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

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.

Memories

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Does anyone really have the kinds of memories we read about in books? The ones where every tiny detail is fixed in our minds; like the color of the carpet on the floor, that weird shaped hole left behind the wallpaper that has peeled off or the taste and texture of a meal eaten years ago. (Can people really remember the taste of meals eaten a decade earlier? I’m not sure.) Old Bert next door swears that he could still remember the feeling of having a knife go through his abdomen, even though he’d been stabbed at least twenty-five years ago. I think it might all be a big lie.

Because I don’t remember you anymore. Your face has slowly faded into a blur. Where I could once tell the exact pattern of the freckles on your nose, now I struggle to remember the color of your eyes. The music of your lullaby has faded, leaving behind just empty lyrics.

I see red when the girls at school throwing tantrums at their mom or bitch about them in class. Why do they get to keep their moms even when they don’t seem to want her? I miss you. I want you back mom, so why do I have to be the only person without one?

It makes me angry that Dad found someone else to replace you. Although she is very sweet and kind, I’m livid. She’s better than I deserve and move loving than you ever were. I hate that.

I hate that I’ve got nothing to hold against her. I hate that the rational part of me knows I’m the one whose at fault. I hate that I can’t blame her for anything other than being a responsible adult. I hate that I almost called her ‘mom’ today and her face brightened as if I had won the Olympics. Above all, I hate that I can’t remember you ever smiling like that.

Oh, why did you leave me like this, Ma?


Wow, that’s a lot of anger and hatred in one person right? Just know, this was written a long time ago and it’s just a character. It’s not me. I don’t need therapy. Still, thanks for being concerned. That’s very sweet of you. You are a good cookie. 😛

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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