Midwich Messiah, He was called by the masses. He was a good old nice chap; his heart was made of gold they say. Very helpful and caring in nature, he was a person who was worshipped by many. The towns around lay at his feet; if he ever stood in the assembly elections, he would now be a leader. A fair man in his mid-forties but he looked as if he was in his twenties. It was as if age mattered not for him.
He was now riding in a sturdy horse cart; passing along a muddy road; until it reached a small town gate. The gate stood open, with two uniformed guards holding guard, rifles in their hands. Just in front of the gate, made entirely of grey steel, beside the road, stood a sign marked on a flat piece of wood. The sign was wholly white and it said, "Welcome to the City of Stratmoor". He saw the signboard and smiled a little. He called aloud to the driver to stop. The cart halted a few paces away and beneath the darkest sky, he alighted and looked behind to the signboard. Then he fell into a hazy dream; something that reminded him of his labors in the yesteryears.
The town of Stratmoor lay amidst the marshes of Belthand, and that was in the country of Demostrat. The first country, which was before a kingdom, smaller than the rest of its neighbors, was in fact a monarchy until twenty years ago. Then it turned to a democracy. The country had one slogan – the rulers for the masses, the masses for the country.
Stratmoor was the symbol of freedom; the most open cultured of all such cities and it was the greatest reapers of the democratic movement. It was also the place which marked the birth of the great revolution. And moreover, it was also the birthplace of the Messiah.
Twenty years ago, the king of Demostrat, which was called the Monarchest then, ruled its people in way that was deemed unwise by many. He levied harsh taxes and was unworthy to be a leader of men. Some rebellions did occur in various parts of the country but they were quelled with impunity and the armies marched over the lands killing people at will. It was not that the armies were pitiless but they had not the authority to do what the King willed not. The army also could not insubordinate the direct orders of the Army-General Klaxon who served the King loyally and was obedient to the royal banner.
The King imposed a lot of restrictions on the movement of its women, people slept as soon as the sun set beyond the dusky horizons. The king also harbored a strange superstition. He felt that the sun was responsible for the glory of his rule and its light was essential for the development of his country and also of his own powers. He therefore forbade his people to move in the open in the dark. This would have been tolerated in other seasons; but the imposition of not coming out of their houses in the rainy weather did not go down well with its masses. Many thought the rule was ridiculous and could not tolerate any of the monarch's nonsense.
One such season, two decades ago, a great revolution started and Stratmoor was about to make a mark in the country's history. An old but wise man, bearded and tall, named Albriech Morkel, walked out of his small hut in the rainy evening. It was raining heavily, water splashed onto rocks, the streets were flooded with water and they were empty. He carried a small bell in his hand and this he rung, jingle jingle it echoed through the silent streets. Candles were lit in the houses that dotted by the roadsides. And doors were opened, eyes were amazed at what they saw.
He was a young tween then; he peeped through the window holding a lantern in his hand. His eyes brightened and looked with hope at the bright man who looked as if he was illuminated by God himself. He knew that at last somebody marshaled his inner forces to stand up against the cruel king.
He rushed forth out of the house, unheeding the warnings of his family. He walked by the old man's side, his face shining with a dim light – like the grey twilight. The old man smiled and jingled his bell once more. People stormed out of their houses and the old man took them all to the town center.
There he stood; the young boy at his left.
"Hail, folks from Stratmoor, we have assembled here or rather, you all have chosen to assemble here to answer to our noble king in direct. We chose to disobey his orders and his superstitious rules that have rendered us in a very uncomfortable stage. I was disheartened and am still so, after seeing that our young blood has lost the hotness in them and it is the part of the older generation to take them to their destined paths. And for now, the right path is to teach the King a lesson. But, if I feel rightly, this system must end and people's rule must begin. We must start now or we will end. If we lose this opportunity, then we may never come up. So, I want you all to stand up for your rights. Let us make a mark in the history and light up little candles of our own. Let us elect our own leaders; the ones who are capable. Let us remove the filthy wretches and drive out evil from our country…."
So on, the old man had gone, for an hour or so. And thus, the revolution had started. People directly disobeyed the King's orders and started roaming around the city. The sheriffs joined themselves to their causes and the army could not stop them. The crowds went uncontrolled. Whenever army wagons crossed through the city, they were disarmed and looted.
Slowly, the message spread. The whole country now swarmed like beetles. Fires raged the houses of those incompliant. But the old man had to step forward and appeal to those who took to violence, not to resort to such stringent measures. He was always with the old man, protecting him; he was like his bodyguard. He also helped people a lot. He fed the poor and gave the beggars shelter under his own roof. He looted the army bandwagons and distributed the supplies among the townspeople. He would help people build defensive structures if the King were to mount an attack.
