Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss
GOD Of A Man
Eternity Versus Eternity
“Every situation carries within itself, a solution and an opportunity.”
Chapter Six: Crackling Walls
Dated: 17th December, 2459
A very generic view about situations is; they are unpleasant. But a picture is always incomplete without an audience, as much as it is without a story. A picture within itself is just a memory of a moment, a flash out of a stream; the story it is a part of is either for its’ creator to speak, or for the audience to deduce. If the creator takes upon self the burden of truth the view gets constricted, confined to the limits of his story. However, if left to the audience, every intellectual entity to witness the creation builds up a story of their own; a story that explains the moment, or a fantasy which incorporates the picture sublimely into self. Situations are like pictures, their creator known or otherwise, but their stories incomplete without the interpretation of their audience. And their audience is varied!
For every situation there are three kinds of subjects: the victims, the survivors, and the beneficiaries. The first amongst these are those who either lack the special traits that help the other two survive, or are perhaps the ones who get caught unprepared. But then, who can prepare against the randomness of life? Still, there are those who get a second chance to escape the catastrophe. They are the ones’ who look for a way out, a solution, which always comes out of the situation itself. A flood can drown everything, but what doesn’t drown in it is the escape from the calamity. A fire can raze everything to the ground, but can the fury even touch what exists in burrows and caves? Ability is the trick that identifies a solution out of the situation, and survivors have this ability.
Then there are those who look at a situation and yell, opportunity! Those who sell boats make money from floods, those who sell spades make money from fires, those who sell guns make money from war, and those who sell coffins make money from all! Intelligence is the ability inherent to the enterprising few who en-cash the hidden opportunity in a situation. Survivors keep humanity alive, entrepreneurs make it progress! New Saisho is in search of such entrepreneurs, and at a very short notice!
“What’s all the commotion in the street?” a sleepy Mrs Ahluwalia asked her son as he entered the house.
As if he didn’t want to answer, he laboured to muster the words, “Janice and her mother are missing!”
“Missing? How come,” Mrs Ahluwalia was surprised, and so was Jenny who had just walked out of her room, rubbing her eyes and still yawning, “Missing? Since when?”
“The detectives are treating it as a homicide,” Aman’s reply shocked them even further.
“Murder?” Mrs Ahluwalia said as she put her hand on her chest as if helping the reality sink in.
“They found Mrs Dwight’s chopped feet next to the spot where their now missing bed was,” Aman informed the two ladies.
Both the ladies looked at each other as their hearts nearly skipped a beat, their throats suddenly dried as both of them took a huge breath in. “But who would do such a thing?” Jenny asked.
“I don’t know, but I think there is something more to it than what meets the eye,” Aman said as his mind started analysing the bigger picture.
“Do you think the power supply disruption had something to do with it?” Jenny asked.
“Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t! But even if it did, it won’t be in a way we might apprehend it to be,” Aman replied as his eyes got fixated on something far off, completely out of sight.
“What makes you think something is hidden from our view?” Mrs Ahluwalia asked.
“Something doesn’t seem right here,” Aman replied as his eyes constricted, “Their bed has gone missing along with a piece of carpet and their concrete floor. A killer might have some use for the carpet, but the rest of the stuff just doesn’t mix with the plot. Call me a freak but I have a strange notion in my head right now.”
“And what would be that?” Jenny asked, albeit a bit intrigued herself.
“I have this ugly feeling that the missing space station, last night’s power failure and now our missing neighbours, are all a part of the same chronology of events,” Aman said with a certainty borne out of experience more than sixth sense.
“You are scaring me now!” Jenny said as she clasped her hands together, fingers crossed and her palms holding the edges of her night shirt’s sleeves, as she put her hands to her lips. She then took a few steps forward to rest her head on Aman’s chest.
“Hey, what’s there to be scared of? I am here?” Aman said as he hugged her softly, their bliss only to be interrupted by the ringing of his mobile.
“Hello! Yes Sir,” Aman answered the call and listened intently to the voice from the other end. “Sure Sir, I understand. I am coming straight away.” The phone disconnected.
“Who was it?” Jenny asked immediately, her heart suddenly pounding at the thought she wasn’t prepared to entertain for another twenty four hours.
“I have to leave, immediately,” Aman informed them, “It was from the base and they need me to depart immediately.”
“But I thought you were leaving tomorrow,” Mrs Ahluwalia exclaimed.
“Looks like something urgent has come up,” Aman replied.
