The Deserted Alleyway...
He sat there staring. He had a vision that could penetrate through the façade that protects each one of us, penetrate through your soul. He had done this a thousand times. It had become a routine. It made him fell no remorse. He did not have to suffer the pain of guilt or shame, barring when he faced his own eyes.
As the gang brought the petty man to his knees, he could sense the excitement in the way their hands ran through the man, frisking him for whatever might be of any worth. Why waste a penny on a would-be corpse? A noble thought, very economical indeed. The man grinned, amused at his own little joke. He had a wide open bruise on his right cheek and drops of dried blood stuck to the cut that was obvious and looked rather alarming. His teeth, when he grinned gave him an expression of a Sicilian Mafia. He had his hair finely trimmed and almost balding. He took immense care that his hairs were well trimmed and that was probably the only bit of personal grooming he gave a damn about.
The wind howled in that suburban alleyway that stood in the middle of a deserted city. The winter had grown rather cold and every sane soul was cuddled in the comfort of a quilt in his home. The only people who walked down the streets at such late hours in the night were the homeless, who rummaged through the city garbage to grab hold of something to keep them warm. Then there were that gothic looking young kids who had a thousand or so needle shots up their sleeves and scanned the streets through bated eyes for their prospective clients. And who could be better clients than the street workers, as he liked to quote them. Why give them those ugly looks or those ugly names that they so hate, when the only reason that they indulge in an aroused night with a stranger, is probably to keep themselves alive and to get 2 meals a day for their young siblings.
He had real sympathy for the poor souls who were dragged into the trade at a young age, even before they got a chance to choose. He felt privileged just for the reason that he had got a chance to choose. If he had wanted he could have walked away from all this, the dark life as the suburban people called it. But he had chosen. He wanted to be the one like his elder brother had been, or for that matter what his father had died doing.
“We are done, chief. He’s all clean to go”, said one of his men, breaking him from his jetty of thoughts.
With unkindled emotions and morbid regularity, he moved towards the rattled body that lay before him. He was all beaten up and was bleeding through the many wounds he had. He looked into the eyes, and knew what they were pleading him for. Mercy ain’t my trade, he reminded himself, as he pulled the shotgun from top of the garbage tin.
10 minutes later, the black sedan pulled over. Two cops in uniform stepped out and made a quick inspection of the alleyway. They didn’t bother to have a close look at the corpse lying at the other end. One of them handed over a packet of green tickets to the man,
“Good job chief, that’s what you liked to be called? Huh?"
“Respect for the other soul, specially one that has never hurt him, is what his religion has taught him”
“Oh yeah, I could see that..Whatever!” The cop scowled. “This one was a really tricky case. Couldn’t have put my hands on that chap. Had some real good backup in the crime city and some pretty big names backing him down the money ladder”
“Don’t bother me with the details. Your job’s done. Excuse me. Gotta take my son to the late night show up in the city”, he moved swiftly and with measured steps putting the packet down his court.
On the other side, the corpse moved reluctantly, and slowly rose to its feet. The only other man left was one of chief’s. He handed him the passport and visa and briefed him about his escape route. The man thanked him, and just before he left, asked him curiously,
“Why didn’t he shoot me?”
“Respect for the other soul, especially one that has never hurt him, is what his religion has taught him”, he said smiling….
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