Posted in STORY X

The Crow’s Mind.

Though this is independent of other chapters, I’d suggest you read The Tribal X and The Dual Sacrifice.

Everything felt magical but it can’t be surreal. It was seemingly too difficult for me to comprehend what brought me here but  I had a gut feeling that I came from nothing. Darkness blinded me. Neither I could see myself nor sense what I am. My instincts told me , plausibly, everything was happening in a dark blank space which existed only in myth. When I entered, I felt I was moving through an aisle walking on a rope but neither I had legs nor there was a rope. A voice spoke,

               “ Welcome to the reality.”

I was flooded with questions about who spoke and what they meant. The rope was taking me further in and my heart was racing in . Before I could understand or even think  what the statement said, another voice came in.

     “ Nothing exists. Nothing ceases to exist.”

This line made it further more interesting as it  concurred with my gut feeling.  I remember learning about the possibility of antimatter as every positive has a negative. I also remember someone telling me that dark is the absence of light but I don’t remember where I learnt them or who taught them to me. But is dark really the absence of light?  I was facing the grim reality of absolute dark, the dark itself and the idea of light passing through was out of the question .I expected this to be a space conquered by dark without any bounds until I was forced to enter the rat race. Within moments I was completely pushed inside the dark space and heard cries. The sounds of the doors being banged were heard and I felt everyone running but no one was seen. So, without a second thought, I started running. Soon, I noticed that space was bounded on one side with the gates being banged almost every moment and we were forced to participate and run infinitely. No one knew what happened to the ones who had been eaten by the gates but the cries were awful. A voice spoke continuously,

                “ who is your friend?”

No one knew what the answer was.  During the run, legions of species were devoured by the gates but the energy around me was unvarying. So, I realised many came into this space incessantly. In the first place , I thought there existed a mirror kind of relation between this space and the world I vaguely remember. I started asking myself, “ Is this space real?” because  there were no humans, plants and various other species which I felt I met in some other world. But, the voice was so appealing that it sow a seed of doubt and soon I started considering the possibility of this world being the reality. “ Metaphorically,what if this space is the actual glass which makes the mirror it is?” What if everyone is delusional about the world they exist ?  I kept running as fast as I could and even missed the gates nearly. I wondered when the race gets over or what my role is in this bloody rat race. The voice kept speaking all along, “ who is your friend?”. I felt, answering it would end the race but who was my friend? I couldn’t recollect anything and whatever I remember is also vague. The only thing I know is I came from nothing. I had no choice but to run but there was one thing which pacified me. I started thinking in a pattern when I realised the answer must be common to everyone as the question was. I had to figure out everything and I started analysing what the gates were or why they were closing every moment. I even started pondering on the energy around me. No matter what happened ,it wasn’t wavering at all.

I slowed down because of this and everyone got better of me and this was it. For the first time,I felt the energy around me was declining as only a few were with me about to get swallowed by the gates. There was no further chance for anyone to pass through the gates unless so swift or agile, so I stopped running. I was ready to face whatever awaited me after getting swallowed.  Suddenly, there was a tremendous change in the energy levels which indicated the ones with me who were too far to reach the gates were destroyed. I was keen on solving it and was thinking about what the gates were and why they were closing every moment without stopping? And, there was an overflow,

“ Who is everyone’s friend? What is provided to everyone and can be used by everyone? What is that thing which never stops? What defines every moment? What changes every moment?” and the questions themselves answered it.

There were no bounds to my excitement the moment I knew the answer. I was in seventh heaven but was too far to reach the gates. It was seemingly impossible to reach them but I had hope. I shouted with all my energy, “ Time.” and what I witnessed was dreamlike. It was magical again and it can’t be surreal. I could hear a new voice which said,

               “You are the bridge.”

There were no sounds of the closing of the gates and all gates came to a still. Even the gates which closed got opened. I was in ecstasy but there were changes in me too. I became featherweight, agile and with definite shape though I still couldn’t see how I looked. This time, I started laughing at the unending marathon of others and learnt I can manipulate the gates. I suddenly rose up and was literally flying with wings. So I flew back and forth  to witness everything .

A gate spoke,

“The ones who got swallowed did not die but were born as species in the other world , the virtual reality. The species which died came to this blank space,a world of consciousness, wishing they would solve the puzzle and the one who solved it became the bridge which connects the dead and the living , past and future and it was an entity of absolute dark, the crow.”

Posted in STORY X

The Dual Sacrifice.

Before reading this, please read the first part The Tribal X, the first in the series

“Vebooni!!!”, someone yelled from outside the cavern.

The voice reverberated through the cave and woke her up. The dark which fed her all the 43 days and the thoughts which gave her pain were interrupted by light. It was Abu, whom she once saved, carrying the light who came in to console the sobbing Vebooni. He said, “We have something up our sleeve. Make yourself ready”, and left. She showed him a sign indicating she would be ready by then. Abu left for attending the patients on the verge of death. The entire tribe was mourning the death of their sons which was so common for them as deaths happened very often but that was not in Vebooni’s case. She was one of the few people who currently led the tribe and therefore, refrained from showing her tears which never halted and hence spent 50 days in the dark. On the 50th day, she went to the river to recall the events which changed her course of life,  most of them happening in the last few weeks. She even missed the presence of her pet frog, Boo, who stayed with her at all times. Her memories with boo took her back to the places where she spent wonderful times with him. Of all times, the first time they met was perhaps the best. It happened years back.

