Apology

Sorry for being inactive for a few days, it’s just I was a bit busy. So, on 4th December my grandfather died due to a lung infection and I had to attend his funeral. Like, I really don’t know what I even feel right now I’m just throwing out the fact that my grandfather died without even like blinking. I don’t know what I should write right now my insides just feel numb. I’ll honour him by writing about him someday. For now I’ll just post this and go to sleep.

Imagination VS. Knowledge

There are two ways to see the world. One is to see through the keyhole carved by your ancestors and one is to forge your own. Neither is better and neither is worse, however some are more appealing. When you see a flower through the keyhole you see a living organism with different parts and functions, you see it’s anatomy and it’s structure. But when you open the door itself you see the flower as something entirely different. You see a food source for the insects, you see someone who plays an important role in its ecosystem, heck you can see it is the tool to propose to a woman. This is the difference between imagination and knowledge. Knowledge is set on predefined grooves that only harden as you move further. Albeit it also involves discovering previously unknown facts, it still moves in a repetitive fashion. Imagination however is a fiery horse you use to clear your way through past beliefs and make your own fiery path. Imagination is a belief that the world can be anything you think about and that you are no slave of fate but make your own destiny. Imagination is all about seeing the world through your own mind. Even if one does not have knowledge but has imagination he can survive but the opposite won’t be true. And this is because it doesn’t matter what you choose to be or do, everyone needs a healthy dose of imagination.

Anniversary Special

So it was actually my parents Anniversary yesterday and you know just to appease them I wrote this short piece. Although I finished it in about 5 mins and it’s not that great my mother actually cried. And then I cried. So it was just a family fun night where we all sort of came together.


So Another year arrives,
To celebrate our relation with our wives.
How many years has it been?
15 you reply with a grin.
Today was the day you came together,
And promised to always love one another.
Today your bond is stronger than ever,
And you promise you’ll always stay like this forever.
So, in these hard times,
We forget to say sometimes.
One line to each other,
‘I love you!’

