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[Independence Day Special][Short Story] Pis-Aller

"He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well"-John Milton
He was in his nineties now, slow, fragile and nearing death. Still, every day he used to wake up at 6 in the morning and stare outside the window, blankly. They said when he was young, he was agile, healthy and quick, no one knew what his profession was, but he did retire rich at the age of fifty-five.His only son used to visit the old rooms twice a day,
'Baba, I request you again. Come with us to the big house. What is there in this dump?' his son used to question.


'I can't leave now, there is one final task left son,' he used to smile, 'One final task.'
Baba had sent all the furniture from the room to the new house but kept himself a bed and the jewel beaded box.
'No one has ever removed the box from under the diwan since last 20 years, baba,' the daughter-in-law use to question, 'Don't let the servants, but please let me clean …

[Short Story] 9123

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 59; the fifty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​IndiCreator. For Creators. By Creators.. Share Your #LockdownTales at indicreator.com
Woman Photo by Christopher Windus from StockSnap


She sauntered around the room, brushing her finger on the settled dust on the placid bedstand. How many days had gone by since she had seen another adult? She wondered.


The dredge and the humdrum were now drowning into a routine that she could not shake off. She drank the old room around her, not bohemium or minimalistic or too fancy. It was a standard room as any room can be. 

A large diwan in the centre, a cupboard and a common bedstand. Nothing too fancy. Nothing too cheap.


Just enough. 

But now this room looked enough and dreadful for her. She wanted to spread her wings, and she wanted to fly. She wanted to taste worldly flavours, and she wanted to go out.

She pulled her hair behind and secured them in a pony. Tied her dupatta to her waist and took substantial steps towards her destiny. 


"You really shouldn't," the laid-back voice behind her spoke, and she turned around.

The young man was lying on the bed, wearing a lose red T-shirt and his cargo shorts. And his sleepy eyes were staring at the phone in his hand.

For a moment, she froze in her steps, and her eyes widened. "Shayan! what are you doing here?"

"What do you mean babes," he spoke, in a husky voice, his eyes still not deviating from his phone, "I was here all along."

She scratched her scalp for a moment pondering at him. Her eyes darted from him to the room. Was he there all along?

"No, you weren't," she exclaimed, "Or were you?"

'Whatever..." he scoffed, busy tweedling his thumbs on the phone.

She moved on to rub her chin and eyeing him very closely. He had started sneaking up on her lately, appearing at odd hours and not paying attention. 

But she could swear he was not here before. She brushed her hand to her head, hoping to rub off the headache away. But then her task at hand came to her focus, and she shot,

"Why shouldn't I go out?" she said, "Why do you want to control me?"

He looked at her briefly from his phone and then his eyes darted back to the device, "I don't want to control you babes, but you know why you can't go out."

She fumbled and started cleaning under her long nails. Her foot was shifting in its position. She stood there, staring at her feet. 

Thinking. Why did Shayan have such a controlling effect on her? Surely, she could break-free and go out. 

She turned around and looked at the closed door. Beyond the brass door handle was a whole new world, and here she was stuck in the room with Shayan who had more things to do than look at her.

He was probably having an online argument with someone pointless. 

"Its Jogi," Shayan said, softly, his eyes still glued to his mobile phone.

"What did you say?" she turned to him and sucked air through her teeth.

He finally stopped thumbing his phone, looked up and stretched his arms. He stifled a yawn.

"Come back to bed, baby," he said in a soft voice, 'You cannot go out. Jogi won't let you."

She started chewing on her nail as the words sunk into her mind. Yes, the problem is not Shayan, it's Jogi. He always sat outside the door, urging her to go back in.

Shayan patted the bed next to him and smiled, "This is soft and warm, outside is cold and uncomfortable, you know what you want, right?"

She kept chewing her nail, her eyes darting from him to her feet. 

"I can take down Jogi if I want too...," she muttered, her voice soft and always tuning out towards the end of the sentence. 

"No, you can't," Shayan shot.

"No, I can't," she repeated.

"I am telling you, come back to bed, have a siesta and then we can talk...," Shayan replied. He beamed. She responded with a smile.

With slow steps, she returned to the bed, wrapped herself in the soft duvet and pulled it over. She gleamed at the brown eyes of Shayan who was now smiling, "Want me to sing you a lullaby?"

She nodded. Who doesn't like a lullaby?

"Will you be around when I wake up?" she asked him, earnestly—her voice betraying her mistrust at his intentions.

"Sure, I will," Shayan smiled, running his fingers on her forehead, "I will be here whenever you need me."

She smiled. Her eyes were slowly drifting into dreamland and sinking into Shayan's soulful voice. So engrossed she became in his voice that she hardly noticed the bronze handle turn and the door open a bit.



A lady peeped inside and pulled her head out as fast as it had entered. The lady returned out, locking the door and turned to her colleague, "No, Jogi today, she is only talking to Shayan."

The colleague holding the clipper and notes in her hand said, "She even finished the argument sooner than every day. That's new."

"We could call it progress," the colleague scribbled, "But I hardly think that has any difference in her overall status."

"No, of course," the first one nodded, "We have to keep her under observation until she stops seeing Shayan."

They both shrugged and closed the file on inmate no. 9123 and moved on.



The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Show your support for the hastags #BlogATon59 & #LockdownTales. Participation Count: XX.

Comments

  1. That's wonderful post, Sid. I loved the way you opened the story, introduced Shayan and even Jogi and finally closed, adding to move on. Keep writing!

    Here's my take on the topic - Love In The Time Of Virus: The Lockdown And Thereafter

    Someone is Special

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm... it appears to be a longer #Lockdown. Good story, I liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Couple of paras into the story, I thought I knew the ending. But was still enjoying the journey towards it, and then I realised I had got it all wrong.
    Really enjoyed this piece, Siddy boy, and good to be back on your blog. All the best for the blogaton and the ongoing pandemic, in general.
    Here's my take on the topic:
    Unfinished work left in our bags

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vipul, very curious to know what you though would be the ending. And I threw you off the scent, so my mission was successful!

      Delete
  4. Dear Sir,

    Enjoyed this story and liked the twist!
    It was short, crisp and hard hitting.

    A lockdown of a soul, a life . . Perhaps, beautifully penned.

    All the best for BAT 59!

    Regards, Megha.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice plot. Like how the story unfolds. Good read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very nice story and narration..twist is really good :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Delighted reading this. Now, I feel that this is the perfect take on the topic. Masterfully penned.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good narration...I liked the story ...All the best

    ReplyDelete
  9. It was a very nice and intriguing post. Throughout the journey you kept me guessing! I am visiting your blog after ages and I feel that your writing has gone to the next level, Sid. Very proud of you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow!! This is such a unique take on the prompt. I was glued till the end. Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lockdown of soul and never coming back is more painful than physical lockdown. Very well written

    ReplyDelete

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