Chapter.1. A Shocking News
“The Top 100” program, as the name suggests, broadcasts the top 100 headlines of New Delhi every day at 4 PM on news channel The Daily Headlines. Everybody knows that not every 100 headlines are, actually, “headlines.” Last ones are always the fillers, which are reported only to make the name of the program credible. After the top 10 news, one news appears that does not turn many heads.
A Freelance Writer Burnt Alive in Her House
Later, the host of the show reports that The house of Nina, a 29-year-old freelance writer, caught fire. Even after hours of struggle, the fire brigade could not save Nina. She was found dead and almost turned to ashes. According to her friends, she lived alone in her inherited house, as her mom and dad died in a tragic car crash a few months ago. The police are investigating the cause of the fire, but until the time of reporting this news, no new information has been gathered by them.
Everyone assumed it to be an accident, probably, caused by careless use of the gas cylinder while cooking or casual cigarette smoking. Anyway, the 5% people, who heard this story, went back to discussing the more significant international news or got indulged in their daily chores. All in all, this news did not create any fire.
Chapter.2. A Realization
Nina found herself on the cold floor of her burnt house. She was in a room that must have been somebody’s study room. She could see the burnt pieces of what seemed to be the broken pieces of a laptop, and she was sweating heavily. “What the hell happened here,” she thought to herself with her hands searching for something,”Leave, what happened! Where the hell am I?” She did not recognize her surrounding. “Okay, let’s focus! I am Nina Sharma. I am a writer, I think — or, am I?” she tried to compose herself by talking to herself, but nothing worked. She was in panic mode. All her attempts to reminisce her past were freaking her out even more. Suddenly, an immense darkness filled the surrounding, and she thought that she lost consciousness.
Gradually, she opened her eyes, looked around, but saw no one. She noticed that her surrounding had changed.Now, she was in a white room. She could call it a room, but its walls were not visible. Nina could not see any end or beginning of this room. “Probably, it’s an open ground, but then, how is it all white? There is neither dirt nor grass on it. The floor is soft as a cushion. If I didn’t know any better, I would call this place a heaven,” she analyzed the area. On looking at her attire, she realized that her clothes have changed, too. “Did I change into a white dress and white pumps to match this surrounding?” She could not help but giggle at her own stupid comment, but soon, absorbed into her deep thoughts, “What the hell did I eat last night? I don’t think that anything of this sort could have happened by “eating” anything. I am sure I smoke something fishy or drank too much. Am I a drinker or a smoker or both? Who the hell am I?” A hand tapped her left shoulder from behind, and Nina let out a loud scream, which lasted for more than a few seconds. On composing herself, she turned around to find a woman, who must be in her late 50’s, smiling at her. She was shorter than Nina, not more than 5’4″, had a fair complexion, similar to Nina, and had long black hair, not like Nina. She was wearing a beautiful flowy white maxi dress that gave her an angelic appearance. Without thinking a second, Nina almost vomited out all her thoughts at the gun speed,” Hey, you look familiar. I hope that you know who am I? Oh God, I sound like a pompous and rich villain, who asks this question to threaten others by making them realize that he is capable of hiring, and firing, and killing others by asking do you know, who I am! I genuinely don’t know who I am. Well, I know that my name is Nina. I think that I am a writer, but other than that I do not know anything about myself. I don’t even remember how did I come to this weird place. In fact, I don’t remember changing my clothes. I am sorry for blabbering away like this, but I really need your help.”
“Sweetheart, I know that you are genuinely lost. I look familiar because..” after taking a long breath, the lady continued,”well, I look familiar because I have taken the appearance of your mother. For the sake of calling me, you could call me, Mom.”
“Oh God, this lady is a bigger lunatic than I have been feeling myself, right now. Perhaps, she needs more help,” Nina politely smiled at the lady and turned to walk away.
“Dear, I am not a lunatic, and I do not need help. Well, actually I do, but not in the context of understanding my own identity,” lady said and her heart warming smile never left her face.
“How did you read my thoughts?” Nina could not believe her ears.
