Cold Case Files – #795666

“Detective Inspector Shane Devouc, you and I are gathered here in this room, on 10th April 2010, to discuss the events of the dispatch call on 13th May 1990, at 3 am, where you were the first responder” I say and then stare at my smart phone recorder.

“Oh shit,” I say again, and look up; embarrassed at my rookie mistake.

The burly man with head full of hair as white as snow stares at me impassive.

“I’m sorry, Detective Inspector.” I say. “We’ll have to go over this again. I forgot to press the record button.”

He grunts, and I start over. I can see that he is trying to brush this off as just another interview. Cool as a cucumber, or at least that is what he wants me to think. But no matter how hard he tries, he can’t hide his twitching fingers.

“Detective Inspector”, I start, again. “You and I are gathered here in this room, on 10th April 2010, to discuss the events of the dispatch call on 13th May 1990, at 3 am, where you were the first responder.”

He grunts again and then picks a strand of chicken stuck between his front two teeth. He pulls it out from the crevice slowly, like stretched bubble gum as I watch fascinated. That visibly obvious strand has been distracting me since the past fifteen minutes and now that he is pulling it out, I can’t help but feel a sense of strange relief.

“Can you tell me about the events of that night, Sir?” I ask, my eyes fixed on that long strand as he finally pulls it free and then pops out back into his mouth, chewing slightly.

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23:23

People believe I am mad, a crazy lunatic, obsessed with the time 23:23. But let me tell you something; I did not go searching for 23:23, it found me. It was relentless in its pursuit; it hounded me night and day, until I had no other choice but to acknowledge it. I tried everything, switched off my phone, tried to sleep when it was still a safe 22:22, shut my eyes and refused to look at my bedside clock. But somehow, somewhere I always managed to see 23:23.

I had such confidence in my sanity, my logic, my rationality; that I discussed about 23:23 with people, many people; my husband, friends, colleagues and believers in the paranormal. Some looked at me in awe, some even suggested I was a shaman and some strongly believed that I was ready to fall over the threshold of madness.

Before you throw away this paper, attributing it to the rant of a mad woman, let me tell you about me.

My name used to be Anu, short for Anuradha. I say used to be, because now, it is just patient no. 2323.

I was happy, once. I used to live in the bustling city of Bangalore, with its surprise showers and cool weather. I was married too, to the man of my dreams and I bore him two beautiful little girls, twins at that. In our uninhibited joy, we named them Thea and Rhea. Thea, Goddess of the moon and Rhea, the daughter of Gaia (Earth). Both my daughters orbited around each other from the time they were born. Oh how I had loved them until they were toddlers, their constant need to be with me, their constant demands, their unending cries for ‘Mumma’. That was only until they were old enough to realise that all they ever needed was each other. They had a look that was only meant for the other one, like telepathic Siamese twins.

Such strong was the connection between my daughters; that I became the ostracised mother who wasn’t privy to that bond.

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No monsters under the bed

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Timmy woke up with a start, it was those noises from beneath his bed again. He wanted to run to mommy’s room and cuddle up near her. But he knew the strange man would scold mommy and mommy would scold him. And he would be back in the bed and the noises would continue. Timmy was tired and sick of the noises. He got out of the bed and pulled his wooden sword out of his mattress. He scrunched his face to make it look scary, held his sword hard and pulled up the bedsheet and peered under the bed. There was no monster there. But there was a door and it opened onto darkness. Where had the door come from? Timmy took his flashlight and pointed it at the door. There was a wooden staircase, he climbed down. After a long silent climb down he reached the basement floor. The basement was huge, his flashlight could not find the walls or the ceiling. Continue reading

Hide and seek

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“No, no, no…” Kavita screamed as she opened her eyes and planted her legs on the floor with force. He feet were glad to touch the threadbare living room carpet. She could feel her fingernails digging into the varnish of the sofa. She looked at the balcony, not that she wanted to. Her neck just seemed to turn on its own. The balcony was empty. An angry orange sun was setting below the railing of the balcony. She forced herself to look away. To look at her son.

