Have you ever fancied a visit to a land far, far away from yours?

Is that even a question?

I’m sure you have, just like any other normal person.

And our protagonist is no different.

Many people kept coming to his homeland regularly; but none of them liked it. They often ridiculed, drawing comparisons to their own land.

“This place is a fucking shithole.” One of them ranted. “You know what? The land where I come from is the best place ever. You should visit and see for yourself.”

“Holy Cannoli, how do you live here?” Another complained. “I already regret coming here. Everything sucks big time; the atmosphere, the climate, the living conditions, the shitty people. Back home, it’s a whole lot better.”

“Yuck!” Yet another cringed. “You call this goddamned land your home? It’s the worst ever! Save yourself from this misery by traveling to my land.”

Over the years, curiosity built up in our protagonist’s head.

What’s so special about that land? Why is everyone speaking so highly about it? There’s got to be something unique. From what they’ve described so far, it definitely seems like a better place than here. A torrent of thoughts erupted in his mind.

As days passed, his desire to visit that other land overwhelmed him. After dreaming about it for a long time, he finally decided to journey there and satiate his wanderlust.

After days of long, exhaustive travel, he reached his destination.

Then it dawned on him that the reality wasn’t even a tad close to how it was represented. Rather, it was grim and depressing.

A profusion of nuclear wars had devastated the land which once flowed with milk and honey. The sound of drones dropping bombs beclouded the day, not the rooster’s crow. Mushroom clouds on the red sky were an everyday phenomenon.

The atmosphere was unbreathable due to lack of a green cover. People dawdled around like zombies, wearing gas masks to protect themselves from the intense, acrid smell of toxic chemicals pervading the air.

Virulent pandemics had wiped out a majority of the population. As the viruses spread, they mutated and the death toll skyrocketed. Huge pharma companies restricted access of the vaccine to the elites who could shell out a fortune, leaving the underprivileged to bite the dust.

More and more people had become infertile, declining the population. The land could no longer sustain new life.

The rivers had dried from the lack of rain. A slight drizzle from the skies was a distant dream, such that citizens fought each other for a few gallons of potable water.

The crops had failed due to drought, resulting in the extinction of poultry and other livestock. Famines of biblical proportions had stricken the land. The tables of the rich were decked with caviars and cognacs of all sorts such that they would be spoiled for choice, while the impoverished were denied even a soupçon, forced to turn to cannibalism or die famished.

The economy had suffered a great collapse. Unemployment peaked and the availability of basic resources was scarce. There were armed conflicts over the remaining resources.

Witnessing this, our protagonist felt betrayed, utterly betrayed. Liars! All of them were fucking liars! They told tall tales about their homeland. But it’s a colossal mess.

The sea level was rising and the land, on the verge of submerging. Cyclones ravaged regularly, causing infinite destruction.

Under a veneer of supposed “liberal democracies,” fascist, totalitarian regimes were brainwashing the masses into buying inimical propaganda. The autocrats ruling the land played the fiddle while the citizens were dying, thanks to blatant callousness.

The strings were pulled by massive corporations who pitted people against one another for basic resources like food, water, and oxygen.

Absolutely no room existed for freedom of speech. Dissenting voices were muzzled and the media deteriorated to the lapdog of the ruling classes from being the watchdog of democracy.

The junta had taken over the streets and the mobs terrorized the people. The justice systems weren’t able to handle the massive surge of criminality.

Feisty young men, blinded by extremist ideologies, became radicalized enough to blow themselves up for a far-fetched cause, wreaking havoc. The “us vs. them” battle claimed the lives of way too many innocent souls. Bitter hate turned one against another, festering never-healing wounds.

Women were treated like trash and worse. Rapes and sexual assaults were prevalent in every nook and corner. Children at the tender age of mouthing their first words succumbed to the libidinous caprice of pedophiles.

The land had become engulfed by darkness; even a flicker of hope was nowhere to be seen. Clouds of distress loomed at large. Tranquility was not a word in the dictionary of the inhabitants. To state it was the worst place ever would be an understatement. Everything was fucked beyond recognition. Period!

“Oh no, no, no!” Our protagonist cried out to himself, feeling scarred for eternity. “I can’t exist in this despicable land another second. What a blunder!”

Sufficiently devastated, he set out journeying back home, blaming himself for coming in search of greener pastures.

Along the way, he felt he had been ungrateful and unappreciative of what he had.

Finally, he delivered himself to the gateway of his home sweet home.

Stepping into his homeland, his heart warmed, literally and metaphorically.

This was where he belonged.

Home is where his heart was; err…even if he didn’t have one.

Deep inside, he vowed never to visit that cursed land again no matter how much anyone entices him.

Being the Devil himself, he felt Hell was a far better place than the terrible, terrible world up above.