Monthly Archives: December 2009

Seven Sins Stories – Sloth – “Peace, perfect peace, loved ones, far away!”

He glanced upwards and scrutinized his visage in the bathroom mirror – dense stubble grew on his cheeks and dark circles enveloped his weary hazel eyes. It was a stirring sight: a sight that clearly exhibited that despite the fact he did not work, he was tired, that despite the fact he had all the time in the world, he didn’t shave.

He was a slothful man – a man who had learned to enjoy material comforts, obtained without working his ass off from 9 to 6. His father was a rich man, a very wealthy man indeed – so what was the need for him to work? Having all those girds of fresh money at his disposal, coupled with a Porsche and an opulent apartment in Central Park Avenue, it was almost mandatory for him to be apathetic. However, his sluggishness was unique – he was a lazy bum of highest degree. He was so slothful that he had to muster all his will power to just drag himself for a leak.

He chuckled slightly, his double-chin rolling as he did so – somehow, his laziness had always amused him, it being almost hilarious to see that he was the lone, indolent son of his hard-working, punctilious father.

Alan slouched out of the bathroom and threw himself on his plush bed. The room showed the signs of slothfulness – as sleek gadgets were crammed on a small table, stale food was strewn on a larger table and the entire furnishings of the room were helter-skelter.

Alan nicely coordinated with the disheveled room.

A few moments had passed, when the snores of the man echoed through the room.

———#———–#——–

“Are you sure you’re okay?” he muttered anxiously.

“I’m okay. Don’t worry, Kevin!” Alan said to his friend, who often joined him at the apartment.

“You don’t seem so. You have vomited thrice since I arrived here!”

“Its just indigestion – you know how much I love food. It must be the Chinese I ate for lunch – I know I shouldn’t have trusted to have it delivered from the Hung-Lao Restaurant that has recently opened in downtown. It’s my fault! So I would bear its consequences now too!” Alan sighed, regret patent in his voice, as he gulped some aspirins to dull the headache that had risen in his head.

“You know, aspirins can be pretty harmful!” Kevin informed his sluggish friend – he was rapidly gaining weight and Kevin was worried about his friend’s health.

Alan merely waved his hand in dismissal.

His friend tutted and shook his head.

He was never going to understand.

——–#———–#——-

Alan groaned as a pain shot across his stomach – it seemed as if his bowels were being wrenched. He had never thought the indigestion would give him so much trouble. Funny enough, the pain was quenched whenever he ate something.

Upon finding a remedy to the pain, he was swollen with pride or more exact to say swollen with the fat that had accumulated in his body due to the fervent over-eating.

He had abstained to tell his friend about the pain because he knew Kevin would fuss and force him to see a doctor. But he would be too slothful to visit the doctor and would keep on postponing the appointment – he and Kevin would have a huge argument and he would win. He didn’t need doctors for a pain for which he had already devised a remedy. So you better stay shush about the pain when Kevin is around, Alan thought ruefully.

He groaned again as another shot of pain bolted through his bowels.

“What now!? I just fed you some lasagna didn’t I!?” he shouted in the direction of his stomach.

With fumbling hands he reached out for the aspirin bottle and swallowed a few tablets.

He had read somewhere that they provided relief.

——–#———–#——–

“Why didn’t you tell me before!?” hollered Kevin, as he looked, horrified, at his friend who was sprawled on his bed, clutching his stomach. He had come over for a chat – and had been shocked to see Alan in such a condition.

“Get me something to eat!” his friend moaned.

His eyes wide open, Kevin grabbed a handful of chocolate cookies stuck in the snarl that coated the table and handed them over to Alan, who immediately started gobbling them, eating as fast as he could – crumbles of cookies coating his wrinkled shirt.

Kevin perched on the bed by his friend but withdrew to the edge of bed, with a revolted look on his face.

“God, Alan you’re practically stinking! When did you last take a bath?”

Alan, who had been devouring the cookies, paused a minute to reflect.

“Uh – maybe a month or so!” he returned and began eating again – the frantic eating was doing its magic: the pain was subsiding.

Kevin shook his head.