*Still thinking of the title*

Snarak’s cold glare passed over the students as his snake – like eyes inspected them all. Even though the room was warm and stuffy, a chill went down James back. That man gave him the chills. Those beady eyes, that aura, it all give him the creeps. That guy looked more dead than alive. “James,” Snarak said. James yelped as the voice bought him back to reality. “Yessir,” James said. “Would you care to explain what’s going on in that pitiful mind of yours? I thought you had joined this class for learning something… not daydreaming.” Maybe it was the way he said it but James was sure he had just read his mind. Freaked out, James mumbled some words. Shaking his head Snarak returned to his class. “That man has serious issues,” James grumbled to Chuck as both of them went down Sesame street. Weighed down by his heavy bags Chuck could only manage a nod. James continued his rant till he reached his home. Finally catching his breath, Chuck bade him goodbye and went further down to where his mother was waiting. As soon as James entered the house the first smell that him was the one of pancakes. “Something’s cooking!” he yelled with a grin. His mother came laughing from the kitchen, wiping her hands on the apron on the way. She came and kissed him on the forehead and asked, “How was class honey?” James just shrugged and went inside the kitchen. Their house was no archaeological wonder, in fact you could barely distinguish it from the other houses in the neighborhood. A  childhood memory surfaced in James mind as he remembered a day when he was not more than six and had accidentally gone to his neighbor’s house, thinking it was his own. They both had the same white-bleached walls, the same red-tiled roof, and the same mahogany door. The only noticeable difference was the huge wind chime which hung near the door in James house. It was in his mother’s words ‘ a protector from evil’. James just liked to call it a wind chime. Nothing special. Placing his bag on the floor beside him James sat down with a sigh on the chair. His muscles were cramped from walking back from the class. He could only pity Chuck who walked around with four bags containing god knows what. Even though you could see that Chuck was a 6 feet tower of muscles it’s only so long a person can hold 4 heavy bags before collapsing. Considering what Chuck did everyday, that guy was a physical wonder. James’ line of thought was broken as his mother arrived with a steaming plate of pancakes. “Dig in James!” she announced. And grinning from ear to ear, James did. Pancakes were a rare thing in James life and so he ate every single morsel he could possibly fit/tuck in. After a few minutes of ravenous eating, James felt satiated. He sighed and relaxed back in the chair. As soon as some peace was beginning to creep into his mind, their front porch exploded. James was up in a start. Memories of the accident in the mines where his father had died, swam in his visions. James is suddenly paralyzed as a rush of memories onslaught him. He remembers the solemn – faced man as he knocked on their door, bringing news of his father’s death, the funeral where he felt too hollow to even cry. James is suddenly snapped back to reality when he hears Chuck screaming, “Run!” Why is Chuck here? James’ mind registers, but his body focuses on saving itself. Debris is raining from the ceiling as James makes a beeline for the stairs. Suddenly Chuck is there beside him, screaming for him to run. Together they run up taking two steps at a time. “In here, in here,” he said ushering James inside his own room. Not caring about anything James steps inside. James watches as Chuck takes out the 4 bags he carries and starts pulling out random stuff from inside. They all look like random pieces of junk to him but it seems as if it makes sense to Chuck. Finally James snaps out of his daze and asks, “Chuck, what’s going on?” As the weirdness of the situation hits him James starts panicking and a million questions run through him. “Where’s my mom? What’s happening? What’s that in your hand? What was that explosion? What’s – What’s – Wha” “Just shut up!” Chuck shouted. He spun around and glared at him, heaving loudly. “I am trying to concentrate here and your yapping around is not helping anyone. So just shut up and help me. Be helpful and pass me that rod now.” Not sure if he was allowed to speak, James asked, “What are you doing with these?” “If you quit yapping’ and bloody focus you would understand!” Then in a softer tone he said,” Just let me concentrate on this and I will come back to you.”  Hammers were banged and nails were driven and James watched Chuck work as he assembled a rather ordinary looking – “Doorway!” Exclaimed  James. “That’s a doorway isn’t it?” “Took you long enough to figure out,” muttered Chuck. Before James could come up with a reply another explosion rattled the house and a robotic voice spoke. “CLEARED FOR DESTRUCT2000. INITIATING LAUNCH SEQUENCE.” This short speech was followed by a series of rapid beeps. Chuck suddenly shot to his feet and said in a low voice, “Gods above help us.” “What happened? What was that voice? I am dreaming ain’t I?” James whispered, as if scared that speaking would awake some beast outside. Chuck said in a strangely calm voice,”Do you trust me James?” “Of course not!” James said. “Too late,” Chuck said with a smile and slammed him through the doorway he had built.  