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I woke up that morning feeling sixty-five, and I needed a walk. I needed to breathe in the fresh air. Now, I lived on the outskirts of the city and there was a Jacaranda Park very close to my house. The violet-blue flowers dancing to the rhythm of the morning breeze invigorated me and filled me with confidence. I sat on a stone bench for a while and lost myself to reverie. I thought of the years spent following the rules and standing up for what was right; years spent being a conservative; years spent devoted to one woman, and I felt pride swelling up within me and, teary-eyed, I returned to my cottage.

The carpenter Bill came home that day because the cupboards needed repairs. I looked at the size of the nails he used and wondered how painful crucifixion was. Those slender but powerful nails. I imagined them piercing skin and splitting bone and shivered at the thought. We didn’t carry out crucifixion in the city. In fact, we’d outlawed the death sentence, but we had Lot criticising us for doing so and campaigning for it. He acted like a judge of sorts. Maybe it was sexual tension. He considered himself ‘righteous’ and preached at every quarter of the city. “The day of the Lord is near!” He said, the spittle falling on our faces.

I had to attend a wedding that day. My distant relative was marrying this beautiful woman called Maria. And so, I walked to town and saw Lot barking in a corner. “Sodomy! You’re guilty of sodomy!” He said. I ignored him and went to the town house. The ceremony was beautiful. The young man was a conservative like me, but not radical like Lot. It was beautiful seeing two people in love waltzing and enjoying themselves. The wine flowed, and I drank to my heart’s content. Soon, it was dusk and time to go home.

As I walked home, I saw two men descending the hill with Lot. The men looked angelic and there was a commotion outside Lot’s house. And so I rushed there, hoping to resolve the dispute. Then I got a closer look at the men and dropped my pants. I rushed to the door and screamed with my walking stick in hand: “Bring the men out! So that I may know them!” My loins were on fire and even Viagra didn’t compare to the tension I felt. I needed those men, and it was strange because I was a straight, conservative man. What is happening to me? I thought, but brushed the thought away. What about my wife?

“Sirs, I beg you! My daughters are virgins. You can have them and do as you please,” Lot said, but all of us shouted, “No!” in unison. It was then that I realised I wasn’t alone in my heat and would have to fight others with my walking stick if necessary. But I was ready. “You’re always judging us, Lot. Now bring out those men!” I said.

But then the men did something, and I couldn’t see. I stumbled into the others and gathered that they were all blind. I was terrified. Soon, I thought of my beautiful wife and I went back home. I ran, slipping, stumbling, falling and naked from the waist down. I don’t know how I got home, but I pounded on the door and shouted, “Jeanie! Jeanie! Open! It’s me!”

“What happened?” she asked and took me in, and my sight returned. “That bastard Lot!” I said, but she put a hand on my shoulder and then bandaged me and fetched me new clothes. We ate kebabs, and chicken biryani with some Kingfisher. But then the fire and brimstone struck.

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