“So, knowing my mind reading abilities is your biggest concern, right now?” she replied Nina with no visible signs of mockery, which was so visible in her comment.
“Yes, you are right, Mom!” Nina replied with all the possible signs of sarcasm clearly planted on her face. Without waiting for her response, Nina continued,”So, would you mind telling me, Mom, where the hell I am?”
“You are not in hell. On the contrary, you are in heaven.” She responded ignoring her skeptical tone,”And before you vanish in your train of thoughts again, I think you should know that you are dead.”
Nina laughed out loud and asked her if she was messing with her. The woman sighed and asked Nina to close her eyes and hold her hands. Reluctantly, Nina extended both her hands and joined that lady’s hands. When she saw her closing eyes, Nina, too, closed her eyes.
Chapter.3. A Flashback
“As long as we are here, your voice will not work. You will not be able to touch anything. Only, your eyes will work. When you want to get out of here, signal by pointing your right thumb upwards. Now, slowly, open your eyes, and please don’t freak out,” the lady said to Nina in her soothing voice,”Since you are not willing to call me Mom, you should call me God.”
“Of course, you are God,”Nina thought while opening her eyes. She could not believe her eyes. Sitting in front of her was a lookalike of Nina. She rubbed her eyes, but the person remained the same. The girl in front of her was wearing blue jeans and a v-neck simple black t-shirt. She was sitting on a chair with her eyes intently staring at her laptop screen. With her left hand, she was playing with the strands of her black hair, which were only long enough to touch her shoulders. Her right hand was on the keys, but she was not typing anything. She looked like she was in deep thoughts. Her fair complexion and the color of her hair matched exactly with the lady, who first called herself Nina’s Mom and then, God. She had beautiful black eyes and a long neck. Although she was in her home, she had applied light pink lip color. “Probably, she is going somewhere after writing. What is she writing, anyway,” talking in her own head, Nina moved to look at the screen of her lookalike,”NinaAndLife.com — perhaps, it’s her website. Not a creative name for a website, though.” After scratching her head for a while, the girl started writing a new post. She did not write a long post; in fact, it looked like an announcement of some kind. Again, she started staring at her screen and then smiled. “Let’s see, what is my duplicate so happy about,” Nina whispered to herself and moved to look at the content of the post.
Last night, I had a dream. I saw my mom. She was not dressed in her normal clothes. She was dressed in a long white dress. She denied that she was my mom and insisted that she was God. She said that she disguised as my mom to avoid frightening me, and that she has come to ask me to help God. I was utterly confused, but she said that she does not have enough time. She just wanted me to send a message to as many people as possible to remember God every day and never stop believing in the power of humanity. Ask them to do something good every day. Also, let them know that God does not care about the monetary things, so they should not waste money on beautifying my “residence” of earth. This will help him fight the evil. I had asked her which God should we remember; there are so many, now. She laughed and said there is only one God and no matter by which name you choose to pray to God, the destination remains the same. Then, she vanished in a thin air, as if she was never there.
So, I am writing this post to send a shout out to all my readers to follow what she said. Let’s help God by believing in humanity and doing something good each day.
“The post is so weird. Why would God need any help? And, why on earth would god send such a silly message? Isn’t it obvious that we are supposed to believe in humanity?” Nina did not know how to react to this post, and she could not understand why would mom or god or whoever would take her to this particular place. Of course, she was not a fool, so she understood that this girl is Nina herself when she was alive. However, the purpose of visiting this memory was cryptic to her. The girl seemed happy with her post. She pushed her chair, flexed her tired muscles a little, drank a glass of water, picked up her sling bag, and left the house.
God signaled Nina to close her eyes again. She followed her instruction, and after a while, on receiving the “open your eyes” command from God, she opened her eyes to find that it was night. The girl was sound asleep. The AC and fan both were on, and the girl had covered herself with a blanket. “Why not stop the power wastage, and sleep without the blanket,”Nina’s flow of thoughts was still in full swing. Nina gave the lady a long stare as if asking why was she torturing her by showing a sleeping girl. Suddenly, she heard a hard knock on the door. She turned to see that the sleeping Nina had woken up, and she was beating at her door rigorously. She was screaming for help. Before she could understand anything, there was fire and smoke everywhere. Before long, the flames trapped Nina from all the sides and her screams were getting louder by the second.
