Every Tuesday Night

I am waiting in a restaurant and the atmosphere is precisely what I witness every Tuesday night, mundane with a hint of gloom, characteristic of this decades old establishment, located at the far end of a scarcely populated street. Only one of the rickety old tables is occupied by any customers, a family of three and their presence adds to the dreary atmosphere of the restaurant.The silence amongst them filled only by the dull clink of pots coming from the kitchen, the chef presumably preparing whatever it is that the family ordered. From the sultry expressions on each of their faces it seems to me that they had a little argument at home and hence decided to eat out at the nearest place to break the tension hanging in the air around them.But this dismal ambience was soon broken, for the clock struck nine and the sound of a door swinging fell upon my ears and in walked the one reason I have been visiting this restaurant every Tuesday night.My younger sister.Now in the 22nd year of her life, she looks cheerful as always. She orders an ice cream sundae and sits across of me. I watch her eat the sundae, just like we used to every Tuesday before my demise 5 years ago. A single tear rolls down her eye and she wipes it away with a bittersweet smile, reminiscing all the memories we made together. Out of the corner of my eye I see the family of three finally talking to each other, the veil of tension thinning amongst them and I like to believe it is because of my little sister’s presence brightening the world of others just as she does to mine. I watch her as she finishes the sundae licking the last bit of chocolate, a habit I have seen ever since we were little kids and then she stands up to leave. I smile wistfully at her retreating form and prepare myself to return amongst the dead. After all, lost souls like me are granted a mere few minutes every week to roam amongst the living and I spend every second of this time looking at her, my dear little sister.

My younger sister.Now in the 22nd year of her life, she looks cheerful as always. She orders an ice cream sundae and sits across of me. I watch her eat the sundae, just like we used to every Tuesday before my demise 5 years ago. A single tear rolls down her eye and she wipes it away with a bittersweet smile, reminiscing all the memories we made together. Out of the corner of my eye I see the family of three finally talking to each other, the veil of tension thinning amongst them and I like to believe it is because of my little sister’s presence brightening the world of others just as she does to mine. I watch her as she finishes the sundae licking the last bit of chocolate, a habit I have seen ever since we were little kids and then she stands up to leave. I smile wistfully at her retreating form and prepare myself to return amongst the dead. After all, lost souls like me are granted a mere few minutes every week to roam amongst the living and I spend every second of this time looking at her, my dear little sister.

The silence amongst them filled only by the dull clink of pots coming from the kitchen, the chef presumably preparing whatever it is that the family ordered. From the sultry expressions on each of their faces it seems to me that they had a little argument at home and hence decided to eat out at the nearest place to break the tension hanging in the air around them.

But this dismal ambience was soon broken, for the clock struck nine and the sound of a door swinging fell upon my ears and in walked the one reason I have been visiting this restaurant every Tuesday night.

My younger sister.

Now in the 22nd year of her life, she looks cheerful as always. She orders an ice cream sundae and sits across of me. I watch her eat the sundae, just like we used to every Tuesday before my demise 5 years ago. A single tear rolls down her eye and she wipes it away with a bittersweet smile, reminiscing all the memories we made together.

Out of the corner of my eye I see the family of three finally talking to each other, the veil of tension thinning amongst them and I like to believe it is because of my little sister’s presence brightening the world of others just as she does to mine.

I watch her as she finishes the sundae licking the last bit of chocolate, a habit I have seen ever since we were little kids and then she stands up to leave. I smile wistfully at her retreating form and prepare myself to return amongst the dead. After all, lost souls like me are granted a mere few minutes every week to roam amongst the living and I spend every second of this time looking at her, my dear little sister.

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A New Year’s Eve

It’s half past 11 now and the night is younger than it has ever been  in the past 364 days. There’s a light buzz in the atmosphere as if someone has sprinked electric energy ino the air . It is coupled with a whiff of anticipation and an inexplicable excitement that seems to be flowing through everyone’s veins.

