Oct 31, 2011

9. Hearts and Heads

The dark man walked all day. His feel developed blisters and every step became harder for him. He needed to reach the heart and he needed to do it fast. He thought about the gray places, the pathways between this world and the Other. He would not do it. He was too weak. The fatigue of years took over him and his knees buckled under him. He fell to the ground and turned to his side. The sinking sun's rays were bright and he closed his eyes against the glare. 

A small girl in a blue frock watched him fall. The child had painted her face with white powder and she held a pumpkin in her hand. 

Recognition of the day washed over the dark man. This was hallow's eve. The day of demons, when the barriers between this world and that were weakest. Maybe, just maybe he could risk it...


Nife was blind. The nails stuck out of his destroyed and bleeding eyes like rotting branches from hard ground. He still didn't scream. He didn't sigh or curse. He just languished in the pain. He tasted it and felt it crawl all over him like spider legs. An involuntary groan escaped his lips. The Nailwidow moved her wrist and the nails dug in deeper, reaching for Nife's brain, to end his agony. 

Then the air near Nife's makeshift grave exploded. A dark man fell out the rip in the air. His clothes were on fire. His eyes were wild and as he digested the scene in front of him. 

"Evil witch!" he yelled and raised his hand at the Nailwidow. The Nailwidow felt fear like she had never felt it before in her life. Her body was lifted off the ground as if in an invisible grip and her magic over Nife broke. She saw the boy roll over from the grave and grab at something in his sleeve. The invisible force around her increased the pressure and her ribs cracked, puncturing her lungs. Then she felt another hand on her neck. Fingers feeling and prodding as if unsure. Nife handcrawled over her neck and his other hand came up with a black knife. The nailed poked out of his eyes and a mad grin was locked on his face. He ran the knife through the Nailwidow's throat and kept cutting till he chopped through her neck and her head rolled off her neck. He fell to the ground, panting with pain and exertion. The gold coins in his pocked picked that moment to roll out and fall to the ground in a heap, skittering here and there.

The dark man looked at the coins with amusement. 

"I know the stink on these coins. You took gold to stop me?" he asked.

Nife said nothing. He could not say anything. He was dead.

The dark man looked at the carnage in the gray place and opened another rip in the air to reach the heart that belonged to him.


A blue-green light filled the small shop and the dark man stepped out of the gray place. It was his luck that he stepped into the remains of a dog. The shop stunk of death and rotting meat. He looked around and found the jar under the table. He picked it up and put it on the table. After so many years. They were together again. 

He opened the jar, put his hand in and took out the heart. It pulsed slightly in his hand. Finally at peace on finding its true owner.

The dark man sat down on the ground in the dog and man carcasses, and started to eat the heart.


Thank you for reading!!


8. Breaking Bones of The Martyr

The Nailwidow had Nife in her thrall. They were in a graveyard where grey clouds dotted the sky. Nife was laid down on a grave and Nailwidow sat on the next grave, watching the boy.

She smelt competition dripping from his bones. The boy was in pain, but not a word or a sigh escaped his mouth. She twisted and bucked his body in her hands, in her domain, the world of nails. 

Nails dug into Nife's body, bleeding him towards a slow and horrible death. There were small pins stuck in his legs and large nails in his hands. But he glared at the Nailwidow with hate in his eyes and a sneer on his face. The pain was killing Nife but it was also making him angry. His hands were pinned to the ground by the nails that the old woman had thrown at him from her bag. He moved one bleeding palm to and fro to move the nail it was stuck with. The thick nail gave way and Nife freed one hand from the ground. He brought his hand to hit face and grabbed the nail with his teeth. With an agonizing pull, he yanked the nail out of his hand. 

The Nailwidow watched him do all this with amusement. He lunged at her with the nail in his hand, but she was just out of his reach. She flinched for a bare second, by the force of his action, but regained her composure.

"Calm down boy. The more you move, the sooner you will die. Don't make it so hard for yourself."

Nife said nothing. 

"I don't like the way you look at me," she said, "I am almost as old as your mother, if you ever knew her, show some respect."

Nife spat at her and the globule of spit landed at her feet. 

"Today's kids..." she sighed.

Her fingers moved, and two large nails rose from her bag as if lifted by invisible strings. And they floated right above Nife's eyes.

The Nailwidow fixed Nife with her stare.

"Beg." she said, as she lowered the nails on Nife's eyes.

Nife said nothing. And the nails kept getting closer.


Meanwhile, the darkman, who was now sated on Nife's kill moved out of the alley and into the morning sun. He looked at the watch that was looped around his wrist and saw that it pointed him in the same direction he was heading to. He put the watch in his pocket and started to walk. There was lot of distance to be covered and the heart was calling out to him now.


