Fishing in Beirut

April 10, 2010

Part 6: Things As They Are (scene 19)

Filed under: Character : Djinn, Part 6: Things As They Are — fishinginbeirut @ 07:49

Djinn squashed the fly in prickly annoyance. It buzzed for a further five seconds, and died. He picked it up and studied it on his fingertip, two legs still twitching, but the soul already in the air.
He scraped it off and flicked it out the window. The groundward rush separated it into parts. Some school children scampered by excitedly, multicoloured bags rattling lunch boxes as they bumped. For a second he thought he was still in the heat of the Lebanon.
But no, to think in such a way was a mistake. He would never be returning, would spend his last earthly days right here. Take as many as possible to a punishment deserved.
It was hard to kill time when he wasn’t working. Walking the streets was an option but it brought no relief. He stretched his aching back muscles gingerly, the bed before him a miserable resting place. The sooner this day would arrive the better for all.
The light was getting caught in the open window pane, making colours like a rainbow. He watched a purple and blue blob dance. The pain had moved from his upper back to his lower, snaking down and twisting inside, and he did more stretches until something clicked.
Just at the time of the click, the bell rang. He stood still for a moment and went to the door. A small man of about fifty waited in the hallway, eagerly introducing himself as from the electricity company . They were doing door-to-door checks, some safety procedure.
Djinn let him in reluctantly, and waited impatiently for his departure. He was gone in less than two minutes. The silence returned to the room, the man’s energy banished by the draft. Djinn closed the window and killed the refraction.
Then he himself left, feeling there was nothing to do but walk. The neighbourhood was now disturbingly familiar. Without realising, he had mapped out walks here also, and unconsciously took different routes that he varied day by day. There were even some sights he looked forward to.
This morning he crossed over to Paris, hovering on the bridge for a time to observe the Boulevard Peripherique. The sign said the traffic today was Fluid.
He went up rue Didot and crossed over rue d’Alesia. There was a little playground with some children. They were very small – too small for school on a Monday, and one of them hugged another and resumed play. He almost smiled but remembered these people were killers. Their mothers and fathers, and their mothers and fathers were animals.
So he came once again to the tower, drawing him like a magnet or a tide. He looked up and thought through the plan. Yes it was going to happen, no sentiment would intrude. Burning flame would carry him to Allah. A dog ran across the road causing motoring consternation, and perhaps this was a small presentiment of the chaos he’d induce. The world would be turned upside down and would not spin right again.

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