Conscious But Lame

5

James went ahead with the idea of having a girlfriend. He picked a shy girl who was a year junior to him. Within a couple of days, he made her open up to him. She wasn’t so bad after all, he thought. He enjoyed the encounter and she did too. It was a game to them.

Amie came to know about this. She wanted to try herself. James laughed at her and said that Jenny is a girl. Then, Amie snapped at him and told him about a boy in her class. James shouted no at the top of his voice. He threatened her with the anger of their parents. He told her all hell would break loose and she would suffer inconsolably.

The tension finally broke loose between James and Amie. She decided to let go. She told her parents. They tried to get to the bottom of the conundrum which was their son. James broke into tears and came clean in front of his family. His father wanted to abandon him and his mother was ashamed of not knowing about this. His sister felt relieved of not lying to her parents anymore. He felt the weight of the world on himself all of a sudden. The cruel, despotic world outside awaited him with open arms. The thought of it made him feel blue.

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I Better Not Think

5

‘What? How? Where am I?’ Mandy said. She was in front of Jack who’s sitting naked on the bed.

‘Oh! I forgot,’ Jack said. He got himself covered in the blink of an eye. ‘I’ll explain everything one step at a time.’ He asked Mandy to step outside the room.

He took her to the dining room where a couple of Jordan’s staff were waiting for their arrival. They were served breakfast.

‘What did you do?’ Mandy said before breaking her fast.

‘I decided to think. I let the owner out of his home. I let him tell his staff to treat me like they treat him for a year. Iā€¦’

‘And where is the owner?’

‘Let us first finish our meals. We’ve time. Eat now, talk later.’

They spent an hour having whatever they felt like. Even, Mandy was having a gala time having the whole place to Jack and herself. She switched on the television after breakfast. Umpteen number of people died in an unexplainable manner.

‘What’s this? What happened there?’ she asked.

‘Come on. Let’s play.’ Jack grabbed her and kissed her. She relented and shoved him with a little force. But he held onto her wagging his tongue at her.

‘What’s got into you? Is this why I’m here?’ She kept pulling away from him, pushing him didn’t work.

‘Why? What’s wrong with this? I can get you anything, anything at all. Still, you won’t be mine.’ He got tensed up. This was new to him. He released the tension in no time. He let her go and ran to the bathroom.

Mandy knew she had to reason with him. He could have his way. So, there was not much she could act upon. The thought of getting a few dresses crossed her mind. Jack could definitely provide her the best of the best. But she wasn’t thinking of staying. She wanted to leave and rightly so. She was curious about Jack’s ability and wanted ultimate exposure to what he can do. She would make him help with this incident. He could help people who are suffering.

‘Hey, how about you start winning my heart by helping the people in the accident?’ she said.

‘I can’t undead the dead. That is not possible. You think I didn’t try on my family and friends.’

‘At least, help the ones who are alive but suffering. Ease their pain.’

‘Are we really doing the whole Jesus act? Go round the world and ease their pain. This definitely sounds insane. Remember, what happened to Jesus? I don’t want to end up like him.’

‘No one has to know. You can definitely help. Let’s do this together.’ Mandy came towards Jack and laid a kiss on his cheeks. Jack calmed down. He saw the determination in her lovely eyes.

Floating in the Clouds

1

Jenny still doubted the trekking expedition. From the beginning, she was apprehensive about it. She didn’t want to chicken out in front of her friends. This would be the last trip of their high school days. She reached the base of the trek with her three besties. It was cold and dark. Half the hill was covered in clouds. It felt so scary she almost threw up her lunch. It was quite late for a trek when it was drizzling all the time. Mandy said that trekking is fun in the rain when the chance of slipping and hurting oneself is at its peak. Jenny told her it’s not funny.

Jenny saw many people returning from their treks. When she looked behind, she didn’t see a single soul. Maybe, it was over. It was time to come back from the trek, not to go for one. Radha said that it’s not a big deal. People returned late in the evening all the time. But it already looked like a late evening. Dark clouds hovered on all the sides. Little streams of water flowed down from everywhere. The group tried not to slip. They helped each other tread along one step at a time.

