Can We Sit Together for Once?

It’s been a while since we sat together – you

and me,  and talked about us or just nonsense!

May be not talking, at all, simply feeling within

that stillness, the comfort of being together!

 

Can we sit together and watch the clouds scud

across the blue sky, just you and me, and drink

In the freshness of the morn,  the dew drops

twinkling like diamonds, brighter than the stars?

 

It’s been a while since we sat together – you and I and

did nothing but gaze into each other’s eyes, lost in each

other, blinded to a mad as a hatter’s world that rushes by,

moment that lasts an age, stillness stronger than words!

 

Can we sit together, you and me and do nothing, and be

called mad and silly, and yet look at those that laugh, to tell

them they have not  what we have, you and me, a world for

us, with you the  Queen, and I the  King with none between!

 

Alas! We sit as strangers now, a presence so strange that

drives us mad! Even as we sit together, we sit in separate

worlds with bridges burnt and romance turned cold! You

left your  heart in Xanadu, and I lost mine in a siren’s song!

 

 

 

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Room Service

Robin Singh was glad that he had got a placement in one of the well-known hotels in Delhi. Initially at least he knew that he would have to do menial jobs, before getting on in the job. He was a resident of Gurgaon and had managed to get admission in one of the premier institutions in Hotel Management in Karol Bagh Delhi. In fact he had managed to achieve a very high merit position in the entrance test conducted by the institute. His parents had berated him for taking up Hotel Management as a career option, but then he somehow felt that he had an interest in the same. As it was, Robin had managed to pass his exams with very good marks and so he was given one of the choicest five star hotels in Delhi as the preferred hotel for his internship. What made the proposition attractive to him was the possibility of being absorbed in the hotel as a floor manager. The hotel, a unit of a prestigious chain of hotels across the world was named, The Vincent Hotel of Delhi. He was also glad to join the hotel because his senior by one year Mukesh was already serving at the hotel. He was however working for the room service.
Robin soon got the hang of the demands of his job, whether it was answering calls in the middle of the night for coffee or alcohol, or for that effect cigarettes, or even a pack of condoms! It was a twist of fate that Robin was always given the night duty, but then he accepted the night duty because he got better bonuses. He was in any case planning to buy a good vehicle, and in order to do that, he needed to collect funds for the down payment. The tips moreover were generous in the night shift, what with desperate men asking for emergency contraceptives and alcohol to smoothen the time they spent with their women. Some of the demands that the men, and sometimes the women made of him included fresh towels, KY Jelly, and the ubiquitous sex toys that included the vibrating condoms and vibrators. Robin was, however was a mature man of twenty-two years, and he turned a blind eye towards some of the bizarre demands made by the residents of the hotel. There were, incidentally visitors of all kinds, youngsters who were spending their first nights with their girlfriends men who were finding time with their legally wed wives, and then there were the clandestine linkages between men and women who were cheating on their marriage obligations. However, Robin had been advised to, ‘Mind his own business’ in such circumstances and service the needs of the clientele.
It was not that Robin was a freak or a strange case in such circumstances, he had a girl friend whose name was Sophia, and they shared a wonderful relationship which included grand meals at various hotels and restaurants, for which they saved, and the nights that they shared, that is whenever Robin could wheedle a night off from his employers. Robin was, in all ways street smart, and he always kept a stock of contraceptives in his wallet, for those stolen moments that he looked forward to share with Sophia, his girlfriend. Sophia, incidentally belonged to a family from Goa, who were very broadminded about what their daughter did, as long as she didn’t get pregnant. Sophia as it was, was getting ready for a job in a public sector bank, and she had, as it was a few lucrative offers form some of the well-known banks in Delhi. Robin and his girlfriend Sophia had shared numerous escapades when they had barely missed being caught by their respective families when they decided to spend the night together in some obscure hotel in Gurgaon or Delhi.
One day however things happened in a way that would change his life forever. That day, Robin was on night duty, and he had just completed his round of duty which ended at 5:00 a.m. when Mukesh, who was supposed to take over from him from 5:00 a.m. onwards requested him to pitch in for another half an hour till 5;30 because he had to go home to check on his sick mother. Robin acquiesced, although not before Mukesh told him to be careful about the calls he took
‘Just be careful about the guest in room number 225.’ He said. ‘She is Mrs. Sonia Kumar, the estranged wife of the industrialist, Mukesh Rawat.’ He went on. ‘She will ask for a flask of bed tea. Just ensure that she is dressed up, and knock on the door before entering her room!’
‘Of course, I will do exactly that!’ Robin responded.
‘Moreover,’ continued Mukesh, ‘just don’t let her shut the door on you.’
‘OK, ok, I got your point,’ Robin replied even as he attempted to convince his friend that he would be able to ensure that everything would be alright.
It was past five in the morning when Robin got a call from room number for a flask of tea. The woman at the other end of the phone said, ‘Please ensure that you don’t put in too much sugar into it,’ she said.
‘Sure Ma’am your tea will be there in a few moments!’ Robin replied.
He got the tea in the flask from the Pantry and placed it on a tray along with a couple of tea-cups and then proceeded to the room. On reaching room 225, Robin rang on the bell a couple of times. On getting not response, Robin knocked on the door. On getting no response, he pushed on the door, and was amazed when the door slid open. Seeing that the door was not locked from inside, Robin pushed the door open and stepped indoors. He called out on entering the room, ‘Room service, Ma’am, your bed tea is here.’ He looked around and saw that the it was a suite with a living room and a bedroom beyond. On getting no response from the occupant, Robin edged forward into the apartment. It was with a sense of foreboding that he stepped beyond the living room and passed beyond the living room door into the bedroom. When he had passed through the door into the bedroom, Robin paused as he called out, ‘Ma’am, your tea is here.’ Peering into the bedroom he saw the occupant sitting rather quietly on the bed, with her daughter, a child of perhaps four or five sleeping on the other end of the bed. Looking at the lady sitting quietly on the edge of the bed, staring out into space. There was something that was very touching about the woman, a beautiful woman, who was somehow sunken in the depths of despair. He could see all of this in a flash. The room was lit by a couple of table lamps that showed the ruffled bed clothes next to the woman, and the shape of a little child on the other side of the bed. Somehow, he had to say something and so he called out in concern, ‘Ma’am, is everything OK?’
Interrupted by his voice, the woman, Mrs Sonia, as he knew her to be stirred out of her reverie and said, ‘Please leave the tea on the centre table and lock the door behind you!’ Robin was somehow too touched by the woman’s posture of stillness. There was a sadness about her, the way she had sad so still on the edge of the bed. His heart went out to her, he wanted to comfort her, and perhaps tell her not to be so sad, for Mrs Sonia was indeed a very beautiful woman, and he wondered what might have made a husband abandon such a graceful woman. She had appeared to be so vulnerable while sitting on the edge of the bed, lost in her thoughts, forlorn and sad, it was indeed a sight that would tug the heart strings of any well-meaning man.
It was therefore with a heavy heart that he turned to the centre table in the bedroom and placed his tray on it. He turned go out of the suit, when she called out to him, ‘Please shut the door to the suit.’
He had lost his presence of mind, apparently and did according to her bidding. He had barely turned the key to the door when he saw that the lady had left her bedroom and crossed into the Living room. She lay on the couch covered by the sheets she had brought with her from the bedroom. Startled by the new development, Robin turned towards her with surprise. But then the invitation was clear, she wanted him to make love to her. She lay on the couch with no clothes on, and she had on her face that vulnerable look that demanded the attention of any well-meaning man. It was then with a sense of helplessness that Robin began stripping off his clothes, for the situation demanded exactly this. Before going ahead, however, he said to her, ‘Are you sure you want to go ahead with this?’
‘Yes, I need it!’ She replied, even as she snuggled into the sheets she had brought with her.
Somehow, it seemed as if the clothes were reluctant to come off and after what seemed an age, Robin was able to get off his clothes. Before he went to her on the couch.
What happened next happened as if in a state of trance. The woman somehow needed the physical proximity, it was as if she had never been loved by a kind human being. She had asked for it and he gave her what he could. There love making was frenzied and harsh, it was fuelled by desire and sadness. The woman wept and wept even as he thrust into her, but then he didn’t feel guilt or shame at what he was doing.
They ended up exhausted lying in each other’s arms like lovers long lost who had come together. Robin, however knew that he would be soon missed at his workstation, so he stirred out of her embrace and told her that he had to go.
‘Thank you!’ She replied with gratitude, even as he stepped into his clothes, and that was it!
Robin wore his clothes that were lying on the floor, and then closed the door quietly behind him as he proceeded to his work station. He had been caught by the turn of events over which he had had no control.
He walked out of the room in a trance, half believing that what had happened had happened in a dream. When he talked about the incident with some of his best friends, they had told him that incidents such as this were part of the occupational hazard that was the result of serving in the hotel industry!
What had taken place that day would change his attitude towards life in a way that he would never have expected in the normal course of time. He would later tell his girlfriend about what had happened that morning. Of course they broke off their relationship then and there, but then Robin had gained a lot in terms of understanding how complex life is. Of Mrs Sonia, well she was able to get the divorce she had wanted from an abusive husband. She went on to get married to a more considerate man who would give her more security than first husband had. Whether she remembered her escapade with Robin, well he couldn’t say for sure. All he knew was that it was part of his profession, to give comfort to those in distress!