There’s a couple of them flailing their limbs around in an elaborate sequence, dabcing is what they call it. They look ridiculous but indefintely happy.
A few seem to be playing a game of who can hug the most people before 12am. No one seems to be complaining even though those are sloppy displays of affection.

And I am leaning against an isolated corner, it’s  a good vantage point to observe, not so much if you want to participate in the celebrations.

My job  is to observe.

It’s a fascinating sight, all these people looking forward to the next 15 minutes as if it is a completely new begining when in reality half of them will be too hungover to get out of bed till noon.

I mean sure it can be an utterly new begining but they don’t know this, humans can’t reset themselves.

There’s a ringing sound just then, only audible to my ears.
It’s a call from the mothership,
‘shall we initiate memory reset?’

‘No. They don’t need it.
What these intriguing creatures do need are their experiences, good and bad. They seem to carry hope for a better tommorrow even though most seemed to be morbid about 2017.
Let’s leave these complex beings  to survive at their own devices.’

For now.

___________________________

A/N 

🌺HAPPY 2018 EVERYONE🌺

Beware

I woke up with a start.

Gasping desperately for breath. I could feel the sweat droplets dripping down my face, slowly slithering across my cheekbones. 

But my body was trembling, I was shivering with fear that gripped my entire being. A chill ran down my spine as the remenants of the blood curdling nightmare lingered in my mind.

And as my eyes adjusted to the darkness in my room, my heart seemed to stop.  My life flashed before my eyes and all I felt was sheer terror.

The same bloody eyes I dreamt of were staring right at me from my bedroom’s doorway. 

A beat.

Horrifying talons ascended upon my chest, pierced through my chest and straight to my heart. I couldn’t even scream.

The last thing I heard was a sinister hiss

You were a fool to summon me’


That night,

another feast for the devil at the hands of a silly little ouija board.

Sometimes the Shadows Win

 Saturday

The atmosphere was nauseating with the stench of blood that was pooled around the body of a man who seemed to be somewhere in his late 60s. Despite being a homicide detective for only 6 months, this wasn’t an unfamiliar sight to Brent Underwood after all, humanity had its fair share of insane criminals.

The murder had taken place at a cheap motel-the kind that catered to odd hour visits by customers seeking pleasures of the flesh, but no room of that dingy little building must have ever witnessed flesh pulled apart from a person’s body.

Until on a Friday night when Valentino Morgan was ruthlessly murdered in Room no. 13. He was castrated and his eyes poked out. The weapon was not found, but it seemed to be the work of a long and thin, however considerably blunt object.  The body was soon sent for forensic tests.

Stella, Valentino’s companion for the night was the first to come across the crime, her screams had alerted other inmates of the motel. The terrified woman wasn’t very useful, it was her first meeting with Valentino and hence all she knew was his name. In fact none of the other inmates proved to be of much help, from the motel manager ( that is if you could call someone with a dusty notebook and hand written records sitting on a chair not caring about what happened in the rooms above as long as he was paid, a manager) all Brent gathered was about Valentino’s habit of  frequent indulgences.

It was 5 am now and without any crucial evidence, the investigation was put on hold for a couple of hours. After all, even detectives needed to sleep.

Brent stood in the middle of the crime scene with a cup of coffee in his hand and brows pulled together in concentration. His eyes swept around the room, searching for any clue that might have been missed in absence of daylight. There was no furniture in the room besides a rickety bed with some old spotless sheets rumpled slightly at one corner. The body, Brent recalled was not facing the door, the killer either had to be familiar with Brent for him to invite the person in or there had to be a different entrance. Undoubtingly it was the window-it had no latch or grill and it was large enough to fit an average adult. The killer must have pounced through the window- conveniently enough there was a huge pipe running right beside Room number 13’s window. Being only a one storey motel, it was almost a cake walk for the killer to break in.

Brent was unnerved by the lack of substantial evidence, he looked down the window- a beautiful bed of roses lay right under the pipeline. There was however a patch of crumpled flowers-vaguely in the shape of feet, finally an evidence presented itself. Wasting no time Brent measured the shoe size and ordered for a plaster of the same to be made.

