Thursday, 26 April 2018

Of Gods, Monsters And Men ...

“You know who we are. We are the Architects of creation and time itself. We were here before and we will be here after. We have seen what was and we know what will come to be. But even in our immortal journey towards the nothingness we have never encountered a more fierce and dangerous being like the one we call The Lone Wolf. This being isn’t a being at all. He … He is something else entirely …”

-The Book Of Prophecies.

She is so beautiful! Yes, she is! If you were here you would had agreed with the same. This woman is truly a creation of god and in my entire lifetime, I have never met a soul who could make my heart race the way she does. She sleeps peacefully. Not a worry in a world. Her hair which is like silk, beautifully touches her neck and she inhales breathe like a music tone. I can’t blink, I don’t want to blink because if I do, I will miss out a second of looking at her. This woman is the woman of my dreams. She gave me love and showed me what love truly was. I have never felt more alive before, never felt so complete. I knew that I was destined for great things but I never knew that I would be meant for such love, joy and bliss. I don’t want to move because I don’t want the creek of the wood to wake her up. There have been so many days in our lives when I have woken up before her just to see how beautifully she slept. There were times when I wanted to just hold her and cry. Cry tears of joy ‘cause I could feel that joy engulf me whenever I looked at her. But today, I am not waking her up because I won’t be able to look at her. I won’t be able to look at her when I pull the trigger of the magnum which is pointing at her. But before you hate me for the horrible crime that I am about to commit, I would want you to know how I got here. That how a being like me, who found everlasting love, could find the strength to destroy the one thing that makes him complete. Well, for that you have to go back to the beginning. The beginning where I wasn’t just a being … but a God!

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Eons ago. Heaven. Yes, heaven. A place every human has his/her own iteration off. A place which co-exists with words like peace, joy and tranquility. But sorry to break your bubble, it isn’t all birds chirping and animals dancing. This is the place I used to call home. Oh, I am sorry, I didn’t introduce myself to you. My name is Lucifer and I am God’s second son. You see, heaven, just like every other place in the cosmos had management issues, dirty politics, bitching and inferiority complexes. And that is why when I revolted, I was punished. I was punished by dad for not obeying him. And why did I choose to defy him? It was because I refused to love his creation more than I loved him! I mean, call me old school but I was taught to always love your parents first and when Dad told us that from now, our one true goal and mission was to love humanity, I jolted from my seat and said No! Of course, there was a eerie silence which followed that but then Dad being dad wouldn’t let anyone else be more commanding than him. So he did what he does best. He showed his might to us all and gave me a punishment I didn’t expect. I was thinking the worst the old man would do would be to banish me to hell for a 1,000 years! But instead he said I would be stripped off my wings and would be cast down to earth! Before I could say anything, I could feel the floor beneath me crack open. There was the sound of rumble everywhere and the eyes of every other angel was on me. It wasn’t the look of shock but a look of shame and disgust. I could sense their judgmental eyes prying me and I bet there was a slight smirk in all off their faces as well! A moment later I fell and kept falling. It felt like time had slowed down ‘cause I could feel my wings tearing away from me. I felt it all! Every feather withering away, every nerve ending getting bled out, I felt it all. And in the distance above, I could see heaven sealing it’s doors to me for all of eternity. The place I called home, the place where I truly belonged had casted me out only because I was brave enough to have a voice against an authority who didn’t like to be told what was good for him! A moment later, which felt like centuries I fell on earth! Like a dying meteorite I fell in this lush green land. When I gained the strength to wake up and finally accept this fate which befell upon me, I, for the first time saw earth and at that very moment, I truly wished that I was in Hell!

"If you battle monsters, you don't always become a monster. But you aren't entirely human anymore, either."

-Jonathan Maberry

This place, apparently dad’s ‘greatest’ creation wasn’t that great to begin with. I mean, sure it had a lot of colour and tress and plants and animals and rivers flowing with crystal clear water and ya, sometimes the view of the sun setting was beautiful but overall, I didn’t like it here. This wasn’t a place for me to cherish, this was my prison. A place where I was damned for all eternity. I tried going back. I tried killing myself so my soul could go back but dad, being the wise ass he was, gave me unbreakable skin and an unimaginable amount of strength. It was like he was still toying with me. He took away my wings but left the rest, some kind of a half-cooked joke with no laughter at the end, well at least no laughter for me. I knew that every time I screamed my lungs out and sat alone in a corner with tears rolling down my face, the angels up there in heaven, especially my elder brother Michael would be having the laugh of his life! That angel was always trying to impress dad and he did a fine job at it. Always noble. Always following orders. Phff! What an obedient, kiss-ass child he is dad must be thinking. Maybe that’s why dad threw me here. Maybe he saw me as a threat. Maybe that’s why I become this … this thing from a god! After what felt like years, I gave up. I stopped screaming. I stopped the yelling and I stopped feeling sad for myself. Maybe, just maybe I thought that if I would actually embrace this punishment I would show them upstairs that I am worthy of their forgiveness. So I did what any immortal being would do, I started walking. Yes, walking. I just walked and with every walking step, I took it all in. The breath, the air, the light, the night, the weather, everything. But one day when I was walking my eyes spotted something. Something that didn’t quite fit the bill of this so-called ‘Paradise’. I saw two men fighting. From the distance I couldn’t understand why they were doing what they were doing but one was protecting himself and screaming, “Don’t do this Cane!” while the other had a knife in his hand and was screaming, “I hate you Abel!”. And in the very next moment I saw that knife pierce through that Abel fellow and then, there was blood everywhere and then he was gone. He died! Like, gone forever! I thought that wasn’t possible here on earth. But that moment for some sadistic reason, a smile came on my face because I knew right there and then that God didn’t create his most precious creation … what he made was monsters!

