The air directly hit his face, dragging with it the untrimmed strands of hair and his bushy beard. His lips were dry, a few fresh cuts let out sour blood on the tip of his tongue.
‘What a day.‘ He let out a deep sigh, his words lost in the nothingness of the night. Taking a look inside the train’s car, he noticed he was alone except for a homeless man and a child sleeping on the floor.
‘At least he has someone to care for.‘ He pitied himself, looking at the two men with eyes full of grief. His mind travelled back to the night when the earthquake annihilated his home, along with his entire family. How he survived in the mess, is still a miracle.
That was 3 years ago, he has reached far from that now. Or so he likes to think so.
His family didn’t haunt him anymore, they’re nothing more than a bad dream. A bad dream that he’s reminded of when his days are sad, which is everyday.
After the disaster, he lived in an orphanage only to be sent in the home for “Special youth”, but he knew he wasn’t special. He was diseased.
Diseased with the tumor of his spiritual family. He talked to them, he listened to them blaming him for not accompanying them in the afterlife.
They would never stop.
Not when he was alone and never when he was being checked by the doctors. Nobody knew why he behaved so out of the norms, nobody gave it a try.
But, oh, she did. That was the reason why he sneaked out so late. She was coming to meet him.
She always talked to him through telepathy, kept him sane when his family scared the life out of him. Yet he never saw her. Not that it was necessary, for he knew tonight he’ll recognize her the moment he sees her.
And so he does, she’s right in front of his train’s door. He walks up to talk to her but she glides away from him.
“Nexa, wait!” He shouts her name, but she doesn’t stop. ‘Nobody loves a man who can’t care for his family.‘ It was his mother’s voice. ‘You let us die.’ His sister scratched her nails in the metal wall.
“Stop!” He screamed and saw Nexa’s aura alluring him. ‘I’m coming, dear.’ He said and jumped out of the door to touch her.
The moment he did, a layer of white silk gulped him in. There were no more screeching nails, nobody to blame but only Nexa’s lullaby and a cradle with peaceful sleep.
“I see a cave there!” Aaron points towards a tiny opening, towards the right of their path. Asher, in the form of yak, takes a right and stops a few meters before the cave and turns back into his human form.
“We need to stop the war. Make peace. It isn’t possible if I speak to him. Only you can do it, brother. Though I haven’t spent much time with you or been with you throughout your life, at least I know that you are capable. Capable of making our people forgive our father and help him make sense.”
“Can I make that change, all by myself?”
“You can do wonders, brother. All the best.” Asher turns into a bat and rests on a nearby tree. With shaky legs and heavy breath, Aaron steps toward the cave.
“Hello?” His voice echoes in the darkness.
“Hello? Is anybody there?”
He hears a man coughing.
“Come. Come, Aaron.” The voice says pausing to cough. “I thought you wouldn’t find me at all. Guess my son reached you before my minions did.” He gives a hollow laugh.
“Oh yes, those 3 little ogres that scared your friends. I’m sorry they had to die, they weren’t even suppose to enter our world.” The cold words that fall on Aaron’s ears send a chill down his spine. It’s the feeling of hate that overshadows fear for this man. A murderer of my friends. He can feel his cheeks redden and his fists tighten. I’m their last hope. Aaron reminds himself and decides to let it go, for now.
“That is done now, let’s not bring up what we can’t change.” Aaron’s surprised to see how quick his father’s statement changed, it is as if he knows what is going in Aaron’s mind.
“Do you remember me, son?” Aaron hears footsteps.
“No, I don’t. But I know you now.” Aaron’s words are bitter, he cannot stand calling that person his father. The footsteps sound closer and as his father reaches near him, Aaron can see him. And when he does, his heart skips a beat.
The person in front of him is a dying man, one who can’t even walk straight. Aaron takes an involuntary step backwards, wondering how can a man like his father hold so much power. His father’s wrinkled face is covered with a crooked smile. Dressed in ragged clothes covering his skinny torso, his father walks closer to him.
“I’ve missed you so, so much, Aaron.” His father’s voice isn’t hollow anymore, it’s filled with hurt and love towards Aaron. It’s hard to believe that his father can be the cause of such chaos.
“I wish I could say the same.” Aaron lowers his eyes.
“Do you—? Are—? What did they tell you about me?” He can sense the amount of sadness laced in his father’s voice. “Why are you so far away, son? Come to me, let me touch you.” Aaron’s heart cannot resist the desperation in his father’s tone. Without any second thoughts he leaps towards his father. Before all this happened, even Aaron wished to meet his father some day.
He doesn’t hold back tears when he is wrapped in an awkward hug from his father. Aaron can feel the wrinkled skin of his father, holding loosely onto his brittle bones. Then he reminds what his father has done.
“Did my son or my wife treat you right?” The concern makes Aaron doubt the honesty of his father.
“Why would they not treat me right? They treated me like their family member. And you’re doing the same. What made you leave your family? It was because you, that I had to be sent to live with humans. Why, father? I want all the answers.” Aaron is screaming.
