Monday, December 26, 2005

A Short story


Throughout his life, Roland Burke never cared for anyone- neither his family nor his society. But now, when he learnt that he was the victim of a terminal illness, Roland wanted to do something for someone other than him. He wondered if he still had any chances to go to heaven.

He was lost in thought and his eyes grew tired. Suddenly, he saw a flash of light before him. He opened his eyes to see a beautiful lady dressed in white. Roland could not believe his eyes.
The lady spoke in a mellifluous voice.
"Roland, you have another 40 days to live. I know that you want to go to heaven. It is true that you've never done anything so bad that you could be sent to hell. But it is also true that you've not done anything good either. So, how can I send you to heaven?" she asked.

Roland knew he had to beg his way to heaven. "O Lady!" he prayed. "I can do some good in these 40 days. Tell me what I should do? Should I take care of my family which is in a poor state or should I help in improving the society?"

"Spend the rest of your life working for the society," she replied. "I shall take care of your family provided you work for the society till your death. In that case, you shall also find your way into heaven."

Saying this, the lady disappeared into thin air. Roland could sense a fragrance of flowers as she left. He got up with a start. "Was it a dream?" he wondered. Just then, a nurse came into his room.
"Sister, please tell me the truth," Roland asked her. "How many days am I going to live?"
"I am sorry to say this, Mr. Burke. But you have just a month."
"But she told me that I had another 40 days."
"Who said?"
"An angel! I saw her now. She said that I should work for the society and if I did, she would take care of my poor family and send me to heaven."
"Oh! You must have been dreaming. Look Mr. Burke. Don’t you think you must take care of your family? After all, they are the ones who care so much for you."
"Oh God! I am so confused. What shall I do?"
"Relax Mr. Burke! Think over it."

The next day, Roland was discharged from the hospital. He sold his house, his market shares and his land for a large amount of money. He withdrew all the money from his bank account.

The next one month was his busiest and happiest in his life. He spent all his money and time for the orphans and the disabled. He donated liberally to social organizations.

One day, as Roland was coming out of an orphanage, a speeding truck headed straight for him and hit him. The next second, Roland found himself lying in a pool of blood. He was surrounded by a crowd. He was in his deathbed when the nurse came walking towards him. It was his 30th day as she had predicted.

"Roland. Didn't I tell you to work for your family?" she asked. "After 30 days, you improved your society. But your family members are still dying for their daily bread. Who would take care of them now?"
"You were right," he muttered. "I made a mistake."

The crowd around him was puzzled. One of them said, "Who is he speaking to? There's no one there."
"Who knows?" replied another. "He may be talking to God. They say that you see God on your deathbed."

Smiling, the nurse went back the way she came, leaving a fragrance of flowers behind.

I sent this story for the TEXT CONTEST at Dunno what went wrong-- my story was at the 13th postition among 15 entries. I thought that those who had written comments would have stated why it scored so less. But they too had mentioned it was good.
Here is the link:
Strange web..strange geeks..


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