Sunday, March 11, 2018

Here is a Story

The fire glowed in the dark and one could see the bodies sitting around it. The tall figure was an old man, a beard dropped to from his face. The small figures, surrounding him and the fire, were little boys, but to the old man they were not little boys anymore. Some of their faces were haggard, some had beards, others were balding, but most of all, what distinguished them from the usual little boys, were their worn, stretched and wrinkled faces, that looked like an old person. The children of today were deformed. One child had a mask because his face was too difficult to look at.

“Tell us a story Lord.”

Lord. They call me Lord now. Back when civilization still existed, they called me doctor or scientist. 

“Tell us a story Lord.”
“Tell us a story Lord.”
“Tell us a story Lord.”

They all began murmuring in together.

“Ok-ok.” The old man’s voice felt weak. He knew it was weak as the years had taken a tool in him.

He closed his eyes for a moment and let thoughts filter him by.

“Do you know how you are built?”

The small children shook their head.

“You are made of flesh, bone and blood, but it is more than just that. How does a cell in your body take the form of a bone, flesh, heart, hands and head? There is a being in your cell that is called DNA. Ha. You have not heard of this, have you? A DNA dictates the way your body has been built.

But, you children, you old men, the incident has forever corrupted your DNA. Whatever the human race was before, you are not. Your DNA has been… corrupted. That’s why you don’t look like children, you don’t sound like children.”

The old man reached inside his torn coat and removed a metal bottle. He unscrewed it and took a sip of precious water.

“All of you-all of you, all of your DNA, 99% of is the same of every human being, or at least it was. I don’t know what your DNA is now. Once upon a time, your DNA carried millennium of human data, how to eat, how to sleep, which colour to be, which mate, man or woman to like, your immortality was to pass on your DNA. And now look at you. All that data is gone. Vanished, in a blink of a year.”

“What are you doing girl? Don’t you shouldn’t play with fire!” The old man scolded the child who grabbed and shook a burning stick from the fire in the middle of the camp.

“If you had the same DNA as I had, maybe you would know.”

“We grow tired of you Lord. Perhaps, we will have you.”

“Wait, there is more yet. There is hope for the human raise. Up above, high up there, in the sky, far beyond what you can see, is the immortality drive. The best of human DNA remains, hidden and unspoiled.”

“We will have you. Your stories make our head hurt.”

Together the children got up and surrounded the old man.

“Now, now, now”, the old man’s voice grew weaker.

The girl opened her mouth wide, showcasing sharp teeth and she bit into the flesh of the old man.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

I didn’t become a priest

What do you do?

Do you look up at the stars and look wait for that classic shooting star?

Do you wait for an angel possibly disguised as a person to give you a sign?

Or, do you look for the ultimate sign, the burning bush and does a burning forest qualify as that?

Just what is this God’s sign that you are waiting for?

That’s the question I ask, each day, every day. And I wait for an answer.

No, I’m not kneeling in front of a cross and praying my heart out; desperately asking for a sign. That’s not my style. So what am I doing? Getting squeezed from all sides by a five ton pressure and both my hands are raised up. No, they’re not crucified up a cross. I wish they were. Both my fingers were holding onto the train handles as tightly as possible. People constantly pressed and pushed on me. The only resistance I could give was because of the train handles. And when my train station came, I rushed out with the crowd.

Where was I going? To work. Until I felt the call of God, I would live life like everyone else, which is basically go. to. work.

I follow the flood of people, up the stairs, down the stairs, through the streets, up the elevator, in the office sitting at my desk, clicking the mouse and tapping on the keyboard. Between all that time, there was no sign.

Fine, if there is no physical or visual sign, I should feel something. Like… how do I describe it.. That feeling when you see a girl walk into the room and you just know that she’s the one. Of course, I glance at the entrance of the pantry. People are entering and exiting at the room with their coffee and tea. There’s a bearded guy. No, he’s not Jesus. I don’t expect God or Jesus to walk through the door, and then my heart to flutter, my mouth to drool with dripping and frothy saliva and then I would just know - The calling.

The day ends, I leave. The same crushing by hundreds of people. Where’s the sign? I ignore that begging lady holding on to her child. It’s hard to say, but giving alms does not really change that person’s life. Giving alms to an organisation is better.

I am at home. There is still no sign. All my life I am told there would be a sign, a calling… a knowing. But it never came, so I didn’t become a priest. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jittery Lights

I walk in and out.

