(This is a work of fiction. The writer gives to the reader the liberty to post this work anywhere online but not with wrong credits. Also, any form of printing or publication is prohibited without prior notice.)

[Short Story]

Despite of how we all perceive it, why do we say there’s always a silence before the storm?

Not because the storm is too loud itself to make that silence felt, but because it sucks out all the noises before it comes, like water draining down a sink hole – leaving behind the wide, open end of the whirlpool for a tail, full of vacuum.

This wide, open end can be taken as symbolic of a welcome of something so majestic, we all get dwarfed by its presence. We are helpless & powerless in front of its frame, making it an object of worship and of religious importance.

Over the years, we have seen brooding storms, looming above our heads. Sometimes, they pass over silently, while other times, they just come and stay for too long and let us watch our fates getting washed away with waves and waves of whiplashes of water and howling winds. They affect us all in subtle & slow ways, invisible to the naked eye.

Some other times, only an individual is affected by it.

The storms inside him had been there from the days he took hold of his senses. These rather violent beings were his driving forces, coming out in waves of strange patterns. He was confused of his state of mind, because he thought that his actions were merely projections of what his subconscious had picked up along the way, unaware of the beautiful art he was spreading all around himself, every minute of his existence.

He was told that he wasn’t meant to be this way and so he started feeling that he didn’t belong there. He was expected to keep those storms buried deep under his skin. At first, it was difficult, but human mind is tamable, after all.

So, just like that, all the storms inside him died years ago. He had long picked up the debris in the aftermath and built new settlements, too, as he was convinced he didn’t belong there.

He didn’t belong here, either.

“What the fuck am I even doing here?” he thought out just a bit loud to let the strange old man sitting beside him listen. The old man didn’t react to it. Instead, he kept on swinging his rocking chair back and forth slowly, like the last ten or maybe fifteen minutes.

“Who gives a shit about if it’s ten or fifteen? It’s irritating, it’s irritating” he thought again, this time the volume knob low.

They both kept looking at the painting on the wall in front of them.

“This is a Renaissance masterpiece. One of the lesser-known-to-the-modern-world painters”, said the old man. “This is based on a regional legend that if two storms accompany each other, the seas sing in joy and if you’re out on a voyage, you can actually hear them sing. The four ships denote the evenness of the sacrifice those people used to make. Two to each storm” the old man went on with his own version of the description of that painting.

The artwork was some Italian impressionist work in oil paint, depicting dark clouds over a port which harbored four ships, their masts dark silhouettes in the bright underbelly of the clouds painted in thick brush strokes. There wasn’t much color or contrast, this was a rather gray painting.

“Do you still get the same urges?” the old man spoke again, after they had finished filling up their eyes with the contents of that unappealing artwork for the second time.

“Yes. And even more” he retorted.

“I feel like setting fire to the entire furniture, wood work, the lilac, the floor, the walls and everything inside this room. I want to just sit and watch everything burn and then, when this room is filled with smoke, I want to breathe in the achievements of my doings”

“How can you call them achievements, if they are only meant to destroy things?” asked the old man.

“Everything gets destroyed, eventually. And just like that, everyone has their own favorite way of destruction, the one they prefer over other ways. Everything is matter and destruction is basically a metamorphosis to a different state. What’s not matter, cannot be destroyed.”

“Do you think you’re not made up of matter? Or, let me rephrase my question – do you BELIEVE you’re not made up of matter? And this is how you walked out of your own burning house alive and unhurt? They say you were the one who torched it and then went to the attic yourself?” asked the old man.

“No” he said. And let out a smile.

The old man waited for him to say something else or something more, but he didn’t.

He looked at the painting once again, picked up his belongings and went out of the house. The clouds from the painting were coming alive, outside. He could see the four harbored ships. He knew they all belonged to him.

A rain drop fell on his face and he paused to look at the sky. There was a storm at the horizon and after so many years, one inside him. Two accompanying storms. The seas will sing, he thought. The waves inside him were growing wild, again. He smiled again and closed his eyes.

Moments later, he opened his eyes in a smoke filled room.