The Ghost-A Glimpse into one of the Short Stories in my latest book, Escape From Athabasca, A Collection Of Short Stories And Poems

He was in deep sleep when he felt someone shaking his bed. Waking up with a start he realised that it was quite dark and the glow of the night lamp barely managed to illuminate the room. Tom did not believe in ghosts or even supernatural phenomenon, although his relatives had told him that there was a woman in the neighbourhood, a woman in white who walked on top of the buildings at night. She started her journey from the neighbouring building adjacent to the one in which he was sleeping and then would walk on to the next one before flitting on to the one where he was sleeping that night.

   Tom was pursuing his B.A. (Hons) English course from one of the colleges in Delhi and had come to Gurgaon to spend the night at his grandmother’s house because she had gone to visit her son, his uncle in Jodhpur. He had agreed reluctantly to his grandmother’s wishes because he had planned to take his girlfriend to a movie at the PVR in Saket, but then of course, you had to listen to your grandmother after all! It was for one night and that too a Saturday, his grandmother would be back the next day. Groaning with disgust, he turned to his mobile phone to check the time and realised with a shock that it was twelve midnight, not that it affected him in any case for he was not superstitious, nor did he believe in ghosts after all!

  Even as he lay on the bed, unable to sleep, he remembered how Gurgaon had once been a small town which had turned into a huge city seemingly overnight with all the top corporate head offices headed to it. Realty prices had shot up and the only thing you could find were buildings and more buildings. The greenery, farmlands, and fresh water bodies had all disappeared from sight even as they were swallowed up by builders who wanted to build apartments on them. His grandmother’s house a huge villa and a few others houses were the remaining homes from the sixties the rest had all been broken up and turned into commercial complexes, shopping centres, showrooms and even hospitals! Tom remembered how in earlier days all his uncles, aunts and their family members would gather at his grandmother’s house and then his cousins along with him would all have a gala time playing on what had now become a two-lane road. They told each ghost stories, played hide and seek, police and thief, and even hop scotch. They had been six cousin brothers and four cousin sisters. Now most of them, elder to him of course, had settled in faraway places, a couple, even settling down in America with their families. The house that had once been noisy and overcrowded was now rather quiet and a bit lonely. He wondered how his grandmother managed to live alone – although she was visited during the day by the family members of two of her sisters who lived nearby, in spite of this  it must have difficult for her looking after the house all alone. He was not however very surprised because in any case his grandmother had been a veritable iron lady who managed things on her own.

   It was in the midst of all his musings that it happened, rather randomly, not something to be frightened of, an innocuous tug on his foot. Then it happened again, this time the tug was more insistent, somebody had pulled his right foot. He flung his blanket off himself and then jumped out of bed. His heart was beating hard against his chest as he fumbled for the light switch and managed in the process, to knock off the table lamp from the side table. ‘Heck what the heck!’ he exclaimed as he gingerly felt for the light switch. He found it but the moment he clicked on it, it wouldn’t work! ‘No, no!’ he shouted to himself, ‘the MCB must have tripped when the lamp fell down causing the bulb to short.’ He knew he was in trouble; for to fix the MCB switch, he would have to step out doors in the dark, a prospect he did not really look forward to! The door from his room opened into the sitting room and from the sitting room he would have to walk all the way to the landing place. He would have to find his way through the furniture that literally overflowed the place. His grandmother’s house had literally become a dumping ground for all of his uncles’ and aunts’ unwanted furniture and stuff. Grumbling to himself, Tom shifted his attention towards locating the mobile phone he had left on the bed. It was just when he had turned back to the bed to look for the phone that he heard a woman calling his name!