Her five-year-old son was staring at her with wide eyes. His lips were puckered up, his chin ready to quiver. He was leaning against the coffee table to support himself.

Kavita’s hand trembled as it rose towards him, “I am just afraid for him…” she told herself. She pulled Ravi into an embrace. “Did I scare you? I am sorry…” she whispered as she kissed his forehead, “Don’t be afraid.” She was not sure to whom she said that.

“The police inspector is at the door…” Ravi said in a small voice. Continue reading

Mother ate herself…

Are you asking for Mother?

Well, you won’t find her here. You can search all you want.

Go look into her closet that smells of rotten berries and starch.

Raze her bed; raze it off the sickly sweet whiff that permeates from the sheets.

Take a peek inside the kitchen; you won’t witness her breaking that soft loaf of bread,

Her ample behind busying itself around the kitchen, fretting over the crumbs, a sweet song lilting off her luscious lips while her legs tiptoe in a light tread.

You won’t find her here, just like the cops didn’t.

What happened to Mother, you ask?

Oh that’s easy, she ate herself into a tizzy and then dissolved in a whirlpool of pity.

Do you think I am joking, about my own Mother?

Oh, you didn’t see what I saw?

And you didn’t do what Father did?

At first, it was the song that perished on her lips. It died, died in her tongue because she bit it enough to bleed and burn.

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The scavenger

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‘It stinks…’ the voices whispered in Aryan’s ear.  ‘I can’t breathe’ a voice choked in his throat, Aryan bolted upright in his bed, trying hard to catch his own breath. It was way before sunrise, the sky outside his window was covered in a thick carpet of dark clouds and the carpet was leaking. It wasn’t a strong rain, the sky wasn’t weeping and shouting at the earth, the sky was murmuring obscenities and threats. And it had been going on all night long. And that meant the ground was overflowing with the rainwater and that meant the drainage was clogged. Continue reading

Write Club Magazine – Edition 11

The Chronicles of Jim and other stories” marks the eleventh edition of Write Club Bangalore Magazine. You can read it for free under Kindle Unlimited, if not, it is just INR 49.

It starts with a darkly disturbing series of diary entries, by a troubled young man in “The Chronicles of Jim, written by Ashwin Kumar.

Moves on to the riveting Mythological Fiction called “Monster” written by Write Club, Bangalore’s recent enviable talent, Yedu Bose.

The series of stories then takes a dramatic turn and entices us into Romance with Kartik Patiar’s, “The Hot Cup of Cappuccino”.

Of course, now that you have read mythology, psychological horror and romance, you wonder what else does this book have to offer. And we don’t disappoint you with Anjali Torgal‘s fantasy/sci-fi short, “The Tree Whisperer”.

Since, we can’t get enough of sci-fi, we have ensured you get enough of it. Read on to “The Sporulation of Sarpanch Sam”, by, undeniably, our favourite writer Pavan Kumar. If you can’t get enough of Pavan here, follow him on Instagram for his surreal poetry.

Now that we have set the atmosphere of strange, it is time to bring out the big horror guns, with Amel Rahman‘s “No Cats”.

You must be wondering about how twisted we are, with just one romance and everything else is horror and fantasy. No, we are not twisted, at least not much. We do love a good splattering of romance in our imaginary worlds. So, read on to get your mushy on, with Isha Shukla’s “The Stone Bench”.

What did I tell you about our obsession with a good sci-fi?

Ankit Jha, our resident writer, editor and compiler, delights us with this fantasy/sci-fi short called “Wrath of Gods”.

Next up is “The Diary of a Womb”, a socially conscious piece about the conversations of an unborn girl with her male twin, general fiction by Nidhi Srivastava.

Finally, to end this embroiling book is a story written by me, “Raja and Mia”, about a young tiger’s love for his keeper. Genre: Drama.

Read an excerpt here.

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A Mother’s Love

ali-morshedlou-598386-unsplashNorman stood outside his mother’s room. He sighed and balanced the tray in his hand, he had made all her favorites, pancakes, sunny-side up eggs, and freshly squeezed orange juice. He knocked on the door.

“Come in” his mother’s hoarse voice shouted.

