The walls

I had a feeling of helplessness as I stood there, staring at the walls. The outer wall was once strong and protective, and now a blanket of green moss surrounded it. I didn’t want to spend much time there, so went inside to get it over with. I tried to prepare myself, for all that I could feel when I would get this over with. The walls were supposed to be once a symbol of strength, were now decaying with neglect.

The door was left open, probably by the last person who had been here to steal something for himself. The inner walls once bore a brilliant shade, but the purple paint was now peeling off to reveal the plaster beneath it. I stared at the fireplace in the hall. When once the room used to be covered in the orange warmth of its glowing fire, now lay the walls blackened by soot. A cracked shell of what it once was.

With great difficulty, I opened one of the cupboards that were there. The doors did not require much pull as they were swaying open with glasses broken, but I needed to strength to confront what I might find in them, present or missing. There were only two things left, an old notebook and a pot of ink. The pages had yellowed with age, but the ink still remained fluid. The bottle of vibrant blue ink held my eye, I assumed it would still glow if I saw it against the light.

I hoped to use this ink and write in the notebook as I once did. I would hold the nib of my pen for a second longer than I had to, when I would complete a chapter. It would amaze me how the ink would flow out fast and fluid, as it spread life in the pages on which I wrote. IT took me some time to look for a pen. I found one lying below the cupboard, its cap long lost. As I began to fill it with ink, I noticed that the nib was broken. The pen and the inkpot fell from my hand.

The ink spreads all over the carpet like a waste, quite different from how I remember it. Slow, and thick. I have a feeling of helplessness as I stand here, staring at the walls.

***

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

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Chapter 5 – First stroke of luck (Tribe whispers)

We all know about this game called Chinese Whispers in which one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. We at Write Tribe are doing just that but with stories on our blog. One person tells a short story on his/her blog, the next Blogger will continue the story, till it finishes on Blogger no. 9.

Chapter 1 by Richa

Chapter 2 by Shilpa

Chapter 3 by Pixie

Chapter 4 by Pheno

*****

Chapter 5 – First stroke of luck

Ankitha kept staring at the man who sat in front of her. As much as he looked like Shishir, his behavior and mannerisms were totally different. The Shishir she knew carried himself with a sense of certainty, and confidence. The man in front of her was a bumbling man, who was reduced to stammers on being confronted by whom he thought was a stranger. She ignored the phone call she received and kept her attention on him.  He was not taking it well. While he was just stammering before, he seemed a nervous wreck now. Sweat was trickling profusely from his temple, trickling slowly down by his ear and onto his neck. At this pace, he would begin to draw attention from those who sat in the café.

“Why don’t you visit the washroom?”

“I d-d-d-don’t have to.”

“Look at yourself, you’re sweating heavily. Go wash your face.”

Whatever protest he wanted to make, went down in a whimper when he saw the look on her face. He nodded and slowly walked towards the washroom, with his gaze on the floor all this while. She took this window of time to run through the back pack he had on him. There was a laptop and a hard disk in one of the compartments. While the contents of the hard disk interested her, she didn’t have the time to copy the data from it on to the memory cards she carried in her purse. There were some print outs of a project report, of which she quickly took photographs. There was a bunch of pen and pencils in the other along with a few bars of dark chocolate.

He hates dark chocolate, she thought. Why was he carrying a bunch of it then? It could all be part of his cover. That didn’t make any sense to carry so many of them, though. She quickly put a bar in her purse as well. She could hear him fumbling with the door lock to open it. She quickly zipped the bag, and kept it back on the floor. He came back looking refreshed, but still nervous. If this was an undercover mission, it didn’t seem that he was going to tell her about it in public. If he wanted to, he would contact her through the means they had already had in place for times like this.

“What, what d-d-d-oo you want from me?”
“I am sorry, you look a lot like my friend Shishir. He had disappeared six months ago. We are all worried about him.”

“I am sorry, I d-d-d-ont recognize you. My name may b-b-bee Shishir, b-b-but you have mistaken me with someone else.”

“I understand, sorry to have taken your time.”
He got up and walked out of the café, with his gaze down all the time. She didn’t want to follow him now, and arouse suspicion from whoever might be keeping an eye on him. She knew where he worked at , and would trace him from there. All she had were the photographs she had taken and the single bar of dark chocolate. It did not bear the name of any brand or have any distinguishing packaging or logo. Just the words ‘Dark chocolate 3’ were written on the wrapper. She tore open an edge of the wrapping and took a bite. It didn’t taste very different, just had a slightly pleasant after taste. She would get it checked in one of her trusted labs.

She got up and ordered a coffee for herself, and then began to read whatever she had captured in the photographs.

******

I now hand over to Ayush Chauhan to take the story ahead.

Tribe whispers is an idea proposed by Ayush Chauhan in the Write Tribe Group. Members of the group are working together to create a story. Read more here: Tribe whispers at Hundred Works

Memories

He had been lying asleep on the floor for some time now. One would have thought that the house had been empty had it not been for the sounds from the fan as it continued whirring. He was in a rare session of a long uninterrupted sleep from which he hadn’t woken up for the last 8 hours. This would however not last long as he was soon rudely awoken by the constant ringing of the doorbell. The doorbell along with the banging on the door aggravated the headache he got from the being woken up so suddenly.

“YES! YES! I am coming” He yelled before getting up. He got up with the help of the sofa, and walked groggily towards the door. He fumbled a little with the door lock before opening it. The sudden burst of sunlight hit him hard in the eyes. He looked through the squinted eyes to see his domestic help standing at the door. He let her in the house, and closed the door. She didn’t need any specific instructions and went about her normal routine which began with making the rooms tidy after which she would wash the clothes in the laundry basket and vessels in the kitchen sink. The sunlight had ensured that he was wide awake by now, and he went to the bathroom to freshen up.

After brushing his teeth, and washing his face he took a long look in the mirror. His hair hand grown long and without the generous of a comb appeared wild. His stubble had grown into a full beard, and had now begun to itch below his chin. In spite of the lack of responsibility he felt towards it because of being on a ten day leave, he took up the can of shaving foam and began to shave it itchy growth of. He turned on the shower and stood under it for some time, motionless. Generally he would find such a long bath relaxing, however he didn’t feel the same today. He wondered if he had felt anything for a long time now.

After the prolonged shower, he put on a tee and shorts. He walked in to the kitchen to take out something to drink from the fridge. He picked up an unfinished carton of juice, and began to drink from it. He stared at the month’s calendar he had stuck on the fridge. It was the 12th of this month. This meant that he still had four days left in his leave before he would have to resume the daily grind again. The very idea of it seemed to dull him even more.
The domestic help had finished her work and he nodded as she went out of the house shutting the door behind her. He went back to the hall where he had been lying asleep before. He checked his mobile after he plugged it in the charger. There were a couple of notifications from Facebook and Whatsapp. Nothing that couldn’t wait, he thought and sat down on the floor again. He rummaged through the brown bag that was kept on the sofa. He took out the many envelopes that were kept in them, with names of the different cities that he had been in.

He opened the envelope with the name SFO on it. He had very fond and personal memories associated with the place. He emptied the contents of it on the floor. There was a bill for the first breakfast he had there, couple of dollar coins which were returned as change, and a photo postcard he had purchased that he had forgotten to post. He stared at them for a couple of minutes more, lost in the memories that were rushing back. He then moved on the others.

 

 

Write Tribe
Written for Words: Write Tribe Contest # 1

Her mischievous grin

He was sitting in his car admiring the river flow by ahead of him. He didn’t know when he had stopped by the bridge, or for how long had he been staring at the river. The river with all of its calm flow and huge size seemed serene. He smiled, and pulled the car out in reverse before taking it to the main road. In just a few moments he had driven over the bridge and then took the right turn as he approached it. It would take him towards the mall where he had planned to watch a movie with her.

