The neon signs flashed brightly through the mist.
It was a commercial street that had
Pubs, restaurants and a variety of stores strewn on either side.
Everyone had called it a day and the shutters were down,
Only the street lights and the neons were fighting it out for glory.
A long shadow accompanied a Priest as he passed by.
Wearing a cassock and a book with golden cross embossed.
He walked down the street with his head slightly bowed.
Returning back home from a sermon at the Church.
This was the usual route and the time was past twelve.
Turning around a corner he entered the dark alley filled with warehouses,
Street lights were dim and huge trash cans were dumped on the sidewalk.
Walking down the lane he saw a car stop in a distant corner,
A dark, lean image stepped out and rolled a garbage bag from its boot space.
He heard the wheels spin as it accelerated and fled out of sight.
Passing by the trash cans he saw something move,
It was the black polythene garbage bag,
And from it came some moans in pain.
Nearing the black bag he squatted and examined,
Untying the rope around its mouth he was taken aback by what he saw.
A brunette with an eyebrow pierced and curled hair.
Duct tape stuck over her mouth with scars on her forehead.
Her eyes were smudged with mascara all over.
Hands were put together with the help of a fuse wire.
And an expression of shock and pain was etched all over her face.
The priest freed her hands and tore the bag open,
Tears welled from her eyes as she lay there perplexed.
Without even wasting a minute she took the tape off her mouth,
Gasped for breath, coughed and sobbed,
But the priest’s face had turned white as though he’d seen a ghost.
He lifted her up and put her on her feet,
They stepped out of the gloomy street,
On the way went to an old cemetery that also had a park.
She cleaned her wounds in the fountain,
Washed her face and quenched her thirst.
She sat down on a stone bench
As she had no strength to walk
The holy man sat beside and offered his hand kerchief.
Not even a single word had the holy man spared,
But the girl cried bitterly and had a story to share.
She confessed to him as they conversed,
That she was a streetwalker,
Who attracts the lustful lot by walking the streets.
Living in an old wrecked wagon few miles away,
That was just a changing room cos she hardly stayed over there.
All she had was her flesh to trade,
For the hungry who had money to spare.
She had a void which men lusted for every night,
But not one knew it wasn’t a physical one,
But it was the hole in her soul that could be filled by no one.
It was two days back and it seemed like any other night,
She stood by the road when she was picked by a maniac.
Seldom had she known what it would lead to,
Until she was tied and tortured in a dark room,
She realized she was now a sadist’s prey.
Deriving pleasure from her screams and wails,
He played with her as though she was a voodoo doll.
For hours together he tormented her till he was tired,
And finally stopped when she could no longer respond.
Poisoned her with a syringe and put her in the garbage bag.
The moment she said that she was poisoned,
A corner of her lip turned red as blood oozed from within.
The priest stood up to get help,
But she held his hand, refused the offer and said it was too late.
Told him to sit down calmly and be there till she slept.
Finally, she told him her last wish,
“Pray for me would you, I’ve been a bad girl all my life,
Never paid heed to what momma said
And played on my own terms, till she left for good.
Now I repent for those broken homes and hearts I’ve left behind”
“Bury me not where others also rest in silence,
For once I want to sleep alone and catch up on all that I lost.”
“Be it so” said the Priest and assured her with a verse
‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds’.
“Now rest my child you still have a far off place to reach
cos this isn’t your end but just the beginning ”.
And carried her away as she closed her eyes and fell into eternal sleep.