“But can’t you just stay another day?” Jenny asked, her eyes moist, as if she didn’t know the answer.
“I need to leave love,” Aman held her face in his palms softly and kissed her forehead, “I’ll just take a quick shower and after that if you could help me pack quickly.” Jenny didn’t reply but she hugged him tightly as tears rolled down her cheeks. As Aman put his arms around her back and used one hand to caress her head to his chest, he saw Rosie standing by the side of her room’s door, her soft pink puppy pillow hanging in her hand. She quietly turned around and walked back into her room.
“Just give me a sec love, I need to talk to Rosie,” Aman said as he left Jenny standing in the middle of the room, to try and talk to Rosie. But Rosie didn’t speak a word as she sat on the edge of her bed, still holding her pillow close to her heart, looking away from Aman as he tried to talk to her, explain how it is important for him to leave. She didn’t even cry, just kept quiet, looking away. And Aman didn’t have time!
Time has a unique habit of always running out whenever anyone needs it the most. It is too slow, almost impossible to pass by when your life is stuck in a rot, and yet one day you suddenly realize you have already lost all of it. Is it manageable or does it manage us? Hard to say about an entity which owes its’ existence to the human habit of quantizing everything they come across, to simplify and make their universe more comprehendible to themselves. But time was one thing Captain Bradley Connors had none as he could feel the impending event on his neck. Action had to be quick, action had to be abrupt, the confines however constricted, and the enemy unknown.
As Bradley felt the whispering breath on his neck, he instinctively put his one hand to the knife that hung from his waist belt, while the other manipulated the rotatable control of his headlight, and at the spur of the movement, his agile body flung itself horizontally to a side, as he twisted around, pulled out his knife and turned on the light in a single flash. The enemy could only swing wildly in the air, missing his target by inches, but what an enemy it was!
As Bradley crashed to the ground on his back, he had the first glimpse of the enemy, in the faint lighting provided to the dark dungeon by his small head lamp. It was a giant worm, cylindrical in shape, dangling like a snake in the air, its’ body dirty dark in colour, covered in scales and spines, its’ sphincter like mouth full of serrate rows of teeth. But before Bradley could take a better look, the monster’s face was heading towards his body again. Bradley rolled away and got back on his feet, and with one quick move, chopped the head of the beast from its’ torso.
As the lifeless body of the creature hung from the roof like a hose pipe, Bradley looked towards the roof for the first time. The sight he beheld could have terrified any lesser mortal into a lifeless stupor!
Above his head the cave roof was covered completely by a blanket made of a fold, of which, the lifeless body of the predator was a part of. The skin fold was firmly fixed to the roof at its’ edges, but the middle part of his body was dangling downwards, as if full of something.
The fold had many oblong projections hanging out of it into the cave. As Bradley inspected the structure, the skin of the oblong projections started to tear open as many tubular bodies, similar to the one Bradley had relieved of its’ head, hung out and started swinging viciously in search of flesh.
Bradley ducked just in time to avoid becoming the feed of a couple of such projections behind his back. Luckily for him, they were not long enough to reach the floor where he lay firmly fixed to avoid the hunting many. But their ferocious search for feed continued and to his horror, the giant beast started to crawl along the roof towards the sides of the wall, bringing the beasts closer and closer. Bradley chopped a few more heads and then strangely, the feverish activity stopped! Slowly and slowly each one of the dangling deaths eased out into a lifeless stillness.
Bradley waited for a few more uncomfortable minutes, then chopped a few more heads and got back on his feet. He looked around trying to see if there are any more of the nasty creatures in the cave and then slowly and slowly made his way around the curving passage. It appeared to be an underground cave dug by the workers as it had lines of electrical wires, globes and fluorescent tubes. Its’ just that none of them were working anymore!
Bradley however concentrated hard on whatever the dim light of his head lamp could show. He was fast losing breath as the oxygen in the confined space diminished.
Bradley finally reached the end of that particular section of the underground passage, to find a door sealing it off from the next bit. He carefully opened the door and took a quick step back, ready with his knife for anything. Too bad the door only led straight into a wall of rock!
Frustration can incite violent reactions in most sane minds, but not if it belongs to a seasoned campaigner! Bradley moved closer, put his ear to the wall, and gave it a tap with the handle of his knife. The sound was distinctly hollow and the wall appeared not too thick. Bradley confirmed the findings by putting his ear to one of the side walls where a tap confirmed solid rock all around. Certain about his finding and ready for anything that awaited him at the other end, Bradley finally gave it a strong kick.