   ‘Tom, Tom, listen to me, why don’t you just follow me, I will lead you to the MCB switch!’ the woman said although he hadn’t seen her as yet!

   ‘Shit,’ he exclaimed to himself as he desperately began looking for the phone, he needed light to see beyond the lurking shadows, moreover the presence of the woman in the house surprised and shocked him! He was sure he was going barmy. The more he thought of the voice, the more he began to panic, wondering where the mobile phone had gone – it had been on the bed but it wasn’t there anymore! He must have flung it off the bed along with the blanket. Now he began to sweat even more although it was still the middle of the winter season. He became more frantic looking for the mobile phone and then he stepped of a fragment of glass, the remains of the bulb that had smashed when the lamp had fallen. ‘Ouch!’ he shouted again as he felt for his foot. His hand came off wet; the glass shard had apparently cut into his foot – his left foot. Shaking with anger and fear, Tom just collapsed on the bed and stared into the distance from where the woman’s sound had come.

   ‘Are you looking for this, Tom?’ asked the voice – it was the same voice, the one that had spoken to him earlier!

   He began to shake even more, but then when he looked carefully he saw his mobile phone lying on the ground, its pilot light winking in a welcoming manner he felt reassured. Taking a deep breath of relief, he moved towards it, but before he could reach it he was stopped by the woman’s voice.

   ‘You will have to listen to what I have to say, before I let you have your phone, Tom, will it be OK if you just sit on the bed calmly, without the lights and listen to me?’

   ‘OK, fine….I guess I might as well sit down, but then what do you want from me, just let me get my mobile phone, I have already smashed up my grandmother’s antique lamp and I will get a shelling from her!’ He mumbled rather incoherently as he sat down rather reluctantly on the bed.

   ‘Would you like to see me, Tom?’ said the voice close to him now.

   The proximity of the voice sent shivers up his spine, ‘No,…no, I mean,…yes, if it’s OK with you!’ He replied, changing his mind lest she might be offended by his refusal.

   And then he saw her mere four feet away from his bed, a woman who was in her early thirties,   dressed in simple white, she was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. There was something serene about her face which was filled with innocence and yet, sadness! She was simply gorgeous in a way that the girls he had known were not, could never be! He had heard about her, from many people, relatives and neighbours alike, but had never known her to be so beautiful. He knew somehow, that he would have to control himself lest he should begin treating her like a real human being. Even as he thought his thoughts he felt helpless knowing very well that the woman had already bewitched him. He thought suddenly about Sonia his girlfriend the girl with whom had been madly in love and then he felt a little guilty.

   ‘Can I sit beside you?’ she continued.

   ‘Ah… oh…yeees… OK, I mean, sure, why not?’ He answered her stammering rather uncontrollably at a ghost that must have been, what like centuries old?

   There was a slight shift in the mattress, as if someone was sitting down, and there she was sitting on his left side. The scent of Cinnamon and citrus wafted from her, close by he could see that she had light golden hair, and her complexion was milky white, not the colour of death, rather the colour of health with the lightest tinge of pink in it. Her dress, now that he saw it from close was white silk and muslin, rather like a marriage gown! Even as he was observing her with a complex mix of disbelief curiosity and fear, she shifted a little closer to him and put her hand on his shoulder! He shuddered involuntarily believing that it would be the touch of death, for to be touched by a ghost would mean you had lost it! To make matters worse, he had felt the tug on his toe, then he heard her voice, then he smelled her perfume, and now this touch. It was however a rather light touch – the wind caressing him, and surprisingly enough, after the initial fright, he was somehow more comfortable.

   Now that she was next to him, she addressed him, ‘Look, Tom, you know who I am, a ghost in your terms, but in my language, I am a spirit  that has been roaming this place for ages, trying to get someone worthy enough to listen to my story and help me out. I was the wife of the British Garrison Commander, Richard Black who was based in Gurgaon from 1880 till 1905. It was towards the end of my husband’s term that a great tragedy struck the family. In the year 1905 the whole country was affected by a cholera epidemic. Our two sons, Antony aged five and Jack aged three were struck by the epidemic. They fought the disease bravely but then little could be done to save them. Alas! They died of the disease – Antony on the fifth of March, and Jack on the seventh of April, a gap of barely a month. We were broken up by this tragedy, my husband and I! Richard was so broken up that he did not want an extension for his term, so when his term came to an end in the month of December, 1905, he decided that we should leave for London in a month’s time. I however did not want to leave my children behind; I wanted to stay back just to be close to their graves. We fought a lot, Richard and I but then I just did not want to return to England. Finally on the day of our departure from Gurgaon I simply disappeared from the garrison. I took my horse and rode to the hamlet of Baas, where the officers went hunting for tigers and other animals. I stayed in that hamlet with the good headman and his wife for a fortnight. The soldiers came looking for me, but then I managed to hide from them. Finally after the fortnight was over, I took my horse and then rode back to Gurgaon. When I reached the Cantonment area, I was apprehensive about being caught by the soldiers so I decided to find shelter in one of the fields close to the main bazaar. Leading my horse to one of the fields, I happened to come across a well. Being thirsty, I bent down to see whether it had water or was a dry well. Somehow I tipped too far and fell into the well. There was no one around although I shouted on top of my voice! I swam in the water for as long as possible, until finally I had to let go because of exhaustion. I remember that my last thoughts were that ultimately because of my stubbornness, I had lost both of my sons and my husband!’

   There was a pause in her narrative as Tom tried to assimilate what he had been told by the woman, not spirit who was sitting next to him. He now looked at her with a new sense of respect, she was not just another woman, but rather a woman who had suffered a lot, and now she regretted abandoning her husband. But still, he thought, ‘She is a sprit, a ghost, and I should stay away from her as much as possible.’ He remembered being told by someone in the family that ‘if you heard your name being called out at night even when there was no one,’ you were not supposed to respond to that name. They had been warned by some of the elders in the family that when a dear one passed away and then happened to return to anyone in a dream or vision and asked him or her to accompany him on a journey, one was supposed  to refuse point blank even if it meant one was being rather too forthright!

   His thoughts were brought to a standstill when the woman continued her narrative, ‘No one knew that I had fallen into the well and before long, the water in the well mysteriously dried up and then debris and mud was thrown into the well to fill it up. Soon that land was sold and a house constructed on it. The well is incidentally located in the neighbour’s plot adjacent to your grandmother’s house. The well is close to your neighbour’s kitchen in the backyard. There is a square platform over the opening of the well where your neighbour has placed a few flower pots.’