“Oh, my boy. I’ll tell you everything. Sit.” The dying man leads Aaron’s way to a raised stone platform.
“They wouldn’t treat you right if they knew the truth about you.” Aaron is about to raise his voice again since he cannot stand being pitied but his father continues, “You wouldn’t want to be with them either. If you knew the truth.”
“What truth?” Aaron asks, irritated.
“When you were 6, we discovered a hybrid child amongst —”
“Amongst us. And I know what happened back then.”
“Ah, don’t you? That they found out about a hybrid kid and thus your mother sent you away? My child, the truth isn’t something any of them can handle.” His father shakes his head in despair.
“You are the hybrid child, son. My wife knew that but if she told anyone else, she might had to face the king’s judgement. And thus she took you in until the news came up. She only cared about her family and keeping it together, thus she sent you where you belonged. To your mother. A human. Unfortunately, your mother was killed in a car accident the night she found you at her home. Only I know that the accident wasn’t an accident, King Gerrard gave the orders to execute her.
He was the reason an innocent life was lost. I disclosed his truth to my brethren, they trusted me. But it wasn’t enough to prove his truth to our kingdom. He exploited his power and declared war against us. A lot of my brothers and sisters were killed, so I decided to do it all alone. I brought together these creatures and with their help defeated Gerrard. By now, there were many rumors about me. My son, Asher, believed them. He was the one to lead his army and defeat me. I’m proud of his bravery, but he is blinded by his mother. Her clever mind can control a lot more than dreams. She crowned our son as the new King. But it wasn’t enough to satisfy her.
She seeded hatred for me in Asher’s mind. Made it his prime objective to end my existence. Her insecurities weren’t because I had a kid with a mortal, they are because if the kingdom comes to know about your truth then she wouldn’t have the place that she currently holds.”
Aaron’s face is covered with tears. His heavy lungs won’t let a word escape his lips. It isn’t the first time when Aaron’s world has changed completely. This has turned something of a cycle in his life.
“I never wanted to fight them again. But now, she has called me for a fight and I won’t go down easily. I wanted to meet you one last time to tell you the truth. To believe me or not is something I’ll let you decide.” His father says as an endnote and starts to leave.
“Why don’t you live with me? We’ll leave all this behind and live alone.” Aaron manages to speak betwixt his sobs.
“This has gone too far, son.” Aaron can imagine his father’s regretful expression in the darkness.
“No, it hasn’t. We’ll vanish from here. We’ll let these people live how they want to and stay unfazed from them. It’ll be a utopia for me.” Aaron can hear his father laughing heartily.
“Don’t you see me, son? I can’t live a day longer.” The little hope that was ignited for a second in his heart, burns out completely. “When I’ll go, I want to know that you’re safe and happy. Unlike now. Now, you live with a broken heart whose cries can be heard even when I’m miles away. I’ve watched you for all your life, son. And there’s nothing that I want for you, more than happiness. When I’m gone, I want you to know what I truly was. Don’t ever believe people like my wife who put you down, my child. Be with your friends who stood by your side ever since you entered this world. Lonzo, isn’t he? He’s on ground zero battling my ogre’s army alongside your brother. Don’t panic. He’s alright, yet.” His father says sensing the shock in his gasp.
“You have to stop this war.” Aaron shouts.
“I wish, I could.” He says and turns around.
“I know you can.” Echoes a voice coming from the mouth of the cave. Aaron recognizes it without a doubt, Asher.
“Welcome, Son. Such a pleasure meeting you.” His father sounds almost happy to meet Asher, but it isn’t the same with Aaron’s brother.
“Shut up, liar! Don’t you dare call me your son. You can brainwash that naïve kid but never me. Order your troops to fall back or I’ll end your miserable life.” Asher orders on top of his voice but Aaron can sense the tears welling up in his eyes.
“I am everything but a Liar, Asher. And you know it very well. Why—” Before his father can complete, the ground starts trembling and mist covers the room. Caer. Aaron mutters.
“ENOUGH! You cannot tell lies to my kids. I would never bear it.” She materializes between Aaron and his father. The dying sunlight, enters through the opening and ends at Asher’s feet.
“Asher! Aim the spear at this man’s heart!” Caer’s order sets a chain of dominos into motion. Aaron notices Asher picking up a wooden spear and his father spreading out his arms, ready to accept death. Arguing himself on whom to believe Aaron runs between the trajectory of the spear.
The spear damages his rib cage and pierces out of his back. Closely missing his father’s face. With a smile on his face he lands on the ground. In the dim light he sees three worried faces hovering above him. His mother holds his hand but he feels nothing. Asher screams at Aaron to stay conscious but he hears nothing. His father is crying in pain and that’s all he sees in the dying sunlight. With his last breath he mutters “Family.” and closes his eyes to sleep eternally.
“It’s time for you to step in.” The sudden rise of his master’s voice doesn’t surprise the Minister. In fact he was waiting for his master to let him go. Without any further delay he nods and teleports himself to the battlefield.
The flames reaching out to the sky give him a satisfaction of winning the battle. His satisfaction, however, turns to be a chimera when he notices the tiny figure flying towards the cavern where his master rests. Right in time. He scoffs and ascends upward.