"I think you have to know who you are. Get to know the monster that lives in your soul, dive deep into your soul and explore it."

-Tori Amos

That was earth’s 1st murder. A human killing another human. It was unexpected. I mean, sure, God gave these creatures a thing called ‘Free Will’ but who knew that they would end up killing each other with that kind of freedom and power. But what happened, happened and I told myself that isn’t my business to attend too and I resumed my long walk to nowhere when suddenly I heard a very familiar voice. At first, I thought it was a trick. A trick by the ones sitting upstairs to make a mockery out of me but when I turned around, I saw that he was standing there! All commanding and all powerful! It was my Dad, God himself, here on earth! He had surely made some upgrades to his appearance from the last time that I had seen him. I guess he wanted a more human look to ‘fit in’ here on earth. Long, white hair, with a grey beard and a silk robe with a bag on his right shoulder and those wooden slippers humans wore. I had to admit, the all-powerful creator knew how to look good! As I approached him, he had his eyes looked towards the horizon. No Hi, no Hello, no greeting, just a creepy silence which made me very uncomfortable. I wanted to ask him … I wanted to know whether this was the end of my punishment here. Whether it was finally time for me to go home. But before I could ask him, he started talking. He told me, “I flawed. I … I didn’t create that something perfect I wanted too. Look at this travesty. Look at this sadness that has engulfed this beautiful planet. I can feel the stench. I can feel the anger and hatred in the hearts of men growing. Mankind is flawed and I know that I and only I am to blame.” This was typical dad. Good at taking the sympathy but none of the blame. He had a way with things and I realised this wasn’t the moment of my salvation, so I started walking again and tried ignoring his presence but then he called for me and I froze dead at my tracks ‘cause after centuries I heard him call my name. He said, “Luci, … I need you to do a task for me. I … I need you to clean up this mess for me.” I didn’t know what to say ‘cause I had never felt such anger before! I mean can you believe this guy! Not only does he loathe in front of me but he wants me to do his bidding now! And then I said, “What makes you think that I would ever listen to you and do your dirty work for you? You banished me here, remember? You left me here to rot and now suddenly, I am the one who will get the job done? Oh hell no! I would rather be stuck here for all eternity than to ever listen to you again!” And then I just started pacing away from him because I knew that I couldn’t stay a moment longer in his presence. But then, … oh that smart intellectual being gave me that yorker. He told me something that even if I wanted I couldn’t ignore. He told me, “Luci, my son, do this for me and I promise you, you will come back to heaven.”

"The monster was the best friend I ever had."

-Boris Karloff

“What did you just say? I would be allowed back in heaven? You sure you aren’t just busting my balls again?”. “No Luci, I swear I mean it. If you do what I ask of you, I promise I will come and take you back up there myself.” Even though I didn’t believe a word he said, I was truly intrigued to know what it was that I had to do. “So what is it that I have to do?”. “Luci, you saw what happened here. it was a crime, an atrocity. And now I know that mankind will always be flawed. There will be people who will stand for good but I also know that there will be men who will choose evil doings. Who will choose hate over love and give in to their temptations. And being God, I can’t just sit and watch this happen. So what I want you to do is to make these evil men pay for their sins. I want you to rid the earth of the evil that it will produce.” “So what are you saying? I go and kill these people because they are causing havoc and terror on your precious earth?”. “Luci, my son, listen to me, I do have all the might and power and yes, I am the divine creator of everything but even I know that there are things that I can do and things I can’t. And when I gave these mortals Free Will, I also gave them the power to choose what choice they will make. And as I said, there will be many who will choose good but there will also be people who will always want evil to triumph over the good and if you really want to impress me and show that you are worthy of coming back to heaven, then obey my command!”. There it was again, his commanding, egoistic voice. That rise in the pitch came every time he sensed his position wasn’t being valued or respected. “Fine. I will do as you command. I will scorch the earth of all the evil there is. I will become your instrument of justice and show these evil men that when you choose evil, you will be Punished.” “But Luci, there is one thing you should know.” I knew the old man wouldn’t make it easy for me. “What is it?” I asked. “You have to always be in the shadows. You can never let mankind know of your existence. I mean yes, they do believe that a heaven and hell exists but as immortal gods we can’t physically show them that we exist, ‘cause that would break their fabric of reality. You can never show case your talents of justice and vengeance to the world. You will do my bidding but in the stillness of the night and from the shadows. No one will know who you are and no one will know the power you possess.” Now, what do I say to that? “So that does it. From now on, I give you the strength to be my bounty hunter. To be my instrument of justice. To become a Punisher. Wherever and whenever evil persists you will take it down. You will destroy the evil from it’s very soul and sent it straight to hell. And when earth no longer has evil brewing, you will be given your right to come back home.” “Fine, I will become your rider. I will become the monster who will fight these monsters. I will become your Punisher.”

"May the same Almighty Goodness banish the accursed monster, war, from all lands, with her hated associates, rapine and insatiable ambition!"

