He was later than usual. The night was very dark, it had also started snowing outside. All he carried was a cleaver in his hand. There was a slight wobble in his steps. Was he drunk?
The room was dark and quiet. He lit a candle, then took off his patched woollen coat and hung it on the peg. He lifted the hem a little- the blood had already dried and was almost invisible. Dried mud was stuck to the cloth. His coat smelled of fish, it was full of bloodstains. You cannot expect a butcher to take his coat off at work in this cold, especially when he can’t afford any other clothing. The stains were all dried and looked like rust. One cannot easily make out because of the dark wool and the dirt stuck to it. The stains looked more like a subtle pattern now, almost like a pretty design in the otherwise plain coat, he thought. He admiringly stared at his coat for a while. It looked pretty, he thought. Even if it smelled of fish and blood all day. He didn’t really mind the blood, he hadn’t decided about the fish yet.
He had placed the cleaver on the small table near the door. He looked down at it with the same air of admiration, feeling the dried trails of blood. He picked it up and walked to other door at the end of the room. A gush of ice cold wind hit him as he threw away the weapon he used to kill the man, and shut the door.
Snowflakes steadily gathered on the sharp metal outside.
I paid a few thousands for my new pair today,
A fine new pair of scales,
A polished silver beam delicately embellished with an artist’s mind.
No, I’m no vendor, the pen is what I employ.
The scales are for me to carefully measure out my words,
Because the blotting paper can only soak up the periphery.
But a pair of polished silver scales? Oh they can do much more!
Keep me from accidentally spilling out words that you abhor.
I cannot deny that I am full of cowardice,
Unable to exist in the underground. I crawl back up with my puny spirit,
A perfidious poet, forcefully shutting my ears to the cries of revolution.
A half hearted agreement to my half hearted mind, “I need to stay safe”.
Within your ornamented walls of facade, I’ve agreed to perform.
Now I’m supposed to speak through your thick veil of rules,
My voice muffled…you’d hardly hear it over the censors.
So I don’t mind paying a a large price for my new silver scales.
If I am banned from speaking my mind,
I’d rather do it aesthetically.
Via Daily Prompts: Price and
Via Daily Post: Story
I sit before a heap of paper, my fingers smell of cheap ink,
Filing entries overtime. The damp walls stare at me, blankly.
This is what I do every day. In return for a few extra notes, carefully counted again and again,
Before they hand them over to me.
My only companion every night, an old metal fan clanking round and round.
White lights unnecessarily
Hang from the ceiling, shrill brightness echo in empty corridors.
I sit every day amidst the yellowed smell of papers,
And a tireless noise of three metal blades, until the pen slips several times
From drowsy fingers.
Then dragging my weary shoes through silent streets, I take the last local home and walk down a soundless platform.
Silently unlock the door, my eyes don’t need to adjust to the darkness anymore.
Five steps to the right and a small left turn towards the kitchen,
My food is always placed on the kitchen table, covered, pickle on the side.
I think of the old clanking fan, his sound the only sound in my soundless nights.
Keep me company for a short while, unfailingly every day.
I feel happy with arrangement, but not because there are no options to choose from.
I am grateful to those metal blades.
There still aren’t any options,
I sit alone every day, amid the same smell of paper and damp walls.
In the absence of the clank.
They’ve replaced the fans with stylish new air-coolers.
The office will look modern, they said.
It’s a relief to now walk down noiseless platforms and streets,
Eat my dinner silently,
End another day in my noiseless life.
It’s a relief to get out of the noiseless cold storage.
Via Daily Post: Noise
The new medicine was finally in the stores.
After years of trial and error.
A limited amount for each wrapped in tiny white paper,
My neighbors knocked on my door.
A 36 boldface Arial in the morning newspaper.
They were all going to the med store.
“Come with us”, they said.
“Purchase a miracle you haven’t ever.”
All of us moved in a snakey queue,
If only I could afford some more, I thought.
And packed for a family of four.
Several broadcasts of the creators’ interview.
They sold love in bits of paper,
A few thousand rupees per unit,
The cure for everything.
After years of trial and error.
Via Daily Post: Neighbors
Via Weekly Photo: Rounded
I tried looking around quickly, they were locking the door again. I wanted to devour the whole room with my eyes in the limited time. Failed. The thin ray of dusty light disappeared at once as he closed the strong iron door behind him. This iron cell is meant for me. It gives me some pleasure to think that I cannot be contained in cement rooms with wooden doors. But being a prisoner is not nice anyway. A shudder ran down my spine. Do I have to spend the rest of my life here? It’s so damp. They’ve probably never opened this room before. A cockroach ran across the room. I could feel sweat trickling down. I think they looked like silver beads. They generally do. I cannot see in the dark. But I need to leave this room. I cannot see anything. It is too dark in here, there are no windows. No cracks and no holes. Crawled from one end to the other. The floor is sticky, dirt stuck to my moist palms. There aren’t any ventilators either I think. I looked up at the ceiling. I cannot see it. I am getting weaker day by day. Before they come with their tubes and vials tomorrow, I need to leave. I am scared of them. You shall think it’s a joke. I am formless, but a chameleon nonetheless. I peep inside human beings, and I seep in, slowly. Like water in crevices. And that’s how I win over. Usurp their lives. Limit them, cripple them, overcome their minds. I occupy very little space. Sleep inside a tiny oval structure, the size of a nut- amygdala. But it surprises even me to sometimes think of the things I’m capable of. It’s a nasty thing, you’d say. But who has ever won over hunger? Hunger for power. Sans shape, sans teeth, sans form, I have to exercise my power in every way I can. Scared of losing my identity, I started crawling frantically once again, on the seemingly never ending wall. I wish I knew what colour the wall was. I laughed at my fate. I feel scared. Fear. A restless feeling in a non existant heart. Like falling off a cliff. Or drifting away in the sea. Mapless. That’s how you describe me, I’ve heard. I’ve already spent countless hours in this room, spent from trying to find an escape route. Should I accept defeat? Should I stay here and watch them recreating me, reproducing me in more powerful ways, be content with it? After all, my purpose is being fulfilled. But they can’t strip me of my power. You cannot live feeling inferior. They’re using me to do what I am supposed to do after all. They are supposed to fear me too. I cannot be trapped. I have to run away. I fidget in the dark. My eyes are aching from relentless attempts to look in the darkness. You think of my insidious motives and shudder when alone, but the apparent sweetness in stretched smiles of your fellow beings is more wretched than my business. They come here everyday. They come in suits and glasses and polished shoes. Sometimes, they wear cheap nylon shirts too. They caught me with their tricks and tools. They are clever. Cut me up in formless polygons and squeeze out my strength. I am mixed with vibrant chemicals, stored in air conditioned rooms. Or they make thin barrels and triggers out of me. And egg shaped shells which induce fear.
Via Daily Post: Identity