Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Here be Dragons

Posted by A Great Liar

After the sun goes down and the surrounding forest becomes quite dark, you begin to hear noises of almost innocent birds or mammals. They may sound strange to you, but the cynic within would holler and pretend they are nothing. The left hemisphere of your brain, the curious Sméagol within, seeks solace in common sense. As you prepare to sleep and lay your head down, you hear a spine-chilling wail almost like a coyote.

With his one good eye deeply shut, the old man could see them, and deep in his sleep, he hears the whispers of the specter in the remote wanderings, closing in with its weight, with the bones of the universe breaking, giving in beneath its feet, and the silence holding the woods deep in its snare. The imprints left on the patch of barren gray, sulfuric and they glowed against the dark.

You don’t come out into the Pine Barrens for a nice camping trip.

He spent most mornings hiding from the sun, while the heaven beyond the stone-age roof of his abode is stirred by the endless flights of nameless birds above. His starved fingers groping, fumbling into his cowboy leather saddlebag, gaping holes and all, taking out the yellowed bunch of parchments he had long discovered from his deceased grandfather's basement, locked and forgotten in their revered family vault. The parchments looked old, older than the world as the man had always known it to be.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A World in Black and White

Posted by A Great Liar

[The following is an excerpt from a currently undergoing novel, 'Requiem for a Vertical Man']

One quick glance at Raspil and you would suspect that he was a rat who has learned to evolve with the passage of time and exposure to human bondage. Learned to speak rather than squeal and to walk on two, a lone survivor distinguished from the rest of his clan beneath the swells and filth of the life underground; a labyrinth of dark sewers populated by the blind seers that feed upon the human waste, and look upon them as would an ill-treated disciple upon the Godhead responsible for their little misfortunes.

He entered the East End of the city, after one long hour of walking, an abstract figure with his head down, with usual brisk strides. Just one of his daily night walks.

Raspil has always felt more at home in the suburbs of the low, with the weakly lit street lights, and poorly maintained houses with broken porch stairs and the fuzzy window panes with secret messages scratched all over its glass. The old bricks that have witnessed millennia of living their lives, never to stir a limb, or utter a whimper of complain, for the years of inhuman conditions it has endured, forever plunged into the sinful cycle; the livelihood of the East End inhabitants.

The usual expressions stayed frozen for ages on the heavy laden doorways, made of thick wood from which arose a dull odor of ennui and old age, and men who appeared out of them every morning, leaving behind a stupor to join the squalor that they have grown to love and hate in their own peculiar ways; the way of an East Ender.

Silly rabbits seeking heaven in the most unlikeliest of the rabbit holes, behind dark lanes of the slums and dwellings, at the Hogan’s Alley, with years grown immune to the stench and foul odor of the little dens carefully tucked in between the residences of poverty, where strangers made merry on most nights during the week. And come every weekend, it was a mass requiem of the sinners and the unfaithful, men with prospects of syphilis, and the painted fairies of the dark who much appreciated their penchant for doom and feasted on it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Against the Day

Posted by A Great Liar


Under the relentless Sun, a little boy was down on his knees, and with his trembling finger drew what looks like the letter U, with the tip of his finger fumbling, trailing imprints of a deeper hue on the sandy surface.

The letter was done, if not too well done, and the little semblance of memory stored, bit by bit, though as yet a beginning.

Satisfied, the boy gets up and continues to walk the aimless path, with the breeze of the ocean against his fair skin. A wary soul in a middle of a land that did little to comfort him, his mere consolation being that name the boy held close to his heart, a name from the past that he had sworn to immortalize till the end of time, against all odds.

And against the call of the deep now at hand, beckoning him, asking for the final remittance for the life as yet held unaccountable.


, the boy heard the call of the dead, the wind carrying his name, hissing, speeding through ... that dreaded whiz of the thousand ghosts in unison bringing chill to his bones.

Time is not an enemy, he told himself repeatedly, time is not a friend, and began to pace faster. Behind him, the thousand footsteps of fear growing distant, allowing for a temporary respite, if not an outright reprieve.

Few paces further, now running a little short on breath, he halted and went down on his knees, fighting the tremor that has by now become a part of his soul, refusing to let go, and his little boy's hand swaying in protest against the soft land, leaving yet another imprint, a single letter, a faint but beautiful whisper to withstand the finality close at hand.

