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.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Displaced Gods of the Lot

Posted by A Great Liar

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

The Lot is situated close to the eastern end of the Suburbs of the Low. Left to its own devices thousands of years ago, the place is now molten with disposed memories from time unmeasured, scandalized items once worshiped now disposed off like displaced gods of a pagan temple, and the mass garbage that still stank of the human soul gone awry with the imminence of death.

The tattle tale of the owners and the owned.

There were graffiti all over the four walls, but you would have to hang upside down to make out anything from most of them, drawn by men with little sense of the vertical and horizontal; poor mathematicians who lived and humped like bats.

A sight that inspired a sense of godlessness, a land tinted with the aesthetics of waste marking the intersections of our personal histories, underlying interests, conscious and unconscious desires. A slide show of our deep humanity, as well as our flaws, that now looks dirty or offensive in retrospect.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Ghost of Winter

Posted by A Great Liar

The rustle of midnight leaves against the winter wind isn’t the only sound outside his cottage in the wild.

Despairing against the liquor bottle fast drying up, he heard the faint footsteps approaching, realizing that the darkness has come for him.

Gripping the sledgehammer in his hand, he waits for that knock on the door.


This post is written for the Best 55 Fictionist Contest, hosted by Sasikumar Raja Blogs at Beginner

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Of Patriotism and Other Diseases…

Posted by A Great Liar

I sat quietly in front of the TV set, listening to the harmonized rhetoric from a happy idiot lip sucking the seemingly endless series of lyrics that smacked of patriotism and the much needed melodrama accompanying it, as always.  

From the corner of my eye, I had an obscure vision of Ammo entering the lounge, with the usual evening ammunition of pot and weed candy in her hands, all ready to suck in the marijuana once again, her nightly occupation for as long as I have known her.

She fixed herself a cigarette, and eventually noticed the popular song being played on TV, and exclaimed. “Holy friggin’ crow, Lev. Since when were you a nationalist soul?” A smile of amusement beginning to smear her face.

I gave her a look of horror, meeting her eyes, the bleary look within an evidence of the fact that the magic weed has finally started to weave its spell on her, and said. “You greatly disappoint me Ammo, not for the life of me will I ever stoop as low as that.”

She frowned. “What are you implying exactly?”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Against the Day

Posted by A Great Liar


I

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.


II

Zakaria
, 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.


III

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.


IV

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.

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