“Stop right there, Caer. Proceed no further or I shall summon lightning from the darkest—”. Without warning a misty hand blinds the Minister and he can feel the gravity pulling him down to earth.
“What is it?” Aaron’s dumbfound from the sudden appearance of a flying cloud of darkness. “The Minister.” Caer answers, concentrating on the shell plummeting down to the ground.
“Warned you.” They hear an echo before the lightning strikes. Caer loses her balance and her grip around Aaron, but he grabs her hand in time. “The next one wouldn’t miss.” The Minister’s smoke rises up again to their altitude.
Aaron realizes Caer doesn’t talk much. She flies into center of the fog, with a clap she blasts the surroundings. The air around them flies away along with the smoke that belongs to the Minister.
As she continues to proceed, the Minister jumps ahead and blocks their way. He grows in size, spreading his particles in every possible direction. When he reaches the apparent limit, his hands start to solidify. Climbing up his torso, the gaseous particles turn solid and form scales on his body.
With the huge figure blocking their way there is no way left for them to slip from. Aaron looks at Caer who’s still in a trance, helpless he awaits the Minister to have his go on them. But as soon as the Minister slings his arm, Caer abandons her cloud along with Aaron and jumps onto his hand. Aaron, now descending towards the ground struggles to find a glimpse of his mother on the giant. When does see her, she is running towards the neck of the Minister while he is trying to flick her away.
The midget Caer has caused enough troubled for the Minister, his solid state is unstable due to her magic. After numerous failed tries to get rid of her, he decides to shrink in size and end it once and for all.
Exactly what I wanted. Smirks the queen of dreams as she plummets down to the earth from the shoulder of the giant Minister. His size is proportional to hers and she knows it is less tedious to defeat him, now.
“I don’t need to be big to make you taste the dust, Cae—”. Before he can complete, the queen runs at him and swings her leg. But rather than kicking him in front, as he expects, she jumps above him and lands behind his back. She takes a full swing high kick aimed at his head but he blocks it with his sharp claws.
“Not so easy.” He twists her and pierces his claws an inch deep in her arm. The greatest surprise is when she there’s no expression of pain on the queen’s face. Rather, she looks like she’s dozing off.
Caught off guard, a dense fog covers everything around them. Something about it makes the world an image of undefined borders for the Minister. Unaware of what’s happening he slips through the grasp of consciousness.
Aaron, who has been watching from a safer distance, wonders what is going inside the smoke. When he squints eyes a little more, he still isn’t able to differentiate any figure from the other. “Go to that man, Aaron. Make him stop this chaos. You are our last hope, I’ll cage the Minister in his dream but you will have to hurry. You will find him in the cavern that witnesses the daylight die, in the tallest alp beyond the cold forest.”
It’s his mother’s voice that rings in his ears, repeating the words of his father. He looks around for his mother with no success. Instead, he spots the tallest mountain and starts accelerating towards it.
On the way, he only hopes that he doesn’t come across another Minister or a monster.
Once he reaches the foot of the mountain, he curses himself to jinx his faith. Since he notices a huge wolf run towards him. Moreover, Aaron has nowhere to hide. He covers his face and expects the wolf to attack him at any moment.
The wolf doesn’t attack him for a very long time, thus Aaron looks up to see his brother laughing at him. Naked.
“You!” Aaron punches him in the stomach.
“We’ve a long way to go. Giddy up.” says Asher and turns into a yak.
“TEN!” Lonzo shouts the number of Ogres he’s killed and lifts his sword in excitement.
“Crouch.” His comrade warns and shoots the rat faced Ogre with an arrow piercing his heart.
“We can do this, brothers. Stay strong!” Says the commander and Lonzo is pleased but the feeling vanishes when he looks at the arriving army of ogres and trolls. We’re still on the frontline. He challenges himself and stands in his stance. For my friends and my life. With his chest wide, he slices the head of upcoming enemies.
“There are so many of them.” Aaron’s jaw is left hanging after seeing the number of enemies sitting at a corner waiting for their job to be done by the frontlines of their army.
“How will we even win?” He tilts his head.
“This is what it is. Their numbers are of creatures with power but no skills. Our men are warriors. From a dagger to a magical spell we have it all. Look! The ogres and trolls are all dead.” His mother’s eyes are still closed but Aaron knows she is right the moment he glances at the battlefield.
“We’ve won!!!” Lonzo realizes he’s the only one celebrating when everyone else looks at him with a queer look.
“Warrior, it has only begun.” The commander walks up to him and rests a hand on his shoulder. “You’re brave. What is your name, warrior?”
“Lonzo.” He manages to speak from his sweat-drenched helmet.
“Everyone stand at ready, here they come to die. For our families and Lonzo. Yoorah!”
“Yoorah! Yoorah! Yoorah!” The war cry does something, or is it the commander’s touch? Lonzo cannot decide but his adrenaline has increased. The armour is no more heavy, it’s a part of his body, he can move faster; his feet, they feel lighter than before. He raises his sword, but there isn’t one. His sword is replaced by a stick, a polished shiny wooden stick. After a moment’s surprise he realizes what has happened, it is the commander’s stick. He swings it around his body and it leaves behind a trail of star-dust, its halo is calming him.