I walk in and out.

I walk in and then out, and every time I have to switch the light off. Because, for some reason, it keeps switching back in.

“Click.” There, the light is now off. I walk out.

The home I live in is an unconventionally big one in the city. It occupies the whole floor, the elevator opens directly into the living room. This is a home left away from some childless grand-aunt. It is a pretty large home. The living room is a massive open area, the flatscreen television is on. I’m sitting on the couch. The sounds from tv are comforting. I’m sitting on the couch, but I’m not really looking at the tv.

There it is again. I can’t believe it. The lights, the goddamn lights are on again. I jump out from the couch, and spend the next five minutes walking to the room. The tubelight pretty much blared out light. The bedroom was filled with dead flowers and the table next to lamp had a picture of my late grand-aunt. This room was where she breathed her last.

This time I just down switch the light off, I slam the switch with the palm of my hand. The sound of the television from outside was comforting. I hated leaving the lights on. It is a waste of electricity, I barely manage to keep up to the bills of this place.

I stomp back to the living room and sit down on the couch. This place had about five bedrooms scattered about. And there it was again. The damn light was on again. What do I do? What do I do to fix this damn problem? I grab the hammer, walk to the room, raise the hammer and bring it down. Plastic is weak and pathetic. The plastic switch was crushed. There we go, this won’t be troubling me again.

This time I really feel it, nothing is going to come between the tv and me. And nothing does, except something flickering from my peripheral vision. I look and there it is. The light. on. again.

First I think of tearing off my hair, then I decide against it and then I picked up the hammer again and go back to the room. I really don’t care if this room was the one where my grand-aunt breathed her last.

I stretch my hand out as much as I can and then I just break the damn tubelight.

I’m sitting back on the couch. Of course, I don’t feel the ghost's hand throttling me. I only see my grand-aunt when I leave my body. Weird right? Damn that light.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Waiting for a Mother

I watched her. There is without a doubt that she is the most beautiful person in the world. I wasn’t one for pick up lines, but looks like God lost one of his angels. She was dressed in a white gown, it was a simple one, not like those exquisite ones, just a simple one, and you know what, simple is good.

She looked even beautiful when she was nervous. She was the love of my life and we were getting married. A little perspiration on her forehead, the biting of her lip and those deep furrows. “Where is she?” My angel asked with a tinge of anger in her voice.

“I don’t know sis.” Her sister replied.

I looked around. It would be stupid to say that I was not nervous or angry. How can her mother do this on our wedding day? The clock on my watch ticked closer to 8:30. People have been sitting for the last hour. Waiting. Waiting for the wedding to start. We can’t start the wedding march without her mother.

“How can she do this to me! Call her!” My angel yelped out.

“I tried”, the sister waved the phone in the air, “She’s not picking up the call. She was with me in the church, I don’t know why she would do this.”

My angel tried to maintain her composure. People were looking, people were waiting.

“She’ll be here”, I tried to interject into the sister-sister conversation.

“Really, really! Where is she? How can she do this me TODAY!”

I inch closer and take her hand in mind and then I just squeeze lightly. She squeezes back.

Then, we just wait.

“She’ll be here. She’ll be here. She won’t miss your day. Don’t worry about the people, they can wait.” I whisper in her ear.

She nods. A grim kind of nod.

We waited. My angel’s mother never did come for our wedding reception.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Survival of a Rat

Hideous Saber-Tooth Rat by Vihola
Image Credit:

Scratch, scratch, scratch. 

Nails digging through. No not digging. Scratching. Scratch, scratch, scratch. 


There is a blaring need for food. For how long has the creature not eaten food? It can’t tell, all the creature feels is the emptiness in the pit of its stomach. Past a certain period of hunger caused by a lack of food, there is just … there is no hunger, only tiredness, fatigue and then death. That is what the creature feels. 

No. Death was still not upon it. The creature’s scratching slows. Tiredness, fatigue and then a final burst of energy. 

Scratch, scratch, scratch, scuttle. 

The creature - a rat - finally climbs up the debris it’s been buried under. 

Air, fresh air, nothing is more pleasant for the creature when it has been down a hole… yes even for a rat. Does it surprise you? Doesn’t matter - you are already dead. The human race is dead. 

The air.. it does not smell right. The rat raises itself on its hind legs and sniffs the air. At first, the air smells as clear as air can be, and then it’s second nose smelled, its odor-detecting organ, what the humans called (when they were alive) - the vomeronasal organ. This is how the rat truly senses the world. And, the rat smelled death. There was also dust, carbon particles, and smoke. 