Norman entered the room and placed the tray on his mother’s bed, across her lap.

“About damn time. What is this breakfast or brunch?” Mother hissed at him, “ I thought you had forgotten about me.”

“Sorry mother, I had to go out to get the oranges, we ran out of them.”

“This is why I tried all my life to teach you discipline. God knows I tried. You used to be better when I could get out of bed and whoop your sorry ass.” Mother took a sip of the orange juice, “ and you still cannot choose ripe oranges. What am I going to do with you?”

Norman stared at his feet. He had to hold both his hands to keep them from shivering. His mouth was dry. He tried to lick his lips but there was no moisture in his mouth. Breakfast was the best time to tell mother. She would only grow grumpier through the day. And he had been wanting to say this for a while now.

“Mother…” he whispered. She did not hear him and continued eating the pancakes.

“Mother, I have decided to leave,” he said as if testing her hearing. Continue reading

Little red ghagra choli

abstract-art-artistic-414768Little Pinky jumped up in joy because it was Diwali. It meant she got to wear her brand new red ghagra choli. It also meant she got to visit her grandmother. Little Pinky got ready even before mommy told her to get up. When mommy came into her room, mommy was very happy to see her ready and helped her into her brand new glittery ghagra choli.

“Can I go meet grandma now?” Little Pinky jumped up and down with excitement.

Mommy’s face fell. She rubbed her eyes and sighed. She forced herself to smile and said, “Yes Pinky, you can go and visit grandma…”

“Yay!” Pinky ran around the house in joy.

Mommy gave her a large box of sweets, “give this to Grandma. Wish her a happy Diwali.”

Pinky nodded, “I have my own gift for Grandma too.” She ran into her room, pulled out her gift from her school bag and placed it inside the box of sweets.

Little Pinky noticed her mom sitting sadly on the sofa. Mommy liked grandma too, just like Pinky did. But grandma and mommy had been fighting recently. Pinky didn’t know why, when she asked mommy, mommy simply said it was because grandma wanted to give her cousin Pappu more chocolates than her. This had hurt Pinky, why would grandma give Pappu more chocolates? Pinky always thought grandma liked her more. But Pinky was sure when grandma saw her in her new red ghagra choli and ate her sweets she would love her again. And she would give her more chocolates than Pappu.

Pinky went to Mommy, “Don’t worry mommy. I will make sure grandma loves me more. I will take good care of grandma.” Continue reading

Fury…

It is past midnight. You struggle between the need to watch another episode of Black mirror, or to sleep. You take a look at the time again, 12:30 am. You calculate that if you sleep just about this minute, you would get exactly five hours of rest before your alarm starts screaming to “it’s all about that bass” by Meghan Trainor. A heavy cloud of exhaustion lowers itself and settles on your shoulders. You feel burdened, not just by your increasingly heavy frame but also by your head that carries viscous notions. You sigh and promise yourself that tomorrow you would put Adi early to bed, so that you would have the time to watch at least two episodes of Black Mirror and yet get to sleep by midnight.

You shut your laptop screen and half walk, half tumble into Adi’s room. Partly out of habit and partly out of admiration. You remember how terrified you were of sleeping alone when you were six. In fact, you admit to yourself, but only to yourself, that even now every night you have to stop yourself from begging your six year old to sleep with you, in your room.

You switch on the night-light and watch your little son sleep, his steady breathing calming the storm inside you. You are going to switch off the light and walk back into your room, but you decide against it. You don’t want your child to burden the night terrors that you did, growing up. You are about to turn your back to Adi, when you hear a scratching noise. Your hands freeze, an inch away from the night-light. You stop breathing, your eyes are wide, bulging out of their sockets. Your feet are tethered to the ground like massive Oak trees. Your heart…Your heart beating like horse hooves in a stampede, is the only sound you can hear now. You try telling yourself that you imagined the scratching noise. Yet a sane part of you begs you to double check under Adi’s bed, inside his closet and under the study table. So then, you attempt moving your feet that are still rooted to the ground, after some amount of nudging; they move and as if on autopilot, walk you back into your room. You try to convince yourself that if you don’t acknowledge the fear the fear, doesn’t exist.