When the first Balor reaches his ranks, Lonzo is the first to attack. He uses the stick to jump over its flaming whip and clings onto the wings with one hand and brings the stick in position with another. As he prepares to smash the Balor with the stick, its end turns into a spear.
As soon as the edge touches the scales on the monster, it vaporizes to dust. With a surprised laugh he turns and continues his fight, for he is aware that war won’t stop until every side has lost everything at stake.
“Where are we going?” Aaron cannot take the suspense anymore, the queasiness due to the altitude doesn’t help, either.
“Amidst all the havoc the pawns create, their shameless King rests in the solace of his cavern. By his side, the faithful minister whose intellect and power challenge mine. To make you reach out to your father, we’ll have to surpass the minister’s hurdles. Once you meet your father, only you can change the course of war. Only you can talk him out of this or silence him. He trusts you, that’s for sure. And I do, too.” Her lip edges curl up in a pale smile. Aaron realizes what kind of responsibility he has been given, I’ll be the murderer of my own father. One who I’ve never met. The feeling of guilt is making him drown.
“Where is Asher?” He asks, hopefully.
“Asher is helping the battalion, look right there. He’s turned in a Lion.” Again she points without opening her eyes but is still right. Aaron gulps down the guilt and mentally fights the feeling of running away.
“How will we get rid of the minister?”
“That, we’ll have to see.” A nervous laugh escapes her throat.
“The enemy is growing stronger.” Commander turns to Asher, now in his human form.
“And so are we. Enough wasting time with sticks and swords. I want each and everyone to turn into their strongest forms. I’m trusting you, Commander. Fight till your last breath. May the elders be by your side.” With the final greeting he turns into an eagle and flies toward the approaching armies.
Seeing his mentor confide trust in him makes his voice louder when he shouts the last command, “Brothers, the enemy may come from hell to our lands. We are the warriors; We are the saviors and we shall be the one who will send these rodents back to their stinking hell! If they bring fire, we’ll use flame to burn them alive. If they bring water, we’ll drown their filthy corpses in it. Our King has went to defeat theirs. It is our duty to fend off these creatures from our motherland until our last breaths. Come together Warriors, turn into the mightiest and the strongest forms of your existence. We’ll die today but we will make our last stand the strongest. We will bite them, we will chew them and break them to bits. Yoorah!”
As everyone around him turns into an Elephant or a Bear, Lonzo waits with a blank look on his face. To his aid, the commander turns into a Rhinoceros and carries him on his back.
The rising flame from below scares Aaron and the view of the approaching army scares him even more. Aaron knows only one thing, he has to stop his father and stop him fast. At any cost.
“Dopa la bal, Master.” The man who rushed into their meeting earlier in the bedroom has returned.
“What kind of disrespect is this? No one’s allowed in the bathing ponds when I am here, especially when I’m accompanied by my brother. Do I have to tell my own Commander about this?” Asher’s covered himself with the fur of a tiger and his voice has turned deeper.
“I’m very sorry, Master.But we need to prepare for an attack, right now! I thought you need to be informed about the unusual movement in the northern forest. It was massive, massive enough to be considered as the cue that we have been waiting for. We’ve to prevent them from reaching us.”
“Niamh, take him to mother.” Asher turns his head and addresses the maiden. “Come Daed, we’ve a war to win.” Aaron, who’s still in awe by the addition of wings to his brother, follows Niamh with only a towel around his waist. As they lead out she gives him a robe and they continue on their route.
“How does my mother look?” Aaron’s curiosity is rising at every dark corner they turn at.
“Nobody knows.” Patience is what Aaron lacks at the moment, but Niamh seems to have a blank expression. “Never mind.” He mutters and walks quietly.
After ascending numerous stairways, Niamh leaves Aaron in front of a tiny door and vanishes without a notice. Before Aaron can do anything the tiny door opens with a rather wild screech that makes him cover his ears.
“Proceed in.” A voice calls from inside and Aaron steps in.
“Hello?” Aaron can listen to his echo, but the room is still dark as the night. “Mom? Where are you?”
“In a place which you can see, a place where you can run, breath, and live but nothing’s real for you.” The voice is more clear, as if the source is right above Aaron.
“Yes, for you. Can you tell me such place?” The hostility towards Aaron in her voice is apparent.
“A dream?” Aaron doesn’t need time to think on that, since a dream is what he wishes this reality to be.
“A dream, splendid. I am in a dream, but I dream reality.
I can go everywhere without going anywhere.
I can be somewhere but you can find me nowhere.
I am Caer, the queen of dreams and subconscious. Welcome, Aaron. I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Queen of dreams? Can I see you?”
“Queen of dreams since I can travel through dreams and send my consciousness to places I wish to, when I’m dreaming. I am the eyes of our kingdom. I can see everything I wish to. But no, you cannot see me. Not yet.”