James was choking. There was tar around him and he was drowning in oil. His lungs burned with a fierce ferocity. Just as he was sure he was about to drown a man – no, a statue came in his visions and it said in a booming voice, “You are not supposed to be here. You were sent for a reason!” And then the statue disappeared and in it’s place came a man wrapped in chains. Darkness covered his face and scars ravaged his body. And then he looked at him. His eyes were deep dark pits and his cheeks were sunken in, his nose pronounced. Even though he was half dead James could tell he must have been handsome before. Looking at the man James felt some deep guilt and immediately felt confused about it. He had never seen this man before. And then the man spoke in a rasping voice, ” May my fire light your way.” And then flames engulfed James. James woke up screaming for his dad to run. Sweat drenched his body and he was shivering. He was in a clearing of sorts. Huge trees towered around him and in a few spots pale moonlight flitted through. The night smelled of cinnamon and birds sang about. Still shivering James got to his feet and looked at the doorway through which he had come. It was a simple brass door with a strange symbol on top. The symbol looked like an eye with a cross on top. Every few seconds the eye glowed a dark purple color, illuminating the trees around him. For a second he looked at the doorway but then exhaustion took over and he sat down on the ferny forest floor. It took him a minute or so, but he noticed it. His skin. Something was wrong. He watched his skin in amazement. Somehow, his skin now had strange fire designs over them. When he moved, his skin seemed to be alive. Fires danced, and an inferno blazed around him. When his skin caught the light his whole body was set on fire. Now he would be unforgettable wherever he went. As his body danced with fire, thoughts of the statue and of the mystery man invaded his thoughts. Were they real or was I dreaming? James thought. If they were… what about the stuff of me not belonging here? What abou- just as James was about to finish his line of thought the doorway burst open and he was slammed by Chuck the second time that day? The air was knocked out of his lungs as James was pushed back by the sheer weight of Chuck. His head banged against a rock and for a moment his vision went dark and fuzzy and abruptly cleared. He felt the pressure lighten as Chuck got off him. Groaning he too climbed to his feet. For a moment they both stared at each other. The moment was broken when Chuck bent to pick up his bag which had fallen to the ground. Seriously, what is it with this guy and bags James thought. Suddenly a gasp escaped from Chuck’s mouth. James looked at him. Chuck was staring in awe at him, his eyes wide and lips trembling. He was suddenly alarmingly pale. Hands trembling he pointed at James skin and asked, “That fire wouldn’t be a tattoo now would it?” James was taken aback. Why was Chuck so affected by the design on his skin?  Still in deep thought he only shook his head at Chuck. The tattoo must be something important if Chuck is so awed by it, James thought. It must be a symbolic – Chuck interrupted his thoughts by saying,” I think I hear the howls of wolves. We should get moving.” Saying this he headed off into the forest. “Wait! Aren’t we going to discuss about this?” James shouted. But not wanting to lose him, James followed. “Wait up,” James yelled, pushing through the brambles and branches in his way. Panting he reached up to him, and slowed down to match his speed. Tired, for a while James didn’t say anything and they kept walking at a steady pace. After a while, James asked,” That doorway, what kind of portal was it?” For a moment, Chuck was quiet but then he replied,” It is what you said. A doorway. However no ordinary one. Have you learnt about atoms and the atomic structure?” A curt nod from James answered him and he continued,” So, this doorway, what it does is it divides your body into its primary components, atoms, and then sends them whizzing over the world to this place. Over the span of coming here, your atoms can actually visit different places. On coming I met Euribus the Tavernkeep, one of my good friends. You may have visited any soul who was searching for you at that time.” Hearing this James’ mind wandered to the man in chains. Why would he want to see him? A normal boy from a normal neighbourhood. James was not so different from any other boy at school. He liked a few books, played the occasional video game, was in the school football team, liked the new Batman regardless of what others said. And absolutely despised vanilla ice cream. All in all he was normal. Now he was getting mixed up in things he didn’t understand. He had gone on an inter dimensional journey through a portal way ahead of its time and he was not even 15 yet! As they walked on in silence, the sun slowly crept away leaving the world in darkness. Suddenly the trees felt overwhelming and ominous. James’ mind worked overtime as his imagination ran wild abou what could be hiding in the dark corners of the trees. Every time they stepped on a branch or an owl hooted, James’ heart leapt into his mouth. After walking for 10 minutes James’ nerves were frayed and his heart was hammering so hard in his chest he was sure every living being in a ten mile radius could hear him. “How much more?” James asked. “Huh?” Chuck said, looking back. “How much more of this -” James said pointing at the forest. “You just gestured to the whole forest!” Chuck complained. “Exactly! How much more walking in this forest. My feet are cramped, my arms feel like lead and my head is pounding!” James realised he had shouted the last part and immediately looked at the dark corners, expecting to see monsters inside. He sighed when he realised there was nothing there. “Jeez man, calm down. Look around you, enjoy the scenes.” “Oh you mean the spooky trees and the haunting owls?” James muttered sarcastically. Shaking his head Chuck replied, “Another hour of walking and we would reach there.” “Reach where? Where are we going?” For a moment Chuck stopped, then said, “A safe haven, of sorts.” Then without waiting he walked off ahead. “I hate it when he does that,” James muttered and ran ahead to catch up. “Chuck,” James said. “Yeah.” “Tell me about this – this – land we are in.” For a full minute Chuck pondered the question, then cautiously replied. “You are in Endor. The Lone Land, it is called by some.” “The what?” James asked. “Listen first, questions later.” Then taking a deep breath breath he continued again, “Endor is the land of the Immortals. Gods humans call them. Many decades ago, Endor was a prosperous land. Merchants from across the realms came here to trade. The economy flourished, the technology advanced. Endor was in it’s golden age. Ruling the land were the four pillars.” “Pillars?” James questioned. Chuck silenced him with a look. “The four pillars represent the four powers of the universe. There is the Solar pillar, the Stardust pillar, the Nebula pillar and the Vortex pillar. Representing the pillars were four guardians. One for each. Each of them had tremendous power which came from