My Childhood Home

Alone in the shadows © Lalarukh
Alone beneath the shadows © Lalarukh

 

With her back leaning against the wall, she sits down on the ground. It feels cold to her palms. Despite the fact that it is really hot out there, with sun at its peak in the noon, and with almost forty five degrees temperature, there is a row of trees behind this wall that keeps the passage way where she sits a bit cool with their shadows. And she has her history with deep shadows and darkness.

It’s ironic. Right in front of her, with the opposite wall she used to make a home with long sheets and pillows in her childhood. She’d make a kitchen with small plastic utensils and some snacks and then invite her little brothers to have tea. And she had this pink box with small clippings of extra cloth drops and pieces of laces and threads and a needle and she’d sew these things together to make random designs and what not. And she’d sit there all day busy in her little chores. It felt amazing.

The pink box is gone along with her childhood. Her brothers are grown up and living far away places. Those tiny plastic utensils, her mother safely placed at the shelf in her room along side other useless items she used to play with. Her mother dusts these daily but never ever thinks of throwing or giving away. Mothers. They have their own ways.

A bird chirps from the trees above. Their is a mud pot placed right beside her, filled with water for the birds to drink. It is really hot out there. This house, it used to be filled with laughter and shouting and excitement where a strange kind of silence and sadness resides now. Her mother and father, they have grown old. They look tired when they smile.

Tear, a tear rolls down her cheek and falls on the ground, cold enough in the presence of summer’s bright sun. May be its the tree’s. It’s their way of grieving. Over beautiful lost memories and a cheerless future. Or may be it’s the coldness from inside of her heart. It’s dead, after putting up with so much pain and faking happiness for so long, it’s finally dead. She is scared, this home with all it’s memories and charm, what if it wakes up her heart again? But then dead can’t be woken up, can they?

She thinks of her room. It feels haunted to her. She remembers when she was little, she had an art wall in her room. She would make drawings,paintings,scribbles and art and then stick those to the wall. Her drawings and art work improved as she grew up and it was all there at the wall which she was proud of. And then once while the house had to get painted, she had to remove her art from the wall with her own hands. She was sad. She was a teenager at that time. A long cupboard with lots of shelves was then placed alongside her wall. That cupboard now contains fragments of her childhood and they get dusted daily by her mother.

Those albums with her baby photos, school functions and their family day outs, that car which saw her and her siblings grow up from children to teenagers and then adults, that same TV they used to watch cartoons on, the fans the ceilings the walls, nothing’s changed, everything haunts her. The memories are beautiful. It’s the fact that nothing like this can happen in future that wrings the heart and wrinkles the soul.

She weeps. Head in her lap, hands wrapped around the knees she weeps. Her shadowed self, this mud pot, all these trees and those countless memories that crowded in her mind and flowed through her veins while sitting here, this scene, it would freeze in her eyes and would be a valuable treasure for the rest of her life to come, away from her home.

That day, she buried herself right there, in the passage way, beneath the shadows and under the weight of good old childhood memories to live inside them forever.

 

 

 

Black Heavy Boots

Scared little asian girl

With sewed lips and glued eyes she’d put her first quivering step on the stairs of cellar. Before climbing down, she’d leave her mortified ‘self’ on a shelf beside the cellar door. Her exhausted 10 years old corpse would soon drag itself down to the cold ground where sinful darkness would cloak her.

A pair of black heavy boots would instantly follow her down. The sound of their hammering knocks matches the rhythm of her thumping heart. As it reaches more close, her frightened heart rips apart her chest and falls right in the middle of his feet. The bleeding that follows would be far less than the one that happens just before he leaves her there.

His hands reach for her clothes. Her body turns to a rock. Her heart would squirm like a fish out of water, lying right beside her as the water in her stone eyes dry out. Her teeth would bite hard into the flesh of her rosy lips.

A tough blow from one of his boots makes her alive again.

She draws a long burning breath in, in a desperate hope of it to be the last one. Hope laughs. She falls into the arms of despair yet once again.

On the way back, she never forgets to take back her ‘self’ from the shelf beside the cellar door…

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She helps her mother cook food for her father. It is time for her mother to go to her teaching job. She want to beg her not to go but she can’t.

As she serves food to her father, she could feel a burning sensation on her skin where he stares. She looks down on his feet.

His black heavy boots are covered in blood…

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Almost 90,000 cases of child sexual abuse are reported each year. Out of which, 96% are known to their victims and 20% are fathers. (Advocates for Youth, 1995)

 

 

Dark Mornings, Sunlit nights

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As the sunlight shines through the sky, night falls.