Since his hope of seeing his mother is let down, it hurts for Aaron to admit. He stands there for a while, silently looking around at the empty room and holds back the dam of his emotions.
“Don’t be sad.” Her voice is now as distant as she’s always been. Only an imagination. As a kid when Randy teased him for living with his foster parents, Aaron would always wonder where his mom dad were? And if they were even alive?
Standing here, Aaron knows the answer to his question. They are alive. But he isn’t as happy as he imagined he would be. His father, doomed as a traitor and soon going to battle to kill his brother or vice versa; his mother, a possible psychotic queen of dreams who wouldn’t even show herself to Aaron.
Over thinking about his sorrows led to a tear escape from the corner of his eye. It slowly traced his cheek but the following tear drops increased its velocity. As it left Aaron’s face and made its way to the ground, in the blink of an eye Caer catched with her fingertip. Her fingertip is covered with scarce fog similar to her whole body which is levitating mid-air and she sits with her legs-crossed.
“Tears are an epitome of emotion. These emotions will define what kind of person you are, Aaron. Use them wisely. Don’t waste it on people like me or your father.”
Her blunt advice catches Aaron off-guard and all the pain accumulated over the years surfaces up. Tears flood his face, his lungs short of breath and it hurts. It hurts so much that his body aches. Looking at Aaron in such despair, Caer carries him in her aura and they fly atop the room. The room doesn’t have a ceiling and thus they reach in the skies.
“Breathe.” Caer orders him. Surprisingly, Aaron’s sobbing stops and he breathes normally after a second or two. She rotates him a bit and sits next to him on a cloud.
“I will tell you everything, but I’ve to help Asher win the war. Will you help me?”
“Me? How? I’m a mort—”
“You’ll do just fine.” She gives him a triumph smile and slips into deeper part of sleep.
To make up to last week’s postponed episode the next episode will be posted tonight. Giddy up guys, we are reaching the end! Sincerely apologies for being late.
“Dude, did you look at the crowd?” After his hit concert Kade’s more amazed than anyone else.
“Yes, 15000 people on your first concert. We 3 were among them, thank us douché. You’ve had a great promotion team, certainly.”
He leaps on me and hugs chokes me tight. “Alright, the drinks on me boys.”
As we slip on the stools in front the bar an old lady comes up and winks at us.
” ‘eard you were a hit, bunny? ‘hat do you want tonight?” Bunny?
“Your best serve, but don’t go hard on these kids!” And certainly she does the opposite. With her wrinkled hands she picks a bottle from the shelf and wiggles it around her arms and fills 4 pints for each of us, topping it with olives.
“Did she just call you Bunny?” I ask him out of curiousity.
“Been a regular customer.” He answers with a lopsided smile.
After half an hour and 2 more bottoms up, our minds are floating in the high quality vodka we gulped in. I check time on the watch hanging on a corner which points at 12:30. Since we have only one night to do our task, I take everyone to our hotel’s row house that is across the street. The 100 meter road turns into a long walk due to heavy rain and the availability of only 2 umbrellas. When we get in, everyone kicks off their shoes and passes out.
The only thing I’m thankful to my corporate life is, waking on an alarm’s slightest tick. It is 2:45 a.m. I wash my face and wake up others. After exactly 10 minutes we are all up with mild headaches.
“Bring up the ouija board, would you?” Alden says lousily, the effects of the hangover still vibrant.
“Give me that ash tray’s lid, that’ll be a good planchette.” I extend my hand and Alden passes it to me. I light up the candles, dim the light setting in the room and read the opening ritual from a saved memo in my phone.
In the name of GOD, Jesus Christ, The Great Bortherhood of Light, the ArchAngels Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel and Ariel, please proctect us from the forces of Evil during this session. Let there be nothing but Light surrounding this Board and its participants and let us only communicate with Powers and Entities of The Light. Protect us, protect this house, the people in this house and let there only be Light and nothing but Light, AMEN
“Do you have to say that?” Seth asks without looking up. Everyone’s staring at the planchette restingS G, thus I don’t mind leaving him unanswered.
Time passes without any movement, everything’s static, our bodies have turned stiff. Except for the wild storm outside. The mild rain has turned into raging thunder, as I blink away my sleep something unexpected happens. The planchette moves a little towards F.
The sudden movement shocks everyone. “Who did it?” Kade’s face has turned pale.
“Calm down.” I stammer, but to steal our sanity the bell rings.
Seth, unfazed, walks to the door and opens it. What freaks us more, is that no one’s present on the other side. He shuts it and runs back to us.
The bell keeps ringing, we just stare at each other. Helpless, I build up courage and open it again. Hoping someone would grab me and cut my throat or a monster that would suck my soul out.
Instead, nothing like that happens. Once I examine the surroundings, I find a broken stop sign stuck between the varenda and the bell, beside it lies our wet umbrellas. Dumbfounded, I remove it and show it to my cronies. After placing it in the dustbin, I take the umbrellas to the only bedroom & open them to dry.
We all have a hearty laugh and continue with the ritual.