As far as the rat could see, there was smoke rising up from the ground and up into the air. Buildings had crumbled, roads had turned into crater disasters, the humans were dead, the rat was hungry. 



A bird… no  - a cockroach. Even a cockroach would be a feast. Summoning up what energy it could, the rat charged towards the target. It leaped across the debris and crashed on the ground. The rat recovered and charged on. The cockroach was scuttling away. The rat scrambled up the rock, under the pipe, and across a thick layer of dust. The rat was right behind it, its weak bones and weak muscles running on pure will and the will to consume something, anything. 

The rat skipped over a human bone and climbed over human skull. The cockroach had snuck inside the skull socket. And then the rat came upon the cockroach. It’s claw struck through and through the insect. It felt the insect’s life drain and the body slowly come to a stop. 

Then the rat took a wholesome bite and chewed the first nutrition it had in days. The future was bleak. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Sick Robber

No, no, no, I killed her! That wasn’t supposed to happen. 

The gun was in my hand. About 10 meters ahead. a beautiful girl, my girl, my comrade in arms, was lying and dying on the floor. A puddle of blood was pooling next to her. Beside her lay a dead, and very much stupid security officer and his double barrel shotgun. He is dead, or dying. 

It’s his fault. It’s his god damn his fault, I thought, Fool thought he could try to take me down. Ekta, why did she had to jump in the way. I don’t understand. 

“You! You this is your fault” I pointed the gun at the bank manager hugging the ground; he had a surprised look on his face. 

“Get up. UP!” The barrel of the pistol presses against his neck and slowly, he stands up. 

“You killed her! You killed her! Yo-”. 

The bank manager tried to cut in, “No, it’s not my f-”


“No one ever wants to take responsibility”, I muttered to myself. The bank manager slid to the floor. 

“Now, no one better not try anything”. I scanned the customers and bank employees all hugging the ground. They wouldn’t try anything as long as I had the gun in my hand. I bent down and searched through the bank manager’s pockets. The keys have got to be in here somewhere. In the background, there is phone ringing. Probably the cops wanting to negotiate. Ah, here it is, my fingers loop over a ring and out from the pocket comes the bank manager’s key. 

The damn phone is still ringing. I stand up and pull the trigger. The plastic phone on the counter explodes into pieces. Not all the civilians are on the ground, some of them are standing at the windows - just in case a dumb sniper think he can shoot me. Then, I look towards the bank’s entrance. Etka, my girl, is lying there. I feel a yearning. 

“You”, I point to civilian on the ground, “go to the entrance and pull that woman here”. He looks at Ekta, then at me. He makes the right choice by going over there at tugging her body. I couldn’t do it. The glass windows of the bank would give the cops a perfect opportunity to shoot me.  

“Mr. Udey, we just want to talk”, a loud speaker voice came from outside. 

Ekta was in front of me. She was not moving, she was dead. I didn’t mean for this to happen, I just wanted the money.  “Get out of here”, I yelled blindly, “You have an hour to get out of here, or I’ll start killing people.” 

I crouch down and hugged her. Etka’s body was already cold. The life had gone out of her eyes. Of
course, she didn’t know I was going to rob the bank that she worked in. It didn’t matter. I kissed her lips and prayed she felt that in the afterlife. 

The money from the bank teller counters was already in the bag. 

“We can’t do that Mr. Udey. Just talk to us, we can work something out”, the police loudspeaker came from outside. 

“You” I point to another civilian, “Go and stand at the entrance”. Of course she does without hesitation, she hopes that she’ll be able to walk out of here. Once she’s standing in front of the door, I pull the trigger. She falls down and I, we all in the bank can hear her last dying breath. 

I go to the safe behind, open it with the key and remove the rest of the money. The bag feels heavy. 

Now, I just have to wait. 

“Mr. Udey, we can still save that woman. If she dies, that’s another death on your hands.” 

I did not reply. The art to such negotiate was to use the power of silence. It took another demonstration, another dead body. They were forcing my hand. Then the police moved out. All their cars, barricades, snipers on the roof, all of them disappeared. That was my cue. All I had to do was walk out of here. I took a last look at Ekta. Of course, she didn’t expect me to do this. I want to show her just how far I was willing to go. Oh well, things don’t always work out. 

I walk out of the bank. 