But the King was helpless. All his courtiers except one took to the revolution. The King's family sped away, leaving him alone; they were shown graciously to the borders.
The Army-General sympathized with the royal lord. He himself stepped forward and with a consortium of those who still followed his will, rushed into the city. His wrath, the townspeople could not withhold. He and his men rode through the city like wraiths on wings. They found themselves in front of the house where the old man lived.
They dragged the old man out and made him kneel. He himself beheaded the leader of the revolution. And then he stuck his head on a spear and roamed about the city.
When at last he was gone, the townspeople assembled together. Fear and terror was written in their faces. But the son of Morkel stood up. And he vowed that day, to kill all who ordered his father's death and restore peace and calm to the country. He took off that very night. Midwich followed.
The skies were beginning to brighten, when our company reached the King's castle at Norbury. We sneaked in; though it was unnecessary; but precautions needed to be taken. Through a series of attacks, we killed and decimated the entire forces and pulled down the monarch flag.
The next day, there was a huge assembly of people and they shouted with joy. Such a clamor would not have been heard of in Norbury before.
The old man's son stood for the elections and won it with majority vote. From that day onwards, leaders have always been elected by the people. Two political parties exist now in the country of Demostrat, vying for power and rule.
Midwich desisted from politics and took to social work; where he began helping the poor and the rich alike; thus earning his name – the Midwich Messiah.
Ten years later, the Midwich Messiah installed that same signboard and built that same town gate which was a proud structure of the city.
Tears flooded his eyes this day when he remembered the past incidents. He had gone out on his personal quests and when he had returned, he had found the countryside at tethers. He had gone straight to the rulers and there he had found out; that a religious riot was about to take place and the government was helpless. No pacification could be provided to either party.
People in Demostrat followed two religions – Misaim and Inuit. And they were at war – as usual over a matter of trifle. The Misaim claimed the temples of Avon. The Inuit claimed that the temples were built on the lands that was allocated to them. During the rule of the King, those lands were allocated to the Inuit and a religious treaty was formed. But some parts of the land still belonged to the King; which was actually a form of commission. Now that the monarchy was disbanded, those lands were given to the Misaim. Thus a controversy had issued and threatened a large scale civil war.
The Messiah stood beside the horse cart; holding his hands over his eyes. The country which he had helped form, now stood upon the brink of destruction. A cold wind ensued in the skies and a shiver ran through his body. He felt cold; even though he was covered from head to toe by a black jacket and warm cotton clothes.
Snowflakes fell from above. Winter had come at last. The bright spring had gone. Who knows whether the next spring will come? He felt that the country needed him still and he had hope that they would all heed his words and seek for a solution that would be accepted by all.
His heart was heavy yet, but he sat again in the cozy seats of the horse cart and motioned to the driver.
Sometime later, the horse cart pulled itself to a halt near a huge crowd at the town center. Both the religious leaders had assembled themselves. They had heeded the summons of the Messiah. Who would not? He had a right to receive the favors he had given them. The country had flourished because of his sane and wise advice. They had to listen to him. After all, he felt that the country was above all; above all faith; above all religions; above all feuds. They would stop.
Or so he thought.
As he walked, he was hailed; but he was cursed also by many – especially by those who were young and unkind; by those who had taken to crime and unholy things; by those who would profit by the war; by those who had absolute power; by those who were rich and wealthy. Silly those who thought their wealth was due to the efforts of their fathers! If it were not for the Midwich Messiah, they would not be rich. Fools!
The Messiah marched to the stage. The stage was wide and at the center was a huge flagpole; at whose top was a red flag hoisted.
As he began to climb the stony stairs, a young boy jumped up. He began to speak aloud, and when he was just about to inflame the people, the Messiah spoke with his deep voice, "Do not make speeches when you are angry; because if you do, then you will be giving the best speech of your life which you may later regret."
The young boy's eyes grew red with anger but stepped aside, allowing the Messiah to take the center stage.
Snowflakes fell from the skies and darkness filled the night. The assembly was lit with roaring candles of fire, crackling amidst the blizzards. But the light was enough.
He was about to speak when he felt great pain in his chest. He looked and a blood spurted out of a small wound, a bullet wound. The bullet had pierced his heart. He knelt on his knees and fell down with a thud, his eyes still lingering wide at the crowd. He felt pity growing inside him and words parted from his parched lips.
"Sometimes, I felt that monarchy was better for you people. At the least you were disciplined then and you did not taste power. For that has marauded your mind. Fight and destroy yourself. Hope through that, you may seek wisdom."
And then he died. That was the End of the Midwich Messiah. And such a man will never be born in that country again nor in the world that surrounds it.