-Daniel Boone

And so it began. My journey. The long road ahead was looking at me with it’s emptiness. God had left the building and left me to watch over earth as he had commanded me to do so. I was the Lone Wolf who walked the planet in search of evil. And yes, I did find it. I found it in men and women. I found evil when people lied, when they cheated and when they killed each other. Whenever there was a crime committed, I could feel my stomach turn. Like a vomit I needed to throw up. That was the sensation that evil was meant to be Punished. I had my ways. I would sneak in to their houses when they slept. Would creep in into their nightmares. Or I would just confront them when they were in their weakest moment and judge them. I would sometimes burn them alive. Sometimes I would slit their throats and sometimes, just for fun I would just give them the stare of penance. At first, it was like a task. I mean, evil was everywhere you know! But as days turned into months and months turned into years, I started enjoying this. I guess there was a part of me which was made for this. I really started understanding human behaviour. You won’t believe how much you can learn from the shadows. Human beings are weird. They are capable of giving each other endless love and they are also capable of completely destroying each other. Slowly slowly, I figured them out. I understood why they fought. I came to realise not all killing was murder. Some fought for freedom while some killed to protect their families. And so, I decided I would amp up my lust for blood and Punishment. So I became one of them. I pretended to be one of them. I started talking like them and behaving like them but at the back of my mind I knew the condition that the almighty laid on me. “Never let them know who you are.” So I became the servant who would serve kings their food. I became the guard who would protect the queens and in time, I became the Soldier who would be in the formation line, ready to die for country. And I saw great men rise and fall. I was there when the greatest warrior in history touched his feet at the beaches of troy. I was there when the king of the new world conquered it all. I was right there beside him, with shield and armour when he defeated the Persian army. I was there when the scariest Moghul rose and conquered villages in the east. I was there when men with their golden armour hanged a man who I truly believed was the son of God. I was there when a great man from the west fought to abolish slavery. I was there when the world united and hit the beaches of normandy to rid the earth of the most horrific evil it ever created. I was there when men in uniforms bombed and destroyed a regime which only wanted people to live in fear. I was witness to it all. From the outside, you wouldn’t ever believe I was the Punisher of Evil. But from underneath I knew what I had become. I was truly a monster who knew only bloodshed and relished on death. I became the Grim Reaper and with every strike of my blade, with every life I took, I had become the thing I was truly destined to be. I had become The God Of War.

"When someone asks, 'Does success make you into a monster?' I always say, 'No, it enables you to be a monster."

-Simon Cowell

There is a famous saying I’ve heard humans say to each other. “If you wanna make god laugh, then make plans.” I never knew what that meant until I met her. It was nearly 3000 years since Dad commanded me and since then I have had many names and identities. Sometimes I was the young lad who just graduated from oxford, sometimes I was the quiet guy people avoided and sometimes I was the man who gave everyone those awkward smiles. Now? Now, I am a Marine named Michael Shaw who just came back from his third tour and is now residing in Tennessee. Since all the wars I have fought and the lives I have taken, Earth seems to be in a very calm place. Maybe, my job is done or maybe evil will rise up again for me to take it down. If I am still here that means my job of killing isn’t over yet. In these days of normalcy, I had decided that I would visit the local library and see if my name or something about me had ever come across in the history books, ‘cause I don’t want Dad to find anything to keep me here. As I was strolling this quiet place,I came across a woman. Yes, a woman. A stunningly, beautiful woman. For the record, I have met many of them in my time here. But this woman, … there was something very different about her. You remember that stomach turning feeling I used to have before? Well, this time I did feel my stomach turn but it was more like there were a thousand butterflies flapping their wings together at the same time! My face turned pink and when she smiled at me, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I mean, I am a God and Gods don’t get bowled over by humans. Never happened and never will. But for some reason those rules didn’t apply when she came near me. As she was approaching me, I could feel my heart skip beats. My heart?! When did I ever know I had a heart! I mean, my logic of my existence was seizing to exist the closer she was approaching. And then, it happened. She asked me, “Are you reading that or dropping that?”. For, I guess 30 seconds I was quiet and then when my senses came back in order I replied to her, “Oh, huh, I was just browsing through it. You can have it.” “Oh thank you. By the way, my name is Elizabeth. Elizabeth Perkins. But my friends call me Liz.” “Nice to meet you Elizabeth, uh, I mean Liz. My name is Michael and uh, I, I guess everyone just calls me that.” “Haha! You are funny Michael, with no nick name.” “Thank you … I guess?” “Hmm, a man of few words and a gentleman.” “ :-) “ … “So Michael, would you like to have a coffee with me once I am done carrying this book to the counter?” “Uh, uh, yes, yes I would love to have coffee with you!” After that, well, what do I say? I was taken. I was hers. I belonged to her. My every fabric was meant for her. I knew it didn’t make sense but I didn’t care. I started smiling. I laughed when we were together. We went to see the movies. We went on Dates to the mountains and the beaches. I swear, whenever she used to gaze me with those enchanting eyes of hers, I could feel like I was in heaven. Whenever we kissed, it was like time had stopped moving. And when I was in her arms, the only thing I could feel was peace. Somewhere, deep down in that blackened, destroyed soul of mine, I knew that this was my reward. That after all those years of being a monster and killing and death, I was finally rewarded with this abundant feeling of joy. I was … I was in love. And as the days passed and the  more I spent time with Liz, I could feel the monster peeling away and I was more human with her. More of a man who just wanted this woman’s love. Who wanted the simple life and make that white picket fence and make a family with her! Oh, I tell you, it was like a dream. A dream I never wanted to wake up from. But alas, not all things go the way we want 'cause we all know who actually holds all the strings …

"I'll say this: The scariest monster in the world is human beings and what we are capable of, especially when we get together."

