The Death: knight Johannes, you just escaped me in 1997 through the hands of those honourable surgeons. That cancer was supposed to kill you and instead you are still alive and even full of life. Are you happy with that?
Knight Johannes: The answer is written beyond your eyes, honourable Death, for you shall never know what really happens after your time and this is your only limitation.
The Death: would you prefer to have died then?
Knight Johannes: probably yes, when I think of the much Evil I have seen committed by my peers and I committed myself after that resurrection.
The Death: yet you have done many good things too.
Knight Johannes: true, but still not the most relevant to call myself a winner of this game.
The Death: which is?
Knight Johannes: which is to close my saga, reveal to the world the real sense of our faith, convince people to stop wars, greed and jealousies and most of all...
The Death: most of all...?
Knight Johannes: find out what really Jesus meant.
The Death: why? Have they not written and talked enough about him?
Knight Johannes: they surely have. Humans love filling space and time with words. Yet religions have more to do with earthly power and emotional blackmail rather than real meanings
The Death: but what about the Church?
Knight Johannes: no wonder, few holy people and plenty of voracious bellies throughout centuries. And have you ever thought of those old ladies that go to Mess every day?
The Death: what’s wrong with them?
Knight Johannes: have you ever thought why they like so much splitting humans in bad and good, sending millions to Hell and only few handfuls to Heaven?
The Death: no really, as you said, my job stops at the threshold . I cannot know who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell and I guess I am not interested either.
Knight Johannes: but I need to know instead. Unlike many, I have been given life twice and I am fed up with church-goers, Muslim fanatics, blatant media preachers, silly opinion makers that regard themselves as powerful as God and distribute sentences and convictions without asking any permission from the copy-right owner. I am tired of these hypocrites. I want to know what God really thinks of all this, if there is one.
The Death: it makes no difference to me.
Knight Johannes: because you are worth nothing. Not even the beautiful skull that you bear will eventually remain intact.
The Death: quite right. But what makes you think that your faith will be enough to save you?
Knight Johannes: because faith is the beginning of any life and hopelessness is the start of any death.
The Death: very interesting. So then, why no one cares about God today apart from the hypocrites you have mentioned?
Knight Johannes: probably because people have stopped asking questions to themselves. They no longer care about who they are, where they come from and especially where they want to go. Like junkies they crave for immediate drugs, like children they never stop asking for new toys, like idiots they cannot stop mocking impossible models for them, like greedy pigs they want more and more fun without really knowing why.
The Death: welcome to the Age of the Stupid. If people continue to consume this way, I will soon succeed for good and finally retire!
Knight Johannes: no wonder you will. Yet your final time has still to come.
The Death: how do you know it?
Knight Johannes: it’s written in my last book and that is still in the clouds.
The Death: and how will I know when my end is coming?
Knight Johannes: let me live for as long as I finish my saga and then you will know.
The Death: bastard! This is the second time you trick me, knight Johannes, but I warn you: there will be no third chance.
Knight Johannes: Thank you, Honourable Death. If you let me finish my work, there will be no need for further chances.
The author and his son Matteo at a drama reconstruction of the Seventh Seal (Bergman, 1957),