What was I thinking. Of course, the police wouldn’t clear. There’s a hole in my chest. I fall to the ground. The blood is leaking from my chest just like all those people I killed. Blaring sirens in the distance. Then, darkness. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Riches of the World

“The legends say that deep through the cracks of this mountain, pass the tunnels and caves, lies a massive mountain of gold”.
“Really Uncle?” the child piped up.
“Sage never believed legends. They are only myths and stories”, his uncle patted the child’s head, and then they parted away from the crack of the mountain.
That was a memory from a very long time ago. Sage glanced behind then looked in front. Now the only way forward was through the cracks of the mountain. It was only a matter of time before people from his village caught up and dealt down justice on him.
So he ran through. The wall on both sides was nothing but jutting jags of mud and rocks. There was enough space for a person to walk through. The path was winding all about. Sage never knew if it would end but he had to keep walking forward. The villagers would never catch him here because they dare not walk through the cracks of the mountain.
The afternoon turned to evening and the lights slowly began to recede from the mountain crack. A chill wind passed through and Sage quickened his page. The mountain path took him to an entrance inside the mountain wall. Above the wall was written, “Only those who seek their fortune may enter.” Sage did not pay much attention to it. I have to get out of here as soon as possible. Even though the villages would not follow him, he did not want to get stuck here. The tunnel was a straight path so all Sage did was march forward. His bag was beginning to feel heavy, but he didn’t mind it. The bag contained a bloody knife, a skin bottle of water and a heavy pouch containing the most important items for Sage – granules of gold.
Finally the tunnel ended and Sage was in a cave. He took a drink of water and continued on his way. Sage was just thinking, it’s not my fault. Damn those villagers, Gren, Ben, Ankit, damn them. All I wanted was a little bit more.
Uncle said that the mountain of gold does not exist but this path must lead somewhere.
A painting on the cave wall grabbed his attention. He held the torch in the front, the painting was of stick figures, it glittered and shined, and it seemed to be telling a tale. Sage did not have the time to linger. The reason no villager would enter the mountain crack was because all who go in search of the mountain of gold never return. Sage wished to believe that they were alive somewhere, they must be.
Through the winding path of the cave, he went down and then up. Sage’s thoughts drifted to Jharna. He didn’t mean to hurt her, but he had to get the granules of gold and she wouldn’t let him. His knife was still stained with her blood.
In the distance, he saw light pouring in. Sage felt excitement and relief. He reached the end, he just knew it. There was last painting in the cave. A large golden stick figure and besides that a golden mountain, underneath it was written – Midas. He didn’t know what to make of that. He was rushing to the exit and he then stepped out of the cave. Moonlight spread across the sky and he saw it.
It can’t be true.
A tsunami of thoughts hit him. The legends were true.
I found it, I’m rich, after this I can have everything I ever wanted. Damn the village.
With renewed vigour, he sprinted to the mountain of gold. The mountain rose high in the air, moonlight glinted off it. It was a solid triangular mass of gold. The prosperity of Sage’s village depended on the granules of gold that came down from the river. Everyone scoured through the river to find the granules of gold and the gold was collect together for the prosperity of the village. Sage decided that he deserved a little more, especially since he collected the most granule, but the elders refused him. That’s why he did what he did. Jharna didn’t give him the gold he deserved, which he worked hard to find!
Even though the mountain was 200 meters away, not for a moment did his sprinting slow down. A river appeared in his path and he did not stop. He dived into the river and swam across. Sage fought against the mighty river, he lost the bag and the gold he had rightfully taken. It did not matter, there was so much more gold to be had at the mountain.
When he crossed the river, things became weird. Animals, trees and human statues all stood across the land - frozen golden statues! A single gold statue would make Sage a rich man, but he had eyes only for the mountain. It was of vast riches. He reached the base of the mountain and there sat an old man on a grand golden chair.
“You seek the riches of this mountain?” the old man asked.
Sage was heaving in air and recovering his strength from the sprint.
Sage did not reply. He was walking towards the mountain. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A block of hard, metallic gold – the riches of the world.
“I will grant you riches of the world, just answer my riddle”, the old man said, but Sage had already passed him. He did not care for this strange old man and his riddle. All the old man had to do was reach out and touch Sage.
A hardness spread through his hand, then he couldn’t walk. Sage looked at his arm, and then he felt horror. A golden colour was spreading across his arm.

“My riddle is this”, the old man said, “What will you do with the riches of the world?”