Time for Trade
copyright (c) Fariel shafee
The shadow of a woman moved smoothly over the grass. She was a tall, slender figure, clad in snow white. Her rose colored
lips moved only once and a whisper pervaded the air. It was a shrill and a soft whisper at once - gentle and yet powerful.
It was enticing and also commanding.
John lay on the grass. The shadow moved about. It was a shadow that must have appeared from the kingdom of impossibility.
She defied the rules of the universe. Her long and draped legs seemed not to have touched the earth; yet she moved gently.
She appeared to be floating. She was unreal, yet she was existent.
John knew she actually was a figment of his mind. She was not a part of reality. She was a weakness he was afflicted with
- an anomaly of his brain function.
He was indeed a rational man and had always been very practical. A few months ago when he had carefully unfolded the newspaper
and had read about the bizarre customs of a tribe that dwelt in a far away island, he could hear himself laugh. These people
believed in the existence of a demon that would engulf their souls in a world beneath the ground had they forsaken the ABSOLUTE
The laws created by their god who had promised them a splendid future seemed impossible to prove. It was a future that
was separated from them with a singularity of a lifetime, and no one had crossed that barrier while they were alive. Yet they
believed in its existence and they sacrificed their present, living their lives in poverty and following rules that were ridiculous.
Their deeds just made no sense!
John believed in logic. Hypothesis: A would yield B. Fifty people had done A and had always ended with B. Hence now that
A leads to B is a FACT. And B brings optimum happiness. With B taking place all over the world, all people can eat, be happy
and then they can tame nature to bring more prosperity to their lives. So all should practice A. That is all that mattered.
However, once in every blue moon, actually not quite that infrequently - say once every week, there appeared these groups
of irrational people. They were probably created only to upset all the goodness that had so meticulously been done in the
world. They would start preaching the clause C, and they would stubbornly practise C. They would go sauntering around the
streets with stories that sound like this: If the world practices C, they would end in a state D. And although no one had
ever seen this state D existing, some gullible and weak lunatics would start their ritual of C, shrinking the possibility
of the world actually settling down happily in the B state - a state that all can agree with.
Sadly enough, the story rarely ended there. There would then be a group that would begin to preach E, and then F and then
G. These were all actions that they related with some very unrealistic future or some future that obviously did not logically
follow the action that they mentioned. There would also be some people who would opt for some state Q. And we all know that
Q is not optimal.
There really was too much insanity in the world. This only made the world worse.
John wanted to correct the world.
He had decided that all that is wrong must actually be pointed out, and people should come to their senses. He would really
not have cared much unless he was so hopelessly tied with these absolute and complete psychopaths in the very same world.
They had the rights to be totally insane. But they did not quite have the right to violate the world he was living in. They
were infringing on HIS rights now, and only he could protest and bring them back to their senses.
John had then written down his agenda very neatly on a piece of paper.
Facts, his list read, life is real, so enjoy it. Only the present exists, so live it. There are rules in this nature;
discover them. The more you gain knowledge the more sense life will make. Irrationality leads to nowhere.
He then pasted his agenda on the internet in various forums and chat groups, and noticed with disdain that his efforts
to help the confused were only creating more stubborn and equally confused reactions. One person posted a counter notice
saying John should be banned and another told John that he wanted to help him see God. There was still time for his soul
to be salvaged.
John, however, was left unmoved by the initial antagonism. He had expected a bit of it. Every effort of helping others
in history had come with some sort of cost.
Then one day, John took out some money from of his bank and opened up a charitable organization. He wanted to recruit
people to go to that distant village mentioned in the paper and actually disseminate knowledge there. The worshipers of demon
were poor. Irrationality came with poverty and the lack of access to knowledge. Again in the vicious cycle the poverty
was a product of their irrational behavior.
Unfortunately it was unlikely that they would just see the light. They believed in all sorts of absurdities.
No matter how misled they were now, they would, however, not be able to refuse the idea of a prosperous, joyful life.
John would take a mobile cinema project there, with a documentary created by him. The poor and the illiterate would be given
some monetary scholarship regardless of their merit to watch the movie and join his movement to abolish the demonic rituals.
If they wished afterwards, they could thank John for his deed. He would have expected that much.
He then tried to locate workers to share his idea and vision. The best bet was to find a former resident of the "demon-land";
and send him back to his own people. He would offer that person money besides the opportunity of being part of this cause.
