his agility and cautiousness.

As I lay on my bed, I opened this letter with a nonchalant mindset and started to read. For a second I gave up the whole idea of reading it. The letter must be of some importance. Besides the soldier had asked me a favor to read that letter. Being a lieutenant and better educated person than himself; I could not refuse his request. So I reluctantly decided to read it.

Indeed I felt indifferent lately, to any news of peculiarity, news of any significant value, and let those news blow pass my ears with the wind, without a slightest nod of my head. Curiosity did not bother me. I did not pay any attention to rumors. Occasionally a soldier would come running in and spread an opinion solemnly, saying war will be coming to an end pretty soon without dragging to the next year. Then I would burst in to laughter and chuckle at him ironically; and shove him out of the door in annoyance. Not exerting so much effort to comprehend facts and details is an absolute bliss for me. I never questioned my superior’s orders. We fought like machines. We fought day and night incessantly. Whenever I get a chance to sleep I cherish the moment avidly.

Dear reader, now I am going to read this letter for you, without a slightest alteration of the words he used in this peculiar letter. Which was actually dated four days prior; to the day I’m reading it for you. There were some blurred pull stop symbols at the start of letter indicating some hesitancy to proceed. Then it goes exactly like this with clear writing letters; free from single blemish of pen stroke.

Dear mother, I write this letter to you, because I have no one to tell these unusual incidents that happened to me recently. I thought it over and finally decided you are the only one I can trust and understand me. Mother don’t blame me for writing a long letter. I know your eye sight is poor and you need enormous effort to read this over. But it is absolutely necessary for me to explain every detail about it.

Some days ago we patrolled a jungle path along the river bank. Our orders was to eliminate all enemy activity around the area. We entered in to a foot path and went deeper. To my surprise I came across a dilapidated small house with a thatched roof. I needed assistance. I looked back for my fellow soldiers. They appeared to have vanished. Only Devil knew why they were not there with me. Have I lost my way? I did not know.  There I saw an enemy with a machine gun hanging over his shoulder coming out of the wooden door.

Dear Mother, I can’t bear the sight of my enemy. I dislike them as pigs. They deliberately spoil our immaculate mother land and devour it piece by piece. So what else could you expect me to do? I fired my machine gun gloriously at the enemy, to my heart’s content. I emptied whole magazines of bullets over him. Twenty five grams bullets sped away at a rate of four bullets per a second. What a recoil force your poor son had to endure. Do you feel the pain I had?  For a split of second it seemed all gone. But they didn’t let me live in peace. Then came two children opening the door screaming. Mother, then a thought came in to my mind. These children will lament over their dead parent. And they surely weep their entire life time over him. What a pity. Mother, if they live they will surely suffer from pain and distress. So I acted upon my noble idea. I ran my machine gun over them too.


Then I heard the yelling of the woman from inside the house. It was exactly like a wolf’s howling. I don’t know how she learned to shrill like that. Why she gave me such a pain in my ears? Even though I could have forgiven her for the screaming; I couldn’t stand the fact that she bore children to my disgusting enemy. She peered out of the window; looking at the children, whose bodies in tattered clothing; were stained red with blood. Avoiding the danger she withdrew her head, and then again not knowing whether to come out or stay inside, she kept peeping out and weeping. Finally she came out crawling and looked at me in terror. She tried to drag her children’s blood stained bodies inside. I saw her wet face covered with tears.  I saw her pitiful eyes imploring not to harm her. Mother, you know your son is not a maniac. I can’t shoot a weeping women straight at her face. I had my patience. I waited for the precise moment for her to look away from me. She dragged one child inside facing towards the door. Once she tried to drag them hurriedly; god helped me and gave me time. All mighty god has stopped the time for me. Blowing wind froze before my eyes. Falling leaves stopped in midair. One second was converted to an entire minute. I could get my aim meticulously. My machine gun turned in to a sniping rifle of highest caliber. Then it substituted my arm. I became a man with a gun arm. At the very moment; I released the ever so important single shining bullet, so slowly and yet accurately, piercing the gentle air and burning the moisture of the air; into flames of fire. No escape for her. The bitch was blown in to dust and smoke.