And as soon as he was done, the boy heard the wind closing in again, that roaring raving thing gone mad, covering the distant in haste with the progress of the boy on the temporary standstill, ripping through time and space with its sole emotional derivative being that of a predator for its prey; no love lost between them.

Zakaria was on his feet again, skinny legs galloping on a damp surface, now racing once more against the ghostly waltz.


Men greater than Zakaria have feared and eventually lost to the harrows of the Deep, faces before him who have looked for too long into the infinity of the mother ocean, spoken to the very souls of their ancestors from the long past, till each one of them at last joined the infinity within, embracing the roaring waves masking the quiet within its deep.

They all float down there, down the bottom of the sea where time doesn’t fly and future doesn’t breath down your neck, whispering no lies.

The deep would bring all things to naught, the little boy knew, remembering the thousand faces of the dear ones lost, smiling, crying, in love and in anguish, in youth or in old age, each one of them eventually lost to the ocean, and wishing if only there was a little magic in this world.

And with the end drawing nigh, the little boy with blue eyes found himself running short of time, the strength of the living slowly leaving him and the entire universe shrinking, eager to pinpoint all its destructiveness against that unfortunate ingénue.


And as the day drew to a close, the little boy cried like he had never cried before, his heart storming its way to a grief strangling him, a grief that wasn’t quiet but had no sound.

The tears flowed, uncontrollably and the breathing became irregular with time, the boy breathing heavily, in and out, in and out, as the soundlessness of death tightening its grip.

The tears blinded his vision as the boy lay face down on to the shore, barely able to move, his fingers now mere limp, numb and drained of will, lay half buried within the wet surface, with no letters drawn, no semblance of the memory stored, as our boy was not made of steel anymore; never had been.

He felt the void growing around him, as the ghosts finally caught up with him, now whirling him to the deep, where it lay in wait for all things great or small.

And as the world grew smaller right before his eyes, Zakaria wished if only there was a little magic in this world still, or if only the dreams were not made of clay, till he felt the thousand cold needles of the first wave, and the growling hands of the sea to follow.

Till all that was sound and all that was sight, in conscious remains as conscious subside.

[Do leave a comment, it matters...]

Monday, October 22, 2012

A God Dances Through Me (a short story)

Posted by A Great Liar

“I betcha don’t believe a word am sayin’. You one of them city boys who believe God won’t push the button nomore.” The old man said. “Well, you betcha sorry ass He has.”

Crazy people tend to prey on the fears and vulnerabilities of the other people. Most of them could smell that in their prey like no other animal.

I told myself not to panic. A single click of the ignition could be all I need to put it behind, and a bit of faith that broken down vehicles in the middle of a highway have a way of sorting themselves out on the first sign of trouble.

And the old man was trouble. He was trouble all the way.

Feeling nervous, I asked. “And when do you reckon He did that?”

“It’s been two days straight, or a little over. When did you last switched onto your radio?” He pointed to the car radio. “Or does the damn thing work?”

The damn thing that the old man referred to did work. My Sony car radio looking a touch too battered by years of neglect. 

He began pleading, as if reading my thoughts. “Yo’ sti’l plann’ to head north, arentcha? Like the rest of them fools.” He paused, half expecting me to panic and race off. “God’s finally made up His mind to get back on us you see. You ever seen people meltin’, that’s what it looked like to me back there. And most of the newborns lookin’ half finished too.”

“You been in some kind of trouble, old man?” I asked, losing my patience. “Back there where you from.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Metempsychosis (a short story)

Posted by A Great Liar

(Metempsychosis (Definition) : the passing of the soul at death into another body either human or animal)

I hear them through the looking glass, watch them flock around. I know them well enough; they never like to be alone. Peering. Eyes like legion smiling down at you, their innocence can drive you mad.

I stand up and walk about the room, shaking my head, hear things moving within. Things that don’t look too good, don’t sound neither. They croak and squeal their way around. Bolted eyes grilled on restless heads, arched figures with talons shifting gears on the narrow strip of the concrete ledge. Like empty shells carved to look like monsters.