She would open her big black eyes with no eye-lashes and try to listen closely to the mesmerizing music of ear-piercing cries. It soothes the grayish red stone in her chest.

She balances her heavy sobs with the rhythm of pain stricken shrieks that originate from her drumming heart and reflects through her eyes while flowing through her veins. Oh the melodious song that forms, so dramatic.

Her soul, a black shade of white light, punches the walls of body around it so hard that it cracks open and let it out to dance with the music of pain. The music of pain laughs out loud at the soul and holds it in it’s arms while whirling round and round like a dervish.

Vanished hopes, unheard prayers, unfulfilled wishes and broken dreams tightens their orbit and grabs her throat. The music of pain inside her starts evacuating itself through her mouth which she covers tightly with her own crooked hands.

Hours pass as she tries to fight this battle. She could feel poisonous snakes biting her face with sharp teeth. She smiles with fear, as she is tired of crying already.

Her heavy eye-lids start dropping down. It is dark outside when sleep blankets her. Morning’s here.

She looks Beautiful while sleeping. She is Happy… Yes she is.

 

 

Wounds That Turned To Wisdom

Credits : This is no dream by Alessio Radice
Credits : This is no dream by Alessio Radice

There was a time when things were different.

At that time, I wasn’t aware how life’d treat me. I was in school when I came home with my first hole. After repressing the pain while I had lunch with my family, I locked myself inside my room and bled for too long.

Then, the next day, I came home with two more holes. One on my upper thigh and the other one on my shoulder. A stinging pain sprout out of them that made my whole body, a wound.

The next day, after returning back home, I left my mother shouting and hustled towards my room while leaving a trail of blood on the white carpet. I slammed my bag on the bed and lifted my shirt in front of the mirror. Half a dozen holes were revealed that dotted my stomach and chest. It was hard, bleeding for hours that day. I needed someone to treat my wounds with gauze. Instead, they were left open. It took half the night to stem the flow of blood and I was exhausted. Excruciating pain was the price of healing.

In the morning my mom made my favorite pancakes for breakfast. I wished she’d have kissed me on the forehead instead of stuffing me with those delicious pancakes.

I returned home that day, more battered than usual, covered with holes from head to toe. I gazed inside my mother’s brown eyes, longing to see the reflection of my holes. Instead, they were filled with every other dilemma our family endured.

I locked my room that day, and stood beside the mirror with blood pit-pattering on the linoleum. The holes looked like tiny flickering tongues. A sucking wound on my back, square between my shoulder blades was hurting me the most. It was too wide, too deep and a gentle touch brought back the memory of my best friend at school. May be that’s why the wound was the worst.

I stood there for too long, dribbling blood on the surface of clean mirror and staring at my face. The taste of loneliness mixed with the sleepless night was bitter. I heard my family talking, my brothers fighting over stupid things. My mother knocked at my room’s door. She waited for an answer but silence was all she could hear while I struggled with my cries, cupping my mouth firmly with both hands. She screamed and called my dad.

I got up, wiped my eyes brutally with one hand while holding a knife in the other. After hiding it under the bed I slammed the door open. My eyes saw fierce expressions on their faces and their lips moved angrily but my ears heard nothing. A shrill sound as if a drill was making a hole in the wood echoed in my head.

After it was all over, I shook my head and locked the door, again. My steps felt heavy as I motioned towards the mirror. The two days old wounds sprang open. Blood spilled out of the crusty scabs that were peeled off.

In the morning, I left the bloodied bed sheets as they were and headed towards school with my head cast towards the ground. I came back that day with more holes but they didn’t hurt that much as they did before. Because, I made dozens of holes that mustered over my torso, to avoid pain from the ones given by others.

“Soon these holes will all turn into scars and they’d be the reminders of how tough I’m“, I thought. The light had started entering inside me, through my wounds.

I bled that day on my bed but the door was wide open. My parents passed by as I lay there, un-noticed, for they had their own monsters to fight with -and I had my own.

“She was not quite what you would call refined.
She was not quite what you would call unrefined.
She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.”

That was the day I promised myself, that I’ll try to fix my daughter’s holes with gauze, made with love and care. But as they say, life is what happens to you while you are busy making ‘plans’.

Every one of us has to unfold one’s own myths.

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This 695 word story is written for Speak Easy. The task this time was to use “There was a time when things were different” as the first line and to give a reference to a photo that was of parrots. I should admit that, while writing this story, my mind started wandering in my own past and when I read my story now, it seems more like my real life story than fiction. I have decided to leave it unchanged, as it reminds me of my ‘fresh’ old wounds.

This story can be an end, or a new beginning of my writing career. I am getting married this coming Friday and life had been hard on me, lately.

Meet you after my wedding ! Miss me and pray for me, Please. Love you all.

