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    Moon's Avatar

    Money & Zapatistas

    The Eighth Passenger: Nowhere, or everywhere. A drowsy train drifts off to its own purr. It isn’t coming from or going to anywhere in particular. Or at least not anywhere that matters. A dismal population whose haggard lives seem to hang by a thread nod off on board. In the last car, seven bored, grubbily dressed and solitary passengers, their lives as wretched as their clothes, shift irritably in their seats and lament their situation.

    “I’d do anything to turn my luck around,” one says. They were speaking a universal language and the other six passengers nod in silence. Just then the long and battered train enters a tunnel, intensifying the shadows and hiding the passengers’ faces. The door opens and an eighth passenger walks in. The passenger’s clothes practically scream, “I’m not from around here,” but they sit down without a word. The tunnel stretches out the darkness.

    A thunderous crack interrupts the silence, like a dry branch breaking but without a storm to blame. A pair of blazing eyes appears in the darkness: “I don’t think I need to introduce myself,” the fiery gaze hisses, “You have all conjured me in one way or another and I’m responding to your call. Make a wish: you pay with your soul. Name your price.”

    The first passenger chooses health, to never get sick again. “Done,” Satan responds, picking up the healthy soul and throwing it in his bag.

    Another passenger chooses wisdom, to know everything. “Done,” the devil murmurs, picking up the wise person’s soul and tossing it in his bag.

    The third passenger opts for beauty, to be admired. “Done,” says the king of hell, tossing the beautiful one’s soul in his bag.

    The fourth asks for Power, to rule and be obeyed. “Done,” Lucifer says under his breath, the soul of the new ruler added to his bag.

    The fifth wants “pleasure,” to awaken passion at will. “Done,” the demon replies with a contented smile. The hedonist’s soul disappears into the devil’s bag.

    The sixth passenger sits up straight and pronounces the desire for fame, to be widely recognized and praised. “Done,” Satan declares without a pause, and the famous soul takes its place among the other prisoners.

    The seventh passenger practically sings the request for “love.” “Dooooooone,” the evil one replies with a guffaw, and the lover’s soul goes into the depths of the bag.

    The fallen angel looks impatiently at the eighth passenger who hasn’t said anything and is merely scribbling in a notebook.

    Lucifer addresses the passenger, asking sweetly, “And what is your wish, traveler? You can have anything you want. All I ask in exchange is your transient soul.”

    The eighth passenger stands up and whispers, “I am Money. I’ll buy all seven souls of those wretches who believed in you and I’ll buy you, too, to have you at my service and under my orders.”

    And “the great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9) smiled cunningly and, before getting into the bag of sold-out souls himself, condemned the passenger, “Let it be so, Master Money, but in your very essence lies your own destruction and your fortune today will be your fall from grace tomorrow.” Money took the bag and exited the last car of the train as the train pulled out of the tunnel.

    Behind them darkness stretched ahead until it reached daylight…

    Continues here

    Last edited by Barry; 09-27-2019 at 10:24 AM.
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