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The International Writers Magazine: 'You might feel a little pain,' said God

On the Fringes
J Kaval

When did the devil enter me? How did he get inside? I’ve no idea. He started meddling with my daily life
. I knew he was a pucha evangelist. He became a nuisance. I wanted to get rid off him at any cost before he could convert me into his religion. So I went to the Lord God.

At the entrance God said to me,
     “I created you without your consent. But I cannot recreate you without your consent. You’re in bad shape. You sure need me to cast away the devil in you. I need your full co-operation to do the job. Will you?”
     “Certainly, Sir, I’ll. You know, two devils cannot live under the same roof. Let us throw him out.”
     “Well, I’m warning you. There’s a deep gulf between us and the gap is wide. The distance would be of light years. You can’t cross over to me. You would be in the dark and alone in the hollow. I’m going to cloud you. You can`t see me. But you can hear and feel me. I can listen to you and even to your heartbeat. Are you afraid?”
     “No, Sir.”
     God then cupped my nose with a mask connected to the spirit of eternal life. He arranged glucose to flow into my veins. He armored my chest with a heart-related vest. He straightened my head and placed it on a plastic plank. Then he clouded my eyes. I descended into the abyss of darkness.
     He plastered my shaven head with divine soma. He pricked on the sides of my head. Within seconds I felt cool and soft all over. I said to God,
     “Sir, I feel very comfortable as if I were in the air-conditioned room. You’re doing a great job and I’m sure you will succeed.”
     “Thank you, son. Listen to me carefully. I’m going to cut the outer skin of your head on four sides with a scalpel. You’ll have little pain. Will you to take it?”
     By the time I heard the last word, I felt, the blade has done its job moving swiftly and quickly.
     “Son, hear me. I want to see where the devil is hiding? I have to make some holes in your skull. Are scared?”
     “Oh my God, are you going to break the very same skull you had made for me? Ok…Ok…It’s thou who maketh and unmaketh at thy will. Then why should I be afraid? Am I not in thy hands?  Dear Lord, go ahead.”
     “Wonderful, son. On this table I have seen many, but not one like you. You’re special. You must know angel Noorjahan. She is beautiful, alert, expert and adept, a wonderful lady. She plays and paints with surgical toys. She assists me. Angel Guard too is an all rounder and well experienced. He is at my side. We’re going to corner the devil and kick him out.”

     While my ears were turned and tuned to God`s words, my mind was worrying about having bullet holes in my head. What would happen to my thinking and feeling? How could I keep the secrets stored in the inner chambers away from God’s eyes? All of them were classified.
     “Son, I’m going to drill six holes into your skull. Shall I?”
     “Oh Jesus! Why should you have six holes? Isn’t one enough?” I pleaded with Him.
     “The bloody demon inside you has now grown enormously. It is larger and taller. It seems that it has ten heads like Ravana. Perhaps it might be a Legion. We don’t want to take risk. We intend to make a combined and concerted attack from all sides. We’ll have to pull and push them out through not one hole but all the holes at a time. Do you understand?”

     I am a poor mortal. What could I do? I have no choice but submit to the divine commands. I heard and felt the commotion of drilling, pulling, pushing, plumbing, cleaning again and again. I was sure God and his angels must be evicting the demons. They were performing in super fast haste though I could not see God’s team nor devil’s gang.