“Vebooni was a child gifted with the ability to sense the mood of the person she met. She felt the vibrations and could know how virtuous a person is. She even got positive vibes from trees and nature around her sometimes. The Tribal X worshipped the snakes and were very fond of them. Whatever looked like foes of the snake became their foes too. So neither the tribesmen nor the snakes allowed the frogs to wander. But Vebooni did not discriminate any as she got vibes from all the life forms of nature and that gave her strength. She was too clean at heart to know what to discriminate and too angelic to know ‘how to’ in that case. Also, her veins carried the bravest and the nicest blood of their tribe.

    It was evening sky becoming dark and low with the dark clouds hovering. The wind picked up its pace and started howling. It was raining Virga, a dry thunderstorm, all over. The deafening sounds of the thunder produced chills. The thunderstorm was one of the culprits which led to the wildfire. The black clouds collided, the heavens split but there was not much rain as expected. Instead, there was a wildfire moving up the ridge away from the tribe. Trees were getting simmered in that. The situation was intense but that didn’t bother Vebooni from playing. While she was playing, she saw a frog, pale red in colour with green spots all over, which seemed dead. It was one of the very few frogs left and she hadn’t seen one before.  Out of curiosity, she bent to touch it when the frog suddenly hopped off startling her.  She later noticed that the frog was chased by a snake and the ambush did not give it any luck. Within few moments, the fate of the frog was to be decided. Unfortunate for the frog, the snake got hold of its rear webbed feet and started swallowing it slowly inch by inch.The frog was on the edge of being completely swallowed and within seconds, the entire body of the frog except that of its front legs was swallowed with only the front legs let out. Vebooni looked astonished on seeing the rear feet of the frog in the snake’s skin which was too distinct to ignore. She saw frivolous efforts of the frog while it tried to escape. She had found the attempts illusory and stood in awe. The frog which was almost inside the snake’s skin pulled the snake in a direction and forced the snake into waters. The snake wasn’t easy but the frog held by one of the rocks and got the grip. Finally, the frog after getting the required grip jumped out in air miraculously and flashed light off its green spots, used them while it camouflaged. It later moved cautiously to hide in the dried twigs which were pale but the hardship did not end. The snake was all over the place once again. The frog started hopping and the snake chased it. It was once again the same tale of the destitute and the frog knew the game ended.  

  But unlike the previous attempt which went futile, this wasn’t going to be one. The saviour came in the form of a brave Vebooni, who, impressed with the frog, picked it up and ran hard. The brothers suddenly became alerted. What seemed like a playful situation up until then suddenly turned into something unpleasant and the brothers rushed to the place to save their sister. Weboo held the snake with a U-shaped tool and threw it long away while Ebbo followed her. The sister escaped giving them a sigh of relief. It was one of the few instances of nature’s triumph over adversity and the frog eventually escaped from the jaws of death.

      But Vebooni did not stop there as she wasn’t  aware of the fact that the snake was gone. She ran all her way to the river, jumped into it without knowing and started drowning. She lost the frog in the water. When all her struggles almost came to vain, a boy, well built, came running all along and spun in air for an increased length of the dive and brought her out. The girl took a lot of water in by then and he knew he got late. She looked pale with her eyes open, the eyeballs popping out.  He bent down to her cheeks to check the breath. The boy, an amateur, had to take control of the emergency but he didn’t know what to do. He pressed her chest to force the water out. He tried to use his hollow reed but everything in vain. Then, he looked out for help and saw Ebbo coming. He quickly told him what happened and left to call for aid as Ebbo was no doctor. Ebbo, who was highly impulsive, kicked the frog hopping around and attended her but that was for no good. He felt the subsiding beat of his sister and got worried. To add onto this,  he saw an enormous creature coming towards him after some time. The creature was murky, pitch-dark, bloated with seemingly no distinct eyes and his instincts told him of an attack. He became mindful when it was coming close and held his knife to strike it at heart. He slashed the air with his knife, heard a pop sound and expected the creature to die but instead, he saw something else altogether . He never saw something as magical as that in his life. The girl started drawing deep breaths.

     He learnt  what exactly happened. He attended to her, rubbed her palms and started to leave.

“Thanks, Ebbo”, Vebooni said.

“ I don’t deserve it”, he said and left.

Ebbo felt ashamed for what he did. “The mark stays,”he told himself repeatedly. He kept saying that time and over, burnt his arm with one of the tree trunk getting simmered. He never knew he would have to keep a thing secret from his brother. A train of thoughts went through his head and he recollected the series of events which have happened.  

The frog he kicked got charred along with tree trunks which  were getting smouldered in the forest fire but it did not die. It almost died again stuffing itself with almost a gallon of water but held it to splash it onto her body. To her luck, the water hit her breastbone with much force where no one pressed. The necessary shock was provided and the girl suddenly woke up drawing heavy breaths. The magical moment which he has seen re-winded through him giving chills. “Later in the future, whenever he saw Boo with Vebooni, he put his head down with guilt.

