Part 1

I awoke from an afternoon siesta to find the world on fire. Everything was burning, my room was on fire, and so were all the furniture that was in it. There was a man standing in front of me, looking out the window at the burning world. So I got up and I asked him if this was Hell. He answered me yes. Then I asked him if he were the evil man; somehow I did not think to call him anything else. To this he answered yes as well, but added that he is often known by a different name, a name that carries with it no less an implication of utmost malevolence than the ‘evil man’. And so, being polite, that was what I continued to address him by.

“So this is it, I suppose; that I’ve committed too many ills in my life and have ended up in Hell. What they said was true. I can hardly believe it, but they were. At a point of time, I was so convinced.. I also suppose there is nothing I can do to leave this place then. There was once, when I was going through one of those magnetic resonance scans, and I thought, when I was in there, and the machine buzzed listlessly around me, that this must be what hell is like. Whoever knew that antiquity was right, and Hell really is a fiery place. And I also don’t suppose that I will be seeing anyone familiar here, since..”

I stopped here because I noticed that the evil man was no longer standing at the window, but a hog had come to replace him. It told me this: “If you do not stop blabbering, the evil man will not return to listen to you.”

Somehow, though, I knew that the hog was the evil man himself, and I pointed it out. And instantly, the evil man came into sight once more. “How did you know? Hardly anyone sees through my disguises.” I said I knew because this world was all a part of my imagination, and if only I willed strongly enough, things would shift in whatever way I wanted them to.

“So you think I’m fiction then?” Asked the evil man.

“I can’t decide for myself what’s real and what’s not. But I do presently see you, and that should be all that matters.”

“Whiff me away in an instant then, if you so possess the power.”

“I will, quite soon. But answer me this first, for I must know the answer to this nagging question. If you exist, does God exist too?”

And I must have been too hasty with my willing, because in that instant, the evil man vanished, and I awoke to a glaring afternoon. Mother was calling me from downstairs, asking if I wanted to have some of that delicious ice-desert she had bought from the market.


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