الرجل الذي دمر غدا: A Tale of Vengeance
The sun was high in the sky, beating down heat on the scorching sands. The city lay decimated, with all the buildings broken and demolished. The city had been under siege from an enemy unknown, undetectable, unstoppable. The devastation that had occurred was all for the purpose of finding one young man; me.
I was just 16, I had no clue why anyone could be searching for me, especially not in the way this man was. But when he arrived in my town and brought the destruction that he did, I knew I had to flee. I ran and I ran for as far as I could go. I tried hiding several times but he always seemed to find me. I could find no one to help me; everyone was gone it seemed. I didn't know why he was after me specifically, but I fled anyways.
The chase had been going on for three days and I was now in an old town out in the desert. I knew he was close on my trail but I decided to rest anyways. If I were to keep running, I'd die of exhaustion. So I hid out near an old library of mythology. I couldn't sleep, so I tried to keep my mind occupied. I began to sort through some books while I let my body recuperate; and almost as if by fate I came across a book with a familiar sight. I saw in that book a man that looked very identical to the one who was chasing me. They were both dressed in the same long brown jackets with a tattered scarf around their face. They both stood about the same height and had the same look in their eyes, which were just about the only thing on their face left uncovered. Worst of all though, they were both carrying two dreadful swords, one light, and one dark. The light sword was a simple curved Arabian-style sword. The darker sword though, that was a fearsome weapon. It was a curved black sword with a jagged-edged blade that looked like it would painfully tear anything to pieces.
I didn't have much time to study this any further because I knew he was closing in on me, and being crushed in a building was not something I looked forward to. I had witnessed the destruction he caused before when he attacked my home town. He had appeared from a black cloud in the sky. After shouting my name several times, he chanted some sort of magic spell and unleashed a hell on my town. The sky turned back and fireballs rained from the sky. The winds carried devastating blasts of sand that tore down the buildings. Anyone that came across him was doomed.
Knowing this, I decided to leave from any buildings. So I grabbed the book and checked outside to check if he was near. I didn't see him, so I snuck outside. When I got outside, much to my dismay, he was standing atop the very building I had been in. Fortunately, he had his back turned, so I was given a small opportunity to escape. I ran out the exit and ran across to a nearby wall that I hopped over. I checked through a hole in the wall to see if he had seen me, but I couldn't see him. I was petrified! I could feel my heart beating like a drum. My stomach twisted and turned as I tried to figure out where he could have gone.
Finally, I turned around and sat down to consider my next move. As I looked at a wall in front of me, I could see the reflected light from his swords; it was moving and he was getting closer. I didn't know what to do. I was all out of energy and I knew if he spotted me again there was no way I could outrun him. His footsteps became audible against the blazing sand. I saw his shadow coming up past the wall I hid behind.
Then, they stopped. I looked around the corner and there he stood, looking down on me with his jet black eyes full of hatred. "I knock not thrice, but I have come to slice," he said in a deep, terrifying voice.
Thinking quickly, I took sand into my hands and jumped out from behind the wall, tossing it at his face to blind him. I'd hoped for an opportunity to get away while he struggled with the sand in his eyes, but to my horror it did no good.
"You try to elude me, but you do not understand," the man continued. "I can hear the clouds move, feel the shifting of every grain of sand."
"What the heck are you?" I asked, as I slowly stepped backwards.
"I am الموت الشاعر, Death's very poet, I carry the blade of vengeance, and soon shall you know it." He lifted his right hand sword and swung in my direction. I ducked to the ground and tumbled to evade him. Standing up, I quickly took off running in the opposite direction. "You should not flee for you have no right," he said. "It is because of your own doing that you suffer this plight."
As I struggled to keep running, I looked back to check his position. He had vanished again. "Damn it!" I said coming to a stop. "Where'd he go this time?"
"I am here, I am there, I am at anytime any and everywhere!" He appeared right before me and kicked me to the ground.
"Why are you doing this," I grunted.
"In my time you have brought terror to the east, the west, the south, and the north. This is punishment for that which your hands have sent forth."
"I haven't done anything! What are you talking about?" I replied frantically.
"الرجل الجشع Do not lie to me!" he shouted angrily. "I know better than you your destiny. "
"Now I know you're confused, my name is Uthman!"
""كنت لا يتكلم اللغة العربية؟ أنت رجل من الغرب
"Stop speaking that Arabic, I don't what the hell you're saying!"
"Truly I know you well Uthman, I know all about you son of Sulayman."
"How did you know my father?"
"It is not of importance to what I intend to discuss. I come to punish you for your greed, obsession, your pride and lust."
"What? Can you speak English, like a regular person?"
The man ignored me and continued speaking. I noticed his facial expression changed; his eyes now appeared full of sorrowful regret. "You sought to reach beyond man's boundaries, into another domain. So your Lord decreed you shall then be one living in disdain. An increase in knowledge shall be of no good, not when you misused it the way you would. I speak the truth; you have strayed from the path. Your transgressions have brought upon you a divine Wrath."
"What on earth are you talking about? What path? What do you mean divine? I may not be the best of people, but I don't think I could've done anything to anger God or anything, at least not like this."
