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It was yet another Saturday morning. And like most of those that I had lived through happily, I was expecting a lazy yet fulfilling weekend. As I sat down for my breakfast, I heard a distant loud chatter, which was quite unusual given the limited number of homes in my colony and the private lives everyone loved to lead there.

I finally gave into my curiosity and stepped up from the sofa to see what could have possibly turned my quiet neighborhood into a chirpy one. At a distance, I saw a strange face with an even stranger background. With a bulky and muscular physique that clearly established that he was a gym freak, the stranger was wearing shorts and sleeveless white vest. But that wasn’t what bewildered me! What actually left me clueless was a pile of identical axes that were dumped on the ground while he was holding one in his hand.

My curiosity had peaked and hence, I put on my slippers and walked toward the commotion. As the distance grew shorter, I could hear what the stranger was saying. Surprisingly, he was offering the axes to everyone for free. More than that, he was insisting that everyone should have at least one axe. My neighbours tried to ask him more questions behind this generous act, but he only said that it would help them sooner or later. One by one, they gave in.

A message chimed in my phone. I had totally forgotten about meeting my friend today. He had texted asking when I’d come to his home. I replied hurriedly and went back to home, finished my breakfast and left for his home.

An hour and a half later, I walked back to my home. On the way, a little far outside the main gate of my colony, I was surprised to see the same guy offering more axes to the neighbouring society. What was even weirder that he had somehow persuaded them to form a circle with those axes on the ground by stumping them one by one next to each other.

The pile grew shorter as they went on to make that unfathomable circle of axes. As the circle neared completion, there were only 3 axes left on the ground. The neighborhood residents completed the axe circle with the third last one.

As the guy saw me, he remembered I was too busy to take the axe when I last saw him. He approached me with the second last axe in his hand with a smile and offered it to me. I took a step back, I don’t know why a sudden rush of fear ran through me. But he continued to approach with the same, amiable smile. I relented. After I couldn’t argue anymore, I took the axe, said my thank yous and started walking for my home.

After walking about 10 steps, the stranger picked up the last axe and turned towards me. But what I saw was a totally different scene altogether now. He was no longer the friendly, cheerful face that I saw in the morning. His eyes were bloodshot and face had turned red, as if consumed with rage.

With a raised axe, he charged at me, yelling, ‘Now no one can say I didn’t give them a chance.’


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Gulshan LimbuWritten by Gulshan Limbu ·

A Nepali born and raised in India, so my heart has dual citizenship. Advertising brings food to the plate, solitude brings food for thought.

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