Later that evening, the forensic report claimed to have found a tiny chipped plastic piece from one of the eyes- quite unlike a weapon. The plaster of shoe print revealed it to be a size 9 combat boot.

Brent had sent out investigators to collect information about as many indulgences of Valentino as possible. A previous argument or conflict could easily be a motivating factor to commit the murder. Unfortunately, nothing came up. Valentino had never spent 2 nights with the same person, none knew more than his name and generous payment hobbies. ___________________________________________________________

The rushing water cleaned away remnants of blood on the spindle shaped hair clip. Combat boots now cleaned off mud.

Both securely placed behind a mirror.

The reflection in the mirror grinned coldly at itself.

___________________________________________________________

Monday

Alex Rogers was a forensic expert who usually worked with Brent Underwood, professionally they made a great team partly because they had been friends for 2 years now. Despite their contrasting personalities the duo worked with utmost precision. While one would describe Alex as a perpetually grumpy man with a frown etched on his face, Brent was calm and optimistic. So naturally when Monday rolled in with the news of another murder orchestrated as if it were a replica of Valentino’s, Brent approached the crime scene with a collected persona, and Alex was simply annoyed at what he deemed to be an inconvenient situation. He had never shown any sympathy for victims before, this time was no different.

The victim- Ken Douglas, a 60 something man was murdered in his apartment. He lived alone and was killed in his sleep-as was evident by no physical marks of defense or struggle. The killer had precisely cut his jugular vein leading to quick death then proceeded to castrate the man and poke his eyes out. Such resemblance to Valentino’s murder- a killing spree, what else could it be?

Further investigation of Douglas’ belongings led to an interesting revelation- apparently he knew Valentino Morgan, they used to own a bar some 30 years ago which was shut down abruptly.

The strangeness of these murders only amplified when it was found out that neither of them had any personal contacts or relatives in fact even the last contact they had with each other was around the time their bar shut down.

The entire day had passed by and both Alex and Brent were exhausted by the day’s events. They decided to spend the night at Alex’s which happened to be quite near to the crime site.

Brent settled into the familiarity of Alex’s home while his friend had made a bee line for the bedroom claiming he was too tired for an appetite, within seconds Alex’s soft snores resonated in the small apartment. Brent on the other hand had always had trouble sleeping so he pondered- who could possibly kill these people and why. It surely had to be someone who had the skill set of a doctor or medical expert, the cut on Ken’s jugular vein was too neat for any killer, especially when it was such a hot blooded murder.

Brent was starting to have a headache, he slipped out of the apartment and marched into the dark night, little did he know he wasn’t alone.

After waiting for 3 decades the job was done , both Valentino Morgan and Ken Douglas were dead.

Brent Underwood, it’s time you come to an end as well.   

Tuesday

Alex woke up to his alarm going off with an annoying beep, it read 6 am. It was far too early to deal with criminal investigation. It wasn’t until 2 cups of coffee and a refreshing bathe did Alex realized that his apartment was far too quiet, Brent was nowhere to be seen- must have gone for a morning jog, Alex did not pay much attention to his friend’s disappearance at that time.

5 hours, it had been far too long for a jog to last. Alex was worried at this point. Brent must have gone back to his place- surely that is a plausible scenario but it is uncharacteristic of Brent to leave without a message or miss an investigation. Brent’s apartment was empty, he was not answering his cell, none of their colleagues knew where he was, asking his parents wasn’t an option-  Brent grew up in an  orphanage as far as Alex knew.

Oh, but Alex didn’t know much.

In a desperate attempt to find his friend, Alex decided to visit the orphanage Brent grew up at,perhaps his friend had taken a spontaneous trip.

