Horror is realizing a split-second after having just killed a mosquito between your palms that it wasn’t a mosquito. It could have been anything, but not a mosquito. Now your palms are together, sticky with insect guts and you’re too afraid to open them. You go on with your life with your palms stuck together like this. People look at you like you’re crazy, but you don’t care. Between the two fears, that of people thinking you have become unhinged, and that of finding out what it was that you actually killed, the latter weighs far greater on your mind. Your friend sits you down, and asks, ‘Please Mike, just tell us, what is the matter?’ But you just stare back, eyes on fire though ringed with dark lines because of sleep deprivation, ‘You wouldn’t understand it dude, it’s just, just leave it be, man.’ And then you bring up other matters, talk of different things. Your friend sighs, shrugs, gets up and leaves you be.
You have become a hermit, you live deep in the woods. You have learned to live using only your feet for your daily tasks. Meanwhile, your hands and arms have atrophied. They have become stick-thin, and the veins have bulged out so that they look like the exposed roots of large trees. Your nails have become so long. You have long cast off normal life in society, now preferring the company of small rodents and fowls. But it does not matter. You are content in this world you have made for yourself. At night you sleep peacefully.
Decades pass and one day, mountaineers find you petrified corpse seated in the lotus position, palms clasped together in the hollow of this tree. They think you are some sort of holy person who died meditating, like those Jains in India. Your grave becomes a shrine visited by New Age folks and some Tibetan Buddhism practitioners. One comments that your hands actually are in the position known as Añjali Mudrā, and is in the exact location above the heart chakra. Those visiting agree with this, and because your body is still unidentified, they just call you the Anjali Mudra Saint. One day a family visits your grave. The mother places the small child on the ground and gives her a garland made of tiny delicate orange flowers. The mother, with the child, walks up in front of you. The mother tells your corpse that she called on your visage while her child, this very child in front of you, was gravely ill. Through your interdiction, the woman continues, that child has slowly recovered and is now happy and strong. The child looks up at her mother. The mother looks at the child and nods. The child walks up to your corpse, and around your neck, gently places the garland.