Meeting Death. A short story.

A huge crowd gathered at the central square of Knossos, a village on the Island Crete in Greece. The sun was about to go down. All the birds were very silent for this time of the day. Broken walls filled the outer edges of the main square, with small pieces still lying around. Nobody cared enough to move them, or to change anything for that matter. Perhaps it was a mass depression that plagued the villagers.

Even though the sky was bright, pink and beautiful, and the massive landscape filled many miles of perfectly green grass, people were sad. It seemed like the light emanated from withing the trees and the flowers, instead of the usual outer reflection of the sunlight. Some people shook nervously, while others seemed completely detached from what was about to happen.They all knew. For some it was their first time, but for most it became a duty, or even a necessary evil. Everyone believed something different. Or should I say, everyone had a different way of justifying their non-action. Well, except for those they burned at the stake or exiled; some against their will and others because they wanted to leave the madness behind.

A loud and low sound came from an enormous gong. The town priest had hit it with a big stick. It drew peoples attention to the mighty spectacle. Some people whispered uncontrollably because they needed to put their tension somewhere. It was just too much to bare. One baby cried. An old grumpy man looked back at the mother of the broken child. ‘Please make it stop’, he said. ‘I’m sorry’, he went on, ‘but it’s best for all of us.’ We don’t want to end up like him, right?’ He pointed at a young man that looked a little like the popular version of Jesus. White Jesus Christ. Instead of brown hair his was black, as dark as the nights of some 6000 years ago, when there was no electricity to provide fake light at night. One of the good aspects of this Era; stargazing.

‘Like everyone else who interferes with the will of god, they too will be punished’, the priest almost shouted in a strong, controlled and authoritative manner. ‘Everyone, watch. Those who don’t watch will be taken too. Move your children to face this way, for them to see the power of our god.’ The baby that cried before was now silent and didn’t move a muscle, like he intuitively knew it was the best thing to do in this situation.

White Christ committed several blasphemous crimes, one of which was learning to read, and another was trying to steal books from the occult underground library. He was well aware of the risks, but for him it was all worth it. Even though he was about to be erased from their reality, he appeared healthy. Even beautiful in subtle way. His hands were chained with old heavy metal handcoughs. It was time…

Death himself stood beside him. A medieval giant. No brains; his soul sucked by means of psychological warfare. Big hands that killed thousands of people in the name of the church. With a cold and grim look on his face he glanced down at Jake and whispered softly: ‘I thought you were gonna try to fight, but I guess I overestimated you.’ He lifted his hammer of death and turned it 180 degrees to use the other half, which was a blade. A layer of dry and hardened blood shone in the light of a beautiful sunset. It contrasted the majestic scenery. Two worlds were colliding. Worlds that can’t ever coexist in peace. And nobody did anything to prevent it. Not that many people thought it was bad enough to do something about it. People are very creative. They find a way to justify all evil, create a problem for every peace and introduce solutions for problems that they themselves imagined into being.

Jake looked down. One tiny teardrop fell down from his sad, yet lively eyes. Death smiled briefly as he lifted his hammer of death. Jake seemed to have surrendered and even accepted his death. Perhaps a premature death. Then, suddenly, an image came to his mind, like an electrical flash. He saw the future, with him in it, doing something. Something important… In a snap second, just before the sword side of Death’s hammer reached his neck, Jake lifted his hands. Both Death and Jake were caught by surprise.

He missed his neck. Instead, Death accidentally broke the chain and Jake managed to move away from the danger of a true murder machine. While Jake stood up, the crowd watched in awe, not knowing what to do; they froze. He looked Death straight into his empty eyes. ‘Do you really believe you kill people in the name of god!?’ Jake shouted at Death. He opened his mouth, as if he was going to respond, but no words came out. They sprinted towards each other. Jake ducked underneath him to avoid being hit by the hammer side of Death’s death hammer. Without a single doubt Jake lifted his left hand and hit him right under his right ear. Of course this was not nearly enough to defeat Satan incarnate. Death lost balance and dropped his weapon. His pride now eliminated. ‘I don’t need it’, he said calmly. He took a few cool steps away from Jake, towards the audience, to show his power. He even risked a surprise attack because he turned his back to Jake for some seconds.

Jake waited to make the right move. So far so good, he thought, semi-consciously. When Death came close enough, Jake ran towards him, as fast as he could. Just before he was close enough to attack, Jake jumped and dive-rolled to the right side. Straight towards Death’s hammer. He regained his balance, picked up the heavy weapon and swung it with full awareness and maximum intensity.

Death was no more. Death died.

Jake looked at the people in the crowd. One by one he made eye contact with the villagers. He recognized at least half of them. ‘Don’t you see what’s going on here’? His voice free and stronger than ever before. He stood straight and even felt a divine power running through his veins. ‘This is insane’, he went on. The priest desperately ordered his servants to finish the job, but they were paralyzed by fear.

‘Let him speak, Let him speak, let him speak’, one person repeated loudly. Soon everyone followed. All three present babies smiled in unison. With amazing clarity and care Jake told his tale. Only a handful of people understood what he meant, but it didn’t matter. What mattered most is that they believed him. They revered him, because of his brutal honesty and the physical magic he had performed.

The next morning, just before sunrise, Jake prepared enough food to make it to the nearest temple. He remembered the stories his mother used to tell him about magical monks living in the sky, on the mountain tops high above the clouds. In another dimension, vibrating so fast that it made them invisible for the rest of the world. Only devoted, courageous and conscious people with big hearts and a deep desire to be free might be able to enter the sky-world of the sorcerer-monks. He knew exactly what to do. Without anything to lose, carrying a newborn dream that energized his body and mind, he walked away. Slowly and mindfully. ‘Don’t look back’, mom would say, he thought to himself. He breathed the air, looked at the mountain tops in the far distance and surrendered to the mystery and magic that pushed him to go on a special journey. He stopped for a moment, looked back, and in a spontaneous act of pure expression released all accumulated darkness of the day:

‘In the name of Freedom’! Ooowaaah!!! Oowaah! ! Owa!

Dear journal,
Finally I walked away from the horrors of my past. I survived the flesh of Death. A true miracle. I buried Satan’s hammer in a place where it won’t easily be found. Let there be light in the darkest corners of the world. I am alive. Finally awake. My light shines freely now, stronger than ever. No way to return and no where to come back. Reality is here. I see now. Anchored in truth, guided by the highest good, fueled by true beauty, and driven by unconditional love.

– Jake Sutherland

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