 

Her. Her, is where his brain would stop working on other things for a moment and just think about her. Her. He tried to take his mind of her for a while since he was driving. It was as empty road ahead except for the odd car or two far away. Since such empty roads were hard to come by at such times, he made good use of them and reached the mall much earlier than he had thought. After parking the car outside, he went towards the ticket counter to collect the tickets. He had already booked the tickets online and just showed the sms before signing on the receipt and taking his tickets.

 

Before he could wonder about what to do next, he could make out a white car coming towards the mall. It looked like her car from afar. As the car came closer it did not turn towards the mall parking but kept going on the road ahead. He shrugged and walked towards the coffee shop. He opened the door and walked towards his favorite spot near the glass pane. It was a wonderful spot as one could see the roads outside, and smell the aroma of the coffee coming from the coffee machine nearby. There was no lingering aroma today though but the barista was busy making something. He signaled for his usual to be brought to him. He calmly sipped his coffee and waited for her to arrive while lost in his thoughts.

 

A few moments later he could see her coming out of the parking. He walked into the atrium towards her signaling for her with a wave. She was talking on her cell but nodded her head after seeing him wave. His mind began to focus on her again. This time he was looking at her lips move such effortlessly as she spoke and felt that he could just stand there and watch her talk for long and admire the motion of her lips. He began to feel an urge to kiss her.

‘Not like this,’ he thought ‘tell her about it first. Tell her what she makes you feel.’

“Did I make you wait for long?”

“Nope not much, got here early enough to have a coffee though. Let’s go.”

 

He walked ahead but she didn’t walk with him, and just stood there with a smile on her face. He went back and tried to pull her by her hand. He tried to, but his hand just passed through. He didn’t realize it at first and tried to pull her hand, but it passed through again. He had a look of wonder on his face, as he looked up at her face. She had a mischievous grin on her face now. He couldn’t understand what was happening, and tried to pull her hand again. As his hand passed through hers, she disappeared in a puff of smoke. He stood there, shocked.  

 

“Come on Rahul, aren’t we getting late?” She called him with the same impish grin and a wave. She was now standing behind him.

“What are you doing?” He tried to touch her waving hand again, but the moment he touched it she disappeared in smoke again.

“What happened Rahul? Why aren’t you coming?” and she appeared to his right.

This time she didn’t wait for him to touch her but disappeared again as soon as he turned.

Rahul didn’t know how to react as she kept coming and disappearing in clouds of smoke all around the atrium. His eyes just kept following her eyes. Her eyes that were full of mischief.

 

“Get up.”

“HHmnmnmn”, he grunted.

“Get up, I need to put this sheet away for washing.”

He turned around to see his mom come in to focus. He took a moment to check his surroundings. He was in his bed and his mother was pulling the sheet off. It had all been a dream. He got up and sat on the edge of the bed wondering about this dream. While his mom was talking something about the sheet, he was still under shock from what had happened in this dream. He didn’t collect anything of what was being told but just nodded before going to the bathroom. He had a nice long cold shower while he tried not to think about the dream. He quietly had his breakfast and kissed his mom on the forehead before leaving for the movie. He told her that since he was going for a movie, he wouldn’t be coming home for lunch.

 

He took out his car and drove towards the mall. Had it not been for the traffic that was normal for this hour, he would have been there earlier. He parked his car, and slowly walked towards the ticket counter. She was already standing there waiting for him. He collected the tickets before walking towards her. She was smiling at him. Just a regular smile at seeing someone familiar and quite unlike the grin he dreamt of. They hugged when he came close, and he held on to her for a moment longer than he normally would.  

 

He wanted to tell her about the dream, and what he felt about her. He tried to reassure himself that she was real in that extra moment with her. But instead he just felt afraid.

Beauty Sleep

“When does your train leave?”

“It leaves at ten, so we have about an hour’s worth of time left.”

“Ohhh let me stop at a chemist first. The shops will close by the time I return.”

“You’re not well?”

“No, I am fine. I just need to pick up sanitaries.”

“Why do you need to pick up sanitaries?”

 

He realized it was a stupid question to ask of her. She gave him a glance as she pulled over close the chemist shop. She silently turned the ignition off and got down to purchase the sanitary pads. He turned on a game on his cell phone to pass time till she would come back. She returned in a few minutes and started the engine. A few quiet minutes passed before he started staring at her.

 

“What?”

“I have an awkward question.”

“Your questions are always awkward.”

“It is possibly stupid too”

“They happen to be that as well. But I am used to them now, ask.”

 “If diapers and sanitary pads work on the same principle, why doesn’t a company make them both? I mean wouldn’t it make sense to use the same technology on two different products.”
“Companies already do that.”

“Oh, they do? It makes sense to do so.”
“Remind me again, why I am still a friend with you?”

“Because of my intelligence and charm!” he said as he made a rolling motion with his hand and grinned wide.

“And yet you ask questions like this.”

She continued to smile at him. 

“So why are you leaving by the train, when you can take the early morning flight?”

Arrey, I will have to wake up early for the early flight. Sleep will get screwed.”

“Yeah, I know how much you need your beauty sleep.” 

Haaww… I need to be my best for the presentation tomorrow. I thought I can catch up on my sleep in the train. Both will reach at the same time anyway.”

“No baba, beauty sleep.”

“Yeah, yeah, Beauty sleep. What do we know; some hot girl might end up hitting on me in the train.”

“Oh please do check if the girl is short sighted before you get such an impression from her.”

 

Both of them ended up guffawing. They had reached the railway station, and she parked the car. He took his bag out and walked towards the stairs while she went towards the ticket counter to purchase an entry ticket. She came back with one soon as there was no queue, and they both started climbing the stairs together. Since he was carrying his bag, she got ahead by a few steps. He noticed the way in which she climbed the stairs. How she took long strides that would make her take two steps instead of one. How her pants would pull against her and accentuate her rear, and how while climbing down there would be a little jiggle in them if she skipped a step.

 

She started looking at the overhead sign boards which would inform them where which compartment would be once the train would stop. Since they were still early by almost twenty minutes they were not showing any information. He set his bag down on one of the many seats on the platform while she asked a vendor where the AC coaches would stop. He saw that he had forgotten to bring water with him for the journey and signalled her to get a bottle for him from the same vendor.

 

“Your coach will be just a little ahead, so we can sit here till the train comes.”

“Oh good, I don’t have to lug this bag around then.”

“What are you carrying in it?”

“My laptop, a pair of clothes for tomorrow and a tee and capris for the return trip tomorrow.”

“You know if this presentation doesn’t work out, you can always try to find work as a coolie. You have good experience.”

“It’s not that heavy. Besides I can’t sleep in pants on the way back. So I packed a set of capris as well. I will come back to the company guest house and change before returning.”

“And why are you not taking a flight back?”

“Umm. I thought I could shop around a little and take the late night train back. Catch up on my beauty sleep.”

“You and your sleep.”

 

There was a pregnant pause. He didn’t know what she was thinking. He wanted to talk to her about it, but was unsure how to bring it about. He stared at her feet for a while which she was tapping away. She was wearing brown colored chappasl which had a pattern of red curves drawn into them. They were quiet for a while before they heard the announcement of his train. Soon enough they could make out the beam of the headlight of the train, followed by the blaring horn seconds later. Once the train came to stop, she stood by the waiting chairs while he went and kept his bag on his berth. He came out to say a bye.

“Reshma.” He called her name in a slow prolonged voice.

“Yes Sri?”

“Do you want me to get you anything from there?”

“I thought you’d never ask. I hear you can get good street-wear there. Get me some bracelets or beads.” She replied with a grin.

“Sure”

 

The train gave another blaring horn which meant that it would now leave. He turned and climbed on to it. She waived a bye.

“Message me one you reach home.”

This is how both of them parted. He got back to his berth, and lay down thinking about the night. Of all the things he had told, the ones he wanted to tell, and more importantly the ones he didn’t. He was lost in his thoughts of her, wondering when and how should he tell her about it. Few minutes passed before he received her message that she had reached home. Seconds later he received another wishing him a good night’s sleep. His beauty sleep was far from his mind as he lay awake on the berth now, lost in his thoughts.