the pillars. They were the first and foremost rulers of this land.” “Were?” James said. Chuck’s eyes had a sad look in them. “After years of prosperity a plague hit this wondrous land. We call it the Corruption. When the virus takes over your mind, it twists your brain in a way so that you perceive every one as a threat. You start killing for fun, plundering becomes your past – time, and massacres your hobby. It makes you evil. The Corruption spread like wildfire across the land, corrupting whatever it touched. Wherever the corruption hit the land turned into deserts, the water became defiled and the once proud people became not more than beasts. It took us years to come back from this disaster and then this world wasn’t the same. Too many -“ Chuck hesitated here, “ – Corrupt people lived among us. It was, and are, still dark times for us. However, amidst this, there was a sage by the name of Abraham. No one knows exactly who he is. He lives alone in the Hematic mountain far from civilisation. All we know about his is that he has lived a long age. So long in fact that he was there when the pillars were created by the ancient gods. Some even believe that he was the one who created the pillars, although he denies it. One night during the winter solstice he arrived cloaked during the annual meeting of the four lords.” James interrupted Chuck by asking, “Don’t they have names? The four lords, the pillars.” Chuck nodded. “Of course they do. Though their names are not meant to be heard by human ears.” A sudden thought struck James and he whispered, “Chuck. Are you human?” For a moment the forest was deathly still. But then Chuck let loose a deathly laugh that bellowed through the forest. “Of course I am! Do I not look like you?” James nodded, relieved. Chuck smiled once more and continued, “Although their true names remain uknown to the majority of the people they have a few names. The guardian of the Solar pillar is Influx, Gaurdian of the Stardust pillar is Prisma, guardian of the Vortex pillar is known as Phantasm, and the most deadly of all, guardian of the Nebula pillar, our lord, Arcanum.” Catching his breath Chuck continued, “Anyway, Abraham the Mage arrived during the solistice. He wore a tattered cloak over his body and was dripping wet from the torrential rainfall occurinb outside. He entered the Hall of Dreams where the Lords were meeting and he told them that a few days ago a man wrapped in black cloth had come to him in the outer reaches of the Hematic Mountain. Abraham had said that the man not human, beast, god or animal. Abraham believed that the man was something more. The man had told Abraham of a prophecy which the man claimed was the answer for stopping the corruption. None of the elders had questioned Abraham for he was respected and feared across the realms. ” “What is the prophecy?” James questioned, he suddenly felt he was in 2nd grade again listening to his teacher telling them an intriguing story. Chuck suddenly seemed uncomfortable and hastily changed the subject, “I think hear the howls of wolves. Luna and her tribe may be hunting tonight, and trust me, you don’t want to meet them.” “Who’s Luna?” James asked, looking up to Chuck’ face. Chuck’s face was neutral as he replied, “Luna was – is, many things. Long ago she was the Lunar goddess, she was also called the King Maker, but perhaps she is most famous for being the first werewolf. Maiden by day, wolf by night, that is her curse.” “Curse?” Whispered James. Nodding, Chuck quickened his pace. James was about to ask Chuck a question but stopped himself when he saw the look on his face. They walked for hours in silence and slowly the night turned to day. Streaks of light crashed through the trees and piled up on top of each other on the ferny floor. Strangely enough, even after walking the whole night James still felt pumped. He was sure he could walk another few hours and relative easiness. Chuck on the other hand, looked exhausted, and for the sake of him, James called a break. Chuck nodded his thanks and they both crashed under a tree. From his bag, Chuck took out a bottle of water and drank a few sips. Passing the bottle to James he enquired, “Water?” James shook his head. He was feeling great. “Suit yourself,” Chuck said, taking another sip. James watched as Chuck then took out a sandwich from his bag and start munching on it. “You had this all planned didn’t you.” James said bitterly. “You packed for it. You knew my house was going to get bombed, you knew my family could be in danger, and you didn’t warn me!” James didn’t know it but he had shouted the last part. He was heaving and his breath came in short ragged bursts. Chuck looked at him closely, and whispered, “Do you really believe that?” James sighed, and slowly calmed his breath. He knew Chuck was right. For a minute uneasy silence settled over both of them, and then James whispered, “That explosion… who caused it.” Chuck took a moment to answer. “It was the Council of the Wise Elders.” “Who are they?” James whispered. “The council which advises the four lords on different matters. “That explosion killed my mother. Why did they do that?” James said in a deathly whisper, something like fire flickering in his eyes. Chuck put a hand on his shoulder, “They did not know what they were doing. Their minds were corrupted.” “Still,” persisted James, “What would have led them to target an innocent family living in a distant realm they had never even seen?” This time it was Chuck who spoke softly, “Let’s just say they had their reasons.” Smouldering inside, James fell silent. For a moment both of them were quiet but the silence was broken when Chuck said, “I have rested. We should move on, we are really close to our destination. When we reach there we can take horses and then ride onwards.” “Where are we going? What is this destination?” Chuck pondered about it for a moment and then in a carefully measured tone replied, “It is a tavern, where many creatures assemble everyday to talk and eat. We would meet my dear friend Euribus there. We can borrow some spare horses from him and ride to the next place.” “What’s the next place?” James questioned, this time a note of anger creeping into his voice. Chuck’s grin was terrifying, “We are going to meet the all – powerful, now – crazy, four Lords of the universe.”

