The Big Bad Wolf

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Nazkal has always been split off from the rest of the world. Living under the shadow of the great Himalayas meant there was abundant scenic landscape, but fewer eyes dared to appreciate it. What if the Grey Wolf found them?

Living in Nazkal had once been mostly about getting used to living with the Grey Wolf. It came when one least expected, so naturally, the people of Nazkal had learned to expect it all the time. Over this last decade, it’d stopped being as much of a problem though. All one had to do was wash every room in their home once every fortnight with holy water from the Ganges. Water blessed by the goddess of the moon would keep away her beast, or so they believed. And it worked, for the most part. Occasionally, a tourist or a bored youth would try to disprove this superstition and end up barely being more than a pile of bones.

But, no tourist has come to Nazkal in over twenty years. This tiny village was all but forgotten by the rest of the world now. When people shunned religion as nothing more than superstition, and instead chose atheism, fewer people came all this way for their holy pilgrimage. The Nazkalian people still scrub their floors with holy water, but the younger ones scoff when the elders mention the wolf. ‘The beast existed only in fairy tales,’ they would say to belittle their aged parents.

If only that were true… If only I was just a fairy tale…

The wolf lived in me, like a parasite within my blood. It coursed through my veins and flowed into my heart. It lived through me, growing angrier every day. Even as I write this with the last of my sanity, it’s there, snarling in the back of my mind, lying in wait for a prey fall into its trap; my mind is his to play with now.

I wish I hadn’t been so foolish in my adolescent years. How could I ever have thought this was a boon? The wolf has made me stronger, my eye sight shaper; in a village, on the edge of the Dark Woods, those qualities mattered most. I stood out amongst my peers and finally made my parents proud. I thought I was finally in control of my life. I thought I could keep the wolf sated with sheep and lamb when all it craved was man flesh.

My sanity and soul were his price for these gifts. For every heart I pierced, every neck I snapped and every life I took; I’d given away pieces of both to the wolf until one day I was myself staring at the twinkle-less eyes of my husband’s head, torn away from his neck. Blood has oozed all over this room. My floor had been scrubbed clean, but my hands were forever dirty.

Today, as I write this, I am more wolf than a woman. Finally, at the ripe old of age of fifty, the weight of those souls I stole surpasses my will to survive. When you find this letter, beside my slit throat, be safe in the knowledge that the big bad wolf your mamma tells you about finally can do you no harm.

With Love,

Your Granma.

 


This story was first published for storieo.com
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Under a Carmine Sky

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There are many rules to a safe life in a city. Don’t stay out later than the sun. Avoid the narrow alleys and stick to the broad streets. Blend into the surrounding, never wear anything bright or colorful. Still, anyone experienced with assault would know, daylight does not guarantee one’s safety. Crimes don’t always happen in the middle of the night. Nobody plays ominous background music as a forewarning of what’s to come. Criminals don’t always wear an all black ensemble, nor do they have tell-tale tattoos. Sometimes, their body was just a plain canvas, clothed in a vermilion dress to match the evening sky.

Twilight tinted the world red like a filter on a photo. Although the sky looked like a pretty blush, the city itself took a turn towards Carmine.

Regretting the impulse to take a walk, Anna clutched her handbag closer to her chest. As usual, she slipped a pocket knife in the back of her boots, checked for the pepper spray in her bag, pushed her dark sunglasses up the bridge of her nose and picked up her pace. Ten minutes later she stepped into the Ivory Island Hotel and headed straight for the reception desk.

“Hello, I’m here to meet a guest.” She said to the receptionist who was a bored young lad, no older than sixteen. From her bag, she pulled out a thin satiny black envelope. The note inside had nothing more than an address on it, written in silver, slanted cursive calligraphy. “He’s supposed to be in room number 196.”

“Ah, Mr. David Taupe, this way ma’am, let me take you there.” He said, with his eyes fixed on her bare calves.

“No, that’s fine. Just tell me where to go?” Anna said, her voice shaky with nervousness, and he squished his eyebrows to form a straight line.

“First time is it? I thought Mr. David wasn’t into that.”

“Yes, it’s my first time. Could you just tell me which floor I’ve to go?

“Alright, it’s not my business.” He said with a slight shrug. “It’s the room on the third floor and the lifts are through here,” he said pointing to his left.

At the third floor, she got out and walked to the apartment at the end of the corridor straight ahead, knocked thrice in quick successions, and stepped back.

“Took your sweet little time did you.” A man’s adenoidal voice sounded from behind the door along the clanking of the door’s chains. “Good thing the wife is gone for a long trip this time, or you wouldn’t make a single buck.” The door opened to a man wearing a crisp gray suit that seemed ready to pop with the effort of covering his enormous belly. There was a faint hint of gray in the roots of his hair, and despite being an arm’s length away, Anna could smell the strong citrusy scent of his cologne. He didn’t wait for her to come in. Instead, leaving her to shut the door behind her, he climbed on to the king’s size bed.

The whole ordeal was over in less than a blink of an eye and a flash of silver. White, over-washed sheets turned crimson. The gray suit colored black as blood oozed from David Taupe’s abdomen and lungs while the knife stayed lodged firmly in his heart. His cheeks and neck bore marks when she’s muffled his screams.

Walking back in the darkened city half hour after leaving the cleaned hotel room, Anna thought to herself,

Pretty good for the first day at work. 


This story was written for the website called Storieo. Do check it out if you want to share your writing too.