It’s been an hour but the planchette has not moved any further. Disappointed, I call out to stop. No one opposes, of course.
Seth takes the Ouija and shoves it in my bag.
“Wait! We had to perform a closing ritual.” I shout but they’re all too tired to listen.
Reluctantly, I follow them to bed. Unlike my friends I can’t sleep. And to top it off, I can hear footsteps? Or is someone banging the door?
I listen carefully. The voice is repeating after fixed intervals of a few seconds. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.
“Who’s there?” I scream, exerting pressure on my vocal chords. “I asked Who’s there?”
No one answers, as expected. I let my friends sleep on the king sized bed and walk to the bedroom door. Nothing. No broken stop signs doing it now, are there? I struggle to keep calm.
To be sure I go the main door and get similar results. I check the windows, but nothing’s there, too.
Too scared to be alone I rush to the bedroom door but it’s locked. I bang on it with my hands, my feet in fact I throw my whole body on the door. I knew we shouldn’t had done this, I knew we should had used the closing ritual. Now the gates are open and I’m going to die, first! My body’s shivering with fright when Kade opens the door.
“What’s wrong?” He asks, but I silence him with a finger and make him listen to the footsteps on the wooden floor. Knock. Knock. Knock.
He screams and jumps under the blanket cover waking Seth and Alden. When they wake up, I tell them about our mistake and how we should had completed the ritual.
Without wasting a moment we rush out and bring in the Ouija board. With my sweaty hands I unlock the phone and find the closing prayer and recite it.
Thank you for the wisdom and insight you have granted us. Thank you, Oh Lord for answering our questions through the beings and Angels of the Light. Protect this house and the people who have been here during our stay in your Realm. In the name of The Light we thank you ! AMEN !
Still unsure if our ghost has left us we listen quietly. No knocks anymore, we heave a sigh and go to the bedroom
“I fucking hate you, Andrew.” Kade says watching the Late Night Show. His mind is so indulged in it that show that he drops a bottle as he places it on the edge and scares himself.
“Shut up and sleep.” Embarrassed he shuts off the TV and we head to bed.
The next morning I’m the first one up.
“Wake up sleepy dickheads.” I throw a jar of water on them and they sit upright.
“What?” Seth’s long hair are messed up.
“I found our last night’s ghost.” I point at the two umbrellas that I opened last night to dry. Due to the strong winds coming through the window the umbrellas turn left to right and it’s exactly the sound that I heard last night.
An unexpected real life experience that happened recently(On 17/2/2017) gave me the perfect ending to a previous post of mine: Sophism Of Our Mind.
Disclaimer- Not everything is exactly as it happened. The events are exaggerated and have been presented with added humor and my imagination.
“She just won’t believe. Annie thinks I’ve had a concussion after the accident. I’ve been pondering on it for a long time, I need to get it out. Yes, I do. Thus, I’ve decided that if no human can answer my question then someone other than us has to.” I’m throwing out my frustration on the conference call, my wife- Annie has been keeping a track of my health since the time I “imagined” things according to her. This frustration has led me to take a step that seems to be my only solace.
My 3 best friends and our hunger for adventure in high-school. I still remember the times when we snuck out our houses to swim in the icy waters of the lake in our town.
“So what do you want us to do?” Seth’s voice is exactly as I recall, though I’ve seen his photos of recent years where stands like a huge grown man and a tiny moustache unlike his teenage-skinny-self.
“Are you proposing us to do the one thing that we always wanted to do?” Alden knows what I exactly mean and I can feel the approval in his tone.
“I’m against it!” Kade, the biggest chicken I’ve ever met, does what I predicted he’ll do. Though I’ve a way to get him ready.
“Did you even listen to what I’m proposing?”
“I don’t have to, I’m-”
“I’m talking about Ouija! The board we made but never used, I still have it!”
“Oh, yes you have it, of course you do, don’t you?” Seth sounds amazed, I hope he’ll agree if not Kade.
“Boo-yah! Name a place and date I’ve been in need of a vacation for a long time.” Alden’s the best!
“I’ll try. I’ve my first concert coming up, I’ll love if you guys attend it. We can go wherever you want the same night of the concert. How about that?”
“That’s great news! Our guitarist has finally took a step outta the corporate world, huh?” I can imagine Kade’s smile when he blushes, the corner of the lips go down instead of curling up.
“Yeah! We’re in dude, where and when, though?”
“Next Friday night, Isamba City’s central stadium.”
“Whoa! That’s pretty amazing, see you guys next week. I’ll do the bookings and mail the details to you. Take care, stay alive till next Friday. It was great talking to you after so long.”
“Sure thing. See ya, Andrew.” They say in unity and I hang up with a smile.
Time passes too slow these days. I’m early today, since I’ve to convince my Ann to let me go with my buddies.
When she arrives, she seems to be exhausted. “What’s wrong, honey?” I ask her, taking her bag and making her rest on the couch.
“An operation had to be done a minute before my leaving time, the man fell from his 4th storey home, trying to save his cat. Oh, I’m so tired.”