Chapter 2

James slowly descended down the steep hill, a fall from here would be most fatal. When Chuck had told him they were going to willingly go visit four lunatics with immense power, James had freaked out. After a lot of deep breaths he had asked Chuck why they were willingly going to visit almost certain death. Chuck had at that moment had asked a really simple but heart – breaking question. He had slowly whispered, “Do you want to go home, James?” James had looked into Chuck’s eyes then, and his eyes spoke it all. There wasn’t really anything to think about that. Chuck had then whispered, “The only way you can reach home is by the strength of the united four lords. Together they must charge the Nether Portal through which you can reach home. But for that of course you must first survive the wrath of the four lords.” This sudden overload of information had left James speechless and he had slowly walked away from Chuck, absorbed in his thoughts. Now they were finally reaching their destination. From his spot at the hill, James could easily spot the huge tavern located in a grassy meadow. Dayblooms, Marigolds and Sunflowers bloomed across the meadow and the only thing interrupting it was a narrow dirt path. Even from such a distance James could figure out that the tavern must be huge. Chuck beckoned him forward and James cautiously made his way towards him. Chuck was balanced precariously on the edge of the hill and was apparently unaffected by the fact that if he fell, he may never rise again. “Our destination awaits.” Chuck said pointing at the house. James nodded and exhaled his breath curled about his mouth in twisting shapes. It was cold out here. Not the cold that brings you joy and makes you want to go out and play in the snow. It was the cold that creeped into your bones and chilled you from inside. James shuddered involuntarily. Such thoughts should not be thought. “James… knock – knock,” Chuck said tapping his forehead with his knuckles. “Yeah, yeah.” James said, “Let’s go.” Chuck nodded and they went down the hills. James noticed sculpted dirt steps down the hill and started towards them. “James wait,” Chuck whispered and held his hand. “What?” James said confused. “We must go from the back of the hill. We can’t be seen here.” “Why?” James whispered. “These are dark times. We will enter through the back door.” James looked at the green grass and yellow flowers, nothing seemed wrong with them. But then he looked at Chuck’s tense, rigid body and alert eyes, and relented. “Back door it is.” Chuck exhaled the breath he was holding and crouching low made towards the back of the door. Sighing under his breath, James crouched and followed. He reached the door before Chuck did and awaited there for him. The door was wooden with iron hinges. Deep scratches covered the door and the door wobbled when even the slightest weight was put on it. However it wasn’t these things that had caught James eyes. It was the size. The door was enormous. Put two or three Chuck’s on top of each other and the door was still taller and wider. Slowly with soft treads Chuck came beside him and said, “What are you waiting for?” “You,” James said bewildered. “Me? Why? You could have just knocked?” “You mean knock on a giant door, who contains god knows what inside?” “No need to be sarcastic,” Chuck grumbled and reached up and knocked. For a moment he waited, and when there was no reply, he reached up too knock again. This time, as soon as Chuck finishes knocking the door flies open. A towering figure shadows them both and suddenly light falls on the figure and James takes in what he is seeing. A huge hairy giant stands in front of him. His red beard has food stuck on it and his red handlebar was curled to perfection. A dirty apron hung from his shoulder and blood covered the giant’s arm. Then the giant smiled showing blood red teeth and squealed, “Dinner!”