In the small shop, the shop owner's body was starting to rot. A dog smelt the stink of meat and made its way into the shop from an open window. It started to eat the decaying body of the shopkeeper. The glow from the jar scared the dog a little bit, but it's hunger was more scary. It continued to eat. The heart pulsed a little harder now that it could feel the dark man coming for it. 


Part 9 Tomorrow!!

Oct 30, 2011

7. The Darkman Cometh

Once the dark man had fed from the watch man's body he stumbled out of the building. Although he was a bit unsteady on his feet, he knew he had to travel. He looked at the watch he had take from the dead man's pocket. Now it glowed a deep red. Pulsing with every beat of a heart that was far far away, waiting for its owner. For him.

The dark man found a horse tied around a post in the city. He climbed on the horse and pointed it in direction shown by the watch. As he spurred the horse and slumped in the saddle, the horse started its slow trot in the direction of the heart in a jar. The dark man's closing eyes saw the watch in his hand pulse brightest once and then darkness took him. 


Back in the city, Nife was showing his knives to the girl. Tears were streaming down her face and smearing her face with mascara, just the way Nife liked them. He used each knife to demonstrate it's function and the girl's body bore bloodied remains of Nife's handiwork. 

"Please, no." the girl begged Nife to stop as he showed her his favorite knife, the black bladed one that he kept hidden in a skin sheath on his left arm. He turned the girl around and slammed her face first in the wall of the alley. With one hand, he grabbed her hair and pulled her head back to reveal her neck that gleamed with sweat in the little light that escaped from the bar into the alley. Nife put the black knife to the girl's throat...

"Stop." A voice full of authority and malice stopped Nife in his tracks. He slit the girl's throat anyway and turned around to face the source of the voice. 

The old woman from the bar was standing in the doorway, framed by the light from the bar, her silhouette radiating menace and danger. 

But Nife was not afraid, the old woman just represented another challenge for him. Another form that he could destroy and erase from existence. He spun a new knife in his hand and threw it at the woman's head. His aim was true but the knife stopped an inch from the woman's face. It hovered in the air above her head and she calmly plucked it from the air.

"Is this the best you can do, boy?" her old voice mocked Nife. He saw a flash of steel and he barely dodged his own knife that the woman had thrown at him. She was fast and she was right next to Nife in an instant that it took him to draw a breath. 

"You're in my domain now." She grinned at him and stabbed him with a nail that hung from her neck by a thread. 

If Nife had a tongue in his mouth, he would have screamed, but he just gurgled and made an empty sound in his throat as the world spun away from him and the last thing he saw was the old woman's teeth growing larger in his field of vision.


The dark man opened his eyes and he saw that the horse had brought him to a city. There was still some time to sun rise and the lights of a bar barely illuminated a dark alley. He half climbed down, half fell from the horse and crawled towards the dark alley. There was a girl's body lying there, with her jugular vein cut and the blood still warm from her body. The dark man thanked whatever gods that were looking after him and he fed again. 


Two more parts! :) Cheers!

Please share if you enjoyed reading!

Oct 28, 2011

6. The Power Of Gold

Nife thumbed the edge of his black knife till the small cut in his thumb started to bleed. He put the thumb in his mouth and sucked on it. He fiddled with the other knives in his pockets, cutting and nicking his hands several times. But the pain went unnoticed. He wanted to kill again. He had taken the shadowy man's gold and the coins were heavy in his pocket. He wanted to get rid of them. 

The lights of the tavern attracted him like a candle attracts a moth. He walked in and took a seat by the bar. The bar was silent and dark. There were slivers of light here and there, hinting motion. Nife's eyes adjusted to the darkness and he made out figures sitting on tables. There was an old woman sitting in a far corner. As far as Nife could tell, she had no business being here, but there she was. He ignored her and threw a few coins on the bar. The jingle of gold stirred few shadows from the semi-darkness in the bar. The barkeep appeared behind the bar and the coins vanished under an expert swish of his hand. 

"And what shall sir have tonight?" 

Nife pointed at the barrel on the other side of the bar. The barkeeper grunted and disappeared back into the darkness. 

Sitting on the table in the bar, Nife felt the peculiar sensation of being observed. He turned around on the stool and saw a pretty girl staring back at him. She was close and he could smell her perfume, heavy and cloying like something alive. Her hand touched his leg and slowly snaked up his trousers. He caught her wrist before she reached the bag of gold. She smiled at him and bit the tip of her tongue between her teeth. 

"Would sir like to go somewhere private?" she whispered in his ear. 

Nife was once again amazed at the change gold made to a person's chances. Earlier he had to drag women out in private places, and now she was taking him there. He smiled back at the girl and she giggled a shrill laugh.