Mary gave out a holler when they stopped for a breather: Let’s take our tops off. Others looked at her in surprise as she wasn’t kidding. She took hers off only for a fraction of a second. The winds hit her dead cold.

One More Breath

7

The fatal encounter changed her. She felt so excited. It felt better than ever before. Earlier, she believed she took revenge on girls her age. Girls who had things she didn’t. So, she took the life out of them. She didn’t want to feel sorry for herself. She wanted peace of mind. The only way she got it was by murdering people in cold blood.

She was dark, now she became darker. She went on a killing spree. She let go of all her inhibitions. The monster was let out wild in the open. She rampaged on little souls as if her life depended on it. She started having blood for dinner. Why let it go to waste, she believed.

She asked for forgiveness from her parents. They didn’t know what was going on. They perhaps never will. She didn’t want them to see her as a monster. She would rather die. This would be a secret as long as possible. She prayed for it each time she took a life. She knew she can’t have a family of her own. She can never have children. Her blood thirst made her life uncertain like an animal who knows nothing but prey.

One More Breath

6

I felt a hole somewhere sometime.

I raise a toast, I commit a crime.

She was enveloped inside the body which masked the fragrance of musk. The aftershave’s application was more than required. He thought she liked it. But he didn’t know how much. She tried to calm herself with all her might. She got up hurriedly and reached out for the champagne. She had a sip and felt her arms trembling. The glass slipped and broke into five pieces. She got hold of the sharpest piece and started with her prayers. No more, she said to herself. But her arms moved against her will as if some supernatural force got hold of her. She knew she was no witch who was finding her powers for the first time. It was over ā€“ the trembling, the awkward movements, the tear-jerk reactions. Everything was normal, back to ground zero as soon as she pierced the piece in the boy’s throat and made a swift, smooth incision parallel to his jawline.

She passed on her troubled movements to the boy. Now, he started trembling in pain. The confused look on his face excited her. She relished his suffering more than she enjoyed spending the past few months with him. Everything comes to an end. She knew way deep down inside about who she really was. She tried hard to be a good girl. But the sinister self broke out and overpowered her. She lost all the good inside her and shook hands with the devil.

One More Breath

5

The ecstasy fired up my system like a bolt.

I goaded on it and felt the jolt.

Suddenly, there was a stop to the killings. It was weeks. People felt relieved. Girls started hoarding cafes and parks. It was a Christmas on the streets in November ā€“ merrymaking all around. The tempest had receded. The news channel stopped flashing the serial killer alert. The radios stopped chanting: Serial killer on the loose. Parents stopped telling their kids to be ultra careful.

There were people who thought otherwise. They believed it was a lull before the storm. The monster will be back again. Teenagers would be terrorized by the boogeyman. The countless stories written on this was a testimony to this, they said. Once a predator tastes blood, there’s no stopping him. He needs his rest. Maybe, he was taking a break or got occupied elsewhere. Such speculations were the talk of the neighborhood. It was still chaos out there in the minds of the countless. They tried not to be candid in public.

Conscious But Lame

4

James was not a forgiving boy. He would lash out at others like a mad king. Some never dared to speak up in front of him. They knew the consequences would be unfavorable to them. His theatrics knew no bounds. He was always wary of the fact that one day everything will come out in the open. He can’t act all the time in front of the world. His hormones and adult emotions were tingling his body cell by cell. He knew it was wrong, all of it was preposterous.

One day, he would like to get married and have kids. But he can’t do so if he kept pretending and extending the inevitable. He wanted a girlfriend first.

All these thoughts were messing with his mind. He asked for his sister’s help. She said she’s only fourteen. What would she know about this? It’s his call and he knew it. But what about the fun and no work part. This part would definitely reverse. He would be thrown out barefoot in the cruel world. The decision hung on his head like a bag of wool making him restless. This led to his indigestion and constipation which further complicated the issue.