"Rise up and see what is coming near, the horror you'll cause and the loss of everything dear." I slowly got to my feet while keeping my eyes on the swords in the man's hands. I tried not to do anything sudden; I wanted him to remain distracted in his talking so I might be able to consider a route of escape. He struck he raised his two swords up and I flinched. I opened my eyes to see that he had struck them into the ground and pulled a book from somewhere I had not perceived.
He opened the book and the pages turned to one that was glowing. A bright light flickered from within the book as I looked on. A powerful gust of wind swirled up around the man and myself as we stood in the sands.
"More magic I assume?" I said as I covered my eyes.
"Cover not your eyes, but gaze upon the light," he said removing my hands from my eyes. "Look at what you have done that has brought about your plight." As I looked at the book, the bright light reached into my eyes and I saw before me an illusion of time passing by. I saw myself in what appeared to be 3 years. Nothing had changed. Then, as time progressed, I saw myself at my mother's funeral weeping. There also was the strange man I saw in the book at the library. He had an even more malevolent appearance as he hid in the shadows with a wicked smile on his face. I saw him come nearby my future self and speak a few words before disappearing.
At that moment everything began to change. I saw myself in an even more distant time making a deal with this fiendish man. He handed me a large sword with a curved blade and when I grabbed it my skin turned shady and my eyes gained a nefarious look. I saw myself then destroying towns one by one until I came across another man. Claiming revenge, I struck the man down with the sword and at the moment a darkness came over the sword, turning it black.
Years down the road I saw myself again wreaking havoc upon the people of the world. I had behind me an army of dark soldiers and in my arms a woman whose beautiful, benevolent countenance was a stark contrast to my own fiendish look. I was leading an attack on the assembled armies of the world. I was then struck by an arrow of light, and I fell to the ground. However, after reciting some enchantment, my wound healed and I was revived. I could see the sheer terror in the eyes of the armies with whom I was warring. I saw myself wipe them out with an enchantment and a sudden wave of darkness overcame them all.
"This is terrible!" I said turning away from the book. "That can't be me!"
"Return your eyes to the book for what comes next is of the worst," the man said placing the book before me. "Certainly you shall see indeed your greatest curse."
I looked back into the book and saw that a few more years had passed. I was now sitting on a throne in a palace somewhere in the future Earth. Everything was different though. There did not appear to be any wars, everything seemed calm and peaceful. I saw myself surrounded by a small group of smiling children, running around playing. On a throne beside me rested the beautiful woman from before. Everything seemed happy. I even saw enter into the room my mother.
"How can this be?" I asked the man. "I saw her dead earlier!" He gave no reply other than a sign with his hands urging me to continue in the book.
Back in the book, I saw myself enjoying the company of my family. Everyone had smiles on their faces and everything was pleasurable. All of a sudden though, the palace shook. As I looked out the window I saw a small army had been attacking. The army was shouting in unison, 'come and face your doom Oppressor! You wanted it all and now comes your fall!' My future self stepped outside to deal with the army and protect his home.
For whatever reason, he chose to transport himself and the army to a distant land. There, he took on his enemies one by one, slashing away at their numbers with a light sword he carried. One of the people in the back of the army was chanting as he raced toward me. He struck my abdomen with an arrow similar to the one I had seen earlier. This time though, it had no apparent effect. That man, along with the rest of the army was decimated by the onslaught of slashes my future self unleashed.
Then, I saw myself attempt to return home through the same magic he had used to transport himself away. It did not work this time. He was horrified. He tried many incantations but nothing worked; his powers were rendered ineffectual upon himself. He began racing home, fearing the worst. He managed to get a hold of a horse for transportation and he rode across the vast Earth to return to his family.
It was days before he was back at his palace and he found his city was laid to waste. The buildings were all on fire and everything was broken apart. There had been another attack from an army when he was absent. As he scrambled through the remains, he came upon a dreadful sight. He saw laying on the ground in a pool of blood his beloved wife. At that moment tears came to his eyes and he fell to his knees in tears. None of the attempts he made at reviving her were successful. His powers were not only inert for himself, but for everyone close to him in heart.
At that moment, he attempted to kill himself by striking himself with his own sword. Much to his dismay, it did no good. He was no longer alive enough to die. He was doomed forever to suffer in misery because of his wicked actions.
"If that really is me," I finally spoke. "Then why are you here? Why have you come to kill me if I am already going to suffer? I lost my mother, twice, my wife, my children, my everything. What possible reason could you have for coming to punish me now?"
"You sought everything in existence for your pleasure and where did it lead? You indeed suffer much because of your greed. A dreadful future you gained when you became obsessed with power. All the misery of forever because of that dreadful hour. Now, however history will say that you had died. For I will now end everyone's suffering with my self-righteous suicide."
"Wh-who," I stuttered. "Who are you?" Raising a sword in one hand, the man reached for his face. He removed the scarf and my insides turned in fear. The horror of the sight shook me to the ground. I was in disbelief, and so I looked again; when I saw his face, it was- it was me.