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A Damsel in Distress

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The prince plunged his sword into the throat of a monster. It chortled as its blood spluttered on the cobblestones of the castle. The prince pushed the monster down and turned around swinging his sword. There were no more monsters on the bridge. The last of the valiant company of his men were fighting them further down. He could see the armor of the few of his remaining men, glitter in the cold moonlight. He wanted to rush to their aid, but the monster horde seemed endless. So many men lost, and it would all be in vain if he couldn’t rescue the princess. He gritted his teeth and turned towards the castle.

It took him a few tries to get the castle doors open. He ran into the empty castle, shouting her name. He wandered the halls calling to her at the top of his lungs. Finally, he stumbled into the throne room, there in the far corner on a large throne shaped from the skeleton of some long dead monstrosity, lay the princess. She lay in a nest of silk pillows and apart from the pained expression on her face seemed rather unhurt. Continue reading

Sahib and the widow

Jaishankar shivered, not because it was too cold, which it definitely was, but because a jolt of desire ran down his body just as he set his eyes on the widow. He sat on a frayed cane chair, in her small verandah surrounded by towering pine trees and a splatter of wild geraniums. Her three children ran around the verandah in various stages of undress, their rib cages jutting out like those children in Somalia, completely oblivious to the chill; a chill that grazed the insides of Jaishankar’s bones, especially after it had rained all night in the hilly town.

“Sahib, coffee.” She said, holding a dirty tray with a cracked ceramic mug, and steaming filter coffee inside. Jaishankar stared at her, rather stared at her olive colored cleavage spilling down her blouse, the seams of which were on the verge of tearing. Her cheap cotton saree wafted of sandalwood and sweat; and some where between his legs, desire reared its head.

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“Theek hai ji, thank you.” He said. He regurgitated the phlegm stuck at the base of his throat and spat a mouthful at the bed of geraniums to his left. He watched in fascination as the dirty green, thick mold slid down a purple flower and splat on the grass bed below. He then cleared his throat and turned to talk about the matter for which he had visited the widow’s home.

“Saritha, I have heard rumours about you.” He said and allowed the base of his throat to loudly scratch his adam’s apple. He could feel another cluster of phlegm forming there.

Saritha squatted on the ground next to Jaishankar and shooed her three children away. “What rumours, Sahib?”

“That you…” He cleared his throat and spat again at his favourite bed of geraniums as a waft of freezing wind shook him with vehemence, “That you…you know…give favours, in exchange for money.”

The widow stared back at him, her eyes glistening. “What?! What are these rumours, Sahib? Who told you this?” Then just as understanding dawned on her face, her voice trembled, “Have you come to arrest me, Sahib? Where is the constable?”

“No..no I have not come to arrest, not just yet. I have come…” He cleared his throat again, and his pants suddenly became tight. A welcome surge of warmth engulfed his body and it took massive amounts of self-control to not grab the widows olive breasts and chew at her nipples. “I have come to ask, if you know, you will help me…how you help those other men.”

A heavy veil of silence fell over the verandah, even the children froze between playing kabaddi, and the only thing that broke the silence was a violent bout of wind.

The widow opened her mouth to say some thing; he could see her throat working and her collarbone jutting out in righteous defiance. He spoke quickly, to make his desperate point clearer.

“Look Saritha, you give me what I want and I will make sure you’re not arrested.” Jaishankar spoke, he was already antsy sitting out there in the verandah; wary of any passers by who might see the celebrated police inspector, Jaishankar, in the house of a whore.

“But Sahib, the rumours are not true. Look at us, me and the children, do we look like have any money to feed ourselves?” Saritha pleaded, her eyes filled to the brim. “It has been six months since my husband died, we are only surviving on the frugal savings we had when he was alive. My children haven’t had a proper meal in days. We are low caste people, Sahib. Not even memsahibs want me work in their homes.”

Jaishankar’s stomach dipped, while he knew she was telling the truth, his struggle with his sense of morality was short. Especially when his lions roared imagining Saritha’s supple breasts cradling his face and his hands squeezing her round, smooth bottoms.