     I was little worried that god might find a lot of alcohol in my head and accuse me of alliance with another mundane devil. It might create an embarrassing situation for both of us. So I very mildly said: “Sir, please check my pulse and blood. The demons might switch them off before they leave me.”
     God then laughed and whispered to my ears,
      “I know you from the day you were in the womb of your mother. So don’t worry about that. I’m your pulse. Don’t you know that I’m in your blood? A drink in a day is to live for another day.”
     I felt as if I were kicked on my ass. I was really flattened by him. It was a pre-emptied strike. I heard the angels giggling.
     “Son, you are past sixty five. Your brain has started to shrink. The veins are getting weak. Empty spaces would appear in your skull. The number of shock absorbers in your skull would be less. Even the mild shocks might disrupt your computer system. There is chance even for a complete crashing. So be alert mentally and physically and even sexually. Begin a second youth. By the by, what are you by profession?”
     “I’m a wordsmith. I write stories and novels.”
     “Really? That’s great. Can I read some of your stories? You must be getting very good money for your works.”
     “No, Sir. Your every second is money but not mine. We get little. Unless you are a celebrated author your income from writing would be negligible. A weekly had serialized my novel for twenty weeks. I received a big ‘thank you’. Some times a hard written story may not fetch you even a cup of tea.” I couldn’t say more.
     For several minutes it was monastic silence.
     “Son, do not lose heart. One day you will become a great author. Or your grandchildren would enjoy the fruits of your labor.”
     “Thank you, Sir. I am going to write a story about our encounter.”
     “That would be nice of you. Once it is written, would you show it to me?”
     “Sure, I will.”
     “Thank you. I would love to read it. Angel Noorjahan just left on an emergency call but Angel Mary has arrived before time. She’ll sponge your seat of wisdom with Sanjeevani before I pull down the shutters. She is highly experienced and serious minded. She is little angry with me for chatting with you.’
     I felt sad and politely asked,
      “Sister, are you angry with God? Don’t you know we talk because we are humans, not beasts or machines or robots? What would happen if the gods are dumb and dummies?”
      “Dear brother, I’m not angry. God was simply joking. We enjoyed your verbosity. Your mouth’s beatings were very interesting. Tell us, how do you feel now?”
     Honestly I enjoyed the feather touch of Mary’s fingers over my battered head. I confessed,
      “Sister, I do feel like a child sleeping on the lap of its mother during the winter. I wish not to be awakened for years to come.”
     “That sounds like music to our ears. Doesn’t it God?”
     There was tinkling of jingle bells all over. I could hear God’s soft laughter. I was overwhelmed.

     “Son, listen. I’ve exorcised the demon. He is gone to the drain in million pieces, never to return to you. I’ve made two outlets to drain the polluted wastes of the demon. I’ve closed all other exits. So no entry for him from any quarter. Mary has purified your alcove. She has blanketed your skull with heavenly balm. Now would you be able to take a few mild pricks? I’m going to stitch your outer skin. Ready?”

     Before I could say ‘yes’ God has finished his job. His hands were swifter than the light and faster than the wind. He acts first and then talks sweetly. I am sure he has downed the shutters and bolted. Now, not even angels could enter my head.
     While Mary was bandaging my head I asked: “Why should gods get annoyed while the angels flirt with the mortals?”
     “Because, men believe that they have made gods after their image.”

     I heard again the jingle bells ringing and singing aloud. The godly laughter echoed from a distant corner like a soft music. I felt it coming closer and closer to me. In the end it became a sweet command: “Let there be light.”

     Suddenly the deep and wide hollow was filled up, the distance disappeared, the cloud evaporated, the darkness ceased. There was light enough to see everything with my naked eyes. I saw the theatre, the machines, the surgical apparatus, the nurses and the young energetic doctor near me smiling. All of them appeared relaxed and happy. The doctor whispered to me:
     “Hi, Joe, how do you feel now? Aren’t you comfortable? Ninety percent of your blood clot is taken out. Don’t worry about the remaining and don’t bother about it. See that your head don’t get a hit for a week. You will be al-right within a couple of weeks. It’s all over and well. May be due to your prayers! I noticed your lips moving now and then. Though physically thin, you are mentally very strong. I do admire you. Really you are one from a special species. You co-operated with us very well. Thank you.”
     “Doctor Saab, how long did you take?”
     “Almost three hours.”
     “It was rally a long and pleasant encounter. I enjoyed conversing with you.”
     “Me talking to you? No. Why?…Why do you ask me? We keep our code of conduct.”
     “Thank you, Mr..Guard, thank you, sister Mary and very special thanks to you, Doctor Bushan. Convey my love and regard to Angel Noorjahan.”

     I shook hands with everybody in the operation theatre. All of them were wreathed in smiles. The attendant carefully pushed me out into the world. While being carried towards the observation ward, I really wondered: Did I ever talk to anyone? Didn’t I answer the doctor? How long? I’ve no idea. I was in between to-be and not-to-be, or on the fringes of knowing and not-knowing.
© J. Kaval June 2008

J.Kaval writes stories and novels both in English and his mother tongue Malayalam. He edits and publishes
KATH KSHETRE a journal dedicated to short fiction. He can be reached at  or
Snail mail: J.Kaval, 90, Guniagrahara, Sivakote Post, Bangalore-89, Karnataka, India

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