CHAPTER 3

Luckily, dinner wasn’t them. But given the chance he was sure the giant wouldn’t hesitate to boil him up and serve with chilli sauce. Nor would the customers here hesitate to eat him too. Half of the people present were myths he had heard about in childhood stories. He spotted fairies and dwarves sitting under a dinghy light. The fairies were tall and graceful, there shimmering wings seemed out of place in the dirty tavern. Their faces were twisted in permanent scowls and they looked at the scene around them with obvious disdain. He watched as a dwarf started making wild gestures with his hand and started raising his voice. The fairy across him spoke something softly and the dwarf growled. The dwarf muttered something to them and the fairies stiffened in their chairs. Then, the tallest of them who wore a robe that seemed to be made of the rainbows spoke softly again. The dwarf trembled in his seat with anger and immediately leapt to his feet. He started shouting. The din around them quietened and James could hear everything they said crystal clear. The dwarf was obviously angry and he bellowed in a deep voice, “Where were you when they attacked? Where were your peace – loving clan and oh – so supreme powers? Where were the-” The dwarves rant was cut short as the rainbow fairy took out what looked like a crystal wand and menacingly pointed it at him. The fairy spoke in a lilting accent, “We were holding the East pillar. Our forces were outnumbered ten to. Be glad that we did so.” The dwarf stumbled back to his friends and with as much dignity as they could muster, they walked out. James stopped sipping the hot cup of tea in his hand and slowly raised an eyebrow at Chuck. Chuck shrugged uncomfortably and murmured, “Dissent among the clans.” James pulled the hood covering his face up again. Chuck had insisted that their presence should not be known. James’ attention was diverted as he heard a raucous burst of laughter coming from a band of pirates and what looked like Billy The Kid. Over in a corner a group of giant spiders started fighting each other. “Arachnids,” murmured Chuck beside him, “They have the tendency to fight.” He and Chuck were sitting on a rickety table, with what looked like seaweed stuck at the sides. When James looked closely at the table he saw carvings of four beasts on the table. A dragon, a panther, a serpent and a gorilla. All four of them were locked in combat with humans. While he was sitting and staring at the table, the giant, Euribus, James corrected himself had slowly approached them. His eyes flitted towards the fire marks on James skin and hastily flicked away. James had noticed such looks towards him before and was unperturbed. A smile spread across Chuck’s face and he got to his feet. “Euribus,” Chuck began, but was silenced with a look from Euribus. Euribus instead turned his towering mass over to James and said, “Someone awaits you outside.” Chuck crossed his arms and said in a stubborn voice, “He won’t go without me.” Euribus did not lift his gaze from James but said softly, “There are forces in play here I can not deny. Mirage calls for him, and to her he must tread alone.” Chuck was obviously awestruck by the name Mirage and bowed his head. “If that is true, then yes, you must go now James. Mirage must not be left waiting.” James stuttered, “Wh-who?” “Mirage,” Chuck replied as if that explained everything. James took a deep breath and steeled his wildly beating heart. “Where is the door?”