“Fine, we have enough witnesses to state that you have been illegally operating as a sex worker, Saritha. Wait for me, I will come back with a constable.” Jaishankar spoke and stood up.

“No Sahib, please. My children will be on the streets, Sahib.” Saritha fell on his feet and begged him for mercy.

“Then give me what I need, Saritha.” He spoke, a rueful smile already lining his lips, his confidence along with his desire, reared knowing that the outcome would be exactly what he wanted it to be.

“Fine Sahib.” Streams of tears ran down Saritha’s cheeks. “Meet me at the abandoned boathouse by the lake tonight at 10:30 pm. I can’t do anything here with my children around.” She said, softly enough to make sure her little ones did not hear her. And instantly Jaishankar broke into a smile.

“Make sure no one knows about this.” He said and walked out, leaving his filter coffee half empty.

Lately he had been dying for a relief and none of the town whores were good enough to satisfy him. It wasn’t until he had laid his eyes on the helpless, young widow, Saritha, that he decided to concoct a small to lie to get what he wanted.

His chest swelled at the victory and his cunning mind. No other police inspector in the entire state could have boasted of intelligence as bright and vile as that of Jaishankar.

That night Jaishankar walked down the empty lake with a spring in his step and a song on his lips. Even the biting chill couldn’t dampen his spirits, perhaps it was the excitement of fucking Saritha or the four large scotch shots he had had that night. Even that darn phlegm had subsided after his drink. Some where in the mountains he heard a long howl and looked up to notice a full moon shining through an array of clouds.

By the third song he reached the abandoned boathouse, it was unlocked, a broken padlock lying among damp weeds next to the door. It was a beautiful night, he thought. The kind of night where the sky reflected its marvelous beauty on the water of the lake, the kind of night where even young, nubile, innocent widows learned to break locks and unleash the temptress within. His penis was hard, hard enough to be painful and he couldn’t wait to release it.

He opened the door, slightly ajar and saw her silhouette against the subtle rays of moonlight, falling through the slits of the wooden planks that made the boathouse. He paused a moment to admire the widow, even three children hadn’t dampened her curvy body, in fact if anything enhanced it all at the right places.

“Come Sahib.” She said, stretching her arms just as the mountains resonated with another howl.

In a dog like frenzy Jaishankar removed all his clothes before stumbling towards Saritha, he was done waiting. He had dreamed and fantasized about this woman since a month now. His right hand reach out to grab a blouse-clad breast, as he squeezed it hard and took her small mouth inside his whole. Saritha did not resist, neither did she initiate. Jaishankar had his way with her, tearing her clothes, biting her, chewing her nipples, bruising her, pulling out clumps of her hair. But now that he had her, there was nothing that was going to stop him from ravaging the widow, except for perhaps, the three little figures who stood by the door, with their father’s sickles in their hands and drool dripping down their mouths.

It did not take long before the wolf howled again and the widow commanded her children to unleash themselves on their first whole meal in the last fifteen days.

 

Halloween gone wrong…

“Tonight, some one is going to kill us. Pick us off one by one, when we least expect it, when we think we are safe in our cozy dorms, snuggled up to our furry feline friends; the killer is going to come unnoticed, sneak up on us and before our cats can even raise an alarm, bury a hatchet in our brain and watch in rapt fascination when tissues of grey matter squiggle out of the only deep opening in heads.” I said in a silent whisper, hoping that I sound menacing enough to scare the girls.

“Ahhhh” I hear two, satisfyingly, loud intake of breaths just as Fuschia, my Persian cat, snuggles up to me demanding a belly rub.

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“Jasmine, you can do better than that. Come on, this remotely sounding prophetic statement wouldn’t scare an 9 year old, forget 19 year olds.” Laura, my nemesis, spoke clearly exasperated by our incompetence to scare each other.

But then again, I knew she had it in for me. From her ordinary mousy brown hair to her spectacled black eyes; from her evident poo belly to her H&M’s clearance sale clothes; Laura was not the type who would be asked out on a date even if she were the last girl in the dorm. Continue reading

Don’t talk to Bob

“Like, who talks to Bob anyway?” Bob said as he traced out the words written on the walls of a solitary confinement cell in the abandoned, maximum-security, prison that they were scouting for their latest horror movie shoot.