-Jordan Peele

It was a night I wouldn’t ever forget. For the world, it was just another summer night with the wind teasing the leaves and the moon light just piercing through the clouds. But for me, it was a night Dad came back. I was lying in bed with Liz who was fast asleep when I felt a sense. It was a eerie feeling which I had felt before and I knew that in all of the cosmos there was only one being capable enough to make me feel this. I stepped out of bed and tried to be as quiet as I can and walked towards the hall where I saw him standing next to the window. Hands folded and yet again looking out towards the horizon. I didn’t wanted to speak because for the 1st time I didn’t wanted to go back home because I was home with Liz. But then he spoke with his all-powerful voice. He said, “You look good Luci. And I like the fact that you used your brother’s name as your own. I bet no woman would be charmed by a man who calls himself Lucifer!” He then smirked and I saw that smirk filled with taunt and insult. “What do you want dad? I kept my part of the deal. I did exactly what you asked of me. And before you say anything, I am telling you, I don’t care what your opinion or verdict is, I don’t wanna go back. I am happy where I am, so please leave and never come back.” “Hahaha! You think it’s that simple my boy? Don’t you remember I promised you that when the time comes I will personally come and take you back? Well, now is that time boy. Pack your bags, you are coming home.” “No! No, I won’t go back. I told you, I am happy here. I am happy being a human being. Please just go away. See, I am sparing you all the trouble. You don’t have to ever hear from me again. It was like I never existed.” “We are who we are son. No matter how hard you try to run away from it, no matter how much you try to convince yourself, in the end, our true selves always prevail.” I don't know why those words shook me. Like some part of me wanted to hear that. “What … what do you mean?” “You are a God my Son! A God Of War! Do you know how much you have killed? Do you know how many souls you have taken and do you know how much you have enjoyed it? You are a monster Luci. Always were. Always will be.” What was he doing to me? Why did everything he say make so much of sense? “What, what are you doing to me? Why am I feeling so weird? What is this? Is this some kind of spell you are doing on me? Stop it dad! Please stop it! What’s, … what’s happening to me. Why, … why do I feel such incredible power? What is happening to me?” I swear I could feel my blood pump. My muscles got tensed and I could feel my soul on fire. Like a light had been switched on. “Nothing is happening to you my son, I am just reminding you, the real you, who you truly are!” Why was he so right? Why was I agreeing to him? “I … I can feel it! This power, oh my, this incredible power! It’s coming back to me. I … I remember everything! All that killing! All that Punishment!” “Yes my son. Don’t you remember how much you loved it! How much you relished all those battles and wars!” “I remember father! I remember who I am. I am your Bounty Hunter. I am Your Punisher and that is who I always will be. I hated the fact that the old man was indeed right about me! Love, … love is not who I am! It won’t ever make me feel whole. War will! Blood will! Death will!” “Yes my son, my dear Lucifer, come back to me!” “Tell me what should I do Father.” “Do this one thing for me and become the son I know I can grow to accept as a boy who did that one mistake. Become the god I know I created you to be. Take this gun and put a bullet through that woman’s head who is sleeping in your room. Kill her and end this charade of love you think you deserve. Destroy this mirage and end this false reality of yours. Do as I command my son!” “Your … your wish is my command father.” He was right. He was right all along!

"There aren't that many monsters. It's very hard to create a new monster."

-George A. Romero

And there I was. That magnum in my hand. Pointing straight at her. Point blank range. The moment I squeeze the trigger, her life would seize to exist and all that I shared with this beautiful woman would be gone forever. But I know I have too. I have to end this torment. I have to end her suffering because only by doing that will I ever be free. Now I know. Now, I know that this was Dad’s plan all along. This was the Punishment he wanted to inflict upon me. It wasn’t the countless lives I took. It was this. Making me kill the one thing which made me feel whole. I could sense him standing there, besides the door. Piercing me with his eyes. Still judging me and wanting to see my suffering. I could feel immense power in me but I knew that even with all my might, I couldn’t battle the all-mighty creator. But as I saw the gun pointing towards her I sensed a feeling in me. It wasn’t anger or hatred. It was something else. A feeling of complete sense and enlightenment. I suddenly knew what it was I was meant to do. So the next moment, just before I was about to squeeze the trigger, I lowered the gun and leaned down to kiss her forehead. This one final time, I kissed her gently and looked at her. Looked at her with all my might because I knew I would never be able to look at her again. I sensed a tear fall on my cheek. And I let it. And then I walked towards dad. You would had thought I would had tried the shoot the cocky bastard for pulling such a stunt on me. But no, I didn’t do that. I gave him the gun and just hugged him. Oh yes, I hugged the old man. I hugged him tightly and I felt like I never wanted to let go. “Luci, … Lucifer, what are you doing? What. Are. You. Doing?” “I am sorry dad. I am so sorry! I never wanted to object you. I never wanted to insult you. I made a mistake and for that I am truly sorry!” “Lucifer, its … it’s ok. Let go. Let go. Let …” And then you would never guess what happened. My dad started crying. He hugged me tight and cried! Cried like a little baby! We both were crying! And oh my, it was so magical! I had never felt such tranquility. It was a moment I would never ever forget. After we regained our senses and tried pretending that it was just the ‘dust in the air that went in our eyes’ I told him what I felt had to be said. “I don’t belong in heaven dad. Truth be told, I never did. But I don’t belong here either. You were right about me. I am the God Of War and no matter how hard I try to hide that, I know I won’t ever be able to deny it. I love Liz, I truly do. But we both know she deserves better. I am not good enough for her. I have blood on my hands and a Beast like me deserves to be alone.” “What are you saying son?” “I am saying send me to Hell. Make me in-charge of Hell. I will command the dark demons there and I will torment the souls that have done evil here on earth. it was where a Monster like me truly belongs. A place surrounded by death and decay and war and waste.” “Are you sure this is what you truly want? There is still time to go back to your normal life Luci.” “No dad, you coming here was actually the truth I was hiding from. I mean, yes, I do have love in me but it took you one moment to remind me who I was. Something for years I wanted to forget but we all know that you can take the dog out of the fight but you can never take the fight out of the dog.” “Ok, my son. As you wish.” “No father, it will be as you wanted. As you had commanded all those eons ago.” “In all of my creations I never knew I would make a something so incredible as you my son. I am … I am proud of you.” “Dad, before the ‘dust’ creeps thought the window again, I think it’s time you do what you must but before I go I have just one request.” “My son … anything. Just say.” “Promise me that you will give Liz the most happiest life a mortal can have. Make her find love again. Give her strength to face all her challenges and make her the beacon of kindness and care. Make her forget me and give her all that she deserves.” “Consider it done my son.” “Thank you dad and I … I love you.” “I love you too my son and remember, you aren’t a God or a Monster or a Man … you are something much more. Something I will never be able to name.”