   Tom broke into her narrative, ‘What do you want me to do?’

   ‘I want you to go to your neighbour and tell him about my story. After you do this, you are to go to the well, remove the slabs, (they will slide away) of course with Mr Kamal’s permission and then you are to dig out at least a handful of dirt from the well. Please bury this handful of dust in the graveyard and ask your Presbyter to say a prayer for my soul.’

   ‘But what about your name, I need to know what you are called!’ Tom said to the woman, knowing well that he would have to give the Pastor a name or so.

   ‘You never ask a spirit her name; let it suffice you to know that I might be referred to as Mrs Richard. You must also be wondering why the elders in your family have been talking about me, well for all those years I have been wandering in the neighbourhood looking for someone to get me a release from this existence, however each time I stepped out, whoever saw me would flee indoors looking for the company and safety of others. You happened to be around this night and so I thought of communicating with you, I just hope you don’t mind the imposition!’ she remarked gently.

   ‘No not at all,’ Tom replied with enthusiasm and confidence for now he was sure that her intentions were not bad, and anyway he wanted her to get a release from the kind of existence that she had been leading all those years.

   ‘Your helping me out will ensure that I will be able to achieve final rest, and yes I will not haunt you people any more though God knows it was never my intention to cause anyone any kind of harm! I have known each of the members in your family having seen them for so many years. Somehow I have felt secure and comfortable when all of you used to come home to enjoy your holidays. Now however hardly anyone come here, and your grandmother is growing old. I fear things have changed, and the loneliness of sharing the space with only your grandmother and Kamal, not getting to listen to the voices of children has made me tired.’

    ‘Don’t worry, Mrs Richard, I will do as you have told me, and I am sure you will achieve peace!’ Tom assured her.

   The moment he gave her his assurance the woman disappeared as if she had never been there. There was, however the linger smell of her scent, Cinnamon and Citrus blended together. The next day was a Sunday and Tom did as he had been told. The pastor agreed to perform the ritual and the handful of dust from the well was buried in a hole dug in the graveyard. The private burial took place after morning mass and it was attended by his grandmother, the Presbyter and Mr Kamal, their neighbour.

 

 

 

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Escape from Athabasca – A Short Story

Escape from Athabasca

 

He had fought with his wife over a small matter of how much he should pay for the new fridge, and then left home threatening never to return. Now he regretted it, but then it had become a matter of prestige for him so he continued driving on the highway towards Athabasca. The drone of the motorcycle engine and the stretching ribbon of the road, the whisper of the wind somehow spurred him on to a fate he seemed to have no control. It was a big cruiser bike, an expensive one at three thousand dollars, but then he had always wanted to buy a Norton Cruiser. Selma and he had fought over the need to buy the bike, but then rather surprisingly he found it parked in the courtyard one fine day. Selma had bought it for him!

Glancing at his watch Segan saw it was four 0 clock – he had been riding the bike for close to four hours now although he had taken a bio-break one hour after leaving Selma behind at Tenacre. He had covered a good two hundred kilometres and would soon be hitting the outskirts of Athabasca. It was getting brighter with the sun approaching the horizon. It had been a soothing ride in many ways and he knew that once he reached Athabasca, he would turn back for the return journey to Tenacre. He would apologise to Selma when she returned from work at the Tenacre Institute of Applied Sciences where she taught Psychology to University students, probably cook a savoury dish of mixed vegetables and fried rice (her favourite) and they would be friends. His thoughts now drifted to his job. He taught Mathematics at the Rangers’ High School and they were off for the week after the annual exams. He would be taking up a new class this term, grade eight besides the two sections of twelfth that he took. The school head wanted an experienced teacher to take a lower class alongside senior classes and he acquiesced knowing that it would add to his experience.

He was just ten kilometres short of Athabasca when he heard the distant sounds of trucks and helicopters headed in his direction. Strange though it seemed, Segan continued driving towards Athabasca. The closer he got to the town, he was dismayed to see people fleeing in all directions but North, for that was the direction from which a long line of military trucks seemed to be snaking towards Athabasca. Hovering above the trucks were military helicopters that were sweeping the area ahead the trucks, reconnoitring, it seemed possible obstacles on their way, or perhaps any opposition that they might meet. “Hey,” he mumbled to himself, “I hope that is not an invading army” he wondered to himself. Soon it became clear that he could not proceed further against the flow of traffic that was heading south, the way he had come from. He was headed towards the advancing cavalcade and it now seemed to be a bad idea. In any case it was now too difficult to turn around and head back towards Tenacre. Kicking out the Side-Stand of the bike, Segan dismounted the motorcycle and then accosted a decent looking man who was carrying a camera slung around his neck and a bag of camera equipment.

“Hi,” he addressed the man who apparently was a journalist, “I am Segan,  I have been driving towards Athabasca from Tenacre, what’s going  on over there?”

“Hi,” said the other man, extending his right hand to shake Tenacre’s. We have been attacked by the Tarkian army. They apparently want to use the residents of Athabasca as Guinea Pigs for their Bio-chemical weapon,” he remarked in a matter of fact voice. “By the way, I am Soldan Kermik, a reporter with the Western Herald News Syndicate,” he continued.

“Well,” Segan went on, “I am a Maths Teacher at the Rangers’ School at Tenacre, and I had decided to undertake a solo ride on the express way and here I am, not a good idea, I guess!”

By now the crowd had increased ten times, and Segan could see that it would not be possible to ride his motorcycle through this crowd. He finally unlocked the lid to his side Pannier and took out his extra tee shirt, utility box and then leaving lock in the ignition, for what would it matter, he began to walk back the way he had come. Soldan had left him with the advice to avoid any kind of contact with the Tarkian army regulars. He had also told him as concisely as possible that the Tarkian scientists had developed a bio-chemical weapon, a canister that contained millions of fine needles containing a bio-engineered agent that when dropped from helicopter would burst open, disseminating the cloud of needles which would then burrow into skin and flesh of human beings. The needles would then discharge their poison into the bloodstream turning the victim into a state of paralysis where the mind worked but the limbs simply refused to obey the commands sent by the brain. The state of paralysis, lasting a whole day would then give way allowing the victim to regain movement in the limbs. This would be followed by high temperature, a wasting disease that turned the victims into scarecrows, zombies who would be around for a week, biting, infecting and harassing those who had not been affected by the Bio-Agent. The Bio-Chemical agent had been programmed not to affect the Tarkian soldiers.