“C’mon, Alan you can’t be that lazy to not even wash! You smell like shit, man, seriously!”

“I know. I know,” was the uninterested reply.

“You’re going to bath. And you’re going to see a doctor now. Stop being lazy for once!”

“I’m alright! See the pain is gone. I just have to eat and bam! It’s gone!”

“Oh no, I’m not about to believe that. Since when did it start paining?” Kevin inquired.

“Uh, five months.”

Kevin shook his head again and standing up from bed, asked,” Where is the phone?”

“Must be somewhere around,” Alan said, amid a yawn.

Kevin rummaged through the mess littered around the room and finally extracted the phone from the back of the couch with difficulty.

Punching some numbers, he raised the phone to his ear.

“Hey, who are you callin’?” Alan inquired suspiciously.

Kevin ignored him and continued to talk on the phone.

“Yes, yes, he would be there. 11 am, right? Okay I would see that he reaches on time. Thank you very much,” Kevin conversed and after saying thank you, disconnected the call.

“What was that all about?” Alan probed – instinct told him that his friend had just set him up for an appointment with some nosy doctor.

“Tomorrow, 11 am you have an appointment with Dr. Burleson, pioneering gastroenterologist, practicing in 31st Bellevue Street —“he raised a hand to silent Alan who had his mouth open to protest,” No you’re not dying because of your laziness, you get me? I will not let you kill yourself. Don’t even speak a word of protest!” Kevin said firmly as he glared at Alan.

Alan pulled a long face and mumbling,” It’s just damn indigestion … “slumped back on the bed.

Kevin eyed his friend with worry.

———#———#———

The alarm clock started bleeping on 10 am.

Mumbling, in half-sleep, Alan stretched his arm and closed the darned alarm clock that had disturbed him.

Not surprisingly, he missed his appointment – due to his own laziness.

——–#———-#———-

“Oh my God! Oh my God!” Alan stared in horror at the blood that he had just vomited.

Panicked, Alan stumbled out of the bathroom and groping the walls for support, reached out for the phone that lay on the cluttered table.

His face drained of all color, he dialed Kevin’s number.

———#———#——-

“So you take aspirin or any other analgesics on regular basis?” the staid doctor asked, as he gazed serenely over his glasses at the young man that sat before him.

Alan nodded – he had not yet been able to forgo the image of blood that he had puked out.

“Hmm. Do you regularly intake spicy or piquant food?” Dr Burleson queried.

“Yes. I love spicy food,” Alan gravely replied.

“I see.”

The doctor contemplated for a few seconds and uttered solemnly,” Since six months, you’ve been experiencing nausea and pain in stomach but you refused any medical care and continued to implement your own remedy of eating as much food as possible. And now when you discovered blood in your vomit, you come to me. Am I correct about these facts, Mr. Gravelle?”

Alan nodded meekly.

“I had a look on these test reports and I have every reason to believe that six months back you had developed a condition called Peptic Ulcer due to excessive intake of ANSAIDs and spicy food, which then upon your negligence and refusal to entertain any medical help, culminated into stomach cancer, and hence, the blood in your vomit,” the doctor pronounced, sifting through the reports – his eyes though attuned to the reception he generally received when he pronounced that the patient had cancer, did not in any way curbed or lessened the pain he felt in delivering the ill-fated news.

As the crushing news poured on his shoulders, Alan sagged and aghast placed his head on the table. It was devastating to know – that he had brought this on himself. He had been lazy. He had been slothful. He had neglected to visit the doctor altogether. He had lied to Kevin that he had himself checked – but he had overslept and had neither gone for the appointment nor rescheduled it.

This was karma. And he had called it upon himself.

He raised his head and biting his quivering lips, he asked the question whose answer yet held some hope for him.

“Is there any treatment?”

He might live through this predicament. He might survive this cancer.

“I’m very sorry to say, Mr. Gravelle but you have reached the terminal stage of gastric carcinoma. Chemotherapy will prove to be ineffective, since the cancer has spread throughout the stomach. We can however, have you to undergo a procedure, total Gastrectomy – by which your stomach shall be removed and esophagus will be connected directly to intestines. But this procedure has very low success rate, and even if it has been successfully performed, it has extremely low survival rate,” Dr Burleson returned soberly.