Courage to face a lifetime

He was feeling uneasy today, again. He had been feeling so for the last few days now. He stood up from his chair and walked towards his window to slide it open. The view was wonderful. In the night he could see all the houses ahead with their lights as stars on earth. In the far one could make out a power plant with its silhouette of more tiny lights, like a cluster of stars. This was one of his favourite sights, and on a particularly good day a cool breeze would blow across. Today it didn’t have the relaxing feel as it normally did. He looked at the book in his hand and wondered where he had gone wrong.

He was reading Fountainhead when he paused upon a line. “He did not know that he had given someone the courage to face a lifetime..”. He brushed his hair with his hands as he thought of it. Courage. Courage had changed its meaning. It once meant walking across the hall in the dark, or crossing a street full of dogs on his own. Now it meant doing something to come out of where he was. Few weeks ago his mother had seen his bank statements. He had taken a loan some time back that was half way through. He hadn’t told her anything about it. Nor could he explain to her where he had spent it. In his defense he thought, he had taken the loan so that he would not have to take money from his mom for the expenses and investments that were due. But then he had no ways to explain how and where he had spent them away in the past few months, with some thing being bought every other day. It is a good thing he thought, that she hadn’t seen his credit card statements. That would have lead to hell, whatever of it was left to see.

Things were sour between him and his mother before. If they didn’t get along that well before now was a miserable time. He didn’t blame her, she lived alone in a different city, and the fact that he didn’t trust her with things hurt her more. Every discussion would end up in an argument. He wanted to change how things were, but end up walking out of each argument with his fist clenched or biting his lips so that he would not speak something he would end up regretting later. It was not that his mother had raised him in poverty. They were a well to do family, but money was spent only on the necessary things. Now that he had a good job, the sudden influx of money made him spend at things he wouldn’t have spent before. Now that he thought of it, that money was only as good as the person who was controlling it. This is not who he wanted to be. He thought himself to be great, and now had only great mistakes.

A week later after the first argument with his mother, he was almost run over by a car. He was walking around the park for some fresh air with his earphones on, trying to be away for some time. He didn’t pay attention to the car that was coming his way while crossing the road, but was lucky that the driver braked in time. It did give him ideas. He walked back to his home and picked up the chef’s knife. He had always admired it, all 8 inches of it with its smooth sharp blade. He was particularly fond of it as it cut vegetables of all sorts with great speed. He wondered if it could cut through his veins too with it. Maybe that would a way to end it all. He would not burn out as he had always thought, but would silently bleed through in the night. To be found later in the morning when his room mate would come back from his job. He took a moment for it to sink in, before the the horror of the very idea of taking his own life struck him. The knife fell with a clang as he began to take in deep breaths. The idea that he could even think of something like this was revolting.

A month had now passed since that incident. He got back to reading from that line. He thought the line was right. He needed courage, courage to face a lifetime. And he had to find that courage in himself.

This is in response to WEEK #53 (5-20-12 to 5-26-12): Pick a Line from a Book and Write from There. My entry is based on a line from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

The last 12 hours

When you’re in love you want to spend all your possible time with that someone special. You want to wake up the first thing in the morning to the wonderful sight of that person close to you. It was the same with him, except that now he was regretting the fact that he would have to wake up. How he wished that this sleep would last forever and the morning wouldn’t follow. They were deeply in love with each other and yet today she was leaving. It was hard on both of them and both of them were dealing with it differently, both of them had different and yet same thoughts to deal with. They had slept together for the last time, simply cherishing each other’s comforting presence. He wanted to stay with her the entire day but the office required him for an important meeting for a new project.

As always she was the one to get up first and by the time he woke up and got ready she had breakfast ready. They had had a long discussion on to how they would stay in touch with each other once today found an end.

“I want to you to at least send me two mails per week, nothing much. You surely can do that.”

She didn’t say anything. She never did speak when she knew he would know the answer.

“I am serious. If you don’t I’ll come over and kill you. I mean it.”

Who was he kidding; he couldn’t lay a finger on her if his life depended on it. He did need to impress his need to stay in touch with her. Why did she have to leave in the first place?

“Don’t worry I’ll send you your two mails. We’ll try and stay in touch.”

Here he was uttering non sense and yet she understood how much he loved her, how desperate he was to have her

“Well get up now, you have to be in time for your meeting. Don’t worry I’ll be here when you come back”

He hoped she would, God only knew what’d happen to him if he came home and found it empty. They got up and she walked him to his car. She gave him a good luck kiss and some how it felt like a good bye kiss already. He started his car and his eyes on the rear view mirror and watched her till he had to take the turn that soon came. He had almost an entire day to go through. The meeting went fine; he got promoted to the head of the new project. Slowly but surely it was evening and he left his office. Half way through he pulled his car over and called her.

“Are you there at home?” She could be unpredictable and he couldn’t take not seeing her for the last time.

“Yes”

“Give me ten minutes; I am half way over already.”

She greeted him with a tight hug when he entered.

“How are you doing?” He asked her once she let go of him. She never said things for the sake of it.

She had made his favorite Rajma Chawal as he had thought.

“How was your day today? Would you like to take a bath first?” She then proceeded to the dining table. She knew his answer already. They sat down to eat.

“Went nice, Got promoted to the head of the new project.”

She looked away. Maybe it was the tears in her eyes that could come out any time, maybe it was the pain in his. Maybe it was both. He looked at the neat pile of his clothes she had done for him. Doing his clothes was like therapy for her. He woke a night before at two to find her arranging his clothes in the cupboard. She always said that she liked his smell. Who would do it for him now? Who would she do it for now? Who would she cook their favorite dishes now?

“Let’s leave. It’s raining and getting late. Please there is no need to come along.” However he insisted on coming along. They got in to her car and she began to soon maneuver her car through the almost blinding rain. Luckily her place was a few hours away. He sat there stiff like a child with a puffed face, and was careful not touch her. She noticed that and took his hand and smelled it before gently kissing it like she always did. They had reached the bus stop and it was time for him to get off and let her go.

“You promised that you’d write to me at least two times a week.” She nodded.

“Give me this bit of solace I need to live.”It was getting late and he would have to leave now.

“Remember to take care of yourself and don’t smoke again.”

“I will if you keep reminding me. If you ever need me, shout and I’ll be there.” He hadn’t smoked since she was with him and he wasn’t going to now that she was almost away. It would remind him of her not being there. Everything else would too. He got out of the car. They saw each other for some time before she nodded and began to leave. He had begun to cry, his tears masked by the rain. He had held it back ever since he had got in to the car. He couldn’t let her see him cry. May be she knew that too and couldn’t see him. That’s why he saw a drop of tear roll down her cheek too before she drove off.

He began his walk back instead of taking the bus, hoping that someone may hit him on the way home. He didn’t know if he could live without her.

Story : THe Coffee is getting cold

The coffee is getting cold

‘Jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way’ her phone rang. She smiled and saw that it was Ariel who was calling her. Ariel and Rina were friends for some time now. Although they were introduced to each other just more than two years ago by some common friends, their friendship had steadily grown ever since and not only were they fond of each other’s company but also trusted each other immensely.

“Hello there, long time no see. When did you come back from your trip, and did you bring anything for me?”

“What is it with girls and gifts? I got back last night only. Can you make it for some coffee?”

“Sure, I still haven’t had my morning cuppa yet, why don’t you come over to my place now? I’ll have some hot coffee ready by the time you come”

“Excellent idea, be over there in fifteen minutes.” He disconnected the phone. He better have brought me a gift she thought.

After more than fifteen minutes later the door bell rang. Obviously it would have to be Ariel.

“You’re late mister” she said as she opened the door.

“Will I be able to bribe thee with some chocolates and a wonderful new bottle opener?”

“The chocolates will make me fatter you know”

“I guess that means I am forgiven for being late” and he stepped in to the wonderful smell of freshly brewed coffee. Apart from their taste in wine, and food they shared a common love for coffee.

“Ah, that smells wonderful, freshly brewed and with hazel nuts too.”

