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Wrath

By Sankalp Singayapally


The sun began to set over the horizon at what seemed like a hundred miles away. The road he was walking on was smooth, in fact one of the smoothest that he had ever seen over his years of driving, traveling, trucking and hitchhiking. It was grey as roads normally are with the ubiquitous white dividing line in between, which led him to think of all the marvels of modern engineering, in the form of cars and motor vehicles that would have traversed this very path. There was a crack on the dividing line and it stood out being the blood red in color that it was. He thought of the accident and the bloodbath that had occurred there a year and two months ago. Vague images of the catastrophe flashed before his eyes.
He remembered sitting at the wheel in a daze. The LSD was just kicking in, though he had swallowed it a couple of hours ago. He thought of the woman who drove him to the drug in the first place. ‘The bitch...’ he began but only to be cut off by the blinding flash of a fog lamp on an incoming car. There was a loud honk; two actually, one from the car that just crossed him and another one from behind. The coincident sounds confused his rather unresponsive nervous system at the time and it took him a couple of seconds to steady the truck. Despite all the years of driving the same truck, he still could not comprehend the motive behind choosing an oil tanker. It happened on a whim and he knew that but, as a child he was raised to question every aspect of his life; beneficial, adversarial or merely indifferent. The oil tanker was supposedly the hardest type of truck to drive and the community of truckers within his small county town were always worrying and discussing about his driving skill and his ability to handle a vehicle of that size and power.
He looked ahead at the road, which was illuminated by the lights of his truck. It took a turn to the right, gracefully like all roads ought to be, instead of the more common sharp curve. He relaxed his grip on the wheel and let it turn a bit to the right. The road narrowed from two lanes to one and the divider, which was merely a line to begin with, vanished. He was never comfortable with narrow roads, especially while driving during the middle of the night. Moreover, the road was rather bumpy, with a couple of ditches at intervals of a hundred odd meters. He tried to control the truck as best as he possibly could but it was still too fast for a road in that condition.
He would remember the next stretch of the road for the rest of his life.
A speck of light fell on the mountain next to him and a car came hooting out from the right swerving its way onto the lane. The sudden appearance startled him and he seemed to come to his senses but there was nothing much to do apart from hold the wheel and control the brakes. His eyes were heavy and they were almost closed. What he didn’t notice was the car behind. It was rather small but was fully occupied. There wasn’t much time to react and he couldn’t have even if there were.
He stepped on a small pebble and it caught his attention. “The little things in life”, he thought and he picked it up. He tried to remember as much as he possibly could but all he could recall was a crunching sound, a blaring horn and the world turning upside down. The weeks after the accident were a daze and he could hardly comprehend anything going on. It took him several months to piece together the events that happened and those before that led to it.
The road he was on led onto the side of another mountain, this one facing the sea over a rocky cliff. He walked, or limped as he occasionally had to. The salty air filled his lungs and he knew the time had come. He tried to introspect, to find that last speck of hope in his life and then realized there was nothing.
He didn’t have a future as a trucker, not that there was anything to begin with, due to his increased drinking. His wife was a solemn and heartless whore as the neighbors colorfully explained to him. Climbing over the ledge, he wished the same fate that was waiting for him at the bottom of the cliff to everyone he ever knew, especially his wife.
Wrath is probably the most complex of the seven deadly sins to comprehend. There is a thin line between envy and wrath, which on most occasions is rather difficult to find. However, the ultimate form of wrath is suicide; when all you can do is blame yourself for everything and inflict upon yourself the ultimate punishment.


 

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