It was the day for me; no, ‘The Day’ for me, for I’d never been so aimless and helpless on a day when I couldn’t even afford to be ‘nearly perfect’. The proceeds were right where they were supposed to be but I seemed to be lost in my own world, with a cup of hot coffee, unconsciously being held in my hand, whose presence I perceived only when the momentary tilting caused a drop or two to spill on my hand, bringing be back to the real world. Yes, I thought, Mercy must be ready and could barge in through the door at any minute. Quickly discarding the coffee cup, I got up to wipe the stains off my hand and realized ‘it’ was still laying on the table, right where I’d placed it half an hour back. How could I be so careless? I hastily stuffed it inside the desk drawer and casting one final glance at the office, to make sure everything was in place, I straightened my tie, put on my most appealing smile (so frequently describe by Mercy as one that was plastered on an ‘animated, bald face’) and sat down, heaving a sigh of relief.
Barely a couple of minutes had passed before Mercy’s typical single-knuckle knock was heard and I admitted her inside, accompanied by her beautiful companion. Beautiful, I say, because she was indeed like no other and the mere sight of her was like witnessing a breathtaking vision appear right before one’s eyes. In spite of all the differences of the past, present and future, I simply couldn’t resist the temptation of admiring her extravagant personality and the enigma that she really was. My plastered smile must have caused her to be courteous enough to smile back, as I saw no reason why she would have otherwise, of her own accord; not after everything that had happened.
“Pray sit down, ma’am”, I barked, in what I thought to be the most polite manner I’d used in a long time. She took a seat right opposite and mine and started coldly at me, straight in the eye, not unusual for a woman of her temper.
“Have we come to a point of negotiation finally?”, she asked.
“Let’s just say we’re finally getting somewhere”. I was trying my very best to not lose my composure and Mercy, at the back, aiding me with her exaggerated hand gestures to maintain my calm, wasn’t doing much to help.
“You know very well that I haven’t come here to play a game of probability with you. I’m responsible for my actions and Perry cannot possibly care more less for your tricky words. So, I’d suggest you to immediately reconsider your proposal by making all the necessary amendments. I’m right here”.
It was hard listening to a woman of her status elicit those ice-pricking words and when I looked at Mercy, she too seemed to be taken aback by our ‘honored’ visitor’s inappropriate behavior.
Shifting my gaze back to this fantastically striking woman one last time, I literally worshiped the serene beauty of a graceful woman, something lacking in even the most gorgeous of gorgeous women you get to hear about everyday. Bowing my head down in shame and guilt for a second or two, I opened the desk drawer, removed it, clicked the lock into position and –
I only need to win one time.
It felt as if every living soul in the city had woken up to the sound that still reverberated through the entire office, deafening all my senses for a full fledged minute, before I could faintly make out Mercy’s frantic shouts in the distance. I closed my eyes to shake off the turbulent feeling and grabbing the metal horse paperweight for support, managed to finally pick myself up from the chair, only to find that the feeling was worsening. Still, I made my way towards Mercy as my head cleared and upon approaching her, found her leaning against the main door. Her expression was one of those I wish never to see again on any human being- eyes wide open in fear and terror, mixed with a horribly wicked feeling of confusion and total blackout, further accentuated by her open mouth, which it seemed, had been frozen like that for eternity. Her eyes were literally on the verge of popping out from her sockets.
“Get away, please, you monster”.
I stopped instantly and without a word, moved over to my desk as I was still slowly beginning to regain my senses, picked up the .2 mm magnum and made my way back toward where she stood. As she stared astonishingly, I raised my hand slowly, the magnum clutched tightly in between my fingers.
In less than a fraction of a second, her toad-like expression smoothed as she closed her eyes, easing herself with a smooth smile, characteristic of those who know death is at their heels. The few seconds of absolute silence that followed seemed like millennia for either of us. She finally opened her eyes, only to find me still standing in front of her, with the magnum still in my hand, but with the orientation changed.
“Go ahead”, I said, “it’s still loaded with five shells; you only need one to put in my head”.
Stammeringly, she managed to utter- “Why?”.
“It had to be done, Mercy. I had no choice”.
“You’d said that only the ones responsible would pay..”
“Oh, wasn’t she now, Mercy?”.
“You’ve brought your own end at your doorstep. They’re all gonna come down chasing you, that is if by some miracle, he doesn’t find you first. My God, sir, she was Lois Lane after all…”
“AND I’M LEX LUTHOR”.
Everything froze once again as my words echoed through the room, causing an eerie silence of shadowy gloom to hover above both of us, quietly creeping in from all fours to engulf us in its wake.
I was the first to break the ice.
“Its high time everyone’s priorities were sorted out, Mercy. Wayne overtook this place and finally, I’ve got some real manly competition to take part in, but not him. Never in a million years will I sanction alien wrath to be chosen over the human race.
We see…the same world that needed rescue…but from who….
“Mercy, I’d like you to make arrangements for delivering Ms Lane’s body to a very specific address”.
After what appeared to be an eternity of silence, she spoke – “where?”.
“Smallville, the Kents”.
“Why so? That happens to be the address of Daily Planet’s Clark Kent”.
It was now my turn to adhere to a few moments of silence. When I did answer, I found myself replying in a tone I’d always marveled at as a child but had never really mastered in using it on a daily basis even after hours of practicing and yet, on the day when I least expected it to bubble up, it came out effortlessly-
“Because Clark Kent is Superman”.