I could not stop the act I started abruptly. I felt there must be rats running and scrolling over the roof of the house squeaking. I simply can’t let them live, those filthy creatures. I threw a grenade coupled with violent bursts of machine gun fire until the roof submerged in flames. After satisfying not a single tiny bacteria was alive in this enemy dwelling, I turned my head. Aha then I saw the livestock in backyard. I did not like the very idea of livestock serving the enemy. Now there is no one left to serve; what’s the use of a livestock? Besides they will miss their fodder. Can a civilized man let them live without proper animal food? As I reached at them stealthily; those goats, cows and chicken started to stampede. I ran at them like a mad man and succeeded killing each one of them greedily. I fired in a 360 angle to eradicate all insects and snakes who lived in that surrounding area; and helped them to escape from their wretched lives. I became their savior. Oh! Mother, now do not ask me what 360 angle is. It is mathematical, technical and unimportant to you.

After finishing my duty, I hoisted my machine gun up in the air and celebrated the heroic act. Then I knelt down to my knees; under the magnificent sun with dazzling sun rays, and kissed my mother land; leaving scorching sun and the blowing wind as my only witness.

Mother! Am I writing expressive words and sentences which are so difficult for you to read and understand? You might ask why I don’t write it short enough for you to understand. Forgive me mother. Forgive your brave soldier. Didn’t we fight for freedom of our country and to make it a pure land free from parasites? So why don’t I have my freedom to write it as the exact way I want. Let me write it in my own way. Because I am enjoying every second of writing this, and I must use precise and elegant words to describe this heroic masterpiece of act, that I have done; out of all duties; during my entire career.

That night I shaved my face and washed myself with hot water using the best shampoo I could find. As I brushed my teeth I looked myself in the mirror. In it I saw myself. There you see the young; energetic unknown hero. People knew nothing about me. I was a total stranger to them. Individuals do great acts; but they simply can’t boast about it to the world. My situation is exactly same. I went to sleep peace in my mind. Hoping to see fabulous dreams. But what I saw? That night I dreamed two dreams; two unconnected dreams. I was confused; could not explain the meaning of them. Mother now I am going to describe those two dreams to you. Perhaps you could give me a clue.

I saw myself walking toward north without no particular destination in mind. I walked through greenish lands. I heard chirping of birds and spotted butterflies gathering in flower fields. I saw trees with ripened fruits; observed paddy fields laden with harvest. Farmers sang songs while they cultivated their harvest. In the evenings, when the sun was setting, they liked to sing in balanced, melodious choruses. They admired, nature, the earth, the forest, the sea. I noted people’s happy faces. Those faces were radiant. They had bluish eyes. All of them were identical in height and built. Their cloths were glistening white. Their skin color emanated brilliant shine of youth. And I understood finally. They were entirely pure in birth. They all belonged to same race. I walked further and reached the sea shore. They all came following me and offered me a gold crown.

Mother; that dream faded away. You might ask; how I remember my dreams exactly. Yes I know; it is strange. I know every little detail. Because I see the same dream every day. Initially I was quite surprised same dream appeared for two consecutive days. Then the dream reappeared on me for a week. Not only at night, every single time had I dozed off. It jumped to my mind like a wild cat.

After the first dream faded out; it gradually developed in to the following hallucination.

Someone; may be my driver was taking me to a luxurious mansion. In here people were celebrating an unknown war victory. Tables were filled with delicious food. Decanters full with wine. I was summoned by a beautiful lady in a silk dress. People’s laughter in merriment was heard in all directions. I looked upon their faces and saw they were all alike. Again I guessed they were entirely pure in birth. I am perfectly sure they are clones of one another. I sat at a table with gorgeous ladies.

“Hush! Hush! Ladies and gentlemen!” I began to address them suddenly in a high pitched tone. An instantaneous silence reigned the mansion.

“Allow me to ask you my dear citizens; do you know whose actions hasten our war victory? Whose vision; led to complete accomplishment? Do you really know who that hero is? I guarantee nobody has a slightest notion.”

