​(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]

(“The Dependence” – Part II)

When you think of it, you see that every fear funnels down to the fear of physical or mental pain or loss. If you’re afraid of height, you’re afraid you might fall and break bones or die. If you’re afraid of the dark, you’re afraid there’s a monster inside the dark which might grab and tear off a limb or two from your body. If you’re afraid of deep waters, solitude, people, whatever it is – you can know that it’s that one fundamental fear – of loss or pain. Even death is not scary; only the process which leads to it is.

One of them, however, which towers above all, and which we can call as the mother of all fears, is the fear of the unknown. The same fear which the strong, exceptional people have cultivated over the centuries to gain mass control and develop systems to harness human beings to their benefit. The same fear which explains why you’re scared of ghosts and spirits or why you’re afraid of any fucking thing at all. The fear of not knowing what lies beyond the comfort of your cozy little world. The fear of ignorance, the lack of knowledge.

I had a bad time during autumn when I caught a throat infection and couldn’t speak. It lasted long and I relied mainly on liquid diet because nothing solid was going down my foodpipe. I wasn’t going out much and was all by myself, so I picked up my pen after a long time, the one my aunt had gifted me on one of my birthdays. It is an expensive exotic piece and I used it only occasionally because one of my neighbors’ kids had dropped it on the floor and it cracked just above the ink reservoir. That notorious kid!

I fixed the pen, however, and began writing extensively, sitting on my desk by the warm table lamp as magenta winters outside began embracing the city, inching closer every night. I went on writing about anything that stirred my mind, about the things around me, the crazy ideas I had taken time to analyze (or over-analyze) because for creative worms, the surroundings are what effects their subconscious and thus, their ability to create. The books they read, the clothes they wear, the food they eat or anything capable of affecting them only in subtle and indirect ways, because they have this habit of observing the tiny little exhibits all around them. So, I kept on writing, the ink pots kept on getting emptied and piles of discarded paper kept on crowding my dustbin.

Growing up, I had never realized the dangers of the world we’re always exposed to and always vulnerable, because of the strong sense of privilege and authority which had been passed on to me by my family name. Even a few days’ inconvenience to me meant an extremely unusual and significant disturbance in the order of my life. Overtime, I had developed this habit of avoiding unnecessary conflicts by all means, dedicating most of myself to my own little oblivion. That is where I found peace, in art and in literature. That’s what gave me a sense of purpose and power – for it helped me to create. To be able to create means to be able to destroy. And when you have a very strong sense of that feeling, it gets you rid of all the mortal fears.

I used to go for morning walks, but then my throat infection worsened. So I stopped going out. You must have witnessed how, during winters, we all prefer staying indoors. How we cling to the sunlight and how even after ages of being familiar with it, we still despise the cold and the dark. 

So it was one of those morning walks when half of the city was still in deep slumber and only a few people were out on the road, when I saw the kid who broke my pen running on the street. He was ahead of me and I was watching him run playfully when suddenly he tripped over a stone and fell. I ran to him, but he had already gathered himself by the time I reached him. He had no external injuries, except for the scratches on his clothes. I asked him if he’s okay.

“No problem, bhaiya“, he said and smiled.

I noticed his mouth had blood in it. I asked him to come to his home with me and tell his parents so the bleeding could be checked. But he politely declined and went on running playfully as he was doing. I went on with my own stroll.

Later that week, an elderly man came to our house. He had gone on a pilgrimage with his wife and was returning after a long journey. His eyes look tired and sleepy, yet he spoke jubilantly to my father as they sipped tea and discussed spirituality & politics.

Shortly after the old man left the house, I went out for a smoke and to buy stationary supplies. A couple of blocks down, I saw his empty car with a flat tire. The old man was nowhere around. I thought of calling my father and asking him to call the old man and check if everything is okay, but I shrugged the thought and moved on. 

As I sat in my room that evening, filling my pen with ink, I noticed a fly buzzing loudly on my window. It was the only audible sound in that contained zone besides the ominous sound of the wall clock. The fly was trapped inside and was trying desperately to go out. The sound it made was so static, so hypnotic, I lost track of reality and dropped my pen. 

The crack opened up wide.

I picked up the pen and tried writing, but it bled dry on my table and left a huge blot on the paper sheets.

Now I am not willing to write anymore, but winters have come and I am supposed to write.

[Read Part 1: http://wp.me/p2K1U7-2s]

[Read Part 3: http://wp.me/p2K1U7-3k]

[Read Part 4:  http://wp.me/p2K1U7-3L ]