This is Me Mahaakshay Chakraborty and this was a story of a being who was much more than a god, monster or a man.

With All My Might,

Your No.1 Fan,

Mahaakshay Chakraborty.


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Maxx Mccullen, You Old Cheeky Bastard!

“There will come a time, as it does once in a billion years that this mortal will possess the power of the universe. And he won’t be gifted this greatness. No. He would have to go through great trials and sacrifices to obtain this immortality. And when he does, he will change the world. But the question is, will he make it a better place or lead it to its impending doom?”

-The Book Of Prophecies.

I want to die! You heard me, I want to die! I can’t stand living anymore! This place is hell I tell you, Hell! It stinks with nothingness and the silence is deafening. Wherever I look, I see emptiness. No matter how hard I scream I hear only the remnants of my own echo. This place is dead. In fact more dead than the 9th circle of hell. I wanna go away from this place. I don’t want my existence to be attached to this cursed land. Please, somebody help me! My name is Maxx Mcullen, and if anybody is out there, I want to tell you that I am still alive and I am the Last Man On Earth! To whomever it may concern, and wherever you are from. If you are an alien just discovering our planet or a human from another dimension. If you find this, know that I tried my best to survive but in the end I gave up. I just had too. But in order to understand why I am only moments away from my death, I need to tell you how it all began. I need to tell you how this beautiful planet which harboured life became the place where only death lingered …

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
-Mahatma Gandhi

It was a beautiful day. Oh it was. The sun was blessing us with it’s warmth. The children were playing in the park with their balloons. Couples of all ages were holding hands, kissing and hugging. It was truly a sight to see. It was like god was making a beautiful painting here on earth. I could feel the cold breeze from the ocean touching my cheeks. I inhaled the air around me and let my body take it all in. I tried not to blink because I wanted to be in this moment forever. Oh, I was finally home. I was finally home because the war was over. I did my time over there and I knew that after the love for country the only thing that mattered to me was the love of the most beautiful woman in this world, my fiancĂ© and soon to be wife, Lindsay Shaw. 

"Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected."
-Robert Frank

Lindsay, my high school sweet heart. I knew I was in love with her the moment I accidentally bumped into her during lunch. Of course she was cursing me and telling me to go to hell ‘cause I had dropped her food but the freckles on her face and that wavy, streaked hair which just came below her neck did the trick for me. I knew I was smitten. After that, for the next 3 months whenever I tried to go and talk to her she would point blank refuse to acknowledge me. If it was english class or during football practice, she never ever even once saw me. I was about to give up but then I decided if I was going to be rejected I rather hear it on my face. And so, the day Prom was announced, I went up to her at the same place where I first bumped into her. She was with her friends, giggling and being oh so freaking beautiful. I turned her around and gazed into her enchanting dark brown eyes and asked her the question every boy is terrified to ask a girl in high school, “Lindsay, Would You Go To Prom With me?” I swear the next 3 seconds felt like an eternity but what she said felt like heaven. She said, “Yes. Pick me up by 7pm? Ok. See ya!” … And since that day, she never ever said no to me, not even once.

"Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever."
-Keri Russell

Today, Me and Lindsay have come to this park because this was the last place we were at before I was shipped. Before leaving I had told her, “Lindsay Shaw, I am going to marry you the moment I get back and I promise you, I will come back. I will cheat death if I have too but I will be back in your beautiful hands and embrace you in a hug so tight you will tell me to let go! And then, I am going to make sweet babies with you and we will have a beautiful family and I will love you until the end of time.” She said Yes with teary eyes and told me to go and fight the good fight and get my sexy toned ass back to her. She knew how to make a man blush. So today, I look into her eyes again for the billionth time and fall in love all over again and I feel blessed that this magnificent woman chose to love me. I hold her face in my hands and kiss her. Kiss her with all my might because for the first time in a very long time I felt that this would be the very last time I would get to do that. 

"Some of our important choices have a time line. If we delay a decision, the opportunity is gone forever. Sometimes our doubts keep us from making a choice that involves change. Thus an opportunity may be missed."
-James E. Faust

I don’t remember what happened after that. I didn’t see any white light. There were no sirens. No bombs fell. No dead came back to life. When I woke up, there was only silence and nothing else. It was like I was stuck in my own home alone movie. Like the entire people of the world decided to leave earth and abandoned me here as Punishment. I couldn’t believe it for a while. I mean the buildings were the same. The lights were still on. Heck, the internet was still working! So why didn’t this make any sense! Where was everybody? I looked for Lindsay everywhere. The phones were working but it was going directly to voicemail. I went to our house and all our stuff was the way we had left it. The plates were in the sink. The clothes were all dried up but there was no trace of Lindsay anywhere. Before the panicked kicked in I thought I was hallucinating or dreaming but when the slaps to my face made me realise I was no longer asleep, pure fear engulfed me! I couldn’t believe this was happening! Was this the rapture? I was an atheist for crying out loud so why was I the only one left behind? It just didn’t make any sense. Or did it?