Segan walked with the crowd back the way he had come. He suddenly remembered that he was carrying his mobile and so on an impulse called up his younger brother, Stepan, a fire-fighter at Tenacre. In as few words as possible, he summed up the situation.

After a pause of a few seconds of listening to his elder brother quietly, he spoke, “Look Segan, you need to get to Dessie, about twenty-five kilometres from where you are, I will drive to the central plaza in the ATV and pick you up. The army has been mobilized and they will be marching towards Athabasca any time. You need to reach the town as quickly as possible; we are glued to the TV sets and know that the situation will soon turn volatile. Just get out of that place!” he exhorted his elder brother.

Segan protested that he was on foot, and would probably not be able to make it to the town of Dessie, but then his brother told him that he would have manage somehow. Before switching off his mobile phone, he told his brother to check in with Selma. He would not be able to call her on her mobile phone as the university where she taught did not allow its teachers to carry mobile phones into class, moreover it was Wednesday, a day when she had classes from eight in the morning to twelve noon. After his call to his brother, Segan texted his wife, “Sorry I fought with you, I will make with you by preparing your favourite savoury dish of stewed vegetables and fried rice. Love you and miss you!”

The trudge southwards had become more of a disorganised shamble and Segan could see very clearly that if they could not press on at a faster pace, the Tarkians would be upon them before noon. In desperation, Segan looked back towards the road leading to Athabasca, and he was shocked to see that the crowd had not only increased in size, but also seemed to have stopped moving at all! It looked as if it was a cork tightly wedged in the narrow mouth of a bottle. They were sitting ducks that could be picked at leisure by the Tarkians. No sooner he had entertained this thought, than there was a commotion at the back of the crowd, and a surge that pushed those in the front like a powerful wave pushing all obstacles out of its way. He could see that the Tarrkian advance scouts had reached the rear end of the exodus of humanity, and they were firing at the stragglers, ominously taking no prisoners.

What happened next was similar to an overflowing river bursting through its banks. The people left the highway and started running into the fields and farms abutting the highway. Segan also took to the fields in a lop that he hoped would take him away from the attacking Tarkian soldiers. However, soon progress became difficult as his feet began to sink into the freshly ploughed earth. Ten minutes of mad rush had left him exhausted so he paused, just for a moment to regain his breath and looked back the way he had come. What he saw at that moment would haunt him as nightmares for a long time – he saw what was a meticulous culling of the people who had fled from Athabasca. Men, women, old and young were being pursued by the Tarkians, mowed down, ambushed, and chased mercilessly. Those fleeing from their pursuers screamed while the hunters bayed, shouted and hooted even as they hunted down the hapless people.

It became clear that he had made a mistake in pausing to take a breath and turning round to look at the Tarkians for soon there was a shout and  he realised that the pursuers had seen him. Obeying the instructions of their officer, they split into two groups intending to trap him in a pincer like movement. Segan however had trained well, jogging and cycling in the early morning hours before going to school to teach. That training had given him an edge over his pursuers. He knew that the only way to escape from that pincer like movement of the enemy was to stay ahead of the two pincer-fingers. Thus taking a deep breath, Segan continued running. The game could not however go on for long because, while his pursuers kept on being replaced by fresh ones dropped by helicopters, Segan was the only one who had run continuously. He soon reached what appeared to be an abandoned farm, and throwing caution to the wind dodged into the low doorway of one of the barns. Finally exhausted and gasping, Segan decided to submit to what fate had in store for him. Inexplicably and strangely enough, his pursuers ran on for a few hundred feet before falling back. They returned the way they had come, called back no doubt. After what seemed to be ages, Segan stepped out of the barn cautiously and looking toward the north, where Athabasca lay, he saw to his dismay, a sky full of dark clouds that drifted slowly to the earth. It was a matter of time before that cloud was upon him, and then there would be no escaping from the deadly agent that those clouds contained. Desperate and helpless, he began walking due South hoping that the wind would slow down the movement of the clouds in his direction. After about  half an hour, he reached what appeared to be a working farm. At the farm he could see someone, a woman in her middle ages, ploughing the field with the help of a plough attached to the tractor. The farm strangely enough seemed to be devoid of anyone else.

Rushing towards the tractor he waved to the woman who immediately stopped the tractor. “Who are you?” the woman asked him.

“ I have just escaped from a bunch of Tarkian soldiers who have taken over the town of Athabasca. They have killed a lot of people, and now have unleashed a Bio-Chemical agent over the whole area. It is only a matter of time before the deadly cloud reaches us!” he gasped.

Marja, for so her name was listened to him before informing him that her husband and their two middle aged sons had gone to Dessie to visit his brother whose wife had just delivered a son. He immediately coaxed her to drive the tractor to Dessie along with him. At first she refused to budge, but then digging into his bag, he showed her a bundle of bills and told her that he would pay her two-thousand Fills. But then she was a tough one and agreed to take him to Dessie only if he paid her three-thousand Fills. Unable to argue further because of the urgent need to get away, he agreed however reluctantly. He  quickly collected bottles of fresh water , a can of diesel fuel as directed by his new acquaintance while  Marja collected some papers, which she said were cash bonds and a nasty looking rifle.  After locking down the barns and the farmhouse, they set upon the onward journey to Dessie – an odd couple, a young man and a middle aged woman who drove the tractor like a mad, Formula one race-circuit driver. They took the interior dust tracks which were more like tracks beaten out of the undergrowth by the passage of cattle and other domesticated animals out to feed on fresh grass. Many a times they came to ditches and culverts which seemed impossible to cross, even on a tractor, but then Marja managed somehow. It was getting dark and they had been travelling for ages it seemed before they reached the outskirts of Dessie. Marja took a break during this wild rush to call up her husband before hitting the highway to the town. The drive on the highway was so smooth that Segan nearly fell asleep. Strangely enough the highway was deserted, there were no vehicles on the road and an eerie emptiness engulfed them. Finally they reached Marja’s brother in law’s house at eight in the night. After a brief introduction with the other family member and relatives, for they were all prepared for the trip to Tenacre in the family minibus, he took his leave of them after handing over the cash and asking them the directions to the town plaza.