“You’re welcome. Sit; tell me about your trip”

“Switzerland was amazing, although the client was less amazing. He nagged about a whole lot of things until he realized that the delivery was what his team had wanted and not what he had thought which cost him a bunch of euros more.”

“So all in all a profitable trip for you then”

“Yes you can say that. Listening to an old man hag is hardly a price one has to pay for a good profit.”

They sipped their coffee for quite some time. Rina took time to look at the bottle opener she had just received.

“You’re taking an awful long time to examine it you know”

“Speak for your self; you are taking an awfully long time to finish your coffee.”

“I’ve been thinking some thing for some time now”

“What?”

“Since when do you think we’ve been having coffee?”

“What? What have you been drinking?”

“The coffee you made, seriously tell me how long do you think we’ve been having coffee together?”
“For over a year I guess”

“And how many times more are we going to have it?”

“Seriously, what have you been drinking?”

“I’ll come to the point then, I find it hard to be just a friend with you R. I know this may seem out of the blue to you but like I said I’ve been thinking about it for some time now. Every time you’re around you make me feel special. I’ve never felt like this so long for any one you know. I am asking you out. I love you Rina”

This did come out of the blue for Rina. She did consider Ariel as a very close friend but nothing more. So obviously she was taken aback by this. She found it hard to think in any different way about him. Sure he was there for her all the time but it some how didn’t feel like love. His company was more than enjoyable but she never felt that spark she thought she’d feel for some one she thought she’d be in love with. She remained quiet for some time.

“You know my coffee is getting cold waiting for your reply.”

“You’ve already finished your coffee. Honestly speaking I’ve never thought like this about you A, I always thought of you like a good friend. In fact I don’t even fit your so called profile of your ideal match. You for one wanted some one who is older than you, some one with spectacles.”

“Life isn’t always about what we want. So what if you don’t have spectacles or that we’re of the same age. I love you.”

Some more silence followed.

“Has this got some thing to do with my smoking? I know you don’t like my smoking, but you know I don’t smoke that often anyways. It’s only when I am stressed out flat.”

“Whom are you favoring Ariel? I didn’t even think about this. But you make a good point you know.”

“I am favoring us Rina. Think over it”

“Smoking and come of your other quirks apart I just don’t feel like love with you. You’re about the closest a friend one can have but…”

“Like you said your self Rina, you don’t fit the profile of some one I thought I’d fall for. Perceptions change” He cut in.

“Give me some time; I need to think it over. But I still don’t think your way on this.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be waiting for it R.”

One year later

She was sitting in the gallery of the room sipping some coffee thinking how things would have been different had she made a different choice. She felt a hand run through her hair, and smiled. He came closer and kissed her. He was right; her perception about love had changed too. Ariel sat down. She smiled and said

“Your coffee is getting cold honey”

Story : Rush

RUSH 1 _PROLOGUE

Sipping over his coffee, he couldn’t help but smile looking at the couple before him. The two were obviously much in love with each other and enjoying every moment of it while they laughed and chatted away on coffee. This was something he wished to be a part of with some one special for a long time. The trouble was that that special person did not seem to be that much interested in him and that he couldn’t think of how to make his moves. This was his third coffee. Insomnia and an addiction to caffeine do not go well together. It was eleven in the night and he was surprisingly still there.

This was one of those new cyber dens that sprung up. Apart from housing the latest games, consoles and equipment these new dens also served as a café with varieties of drinks and thing to munch on. His vacations were going on, having just cleared his higher secondary schooling. Getting a job at Zodiac was the best thing that had happened to him. Not only was he paid great here, but he got a chance to demonstrate his avid gaming skills to others and get some decent competition if it came around. One such person that he was attracted to for the past few months was a woman named Sharon. The two had been introduced by the owner of the den once when there was a casual frag session going on. He was used to lurk around her to get her attention but it all was not enough. In spite of his prodigious skill and his liking for here all they were was acquaintances. How much this was going to change.

His phone rang and it was Simone. His Bhabhie (elder brother’s wife) was one of his best friends. Just six years older to him at twenty three, she had married his elder brother Sid only six months ago. The two got along so well that people would think that if it hadn’t been for their age difference and his brother they would have been married for sure now. Life however is just like that.

He grudgingly answered.

“Yeah, I am coming.”

“No, No what’s the need to come? Why don’t you ask Mr. Sen to give some quarters there? This will be very comforting for you.” She was angry on him at him coming late at night to home. She was being sarcastic too. Not a good thing. He had a bad feeling about this.

“Come on honey, you’re sounding like mum.”

“Don’t you dare get that started on me. Get your self back here fast or I’ll behave like her too.”

And the phone line went dead. He got up to pay for his coffees, but it was Mrs. Sen at the counter today. She treated him like a son. “Come on San dear, you know I don’t charge you for this. The least I can do to help you get her.” She smiled. She was one of the few persons along with Simone and his sister who new about his intentions.

“You’re spoiling me Auntyji. What will happen of the time when I do not work here any more? It’s only six weeks till the admissions begin.”

“That will dealt with then sweetheart. Now run off or Simone will be after my head.”

It paid real well in life to have such great company around you. He soon left for home only a kilo meter away, stopping only to buy some dark chocolates. Simone was a sucker for them. She however it seemed had different plans. Nidhi, his elder sister was to come from the United States the next day. This was her bi-annual trip back home and her husband and two girls would come along too. Harry, her husband ran a business that dealt whit the sales of computers, their peripherals and other new coming products. The two had been introduced to each other through common family friends and it was an arranged marriage. A marriage that was now a successful and would be a long lasting one. Their two little girls Mira and Rima were the apple of everyone’s eyes. Things had to be in order by the time they would arrive. San didn’t like all this. He thought that since they were all part of the family it didn’t matter much. He was none the less missing his favorite person. The two were close; she was like a mother to him. A soul mate who he could turn to for advice and a shoulder. A position he was wanting to share with some else too.

He opened the door with his own set of keys. Simone was waiting there for him in the hall. Sid gave him a look which meant that he was in deep trouble

“Late again. What new story are you spinning now?” She knew why, what was the point of asking?

“I was held up at the Zodiac. I was getting some work done.”

“Even when it was supposed to be over by eight?”

“See, when you know certain things then what’s the point in going over these matters?”

“What matters, and what does she know?” Sid interrupted.

“None that concerns you!” he replied with some bite.

“But what concerns me is that I asked you to do some thing” Simone was not to be drawn away.

“Here, I got the ingredients that you asked for. I had bought them in the evening it self.”

“So you want me to stay up all night, getting the cake right?”

“Come on, there’s still twenty four hours till they come. Besides all you need to do is decorate the cake. I can smell that you’ve already baked it. Here and I got some chocolates for you to add in it and share some of it with us.”
She noticed that he had bought her favorite brand.

“No more of your antics now. GO to your room, and we’ll not be having this chocolate. You sure know how to keep us all waiting for your honored presence my lord”

“Come on now, I’ve told you all to not wait for me”

“No more of this, do what she said” Sid was getting bored.

Evidently outnumbered, San retreated to his room. An insomniac, he still had hours before falling asleep. SO he turned his lights off to give the impression and started solving some Sudoku puzzles on his cell phone. He wanted to switch on the television too but that would attract the wrong kind of attention. He just changed to some other game. Some sessions and hours later, he heard some noise from the hall. Putting his spectacles on and arming himself with a bat he made his way to the hall, wondering who it could be. The dim lights were on, and some noises were coming. Sounded like there was more than one person. As he sneaked in he saw that the chocolates were being devoured.

“So, did you plan to leave some for me or hog it all up alone? And you bro, her partner in crime against your own brother! What has this world come to?”

“Stop being so noisy, and shove them down your throat. You’ll wake mum up.”

“That’ll be trouble for sure.” Simone chirped in.

“Why do you keep doing this? You know I don’t like your staying out and up late. IF you so want then I’ll speak to her. You know I can try and convince her.”

“I’ve told you before; I don’t want you to do it. I want it done on my terms, my efforts.”

Sid was getting the drift of it.

