“You need chaos,” he added with a wave of his hand just before sipping his tea. His tall frame stood slightly stooped silhouetted against the afternoon sun flickering in a trance-like dance on the water.
“Crooks thrive where order suits their purposes. You need to take that away from them. You need to take away their means to hold on to power. Turn the tables on them! The people need to understand to need for chaos.”
It was the first time he spoke in that manner. Maybe he was angry at the state of affairs. I don’t know.
I looked into the mirror once more to see what body I had come to occupy this time. It all began five years ago, when I slipped into a coma after that car crash. The mirror in my room had become a portal into a world much like my own except it was leaning dangerously, as I had come to gather, towards a crisis of some sort. Each time, I arrived through the mirror, I would come to occupy…possess… the body of one of the residents of this alternative world.
This time it was of a boy about my age sitting at a table with an older man rambling on about the political and economic state of the country. I guessed I was the student and he was the mentor.
“Tell me Januarius…”
That was my name. I just found out.
“Is this what your father fought for 50 years ago? Is this what your mother and brothers died for? For another dictator to take over?” He said taking another sip from his cup. He looked at the sugarless amber liquid and swirled it.
“I…I thought this was a democracy,” I said feebly for the first time getting used to my voice.
“Democracy?!...Where have you been, boy?” He looked at me almost dumbfounded. “Atlantis destroyed itself just as we are destroying ourselves.”
Atlantis? This was confusing.
I remained as calm as possible looking at the mirror just waiting for an opportunity to reach back into the comfort of my room in my “real world.”
“We have come to a point where the people have stopped thinking for themselves. They’ve become nothing but drones in a hive. Believing everything they are told. Unthinking. Not even daring to reason. They are too afraid of thinking outside the confines of what they are told to believe,” the mentor rambled on.
“And people like me… My words are treasonous. They say I poison the minds of the youth with words of rebellion and political dissent. They say I should not mislead the masses and the simple folk.”
“You know they suffer, Januarius!” he looked at me imploringly. Their tongues have been cut out. Their words are drowned by the political rhetoric that has become part of their language. Their children believe what they are being told.”
“Gone are the days of the revolutionaries! We thought we did it right. We got rid of one and another arises just as I am near my deathbed. “
“Where are the young? They’ve become nothing but timid sheep who say what is politically correct. Their fathers turn in the graves. Ashamed of what their sons have become.”
I was slowly understanding all of it. Maybe in my own world, I was blinded too by the many facades. What was I? I mean… What was I in my real version? Maybe I was one of the many caught up in the comforts of a world made comfortable by an earlier generation.
Were we a generation drugged and controlled by fear? I didn’t know.
“You know, Januarius,” said the mentor once again drawing my attention to his words and breaking my thoughts. “You’re a traveler. You don’t have to live with this. You come and go as you please.”
For the first time he was acknowledging the fact that he knew who I was and how I came to be.
“We, on the other hand, have to live with the world we are in. We have to find our own solutions without help from the outside. Our methods may not be like yours and may not be acceptable but it has to be our own.
I sat up and looked into the mirror once more.
“I should get going now, sir,” I said as I got up.
He turned to me and looked above the glasses that had slipped down the bridge of his nose.
“Be wary, son…,” He said as if he knew more than he was telling me. “I’m glad you dropped by. Don’t let them enslave your mind.”
As I reached into the mirror, I felt the familiar electrical buzz on the surface of my skin. Then blackness.
“David! David!” The voice called again and then a rude shove and a small finger poked my cheek twice.
“Mum says you have to wake up for school!”
Almah. My baby sister. My personal pain in the neck.