The cafe lights bleached the night, washing colour from the hoardings, turning people to cut outs.
Ahriman imagined taking sharp scissors, snipping away plastic chairs and litter bins, sycamore trees and scraps of discarded samusa, leaving only the figures behind, their legs bent in mid step, lifting cups of black tea to puckered lips. He saw the paper people stacked like plates, shuffled like playing cards, packed away when he tired of them.
He used to love humanity, its endless capacity for greed and hatred, its skill at weaving lies, glittering webs to trap the innocent before the fatal strike.
Now he walked among these flimsy beings, sharing the fragile beat of their hearts, the flicker of pulse so easy to snuff out.
Passing the fountain, a cool mist played across his skin, damping his hair.
Life had been better when he was a god.
Ahriman is another name for Angra Mainyu, a destructive spirit in Zoroastrianism. Many believe Angra Mainyu will ultimately be destroyed, his power quenched. I imagined him passing into human form, becoming obsolete.