A tear rolled down Alan’s cheek as he heard doctor’s shattering words.

There was very little hope.

——–#———#———

It was a small piece in New York Times obituary section named as “Peace, Perfect Peace, and Loved Ones far away!” —

“Alan Gravelle, son of Gravelle Mereborn, passed away on 23rd November 2009. His funeral shall be conducted at Averred Parlor at 8:00 pm on 24th November and he shall be buried in the adjoining cemetery. All friends and family are invited to pay their last respects.”

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Is blood the destiny of my Nation?

My heart is ripped in two

As I see those who mourn for the martyrs

Get martyred.

My soul is shattered to smithereens

As I see the mutilated parts of those

Who didn’t waver once in their march

And strode on – with no hint of fear in their hearts!

Never did the flag they carried dithered,

Never once their courage was daunted.

And they walked on ahead –

Angry, and burning with anguish

They fed flames in their path –

But why blame them?

They are the victims

They are the inflicted.

And I

Enraged at this carnage

Ask myself a question

Is blood the destiny of my nation?

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The Days of Terror – Part 1

27th December 2007 – was a date that changed history. Had the event  – the fatal event – that took place on this dark day not happened, the political scenario of Pakistan would have been quite different from what it is now. But it did happen – and changed the course of history.

On this day – the former Prime Minister of Pakistan and an internationally acclaimed leader, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated after she had conducted a pre-election rally. But her assassination was not taken quietly. Protesters overran the streets and riots swelled through-out the nation. Though, eventually the riots were brought under control – their effects yet lingered and still linger.

I remember vividly the events that occurred in my life in congruence with the Assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Below is an account of what I experienced during those days of terror  —

6:30 – 9:30 pm, 27th December ’07.

I was indulged in a discussion with my family, when a horn beeped – it was Baba who had just returned from work. I ran to open the gate and when the gate was wide open – Baba remembered that he had to order the window frames for our new house and due to work, he had completely forgotten about them.

Baba edged out of the garage again and set out for the iron works showroom situated at the mouth of the colony.

I closed the gates and once again reabsorbed into discussion with my sisters.

It had only been minutes, when horn once again beeped outside. I assumed that the showroom was closed so Baba had returned, as I opened the gate.

As soon as Baba had parked neatly, he clambered out of the car and rushed into the house. He grabbed the remote and opened the television.

Ami inquired,” Maasat {that’s what my mother and father call one another, it means “cousin” in Sindhi}, was the showroom closed?”

Baba gravely replied, flicking through the channels,” The showroom owner was saying that Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated at some rally … and I should return to home as riots are sure to happen. And so I sped back home!”

He finally stopped at Dawn News.

And there was the dreaded news.

“Benazir Bhutto Assassinated” — the blood red headline screamed and I could feel the despair that spread into the atmosphere of the room. The despair clung to my heart firmly and hopeless, my heart sinking, I watched the news as slowly details were being evinced and a sickening surge rose inside me with every new headline.

It was a moment that I would never forget – and also the feelings that had arisen with it. Despondency had blended with grief to create a sundried emotion – an emotion that ached, that stung, that throbbed. But above all, I was stunned. I had watched her just a day back in a press conference on television! She couldn’t be dead now. She was to contest the elections. She was to live. She was the hope of my people.

It was a devastating moment – a moment that had invoked every emotion – rage, grief, disbelief and anguish within me.

I was shaken out of my ponderings when the door bell rang. I asked who it was and it turned out to be my cousin. I hurried to open the door. Baba accompanied me.

My house is located at the end of colony – so it is a kind of sanctuary as it is far from the main road – where my shaken cousin reported riots had already started and recounted that some of the hedonistic men had ambushed him on his way back home with sticks at the Nasim Nagar Chowk. He had with very much difficulty swerved through the men, and thus escaping, plunged straight into the colony and stopped only when he had reached the relative safety of our house.