Unable to help her alive-self by any means, hesitantly, Nina signaled God to take her out of there.
Chapter.4. The Messy Truth
Nina was shocked at what she just witnessed. She saw herself roasted to death by a fire. Who had locked the door of her house from outside? Why would anybody be this cruel? All these questions burned her soul from inside out. Most importantly, why was this lady, who claimed to be God, meddled in her normal life. She had to get the answers, and she had to get these, NOW.
“Sweet Nina, let me tell you a story about God and Devil. Devil is the master of evil. For ages, he had been trying to get a hold of the world. As the goodness and humanity increases, his power decreases. On the other hand, if darkness and evil increases, so does his power. For three ages, Devil could not raise his head long enough to make any significant impact on the world. I am not denying his presence in those ages. Anyway, Devil had been contemplating ways to rule the world, and one day, he realized that he had been going in all the wrong directions to search for a potion. The answer to ruling your world lies within the hearts of the humans. In his sneaky ways, he started manipulating people. After years of manipulations, he finally figured out a way to reduce the effect of humanity under the darkness of greed, hatred, selfishness, and other evil attributes.
“Of course, a few humans had no space to accommodate evil in their hearts, as they had only the place for goodness and humanity. However, a majority of humans crumbled in front of Devil’s sinful planning. Now, with the wickedness residing in the hearts of these humans, he has created his own army. My power is now restricted to a very limited amount,” God looked at Nina and continued,” I cannot fight with the meager power that is left with me. The only way out of this darkness is if the human race restores their faith in humanity. Good and selfless deeds have been a source of my strength since ages, and if people begin indulging in the activities of compassion, humanity, love, and care, then soon enough, I’ll be able to eliminate Devil and reestablish my kingdom.”
“So, to help you gain the power, you disguised as my mother and influenced me to spread the word, which eventually, got me killed. I don’t understand who killed me,” Nina sincerely asked. Her hopeful eyes were stuck on God, who was still disguised as her mom.
Her hopeful eyes melted God’s heart, and he explained,”Nina, your post clearly stated that it was a message from God. Devil has his ways of knowing everything that is happening on earth, today. He understood my motion behind all this, so he came up with a plan. He manipulated the religious enthusiasts to believe that the objective behind your post is to introduce a new religion or promote your own. These people, who claim to be God’s messengers, went ballistic at the idea of the demolition of their religions. Therefore, they started cultivating ways to punish you. They would not have taken your life, but Devil wanted to send this message to me that if I did not stop contacting humans, he would burn each one of them alive.”
Now, Nina was no longer interested in her death and other petty issues, she had only one question,”How do we stop Devil, then?”
God smiled at Nina’s sudden maturity, and said,”Well, we will have to hope that humanity overcomes all the darkness. The moment I’ll regain my lost power, I will ensure Devil is out of the world, forever.”
Nina cleverly spoke out her mind,”If humanity finds its way back in all the humans, then, I am sorry to say this, but I must, they would not need your help, would they?” Looking at the amused face of God, she added,”Why are you still dressed as my mom? Why don’t you get rid of the disguise?”
For the first time since their meeting, God laughed and said,”Dear Nina, my existence is not limited to any appearance. I appeared as your mom because I wanted a familiar face to deliver my message and attend you when you arrived at this new land. Now, I will meditate and think of some other plan to shoo Devil away from the world. You will soon be reborn as a new human. Until that time comes, imagine where you want to be, and this place will convert into the place of your choice.”
“I hope that humanity finds its way back in the hearts of the human race.” Nina kissed her “mom” on the cheeks and hugged her for a long time.
P.S. This post is in response to the Friday Reflections Writing Prompts 2016 : Try your hand at writing a piece of fiction.