Laura drove her four by four, along a path that could best be described as a favor on humanity created by the constant patter of horse hoofs, ages ago. But tonight she needed that path. She had to revive it for her journey to Animas Fork, a ghost town in Colorado.
Just like its name, the approach route forked into random directions in an animated ballet of a mischievous elf. Driving up the path was like chasing Johnny across their 100 acre farm house. You never know, where the boy might turn, when he might turn or how he might turn.
And finally when Laura would huff and puff and shout in a labored breath that she gave up. Johnny would laugh and say, “See how I tricked you…this is how a Zebra’s stripes create a zigzag illusion, mummy!”
Laura laughed at the memory and soon tears trickled down her smiling face. She did not bother to wipe them away instead she slowed down. She willed time to slow down as well, willed that lifelike memory of Johnny to stay, wished she could live in that memory a thousand years. Johnny was gone, just one instant, one moment when she looked away, and he ran down the road chasing a kitten; one flash of the truck driver distracted by his buzzing phone. One life lost.
“Jesus Christ! I could die”, I thought in that moment, standing on that busy road divider.
“I could get my head split open under a speedy truck and die—and that would be it. That would be the end of all that I ever was or could ever be.”
I have had these thoughts before. You know, the blade on wrist kind of thoughts, the rat poison in pastry, or the classic hang by the fan, or the gun in mouth, kind of thoughts. But I never really attempted any of those. Did not even get close to one. They were just thoughts.
Living alone for so many years, I had come to terms with the fact that if I died, no one would know that I am dead for days. Until of course, I swelled up and started to smell, or till someone noticed the scattered piles of uncollected newspapers and flyers on my front door or till scavengers left a trail on the front yard telling a probable story of their own of, “what might have happened”. Continue reading
Can a dead person come back as a ghost and a zombie, both?
I wandered listlessly up and down my suburban, two floored home. Mum had been crying constantly since five days now. Occasionally she would, and I believe it was on purpose, bring out discussions on how I farted so loud last Diwali, that my fart could be heard above all the fireworks. And how I had the most heinous singing voice, especially when I tried singing Yo Yo Honey Singh.
I was sick of people discussing me, and especially sick of seeing mum, dad and , my little brother, cry over and over again. Seriously people, I was right there.
And guess what, for once why couldn’t they discuss good stuff, like when I was the school prefect or the college journal editor? Was it so hard to say nice things about me? Continue reading
The sky was on the verge of turning crimson. It was time for Surya to start his day. Madam had never owned an alarm clock and at it was up to him to wake her up. Surya had diligently fulfilled this responsibility for the last seven years. Rain or shine, and through sickness and in health, even on the days when his majestic midnight blue tail drooped from the symptoms of a pesky ailment, Surya never once missed waking Madam up.
With resounding “cock-a-doodle-doo” that echoed through the trees on the mountain, Surya nudged madam out of her slumber.
The soft, tangerine plumes that covered his stately neck glistened in the early morning light as Surya ducked out of his coop. He strutted across the front yard at a languid pace and hopped onto the front porch. Surya examined his reflection in the glass shutter of the main door. He first checked in legs and then his mouth. Continue reading
They entered through the door, the woman and her two daughters. With flowing white togas, clinched at their waist, they looked like the ray of sunshine, I did not know, who they were. But I had been waiting for them, for too long.
“Mother, is this where we will live?” The younger one, almost five years of age, with golden locks, and the face of an angel, spoke up.
The woman looked around, her face a mix of sorrow and disdain.
“Yes, agape mou this is our home now.” Continue reading
There are voices, but I don’t know what they say. They are either distant whispers or my ears are clogged with water. All I hear is, someone sobbing — often for hours. Sometimes, I think it’s not just one person, they are out there in numbers; because there are different crying patterns. Some moan with intermittent hiccups, some endlessly curse and howl. The voices that are clearer, also sound familiar, and although it’s someone or the other weeping, I hate to admit, that it’s mildly comforting. But the one’s that come from far-off, are unfamiliar and upsetting. I wish, they could hear me, and for once, just shut up, the way I hear them, and beg them to shut up — all the time.
There is also very little or no light here. But that’s okay, I can still see what I want to. Maybe this is how it appears, when you’ve lived in the darkness for a while — your pupils adjust. They adjust to the idea of darkness and then you see a whole new world that you thought, you could only see with your open eyes or in bright light. And although, I can’t see what is out there, I know that I have seen, sometime in the recent past — the vast world, beyond these four walls, where these voices come from. Continue reading