When Dreams Come True

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The countdown to the new year had begun. He searched for her frantically, even as his stomach churned. At last, when he felt bold enough to give words to his feelings she was nowhere to be seen. It took him until the eighth count to find her.

The world had now stopped existing around him. Time stilled, and the music was barely more than background noise. Instead, he heard his heart thumping loudly. Seconds turned to hours as slowly, one pair of eyes looked up as the other peered down. Lips previously smiling in mirth turned solemn as they touched. Hands sneaked up to curve around the neck and waist. In the darkness of the party, tongues dared do things they would never have otherwise.

But that night, his heart also broke, because his dream came true, just not to him.

 

 


 

This scene was inspired by reading Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor. She mentions in passing about a God who punishes by making one’s wishes and dreams come true, but not for that person. I shall be posting a more in-depth review of the book soon, but needless to say, I was absolutely in love from the first moment I set eyes on it. I especially loved the writing style and would be very happy if I could, one day, write half as good as her.

Relic of the Past

9423267This internet is a strange place. Who knew that all it would take is the ding dong of my phone to bring you back to my life? Years have gone by since the day I realized you were toxic to me and walked out of your life.

However, today, here you are on my timeline, almost a decade later, looking slightly different, yet still achingly familiar. Like a relic from times gone by, your picture brings back memories; of days I’d spent trying to bring out the smile that seems to come to you so effortlessly today, of the hours of sleep I’d lost texting you, of those dark days when you’d confirmed all my darkest fears.

And most of all, it brought back the questions that had plagued me all these years.

Was I too hasty in judging you? Should I have held on a bit longer?

Perhaps it had been both our immaturity that crumbled a friendship that was to last a lifetime, but with a practiced hand I press the ‘X’ and decide not to build back a burnt bridge.

 

Just Another Step

Just take another step. And another. Till you reach the end.

People tell you to keep going, even when nothing is going your way. Even when the nights never seem to end, they tell you to trust that the sun shall come up again; to trust that it was just the end of a chapter and not the end of the book.

Do they not realize all books do end. Sometimes nights never turn to day and people never wake up from their nap.

So today I just take another step, until I reach my end. 19_20120115feet-cliff032

Happy New Year

It was almost a new year. 2016 had passed in a mad rush, just like every other year before it. Evie felt like she had been in a constant state of motion all her life; jumping from one foster house to another, one set of friends to another. Nothing on this earth lasted forever. Neither friendships, careers, passions, love, relationships remained the same. Inevitably, something happens to change the status quo. Experience had taught her this particular lesson over and over again.

Nevertheless, as world tip-toed its way into 2017, Evie wished time would stop just for a little so she could finally savor the magic of a new year. This over-hyped corporate holiday felt real this evening. For the first time, she was excited for the new year and wished time would pause for a while so she could savor this feeling.

She wanted to carve the memory of the fireworks filling the night sky outside her window in her mind forever. The year had marked her progress in the form of a roof over her head, of a warm bed for the night instead of a cold park bench and a phone buzzing with wishes. This year had allowed her simple pleasures of being free to feel butterflies in her stomach at the thought of getting a message from one particular number. She had even got a kiss at midnight, albeit from Merlin, her little kitty. As she sank into the warmth of her bed, for the first time in years, she felt it was truly a happy new year.

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From Life to Humans (WARNING! Contains mild swearing.)

Dear Humans,

You are all supposedly the most intelligent of the variety of creatures on this once, very wonderful, but now not quite so, planet. Then I wonder why you crib about me all the time. It’s not like your problems are because of me.

Okay okay, some of them might be, but not all alright. So stop being a pain in my arse. Seriously!

I mean, you have pollution, so I suck; you can’t get a job, so I suck; your parents don’t give you enough money, so I suck. How fair is that?

I gave you great set of people to meet and a somewhat sensible mind. I gave you all a brain too (not that you use it much.) Hell, I let you be born in a time when nature is not quite destroyed, yet. Isn’t that a good thing? But no. You can’t notice the good stuff I do. Instead of falling in love with the colour and smell of the roses, you have to look at the thorn. Typical of a human I’d say. Who asked you to be an idiot and pluck that rose eh?

So what if I mess up sometimes. You aren’t perfect. You can’t expect me to be. I do a darn good job, just by giving you time on Earth and all I get as thank you is a list of the times I fucked up. That is really offensive. Have you seen the mess you have made around you? There’s a friggin hole in the ozone and it’s your fault entirely. Can you hear me going on a rant about that?

You want to know of something even more annoying. It’s when the time of one of your friend or family on Earth is up and you humans complain that life is unfair to take them out of the equation. Bloody hell! You ungrateful pigs! What the hell did I have to do with that? It’s Death’s work. I only decide who comes in, not who goes out. Get your facts straight!(What equation are you talking about here anyways?)

Until now you were getting the happy and playful me. Yes, Life has been all fun and games up till now. You might not like it if you cross me much longer. So this stops now! You shall never complain about me, or I shall get Death to exterminate you. (That’s right, I’m one of his best mate’s. None of your “life and Death are the same” or “they are mortal enemies” nonsense is true. How do you come up with those ridiculous stories?)

Yours

Life.

Disclaimer: Please note the above letter has been written in comic sense and is straight from the mind of-, well, me. Nothing mentioned above is an indication of my religious belief nor is it something to be taken seriously. If you still take it so, um, then you might be a bit stupid.