اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَا تُهُ
The first story:
It was in the dead of night. Two days ago I think. Or was it three? I would like to believe that the whole world was asleep, but on this too I can't be sure. But it sure was silent. Just the way I like my night drives. No soul to see, a little less of the usual business of daytime and wide open roads lit by my headlights.
And like all those times, I drive slow. You don't often get to appreciate your surroundings driving in the day. And if you still can't slow down enough at night, you'll never learn to do it in the heat of day.
Anyway, there I was in my car. And... I won't reveal everything because some things are never meant to be shared. But have you seen smokes from the dying embers of burnt leaves? Well, I have too. Many times before but never at night.
You should see it! I saw it before I smelt it. White, ghostly creatures drifting into nothingness. My first thoughts were to avoid them but somehow, it was as if the smokes were beckoning me to come into it. And I did just that.
Part of me wished as I whisked into the apparition that I arrive in another world altogether when I hit the other end. The other half talked sense and said, 'It's just smoke. There's nothing to it'
The pile of leaves was too small and so was the smoke it gave off so after one-tenth of a second I was out of it. The part of me with reason smirked, 'See. Nothing to it' but I can't help but think that something did happen in that short interval, between here and there. I can't put my tongue on it, but there was a different aura to the air later.
Smokes. I used to play with them when I was younger. When I liked to burn things. Those days long ago, I wouldn't have had a shred of the thoughts swirling in me today. Hell, I would have stopped the vehicle and played with the embers, fanned and encouraged it until it was again a big pile of flames instead of the pitiful shadows it was. That would be me, if I was that same old (or young) kid.
This time, however, and only on the fourth night after the smoky drive have I come to my senses. Only tonight as I write this that I figure out why I wanted to avoid the smokes, why the white beings swayed so sadly, and what changed the atmosphere three nights ago.
Wasn't that smoke the remains of once living leaves? In a way, I realised that I had hit dead creatures. That as a child I savoured having the leaves tremble at my hands. I looked gleefully as the life force escapes their veins and all I can think of is 'What sort of a monster are we? How can human beings be the most inhumane beings?' Such irony...
Forgive me, smokes.