The Prophet and the Gunmen

In an hour when the common citizens of the city of New Nineveh were fed up with industrial life, there was no statesman to hear or understand their plebeian cry. They needed correction, they needed hope and advice; they needed a hero with a word.  Seeing their sorrow, the Great Spirit of existentialism spoke onto the prophet, Zecundius, saying “leave your mountain, go into the city and tarry there until I send you further instruction.” The prophet obeyed and descended from his house on the hills with a cool and confidence as if to say “cometh the hour, cometh the man like no other.” He entered the city, and upon finding a convenient spot, he sat and waited in silence.

Graphic 1On the fourth hour of his wait, a man with a gun came upon Zecundius and commanded him, “give me all you have!” Now Zecundius, being of a checked temper and good sense, did as he was told and surrendered his wallet and watch saying “take it in peace. May they serve you as well as they have served me.” The vagabond took it without saying a word and left.

It was then that the Great Spirit spoke onto Zecundius, saying “count this as a blessing for it is important. I’ll show you more things of this nature, but be not afraid for I am with thee. Go, then, to another part of the city and tarry there until I send you another word.” Zecundius did not fully understand how something so terrible could be counted as blessing, but he asked no questions and only did as he was commanded.

He spent the greater part of an hour sitting pensively in the shade of a tree, before he was approached by a young man asking “what are you doing here?” “Just sitting and enjoying the day,” replied the prophet. He could not tell him about his mystical mission lest he be labelled as mad. “Well sitter, we don’t appreciate strangers enjoying the day so close to our block, so you have to leave,” the young man came back with.

“I mean no harm or disrespect, I’m sorry if I caused trouble, but all I really want to do is just take in this lovely…” began Zecundius interrupted by the shinning steal of a gun that the young man had lifted his shirt to expose.

The prophet, under threat of bodily harm, complied with the young hooligan’s wishes and moved. As he walked away, the spirit spoke unto him saying: “this too should be counted as a blessing for it is important. Go now and tarry in the city once more and be prepared to prophesy.”

By this time night had fallen and Zecundius was exhausted and hungry, but he was committed to his task. He did as he was commanded and headed for a different part of the city, stopping neither for food nor rest.

Thus, did he come into the interior of the city and he beheld some familiar faces. The man that robbed him and the young man that drove him away from his solace under the tree were having an argument. They must have travelled by bus or train into inner parts of the city. Nevertheless, they argued, and since it is the nature of arguments to make irascible people behave stupidly, and since these two men were irascible, they drew their guns and fired on each other. Both were hit and their blood drained onto the indifferent pavement of the city. And witnesses and passers-by were similarly indifferent.

The police came as the police were supposed to and a crowd gathered as a crowd was supposed to and the bodies were removed as the bodies were supposed to. Meanwhile Zecundius observed the gloomy scene, brooding all the time. Someone from the crowd dared to make a joke and the crowd dared to laugh because to them life wasn’t a sacred thing. They all had a secret wish to die, a death instinct.  Soon after the laughter died down, the spirit of existentialism came up on the prophet in a mighty way, and thus spoke Zecundius: “Behold an illusion has cost us two of our sons. We’ve shown them through movies and songs that violence is better than peace and that a gun is a great equalizer. They think that the man with the gun has power when it is usually the other way around. They have been taught to abuse rather than respect. They have been taught to take rather than to give, to hurt and destroy rather than to mend or build. Verily, verily, I say this generation must change lest it destroy itself. Now, whosoever has ears to hear, let him hear. The people must change their ways. They must think for themselves. They must be rational, humorous and loving.”

Graphic 2And with those words being said, he turned and slowly walked away, all the time sorrowful that the young men had died. His demeanor remained fixed until he reached home to carry on like a normal man, all the while awaiting word to do the work of the spirit.



by Mark Hutchinson //

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