CHAPTER 4

The cool wind whipped James hair and tousled his shirt. James hand strayed to the edges of his checks which was crusted with mud. The long trek from the forest had not gone easy on him. James rotated his aching shoulders and promised himself he would go sleep on a comfy bed after this. His eyes flicked again to the woman standing in front of him. Her back was to him but he could tell she was beautiful. However, the most striking thing about her was the two luminescent rainbow wings extending from her back. Shoving his thoughts aside James slowly ambled his way over to her. Even the way she held herself was more graceful than the way he walked. Not wanting to break the silent spell James quietly stood next to her. They stood there for what felt like hours but must have been minutes. Being with this creature made James mind sluggish and slow. Thoughts took ages to form and time was almost meaningless.  A myriad of thoughts raced through his mind and James saw faces and names he knew he could never know. That’s when he realised that these thoughts were not his own. They were the creature’s. He slowly turned his head towards her and saw her gazing serenely at him. Her eyes were milky pale and were focused intently on his. Hello young warrior, a voice said in his mind. James tried his best but still flinched. The voice was in his mind. He scrutinised the woman’s face and saw a faint smile spreading across her lips. We have awaited your presence for eons. Where were you Lord? James flinched again. Had she just called him a Lord. James cleared his throat and began in a hoarse voice. “I was… I was home.” Prithee tell me what thee mean lord? This is thy home, not any distant realm. Now a familiar anger bubbled in James mind again making all his thoughts hot. Who was this woman? Claiming that he belonged to a world he had never seen? Who was she to decide where he lived and what his fate was? “Listen here woman,” James said in a menacing voice. “I don’t care who you are or were. I don’t belong in this land and never will. My place is in my realm with my family.” James voice caught on the last word and he stopped. He didn’t have a family anymore. James inside’s has been numb till now. His brain still hadn’t quite processed that he was an orphan now. With the sudden reminder of this, the grief came slamming down like a sledgehammer. James groaned and fell to his knees. Tears blurred his vision and thoughts whirled around his mind like a sandstorm. He had seen the orphans in the alleyways. They were poor little starved children with never enough to eat. Most died till the age of 15 and the best occupation they got was of a pickpocket. And now he was one of them. A groan escaped his lips again as another avalanche of grief charged down on him. The darkness beckoned to him like a soft blanket. He could hear his mother again. His mother beckoned to him. Begging him to join her in the journey of death. Death would indeed be preferable over the other outcome, his mind whispered. And so he walked towards her. To that sweet smile and careworn hand he knew so well. He broke into a run. He saw her draw ever closer. Almost there his mind sang. Suddenly he was there in front of her. He brought his hands close to her and grasped them. And suddenly she was gone. She was gone and a bright light filled his visions. Another familiar voice whispered, Come back lord. This world is not yet done with you. You are destined to do great things. Your time is not yet up. And so he began the long trek back to the voice. She beckoned him ever forward and whenever he stopped she pushed him forward. The Cliffs of Death is no place to rest my lord, She would say. They say, those who sleep here never wake again. Go on. And so he would go on. He met many creatures here. Some tall dark and graceful. And some hungry vicious and mean. Darke threads of fog hung from the air, pressing down on him, urging him to sit down. And never get up again. An eternity later, James woke. It started with a groan and ended with a racking cough, but he woke up. His eyes took in the scene around him. He was on what looked like a bed made of crystal. Pale blue lights hung from the ceiling attached to a crystal chandelier. A crystal door stood tall and erect in a corner. A huge window was also attached, and another pale blue door stood beside it. Apart from this the room was bare. Crystal ceiling, crystal floor and crystal lights. It hurt his eyes to look at all of it together. Every inch of James body hurt and getting up seemed up like an impossible feat. Still he braved himself and gingerly lifted his head. A wave of nausea swept over him and groaning he lay down again. On cue, a beautiful maiden entered the room. She wore a simple white dress which stood out against her brown skin. Here hair was tied back in a bun and she held a golden cup in her hand. Silently she stalked over to him and held out the glass with both hands. Unsure of himself James took the glass and peered at the liquid inside. The liquid shone golden like the sun and was clear like the sky. A peculiar smell of orange came from the glass. “What’s this?” James managed to croak. “Orange juice,” the maiden replied with a smile. James looked again at the golden liquid. He shrugged and started gulping down sips. In a matter of seconds he had finished the cup. Warmth seeped into his bones and a chill he hadn’t noticed was present was driven away. His mind felt clear again and he slowly got to his feet. He thanked the maiden and went to the door. The door swung open as soon as he touched it and he found himself standing in a long hallway. Golden chandeliers hung periodically from the ceiling and red velvet carpet covered the floor. Awestruck by the wealth surrounding him James silently walked down the hall admiring the tapestries. Suddenly he was lifted off his feet and someone squeezed him tightly from behind. “You are fine!” A familiar voice exclaimed. “Won’t be that fine if you manage to break a rib or two,” James croaked. Chuck gently released him. James took in how Chuck looked. He was dressed in a midnight blue robe and his blond hair was swept to one side. As he walked the robe seemed to twist and writhe like the night sky. It was beautifully embroidered with gold and lined with stars. Standing in front of him Chuck actually looked handsome. James suddenly felt self conscious of his untidy hair, dirty clothes and the freckles on his cheek. Still James managed a half smile and whispered, “Chuck.” Chuck broke into a wide grin again and immediately bombarded him with questions. “Where were you for the past three days? Did they hurt you in any way? Were you really sick? Are you fine now?” “Stop, stop, stop,” James said stopping the flow of questions. “I am as confused as you are. First you tell me how I got here.” Chuck began, “Well after you went to Mirage, Euribus and I were just discussing about the current state of the country, when we heard a groan that sounded a lot like you. Well, we rushed out to see you sprawled on the ground. Mirage was holding your head in her hands and furiously muttering something. At first we thought she was trying to kill you, but then realised that if she wanted you dead you would be long gone.” “What had actually happened?” “Well, let me tell you what Mirage said. She said that our lord does travel to the Cliffs of Death as his foulest memories do chase him there. In short, a powerful God, Dearg the Master of the Realm of Death, just tried to kill you. Mirage barely saved you. So all of us immediately rushed to the Crystal Castle, where you are now, to get you some healing. And now you are fine!” Chuck said ending with a breath he had been holding. Silence. Then James slowly shook his head and started walking away. Too much to take in. God of Death? What did he have against a mortal boy? What could he possibly want from him? James mind registered the distant chiming of a bell, but ignored it. He walked in. Brooding in silence about the alarming ways in which his life had changed. Right now all he wanted to do was bang his head on the walls and scream, “Why me!?” “Why me?” he muttered desolately. Chuck called his name from behind, but his mind ignored that too. His whole insides were numb again. Suddenly powerful hands grabbed him from behind and spun him around. James found himself staring at Chuck’s handsome face for the second time that day. “What is it?” He snapped. “James, you must know. It is said that Dearg has the power to see into the curling strands of time.” “What?” James asked, confusion lining his face. Chuck sighed, “He can see the future. He must know that you were essential for something only he knows would happen, and he intends to prevent it.” Chuck glanced furtively around him as if expecting someone to jump out of the shadows and scold him. “That’s all I can say now,” Chuck said and hurried off. James shook his head and went back to his room again. He felt tired again. He peeled the dirty clothes from his chest and crashed into the bunk and sleep embraced him again. 