The old woman in the other corner of the bar saw the exchange happening. She held the nail that hung around her neck and pulled at the string. She smelled competition and she did not like it even a single bit. 

As Nife and the girl made their way out of the bar, to a back alley, the Nailwidow got up from her chair and followed them. 


Three more, and then we plunge into nanowrimo :)

Oct 23, 2011

5. The Abandoned City

The city was empty of all living things. Tumbleweed rolled through the streets and shutters of the shops flapped in wind like hands waving goodbye. The structures of the city were getting eaten slowly by rot and there was moss growing on some of the structures. The salty sea winds made everything stink of the sea and the silence was disturbed only by occasional slapping of doors or windows by the wind.

The horseman entered the city from the one of the broken roads in the north. His horse neighed and bucked with every step and the horseman tried hard to control the horse. He got to flat part of the road and got down from the horse.

"Now now, where are you hiding big man..." he said to no one at all.

The watch in his pocket pulsed once and he took it out. There was a small light blinking at 11 on his watch. He took a step in that direction and the light blinked harder. He tied his horse to a building's door and started walking in the direction where his watch was pointing him.

He came up to another broken down structure and kicked the door in. The smell inside the building assaulted him like something physical and he was forced to take a step back. He blinked tears out of his eyes and shielded his nose against the stench.

"Always the shitty jobs for me." he grumbled.

There were other doors inside the building and he went through them, descending into the gloom of the building, guided only by his watch's light that grew stronger with every step. There was an equal green glow coming from somewhere further in the darkness and he headed towards it.

The source of the glow was a big box that was placed on an altar. There was a small circular indention in the box which looked the perfect size of his watch.

"Oh well, here goes nothing."

He looped off the chain of the watch from his left arm and placed the watch in the recess.

Nothing happened for a while.

The man tapped his foot, waiting for something to happen.

Then the watch slowly started to turn clockwise. It turned a full revolution and stopped. The lid of the big box shifted slightly and more green light spilled out.  A hand, scarred and old, with broken nails and chewed off fingers, curled out of the green-lit coffin.

"The heart beats."

The voice that came from the coffin was as ancient as the first of the voices, aged by it's time alone in 
the box with nothing but the sound of breathing for company. It was the voice of someone who had almost forgotten how to speak.

The man with the watch wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. The hair on his neck stood up with the static electricity in the air.

The hand on the edge of the box strained itself and as the face rose up from the box, the watch man fainted. The last sliver of his consciousness didn't want him to ever wake up again.

The figure in the box fell out with a wet slap on the floor and broke the neck of the prone watch man on the floor. It stuck its fingers inside the bloodied neck and began to feed. It needed energy, for the way to get back his heart was going to take some time.

Part 6, when inspiration strikes. Which will be soon. What is Nife up to, i wonder...

Oct 17, 2011

4. Beacon

The Nailwidow prepared for the journey. She collected her herbs and charms in a small bag and put it inside a big bag that she slung over her  shoulder. Her staff, made from an ancient tree's branch leaned against a wall of her cave. When she picked the staff, light danced in the runes carved on the wood and it hummed with energy. It stank of death.

Nife was packing more knives in his belt and on his person. There was a knife for carving and a knife for slashing and there was a knife for picking pieces of soul of the people he had killed. His teacher had always told him to carry as many knives as he needed and none that he would not. The last knife that he slipped in a sheath made inside the skin of his own right, had no name. It was a black piece of iron that demanded only one thing. Blood.

The dark man who had hired Nife's services for retrieval of the jar sat in his room under a busy street and threw dice on the floor. He counted all the number and the number of times he had thrown. He calculated everything to align with the stars and predicted futures that could have been. He counted 977 futures in which he would have the possession of the heart in that jar.

The old man's body in the small shop slowly rotted and flies started to lay eggs in his empty eyes. No one walked through the door of the small shop.

The heart in the jar now pulsed with a red glow like a homing beacon.

Calling out to its owner.

After a century of silence.

Oct 14, 2011

3. Nife

Nife was slitting the throat of hooker in an alley behind the Mad Monkey Bar when he got a job offer.

"Heard you're a heart specialist." a voice asked from the darkness farther up the alley.

Nife wiped his knife on the hooker's shoulder and nodded.

"We need to recover a heart in a jar."

Nife raised his clean hand and rubbed his index finger on his thumb.

The owner of the voice tossed him a small bag that stank of gold.

"It's in a shop. You better hurry."

And that's how Nife accepted a job that would leave him dead.

Oct 12, 2011

2. The Nailwidow

The woman was old as ancient trees. Her fingers were gnarly and her hair hung like shreads of a shroud from her head. A rusty nail hung from a black thread around her neck and she held the nail in her hand as she threw herbs in a fire.