Participants, each having a sparkling wine glass in their hand, roused with curiosity gathered around me and nodded their heads in agreement as if to ask me who that was. 

“But! Gentlemen, It is not polite, a well-mannered citizen to blow one's own trumpet in front of everybody. I simply refrain from revealing it. Pardon me, gentlemen, continue with your celebration.” Thus I concluded my brief speech abruptly; In the meantime wonderful idea struck me out of nowhere; to drink premium quality champagne in lieu of wine.

“Bring me Armand de Brignac.” I demanded banging the table. In a minute a waiter brought me the champagne and caviar.

 “Is that all, sir? Do you want anything else? Asked the waiter.

 I did not answer his question immediately. He must wait. I deliberately took my time over nothing; as if to convince him; he was my mere servant. He lingered around my table. First he waited from the left for a while. Since nothing came out from my mouth; he moved to the right side of the table and fixed his gaze at me with imploring eyes. Eventually he retraced a few steps back. Then waited there in front of me expecting my call. A faint smile touched my mouth.

“Not now! Later.” I replied after a prolonged pause.

I sat on a chair comfortably; and put up my legs on the table, feet wide apart. I relaxed. There was a mirror opposite the table. I looked at the mirror attentively. I was holding a glass of champagne in my left hand and bunch of grapes in right hand. I looked handsome. My cloths shined. I drank incessantly. I could not tell how long I indulged myself in that fashion. I looked at my watch to discern the time. Strangely the wrist watch I wore did not have any hands.

A man came. He must have been the Butler.

“Sir, would you like to go inside? There are plenty of enjoyment inside. I guess you have only seen the parlor.” he said mockingly.

“Yes why not, why the hell not.” I sprang up acrobatically as though performing a somersault.

By that moment someone pulled my hand. I turned. My driver was holding my hand.

“It’s time. We should go.” he said imploringly.

“Idiot! Can’t you see those women waving their hands asking me to come to their rooms?” I exclaimed. “You see; I am their man.”

“Hey Mr. Driver; wait; I have an idea. I must kill the owner here and become the ruler of this mansion.” I told him in amusement. Then no one can direct me and tell me what to do. I must appoint a committee to assist me governing the mansion.

At this very moment my driver picked up a wine bottle and brought it down on my head; inflicting a shocking blow. Glass shattered. Champagne spilled over my mouth. I fell right down. My chin crashed against a chair.

“When I say it’s time; even king Alexander the great has to obey me. Do you understand?” my driver hollered.

He pulled my hand threateningly and violently. I never wanted to go leaving the undiscovered enjoyment. But I had to obey him. I came across the mirror again and saw my face. It was wrinkled and my hands were pale. Fat has accumulated under my chin constructing a double chin.

“Look at yourself. I demand you go and see right through it. Do you understand? You are a sixty five year fat old pig. You are good for nothing.” The driver pointed his hand to mirror.

I left the mansion in bewilderment. My feeble body almost tumbled down at the terrace. We drove through open fields. There was a difference. Trees beginning to lose leaves. Color became increasingly grayish. Rain started pouring. The mountains turned colorless. The rain and wind lashed my head. I looked up; there was no hood to protect me. My sight blurred.

“Where are we heading?” I asked the driver.

 “Home!” he replied in a weak voice.

We drove through barren fields. I asked where my home is. He pointed a grave yard. I panicked and my throat dried.

“This can’t be!” I yelled.

Even though I tried to remember my home; my memory faded. Then I had to admit this was my home. And I inquired the driver where exactly I should sleep. He shrugged his shoulders and went away. I examined the grave yard and saw a gravedigger in a black robe summoning me. And I saw my grave.

As I reached my grave in horror my eyes noticed something. A wreath of flower on another grave in front of my own one. My horror disappeared and turned in to a rage.

“Who do you think you are? To dig my grave so close to my enemy’s grave? I am pure in birth you devil.” I shouted.

My eyes gleamed red in fury. I tried to strangle gravedigger’s neck.  I could have enforced a greater force on his neck; but my trembling feeble hands did not let me do it.

“Sir I can’t change the rules. You all are equal in here. Just look at those overgrown weeds. They happily propagate all over the graveyard; not knowing which General lay underneath.” He muttered lowering his head.