“That’s wonderful!” I blurt and she gives me a tired dirty look. “I mean, wonderful since you saved a man and I’ve made you your favorite chocolate smoothie and pie!”
Her face lightens up after looking at the trays that I bring in.
“Here, have some.” I feed her the pie and then she finishes the smoothie with a smile.
“So, what did you do now?”
I do a pretentious laugh as if I don’t know what she’s talking about.
“Well, you’d be surprised to know that everything’s fine. No mistakes to cover for.” She certainly looks surprised.
“Oh wow. My hubby’s gaining back his charm. Let me award you for this.” She gets up and sits on my lap, her straight silky hair smell of the perfume that she uses after leaving the hospital.
“Actually-” I struggle to talk through her hair, “I wanted to tell you about my next week’s plan.”
She slips away, waiting for me to disappoint her surprise. “I’m going to Kade’s concert and then we four are planning on a vacation for 2 days. Thought it’ll help me feel better, what d’you think?”
“That’s wonderful!” What? “You’ll finally have a break from the daily routine, you know? I guess you should definitely go.”
“Ohh my, you’re the best give me a hug.” So she does and gets up to change.
“They’re all married right? I don’t want y’all to have a bachelor’s night.”
I laugh aloud. “Don’t worry, we’re all life long prisoners.”
“What is happening?” Aaron bangs his hand on the table, startling Audra and Lonzo.
“That’s expected.” The eagle-turned-man is walking with a slow pace while one of his handmaiden is covering him with a robe and the other is tightening it. Once they are done, they bow in front of him and leave.
“Where are we?” Aaron snaps aloud, making it clear he is no mood of a gossip.
“Relax, brother. Or shall I say ‘bro’ as they’ve abbreviated it.” He looks over his shoulder at the table where Aaron’s friend are glaring at the two men.
As Aaron’s brother makes his way, a man comes running in & speaks in a language that Aaron fails to recognize. His tone is rushed and coated with shallow breaths. The only word Aaron understands is when the man addresses his brother as “Majesty”. Majesty’s mood is changed in a snap and he drags Aaron by his elbow into another room.
“Come with me—” Aaron’s attempts to free it are in vain, he is much stronger than tiny Aaron. Like I have a choice.
On the table, the food is untouched. A sense of tension is covering everyone’s mind.
“Isn’t this an illusion?” Randy shrugs, “I haven’t really lost two of my best friends, have I?”
Lonzo puts a hand around Randy’s shoulder and wraps him in a hug.
“No matter how many times we’ve fought, I’d never wish something like this happen to any person. Let alone Stephen and Matthew. This is real, my friend. More than anything can ever be right now. And the worst of all, it’s the fact that it isn’t over, yet.”
The lavish room that Aaron is brought in certainly belongs to his brother.
“Marvellous.” Aaron snaps out of the trance on his cue. “Isn’t it? It took 2 days to complete but a lot more time than that for me to earn it.” His expression is scorned. The candle lit atmosphere gives him a halo effect and somehow Aaron’s attitude towards him is changed.
“What do you remember about me?” Another question, bah! I thought he was going to answer my questions. “What about you?” Aaron answers after a thought. “Good, just what I hoped.”
“You wanted me to not remember anything about you?” Aaron tilts his head, the knots getting complex with every minute.
“Yes. That isn’t the point, however. My magic is trustable. So, let’s start where it started. I’m Asher, your elder—” “Brother.” Aaron takes a seat on the king sized bed and leans in for a tale he would surely want to hear.
After 10 minutes of comforting each other Lonzo, Randy and Audra have made peace with their circumstances and have decided to be ready for any worse situation. The maids that helped the eagle-man return. Lonzo and Randy have a tough time keeping their eyes off the overexposed cleavages and sleek hourglass figures. The robes that the maids wear only cover their breasts and a tiny area around the hips, unlike the man who welcomed them. Realizing that they’ve been staring for quite a long time they shake their heads. Surprisingly the maids are gesturing Lonzo and Randy to follow them. Without hesitating, Randy gets up but waits for Lonzo to accompany him.
“Come.” The handmaidens return, giggling and take him holding his hand in their own.
Surprises of the day will never end, Audra knows and thus when she is made to sit near the door of a wide-spread forest along the river that is ignited by strange objects underwater she isn’t much surprised. After checking the temperature of water a maid comes to her. Without any word she begins to strip Audra off the dirty clothes filled with mud. It was something Audra wanted to do since she got out of the stony slide but she didn’t hope someone else to do it for her.
Embarrassed and bare she rushes into the water and just the touch of it makes every muscle of her body relax. The water level is hardly up to her abdomen but she folds her legs to conceal herself. The maid that guided her over here is fuelling her dirty clothes in a hearth across the tiny pond. Once she’s done, she steps in the pond and makes Audra sit on a platform near the shallow end of it. Initially, the maid starts with cleansing her feet with a rocky scrub and now begins to massage her smooth back. With every minute Audra’s queasiness is ebbing and is being replaced by a feeling of comfort. Why isn’t this permanent. With a deep sigh she rests her head and closes her eyes.
“I wasn’t a part of the Earth?”