There at the town plaza was the red SUV bearing the Tenacre Fire Department Licence plate. The town was emptied of its inhabitants who had apparently fled the advance of the Tarkian army. Overjoyed by the sight of the vehicle he rushed to its side to be hugged at first by his brother and then his wife Selma. Without too much delay in the form of explanations about the strange incidents that had taken place that day, they rushed towards Tenacre, the last remaining people to escape from the advancing invaders. The highway was deserted, their vehicle being the only one to be seen for miles. Segan finally slipped into deep sleep, his head cradled by Selma on the back seat.

Shadows-A short story

I wake up in the middle of the day, surprised to notice the darkness all around, the stillness overwhelming except for the settling down of the structure of the building. And then I remember the bright flash of light that turned the day into an inferno of blazing fires, burning burning everything to cinders, the heat oppressive even in the middle of the winters season!
‘I must have lost consciousness!’ I talk to my other self that lurks in my mind, ‘That,’ I tell him, ‘must have been a nuclear explosion, the one that our neighbouring country had been promising would come our way,’ I tell my other self. I step out of the huge building, passing out of it to be hit by the stench of fats cooking, and the heat sure did hit me. What I saw shocked me a great deal, cars burnt to cinders, cars piled up on each other as if deliberately piled upon each other by a particularly angry child.
I looked back planning to retreat to the safety of the building I had just left when all of a sudden the frond facade crashed with a loud crash that shook the very Earth, a boom that seemed to reverberate in the air for ever. Desperately, I look for refuge and then see the entrance of the underground shopping complex about four hundred meters on the left from where I stand. Making my mind I start walking towards the entrance. All this while I see with unseeing eyes, objects and shapes that seem to have been men women, children, but not they were now lumps, amorphous dark objects, one of them raises itself as if requesting for help towards me, but even as it reaches to its normal height, it crashes into dust, a keening sound emerging from the depths of its form. I hurry on towards the entrance of the underground shopping complex not daring to look left or right but straight ahead. But even as I walk on, I sense a number of dark objects stand up and follow me, some hobbling, some crawling, their groans and cries renting the air.
The entrance to the underground shopping complex gapes larger and larger, a huge maw towards which I am inexorably driven by the necessity of escaping from the unbearable heat, winter season turned into summer season, objects radiating heat, a tangible heat that seems to vibrate in the air, driving molecules, atoms into an agitation of anger and heat. And then I step inside, a dark cavernous space, greeted by the silence than engulfs me like a blanket. It is cooler the deeper I enter, nothing moves, I pass the silent counters, shop fronts that are open but unattended. As I move deeper into the space, the darkness presses on thicker and thicker, oppressive, yet comforting because it is cooler than the outside. It is as if I am retreating into a womb, the security of a safe space that will somehow protect me from the conflagration and the turmoil of a burnt world outside. Suddenly I have no strength left and collapse on the ground, exhausted, willing sleep to take me into its comforting arms.
I wake after some time, time has suddenly no meaning for me, and puzzling about where I am, I ask my other self, ‘What has happened, why is it so dark even though it is day?’
‘The nukes hit the city and what you see is the aftermath,’ he answers with a chuckle. It is dark because of the dust cloud of debris rising high into the atmosphere, remember it is going to be very cold once the whole area cools down!’
‘But then how come will it be cold, won’t the sun come out?’ I ask the voice in my head.
‘No, the sun will not penetrate through the dust, and we will have a winter that will last six months or so, that is when the dust settles down. By then every living thing will have died of starvation, those at least that escaped the direct impact of the blast,’ he says with a finality that brokers no argument.
Taking the advice of the voice of my other self, I enter, what I think is a clothes shop, and grab a fleece-lined jacket that fits me, it is still warm, a couple of days after the moment when the world came to a stop. Draping the jacket around my left arm I grope around looking for a shop that has quilts and blankets, and settle for a light blanket that I feel I will be able to carry easily. As soon as I get what I want, I settle down in the shop on the floor and curl myself waiting for the worst.
There are ghosts all around me, I realise when I wake up. They whisper, complain, and shout at me, but I close my ears, sometimes with my hands, and sometimes by humming a popular pop tune. I am surprised when the cold hits me, it is unbearably cold, and I snuggle into the blanket which offers me no warmth. I now wear the fleece jacket over my sweater and body warmer, but it seems ineffective against the cold that pressed on to me. It is a rather surreal experience, waking up in the dark, with no one around.The first sensation that hits me is hunger, paralysing hunger, I have not eaten for two days, and I am going crazy! I step out of the shop and proceed down the corridor, walking down a maze and lose myself. Disoriented and close to breakdown I stumble against a counter where there is still a leftover meal of two uneaten burgers and a sandwich that I dig into without any hesitation. The moment I am into the second steak-burger that tastes rather greasy and cold, the hiccups shake my whole body. I grab wildly for the fridge, and opening the door, grasp wildly for the bottles of aerated drinks that I know will be there. Thankfully, I grab hold of the familiar bottle of what is one of the most favoured drinks, twist the cap and pour the drink into my mouth. I choke as the gas hits me, but carry on drinking till I feel satiated. I polish off the second burger and then finish the sandwich, that I suspect tastes of seafood.
The days pass on and finally on the fifteenth day, I step out of the underground shopping complex into a twilight zone that seems taken straight out of a horror movie. What surprises me most is the caress of the snow-flakes drifting down. Pulling on the hood of my fleece jacket, I venture into the open, out into a silent world, covered in snow, the shapes rounded up by the snow, ethereal and amazing. As I walk on to main road, I am struck by the absolute silence that surrounds me, the stillness and the lack of movement on one of the most busy roads of the city strikes me. I walk on, taking in the strange aspect of a city in its death throes, a ghost city, shrouded in a blanket of snow, a strange landscape where whispers have replaced the loud horns of vehicles moving around, and people crossing the roads. I walk on, glancing at the snow covered street light poles, trees bowed down by the weight of snow, stripped of their leaves, and then I see them, bundles of birds, pigeons, sparrows, and crows lying piled along the roads, dogs and cats curled as if to thwart the gnawing cold. I come across people, men, women and children, some of the children still clutched in the arms of women curled around them to give them warmth, even as their lives leeched away, sucked away by the awful cold that now surrounded the city.