Waiting For A Dead Promise

11
Credits : This

It starts with a heavy pinpoint, sharp, deep in the middle of my heart. As I read Mic’s letter, it swells and blooms, licks like fire through my veins.

It’s a cold windy day and I’m at the window table trying to read the first letter he sent me. At least that is what I should be doing but I spend more time watching the dry leaves clattering across the sidewalk.

I sat here daily, for twenty years with a shotgun in hand. That shotgun is replaced by letters now.

He said, “I’d come back to you no matter what happens”.

I promised him, “I’ll wait for you, forever”

It’s growing dark and the streets are already empty. It has been a chilly, depressing day. I could hear howling wind and one long, repeated call — a bird perhaps.

The feeling I felt then, was love underneath, but it was wrapped in something hard and cold and perpetual.

Death.

Death has followed me for 40 years. Death came for my father first, it sputtered him out like a spent candle. I was seven then. 10 years later it took my mother. Everything I ever loved was gone with the tilt and flare of a scented candle against a curtain. Since then, I resolved never to put myself in a situation that could shatter the way my childhood did. The only way to avoid death was to run.

It worked perfectly for nine years until I met Mic. I felt life exuding from him, surging and bright. For a moment I was certain Death must be looking elsewhere. It stirred at my shoulder, tickled my ear, reminded me it was watching, waiting, poised to poison anyone I opened my heart to.

Everyday little letters from Mic, yellow envelopes addressed in green pen, would wait for me. I replied back, I told him about my father, my mother. About Death on my shoulder.

That day, I was woken from a lay-in by a tentative knock at the door. It was Mic. I was overwhelmed, frozen. He dived at me, wrapped his arms around me. My heartbeats were so golden and warm Death didn’t stand a chance.

You can’t keep him… Death whispered, nervous. Run, before it hurts.

It offered me it’s most enthusiastic ‘contrafibularities‘ that could never be defined just as death could never be defined.

I smiled. And said yes to Mic’s proposal. Because I thought Death couldn’t catch either of us if we’d run together.

The shrill call comes again, thin, high, and mournful. What kind of bird calls like that? Something is out there.

The wind is tapping branches against the window. I look out but see nothing. Dusk is falling but the street lamps are not on yet. Then I see a tiny movement right under my window. Something is crouching below the marigold bushes. A hurt bird, perhaps?

After they reported Mic dead, I began to keep the shotgun next to the front door.

I’d sit for hours beside my window table staring outside, thinking that the day he’d return, reeking of decay, I’d run a finger down the barrel of the shotgun, propped beside me.

“Thank you for coming. I waited for you” I’d say.

“I promised.” He’d smile under the bullet hole they would have put through his forehead. Dried blood would flake off of his eyelid when he’d blink.

“I’m not coming with you,” I’d say.

“Death has done us part. Let it join us together once again.” He’d say.

“I have decided to fight against it” I’d tell him.

I drape myself in a warm brown shawl and open the door to see what that thing is.

A small bundle of grey fur, a tiny kitten, hope ? almost lost in the gloom. It meows, a thin, desperate sound.

When I pick it up, it is ice cold and I can feel every vertebrae. It’s nothing but a skeleton. I look out for any scratches or bites, she was safe. I take it into the warmth and give her milk. It opens great green eyes and looks at me. It rumbles in an attempt to purr. After a while it curls up in my lap.

Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them, he can’t blame me for breaking mine. Before moving on, for twenty years, with a shotgun in my hand, I sat there and waited, but he never came back.

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Okay I’m in love with the zombie apocalypse, the idea fascinates me so much. I’m sorry if it disgusts you 😉 The story is written about the time when zombies would be somehow sensible, they’d actually remember things rather than just “Brains”.

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More or less 740 words story written for speakeasy. The challenge this time was to use, “I sat there and waited, but he never came back” as the last line and give some kind of reference to  a scene from the British comedy show,  Blackadder the Third. Hope you enjoyed. Click on the badge to see detailed rules and other entries on Tuesday.

Shadows

 This
Credits: This

He was with me like shadow under the Moonlit skies since I was a baby who’d been in this world for not more than a week. I was certain then, that walls of my room were blue and Lucy, the white cat hated me. And I knew that I shouldn’t cry when my Mom was already crying because she’d not pick me up.

When Mom’d hold me in her folded arms to feed me in the morning, I’d gaze at blue scars beneath her starlit eyes. Those scars’d change their colors and places daily and when I’d try to reach them she’d hold my tiny fingers in her soft hand and tears’d fall on my forehead. She’d whisper in my ear that we’d leave this place soon.

