A Silent Flame

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The guys at the town’s coffee inn sat, their hands on their knees, conversing with great leisure and ease, as if they were experiencing the most halcyon period of their lives. Their minds wandered elsewhere, their confabulation ranged from the most commonplace subjects to those compared to whom a council of doctors debating on an arcane, undiscovered theme would be mere child’s play. They fountain of ebullition, sprinkling the essence of hope was slowly drying out as time traversed its course. Unaware of this, they sauntered forth, blissfully unaware of the silent flame that was going to end the long rule of friendship for so petty a resolve…
Love. The demon that ruins countless lives. The devil that devours the soul of hope. Perhaps Lucifer stands at a disadvantage, for he is blamed for everything, while love is admired in spite of all the evils it has wrought. Man’s love for this world, its trivial, superficial desires… Alas! Our lives are so short and we squander them, like the fools we are, on matters that eventually become our doom…
It all started with a bag of gold. When three friends killed each other, it was for the love of money. And here the silent flame of love worked its way through human emotions, kindling them to intensity where man decides to follow the decree of fate by force, not strength of character.
As they night stretched on, so did the conversation. Till the time when one individual slammed his hand on the table, knocking over a couple of plastic cups, and said, with a vehemence that outlined the immense force contained within his words: “Let all of you dastardly cowards hearken my challenge. I’ll, within twelve hours, steal the blade that everyone fears, the blade of blood from the vault of He Who Has No Name. Is there any man’s son among you who will assist me?”
Two sprang up to assert their support. Drinking a sip of coffee, the last one dipped his head in acceptance of this plan suggested by the sagest of beings; none other than the pack-leader himself.
The plan was simple and well chalked out. Two for the distraction, one for engaging the cops and one for doing the job. They were not regular marauders but this at least gave them a sense of purpose, something to live for, something that was ghastly and yet adventurous at the same time. For stealing the jeweled blade meant not only the marking of a great career, but also much sought appreciation from those whose name instills horror in the bravest hearts. Little did they know what was going to happen…
And so they sauntered forth. But as is seemed, fate had its own cruel way of dealing with such moral wrecks. They were caught before they could proceed forth. Show off a sniper in front of the cops, and you get it. They ended up with lead bored into them before they could even justify that the sniper was not loaded. And as their bodies fell in unison, they struck the floor with a resounding clang. The voices that once mingled, the shallow breaths that once rose and fell in unison, the hands that had so often clasped each other, the throbbing minds that had so often sensed other’s thoughts now shredded in the dust, returning to the source of their origin. The faint smiles that adorned their lips told the same story: We must return to where we came from… Love’s silent flame had finally devoured its seekers…





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