"Sign it Mara, the Lord of Birth and Death, the Devourer of Beings and the Spinner of the Wheel etc., etc., and so forth. Send one copy to each of my Army Chiefs and one to my attorney."
The secretary leaves now with a giggle and a wink. Mara closes the days business by quickly surveying his far-flung empire. He watches the screen and scans the cosmos, observing beings as they pass in and out of existence. The moral he watches die and reappear in heaven; the immoral drop to hell. From hell and heaven beings finish their time and reappear on earth... round and round in fruitless circles they go blasted by the winds of desire; winds fanned by Mara's efforts through the ages.
But there, on the screen - in a small bamboo hut an old woman lies down to die. She is wearing robes and her head is shaved. With quiet dignity she stretches her frail body out on the thin woven mat, lying on her right side. Mara watches with distaste - he knows and fears what is coming but cannot look away, it is as painful and as compulsive as probing a rotten tooth with your tongue. The nun quietly and peacefully expires and the screen flickers; the automatic software searches quickly through all the realms of existence and comes back with the dreaded error message; "Being Not Found."
"Bah! Fortunately we don't lose many that way." Mara doesn't allow himself to speculate too long on the whereabouts of the old nun - the idea is vaguely disturbing. He continues to review the many, many more manageable cases that remain within his jurisdiction. Round and round they go; up and down the big ferris wheel.
So Mara has been busily at work for millennia - but Mara too is caught in his own web...as he relaxes now with the day's tasks done he pulls a comb from his vest pocket. The elegant demon-god combs his shiny black hair reflectively, vanity of course being one of his vices. After a few minutes he glances at the platinum and tiger-bone comb and his eyes narrow, his breath stops and he gets a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Among the black is one grey hair...
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