The Darkest Hour!

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways – Buddha

6 pm

“Faaaaaaaak” – he grimaced as another tooth broke off, and dropped out from his jaw.

He threw away the leg piece in disgust over the crystallized salt rocks. A cold shudder passed his spine, as he recollected the first time he had ever tasted this kind of flesh. He turned his gaze towards the horizon – eyes fixated on Evelyn, the waif-like body floating naked on saline waters.

“Beautiful sunset, eh” – Adam’s deep full-throated voice broke his gaze.

“How many left?” – his words sounded hollow, even to his own ears.

“Two, but both have rotted and we can’t take a chance”

“Hmmm” – he mumbled and looked into the aqua-blue eyes of Adam. The once handsome jaw was now covered with wild facial hair.

“The water’s turning choppy. Eve, come out now… ” – Adam’s voice trailed, as Iblis dragged himself to the entrance of the cavern.

The smell of decaying flesh had percolated the entire area, despite them stacking the three bodies, deep in a cold cave, a kilometre away. He sat on the moist ground, arms wrapped around the knees. The trouser was tattered, and cold limestone bit him hard on the open skin.

He picked up the sharp stone and marked out another ‘|’ on the wall – this was their 67th day. Light was fading with every passing minute and he used the fingertips to avoid his droopy eyes, from shutting down.

——————————————————————————————————————

6:30 pm

“Iblis” – the mellifluous voice broke his sleep. He looked at Evelyn’s blistered skin on the ribs jutting out under her bra. She still evoked memories of the full-bodied woman, he had met back on the ill-fated ship.

“Yes, senorita?”

” Body’s aching real bad today…” – she lay down on her stomache.

“Where’s your fuc…darling husband?” – he bit his tongue, and sat down on her hips.

“It’s his turn, naa…Setting up the flames!”

He stared massaging the back in slow, circular motions. As her tensed muscles relaxed, he unbuttoned the hook and lay his bare chest on hers.

“We don’t have any food left” – he whispered, whilst puckering at her earlobes

“What do you mean? There were two…”

“Decayed” – he looked out as darkness engulfed the last orange ray of the sun. “Let’s just do it”

“No, I can NOT” – the soft angelic voice was replete with pain.

“But, WE HAVE TO SURVIVE”

“Maybe there are fish further down…” – the desperate words were interspersed with sobs.

He went silent. The water was too saline to hold any marine life, and they had already stripped off all the coconut trees around. One by one, the remaining survivors had been hacked off. Kill the husband and fuck the wife, was the final part of his plan.

“Ok” – he heard the faintest of whispers from under him, as a pair of lips rammed furiously into his own.

——————————————————————————————————————

7 pm

They gathered around the fireplace as the final piece of meat, a salt-covered hand was being roasted over the flames. Iblis felt her cold finger touch his hand, as they stole a nervous glance.

“I love you, guys” – Adam smiled at Eve and put a few more logs in the fire.

“Love you too honey….Morning dreams come true, naa?”

Iblis pricked his thumb with the knife and a drop of blood oozed out. He got up and pulled the other two on their feet.

“To love!” – he raised the coconut shell, drank the last drop and threw it in the fire.

He grabbed both of them in a tight hug, and closed his eyes. Now was the moment.

“Aaah” – two voices rang out in unison, as his heart stopped beating for a fraction. His hands were covered with the thick spurt of blood from Adam’s back. But at the same time, a deep pain shot up in his nape. He took his left hand out of Eve’s waist and touched his neck. A hand was pushing something deeper. He looked at Eve, who smiled back.

“I WILL SURVIVE” – she shouted and thrust the sharp stone further.

Both Adam and Iblis fell on the ground, searching Eve’s eyes for atleast a single drop of tear. She shrugged her shoulders and calmly moved back to the cave. She carved out the words ‘Dead Sea’ on the wall, and licked off the remaining blood on the stone.

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones – William Shakespeare

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Passion

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.‘ – Angela Monet

The wind was howling and the 5ft 5 inches frame was hardly able to keep himself standing. “Abi, we need to move fast” – he could hear Bista shouting on top of his voice.

