Res Judicata

By Brian Howley

Delivered by discreet emissaries, the intricate scrolls contained an invitation to a gathering of universal importance. Without exception, the invitees were enthralled. Without exception the invitation had been accepted. An invitation to the Holy City was not to be ignored.

Seated now around an oval table crafted from the finest Australian timber in a room with walls adorned with priceless art, the most influential group of men and women ever gathered could barely contain the excitement.

The silence in the room deepened as a door opened. Perhaps expecting a period of ceremony and introduction, the mouths of those assembled dropped as two men entered the room.  The Pope and a man wearing flowing white robes and hair falling to his shoulders. The stranger exuded a strength and beauty that drew in every person in the room. Some breathed deeply, others stared in awe and one western leader, obviously feeling uncomfortable, opened his mouth to speak.

The long-haired man, now standing at the head of the table, pointed at the western leader saying, “You will remain silent!”

With intent, he met the eyes of each of those seated before him. None of those present had ever experienced such a piercing gaze.

”I greet thee solemnly with the respect reserved for people of high standing. I encourage you to listen well for this moment will not come again. Each of you and those you serve are the work of my hands so you will understand my disappointment and anger that the world I created is being destroyed even as I watch from on high. Simply, it must stop.”

Seeing the looks of disbelief on the faces of many before him, the man stopped speaking and closed his eyes for a moment.

Looking upward, he said, “Should you doubt my place amongst you, behold!”

The guests followed his eyes and were confronted not with a ceiling but with an entire universe stretching before their eyes and at its centre, their planet, Earth.

“Should you continue to wreak havoc on my creation, this will be your reward,” he said, pointing a finger skywards.

The blue planet exploded.

Those at the table wept.

When they lowered their eyes, the man at the head of the table was gone.

Only the Pope remained; a wise and knowing expression on his face.

Brian Howley is an educator from North central Victoria in Australia. He has been writing for many years and has won the odd competition and had pieces of poetry and stories published in newspapers and  journals. He loves words and all they contribute to the world.

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