The rules traced out on every single available space in the wall were.

How to survive solitary confinement?

Stay calm

Eat your meals

Keep a track of time

And don’t talk to Bob

Bob of course was offended that a prisoner who died by execution, some twenty odd years ago did not want to talk to him.

“I mean, I totally get it. Like why would anyone want to talk to Bob? Bob is not even a name; it is a fucking sound. Like huh or hmmm or zzzzz.” Ben spoke as they relentlessly kept shooting pictures of the wall.

Rachel laughed, that deep throaty laugh of hers which had been sending slivers of pleasure down my spine since I first saw her.

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“Well, don’t you wonder who is this Bob is? The Bob; that the prisoner did not want anyone talking to?” Rachel asked. “I mean, like is it a figment of a prisoner’s imagination. But if that is the case why does the writing on the walls differ so much?”

“Yeah, Rachel is right. Look at this.” Bob said. “Throughout the cell the handwriting style has changed a lot. Some sentences are even written in Spanish and French. Wow, I can safely say that more than thirty prisoners who have lived in solitary confinement here did not want to talk to Bob anymore. This place is doing wonders for my self esteem.”

I sighed. This Bob was such a cry-baby.

“Bob you are such cry baby.” Rachel said. “Not everything is about you, you know. This is another Bob they are talking about.” I smiled as Rachel read my thoughts, literally.

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“The Pig”

You walk stomping in an urgent pace through the corridors of the old school. Your footsteps echo throughout the abandoned building intruding a comfortable silence that reigns.

What was it like? You wonder. What was it like when I studied here? Garish laughter, childish screams, pitter patter of tiny feet assault your memories and a loss of the days long gone envelops your being.

Your foot steps slow down and you can almost hear the clanging of bells just like it did for lunch break. Another ten minutes, that is all it will take. You tell yourself. The huge sack you carry on your back weighs you down.

You hear a light giggle from some where behind you. You turn around, your heart rate shoots up and sweat trickles down your forehead.

“Who is it?” You ask. Loudly. Louder than you actually meant to. “Who is it? Who is it? Who is it?” Your voice echoes through the empty corridors mocking you. Your own voice reverberating, ricocheting off the walls, reminding you that it is truly YOU who is the intruder here. The fine hair in the back of your neck stand hard, hard enough to cause a subtle, buzzing pain down your spine.

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You wait for the echoes to die down and shine your torchlight all around you. All you see are tiny rodents skittering about in search of another rodent to eat.

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The Forest

They say the forest is enchanted, magical and mystical. Some say it is haunted, some say it is dark. Some hear the wailing of trees in the night beckoning them to ease the thirst of old gnarled roots, some feel whispers wafting in the dark, asking them to join the forest in its loneliness.

I stand here, old and gnarled like the roots of the forest trees. I stand before it, at the entrance, wondering if I should step in. The breeze beckons me inside, and the tall trees, bend into one another to form a dome, asking me to join them.

I mumble to myself, “yes…yes I am coming in. I know it is time.” An old, bitter man. Barely able to walk ten feet without a wheezing fit. Stooping to almost half my height, I don’t represent the truth. The truth of what I was, the truth about what has made me. To everyone else, except the forest, I am just another sweet old man.

I shuffle through the rustling leaves, fallen, crunching in excited chatter. The moist ground beneath me, feels soft, soft like that of Mary’s breasts, even her body. The way it would melt inside me, when I would take her in my arms.

Impatience grows, when the breeze whooshes past me, and the trees sway in an angry dance. The forest is asking me to hurry up. Mary always did that too. Asking me to pick up my pace. Mary was always running somewhere, always impatient. As if, she was forever in a race against time. She walked faster, ate faster, made love faster, lived faster, except dying. Dying was slow; it took hours for the life to disappear from her eyes.