CHAPTER 5

James woke to a giant beating on his window. A giant fist pounded on his window, rattling the very foundations of the room with very thud. “Wake up,” the giant boomed in a humorously  high – pitched voice. James groaned and mumbled, “Jus’ five more minutes mom,” and immediately woke up and winced. Memories of his mother still stung. The morning reminder had put him in a bad mood and he shouted at the giant, “What do you want?” To his surprise the giant performed a rather clumsy bow and said, “My name is Redbeard the Giant. Your presence is required at the assembly hall immediately. A maiden would soon arrive with your clothes and you are requested to wear them and immediately head downstairs.” As if on cue the door to his bedroom opened and a girl holding a pair of clothes came inside. The giant nodded and ambled off. James watched the departing giant swerve around buildings and perform a peculiar dance as he avoided stepping on people walking on the grounds below. Slowly James got off his bed and approached the girl. He took his clothes and thanked her. She smiled and sweetly and ran away. James ran his fingers through the unfamiliarly smooth silk of his robe. The beautiful clothes felt wrong in his dirty hands. He looked at the second door he had noticed earlier. He walked towards it and slowly opened it. As he had expected a beautiful bathroom lay in front of him. Crystal shower, crystal bathtub, crystal sink, crystal towel stand and a crystal toilet. James sighed. He was starting to hate crystals. He walked to the bathtub and ran his hands along it’s smooth edges. Then he started peeling of his clothes one by one and unceremoniously tossed them in a corner. He turned the tap on and impatiently waited for it to fill. As soon as it was half done he leaped into it and sighed with pleasure. Then taking a fistful of his hair he started rubbing it with a vigour. Removing all the grime, mud and dirt that came with travelling from one realm to another. He scrubbed till his skin felt raw and got out. He glanced at the pale blue towels that hung from the towel stand. He really didn’t want to touch anything blue. He jumped up and down a few times to dry himself a bit and started wearing his clothes. He hadn’t really seen his new clothes properly but seeing them now sent a wave of fascination through him. His robe was midnight black with red edges near the cuffs of his sleeves and collar. The buttons shone blood red and red handkerchief stuck out neatly from a pocket. I wish mom could look at me now, he thought grimly as he admired himself in the mirror. The robe fit him snugly and gave him a look like royalty. When he was done admiring himself in the mirror he decide to head downstairs as he had been told by Redbeard the giant. Once again he stepped out into the hall. Although now the hall was bustling with people all shouting, shoving, talking and bustling together. James spotted knights in armor, hairy trolls and more of the fearful Arachnids, the giant spiders. James shoved his way to Chuck who stood out in his royal blue robes. Chuck was good – naturedly laughing at a joke a passing knight had cracked about witches in elf shorts. “Hey James,” Chuck said greeting him as he spotted him. James nodded dumbly, feeling quite lost in the in the throng or magical creatures. “What is all this?” James asked hoarsely. Chuck took a moment to consider, “Its a… corporate party of sorts. