Unhallowed Devotion ( A Short Story )

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Look at the stubble of beard growing on his chin and he would say “Man, there is nothing to worry about. I am still myself.” Bid him a swift adieu, go away to chase your dreams, circumnavigate the globe then come back to him years later, find him another man, a bearded man. “Beard is a symbol, beard is wisdom.” He would say.

Drown your worry. Quiet the skeptical voice of fear. He is maturing only, he is getting wise. Peruse his shelves, check on his books, and heave a sigh of relief. He’s Reading Zarathustra, Mani, and Mahomet. He’s Leafing through Buddhism and Hinduism, Paganism and Gnosticism. He’s becoming open-minded, but ask yourself: “Why the beard?”

Wish him good luck in whatever he intends to do. Travel back to your house, live your life, forget about him, until the day you switch on TV, and watch a man, a bearded man on live detonation. Run back to him, ask him to repent his sins. “Dad,” he would say. “There is nothing to worry about. I am a man of peace.” Then you would just leave. You have no proof, and you love your son.

Years elapse, his beard turns grey; it turns white, too. It’s a long beard. And you know what is it for now, but it’s too late. You pick up your glasses, his book on your lap. Your hands shake. You are too old. A tear trickles down your face as you read the title, “The Truest God”. You open the book, you curse your son, you curse his divine being, and his devout followers. You touch your white beard; you cast a rueful look at the book on the nearby table. The book you have written, “The True God” then you ask yourself “when did my son stop worshipping me?”

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