“So whom are we talking about? Is it that girl what was her name, Kavita?”

Kavita was the girl whom San had once been going out with. They decided to take it to the next level and got very physical. But then it seemed that that was there was there between them. He had decided to break up and done so with a Dear Jane letter. That brought back memories how mum was mad when she came to know of the details.

Both of them had taken it a bit getting used to. But there was no bad blood between them, and were just friends now. She had moved on to another person while he had troubles doing so. It was not because he wasn’t over her but for the fact that he still couldn’t approach the one he wanted.

Sharon was a friend of Simone’s. He didn’t know much about what she did, where she was and all but he knew that she was a great person and much like the one he would dream of. After all he had been lurking around her for some time now. Simone was aware of all this. Having done psychology she could read his mind. He was none the less happier to confide in her. She had offered to help him by giving a better introduction and give him her numbers and all. He on the other hand wanted it to be on his own.

“So, you’ll be going alone this time too I presume?” Sid asked.

“But obvious, I am her favorite brother.” He replied with a grin.

“I don’t get it. Nobody is making an arrangement to receive Nidhi Didi and it seems unanimous that he’ll go to receive her. He who has not done anything either.” Simone commented.

“You’ll see that when he goes to receive her. He won’t be able to sleep till then. He’s even got the rooms for her and the kids ready this morning.”

“Hhhmmmnn… I am impressed, and surprised that you do some work. How do you bully the entire family into your plans? Besides you don’t even have a driving license. What if some cop catches you?”

“Hey there is more to me than what you can read. College can only get you so far. Besides I can drive pretty well and there are ways around cops and their patrols.”

“Well, thank you for the chocolates then and next time onwards you better not be late. Not unless you bring chocolates and can go around mum.” She got up, gave him a tight hug and a small peck on the cheek before she started to leave for her room.

Sid said, “Lucky you.”

“Don’t lucky me. You get a whole lot more from her.” San said after he left for his room. It was good that the lights were dim, he had been blushing.

RUSH 2 _ 2 YEARS LATER

Two years had passed and a lot had changed during those two years. Much to his shock San had found that Sharon was a teacher at the college he had joined and she had proceeded to take some of their subjects. She seemed a totally different person when ever she taught. At times he’d think whether he had made the right choice in falling for her and there were times outside her professional life that he would feel affirmed that she was the one. Meanwhile Sid had gotten a job in a soft skills development company and was constantly on company tours. Simone had decided it was better if they shift to near San’s college as she would be getting a job there as a counselor. He didn’t know that if this was good news or bad. His personal and professional lives were getting all mixed up.

It was the second year of his college and the work load was ever increasing. The students decided to perform a mass absence from the college to take an unofficial break. Rumors were abound that the authorities were aware of it. They didn’t care much. If they had been so studious this event wouldn’t have been planned in the first place. San was in the canteen having some iced tea and a burger when Edina came and hit him on the back.

They were school mates and had come to the same college.

“Damn you man, why’d you have to hit so hard?”

“Why did you have to bunk the lecture in the first place? It’s the second one you’ve bunked this week. Keep this rate on you’ll surely be detained or get library hours.” An eighty percent attendance was compulsory to attend the exams.

“As if I care a shit. Math was never so boring. I was even out of the coffee beans today. It takes an effort just to stay awake there”
“What ever, buy me a diet coke”

“What the hell do you drink the diet stuff for? It tastes so bland. You are so in shape too”

“Well got to keep the shape. Am going to meet him tonight”

“You and your taste in men. I’ll get you your coke, but you’ll be drinking it alone I guess.”

“Why, what happened?”

San handed her a can, “Well Simone’s coming this way and if she finds out that I am bunking lectures again I am in for it big time then. Gotta run off to the library before it stops renewing the books. Not here one whole week aren’t we?”

“I don’t get it, you don’t let her find out that you bunk lectures and yet you are gonna participate in the mass bunk for the whole week?”

“The mind works in mysterious ways my friend. I’ll deal with her later.”

The rest of the day in college went as uneventful as possible. He managed to stay awake in the lectures that had followed. Well it was also due to the fact the last one was Sharon’s. He was more interested in looking at her than what she had to teach. He knew what she was teaching anyways so it didn’t matter much. She was in a good mood to teach without having to tell off some one for not paying attention or not answering to questions. He went home once his lectures were over. He was alone though as his mother had gone to some friend’s place and Sid was off to some tour. Simone still had two more hours to come home to so he decided to change in to something more comfortable and put on some of his favorite music. As time passed he began to feel the pangs of hunger. Simone was late today. He thought that she would have been held up due to some staff meeting and so he decided to make some snacks himself. He made some sandwiches and opened a new bottle of cola. Just then there were some noises from the gate. So she had finally come. It was a good thing he had prepared some extra ones. When the door opened he found that she was not alone but Sharon had accompanied her home.

“Good, you brought company. I prepared some extra ones.”

“Well, she’s your professor; give her some respect.”

“So are you, I am not wishing you Good evening.” He replied tongue in cheek.

“It’s ok Simone; we know each other from times before this.” Sharon said. He smiled.

“Ok, I surrender. Just wait for me I’ll change and come. Make your self at home”

“So what’s the latest thing you’ve done? I am so out of touch with the digital world now.”
“Nothing big just created some new skins for the game models. And then there’s your assignment to do too.”

“The one you made last week was real good. Pity they thought that it was out of course.”

“What can I say? We have a good teacher in class.”

“Stop flattering me. You never need my lectures there. You know all that is being taught anyways”

“He knows a lot of things; it would better if he put his brains to better use.” Simone came in as Sharon helped her self to some sandwiches.

“What’s better than this?”

“Well you could stop bunking lectures for one.”
“So you noticed me leaving the canteen today. Well I have enough attendance to appear for the exams.”

“And for the mass bunk too?”

“So you people know?”

“Yes, and so does the principal. You guys better watch your steps” Sharon said

“We shall see. Principal or no we are going to bunk. Period. I’ll leave you all to your selves. Mum’s come back anyways. It’s her at the gate. Better set my hair or she’ll be after that too. The principal calling home is all I need to have her madder at me”

Just then his mother entered.

“Good evening Auntyji.” Sharon wished her.

“Good evening dear. Why don’t you all make it compulsory at the college to have a proper haircut? This boy has no sense of dressing.”

San got up and left for his room. “Here we go again. Some other time ma”

RUSH 3 _ AT HOME

San was sitting in his room when Simone came in.

“You ought to be studying right now you know.”

“Studies are boring”

“Nothing new coming from you. Come down dinner’s ready. There are a few surprises for you.”

“Ooh, is mom not going to get mad at me?”

“Well that and some thing else too. Get ready and come quick.”

Well he didn’t know what the other surprise was, but got ready none the less, although that didn’t involve much except putting on a t shirt. He liked his hair ruffled anyways. He got up and followed Simone to the dining room.

“Do you stay this fashionable all the time?”

He didn’t expect to find Sharon there so it took him be surprise.

“I didn’t know you were going to stay back.”

“In your hurry to go back to your room you failed to notice that I had brought my bag along.”

“Sorry, my bad”

“Well he’s always in such a hurry that he forgets to comb his hair properly too.” His mom cut in. “You might as well sit down to eat.”

He sat down across Sharon, next to Simone where Sid ought to have been sitting. However as Sid was away for the weekend he took the opportunity of observing Sharon from apart. The food was prepared as usual today too. Rice, pulses, fried potatoes, salad and papad.

“Lovely potatoes ma, you’ve added garlic just the way I like it. Although I guess you should gone for some thing grander going by the company we’re having over for the night.”

“Oh don’t worry about me, there’s no food like home cooked food. No special arrangements required for me. Besides what makes you think that I am here only for the night? I plan to make my stay here till this Friday. As it is you guys will not be coming for the lectures so Simone thought I should come over for the week.” Sharon replied.

“Yup, at least this way we’ll be able to keep an eye on him for the week. You’ll get a first hand view of how much he studies and how much he slacks.” Simone joined in. Evidently this was going to be an eventful week for him.

