They looked at him with dismayed expressions.
‘The sad thing, when you see a beating heart become dead as a dodo, the sight and the scent of death trails all the more faster as I push myself away from it and catches up with me wherever I go. Why the hell would you have narrowed down the choices if it it were only between me and him. I chose myself, and I am not embarrassed. Either of you or, for that matter, him, would have espoused the same. If it happened to be his day, like so many he had had over the years, things would be different. Unfortunately for him, this day turned out to be mine .’
He had barely spoken when Zahir’s murmured inside the vehicle.
‘Just gimme a moment more’
Tuning the engine was taking longer than he hoped. He needed it to work before his air of indomitability had evaporated. Shooting the gun was one thing. Holding the men back with talk was another, much more onerous than pulling the trigger. Particularly for someone who wasn’t particularly eloquent.
So he started speaking again to Jairaj’s men, a bunch of unstrung, addled and shell–shocked beholders attending this most unforeseen fortuity.
‘Traditionally, in this dour and somber moment, the event of a death’s forthcoming, convention would have entailed me joining you in lamenting the falling out from existence this man of audacity and impudence who in turn scoffed and snuffed the life outta so many others. In death doth all become equals. Kings join the ranks with the vassals, the prosecuted hold hands with the executioners. Death, the leveler; death, the equalizer!’
He wondered if he actually believed anything he was saying.