"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls."
-Anais Nin

So what does a man do when he is all alone? When that dreaded feeling finally sinks in? Well, he survives. And he hopes that he isn’t the only one out there. And that is what I did. You see I am a Marine. I was trained to live in harsh conditions. Surviving is what we do best. So I started stacking up supplies as that was the first thing on the list. Get all the food you can. Get plenty and I mean plenty of water. And yes, who can forget toilet paper? I never had realised that Vons Supermarket had so much of Food! Luckily for a guy like me who was into Crossfit and a very strict diet regiment, food was only a necessity and not used as a Luxury. While strolling through the aisles of this massive super market, listening to Sorry by Justin Bieber which has been stuck on repeat since no one is there to change it, it felt weird and yet somehow exhilarating to be the only one in the store! If this was before A-Day {Apocalypse Day} I would had told Lindsay to get me the hell out of here as I have had the fear of being locked inside a super store! Lindsay, … I do miss her but I know I must live on for her. No, I didn’t dig an empty grave for her ‘cause as you know, she didn’t die. She just disappeared. Disappeared like the rest of the world. And even though that was a feeling more sad than death itself, I don’t know why I couldn’t shake the thought that this was all my doing. 

"The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out."
-J. R. R. Tolkien

“Give in to me maxx. I know you want too. Just say yes and I will give you the greatness that you seek. Just say yes.” … Why do I hear those words as a whisper? Why do they keep coming back? Is someone talking to me or is it just a dream I can let go off? It puzzles me but when I close my eyes and breathe to 10 and open them again that voice dissipates and what I see is the nothingness. The nothingness that I have gotten used to now … 

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good."
-Steven Wright

So the days, turned into weeks and the weeks eventually turned into months. Since I knew I was literally the only one left alive, ‘cause the emergency radio frequency had zero chatter for which felt like eons, I had to create a pattern, a routine, a time table to keep myself occupied and not go insane. The day started every morning at 5am. The alarm on the iPhone went off and the phone came to life. Since I was also a gizmo freak I found a way to connect the phone, through wifi to the mega home theatre system I installed in the house. The song Stupefy would roar on the gigantic speakers and that sudden burst of electric guitar was the indication that it was a start of a new day. After that it was making my bed and having a strong black cup of coffee. You see, I stay in the valley so the view from here is breath taking. You can see the entire city from here. If this was before A-Day, cars would had already packed the streets and the radio would had been buzzing with the latest tracks. But now, the only sound I hear is the breath I take that oxygen in and it fills my lungs. So after coffee, it is the 5k Run. Yes, I make it a point to run every morning and going up and down the hill is pretty challenging. But I am getting good at it. It takes me only 40mins now to complete my 5k. I know I know, that’s pretty slow for a Marine but hey, I am getting there. Cut me some slack here, I am the only survivor of A-Day! After the run it is the same breakfast everyday, Scrambled Eggs, Fresh Juice and Milk with some Almonds and a Scoop of Whey Protein. Then, I take my bath, face my face, cream myself and read a book. I have a trillion books to choose from now. Then by 12pm I start making preparations for lunch. It’s grilled chicken breast with a nice clean salad, some sweet potatoes and some grilled vegetables. After cleaning the dishes and burping a few times, I see if I am feeling sleepy or not. If I am then I take a 10-20mins power nap or I just watch some documentary on youtube. Did you know it would take an individual more than 275,000 light years to finish viewing every upload on youtube alone! Which means I have loads and loads of content. Al though there isn't any new content out their in the world, the content I see now is quite entertaining for one soul. After that by 4pm I have another shot of Black Coffee and then by 5pm I am at the local Crossfit Box. Yes, training helps me and keeps me distracted. The music is of course through the roof and I myself make the WOD’s {Workout Of The Day}. After sweating and panting and challenging myself with those heavy weights I head back home and take a bath yet again. Since it gets pretty dark at night I have now linked my neighbouring houses with my electrical grid. So when I switch on the lights almost half a block lights up! After bath its time for some Playstation 4. Whether it is Call Of Duty World War II or Days Gone, I am hooked into perfecting my campaign by trying to not even die once. I can’t play multiplayer ‘cause you know. After an hour or two engrossed in that I start making dinner. Dinner is fruits, grilled salmon with lemon squeezed on it. Some mashed potatoes , grilled veggies again and a glass of coke zero as I don't drink alcohol. My cheat day is only on Saturdays so that is why you don’t see me hogging on chips or ice creams. After dinner, it is time for a movie. When I was in Afghanistan, I didn’t know that now mostly all the big networks are on the net! And so, now I have over 5 million episodes of television and nearly 400,000 films to watch! Yes I do sometimes binge watch on a few good shows but the other times I make sure I start a new show altogether and oh yeah, every night from monday to sunday, I watch a movie from a different genre and if I am in the mood for it, an international language film with subtitles. So it’s one episode of a tv show followed by a movie. After that, if I am tired I directly go to bed and if I'm not, I go to the terrace and just gaze at the stars. The pollution of the city still blocks nearly 80% of star light but even then, the view is serene and calm. I talk to them you know. The stars and the planets and the universe. They are like my friends and it feels good to tell them how the day went. But I wonder with astonishment that why don’t I cry? Like I am the only man left on earth so why don’t I tremble? Why am I not sad or depressed? Why is it that every night when I am up here looking into the blackness of the city below, that I have a huge smile on my face …

"Sunlight fell upon the wall; the wall received a borrowed splendor. Why set your heart on a piece of earth, O simple one? Seek out the source which shines forever."

