It was a dark and stormy night, the kind of night that brings ghosts, who rise from the graves staring at you with heavy lids and a flaccid mouth, a night when rain  falls in wild anarchy, the gusting wind carrying them in wild swirls one moment, straight downpour in another and diagonal slaps the very next, a night  which brings angst, bitterness and pain hanging on the branches of the poplar tree into your being, a night where it is impossible to live in the present or feel blessed, a night infested with bitter memories like cockroaches which makes your skin crawl. She loved every bit of this night, glad it came with such brutal force.

The literary circle had accused her of being a coffee table, light-hearted romance writer, feeding on the surface of life and emotions, incapable of weaving a deeper tale seething with human pain. Her fifth book had received a lukewarm response and she was ready to be dismissed. This storm was all she needed in a Californian city where rain comes to tantalize rather than torment, the kind of thunder that brings ominous black clouds in life and life never remains the same.

“Huh! They want real not knowing that real will leave them scarred in unfathomable ways,” she muttered under her breath. With her live in partner tucked away for the weekend with his friend, she sat to chop and cook pain. Cross legged on the chester cream kitchen floor, she stared at the Sabatier, the blade a single piece of high carbon stainless steel, about three inches long, similar to the one she had used eleven years ago when he had left without a trace. She had felt as if a Belaz truck had run her down emotionally and it was impossible to scrape the mangled pieces of her being and her heart. He had complained of asphyxiation in the relationship with her, she described it as ‘two bodies’ one soul’ Bollywood phenomenon.  She survived the gash she made on the wrist then but her heart couldn’t recover. The splinter stayed inside. Today she needed to bleed. The wind howled like a wolf, shattering her inside. The rain and the pain came in heavy weight water tanker flooding existence. The debris of destruction never clears up and all it needs to resurface is a revisit of the same site where it all started to

The knife makes another gash on her arm, nothing that can kill but enough to let the memories flow. She feels ready to write the saga, a story where the sun doesn’t shine, birds do not sing, and spring soon gives way to deathly cold. They wanted pain, she was equipped to release it in tones for who knew better what brewed after the coffee got cold. The laptop screen waited for her fingers, as she wrapped her cut in white cotton and started typing “It was a dark stormy night…”


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Namrata Singh
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