‘He has come.’
The messenger was running but the walls were running faster than him. The doors were folding themselves and the steps were flying high and sinking low.
He had come.
They had called him the Teacher. He had told them about him.
‘He will come.’
They had asked the Teacher who.
‘One hundred years after I am gone. He will rule the four directions of one of the four continents of the world. He will love me and my word. He will build shrines for me and they will number eighty thousand and four. His name will climb hills and swim seas. He will love us all like no one before. There will be blood. There will be death. And there will be life.’
One hundred years had woken up and fallen asleep.
The man was running through the garden now. It was alive with flowers and leaves and seeds. They were watching him but he was blind. His naked feet fell over roses and crushed their heads. The gardener watched silently. The soil had footprints and red petals.
‘They are dead. All of them.’
The other gardener bent over. He dug the earth and mixed the torn flowers and leaves with the earth.
‘They will live. The dead will bear new life.’
The man was still running. The thorn in his feet was pulling more blood. The Emperor was by his bedroom window. Looking the sky. Waving at someone. The man bowed.
‘What is it?’
‘A son. The Queen has given birth to a boy.’
‘Your son sire.’
‘Alive. She is resting.’
The Emperor was quiet. He took out a box engraved with Vishnu flying on his Garuda. The chakra in his finger looked like a giant flying disc. Picking a handful of navaratnas, he threw them at the man.
The man bowed and limped out, leaving behind a faint trail of blood in his wake.