Her cave was small and the darkness was only chased by the small fire that burned in the hearth. There was no warmth in the fire, it only intensified the chill in the air.

"The heart beats."

A crooked smile spread on the nailwidow's face and her hollowed eyes sucked in the light of the fire.

"The heart beats."

Her laughter filled the dark cave.

In the small shop of curiosities in an unnamed city, the heart continued to beat, unaware that the game for its possession had just begun.

Oct 11, 2011

1. The Jar

"Antiques and Curiosities"

The words were written on the shop's front in faded ink and a script that was almost dead. Few people visited the shop these days, except some lost tourist who wanted to take away a slice of old world with him.

Inside the shop the old man who owned the shop was lying on the floor and having a heart attack.

He clutched his chest and breathed deep breaths, knowing that any breath could be his last. With a superhuman effort that betrayed his dying state, he pulled up to his counter and pressed a lever under the table. The wood on the floor under the counter slid back, and a jar emerged. It was filled with cloudy yellow liquid and something floated inside the jar.

The old man tried to push the jar to the ground when another spasm from his heart sent him flopping away from the jar. His spine arched like a bow and he thrashed on the floor like a fish out of water and in the frying pan. Smoke started to bubble from his ears and his eyes popped back in their sockets like flaccid balloons. His tongue darted from his mouth like a black snake and his hands clutched at his throat till he couldn't breathe any more.

His body relaxed and the smell of shit filled the air.

Inside the jar, a floating heart started to beat.
More tomorrow, this is part one.

Oct 10, 2011

The Scream

Janis walked on the road to her home. The setting Sun cast new shadows on the warehouse walls as she walked by. She slowed her pace for a few moments to admire the scenery. It was then that she heard the scream

It was an animal sound of anguish and pain. Janis stopped for a beat as the echoes of the scream died away in her mind. It came from somewhere behind her, from one of the warehouses. Maybe someone was in trouble.

But I've got enough troubles of my own.

She looked ahead at the setting sun and kept on walking. She saw the corner of her house by the next turn. There was a girl standing there. Her clothes were torn and blood was pooling at her feet.
Janis walked faster towards the girl but she didn't get nearer. Janis kept walking but her house was at the same distance as it had been a step ago. She broke into a jog, but she was running in the same spot.

The girl with blood at her feet looked straight at Janis, a thought exploded in her head.

Should've helped me.

Then it was Janis' turn to scream.

Oct 8, 2011

Do You Like Fear?

When you are walking down a dark road on a lonely night, do you think you are truly alone?


Oct 5, 2011

A Call From My Sister

It was 8.30 in the morning and I was barely awake when the phone rang. My sister’s number was on the screen.

“Morning.” I croaked into the phone.

“Bhai, I just got a one hour lecture from papa.” She said.
“What happened now?”

“He was angry that you don’t wear good clothes.”

Jesus Christ.

“This time when you visited, you were wearing a dirty shirt and jeans with the type of shoes that he hates.”

“I wear such clothes to piss him off.” This is not what I said.
“I changed three buses to get home. There was dust and dirt in those buses, the clothes I wore from home were clean, but they got dirty in the journey.” I made the excuse.

“Yeah, but he won’t hear none of it.”

“Alright, I’ll wear good clothes from now on.”

“And he was also complaining about the four previous visits home when you wore shitty clothes.”

“Take me shopping when we meet next. You know I can’t shop clothes for myself. I end up picking all blue or grey t-shirts.”

“Yeah, we must go shopping when we meet next.”

“And tell dad that he is going to sponsor all the shopping. I am not paying a rupee for my clothes from my pay.”

“I’ll tell him,” she said.

We said bye and cut the call. I got up from my bed and looked for clothes to wear to office. First, I ironed a t-shirt, then I picked a shirt that had been hanging behind a door for quite some time and pressed that.

Then I thought about buying a tie. And black shoes.

Oct 4, 2011


The coconuts contained memories.

They were only shells now but these shells held magic that would make grown men weep like newborn babies. Lovers torn apart by life and circumstances visited the shrine of coconuts, touched the empty shells, shared the memories of thousands who had touched the shells before them, and they cried.

Everyone cried.

Such is the magic of the wicked poison called love.  

Oct 3, 2011

Sins Leak Through

The old man tried his best to lock his memories behind the door. Most of the days, he failed. Then there were days when the memories were tired and lethargic, so they stayed put. On rainy days, his memories jumped up and bit his elbows like hungry puppies.

He leaned hard on the door of his mind to keep the memories in, but he was an old man and he didn't weigh that much.

On his birthday, he cried alone and wished for death. The forever sleep.

He had not slept properly since the day he had killed his family, his dogs and everyone in the neighborhood. Now, their corpses heaved and pushed from the ground and no matter how much he cried or tried, his sins leaked through.