Ms. Picknety was a frail and old woman who loved children dearly, but she never had any of her own- that is biologically. The children of her orphanage loved her more than some children loved their biological parents. Even till now many visited her on special occasions, Brent Underwood was not one of them as Alex found out. From what Alex gathered, Brent was a quiet child who preferred his own company. Ms.Picknety could only recall that Brent had come to her at the age of 10- why she did not know, the boy never spoke of it. Brent had always wanted to catch criminals, Ms Picknety had told Alex. She remembered this little detail because often Brent used to give contrasting reasons for his aspiration. Seldom he would want to become a detective because of the righteousness attached to the job, however a few times Brent had fiercely claimed to seek vengeance by becoming a homicide detective. Ms Picknety never paid much attention to these details, for her it was a child’s odd behavior that could be easily shrugged off.

More confused than before Alex decided to check Brent’s apartment again.

The sound of Alex’s footsteps echoed in the apartment. This was uncalled for, he did not expect Brent’s friend to be here. It seems it was fate, Alex had to die- he can’t know the truth and live.

It would jeopardize everything he had ever worked for.

Alex entered Brent’s apartment he could sense that something was off. It was too dark, the only glimmer of light came from across the hallway from the bathroom. Alex made his way towards the ominous light, the bathroom was immaculate nothing out of place except the mirror against the wall which was broken into half. There was a hollow rectangular space behind it and inside it was Brent’s photograph but it wasn’t Brent, it couldn’t be. The man in the picture had a malicious smirk on his face, eyelids too hollow as if he weren’t human. Behind the photograph was the name Jacques Montiero.

Alex could not understand what was happening, he ran out of the bathroom shouting his friend’s name. In his panicked frenzy he did not hear someone sneaking up on him from behind.

Jacques smashed the vase with full force on Alex’s head, his body crumbled to the ground with a loud thud. Jacques proceeded to tie Alex on a chair. Perhaps he could tell his tale before killing the man. Considering all these years he had kept quiet he could definitely use a chat.

Alex woke up with his head in excruciating pain, the back of his head felt sticky with dried blood. Shaking into partial consciousness he saw Brent sitting in front of him with a spindle shaped hair clip in his hand.

Brent? Alex called out.

The man barked out a cold laugh. I am not Brent, he said.

I am Jacques Monteiro, trapped in the body of this coward for 30 years now, but alas my job is done. I can finally roam freely now that Valentino and Ken both are dead, being a homicide detective no one would have really suspected me and I easily learnt how to kill someone within few second without making any mess.

Trapped? Alex echoed. He could not understand what was happening to Brent, he was terrified. He screamed at Brent, demanded to know what was wrong with him. But his screams were shut down by a quick slice across his cheek.

For the last time, it’s Jacques. Your friend will never see the light of day again. I could have consumed him before but then I needed his calm persona to keep a façade. Quite real, wasn’t it?

Alex was too weak to scream at this point, all he managed to choke out was – why?

A dark look shadowed Jacques’ face, he sneered at Alex but gave him an answer nonetheless.

Brent’s mother worked at Valentino and Ken’s bar and everything was fine until the owners came to know of his mother’s beauty. 30 years ago they raped her until she lost her last breath. They buried the heavily bruised body under the bar and shut down the place the very next morning. Valentino and Ken thought no one saw them.

They were wrong, there was a 6 year old boy locked away in the bathroom who saw his mother being murdered by two bastards. He had banged against the bathroom door countless times if the bruises on his arms were anything to go by.He had bawled his eyes out if the tear tacks on his face were anything to go by. But no one heard him, his cries too feeble against the screams of his mother and the loud music blasting in the bar.

Brent saw the heinous crime, but it was too much for a little boy to bear. So Jacques remembered it for him.

____________________________________________________________

Jacques twirled his mother’s hair clip in his hand. It was chipped a little at an end. His face was drenched in grief, reliving the past only tormented him. Since that night 30 years ago he had waited for a chance for vengeance and now it was complete and 2 people knew about it.

One was Alex who had slipped into unconsciousness again, it was easier to kill him this way. The only other  person who knew about his dark past now was Brent, a slice on the neck did the trick.