We were talking with cousin, when another man in a Mehran screeched to halt besides us and climbed out of it. The car’s back screen was shattered to pieces – the man was traumatized and he was bound to be traumatized as his life had been in danger and he had narrowly managed to escape it: the riots or the anguished men being not the cause of shock but the fact that he could’ve died there at the hands of the debauched was mortifying.

Baba asked me to bring a glass of water for him.

With fumbling hands, the man drank water and uttered a few quivering words as answers to my father and cousin’s inquiries. After drinking water, the man went into a reverie and weighing his options, headed over for his car despite Baba’s protestations that he should better stay – but the man was too shocked and too anxious to return back to the safety of his own home. He sped out of the colony.

I never got to know what happened to him.

But by then, a new problem had sprung up. My cousin’s house is located in the beginning of the colony and since they had two cars, they parked one outside and the other inside in the garage. Since their house was in close proximity to the main road, parking the car outside would have culminated into a catastrophe as the riotous crowds were on move – and if they would’ve spotted the car, they would’ve smashed it into smithereens. So we were thinking as to where cousin should park the car, when Baba was struck with an idea.

He rang the bell of our neighbors’ house who was more like our family friends – their garage was empty since they didn’t own a car. Our neighbor gladly acceded to Baba’s request and cousin parked the car inside safely. Cousin was satisfied, and after having tea at our place, trudged back to return home.

Meanwhile, we were all glued to television as news about riots in various cities of Sindh broke in – the atmosphere of the lounge was tangible and disbelieving. It all seemed so ethereal – unrealistic to the extremes.

But one thing we understood that worst riots were to take place in Qasimabad, the area in which we lived, since it was a staunch-Sindhi area.

And we all knew that more bad was to happen.

This was just the teaser.

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Fortune for Death

Hira walked slowly towards the tattered orange pavilion in the end of the carnival. It was neither gaudily decorated nor flamboyantly lighted – but rather the torn exterior of the tent gave Hira the creeps and she folded her arms in a protective embrace.

But she was curious. The board outside the tent eerily proclaimed it to be “Fortune for Death.

Fortune for death? – She chuckled to herself. Let’s see how fraudulent these guys turn out to be, she thought sneeringly.

Her arms wrapped around herself, she approached the tent and pulling aside the flap, walked into the pavilion.

It was odd. It was nothing stereotype – no orbs hanging from the roof, no sinister draping on the walls and no wizened old lady clasping a crystal ball wheezing,” Come, young lady, let’s peer into your future!”. The walls were black – and a pungent smell was dominant in the tent. The floor was covered with a bedraggled carpet and the roof was dark, impermeable. The entire interior held an uncanny feeling about it – as if something about it was not right, as if something lurked in the shadows of its interiors.

Hira didn’t panic. She was sure that the tent was meant to be like that – all spooky and mysterious. But she wasn’t about to fall in their attempt to scare her off! She would wait for the proprietor and see what mysterious ruse he would employ to tell her the future.

Suddenly, she heard footsteps from behind; she jerked out of her contemplations and slowly turned back – her eyes fearful, but when she saw who it was, she breathed a sigh of relief.

It was the proprietor. He donned lurid red pantaloons and a bright yellow shirt. The brightness of his presence dispelled all her fears – she was just being stupid, she decided as she glanced at the proprietor. She sniggered at the thought that this man would be telling her future – he was more befitted to perform in the ring.

“Welcome to Fortune for Death. I’m the proprietor of this pavilion,” his voice echoed in the dark tent,” My name is Isaac.”

He smiled. It was a wide toothless grin – and the grin coupled with his white fluffy hair and wrinkled skin made him look like a very amiable clown.

Hira smiled back. “My name is Hira and I would like you to tell me “my fortune for death!”

The clown swung his head to one side and laughed a rambunctious guffaw.

“So curiosity did kill the cat, eh?”

She was a bit taken back at his choice of phrase, but continued to smile.

“Hmm. So we would have to get back to work, don’t we?” He sighed.

“Ah,  let’s see you can sit here, young lady,” Isaac proffered a dusty seat to Hira and then clambered on a wheeled chair and rolled himself towards her – all the time, beaming eerily.