It was after sometime that I come across her, a young woman, of twenty or so, sobbing loudly, as she sat by the roadside, expensive branded clothes marking her as one of the more affluent members of the society. Her expensive handbag is clutched in her hands. She looks up at me as I pass, and looking and her face, I am taken aback. Her once beautiful face has become a parody of what once must have been a face that launched a thousand faces. There are blisters on her face that have turned purpled-black, a yellowness covers the rest of her skin. She looks at me with an imploring glance, ‘Can you give me a drink, mister”,’ she whimpers as she tries to stand up. I give her one of my bottles of water,her hands brushing against mine, raising a shudder in me and move on not looking at her fearing lest I should see a more horrible sight. She sinks down to where she sits.
The days pass in this way, my watch still works, it is an old fashioned wind up watch that my father had given me, it records the time and days accurately and I wind it faithfully. I retreat to the underground shopping complex after each foray into the city. On each trip out of my refuge, I come across strange sights in a town that has now become a twilight zone. I see the fires that dot the town, people who have survived the blast light bonfires made up of remains of wooden furniture. Rough looking men, roasting the flesh of animals long dead, sinking their teeth into flesh long turned into carrion, people who challenge me if I draw too close to them. I flee from them fearing the fate of the long dead animals, dogs, cats, and occasionally, a horse, a donkey and an Ox. One of the days I come across a group of men assaulting a young girl, no older than fifteen or so. They beat her up and punch her up badly, and when she collapses, they fall on her forcing themselves into all her orifices. She screams as they violate her, but I am helpless. She looks at me with the helpless look of one who has lost hope, our eyes meet and then she is engulfed by the heaving mass of humanity as they smother her to death.
I flee from the scene, overwhelmed by a sense of guilt for not having helped her. Everything ends with a whimper and a gurgle that tells me that she has breathed her last! I am left to my own thoughts in a city that has come to an end, a helpless survivor, fending for his own dear life.
The voice of my another self speaks after a long period of silence, ‘You see, it all had to come to this, all that progress, all that development, all ending up in this! What you see is the result of the ultimate depravity of men in authority, people who themselves are beasts and lack the conscience of human beings. It all amounts to the concept of the survival of the fittest. Hidden deep within the psyche is a beast, chained but rearing to go. This is the ultimate reality of human life, when this beast breaks the chains of reason and rationality, this is what you get!’
‘But then,’ I respond to that voice in my head, ‘Isn’t there a bit of kindness?’ I ask that voice. ‘Are we so depraved that we indulge in such destruction?’ I continue asking that voice.
‘You see, my dear friend,’ the voice replies, ‘when things comes to a head, it is all about superiority, it is all about wining the game, and as such nothing else matters except to win the game irrespective of what the outcome might be!’
The days pass, the months pass, and the cold increases. It looks as if there will be no end to the cold that has descended over the city. We are now ten in number, four men, three women and three children. We stay inside the underground shopping complex. Our days are spent in collecting food and in defending the entrance to the shopping complex. We sleep close to each other, seeking comfort in our togetherness.
As the days pass, we are lost in our thoughts, there are men and women separated from their families, men separated from their wives, women separated from their husbands, the children fortunately are with their mothers. All of the people who are with me are professionals of the highest levels. They had been travelling in the metro from the airport and had alighted from the train before the blast. Everyone of them was a professional of the highest kind, except of course the children. The children were lucky enough to have their mothers with them. The men however had wives and children in other parts of the city.
Life has narrowed down to the need to scavenge for food, the need to keep warm, and defend the entrance to the underground shopping complex from intruders. We sleep in shifts; we have rotas for defending the entrance, scrounging for food and sleeping in groups. Fights often break out between us but these are often quelled by the times in which we live. The women turn out to be the hardiest of us all even as they comfort us men and cajole us to gather food for the day. The men seem to be the most affected of all even as they break down most often; weeping about the wives and children they have left in the other parts of the city.
Life has become a routine and we try to make the best of everything. The children strangely bind us together even as we look after them as parents. They are a source of joy and happiness in the midst of all this confusion and chaos. I miss my family, my wife and my two sons. Each one of us is lost in his or her thoughts and often we all end up weeping, wondering about how people who ordered the blast that destroyed our lives could have even have thought about launching the bombs. Is humanity so void of sensitivity, love and affection that it hardly thinks of launching weapons that bring such pain and suffering on innocent people?
The voice of my other self has fallen quiet, and I wonder if I am sane. I want to be with my family, and share a moment of gladness with them, but deep in my heart I fear whether they have survived the blast.
The days don’t end and the months drag on. The cold doesn’t relent even as we go about our lives, struggling to survive. The six months pass, and the snow flakes continue to float down. Life as we know has changed as we struggle to live, cuddling together in the coldest moments, sharing tit bits and pieces of edible food as we subsist as animals driving with a need to keep warm and feed our increasingly empty stomachs. The only thing that keeps us going on is the hope that we will one day see the rays of the sun breaking though the mantle of a dark and impenetrable leaden sky, a sky that is still covered with the debris and dust of a blast that ejected a mass of living matter into the atmosphere that has clouded our lives with despair, pain and suffering!
We wait for the dawn of day to come, we are surrounded by shadows, shadows of life that might have been, shadows of people who have passed away. The shadows cling to us refusing to go away, shadows that are ghosts of a whole city. The shadows do lengthen even as the days pass by as we struggle to survive, scrounging for food and warmth that seems harder to come by. Our own lives seem to be part of a shadow that threatens to engulf our own very lives, sanity and all.