There in the middle of the apartment lay Brent’s body ,urdered by his own hands but the intention of Jacques- who gave into madness to seek vengeance.

Or was it Brent who gave into dark thoughts too heavy to bear and sought Jacques as his weapon to kill the torturers of his mother.

Perhaps it was both

____________________________________________________________

-Divjot Kaur

11/6/17

Discovering the Secrets of the Universe

            A spoiler free review

Some stories are a roller coaster of emotions. it is almost impossible to put down the book because of the urge to know what will happen next. Some stories spell anticipation and thrill. It’s an adventure to flip through pages filled with action.

But some stories are like a gentle boat ride. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (by Benjamin Alire Sáenz) is one of them.

Imagine yourself in a small boat , there is no noise, just a soft murmur of nature that envelops you. The sun shines bright but it’s not blinding, the canopy of trees provides a delicate shade. And you are lying on your back, eyes closed and thinking about everything and anything.

It’s pleasant yes, but not always. Sometimes the boat rocks too hard, sometimes it’s not so comfortable lying on hard floor. But that’s okay, it’s part of the journey.

Similarily, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe- it’s not plain joy. It’s about two teenagers and their journey towards finding themselves, so naturally angst walks with the two boys. Within the pages of this book you will find a blend of all human emotions. It’s raw and it’s real. Aristotle and Dante may not be famous Greek philosophers- but they teach the reader a few lessons of life. Together Aristotle and Dante share the secrets of the universe with the reader.

And it’s not just Ari and Dante who will catch your attention, their parents too are written with sincerity.Reflections of their personalities and upbringing are seen in the distinct mannerisms of  Ari and Dante.

Scars. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign that you had healed.

This is one of the many breathtaking lines in the book and if the plot was to be described in one line without giving away any spoilers- this would be it. And indeed, the book ends with the metaphorical (and literal) wounds healed.

As someone who is in the phase of life where the secrets of the universe are very much a mystery, where discovering myself is still a work in progress, I enjoyed the book immensely.

And as I finished the book- I smiled, my fingertips grazing the last of the words tenderly and I thought –

what a beautiful journey it was.

Filia Diaboli

Lucie’s mother- Rouella was a single parent, she never found out who Lucie’s father was, it wasn’t until few months into pregnancy that Rouella figured there was a life growing inside her. It wasn’t that Rouella never thought of tracking down Lucie’s father but it was rather impossible to do so. One can only imagine the perplexity of the situation when Rouella- who swore to celibacy and did not have any recollection  of  indulging in sexual activities suddenly found out she was going to bear a child.

After a whirlwind of uproar, societal scrutiny, painful (both literally and metaphorically) days, Rouella pulled through all obstacles and gave birth to Lucie.
Lucie – oh what a lovely child, people simply adored her-a sweet little girl with angelic features, deep blue eyes and gorgeous raven hair.
______________________________________

It was the 6th of February, Lucie’s 6th birthday.

As the sun began to set, the clock struck six and

Lucie blew out the flickering candles perched

    meticulously on her birthday cake.

                    

7th February, Sunday
It was around noon when Rouella lazily blinked out remnants of sleep from her eyes. Rouella made quick work of bathing and cleaning the house before a 6 year old ball of energy decided to wake up and demand her mother’s attention. With most chores done after about an hour or so, Rouella made way outside to water the bed of roses planted by Lucie in the garden.
What awaited Rouella was however a strange and disturbing sight, quite opposite to that of the beauty of red roses.
Gone was the magnificent patch of alluring red, all that’s left in its place were wilted petals, shrinked up to an ugly shade of black- as if they were poisoned, the thorns much more prominent than before.  The sight of five crows lying dead with their entrails forming a vague pentagram, added to the ominous situation.
Petrified, Rouella found herself unable to move as an eerie chill ran down her spine. It wasn’t until Lucie’s call for her mother resonated through the house that Rouella found her senses back. She could not let her daughter witness the grotesque sight, mustering whatever parental instinct she had, rouella dug up a pit, buried the crows and ruined roses. Luckily enough, Lucie entered the backyard just as Rouella put away the shovel.
Greeted by her daughter’s innocent smile, Rouella decided to forget about the horrible incident and prayed for a better day ahead.
Little did she know, her prayer was in vain.
______________________________________