Mother; that’s how the dream ended. I cannot really understand what’s wrong with me. Don’t you think god should help me? But almighty god is doing exactly the opposite. Once I was deceived immensely; because the dream stopped haunting me suddenly; and it did not come to my mind for two days. I thought the evil dream has left me and entered in to some other poor soul. I felt happy. I even wore white cloths at night like a pure soul would do. Alas! From next day onward I was tormented heavily again. The Same dreadful dream came to my mind as if it was piercing my brain like a dagger. I avoided sleeping for days just to overcome it. I was a sleepless soul. I was like a walking dead. God neglected me. I could not go on like that. I could not live rest of my life in torture.

But mother today; the day I write this letter to you; finally I found a solution. It is indeed a heavenly solution. If my solution worked for me, I would not have to impose this burden on you...I would simply tear this wretched letter apart and burn it. Yes that’s what I would do...

Yours.... (No name mentioned and nothing)

Letter has thus ended. I looked at those sheets of paper with a blank mind; not knowing what to make of it. My friend was lying on his bed. It was dark outside. Sun has disappeared long ago; and the moon has risen to its magnificent height inflicting moon lit shadows of adjacent trees. A slight drizzle began outside and it developed to a light rain. Cool breeze swept through the room fluttering those papers of the letter. I ran fingers through my disheveled hair.

“How exactly was he killed?”  I asked my friend.

He just opened his eyes and looked at me thoughtfully. He waited for a moment and said.

“He was found inside a burnt down cottage. Bullet impact suggests the guy was shot in short range. Strange thing however is, enemy activity was not reported ten kilometers radius.”

“Wait a second! What did you say? Where did they find him?” I asked again.

“In an isolated burnt down cottage. Why?”

“Hm, nothing.”

After a pause; friend continued.

“The sergeant had clenched his revolver; but his machine gun was absent from the scene.”

There was a silence in our room. My friend opened a drawer and took out a cigarette from a pack. He searched for the matchbox for a while and found it on the window sill. Then he lit it up; covering the cold breeze using the palm. His fingers bumped gently and incessantly against the cigarette butt and smoked it without any sense of taste. He looked at the ceiling pensively. Smell of tobacco filled the room.

“Anything important in that letter?” friend asked.

I saw him looking at me attentively for a moment; hoping I would answer his question revealing something important. Perhaps something related to sergeant’s death. I said nothing; just shook my head. Quietness ensued henceforth.

“Then ghosts must have taken him.” I said in a suggestive tone.

“What do you mean? No ghosts in this living earth.” He said scornfully. Then he got up from the bed; began walking up and down the room; hesitated a little; and left out of room slamming the door. I saw the shining electric lamp up above through the curling puffs of tobacco smoke. It practically blinded me.

“Then how did he die? I murmured.

A thought came in to my mind in a form of an answer. But it just withered before being developed. I have long since stopped rational thinking. And I did not want to think about it either. I pushed the letter to edge of the bed. A strong sleepiness came over me as I adjusted my body cozily in bed. I felt the letter slipping from the bed sheet and fall down to the waste bin billow. I did not care to pick it up. I fell into a joyful state of mind; adjusted myself again and slept like a dog. 

Soon I entered a dream world. Fragments of scenes appeared and disappeared leaving only flashes of color in the background. I visualized the strange spectacle of sergeant kneeling down and kissing the mother land. Then he turned his head; noticed my presence; looked sneering at me. In the twinkling of an eye he sprang toward me ferociously; shooting his machine gun in all directions and faded away. Then my friend appeared in front of me resolutely; pointed his forefinger at me and inquired in a hoarse voice “How; did; he; die..?” Friend’s face then intermingled with sergeant’s face. Question intermixed with “how; did; I; die..?” Those prolonged recurrent questions blended in to a mocking howl. It loudly resounded as though in a tunnel; roared all over the room, then boomed in the ceiling. The clock shuddered violently on the wall. It protruded its ghostly dial out and began to tick tock. “Answer it; Answer it; Answer it.” I panicked again; in my dream world; failing to comprehend an answer.

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