The Parable of the Hitman and the Rosewood Coffin
An assassin was sent into the middle of the desert by his employer to bury an empty coffin.
He was not aware of this until he opened the rosewood casket out of curiosity and discovered that it contained nothing but a bouquet of fragrant magnolias.
Surprised by this unforeseen quandary, the assassin pondered upon the moral implications of his master’s order. He knew that his dedication as a tradesman of death was being tested. It was a matter of honor that he should find a suitable occupant for the finely-wrought sarcophagus lying on the desert floor.
The assassin believed that a corpse could exist without a man-made coffin since human beings walked in their own tombs all the time. His skin was a coffin. So too were his shoes and clothes. The universe itself was an immense tomb whose lid was slowly descending upon all the stars and galaxies scattered across the infinite dark.
A coffin, however, was meaningless without a body, for it could not fulfill its purpose unless it had an inhabitant.
The assassin could not disregard his devotion to the sacraments of death which had sustained him throughout his life, especially during his childhood. He remembered his father, a humble mortician, who introduced him to the joy of embalming corpses which seemed so alive in their repose, so serene and truthful, lacking all the pretensions life demanded.
While he stood before the gaping mouth of the rosewood casket, he understood that death had been preparing him for a sacred moment wherein he might prove his loyalty. Without hesitation, the assassin instantly climbed into the coffin, pulled down the heavy lid and waited patiently for his demise.
The sands gradually covered his tomb until a great mound was formed, upon which a massive cactus grew. Soon it became a den of vultures and scorpions and other carrion eaters. Nowadays, when the moon grows fat and heavy in the cold night sky, female wolves gather around the unmarked grave and give birth to their feral cubs, while basking birds of prey watch over the murderer’s resting place with eyes glowing crimson in the moonlight.
#prose #poem #surrealism #nightmares #death @ellowrites @ello @apoem_4u @styxbones