There is this strange lull in the times of this otherwise hyper-activity phase of merry-making. It is this deathly stillness that we the residents of Dreamorperish fear the most.
All of us dislike them but I hate storms.
No, not because of what havoc they are capable of wrecking…not even because of the dust that waits for you to sweep it out of your house, your room or portico. Not even because of the trees that fall, buckling to the fatal blow of the ghastly wind.
But because of the memories that every storm brings along with it. The memory of the day when Christopher-the Bamboozle knocked at my door.
Centuries of conmen put together would fall short of describing what gut Christopher was made of. He was the champion of his trade. Swift of hand and quick of tongue, this heavily built man was by far the most courteous of his tribe though.
It was his easy charm juxtaposed with a true cold blood manner that aided him on his trails for hapless victims.
Just as I sit waiting for my tea to brew strong enough, my thoughts float back to the day. The day of the raging storm that knew no end. The day Christopher-the Bamboozle knocked at my door…and they day he confessed his dislike for me.
It was a stormy August afternoon in the country side of Dreamorperish. Marked by the typical lazy Saturday afternoon, it was a day to just sit back and catch up on some sleep, read a book or listen to some of ones old favourites on the radio.
All of a sudden, stormy winds started blowing, the winds howled, the trees swirled, the rooftops sounded with the pitter patter of raindrops…which soon gave way to thunder showers.
The sky darkened as if Divinity had spurted vicious, black ink on to the sky. No birds chirped. No crows croaked. The streets of Dreamorperish were de-peopled and I had this inexplicable stir in my head. Something seemed to be amiss. What was it, I was not to learn until about another hour.
I sipped some water and headed for the bed. Pulling over the sheets on myself, I prayed for the stormy rage to subside. Something told me it portends a not so happy event.
I slept for a while, not long before I heard the knock on the front door. I curled up in bed…not wanting to go out. Knock again…twice …thrice…with an ever increasing intensity.
No, I cannot ignore those hammerings on my door! I get up and go out to check who that is…I have been nursing a headache for two days now…something tells me I must not go.
I fight every instinct, resolute to go give the one who disturbed me a good piece of my mind. The storm is at its peek. It knows no end…
Christopher standing at my door…with a butcher’s knife…screaming to be heard in the midst of that storm.
“I have come to kill you, Harris,”, said he, mad with rage. I do not know the reason for his anger.
He aimed at me…whilst I duck to escape the blows he dealt with that abominable knife.
I rushed back in to the house, with Christopher close at my heels.
I screamed, but no one listened. No one came to my rescue. Oh! The storm was to blame.
He deals another blow, and now I run behind the parlour, all around the table. Christopher keeps striking…he is not the one to exhaust and stop.
“I have come to kill you Harris”, says he again. Now I have reached the rooftop…hoping against hope that some one hears my screams. Oh! The fools are all huddled inside their homes.
I know I am cornered. Christopher knows it too…slowly, but surely, he inches towards me.
I still remember that look in his eyes from the day he came to kill me. There was disgust in those black, fiery eyes. They burnt with rage! Rage for me…what for, I am yet to learn.
My end is near. I await the final blow…and then Christopher speaks, “Harris, it is not for no reason that Dreamorperish town calls me mad. Why I come to kill you, I am sure you know”.
The storm is going strong and he has to scream even harder to get his words across.
“But Christopher”, I try to make him see reason, and he hushes me with a wave of his hand. “Hush, you fool”, says he, and strikes. I can feel that knife cut deep into my heart…I scream but no one comes to my rescue.
I am incapable of uttering any more words…and he is quiet too. He strikes again…this time my head bears the blow. I am bleeding all over…and screaming, as if I am possessed. Christopher has pinned me against the wall and counts every time he stabs into me. I cannot talk. The storm is still blowing and going strong. I cannot talk. Christopher is mad, so he has no words. Our eyes do the talking.
While his flash anger and inexplicable frenzy, mine flash the look of one who is lost. He is the vanquisher, and I am the vanquished. There is fear and upheaval in my eyes. The look of a dying man, who has no one to his rescue, is no different from a rebellion of sorts…if it were in him, he would strike back…if it were in me, I would devour the very being of Christoher. But I cannot move now. I am on the floor…breathing my last. Christopher, sitting by my side, and weeping. It is not without a reason that the rest of the town called him mad.
Suddenly he strikes me again, one final blow dealt to me, and I am a dead man. However, not before my final words to him. I promised I shall be back, wherever he was, to avenge my death. I am dead now. I am lying in a pool of blood.
The storm still goes strong. Christopher is planning his escape, and he is successful in managing one.
I hate to see myself lying like that. So vulnerable, so helpless. A part of me is still crying for help. The storm is finally settling down to mild howls, whispers and whistles.
It is not before a week that the local police discover me. Thanks to old Mrs. McKenzie who reported by absence…I still remember her savouring those afternoons when I read to her after she was forsaken by her son.
A prayer has been said, the soothsayer has laid me to rest. The people of Dreamorperish have wept a tear or two, and some even forgotten me. But I have not forgotten that fateful storm. I have not forgotten my promise to Christopher. I still writhe at every storm that blows past Dreamorperish. Sitting on the rooftop of my house, I keep looking for Christpopher. I shall return for him. I am a man of my words.
Oh! The disgusting storm, it will halt now, only to throw up images from that day. Chrishtopher, I am right here, awaiting that knock on my door…every passing storm, every possible day.
P.S: These words are an attempt at a technique of storywriting/general writing...to write from differnt perspectives. More to come from time to time.