The clouds in the night sky seemeth pregnant with omen,
by Navarun Mallick
Of one accord, they shed their burden onto the earth.
It seemeth that the very ground rises to meet
The thirst-quenching rain, like two deprived lovers.
And as they embrace, the thunderbolts of Zeus
Streak across the sky and for a moment
The whole world lights up in a blazing illumination.
Beneath the stars and the moon, the clouds float,
And beneath them, on the wetted earth
A dim-lit shanty sits like a lone flower
Among a field of wheat, which dance in the rain.
Inside, in a smoke-filled room by the fire,
The Devil and his landlord sitteth across each other,
The former smiling, the latter pallid.
The Devil speaketh, "So silent, my landlord?
Hast thou nothing to say to thy Devil? "
The landlord whimpereth: "Please, o Devil!
I beg thee, spare my meager life!
I have done nothing wrong in my existence,
Snatch not from me the pleasures of living this life! "
The Devil sayeth, "My dear human being!
Thou know'st, that all those who are born
Must be removed from this world someday.
But come now; this is no time for frivolous things!
I thought, perhaps thou had a question for me!
Go on; speak up; I promise not to hurt thee yet."
His fear somewhat alleviated, the landlord speaketh,
"I find it of the utmost curiosity, o Devil,
Why hast thou come once more on this earth? "
The Devil laugheth and sayeth, "How now! What a question!
Hast thou no brain of thy own, human?
I have said before too, that I have descended
In order to overthrow my brother, God."
The landlord asketh, "Why wouldst thou descend
To defeat He who resides somewhere in the sky? "
The Devil, caressing the landlord, sayeth,
"Thou must indeed be the most foolish of all humans.
I have said before; I come to take the aid
Of the human race, whom God created."
The landlord speaketh, "We shalt never help the likes of you,
For thou art the most evil of all creatures! "
The Devil museth, "Hm. An interesting opinion.
Worry not, I shall change it before Godfall ends.
Being evil is just a relative matter,
And thou'lt be surprised at what thy own kind can do."
The landlord speaketh, "What makes thee sure
That thou can corrupt all of humanity?
The ugly side of humans has existed for years, and yet
God's throne has never been threatened or broken.
What hast changed this time, that thou think'st thy victory is assured? "
The Devil speaketh, "The ugly side of humans is a fruit
That ripeth every hour and every passing day.
As time flies along, the human nature worsens.
Though I have been absent, my forces have been at labour,
Working to slowly eat the good within humans.
Why now I choose to strike, you ask? Well,
When a civilization reaches the very pinnacle of decadence,
What better opportunity is there to topple its Creator?
Slowly has my spirit fermented within thee. Nay, it has not burst out,
But it drips from thy earthen shells like foam from a poisoned man's mouth.
My work of years ago hath finally bore results!
When God shall take cognizance of me, He shalt also see you.
And that is when He shalt understand what the Devil hast done."
At this, a strange fear grips the landlord's heart.
He stuttereth, "Wh-What meanst thou by that? "
The Devil sayeth, "Aeons ago, when I was banished from Heaven,
I whispered in the ears of Eve, I gave her the Apple of Eden.
Think'st thou that the Apple was untainted? Nay,
My very own spirit was what the Apple was made of.
Humans are flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood,
Spawned of evil as much as birthed from good.
Know'st thou why nothing can be perfect?
It is because I am present in everything thou art.
That is what manifests now, all around thee."
The landlord choketh, and sayeth, "Thou liar! "
The Devil, amused, sayeth, "A beautiful silver tongue have I,
But the Devil promises you on his infallible honour
That all the words I spoke today were true.
Thou art shocked by such a small revelation?
Come then; I'll show thee, what I told thee!
But what I never expected was for humans to evolve,
To use my spirit to become a more terrifying evil,
Worse than I could ever hope to be, for God.
Come! The truth is present in front of thee,
Allow me the pleasure of removing the curtains.
But before that, please answer thy Devil this;
Art thou ready to open thy eyes? "