“Thank you Aunty that was an awesome dinner.”

“Now how about some awesome dessert too? I had some Ice cream to be set in the refrigerator last night, it should be done by now. Dark Chocolate with cookies.”

“I didn’t know until today that you are good at so many things apart from computers.”

“Why, thank you”

“Well I’ll pass,” Mom interjected, “I can’t bear that bitter taste. I don’t know how the two of them manage to enjoy it. Simone, have you made arrangements in the guest’s room?”

“Sharon’s sleeping with me tonight. Sid isn’t here any way so there won’t be any trouble.”

“Good, at least this way San won’t stay up late and bother you if Sharon’s there with you. You lot have fun, I’ll turn in.”

After a chorus of good night, the three of them were left to themselves in the hall to eat ice cream. It was decided that they’d watch a movie before the sand man would get to his work. A romantic movie was on, and normally San wouldn’t be sitting there watching it and be playing on his computer instead but some how today he didn’t seem to mind. After the movie ended they sat there discussing what they’d be doing the next day. From the yawns coming from the two women he realized that it was soon time for them to sleep. Simone asked Sharon to go up to her room and get changed while she finished her last bit of chores. San exchanged a good night with her. After turning off the television, putting the pillows in their place and tiding up the table Simone decided to join Sharon. With a smile and peck on her cheek San went up to his room. He found it hard to sleep, and about an hour later he sent a text message to Simone:

I get it that you planned this all on purpose. Thank you. It was a pleasant surprise. It means a whole lot.

Little did he know that there were more surprises waiting for him.

RUSH 4 _ THE BREAKFAST BEFORE THE SURPRISE

The alarm rang at six am on Saturday morning, but he was already awake by then. To be true he had hardly slept at all. He brushed his teeth, washed his face, put on his shoes turned on the music on his cell phone, and went for his daily early morning jog. The fragrance of the early morning was scintillating and served as an excellent getaway from the emotions building in him. About an hour later he was back home, hoping that what had come to happen last night was not a dream. He picked up the newspaper and read his forecast for the day, ‘You are feeling scared of the emotions building inside you. The stars however are clearing the deck for a new phase in your life.’ That felt good. His mum came out following the daily ritual of morning prayers. He bowed his head a little, and she stroked his head as a sign of blessing.

“You’re up early today”

“Didn’t sleep that well last night. Here read the paper, I’ll make some breakfast. Will some egg sandwich and juice be fine with you?”

“Don’t why you like eggs so much. Just let the eggs boil properly “

Boiled egg sandwich was one of his personal favorite. He started to wash and peel off the fruits to make the juice while he had put some eggs to boil. He took the time the eggs took to boil to get a shower, and get ready. After saying his daily prayers he came back to the kitchen to find Simone and Sharon already present there, breaking open the boiled eggs from their shells.

“Good morning, if you don’t mind I like to make the sandwiches my self Simone, it’s not that you get the morning off always.”

She smiled, “You’re such a sweet heart, what’s mum doing?”

“Reading the newspaper. By the way ma’am would you like your juice sweetened or sugarless?”

“You don’t have to call me Ma’am here San, Sharon is fine. Just like I said yesterday, you and I know each other from times before. A bit of sugar will do for me.”

He almost blushed at this mention. Simone and Sharon were busy talking amongst themselves. Meanwhile he sliced the eggs, and prepared the sandwiches, poured the juice from the juicer in the glasses, and took out the ketchup.

“Sharon, why don’t you go out to the garden and sit with mum while I help him bring out the breakfast?”

The moment Sharon was out of the kitchen, San gave a big hug to Simone.

“Thank you, thank you, and thank you for bringing her here.”

“I’d rather have your hugs than receiving messages on my cell phone right in the middle of the night.” He grinned. “You might as well do your bit if you want to impress her. The cooking and fitness part go real well.”

“Well, apart from the fact that I have good brains too.”

“That’s my boy.”

The breakfast went on pretty well. He was managing to get her attention and it seemed that if the stars were really going to do their work, a new phase was about to begin after all.

RUSH 5 _ THE SURPRISE

“That was a nice breakfast you’ve made San”
“ Glad to know you liked it Sharon.”
“Well wish he’d put in as much effort in preparing for exams. Don’t know what is with this boy, not that he doesn’t know anything or his brains don’t work. He’s got ample amount of that and they seem to be working in places they shouldn’t.”
“Maybe he is just not interested enough.” Great now even Simone was pointing guns at him.

“Oh he’s is interested all right, I’ve taught him and I can tell that. He does have good brains but he doesn’t commit them properly. He knows more that half his seniors and if I were to give him a problem I can bet that he’ll come up with a solution to it. His assignments and projects are wonderful too but when it comes to exams I don’t what happens to him.”

“Nobody know what happens to him then. Such a brilliant lad, and one would think he would be fare off better.”

“Sigh, this is why I don’t like parent teacher meetings. Everyone seems to be pointing their guns over here.”

“You could do well to improve your grades a little. We know that you know your stuff, but when it comes to getting a job they follow the grades. They don’t know how much you know. For them grades are all that matter.” Mothers always tend to worry about their children he thought.

“Besides what’s the point of being gifted if you can’t make good of it. It’s as good as letting it go waste.”
”Aha, so you agree that I am gifted.”

“But what’s the point of having a lot of potential if you can’t get some definitive results from it.”

Things weren’t going exactly as he had planned, but a call from on the phone saved him. Simone got up and answered the call. She seemed to be talking to some one she knew as she was smiling all the way through her conversation. She came back some time later and asked, “Are you free today noon mom? There’s a good movie on.”

“Movies are no longer my cup of tea dear; I find it hard to stay awake through most of these new movies. You and Sharon have a go at it.”

“You talk as if they don’t make any quality movies now mum.” San interjected, after all he was getting to speak for once.

“You might as well take him along, don’t know what he’ll do over here if left alone. Mind you boy, don’t be worrying them.”

“What? Me and worry them? I am such an obedient and sincere boy.”

Everyone laughed.

“Ooh, and can I drive? Please, pretty please? I’ve even got my license now. Swear I won’t drive rashly.”

“Ok if that’s what it takes to keep you down. Mind you, drive safely.”

Story: THe dream

THE DREAM ~ SANTULAN

I wrote this story long time ago when I hadn’t ventured in to fiction. Hence you are likely to find it a bit whimsical and well not so good.



_________________________________________________________________

THE DREAM 1

You are this common everyday Yahoo! 360er, who just posted his (or her as applicable), latest entry, and then fell off to sleep. You are however having a difficult sleep. You seem to be shifting in your bed un-comfortably, and sweating hard. All of a sudden, you wake up. Sweat is trickling down your face and you heart is beating hard. It’s miracle you didn’t get a heart attack! It was highly unlike you. Normally you slept well, and never had such dream. In fact you can’t even remember what you dreamt about, you seem to forget the more you think, but only get flashes of demonic realms, and pain, and hell. To hell with it you think! You say your daily prayer.

You look around, everything seems fine. There’s your room, your bed and everything! You look at the time, and it’s Nine in the morning, sh*t you’ll be late for your job. But then you realize it’s just another Sunday and so no harm done. Your honey’s woken up and you smell some thing delicious from the kitchen. You get up, get fresh, and move down to the kitchen.

You see your sweety’s back, s/he’s preparing some thing to eat, and the kids are out playing. S/he asks: “Been up late Dear? Sit down, breakfast’s ready. It’s your fav. Today” IT seem so good, like a perfect day. Just as you pick up the lid of the food tray in front of you, you get the shock of your life. Served to you are a severed umbilical cord, and half a fetus’s face, floating in a bowl full of cooked, and spiced blood!(Yuck!) You throw the dish away from you, and yell “Holy sh*t”, and then your honey turns, and asks, “What happen didn’t you like it? I spent all morning preparing it for you!”