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The Flight of Icarus – A Short Story

The suburban train came to a stop abruptly in the middle of nowhere jolting all the seated passengers into a moment of shock. Paul Gartner himself was jolted out of his bitter-sweet brooding about Daniela – a girl he had loved so dearly and believed she would stick to him through thick and thin! It came as a shock to him when she calmly announced the previous morning that she was ending their live in relationship!
“I am leaving you Paul,” she had said while tying her hair at the dressing table. ” I feel suffocated living with you, your pre-occupation with your research and students sicken me,” she added speaking through lips that were clasped on a couple of hair pins that she removed one by one to stick into her bun.
“But why, Daniela? I thought we were doing fine!” He replied gazing at her long, slender neck that was accentuated by the hair that had been gathered into a tight bun. He absentmindedly took a hair pin from her and inserted it into her hair securing it further.
Paul’s brooding came to an abrupt stop, his train of thought merging with the actual train in which he had been traveling along with the others. There was a pregnant moment of silence and then everyone started talking at once, “Why have we stopped, Mommy?” And then another voice broke into his consciousness, ” Is it an emergency?” Then yet another, grumbling voice, “The driver shouldn’t have been speeding up, now we will have to wait in the middle of nowhere for the earlier train to complete its journey – darling don’t grumble, it is just a matter of a few minute…I am going to sue the company!” They were all voices, white noise, a mix of decibels chaos, that threatened to drive him off the edge!
And then the public address system crackled to life, and there was silence in the coach, an ominous silence driven by a sense of foreboding – “Ladies and gentlemen,” the speakers hissed, ” I am your driver and I regret to inform you that this train will not go any further, in fact there is no destination left! This is the end of our journey. The power has been cut off and neither New Haven nor Hamden exist any more, the world has been destroyed by nukes released by a boy playing War Games on his PSP! That is all that I can say. It is each man to himself, you may walk off the train or remain, it is your choice.”
The hubbub resumed and a few of the passengers fainted while others sat still, turned to stone. Paul could see that a few of the passengers had managed to open the exit and entry doors of the coach and had stepped on to the tracks. They were no longer afraid of the electric current that once coursed through the middle track. “So the world had finally come to an end!” He thought with a great sense of relief. There would be no commitments, he wouldn’t have to plead with Daniela to come back to him, (she was in all probability already dead) and he would not have to explain to anyone why she had left him. It was with a sense of lightness and a final sense knowing what he wanted to do that Paul dumped his office bag on the seat, the tab, his mobile phone, his cards and all those things that he felt were useless to him, however he did choose to carry his sling bag that contained his breakfast and a bottle of water. Swinging the bag jauntily, he made his way to the exit and stepped into the open like some of the others.
The train had come to a stop on a plateau on a mountain top at an altitude of three thousand feet. They had been heading for Hamden which was in the plains at an altitude of less than two hundred feet above sea- level. The Blue Mist Mountains through which they had been traveling towered sheer above Hamden and there were quite a few spots where there was a sheer drop of a few hundreds of feet. Of course one could see the twinkling lights of the town on clear nights out in the distance – the track often veering close to the cliff edge because it was the best gradient that the engineers could identify.
He stepped on to the tracks and walked in the general direction of Hamden where he was supposed to reach every morning at nine to report at the Oxfordshire University where he taught English Literature and a few topics of Philosophy. The laptop that he had left behind in the train contained his lecture notes on Catastrophism in Literature, which he was to have delivered that day if it had not been for the turn of events that had taken place. Paul began musing on the lines of his lecture that was now lost in an abandoned laptop inside the coach of a derelict train. “What if,” he mused, “that boy had not had the time to play on his PSP?” He walked on the elevated track lost in his thoughts, “Stream of Consciousness ” as Joyce would have termed it. “What if, Daniela had not left me – what if I had stayed back at New Haven, would I be thinking about life?” He proceeded as if on auto pilot wondering if there was a purpose behind all this madness and the fact that they had been spared from the direct impact of the nukes going off.
Suddenly he realised that he had come close to the beginning of the curve in the path of the track about a couple of kilometres before the point where the track came closest to the edge of the cliff. The track was now almost level with the rest of the plateau since the engineers had not deemed it necessary to elevate it – the base was firm enough. Then he saw it, a red Benelli motorcycle, lying on its side a little ahead. Almost without thinking he left the track and walked towards where the bike was. He lifted the bike up with some effort, righted it and then checked for the key. Surprisingly the key was right there sitting snugly in its switch but in the ‘Off’ position.
Paul sat astride the bike and twisted the key to the “On” position, then he depressed the ignition switch and the engine kicked in, the rumble and vibration reassuring and comforting to him. Daniela had the same bike and she had let him ride it a few times and coincidentally it too had been red in colour! Ticking out the very thought that the bike might be hers, he revved the engine slid the gear into first and slipped the clutch. It was like being free and the sensation of the wind blowing into his face, blowing his hair out of shape created the sensation of flying – flying like a free spirit, without any care; he left behind the world to its own devices and leaned over the handlebars into the wind almost as if challenging it to bring its worst. There was no one left on the flat, it was just the wind, the bike and the wind all moving towards a specific destination, thump of the motor profound and purposeful, the man riding it, a maniac driving headlong towards the edge of the cliff whooping and calling out in glee! The cliff edge drew nearer and nearer, but he did not bother, (the rider of the motorcycle) perhaps he wanted to take things into his own hands cheat destiny or fate – be in control of his own life for once.
Then there was a pause, and everything seemed frozen in time – the bike and its rider leapt over the edge of cliff – seemed to rise a few feet in the air an impossible action, defying the laws of gravity! The man astride the bike whooped loudly driven headlong into the chasm. Paul looked down and there below he saw a huge expanse of greenery spread like a carpet. He was free flying at angle as if he could create a glide path to the town that awaited him far below. He knew that the flight would last a few seconds and then his life would be snuffed out, but then what did he care as long as he had a few seconds of ultimate adventure!
He hit the ground with a jolt and then woke up to see his wife, Daniela at the dressing table piling her hair into a bun!
“Hey, why did you not wake me up?” He asked her swinging over the bed towards her.
“Did not want to disturb you!” She answered through lips that were clasped over a few hairpins with which to fasten her hair.
He took one of the pins and slid it into her bun and wondered about the lecture he was to deliver on The Catastrophe Theory and Escapism. Well it was all there in the laptop. He made sure to add how parallel worlds could exist in an infinite possible ways just like the infinite images reflected in two mirrors facing each other!

Black Widow

A spider she certainly is not, but a woman with
A beauty that is deadly and enthralling, with
A sweet but deadly smile she’d entice; with
A web she’d trap a man to serve her needs!

So, after her man she convinced to kill and
Be killed, she escapes to a distant land
To bide her time in a lair dark dank and bland,
Nurturing her talons and deadly beauty.

For the right time does she wait, for the one
To serve her well, till then she waits, the lone
One that licks her wounds from the one
Battle that left so many dead and hurt!

Thus she rests quietly, waiting for the moment,
To emerge from her hiding place-a moment
When she will befriend her beau a gent
With brawn but no wit to kill and be killed.

The Black widow she is and she waits to strike
At the world with a venom of hatred so like
The acid that melts the flesh into butter, to strike
At innocent humanity with a logic so twisted!

The Black widow she is but a spider she is not!
A beautiful woman she is but with tenderness not,
With hauntingly beautiful eyes to tie the victim in a knot,
Her first victim has she killed the next awaits his lot!

Beware of the one with hauntingly beautiful eyes,
And a smile so sweet, for an innocent plastic
Does cover a soul so dark, a person that led
Her prince to kill the innocent and be killed!