|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|SETTING||Old Palace OR Bungalow|
|OBJECT||Any Jewellery – Necklace, Ring…|
|THEME||A Strange Day/Night|
The bungalow is very old, I observe. The architect had the foresight to build it strong, which is a relieving thought to me. The main door has weird carvings all over it, but the old man, -the caretaker- enters the room speedily, disappearing behind some door, and I don’t get to ask what they stand for.
I make my slow way to the living room, and notice two guns on the wall. The furniture is nothing extraordinary, large wooden armchairs, king sized beds, everything you’d find in such an old mansion.
Since I had found myself two hours ago being stared at by lots of weird looking villagers, as if I were an alien, I’ve been trying to make some sense of the mess I’m in. The village is Shyampur, somewhere in the mountains. They say that I had magically appeared near the abyss half a mile from the village. I know who I am, but how I got here is a blur. I suspect I was kidnapped or mistaken for someone else and then disposed off, but I can’t say for sure.
I’ve decided now, for the time being, to stay the night at the village, for it is winter. I’ll leave early along the path through the hills for the nearest village where, as these guys say, there’s a telephone. This bungalow I’ve been offered to stay the night at belonged to some Nawab, and now its ‘village property’ as they say.
Sunlight filters in the vast bedroom, waking me up. I sit up and stretch my hands, but they stop, a restraint pulling at them. Oh my god! I’m chained! I’m being held captive! But why? nothing makes sense. It’s all very confusing.
The old caretaker enters the room, along with three other old men, who eye me suspiciously, curiously, as if I were a pot they were purchasing or a horse they were betting upon! What the hell is happening here? I ask myself, but my subconscious shrugs shoulders, refusing an answer, sacred due to some reason.
“Let me go!” I shout, but they don’t pay any attention. They mutter something -their voices fainter than a whisper- privately and nod affirmatively.
One of the old men claps and two other men, relatively younger, enter the room carrying a wooden chest, glittering golden with all the golden colored metallic designs and carvings on it. Both of them place it on a table and leave. The old man starts reciting various mantras and hymns, shouting, calling to some god.
They open the box and pick out a ring from it. It looks heavy and large, with weird carvings and designs.
“The special ring.” the old man declares ominously.
Suddenly there’s an uproar. People are shouting. Its very loud, almost deafening, madness, as if the whole villagers are shouting and dancing, a weird circus. I’m stuck, speechless, shaken by the events of the last half an hour.
The old caretaker slips the hold ring on my middle finger and throws it on the floor.
“It was eighteen carats!” i want to shout, but I stop myself. Instead I ask him politely.
“What going on over here?” I am angry and sacred, but try my best to hide it.
“Nothing O lord of troubles. Nothing.” he replies calmly.
“Lord of what? What are you talking about, crazy man?” Instead my voice, due to some reason, sounds crazy. I realize I’m stammering and stop talking, trying to calm myself down.
“Yes O lord of Troubles! You are the Lord of troubles, the one whose dark aura hangs like an ugly black cloud on the prosperity of the village! You!” He points at me, sounding creepy, shouting, and shivers run down my spine.
“You’re mistaken! I’m no-” I start to appeal, to explain, but he interrupts.
“They told us you’d reject it first, that you’d try to trick us.!” His voice is becoming creepier. I wonder if he just has come out of a ghost movie!
“But-” I started, only to be cut off again.
“You!” he shouted, “Your death will bring prosperity to my village. Your alone will bring pain and happiness to this land of sorrow, your sorrow.
This is not happening. This is just a dream. I’m dreaming. I’m dreaming… I promised myself.
“The ring.” he said, “This is the same ring your father and his father word when they came here, years ago and cursed the village, my village.”
He was shouting, his old voice a little stammering but still menacing enough to scare the hell out of me.
“Somehow we couldn’t find you and your powers still harm us. But no more!”
It was terrifying to see such hatred directed towards me while not knowing what he was saying. I remain speechless, appalled.
With these words, he turns around and starts shouting the name of his god repeatedly. He claps again. The two younger men who’d arrived before enter the room again, walking a little stiffly, i observe, and carrying a sword.
It looks shorter than a sword but longer than a dagger, my mind notices, when he pulls it out of its sheath, all the time reciting weird mantras.
He starts again, the sword heavy in his fragile hands. “See this?” he asks, his eyes blazing.
I blink and maybe he takes it as a yes, for he continues. “This is the same sword we killed your father with. And the same with which you shall end.” He threatens, and his voice makes it simply believable.
He shout something again, louder this time, louder than before, a little different, and makes a run at me, the dagger or the sword, whatever, aimed at me, at my heart!
I wake, flinging myself up from my bed, panting, drenched in sweat, a little blurred, choking, trying to push air down my neck. Lots of Moments later, coming back to heavily breathing state, I thank God.
Phew! I let out an audible sigh. It was a dream! A stupid nightmare. Suddenly I feel something. I dark my hand to my right and switch the bedside lamp on, and look at my hand.
The golden ring, with its designs and weird inscriptions, still rests heavily on my finger!!!