By my desk at dusk, the rain flirted silently with the dark fog outside.
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From the basement, a sudden quirky sound, like chains rattling. I got up and grabbed the poker from the fireplace on my way downstairs. Thought I'd better be prepared if there was someone there. Neighbour got robbed the week before, and I kept some valuables in the basement. Middle Eastern antiques worth a fortune, if you'd like to know...
Small drops of sweat appeared on my forehead as I reached the ground floor... The door to the basement was closed, and it was dead silent. My stupid cat watched lazily from the window. Front door and windows were closed and seemed untouched. Slowly I opened the door leading to the basement stairs. Candle in one hand and poker in the other, I moved carefully downwards. Light bulb had gone out couple of days ago, and I just hadn't fixed it yet. My eyes gradually accustomed to the dark cellar. A faint touch of ether was in the air...
-Kablaff! A flash of greenish light lit up the old boxes and sculptures. Shocked I stared at a strange creature, just few metres away from me... He looked human, and his face... He looked like someone from the ancient books of gods. I felt his intense stare go right through me. -Enki?
Out of all the Sumerians' mythical creatures, he'd always been the one getting to me. Was I dreaming...?
In front of me he moved heavily around, seemingly weak. He waved his hands in strange gestures, desperately trying to make sense of his surroundings.
-I had a name once, he moaned. -Enki... Who are you?
-I'm James K, I said. -Lawyer and antiques trader. I am friendly!
The words had the opposite effect of what I expected, suddenly Enlil screamed in anger! He grabbed me in the neck, snapped the poker and put me up against the wall, infuriated.
-Where is the bastard!
Pale and terrified, I stuttered..
-Who are you talking about...?
-The destroyer of mankind! Enlil!
In a brief glimpse, it dawned on me. An old fiendship was awoken, and Enki was still on the warpath. From the old texts I remembered the epic struggle between the two, Enlil being the evil god, Enki the protector.. He must have been inside the boxes of relics I just bought from this dodgy Egyptian contact of mine.
-Answer me! I saaaaid answer me!
Almost fainting, I pointed to the stairs.
-You'll come with me!
Still droused, but more energetic he then dragged me along the stairs and tossed me onto the kitchen floor. In fright I watched him look around, and realized I had to play a real trick to get him off my back. I knew that Enki was supposed to be the good one, but he certainly had a brutal behaviour. He laughed and pointed at my toaster.
-Is this the fruits of the puny human civilazation? All this years and this electrified box is your finest labour?
With a ray of flames he made it explode in a second. Creaping towards the door I watch the stupid cat running in panic, empty eyes.
-Inventions have a short life! But I...am immortal!
Nothing to lose, I got on my feet. I saw small fires on the floor, smoke was everywhere.
-Enki! I will show you where Enlil is! Stop destroying my home ...!
-Quick then, human, he snared. I hastily opened the window to clear the smoke before I recognized the spacious oak bookstand. There I fetched my biggest world map and put on the floor.
-Wait..wait just let me put it out for you.
I placed my finger at a point I knew he could relate to.
-There, I said. -Iraq. North of Bagdad. He hides among the people there.
-Babylon! I see... So you knew it all along, didn't you!
He flashed the grimmest teeth I ever saw at me. I stumbled and stood up for a goodbye routine, perplexed by his glowing presence.
-I understand your kind... I said. -The gods must rule the world. Humans must be your servants!
-Ha ha, he laughed as he opened the doors to the veranda with a dramatic gesture.
-Humans have lived without gods for too long!
He walked majestically into the back garden.
-For now... I have some unfinished business..
Shaken but not too stirred, I could do nothing but watch Enki take off from the ground. He speed up heading south and I saw his flame disappear in the night and fog.
-House is safe and I only got some bruises, I thought. I had tricked him, for now. But who would know what was going to happen to this wild and reborn god when he got to the Middle East? And what would he do when he found out that Enlil was not where I told him?
I pinched myself, over and over. The question would not leave my mind.
-Was this real? Or only a dream?