24 June 2007

The Corridor

It was a long corridor of sorts. One side was rock. The other side opened out onto the street. The type of corridor that invariably forms outside the facade of a shopping complex. Someone had bored a few tunnels into the rocky side, connecting various parts of the corridor. I was in that corridor. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stay there much longer. That I’d probably be dead the next day. And yet there was this inexplicable urge to keep put.

There must have been around ten or twelve of us. We were huddled in there. We had guns. Pistols. And we were being fired at by helicopters. There was no way in hell we were going to make it out. Every time a bullet strayed near the corridor, someone or the other would invariably let out a scream of terror, tears running down dust and grime covered cheeks, hands flaying in the air. Because everyone knew perfectly well that it was hopeless. I had a cold look of despair on my face throughout.

They kept firing, and the bullets would hit the rock, slowly chipping away at the roof from the open side of the corridor. Not many of us knew how to handle firearms, but just to make ourselves feel better, most pretended that we did. I fired a few shots, but after a point, my mind stopped working. It seemed perfectly natural. Why should I waste perfectly good bullets if firing them was going to make no difference to our ultimate fatality? Precisely. I stopped firing.

I looked around. Everybody looked dazed. They looked like zombies. Like machines. Computers. Yes. They looked like computer programmes. Like they had been programmed to mechanically fire pistol in the air even though it could do them no good. It was strange. They knew it was useless. Their faces said it. But they still fired. I couldn’t take it. They were all behaving like they had no brains.

I stepped out onto the street, noticing by the by that I had decided to cross the street at a zebra crossing. My, I was law abiding. I should have congratulated myself. I probably did…

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