He was tired. He placed himself on the old chair. Drowsy, he fell asleep. The shrill sound of Cicadas didn’t disturb him.
It was the bright light that awoke him up. Still sleepy, he couldn’t realise what was going on. The light was breaking inside his hut, illuminating the room. He went to the corner to pick up his rifle, and to his utter surprise, his rifle was not there. He searched the room fanatically, as it was his last beloved possession. It was a M1903 Springfield rifle with a mounted telescope. The rifle was a memento of his service as a soldier. He was getting afraid of the strange white illumination. He peeked outside. It seemed like a modified Petromax, glowing brightly. And beside it sat a child, and in the child’s hand, his Springfield glistened. “How the hell did he get my rifle?”, he was awed. Further looking of the scene revealed some more details. There was a boy sitting a bit afar, whose eyes seemed like a a creation of a skilled craftsman. “Hey, who are you people?” he shouted. His old bassy voice failed to capture attention of the two. He got outside, walking to the boy, he noticed a robin laying dead nearby.
“Who are you?”
The boy looked up, stared at him. Something was not normal with this boy.
“Who are you?”, this time a bit louder.
“Do you use that to make death?”
“What? Huh, that’s not a that, that’s a gun, a rifle”, he said proudly.
“Is your job is to make death?”
“Answer my question! Who are you?”
“I am a boy and he is a boy too.”
“I know you are a boy! What made you come here?”
He looked at the child. “Hey!” he screamed, his rifle was disintegrated, with every parts laying around.
“How did he do that?”, he asked the boy.
“Ask him”, the boy smiled.
Astonished, he couldn’t figure out what to do. He felt helpless. Here, if he screamed for help, no one would come. He lived on the edge of the forest.
“I can’t understand, where are you from.”
The child pointed his finger out to the sky. And he saw there was a bird, glowing faintly, flying in a circles.
“What bird is that!?”
“A Phoenix.” replied the boy, “She is my friend, she takes us where ever we want to go.”
The boy said again, “Do you make death?”
He replied, “I was a soldier, I had to kill enemy soldiers.”
“Oh! so you kill.”
“Yes, to stay alive.”
“You cause grief.”
“I have never considered about that before.”
“Don’t you feel sorry for those you killed?”
“Then why are you living alone.”
“I like to be alone.”
“You are ill.”
“Yes, since you came.”
The boy said “You are ill because you lied to you own conscience.”
“Who the hell are you to say that?”
“Why should I?”
He was still worried about the origin of these two creatures.
“Where are you from?”
The boy was searching something in his ragged pocket. He took out a stone, a blue stone. He handed it to him.
“It is a gift from the Phoenix, take it.”
Just as he took the stone, he felt so much heavy that he could barely stand. He fell to the ground. He looked at the boy, who was up at approaching for the Petromax, he took it up. The child stood up. He fell asleep.
He came out of his dream. It was morning. “Oh God, that was only a dream” he thought. He got out for a wash, then he saw the robin, lying dead, the gunshot was clearly visible. Then he noticed the blue stone, the gift from the Phoenix. “I caused much grief with my gun”, he thought. He ran inside the hut for his gun, it was in the corner. He took it, carried it and threw it into the stream.
He was not ill anymore. He packed up, took the gift of the Phoenix. He went to the station, caught a train. He was on his way for a new home, the home of his enemies.