“Ah, this isn’t one of those dumb mortal’s movie, brother. I’m talking about humans, you weren’t a part of those humans. You were born like me, a strigoi.”
“Born a Strigoi? Ioan told me Strigois are undead people, like zombies!” At this Asher laughs rolling on his back.
“I don’t know who this Ioan is but he sure has a great sense of humor. Zombies are nothing compared to us.” His vision sharpens in an instant, the hair on his bronze colored body grow with a rapid pace. His hands turn to paws and his back bends into an arch. Within the blink of an eye Asher changes into a bear. Aaron bounces off of his seat and hides behind the bed.
When he pokes out to look if the bear is gone, he is staring at a naked Asher.
“We Strigois are shape-shifters and we can do magic. Those humans have various names for us. Wizards, Necromancer, Alchemist, Enchanter and Strigoi. The name Strigoikirk was given to the village that you stayed in because those humans are the descendants of our worshippers—” Aaron is ever so thankful to the maid that comes in and stops Asher from speaking another word. It isn’t that he doesn’t want to know more about what he is, but he cannot bear to stare at a naked man for so long, having a conversation with him would be a far-fetched idea.
“Come, Aaron. It’s time for us to get clean.”
“But, what about—” “No buts, brother. I can’t bear that human stench coming from you.” And with a disgusted face he walks out of the room leaving behind a spellbound Aaron.
“Do I need to tie a leash around your neck or can you follow me yourself?” Asher screams and for some reason Aaron doesn’t mind listening to his elder brother, after all family is what he has been fancying all his life.
I’d been sitting in the crow’s nest on the foremast and enjoying the brilliancy of the glassy ocean when the sky suddenly turned dark and the sea- angrier. The wind blew my hat and I got down to be safer.
“Drop the sails! Wind be turnin’ west, hurry!” My father, Captain Frank Morgan screams from the navigation room. I rush over to the other end of the forecastle deck and loosen the rope that held the sails on the foremast.
“If ye don’t want to die on ye very first sail on board th’ ‘Golden Hind II’ then rush to main deck, Charles Morgan Jr..”
Only if you’d stop screaming. Ugh! I wanted to stop and talk back, but Henry and Louisa- my elder siblings – have warned me not to do so. Each of their first time was hard, but there’s a deadly whirlpool that we’re trying to escape in my case. What a lovely day!
As I open every sail, Sir Morgan gets behind the wheel and struggles to get us out of the strong tides. I hold on to the stairs and get to the navigation room.
The 31.1 meter hull is deserted. Sir Morgan never brings more than one companion on his life size replica of the “Golden Hind” galleon that belonged to the English in 1577. To this day I’ve only heard about it in the bedtime stories that my father narrated, getting on board it is a dream come true! His stories are always about its glory and its journey of 5 times the circumference of our globe. He also marveled on the reason behind its name, Golden Hind, which was previously called Pelican until Sir Francis Drake changed it in the honour of his patron.
Louisa accompanied him for the first time when she turned 10, same was with Henry and now with me. It was my 10th birthday yesterday and I knew my greatest surprise was going to be this! But I didn’t expect him to keep bossing around me and scolding me whenever I called him father. ‘On my ship you address me as “Captain Morgan”, Aye?’ Then he taught me to say “Aye, Aye Captain.”
“Hail th’ wind god! ‘Tis helpin’ us out.” Though his pirate-ish accent seems gibberish to me, I understand he is delighted. The wind has surprisingly turned against the heart of the whirlpool and now we’re heading out of it.
“Yarr! We did it, son. You’d live another day for a sail with your brothers and sisters!” The way he says “brothers and sisters” I wonder if he knows that I only have each of them, nevertheless, I hug him for the brilliant adventure. “Thanks a lot, Sire!”
“You’re most welc-” He chokes before completing the sentence, the ocean is subsiding beneath us. No, it’s sinking away from us, dragging Golden Hind II along with it.
“I hoped the monster didn’t wake up! We’re doomed now, son. Nothing can save us.” His grim face makes me worry, unaware of the danger I climb the ropes to have a better look at the “Monster”.
The water level has greatly decreased now, the monster is swallowing it. We’ll soon be dead!
As we get closer to the monster, the sun clears up and the clouds calm down. The face of the monster, however, brings a smile to my face and I run towards it.
“Hello mom!” I dig my face in her stomach.
“How was your gift, Charlie?” She pinches my cheek and takes me to my father.
“It was amazing!” I jump happily & see that my father’s laughing whole heartedly.
“Sure it was, champ! You did great.” He pats my back and carries me up.
“Next time I want to go with Lou and Henry!” I demand and hug him tight. Through the window on ceiling of the attic the bright moonlight falls on the bottle and I emblazone the glimpse of Golden Hind’s mighty sails forever in my heart.
Recalling the memory of my childhood, I remember the time whence my dad made me sit with him on a mattress on a summer afternoon and he made me close my eyes and imagine that I was sailing in the open ocean on a ship with him. When it came back to me a wave of nostalgia hit me hard! And I thought- What better than writing a fable about it?