“Um … How much would it cost me?” Hira asked as the man closed towards her.

“100 Rs, young lady.”

Hira pulled out a hundred-rupee note and handing it over to the clown began to wait for him to do some hocus pocus or some other weird antic and – tell her the future.

The clown stashed the note in one of his many pockets and then fiddling about one of his pockets, took out an elaborate pack of tarot cards.

Ahan, so he’s going to tell me future with the help of cards. Interesting … Hira thought.

“Pick one, lady,” the clown said, as he rapidly shuffled the cards and fanned them open.

Hira tapped her finger on one card – which the clown pulled out and closed the cards once again.

He lifted the card to his left eye, such that its elaborate cover now faced Hira. Hira watched, amazed by his course of action.

His right eye momentarily twinkled. Hira frowned.

“You’ve chosen a card of Past,” Isaac said, and then turned the card which exhibited a black crow,” As you can perceive, it’s a Black Crow or Hypograyes – the avatar of misfortune. I presume you’ve once in your past undergone an accident that changed your life entirely?”

Hira was shocked. How could he know?

She stammered a shaky yes.

The clown smiled serenely – it was an anomalous smile, a smile of secrecy.

The clown again shuffled the cards and released them into a fan.

He repeated,” Pick one, lady.”

Hira hesitantly pointed to one card, which the clown yanked out and closed the remaining cards.

He reiterated what he had done before – raising the card to his left eye, pausing for a few moments, the perfunctory gleaming of his right eye and then lowering it down to reveal a – a venomous green serpent.

The clown chuckled softly.

“The card you chose now was the card of Present. It is the Serpentine or the Deceptive one. Were you not thinking, just moments back when you came into my enterprise, that it’s dark, ominous setup were only meant to spook you out?”

Hira was flabbergasted. How did this weird, freaky guy figure out what she was thinking even before he entered the tent?

“How did you g-get to know?” Hira stuttered; her eyes wide open in shock.

The clown swayed his head from side to side and smiled jarringly.

“You’re certainly the bravest person who has entered this enterprise!”

He said and lapsed into quiet chuckles – his chuckles mocking. Hira watched him warily.

He soon stopped chortling and once again pulled open the cards, reiterating for the third time,” Pick one, dear lady.”

Her finger trembling, she fingered one card – which the clown tweaked out and repeated the process that he had already done two times.

He flipped the card to show it to Hira.

It was totally black – nothing was inscribed or engraved on it. It was nothing.

Her mouth dry, Hira asked in a quivering voice,” W-what is t-t-this supposed to mean?”

The clown smiled broadly. It was a gut-loosening smile – slick with menace and lustrous with malevolence.

“The card you chose now was the card of Future. You chose Oblivion or the Apocalypse – the divine retribution.”

“Divine retribution?” Hilary shakily asked.

The clown laughed loudly. He didn’t stifle his laugh as he had done before – he did not fear now that he might make a lot of noise.

“Retribution for the sins that you would commit in the future – the reprisal of the Providence,” the clown breathed: he drew closer to Hira, who shrank back in fear.

“B-b-but why should I b-be p-p-punished for the sins I haven’t committed as yet?” Hira faltered in her speech, she was woebegone in fear.

“But you would be a sinner, young lady. You’re not a prophet that you would be absolved of all sin. No! You would sin and all sinners must die!” fervor had lodged in the eyes of the clown – he now resembled a vengeful disciple, a zealous partisan: a person who can kill for his beliefs without any scruples, a person whose destiny was swathed with blood.

Hira couldn’t speak – she was experiencing rigor mortis. Her arms and legs were stricken: she couldn’t move, she couldn’t scream for help. She kept cursing herself for entering the darned tent in the first place – if she wouldn’t have entered it, she wouldn’t be encountering this fanatic clown.

The clown kept staring at her with his paranoid eyes while he rummaged in his pockets.

“Ahan!” he shouted in glee – he had found what he had been looking for.

Hira cowered in fear.