It’s the chorus. It’s the singing at the window. There is a language in it for you to understand; put the voices together, many chords once played in unison start to make sense. It jangles my nerves, bouts of electricity piercing through my veins. Like a pendulum against my head, making it hard for me to stay still. There is another life pushing me beyond the edge of sanity, that indiscernible line. To pulsate like a ticking bomb.

Do they know what they are doing to me?

It didn’t matter. 

Unbearable. Dreadfully unbearable are the things they speak to me. I find myself a corner in the room, down onto my heels, holding my head against the temples, fingers probing nervously the throbbing hidden nerves. Trying to keep the head together, calming it down. It protests too much these days.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Boy Who Knew Death

Posted by A Great Liar

As the sun rose each morning, so did the lonely old man with it; a sad limping figure strolling across the front lawn with a cigar tucked in his mouth, lighting fresh candles here and there, perhaps on an imagined grave of some loved one long lost to the infirmity of time and age.

A young boy living across the street, with an unusual pastime for a rather simple minded 12 years old, watched the old man out at the porch each morning, raving and talking to himself or the ghosts surrounding him, with his eyes staring wide and in excitement against the narrow scope of a binocular.

At times, he saw the old man going down in a fit of wild cough, settling against the neatly layered grass and spiting what looked like blood from the distance. The boy would be disappointed each time it happened, since it almost invariably spelled an end to his little morning show.

But it was never the cough or the sight of blood that bothered the little boy, the idea that the old man might die one of these days; because in his heart of hearts the boy also had a secret about him, a secret he had sworn to protect till the end of time.


And then one fine day, when the old man began to cough incessantly, fell down, and remained unmoved for minutes on end, the young boy threw the binoculars down, got hold of one of the little Stickman Sam dolls stolen from his younger brother and ran for the house across the street; knowing that time was the enemy to all the magic in this world.

Because our little boy knew how to cheat death, though the only thing bothering him was that he just hasn’t quite perfected the art yet.

Once there, he leaned down and was relieved to find the old man with his eyes wide open, echoing loud irregular breaths.

There is still time. The boy realized; his young heart now a lucent dream in the wake of this newly found hope.

And with his eyes closed a little too tight, the little boy pressed the Stickman Sam against the failing heart of a dying old man and made a wish.

[Do leave a comment, it matters...]

Thursday, May 26, 2011

God's Business

Posted by A Great Liar

Blood came spurring out of the wound as if finally relieved of its tensions, of all that tension of living in a state of war. The little green man fell haplessly on the ground; his blood curdled eyes staring at my lily white face - the last thing that lucky commie bastard would ever get to see in this world.

Down onto my haunches I searched the body and found nothing to my liking. Like most of his kind, he lived in the teepees and humped in the bushes - now just another slit-eyed creep with his throat gashed from my bayonet.

War is murder in wholesale, somebody once said, and I say the hell with him, because we are at war. It’s the natural order of things, and you never ever fuck with nature.


We move on, like a bunch of best trained sniffers a country at war could ever hope for, slashing and moving our way in, deep within the forest.

Look behind every jumble of bushes and you see a commie either breeding, or smokin' leaves, or doing both. Keep the trigger pressed for long and it doesn’t feel so cold any more. Doing God's good work on this earth makes you feel like one lucky bastard on this cursed land of tropical horrors, where sometimes the rain and mosquitoes seem more evil than the commies.

But we move on anyway, because that is the only way, because we ain't fighting this war to win; we keep on because the job needs to be finished off. We ain't no quitters, no siree, not we; it’s about finishing what you started and moving on to better things in life.


The cigar stays tucked in my mouth as I walk. ‘Watch out for the commie dirt’, someone shouted. It's the brains splattered on the ground, mixed with a lot of blood and stuff, mostly from the guts; the other green stuff that always shows up every time we fry a commie family of four or more with an M1 semi-automatic carbine.

That’s the one to look out for, its heathen blood and its fucking contagious once you catch it; because then you can’t get it off your skin. And aint that the proof, like someone said, proof that there aint no humans around in this island till we first landed.

Good Lord has shown us signs, the right ones, and only the weak and the faithless will ever turn away from it; and once they do, they are as good as the dead commies, 'coz we need to tell the world that it's God's business we are here to mind.