Something does not feel right, and soon a trickle of tear flows down your honey’s cheek. It’s no an ordinary tear, it’s blood, and a wicked smile! Darn. You run for it like hell, through the open kitchen door from where your kids enter, Hell, they seem a spawn of hell than kids. You don’t know what to do, and run aimlessly till your legs carry. You don’t know what to do, and stop @ the local phone booth, and call for a friend.

The phone rings. You hear the caller tune of your friend. It’s the voices of people screaming in pain, with a maniacal, sadistic laughter in the back ground. Instantly you drop the handset of the phone, and think that you are doomed, and don’t know what to do. For the first time in your life, you seem, scared, alone and helpless! And then out of the ordinary you hear the bell of the temple or church, or the mosque or wherever you go to.

There’s still hope. There’s still GOD!

You run off immediately to your place of worship. God can save you! You enter through the grand door, and find the head in meditation. You say “Swami Ji (or Father, or Maulvi ji or whatever applicable). I feel scared; it seems as if the devil has taken over. Help me. Save me!” and you weeping, you kneel down. The head, puts his/her hand over your head and says, “Don’t worry my child; He accepts all those who given in to him. The Devil has been waiting for you. Your time has come”! You look up; he has no eyes, just two endless voids.

Crap! You’re doomed, and you run to only collide with the mirror on the wall, and you hurt your arm and it bleeds due to this. As you look down in to the broken pieces you see your own demonic reflection. It takes over you and you join in the maniacal laughter.



TTTTRRRRRNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG…….

The alarm goes off. You wake up with a start sweating and heart beating like hell. That was the worst dream, no nightmare of your life! You see your honey carelessly turn and turn off the alarm and drift back to sleep. S/he seems fine. You get up, and touch your self, and look into the mirror, everything’s fine. It was just a Bad Nightmare, nothing else. Screw it. You say your prayers, and go to get fresh.

Your honey’s eyes open, and there is the same malicious grin in those evil eyes, your nightmare has not ended, it’s just begun. And you’re brushing your teeth carelessly thinking how lucky you is that it was only a dream.

How wrong you are!!!!

THE DREAM 2: SECRETS REVEALED

The Names:

Female Y! 360er with the weird dream: Tammy!

Her Husband: Todd

Tammy gets fresh, and wakes her husband and kids up. She goes down to the kitchen to prepare some breakfast. It’s her Birthday today, and yet no one had bothered to wish her!

By the time breakfast was ready, Todd was reading the morning paper at the breakfast table, and the twins were fighting over on who was to be served first. Their elder brother had left early in the morning for his fitness regime, way before others had woken up. Breakfast was strictly vegan; Tammy still had gory memories of the fetus head in the bowl of blood! Just as Tammy was about to clean after the delicious break fast , the twins began” Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to Dear Mama, Happy Birthday to you!” It was all a surprise, and now Todd had come up with an elaborate present neatly packed from behind the paper. It was all planned, she thought; wish the third kid had returned by now.

He was the eldest and her favorite kid easily. Tammy still remembered how her gynecologist informed her that after her 2 failed attempts, she would never be able to conceive. Yet, miraculously after six months, a heart broken Tammy found out that she was pregnant! She paid extra care during that time so as not to harm the baby. Yet, with still three months, Tammy was admitted to the hospital. Complications had developed, and the doctor would need to extract the baby. After many complications, the baby was successfully taken out, but that was only the beginning of his struggle. He had developed an arterial blockage, an only after hours grueling surgery, was he declared safe. When Tammy was finally allowed to look at her first kid, it was as if the Goddess of Creation was looking down upon the most beautiful angel ever! It was not that she didn’t like the twins too, but somehow she felt more bonded to him.

At that very abrupt moment came the school bus, and the kids went for it. Todd came forward with the present, and asked “Do you like bugs sweetheart?” Bugs? Todd knew for sure that Tammy down right hated them. Todd opened the box to reveal that it contained some sort of deformed 6 inches carnivorous caterpillar out of hell, with fangs and proboscis ready to strike. It instantly leapt for Tammy but she managed to defend her self with the pan in her hand, deflecting the worm to the ceiling. She was shocked! Had her dream been a reality? Right then, the bug fell down on her, and slipped in through her shirt in to her bra, going direct for the heart.

Then out of no where came voice “Oh no you don’t! You don’t get to violate my mum right in her own kitchen!” Jim: her eldest son, the miracle baby entered; and some how with a raised hand, he telekinetically held the worm still. Todd turned. With the wave of his other hand Jim hit Todd with such a powerful telekinetic gust that Todd went crashing head first in to the Kitchen window. Then with both his hands, he brought the worm out, and seemed to want to tear it apart. The bug screamed so high, that the glassware in the kitchen began to crack. Then as if with surgical precision, the bug was sliced in 2 halves with an invisible scalpel, only to reveal its filthy insides as it fell down.

Tammy was confused! All this was too much to take in. Was she still dreaming?

No! It was real, Hell had broken loose!

PS: Tammy B was the inspiration for the bug thing , with her caterpillar in the bra incident!

THE DREAM 3: EVIL REVEALS IT SELF

Jim goes up to Tammy, and whips out a package of gift from under the table.” Happy Birthday Mom, hope I came on time.” Tammy was utterly flabbergasted, she didn’t know what to say or do. Al this seemed too much altogether at once. Demons are out to take over the world, and she’s even dreamt about it in advance; talk about all the weird Déjà vu! Her own husband is possessed and her eldest son seems to have some sorts of special powers!

Todd seemed to have finally recovered, and he did not seem any happy about what had just happened. In a total look of anger, he was walking up to Jim, muttering some sinister incantation. Jim, ”It’ll do you no good. I am way to quick and powerful than you for that. Meanwhile, you may go tell that bitch that you’ve failed her, and that I’ve made my choice in sticking with Tammy.” This seemed to have enraged him further, a pulsating vein was easily visible now on his forehead, “How dare you change sides, and insult Her Majesty on top of that. I’ll see to it personally that once she is the ruler of this world, I get to personally strip you of your powers, and punish in the most brutal way. Jim, “In case you’ve not forgotten that your majesty once was my mother, so I may call her all the names I may. Don’t test my patience; there are enough windows and doors here for me to go on about an hour more breaking your head with each.”

“There will be no need for that.” Everybody turned, standing in front of them was the queen of evil, Queen Frosty her self. {Sorry Frosty, but the name goes perfectly well with the character’s cold heart! Don’t mind please} she went on, “Todd, you seemed to have disappointed me. You were specifically warned that my son would be a trouble, but you happened to have rusted over the eons you worked with me. Don’t forge that I forgive no mistakes!” As she said this, she moved forward, and with one swipe oh her hand, she sent streaks of bright light towards Todd, which sliced him up neatly in to several pieces! Evidently, Tammy flinched. Frosty went on in rants of laughter with words such as ‘weak hearted’ easily were being made out. Jim decide to move up to Tammy, and held her hand. It shivered. Not taking any offence, Jim went on, “This as you would have noticed, is Queen Frosty, the Mistress of all evil. I was once her son, but I got so attracted to you, that I decided to be reborn as a complete human. Having all this powers is only a side effect of my previous life. Don’t worry; I will always be by your side!” Somehow all this felt highly re-assuring, but the chilly presence of the queen was highly troublesome. Jim noticed. “You will of course leave now as I assume, coz you seemed to have done both the jobs you’ve come for.” “Both my jobs,” replied Frosty,”you have not lost your touch.” “Yes, that is something that will always be there with me. Mind you, you do seem to have mellowed down, that is something that may not be in your favor, when we meet next time. I can easily remember, the last guy that failed you was force-fed boiling oil.” Smiling and with a blinding flash, she teleported off to her grand palace, scheming her next move.

Just as he turned to face Tammy , to fill her up with all the missing details, WHACK! He got one tight slap from her right across the cheek that left one not so pretty mark. Tammy put up her usual I_AM_GONNA_KICK_YOUR_ASS_FOR_THIS rant. He had in a way kept her in the dark for all this time.