He pulled out a sharp dagger. It had a disquieting blade that gleamed with menace – its iniquitous gleam poised to kill.

He brought it closer to Hira’s face and smiled wickedly – Hira whimpered and a tear rolled down her cheek.

She cried out,” P-p-please l-l-eave me! P-please d-d-don’t kill m-m-me! I beg of y-you! Please don’t k-kill me!”

The clown laughed raucously and clapped his hands in glee.

“Not kill you and let you go? Why else do you think this venture is called “Fortune for death?!” the clown gnashed his teeth and brought the blade almost an inch away from her cheek.

Hira sobbed,” P-please have m-m-mercy! Pl-lease leave me! Have m-mercy!”

“DON’T CRY!” he shouted savagely and stroke her cheek with its sharp edge – blood trickled down and dripped down her neck.

Hira’s eyes widened in horror and gulped as she eyed the blade fearfully: all the time trying to impede her tears that flowed down her cheek and amalgamated with the blood. Transparence effused with red.

Her eyes pleading and brimful of tears, she cried,” P-please don’t kill me. P-ll-ease!”

The clown stared at her sternly through his obsessed eyes, the dagger still raised.

Moments passed in trepidation.

Then, suddenly clown’s face relaxed and he started laughing uncontrollably; it seemed as if he was undergoing a fit of laughter – he clutched his corpulent stomach as raucous laughter issued from his mouth.

Hira looked at the clown in disbelief.

“Was this all a joke?” she asked incredulously.

The clown amid laughter cried out,” Of course! Why would I want to kill you?”

“All that you-would-sin-in-future was nothing but a hoax?” Hira asked and when the clown nodded, with tears of laughter in his eyes, she shouted indignantly,” You are raving mad! You cut me, you old geezer so that you could have a laugh! Here I had been thinking you would murder me!”

“I wouldn’t kill you, see,” the clown had stopped laughing, though his eyes twinkled.

Again his choice of words made her shiver.

“What do you mean?” Hira asked, panicking again as she stood up from the dusty seat.

“What would I mean except that I won’t be the one killing you!” the clown returned, a nasty smile played on his curled lips.

The clown rolled his seat backward and something leaped from the shadows – the presence of something that had instilled fear in her heart when she had entered the tent bounded towards her.

Hira throat choked, wound up in panic. Her eyes gaped at the thing that hurdled towards her, growling terrifyingly – its looming eyes glinting in the gloom of the tent. Whatever it was – she could feel its hunger for blood, its desire for her flesh.

It was almost on her – she could smell its reek.

Adrenaline pumped into her body at the moment – and she regained movement in her muscles. She made way for the opening of the tent.

She could yet escape. She could yet live. She thought desperately.

She heard the snarl of the beast as she eluded its grasp and bee-lined for the exit. She ran towards the flap.

She was about to reach out to her freedom when somebody blocked her way.

It was Isaac.

“You chose to come here yourself, lady. Its fortune for death!” he pulled out her hundred-rupee note and threw it on her face.

“Get out my wa —-“

Her sentence was left in mid-air – warm, saliva-coated fangs had sunk into her flesh.

She let out an indefinite croak and faltering, swooned on the floor.

Silence reigned in the room as Isaac watched the beast devour his customer.

He hummed “Fortune for death!” under his breath, not wanting to disturb the beast.

———-#————-#———

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Thesis

Following is the comparative account of a writing, rewritten three
times, in four grades :p They amused me so here they are —

8th Grade —

It was a glorious day. Sun shone brightly and light breeze blew. Wispy clouds could be seen on the sky as the gulls swerved and flew amongst these clouds. The waters of the Thesis glittered as Sun’s scorching rays fell on the Thesis. The majestic river flowed slowly as though it had become lazy because of Sun’s warm rays. It cut its way across Dharoab Mountains, towards Carminha. Small fishes could be seen swimming across Thesis’ lazy waters. Its banks were covered with palm trees which were inhabited by the native monkeys. Sunflowers grew abundantly on the rivers banks and their daintly petals went with the river to Carminha. This river had seen bloodshed and events but as it flowed across the Bastion of St. Aldain it waters too went still as though of fear. As it passed the residence of King Aldain, it could see its mighty walls and towering windows. It crept slowly until it reached —-