“I am giving you a gift Maxx. A gift given to only one, once in a billion years. I see that darkness in you. I see that void. Say Yes to me and fill it up. Say yes to me and I will never let you go hungry again.” There it is again! Damn it! Who is there? Is some one still alive and playing tricks with me? Why is that voice so familiar? I know I have heard it before. I know it’s trying to tell me something. Something that I have forgotten. Or maybe something I don’t want to remember …

"These are the soul's changes. I don't believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism."
-Virginia Woolf

When you are alone, time becomes irrelevant. I have stopped checking calendars and dates some time ago. What I remember is that it has been two summers since A-Day happened. I can say that ‘cause now I cover my 5k in under 20mins and I have achieved the Muscle-Up in Crossfit as well. If you would take a look at me I have veins popping from every muscle of my body and I have changed my hair style and beard look almost 7 times. When you are alone, you are your own fashion guru. And when you are alone you get the freedom to even walk naked at hollywood boulevard and take a selfie at beverly hills. Yes, I have travelled. I car jacked mostly all the cars I could find since I became familiar with that tool in Iraq. I remember it was my 2nd tour over there since the corps said I had exhausted going to Afghanistan so many times. Our platoon was ambushed by insurgents from three sides and we were taking heavy fire. The only way out was through a wall and so I quickly hot wired the truck under a heavy barrage of bullets and praying to god it had the will to function. Thanks to my East L.A. skills the truck came to life and then I rammed that wall to our freedom to live for another day. So I went from L.A. to New York to Washington to Baltimore and almost every city and town I could cover in this big land known as the United States of America. I climbed mountains. Tented at The Grand Canyon and made beaches my home. I was inspired to make friends out of Basket and Volley Balls but I knew, that Tom Hanks already used that idea in Cast Away. So I ditched that idea and started taking a lot of pictures wherever I went. I guess it was like I was making new memories for me after A-Day. But one day, the most astonishing thing happened. I remember I was cutting veggies for myself before dinner time and I accidentally cut my finger. I did feel a shrill which was an indication that the pain of the exposed skin would give in a few seconds along with the blood flow. But as I was trying to suck the blood, I couldn’t feel anything. Like I wasn’t bleeding at all! The skin didn’t cut, the pain wasn’t there and there was no feeling of the blade whatsoever. For a second I shit you not I was in disbelief. I mean, how can I not be bleeding right now? And so I did the next obvious crazy thing. I took the blade and cut myself again but my skin didn’t cut! I tried several more times but the result was the same. My brain wasn’t working and wasn’t giving me the right signals to function so I tried to amp up my crazy impenetrable skin rush. I tried burning myself, I didn’t burn. I tried stabbing myself, that didn’t work either. I even tried jumping off a 5-story building but that didn’t kill me either! And then when every source of killing myself was used up I went to the Gun store and filled the 12-Gauge Shotgun and pointed straight to my face. I knew that this would do the trick. I closed my eyes, inhaled and squeezed the trigger. The shock wave of the sound threw me out of the chair and I could hear the windows of the shop crack. But when I opened my eyes I could still breathe and blink and move. Yes, I was still alive! Then suddenly it happened. That thought, that lingering thought at the back of my head. It came. And then suddenly, it all made sense. I knew why this all happened. Why I was the man who made every living organism disappear into nothingness.

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. 
-Nelson Mandela

I remember. I remember how this all happened. I remember everything. Ever since I was a kid, adventure was in my blood. Whether it was trying to be the best in sports or topping the class with Straight A’s, I always was challenging myself. It was one achievement after the next. And I conquered it all. I knew I was unstoppable and that one day I would change the world. That is why my hand was always raised when the teacher asked to submit our homework or when the principal asked for a student to volunteer for extra hours in school or when Lindsay dared me to jump off a 100 feet cliff right into the ocean. Adventure and thrill was always a part of me. And that is why I joined the Marines. To know that I would be in a constant war with the enemy was exhilarating! To have a war that never ends! What could be more magical than that? 

If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news? 
-W. Somerset Maugham

One day when me and my platoon were doing recon in the outskirts of Fallujah, we were struck by a threatening ambush of more than 80 insurgents! The bullets just started coming from all sides and we were clearly outgunned! Our radio got it and we were sitting ducks. My Marines were stone cold war machines and I had faith in them that they would protect each other and somehow push through. But after nearly 600 rounds of bullets and grenades and dodging and evading, me, being the platoon leader somehow knew that we won’t be getting out of this alive. And then, it happened. Rick, my 2nd in command got hit on the shoulder and was down. I saw him fall down hard and the first thing I did was try to stop the blood. The medic was on the other side of the road trying hard to lay in cover behind the debris of the walls that were about to tumble down any second. I was telling Rick to stay strong and just hold on. I knew he needed immediate medical attention otherwise the blood loss would be his death. And then suddenly I heard a buzz on the satellite phone! That damn thing still had life in this god forsaken place! I got hold of the base and told them to send immediate reinforcements. I told them send them all! The air strike, the artillery, everything! We were under heavy fire! Base got the coordinates of our locations and within the next 50 seconds the entire area was bombarded with artillery shells! Within the next minute the Bad Boy, our Gunship circling above hit the ground with heavy J-Bombs and after that, all we could see was dust and ruble. We got those sons of bitches and we made them meet their maker! The platoon cheered and hurrayed in excitement and within the next 10mins the EMT’s arrived and took Rick back to Base. He was going to make it. I was ordering my platoon to head back to base ‘cause I knew we had enough of action for one day and this one was a close call. I was almost in the seat of the Humvee when I remembered that during the gunfight, Rick accidentally dropped his utility bag. I told the Marine sitting at the steering wheel to give me a sixty {one minute} to go and get it. He did as ordered with gum in his mouth. The bag was easy to find but just when I was about to pick it up I heard a sound, like a bullet breaking the sound barrier and after a second I felt a sting in my chest. I was trying to make my hands find the source of the pain but then suddenly everything was fading away. A moment later I could only faintly hear the marines scream my name but other than that I couldn’t understand what they were saying. And after that it was just blackness. And in that blackness is when I made the choice … the choice to live forever.