He nodded his head and showed Bista 2 fingers indicating he needed some more moments.

Abi took out the poster from the bag with his trembling fingers. The image was blurred in front of the moist eyes, which could hardly remain open – Vidette was leaning over him in the graduation ceremony snap. It was clicked on the day he had finally managed to finish his geophysics thesis from Tel Aviv University after 4 long years.

Suddenly random images started clouding the mind – the day he resigned from his high-flying job in Edinburgh – Vidette sobbing at the top of her voice – ‘You either select me or run after those stupid mounds all your life.’

The thoughts were interrupted by the vigorous shaking of his shoulders by Bista. He had fallen down on his knees and could hardly feel his right stump. He gave a faint smile to indicate that everything was Ok.

He took the small pole and inserted a hole into the smiling face of Vidette, and planted the flag at the summit. Suddenly the shoulders relaxed, blood seemed to return to his left leg and even the artificial right leg seemed to have got a life of its own. The baggage of the past was fluttering on top of the world.

Both climbers started the descent on the NorthEast Ridge towards the base camp. The storm still seemed far off but Abi’s heart was fluttering at the sight of the peaks, snow and clouds below. He didn’t really care about the fact that he was only the 3rd human with an artificial limb to have reached the Everest summit. Fame was never an excitement nor was the sense of achievement. It was just the howling of the wind, the flock of red-billed chough flying in the backdrop of the snowy peaks. And most of all the metamorphic rocks which were remnants of the collision of the Indo-Australian and Eurasian plates.

Passion is the genesis of genius – Anthony Robbins


Love

‘Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No… don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away’ – A quote from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Los Angeles – USA, 1987

She put on her sunglasses and waited for Roger to walk out from the front seat to open the door… There was a huge crowd waiting outside the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood Boulevard. She took a deep breath and pulled down her burgundy sequin gown slightly to reveal the assets that had taken the entire world by storm….

As soon as she stepped out of the black stretch limo, the flashbulbs went into an overdrive…She put on a pout and waved across to the crowd held back by the beefy guards standing on the sidelines… A Michael Jackson look-alike moonwalked towards her with a rose but was stalled by Roger in his tracks.

She removed her glasses to have a better look at the 2500th star embedded on the concrete recently. The five-pointed terrazzo and brass star read ‘Deborah Gibson’. Aasim would’ve been really happy to see this – 10 years back on a rainy Sunday when they had just got married, he had foretold that one day her name would be shining the brightest on this street.

“Congrats Debbie – how do you feel to have yourself embedded into a hall of fame at such a young age?” – an eager rookie from TMZ thrust his mike from amidst the jostle of the 20 odd entertainment journalists gathered today to get a juicy sound bite from one of the most controversial stars Hollywood had seen in recent times.

“Just feel a bit old now that this piece of metal has been engraved… But I guess I should have got it much earlier.” – she ran across her fingers across the red curls, which were as much a part of her personality now as the famous pout.

“And how’s the celebration planned for this momentous occasion?”

“A movie date with Aasim – of course one which featurs Ms. Deborah Gibson.”

She could see Roger moving around her a bit uneasily, as soon she mentioned the name. She answered a few more questions before whispering Roger to take her back to the mansion.

 

 

She walked into the sprawling bedroom – the curtains were closed across the huge glass doors – there were no windows and no walls – Aasim liked life to be open and bright and so did she…The whiff of lavender from the flowers across the 2 side tables gave a light, fresh feel to the room. She had asked Mary to specially ensure these were ordered today, on behalf of Aasim for her…

She could hear him snoring although it was only 7 in the evening. She quietly put their favorite Charlie Chaplin movie in the player and poured a couple of glasses of Chardonnay…The dim lights accentuated her silhoute onto the white screen installed across the bed.

She walked upto him and kissed him on the forehead.

“Happy Anniversary darling!”

Aasim opened his eyes, the paralysed body unable to move or smile, but she knew that his heart was still beating – happy and sad at the same time. It had been exactly 10 years since the day they got married and their plane crashed!

‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart’- Helen Keller