9th Grade —

The majestic river floated along the Dharoab Plateau. Its course
slanted from the Dharoab range and ended at the Bay of Cafu. Along its course, it sometimes became fast and sometimes slow, sometimes it became shallow and other time deep. Rocks bedded the river and shells could be seen on the river bed. It passed great fields and mighty mountains but still there was no one able to stop the mighty river. It flowed along crossing every obstacle that came in its way. This river had seen great wars and gay festivals. It had seen brother killing his own brother, the difference between rich and poor and the discrimination amongst the people. It had seen bloodshed, sacrifices of animals, the ways which superiors treated their inferiors. It had seen huge fortresses and bastions, grand churches, magnificent palaces, —–

10th Grade —

As the majestic river flowed through its slanting course, rocks
crumbled from the overgrown banks of the Thesis. Thesis, the River of Majesty had been flowing for more than thousand years, the soul of land; without its pure waters, the living beings scattered about its course, would have long perished. Yet it still flowed, teeming with freshwater salmon. Thick, outgrown palm trees grew at its banks, housing the native monkeys which had inhabited the banks of the Thesis since it began to flow. As the great river crept past by, varied landscapes surrounded its course through the Dharoab Plateau. The fronds of huge ferns and brittle long grass could be seen growing in the Forest of Aldittles —-

11th Grade —

It was a bright morning. Clouds had gathered in the sky. Sun had
brightened up the atmosphere. Flowers had bloomed and everything was refulgent with the purity of spring. Thesis flowed without any obstacle in its course. It banks were liberally coated with palm trees. These trees were long inhabited by the large orangutans, known as “Ootangs” in the region of Axminisia —-

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Seven Sins Stories – Lust – “Don’t go anywhere, please”

The blue pharmaceutical clock ticked twelve and Evan jerked awake.

The seven year old boy had sprawled on the couch; waiting for his parents to return and in waiting, had fallen asleep on the mauve velvet couch. The television was switched open on cartoon network and jingles were echoing across the corners of the room.

The echoes were mortifying to the little boy, and he soon succumbed into sobs.

It was always the same. He would wait. And wait. And they would not return.

Next day, they would promise that they would come back soon. And he would wait yet again. And wait more again. But they wouldn’t come.

Next day, they would bring him a present to mollify him. And they would promise again that they would return soon and spend some quality time with him. And gullible as he was, he would wait again. And wait more. He would sleep on the couch again. But they wouldn’t come back.

Next day, they would try to appease him by doting on him and would present him with a pack of chocolate. He would be very stubborn but then they would persist and he would take the chocolate. He would gobble the chocolate and hear them instructing the servants that they were going out for shooting again. And that they might be late. And he would wait. And wait till his back would hurt by crouching on the couch and his feet would get sore by pacing up and down. But they wouldn’t come and kiss him good night for once.

Next day, they would be off to a tour. No goodbyes this time. No promises this time. No barking instructions to the servants this time. No satiating him with rich presents this time. They would just make a call in mid day, informing that they were off to yet some other place in abroad for shooting and they might be there for a week and that he shouldn’t worry – the servants would fully take care of him. Click! and the call would end. And he would begin to wait again for the next call.

But no call would come. And he would be let-down.

They would return after a week, all peaked up and flushed in pleasure – they would have had spent a wonderful week in La-La Land or something – and as per usual they would not care as to how insipid, how sad the week of their son had passed.

But they would have brought some souvenirs to gladden his heart and he would be happy. For a while, that is: until they would yet again bundle into a car and leave. Making promises that he knew they wouldn’t fulfill, barking instructions to the servants in case they get late which he knew well they would, and already making up their minds to get him something good in the morning.

And then the monotony would recommence.

He would wait yet again to get disappointed yet again.

———–#———–#————

The green French vintage clock struck twelve and Evan’s eyes had no hint of sleep.

He was eight years old. And he was yet waiting.