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I am almost half a mile inside the forest now, the trees rejoice in an elegant ballet of vacillating branches. They are not lonely anymore. I smirk, “So much, so much like my Mary.” Just like her, the forest too, couldn’t stand loneliness. And just like her, the forest too would invite any stranger into its home, to feel less forlorn, to feel a head rush, a passing adventure, a temporary joyride, a momentary fling.

“I am coming, I am coming.” I shout out loud. Somewhere deep into the woods, I hear the forest wailing. A cry; a loud mewling of a baby, who has been denied food for a long, long time. A baby who can sense its mother about, a baby demanding the attention it deserves.

I shuffle further inside the winding narrow mud paths, created by the young, energetic feet of trekkers and campers. They are a complex network of veins that carry blood into the pumping heart of the forest. The wailing grows louder, whinier and impetuous. My shuffling grows faster, sure and eager. I don’t want to keep the forest waiting anymore.

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A Murder

So, the first stone hit, not me though, but the zircon ruby I had nicked off Nisha’s bathroom window. Quite an achievement, I tell you, since I had to brave my way through thick steamed smog, with zero visibility and an over powering scent of jasmine. But the red, blood red twinkle that reflected against my eyes was completely covetable. It made that arduous journey quite an adventure.

Being in possession of that ruby, which I decided to call Rubina, brought my ex girl Peri gliding like a swan towards me. Days of snogging, snuggling and basically Peri rubbing herself all over me, still did not convince me to give away Rubina.

And that is why, before the second stone hit me, I realized that I had been a celibate for six months now. Although I still say, Rubina was completely worth the celibacy.

The second stone, scraped deep through my right thigh, before lodging into Mr. Knuckles. No…no…no not Mr. Knuckles!

I had to fight Dodo continuously for three hours before I could deeply injure him and acquire Mr. Knuckles. The fight eventually resulted in Dodo’s death, being squished by a tire.

Hell, I didn’t care. Mr. Knuckles was the most beautiful stone I had ever set my eyes on. Amber and smooth in texture, I could look into Mr. Knuckles for hours at a stretch and forget about anything else, except for the mystical adventures Mr. Knuckles promised.

I screeched as Mr. Knuckles fell off the branch, and shattered onto the pebbled road below. My screech was cut short just as a pebble lodged into my mouth, and I had to sputter for at least a minute to spit it out.

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The Hollow

The Hollow comes crawling up to you in the dead of the night,

A night when you are tucked in safe, when you sleep amidst the memories of mommy singing you a lullaby.

A night, when you thank God for the warm duvet you have to snuggle.

A night when comfort is the soft yellow light, shining outside.

A night when the sturdy lock on your main door, lulls you into thinking you are safe.

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The Hollow lies in wait,

Sometimes in your closet,

Sometimes on the branch of a tree outside your window,

Sometimes in dark corners of the passage,

Sometimes peeking through the keyhole of your main door.

The Hollow lies in wait,

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The Painter

You are assaulted by the acrid smell of piss, puke and the stench of waste. Not the best way to wake up from deep slumber, you think. You wake up on hard ground, with your legs entangled in those of a complete stranger. Not even of the opposite gender.

Kalansh piece for the painter

(Artist: Kalansh Gala)

You curse and you spit at the man, secretly thankful that he is still passed out. You look around, only to find yourself surrounded by a melee of entangled bodies interwoven to blur any lines of gender, age and color. The darkness surrounding you is partially because your eyes are yet to focus and because you are in a giant dome that barely lets in any light through the massive stained glass windows near the ceiling. Continue reading

The Room

 

We sit huddled in three corners of the room. Our bodies emaciated, our skin withered, our bones jutting from odd angles, after days of starvation. Our eyes skitter from one to another in rapid succession. We do not trust each other; we are terrified of the ground that supports our gaunt bodies, the ceiling that shelters our fading existence and the walls that hold up our wilted selves.

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We have given up any thoughts of leaving the room, moons ago, or is it eons? We don’t know, how long have we waned away in this room.

I look at her, sitting across me, holding a rotting child in her arms. Her eyes bulge, what was once smooth, silky skin, now corrodes in flakes and falls all around her cadaverous form. I try hard to recall her name, but all I can remember is the word “Babe”. I used to call her Babe. I think she Continue reading