THE DREAM 4 : THE REASONS

Tammy was going on with her rant on how she was kept in the dark all this while, and that how she should have been better informed that her hubby was not all what he seemed. It was the first time she was so mad with Jim, in fact it was the first time he had ever managed to get on to her nerves ever. Needing her to stop, and calm down for him to have his say, and as cunning as he was, he said, “You should get mad at me more often now, it kinda makes you look cute!” The words had the desired the effect, and she immediately fell silent. Then out of nowhere she hugged him with all her might, with cheeks rolling with tears just like a mum does to a son who’s just returned from war.

All this many emotions he had not expected, and one Kodak moment later, he was ready to tell her almost everything she needed to know. He motioned her to go and take a seat in the hall, as he followed her after picking up something to eat and drink along all he had to say. After al he had years worth of things to tell her. Tammy was now all ears, and gestured him to begin.

“As you would have already gathered that Frosty was once my mother, as you yourself are now. She is hell bent on eradicating love from this world, and believes that the only way to do so is total domination. She is one of the most powerful and mean evil spirits that has existed almost since the creation of humanity. She has no corporeal form in our world, so she possesses the body of others who succumb to her. This poor lady will be enslaved with her until someone doesn’t destroy this body to free her.”

“During her initial years, she fell in love with a fellow spirit called E. {don’t mind please Mister E.} Out of their love I was born. Some time later however, E. decided to take on the archangels, and in a fight with Uriel, he fell in to a pool of holy water, and was fully cleansed much to her rage. This took a very bad effect on her, and she is now trying to eradicate love for that reason. It was this particular love that prevented me from turning fully evil!” Tammy immediately caught this, “Fully evil? What are you then, good or evil?” “Let’s just say I am a good soul but with a teeny hint of evil!”

“Yet some how in your life before this, I fell in love with you. Yes. I decided to be re-born as a human in your this life to be with you. When she learned this, she messed it all up so that I may receive motherly love from you in this life so as to teach me a lesson. It was kinda obvious that she would attack some time or the other, and knew about Todd too, I just was waiting for the right time to tell you. I just didn’t want to scare you before it all took place.”

Some how Tammy felt a whole lot weird now. Was the one she was supposed to be married to instead of Todd instead born of her very womb? He was talking so calmly about it as if it was all in a day’s work and bloody normal. “Don’t worry though,” continued Jim “you are my mother this life, and we’ll let it stay that way. No sweat.” Tammy however had other things on her mind “But what about her now? You’ve definitely got great powers; you can get rid of her can’t you?” sounding concerned, and hopeful at the same time.

“I am however a human now, she is still as powerful as she was. Both of us have our limitations.” He replied as he ran his hand across the mark that was left by the tight slap he had moments ago got from Tammy for the very first time. She flushed. Smiling and sipping some more fruit juice, he went on “Destroying this one body will only give us time to find some way to contain her before she finds another host, and then all this starts all over again. We will have to gather all our strengths, and face all weaknesses if are to face her.” Jim had now fallen silent as he ate some bread and butter. Silence is a powerful weapon. It sinks your word straight in.

Tammy racked her brains for anything she may have missed. “You told her that she had accomplished both her tasks. What were they?” He smiled in a sarcastic way, “By executing Todd in such a violent way she not only scared you enough to improve her prospects in the future, but also grew more powerful from the fear she arose in you. Fear, anger, hatred and all such things grow her more powerful. The results will of course not be so nice as you will experience much to your cost.”

“But you can fight her can’t you? You aren’t afraid of her. You’ll take her on.”

“Yes, I believe it will amount to that eventually, but the last time we seriously fought ended kinda in a no contest, and that too when I was way more powerful as a non human.” He decides to go out and bask some sun while he could. She followed. “My only concern is how you’ll fare when you’ll face her in the future.” That was however answered by an eerie feeling. The sun suddenly went dark, and the earth shaked, and slowly bean turning to hell on earth. She spoke, “I guess we’re about to find out.” Then in front of then appeared Frosty, suited for battle along with a very barbaric, strong looking demon warrior thirsty for blood, human blood. All this happening too soon, Jim hadn’t even fully prepared Tammy yet. Just as Tammy moved, with a snap of Frosty’s fingers, chains appeared out of thin air, and tied her up. It was worthwhile Frosty believed to let her live, and watch Jim die a gruesome death for committing the mistake of falling in love.

As the warrior moved forward for his obvious prey, Jim sent a gust of Telekinesis towards him, which it much to his dismay countered effortlessly. Thinking of something else, he ripped out an entire section of the road with his powers, and launched it towards it with all force. It merely raised its hands and with some concussive energy beam disintegrated the projectile in to dust. Having no other choice left, Jim then summoned on to him a magnificent scythe made purely of energy. He had now to face the prime warrior of hell hands on!

THE DREAM 5: THE CONCLUSION

There have been not so many events across the ages that all the powers that be have come to witness first hand : corporeal or incorporeal, visible or invisible, close or distant, existent or not. This was one of these not so many!

Jim watched and thought over, scythe in his hands, focus steady on his opponent. He was thinking it all over, contemplating his next move. The opponent was way more powerful than he had expected, and he himself was inarguably a human. This power imbalance was not the least of his concerns, but at the same time, it was not his most either. The entire human existence as we know it was at stake. Screw that, above all Tammy was at stake. He was ready to fight till the last of his essence to ensure that the love of his life would remain safe, unharmed, and of free will. And for that he was ready to succumb to one of mankind’s greatest shortcomings – DEATH!

Shunning all doubts and fear aside he leapt forward scythe blade first to strike the warrior. Instead he just connected with the blade of his opponent. With one gigantic swipe, it hit Jim, sending him several feet away crashing in to the walls of his house. Luckily for him these were made of timber not concrete. Still motivated, he sent forward an even more powerful gust of concussive force, which this time met its target. Much to his dismay however it only thrust the warrior back by a few steps.

All this seemed too dramatic for Tammy to just watch. She was visibly struggling against the chains that bound her, to free herself and help in way possible. Frosty on the other hand was enjoying all this, just as an even more sinister thought came to her mind.

“You wish to fight and successfully defeat me, while you can’t even take care of my minion! Looks like you could do with some more motivation.” And then with another snap of her fingers, some of the chain links binding Tammy began to sear. The pain and agony were too much, and Tammy creamed like a banshee set on fire!

“NO!” yelled Jim, as Frosty then stopped this extra pain. This enraged him to a new level, and then a force of a great magnitude erupted from his body directed at the warrior. It tried to block it, but instead the force not only shattered its blade in to many pieces, but also flipped the demon off the ground, flat on the ground. Then as the fallen warrior got up; with one great energy strike with his scythe Jim, ruptured its hide, mortally wounding it. Then after taking his time to cool down, he turned his attention finally towards Frosty. “You’re next.” Frosty came forward, “Yes finally the moment I’ve been waiting for all this while, to teach you a lesson for all your misdoings. First I’ll do away with all the distractions.” She raised her hand and pointed it towards Jim. Expecting some thing from it, he went in to a defensive posture. However it was not him that was the target. With her psionic powers, she launched one of the broken pieces of the blade right at Tammy. It happened all too soon to counter. The blade hit Tammy, impaling her straight in to the heart!

Jim ran and managed to get hold of her before she’d hit the ground. Neither said anything as their eyes conveyed what was needed. Tears began to emerge Tammy’s eyes and she was no more with him. Just as the first drop of tear hit the floor, something happened that even Frosty experienced. Jim’s heart stopped beating. He turned. “If you won’t le others have their own peaceful world, I won’t let you have yours.”

His still heart began to grow darker and darker, and for the very first time the evil in him was now awakened by the rage and the loss of his beloved. All the dark energy from the world soon began to channel towards him, collecting in him making him more powerful than Frosty had ever been. But all the goodness that was in him, and all the evil him began to clash. It was like matter and anti-matter together. Soon Jim released from him an enormous explosion that slowly encompassed the whole galaxy and left nothing behind. Frosty was finally defeated but at a price!

Soon nothing was left of this Milky Way but endless void. Then two stars blue in two different shades began to light. God had now the task of recreating the human world so that the souls may now unite. God had found his new Adam & Eve