My dad’d smell like medicine when he’d hold me while he’d cut my Mom down with his words. He never left his habits and mom never left this place.

He’d sit beside me with a wooden face, covering my ears with his hands to block the shouts; blades with tiny bayonet pointed firmly at my heart.

I’d laugh when he’d tease me that I broke my head when I was thrown from the sky into the world. Mom never liked him and whenever I’d tell her about him she’d not answer. I’d start talking to him and Mom’d start crying.

We celebrated my 18 birthdays together and he was with me that day when dad brought some quaint people in our house. I heard shouts, dad’s cries were a pitcher of bitterness and mom’s quivering voice tasted of sacrifice.

Dad clamped his hand onto my wrist and pulled me through the lounge where Mom sat squeezed in a corner, mouth covered with hands and tears brimming through her opaque eyes.

Pain paralyzes my mind when doctors pierce needles in my arm and I see his shadow fading into the light of nothingness.

We all have to fade, as we all are shadows on the wall of time.

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This is my 333 words response to Trifecta Challenge. This weeks word was Quaint and we have to use its third definition ( unusual or different in character or appearance : ODD ) in our response. Feedback is always appreciated. Click on the badge to see other entries.

Love, Coffee And Lavender Truffles

I-love-coffee
Credit:: THIS

“I’ve spent years chasing the tail of my darkness; the same darkness that has once again blurred my vision”, Harry thought, as he lay the phone in its cradle. He’d been expecting this news in quite the same way you expect winter to follow autumn. But just as you can never prepare yourself for bone-chilling winds, you can never prepare your heart for the loss. Poor Ron. His voice had been shaking as he gave Harry the news that Hermione was gone.

Harry cupped his mug of coffee in both hands and sunk into the chair trying to distract his thoughts.The warmth of coffee mug seeped into his fingers as he clutched it and gazed at the deep brown liquid. He wished Ginny had made this coffee. She always had a way of choosing just the right amount of ground coffee beans to use. Since Ginny died after thirty years of passing out from Hogwarts, he never had been to that coffee shop they used to visit together. The coffee shop smelled of musk with a hint of cinnamon that was too close to Ginny’s essence.

He squinted out the window and caught a glimpse of the sun.  He felt a vague sense of whiplash witnessing a sunny day knowing that the earth travels at thirty kilometers per second in its daily trek around the sun and spins zero point five kilometers around its own axis. He remembered Ginny teasing him with all those magic spells when he would spout the mathematical trivia.

Shifting in his chair, he tried to focus his eyes on  Paul Cézanne’s painting ‘The Card Players’ that Ginny had hung on the wall of their lounge three years ago.  The painting looked like it was drowning as his tears welled.  His mind kept straying back to Ron’s call.

Hermione. Her presence on the planet had always been enough for him; it didn’t matter that they weren’t together. They spent her birthdays together every year and he had fulfilled her every wish silently in the form of birthday gifts. Six years in Hogwarts and six birthdays, one year for every day it takes the moon to orbit the earth with a speed of 3680 km/hr.

He recalled one of her birthdays when he took her to The Wonderland following the footsteps of Alice. He had allowed himself to swim, just for a few minutes, in the depths of her azure eyes making a straight angle of 180 degrees that day. They wandered there all day meeting the king and queen of hearts, Mother bird, Mary Ann and white rabbit, all her favorite characters and they celebrated her birthday with special lavender truffles that were made of rich dark chocolate infused with lavender and cardamom and some flavors of hot chocolate.

Even though she only glanced over her shoulder when he took her back to Hogwarts, he waited. And hoped, like the forever unknown ‘x’.  But two months later, Hermione and Ron announced their engagement and Harry knew he waited in vain.  He mustered his strength to achieve an escape velocity. With time as he settled into his new trajectory around Ginny, he felt Hermione’s gravitational pull for long.

But now Hermione had succumbed to the cancer that had been wreaking havoc on her for five years. Memories:  that’s all he would have of her now.  Maybe that’s all he ever had.

He pushed his chair away from the table and decided to get ready. He had to meet Miss J. K Rowling to make a quick apology and he was sure that she’d forgive him.

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Note: The characters Harry, Ron and Hermione are JUST characters. I took these names because their background history was already clear to you. You can take them as characters of Harry Potter OR some other people who studied in Hogwarts, choice is your’s but please don’t read this story as a continuity to the Harry Potter stories.

This is my 598 words response to the Speakeasy weekly writing prompt, which is to write a piece in 750 or less words  (1) using “I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness.” as the first sentence, and (2) make some reference to the art prompt, The Card Players, one of a series of paintings by Paul Cézanne.

The challenge is open to anyone, so if you’re inspired, click the badge below to check out the challenge details!