John then went over directories, and every possible internet database to find any person who had once lived in “demon
land” and could be reached by him. It was a long and boring process and kept John busy for quite a few days.
In the end he was astounded to find two people in his own office who had hailed from the land of demons. He was convinced
that he could recruit them.
John's deed was left unfinished with workload increasing in his office. He had always been a scrupulous worker, dependable
and very diligent. He had often spent more time at work than any of his other coworkers; he absolutely loved the challenge.
It was a quiet and dark midnight when John sat in his office chair with a fuming cup of coffee, now pondering about the
issues again -- the issues of helping the world. He was feeling very happy. One step had been taken. He had done his own
part. Now if the others as well followed in his footsteps, logic could be established.
John closed his eyes and dreamed for a while. He was almost in a trance.
A few hours must have passed, or maybe a few moments; he had lost track of time.
When he did wake up in the end, he was very much at a loss. His surrounding was an improbability if not quite so an impossibility.
The earth must have split apart at places. The soil had sharp and deep creases. Disfigured bodies lay all about the rubbles.
As he pulled himself together, and rose up from the seat, which had miraculously survived the quake along with all his own
bones, he discovered people screaming for help.
He walked past the debris agape and with his eyes bulged, and suddenly felt a pull strengthening on his trousers. Soon
the pull could simply not be ignored any more. As he looked back to locate the origin of the thrust, his own heart was almost
about to stop. There was a long chain of people - all holding each other, looking horrified. The train ended in a schism,
where part of it was disappearing as the split just became wider each and every moment. In order to lift the end from the
gorge, more people were added as the frantic members made an attempt to cling to anything at all outside - anything - dead
John was being pulled by a frantic living genius. He had an IQ of 190. But Bob was about to die as the chain was disappearing
fast. "Help," screamed Bob as he tried to cling to John.
John stopped thinking. He could really think no more. He remembered the faces of his own daughter and wife waiting at
home. He only hoped that they were alive and he craved to live for them.
"Leave me alone," John shouted. Quickly he grabbed a piece of log from that lay on the ground to hit Bob as
hard as possible.
He needed to leave this living hell. And he needed to leave fast.
Behind him disappeared quickly his last ten years of work, saved carefully on a CD ROM. Perhaps he could have gone back,
but little did he care. He did not have time.
As he panicked across the broken gate, hoping that if he left the premises of this very wretched building, the world he
used to know before would come within his reach a wall fell on his legs.
"Help me," John screamed. "Somebody please help."
There was not a soul that looked back. The living and the dead, all were vanishing behind.
In his last attempt to live, John grabbed the legs of Mrs Milford who ran by. She was the janitor of the building. He
had always thought her to be a borderline imbecile and a believer in magic. Often she would try to discuss how a saint had
saved her son from death. She was a very loving soul -- loving, selfless and irrational.
However, as John tried to hold the legs, he could only cower in pain. She must have struck him with her high heels. They
were a pair of shoes that were designed to cause the greatest discomfort to a being in order to make her appearance acceptable
to a certain group; but now that horrible pair had certainly come to the use of saving her own life at the cost of one that
had only been entertained by their existence so long.
"If I could only have some more time," John thought, "Just a little more time." He wished that Mrs.
Milford would swap her time with his, especially when she did not even believe that this world was all. She would have traveled
to another world by giving John back his life, his world and his reality. But little did she seem to care to behave the irrational
way she had been all her life as she quickly disappeared in John's last moments in reality.
Soon the shadow appeared. She was a long and slender figure. It was a figment of his mind, John knew. But then what exactly
was his mind, and what exactly was reality? There would be no reality soon, and the shadow might as well be reality. This
was the moment John had, and the moment had in it the angel. The rest of the world obviously would not agree with him regarding
his views. He was delusional before he died. He had a sweet dream. A very nice angel had come to him silently and had whispered
next to his ears that actually she was real and that he too was real, and that every moment was real. What existed after this
moment, he did not know. Whether the life he had lived all his life was real or whether that was a dream, and he was just
waking up, he could not assert either.
The angel would probably whisper to him what he should do next. And he obviously was very prepared to listen to the angel
to buy one extra moment; no matter how irrational she sounded.
She was all that was left of reality, and she was now the world.