In a few seconds, the dull ashy color of the paper turned a bright red and a man came to terms with his mortality.
His chest expanded and deflated rapidly and painfully as he tried to draw air into his lungs. He was going to die. The realization hit him like a wrecking ball.
The robber didn't even take his money. Had been too shocked to after the gun went off.
Why? Why live right up to this moment just to die in this manner? Why? He was still so young, full of ideas and he had never visited the Grand Canyon. He had always wanted to go there.
His eyes caught a shiny object in the dark and a picture formed in his mind. Then another and another.
He could not begin to explain it, not that he had any time left, but he knew these images were memories from his past life.
As an atheist he did not believe in reincarnation or any spiritual phenomenon. If you could not see it, if there was no evidence to support something then it does not exist. It is not real.
He found that notion simple and realistic. Now in the hour of his death he believed, strongly. In his past life he was a man named Saif Khan.
An Imam who had lost his faith after losing his family to a plague and subsequently lived a purposeless life. Those were dark bleak days until he was hanged for theft.
An end he joyously welcomed.
The images changed. He saw it clearly now, his future. A reincarnation of his soul and the life he was to live. He smiled and drew his last breath