It was after lunch that the second incident happened.
Rouella was doing the dishes when the tap started to show signs of blockage. The water came out in spurts and eventually stopped as the tap made a groaning sound. With a frustrated sigh, Rouella bent down to open up the drainage pipe.
What a terrible decision it was.
With a fearful gasp Rouella haphazardly shut the drainage and backed away until her back hit the kitchen wall. Rouella was still breathing heavily when she heard a giggle, looking in the hallway she found Lucie perched upon the flight of stairs near the kitchen. Lucie was merrily playing with her dolls.
For the sake of her daughter, Rouella decided to deal with the horrible wasp nest inside the drainage pipe only after she dropped Lucie at one of her friend’s place.
_____________________________________
It was 2 hours later after Rouella dropped Lucie off at Cheryl’s place that the drainage pipe was clean, thanks to the local plumber. Once she paid for the services, Rouella decided it would be best to head down to the local park where Cheryl and the kids were. Considering how horrible her day had been so far, Rouella hoped to seek some solace by spending time with cheerful children.
Oh, how fickle Rouella’s hope was.
Arriving at the park, all color drained from Rouella’s face as she set eyes upon the scene infront of her. Everyone was huddled together in a small circle, surrounding the body of an unconscious little boy, Rouella did not recognize. The boy’s arm was twisted at an odd angle, not in a way that it would have been twisted while playing but as if someone had used a large amount of force to break the child’s forearm from its joint. The boy’s mother was wailing excruciatingly loud when an ambulance arrived. Fortunately, the medics were quick to act, lifting the boy into the ambulance, they disappeared out of sight in no time.
It wasn’t until the murmuring of other parents soothing their children fell onto Rouella’s ears that she snapped out of shock. She thought of Lucie and how she must be terrified , oh her poor little girl. Rouella was quick to spot her daughter sitting alone near one of the swing set, her expression blank. She rushed to her daughter and scooped Lucie into her arms muttering reassurances whilst caressing her back.
Still clutching her child, Rouella made way outside the park, she caught sight of Cheryl looking in their direction, she nodded in her direction, only to receive a terrified expression in return. She did not think much about it, too busy trying not to break right then and there thinking about  the awful events of that day.
______________________________________
Exhausted and drained both mentally and physically, Rouella wordlessly tucked Lucie into bed and herself collapsed onto the living room couch-too worn out to even make way to her room upstairs. Within seconds Rouella slipped into a deep slumber.
She did not see Lucie staring at her from the living room’s threshold.
She did not see Lucie carrying a knife almost as big as her.
She did not see Lucie plunge the deadly blade into her body.
She did see Lucie’s maniacal grin.
With horror written all over face, the last thing Rouella saw was her daughter’s face morphed into what resembled a fallen angel.
Lucifer.
_____________________________________
 Sat upon her bed Lucie played with the set of pliers she used to kill those crows and successfully perform an infernal ritual.
The roses had wilted at her touch as she stepped into the patch to spread out the birds’ entails.
The moon glow giving a deadly white sheen to her face.
______________________________________
Sensing her birth, the wasps had arrived to protect her, for wasps guarded witches wherever they went.
She had giggled at Rouella’s horrified expression.
______________________________________
That boy was causing annoyance, he wouldn’t let Lucie play on the swing set.
So she took revenge, sweet sweet revenge.
_____________________________________
In order to fully re incarnate, Lucie had to sacrifice a human with a pure soul.
Rouella-  the perfect offering.
______________________________________

It was a day after her sixth b’day,

It was a day after her re-incarnation

as Lucifer’s daughter.

Lucie reeked of havoc.

 

___________________________________________________________________________
-Divjot Kaur
(14/4/17)