Elsewhere, an imaginary gate spoke,” THE DUAL SACRIFICE.” and it closed.

  to be contd…

 

 

 

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Posted in STORY X

The Tribal X

A squad of tough and spirited children walked all the way from their habitat to the mountain hoping they would reach what they learnt as ‘the path of sun’. With mountain on one side and the river on the other , this anonymous tribe were living in dark conditions with their numbers decreasing day after day. The tribe was so primitive that the  population count dropped by a third before the people of the tribe could barely understand it. They were fighting the toughest of the battles and almost lost it. The men of the tribe who held medical expertise were all dead. Men who led the tribe were all long gone. The men who took a vow to protect the tribe were now on their death-bed. The peculiar thing was that everyone lost their speech before they died. The only destitute left were the innocent children who carried the vow of the men lying almost dead. Vebooni laid inside a cavern she made for herself. She sat without a fire for the first time in her life. 43 twigs laid beside her each for a day. She now knew there was only 17 left and she had a task ahead after that. She was the younger sister of the twins Weboo and Eboo. She recalled what happened 3 months back when she went sick while swimming past the river.

        3 months back, she challenged Mabu, a 20 year old who led the village along with  Weboo, another 20 year old. The fathers of Mabu and Weboo were inturn brothers who led the tribe previously before they mysteriously died. Vebooni was observant and was a fighter by heart. She carried the blood of her father who had the courage to face whatever came in his way and to  go whatever extent needed for his loved ones. But she never knew her parents. Only thing she had was her brothers, Weboo and Eboo who gave her all possible things .For them, her safety was paramount and both of them risked their lives to protect her. Also,Vebooni had a pet frog by the name of boo which was pitch black. No one except Vebooni liked it. While both her brothers went to master the rock climbing, she played with her frog which took her to the waters. When she dived into the water for the first time ,she almost drowned when later Mabu saved her. That wasn’t the only time she drowned .Mabu warned her against swimming as he thought women were weak but that was in vain. She was desperate about playing with her frog. While all the tribe learnt in the same approach and swum the most common way, the girl played different. She learnt how to swim observing boo. She  experimented with boo dropping him straight into containers very deep and saw how he came out.  She even experimented with the currents and drowned almost a dozen times. The duel which she made with Mabu soon earned a lot of excitement and entries came in eagerly to participate. Therefore, what was actually a duel soon turned into a race and everyone made their preparations to win it. Everyone  seemed determined to win over Mabu who was considered their swimming champion. Vebooni and her frog trained hard for the day and it soon came.

         Weboo and Eboo were called for as referees of what looked like the most exciting contest. There were absolutely no rules except to play fair and safe. All the participants can make a tool to carry with them incase of an emergency. Only tool which everyone knew was a hollow reed to breath underwater incase they drowned.  But everyone knew about the dangers of drowning as no one who drowned came back. Vebooni carried her frog barring the reed for her luck. The target was  a merwinia , flower of an underwater plant , which was around 1000m across the river . Merwinia was one of the beautiful flowers ,orange in colour ,which the tribe knew. The swimmers had to complete a loop across the river collecting the merwinia at the target and return to the land and the rest was obvious .Everyone looked excited about the start except one. Weboo was deeply worried about the target area and the flower. He was worried about the young swimmers including his sister who were not completely aware of the river currents. He was worried about the death spot ,the andask which was close to the target area where Merwinia grew. Men who went near Andask and returned lost their sight, speech and had terrible deaths. Men who reached it were eaten by it. Weboo was relieved by the fact which eliminated the possibility of rains. The swimmers who were participating climbed to the highest point on the land from where they dived. All the swimmers including Vebooni dived at once.

                    And the race began.

         The twin brothers and the other spectators of the race were startled seeing Vebooni. While the entire tribe including the champion Mabu swum the most common butterfly stroke of swimming which had the arms moving in complete circles while the feet performed the kick, the girl’s act filled people with amazement. She swum in the water like a frog with her torso stiff. Both her hands were in coherence and made semi circular moments under-water while the legs folded performing a whip kick. She had the advantage of  having her head out for large amounts of time which came at the cost of slower speeds. But her  experiments with the currents helped her comprehend the physics of the it and she knew the direction for higher speeds. But all her moments  where she planned her win, all her experiments with boo ,all the physics she learnt soon vanished once she dived. She lost all the ideas and was left only with 2 emotions ,

 ’HER APPETITE FOR VICTORY and HER ABHORRENCE OF DEFEAT’.

Eboo looked at the confused  face of his brother and asked,“Our sister is doing well, what troubles you?” He did not respond. Eboo asked repeatedly. After few moments, Weboo hesitatingly replied, “ Nothing.” but there was some bad news coming all along. He did not anticipate his prediction going miserably wrong. The possibility of heavy downpour with windstorms was undeniable. It started raining.

Only thing Vebooni never knew was this duel she made would change her life once and for all.

                                                                                                                                               To be contd…