He wouldn’t now sleep on the couch as he used to. He would instead clamber out of it, drag himself to his sumptuous bed and lie down. He would be much dejected and very much alone. He would bite his lips off as he would prevent himself from crying. But he would be futile. Tears would trickle down his cheeks and he would cry his heart out.

His cries would echo in the solitary room and he would be mortified once again. He would whimper. And he would cry more.

He would then brush his skinny hand across his eyes to quench the tears and would continue to gasp for air.

Once his breathing would stabilize, he would begin to conspire: as to how he could stop them from leaving him all alone, for making him wait for such long periods of time.

He would think of ingenuous plans which would force them to stay at home.

He would slice his hand on a jagged knife and blood would pour out. They would get frantic and would stay by him all day: only to leave at night, firing a few servants and instructing others in the course.

He would fall off the stairs and break his leg. They would be frenzied and would remain by his side all day and all night: only to leave next day abroad for a shooting, entrusting him once again to the care of a team of doctors.

And he would wait yet again to be disappointed yet again.

———–#————–#———–

The mahogany Grandfather clock chimed one and Evan slid across the shadows that enshrouded his room into the luxuriously carpeted hall way.

The nine year old boy crept towards the kitchen, and barefooted, treaded slowly in the blinding darkness through the hallway.

He slinked into the kitchen and standing on his tiptoes, rummaged through the drawers until his hands closed on the thing he wanted. He pulled it out and in the moonlight creeping from the pantry window, metal gleamed momentarily.

Clutching the thing tightly, he walked out of the kitchen and headed towards his parents’ room.

He stopped at their room and took a deep breath. He was not hesitant and slowly opened the door of his parents’ room.

The door creaked slightly and he held his breath. But his parents’ didn’t stir. They had been lulled into deep sleep by exhaustion.

Temptation reigned strong in his blood and desire for love had galvanized the very cells of his body, as he walked towards the master bed. The yearning for parental love had made him pull out the most extraordinary ways to draw his parents’ attention – but the craving had now culminated into something more intense, something more sinister. Neglect had cloaked his heart in darkness – and his innocence had become bait to evil. Not that he was sullied in anyway: but he had opened his chest to the most odious schemes to make his parents stay at home.

He was deluded in his thirst for love, his psyche only motivated to achieve what he desired. Love had churned such a lust in his body that his mind now only registered plans to keep his parents at home. Lust it was, as it preyed on his gullibility and butchered whatever remaining innocence he had left in his chaste soul and had stimulated a storm that induced in him the fervor to execute the plan which would gain him his long-yearned desire of love.

Evan slowly ambled towards the master bed, on which his parents slumbered, blissfully unaware of his presence. He reached the foot of the bed and slowly climbed onto the bed into the space ensconced between his parents. His mother groaned softly in her sleep, as the mattress sunk down with his weight.

His eyes glinted in the moonlight-lit room. He had virtually halted breathing, until his mother after shuffling for a bit, settled once again into heavy sleep.

Evan let go of his breath and pursed his lips determinedly.

He raised the sharp knife that he clasped in his hands, which gleamed ominously as it reflected a moon-beam – it emitted a malevolent aura.

Lust had completely consumed Evan’s soul – and with its prompting, he crashed the knife he held into flesh and blood splattered on the rich matte walls of the room.

Blood-curdling screams echoed through the regal mansion.

———-#———–#———

“How ironical that Nathan and Susan Blake who had announced last night at the Oscars, that they would now only undertake one project a year so that they could properly care for their child are dead – the very same child slaughtering them!” the newscaster solemnly commented.

His partner nodded gravely and remarked,” Ironical indeed, what you say, Leighton. Police reports also say that the child was found to be continuously repeating– “You won’t go anywhere now. You won’t leave me again now!” as he kept stabbing his parents with a long knife. Police believes the child to be mentally off-balanced.”

Leighton shook his head slowly – to express his misery and disbelief at the fatal event that had occurred.

To kill to prevent his parents from leaving him alone, amazed Leighton very much.

He now understood – why lust was one of the deadly sins.

It was deadly in love.

And in neglect.

———-#———–#———-

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