Sad things happen. They do. But we don't need to live sad forever. 
-Mattie Stepanek

When I opened my eyes, all I could see was white. No noice. No air. No sound. Just white. Wherever I turned my eyes, there was nothing but the whiteness. I knew I was dead but I didn’t know that when you die you see this whiteness. I thought it was the blackness and a void. But this felt calm for some reason. And then, I tried to speak but I couldn’t hear my voice. Like someone pressed the mute button on me. And then suddenly from a far, I could see a figure approaching me. This entity wasn’t running or howling or coming at me with a blade. It was just walking towards me, like it had all the time in the world. And after what I thought was 5mins here on earth, I saw who it was. It was a man. An old man, maybe in his 70’s. Well, a man who looked very fit at 70. He had a nice thick salt and pepper beard and a nice set of white hair. I had to admit, this man certainly had a personality. When he was nearly 10 feet away from me I tried to move back but couldn’t as my feet were planted on the ground, like I was submerged in concrete. When this man came close to me is when I noticed that he had no eyes. Only a nothingness covering the space where his eyes should had been. He just came close to me and stared. I have never been afraid of anything my entire life but today after death had taken me, looking at this man I was truly afraid. After what felt like a millennia the man finally spoke. “Maxx, you are dead. You died because you were meant too. And if you are wondering who I am? Well, I am the Reaper and I am here to collect your soul and wager your sins. it is time for your judgement. I was awestruck by what he just said and I don’t know but something in me refused to accept what he said and then I opened my mouth, knowing I had no voice but tried anyways. And when I did that I could feel a vowel forming at the tip of my tongue and that is when I knew that I could finally speak and so I said, “No! I will not allow you to take my soul! I am not meant to die this soon! I am only 30 years old dammit! There is so much more that I wanna do! No! You can’t take me right now! I refuse!” I knew that the repercussions for my outburst would be severe but then the most unlikely thing happened. The reaper just gazed into me and said, “They said you would say that.” And he followed that with a sly smile. And I said, “Excuse me? Who said that? What are you talking about?”. “The gods said it Maxx. You see, they have been watching you since the time you were born. They always knew that you were the one. The one who would make the Prophecy come true.” I was completely out of sync by this time but then the Reaper continued saying,”Maxx, you were always the chosen one. Deep down, in your bones, in your cells, in the fibre of your soul, you knew it yourself that you were one day meant for greatness. And no love, no friendship, no achievement could ever compete with the burning fire you had within you. You knew that one day a time would come when you would have to choose. Choose between a life of simplicity, with Lindsay and your kids and that perfect white picket fence or the Greatness that you truly desire, no matter what the cost would be. Am I not right?” “Yes, … Yes, you are. I … I always wanted more from this world. I always wanted more from my own life. I knew that this wasn’t it. That there was something more out there waiting for me to grab and make it mine. I always knew that one day I would finally become Legendary.” “Well Maxx, now is your chance. In front of you are two doors. The door on the left will lead to paradise where Lindsay awaits you. At least a form of hers. And there you can live a life of pure bliss and harmony. A life which you think will be as real as living. A life, which a man like you truly deserves. And on the right is the door which takes you back to the living. But there is a catch, when you wake up, you won’t remember that we met or the things we spoke about and the deal you made with the gods. But I promise one day soon the time will come when you will finally remember how you came about in the new world and then every thing will make sense to you. And before you give me an answer, the Gods already know which door you will choose. They know you will choose the Door on the Right.” I literally had no words to say. I just looked at him and smiled and for some weird reason I hugged him. I hugged him tight and embraced him with a feeling of pure gratitude. And then I walked towards the door on the right and opened it. Just when I was about to go through it, the Reaper told me something that I didn’t expect. He said, “Maxx, before you walk through that door, it is my duty to ask you again to choose wisely. No matter whatever the gods say, you need to know what happens once you go through that door. You will pay the heaviest price any man has ever paid. You will be cursed and gifted at the same time. You will regret and rejoice forever. There won’t be a single moment when you won’t feel alone and complete at the same exact moment. Your memories will always be there but there will be nothing you can do to make them go away. What you ask today is the ultimate form of greatness. The stuff legends are made off. But no one will be there to see you gain that aura. You will always be alone but always in a state of adventure and thrill. And yes, you will never die, no matter how much you will want it one day.” I listened to every word he said and then told him, “I am counting on it.” And then I the only thing I remember was that I was in the hospital bed at the base and I was alive!

We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. 
-Chuck Palahniuk

Yes, you can call me a monster. You can call me the bringer of death. Hell, you can call me the purest personification of evil itself! But trust me, I know why I made this choice! Look at me! I am indestructible! I cannot die! I am immortal and I will live forever and now I have the entire world as my kingdom! The gods gifted me this power! To create a new! To be the only one left standing! I am Maxx Mccullen and I am the man who cheated death! That guilt of dying is not there anymore. Not when I know I am the cause of all this! I am the reason no one is here. This place is my home now. The gods knew I would make this choice. That my life was meant for something more than falling in love and making friends and living for others. My life was meant to be of Greatness, no matter what the cost was! The Maxx who began this story, isn’t the same Maxx who is going to finish it. That Maxx was the mere shadow, a dying grace of the man I once used to be. But after nearly 3 years living alone, I can tell you, it feels amazing! I know now what my purpose is! My purpose is the bring meaning to the gift that I have been given. Not to cry in remorse of the choice I made but to make the most of the man that I can be with the immorality that I have been given. I know one day the lights won’t work. The Nuclear plants will explode and the food will run out. But that day isn’t today and until that day comes I will make this life a beautiful one. I will make a life of greatness! So I say again to whomever it is out there, I am Maxx Mccullen and I am the Man Who Changed The World! I am the Man who lived Forever!

This is Me, Mahaakshay Chakraborty and this was a story about a man named Maxx Mccullen. Maxx Mccullen, … That Old Cheeky Bastard!

With All My Might,

Your No.1 Fan,

Mahaakshay Chakraborty.