Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The incomplete book

Chapter 1

“The formidable curse”, he read the title and loved it. He always wanted to read such a book. And now he had one for himself. He carefully kept it in the drawer of his study. While leaving, he turned back and looked at the drawer, thinking ‘Why don’t I just start with it, one page maybe’. He went back to the drawer, opened it and took out the book. He read, “The formidable curse” and “Chapter 1: The Visitor” and
“Those were the months of dryness and bitter cold and little Joshua sat near the bonfire along with his uncle, parents and others. They were a part of community of farmers and shepherds and those winters were the worst times of the year for them, as the whole of land and water around, and perhaps everything distantly visible were covered with snow. After sometime, while sitting near bonfire, Joshua felt thirsty but ignored the feeling. They only had some raw meat and nothing else for themselves, and they didn’t cook the meat, or they’d loose perhaps the last source of water for them.
It is said that these winters were not natural, but were a curse upon their society by some unknown visitor. He had said, “Thou shall suffer the way I have suffered because of you all, thou shall have inhabitable conditions here but will not die. The winters and dryness would be pain, suffering and only the one who doesn’t belong to your society, nor believes in your evil practices, but loves you all as his own family, shall restore thy summers and rains to you.
Alas, the visitor…”

He heard a familiar voice calling from downstairs, “Sir, we have a visitor here,” which brought him back to his study from those cold biting winters. It was as if he’d been there for the past few minutes. He felt his shivering dissipate quickly and as the warmth of the room entered his cold body, he felt the sense of warmth inside. He loosened his body, unclasped his hands, and without looking at the book, quickly kept it back into the drawer.

“What is it Sebastian?” he asked as he left the room and reached the stairs. But he didn’t have to wait for a response.

“Uncle, it’s me, Nick! How’ve you been?” said a young man in his early 20s, while getting up from the couch.

“Nick dear, how’re you?” he exclaimed, smiling, as he walked down the stairs and towards him, though it took him a few seconds to recognize his nephew.

“I am fine, uncle. How have you been all these years? Looks like you haven’t changed at all. You still keep yourself busy in your study.”

“Oh yeah, that’s my way of living, and I like it!” he said excitedly, “So what made you visit your uncle after so many years?”

“Well finally I’ve completed my college and got a job. I am an architect now.”

“That’s great news.” his uncle interrupted.

“And during my college life, I couldn’t visit you! You lived quite far from my home and college. I don’t know why you had to do this to yourself and to us. I still don’t know why you left us that evening.”

“Well, that’s history now, I suppose.” his uncle smiled, with guilt and a deep breath.

“Mother misses you a lot.”

“Nick, maybe I should show you around, and then I need to leave for some important business. I want you to enjoy your stay while you are here. Sebastian here will be of assistance to you while I am away this afternoon” his uncle said and showed him around.

“Wow Uncle, you do still have a lake in the neighborhood.”

“Yes Nick and I suppose that means that this weekend we can go fishing sometime.”

“I’d love to.”

Two days later:

“I had been waiting for you since last one hour by the lakeside, alone, with that fishing net in my hand and staring the water in the lake, and mountains beyond that. The place looked wonderful you know, but I wanted it to by like the old days, you showing me around, we sitting together.”

When he didn’t get any response, Nick was surprised.

“If you had some work to do, you could have just told me. We’d have gone sometime later.”

No response again.

Nick was standing at the doorway of the study; his uncle was sitting on a chair, with his back facing the door, in a stiff pose as if reading something, and surprisingly looked cold. He didn’t budge at all. He was totally fixed in one position, though Nick saw him shivering occasionally. He waited for a couple of minutes, thinking that he might be sleeping, but that twitching in his uncle’s body, that occasional shivering made him sense that something was wrong.

“Uncle, Uncle Mark!” this time Nick raised his voice.

Mark’s body gave a jolt and jumped on his chair. Nick saw his body loosening, relaxing, as he shook a little, then turned and said, “O hello Nick, when did you come? So, is it time to go fishing!”

Nick simply stared at him.

1 comment:

Bhanukiran said...

Hmm an interesting first chapter!! Looking forward to the next one. Yeah ur grammar is much better than mine for sure...

PS Maintain a nice pace and do not delay publishing the next chapters else people might forget what was there in the earlier chapter :D