The wall didn’t break, but a bit of dust arose from its’ edges. What cannot be torn down, can sometimes be kicked out of the way! A few more fierce kicks and the piece of rock fell, and fell many feet below, into the empty valley that existed now.
Bradley stepped to the edge and took a long breath as his men outside cheered in delight. The new opening was just on the other side of the projecting rock where Bradley had earlier escaped the collapsing wall.
The thing about walls is; they always look daunting! Bring them down and everything is flooded with whatever they guarded so dearly. And should you not be ready on an uplifted plain to a side of the opening, the ferocity of the flow will sweep you away into oblivion. And walls are not always physical, they can be emotional too!
“Just go now!” Mrs Ahluwalia told her son as she turned her face away wiping her tears, “Just go before I can’t let you leave!”
“Mom,” Aman wanted to say something as he put his hands on the side of her shoulders and looked at her face that was breaking with emotions. But Mrs Ahluwalia just pushed him away! She had already cried her heart out and was on her breaking point. Aman looked at Jenny who was standing next to her and she immediately turned her face away, her hands failing to wipe away the streams running along her cheeks.
“Jenny, please be strong, for you are the one who has to give strength to both my mother and my sister,” Aman said as he stepped towards her, trying to hold her face in his palms.
“You are counting on the weakest link,” Jenny said as she burst open and collapsed in his arms, “Please don’t go!”
“Look at you two now! Didn’t you two just let me go a couple of weeks ago?” Aman asked.
“We did!” Mrs Ahluwalia replied, “But it’s different this time. Last time we were mentally ready for you to leave, this time it is so sudden.”
“But I was going to leave tomorrow anyway mom,” Aman replied.
“Yes, tomorrow,” Jenny replied, “It is not the same as today! Feels like we’ve been robbed of a day from our lives!”
“But I have already spent half of my morning with you two,” Aman made a week plea, too meek in the face of the daunting task of assuaging two crying ladies.
“Hey where is Rosie?” Aman asked as he desperately looked around for his kid sister. And there she was, standing quietly to the side of the door to her room. Aman looked at her and she ran straight to him hugging his leg. Aman knelt down and holding her by the sides of her shoulders, said, “Girl, you are the strongest of the three! Make sure you take good care of these grown up kids!” And Rosie hugged him tightly, without saying a word. There was a doll in her hand, the first one Aman had ever gifted her.
Rosie broke the embrace and thrust her hand forward, handing over the doll to him. Aman didn’t move! So Rosie took his hand in hers’ and put the doll in it, “Give it to me when you return!” She then ran back to her room as Aman called her name uselessly.
“You please take care of her,” Aman said as he looked at Jenny.
“And who will take care of me?” Jenny asked a question which left Aman speechless.
“Please don’t go! I don’t know why but I feel a strange fear this time,” Jenny pleaed, wiping away her tears.
“You know I can’t stay,” Aman said wiping her tears.
“Ok! If you have to leave then please,” Jenny continued, “Promise me you will see me again!”
“Hey, what are you saying?” Aman was taken aback, “I will, no matter what.”
“Don’t just say it,” Jenny retorted, “Promise me that you will.”
“I promise you, I will be back with you in no time,” Aman said as he hugged her.
“Just remember, I trust you more than myself, and more than GOD,” Jenny replied, “Don’t break your promise!”
“I promise I won’t,” Aman said as the two embraced.
But promises are often commitments made in haste, either to make a deal, or to delay it indefinitely. Those who master the art of breaking them and still keep the value of their word intact, generally become good politicians, businessmen or religious preachers. And opportunity is a maiden that sleeps only with either of these!
The House of Faith looked serene standing in the middle of a ripe golden sea ready for harvest. A small track between the fields extended at its’ rear, and led to a small wooden cabin by the side of the bore well that irrigated the fields. Two shortening shadows extended from the feets of two men, the white of their robes easily overawed by the dark of their thoughts.
“Tell me Norman, did you hear the morning news,” one of them asked the other.
“I did,” Norman replied.
“There are many things going missing around the globe,” the other one quipped.
“What are you trying to say?” Norman wasn’t getting the point.
“The time is right to administer the medicine to the community,” the other one said.
“Yes I realize,” Norman replied, “But the old idiot inside and that army man’s bitch won’t let us do it.”
“I know they won’t,” the other one replied, “But then, a lot of things are going missing, ain’t they?”
“Granger,” Norman quipped, “You sometimes scare me!”
“Well, all the more reason to stay by my side,” Granger said.
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