The twining branches of the trees tightened its hold as the hot wind picked up while the summer sun heated the ground with its hellish flares. Lands were unquenched and parched. The leaves were all gone or never existed, no one knew which. Beyond them lay flat land that stretched out to the cliff top of the mountain which overlooked the national railway track.
Three men in thick cloths, face covered with hankies and scarfs, waited on their dirt bikes for their leader’s signal.
‘Think he’s going to split it equally?’ one of them asked.
‘Hell if I know. I’m here for the thrill,’ a scrappy voice in the middle replied.
‘Screw it. Jimmy, get some extra and don’t let him know,’ the first guy told the third, his brother. It was his brother’s first job. He was excited, nervous, and a few more emotion-mixed.
‘Look,’ Carlos, with his scrappy voice pointed. ‘The signal.’
He was right. Green smoke that would’ve looked like some dust in the distance rose from the opposite mountain. The signaller did his job well. Like clockwork, the mechanism set into motion. The train horns could be heard in the distance and the three men started their vehicle – revving up the motors, ready for action. As soon as the train’s smoke could be seen, they skidded down the sloppy mountain. Stones crushed and cracked under the dirt wheels. They had good control of the bike even in this steepness. Once they reached the grounds, the train caught up with them. Their motor matched the train’s speed. The big brother nodded the signal and they slowed down to catch the last bogie. Soon, 4 more of their team joined them from the other side of the tracks and they jumped, leaving their bikes at the spot where they planned to earlier.
Safety levers of their .357 S&W Magnum clicked one by one. Adjusted their face masks. One by one, in fluidic motion, entered the train and each took their own bogie. One shot from the leader and the others followed the shock with threats. What followed that were the loots and such.
This was a day, a lovely day for the Sand Bandits of the South, or they thought so. Fate had its own plans for everyone. It never takes us through the paths we yearn for.
The loot was heavy. Smiles crossed their dust dirty faces beneath the scarfs. It was time for their escape. A half a dozen bikers followed the train from the beginning. They are supposed to escape through the same way they came.
A few moments later, their plans are going to go down in flames, the whole train was going to. A small dent was made in the railway track. This was supposed to slow down the train. The one assigned to inform the engine driver did not and owing to the extreme aridness, the dent was more than enough to shake the fast moving train violently off the tracks. Screeching and screaming the metallic cries of death, the train flipped sideways and slide with sparks and more screeches. The engine fell first dragging the rest of the bogies that held passengers in the last two, and metals and fuels in the rest along with it. The sliding sparked the fuel and set the entire locomotive on fire. The fire reached the inflammatives and what followed was a deafening blast. The fire rose in fiery yellow of death silently calling out to the world. The escape plan following the train crashed into it throwing a couple of them to their demise. The rest somehow ended up burning in search of the loot.
A few hours later, the nearest town hospital was alerted.
‘Accident?’ the receptionist asked her colleague.
‘Yes, but unfortunately, no one survived,’ she said with a dry throat.
I will get back to what I came to express, but first, look at the names below –
Fortune tellers, prophets, sibyl, seer or shaman –
they are the characters we have created over the years to gain information or ideas about our future. Sometimes, they were given powerful roles for their designation. We used to – still do sometimes – believe that if we have an insight into our future, then perhaps we could overcome, escape from the negative events that might take place.
It is the belief that knowing the future could somehow bring about positive changes in our life that actually puts us in a negative state. Some believe there is a supreme power that has already written down our whole timeline in an even more supreme book, yet we believe we can somehow jump across the potholes of troubles that we ‘might’ face in the future with such people’s help and cut short the perils and hardships in life.
What happens when we are satisfied with their soothing words of positive future, and the next day you end up having one of the worst days of your life? The impact and realization will be too much for a mere emotional being like us to handle. “Expect the unexpected.” (a cliché line) for that is all I can tell you.
As we get used to such actions, we lose the skills and courage to face the real-life problems head-on. That isn’t how we evolved from such primitive organisms. WE COULDN’T HAVE IF THAT WAS THE CASE. And that wasn’t WHY we evolved. We are destined to be creative, courageous and an action-packed being who would face their problems head on like an armada against a perilous thunderstorm.
To be honest, “Nothing is true. Everything is permitted” like the great order of brotherhood said. There is no such thing called fate so don’t rely on such false words. There is no destiny that has already been written. This life is yours and yours only. “It is yet to be written.” (another cliché line – sorry) Let us move forward writing down every bit of our smallest journey in a journal called destiny. Let us create one for our own.
Do not even believe the fact that the train accident could’ve not been avoided. The tracks should’ve had their regular checks by the railways, the bandits should not have robbed them (more lives saved), the engine driver could’ve slowed the train or should’ve had knowledge of the conditions of the tracks at this time of the year, he should’ve been warned (a poorly executed heist if you ask me). It was the actions that defined the end and not the simple four-letter word called fate.
If this hasn’t changed you in any ways, or if you have not understood the contextual relationship between the story and the lines above, then you may lead on as you always have and thanks for spending your time to read this bit. Ciao.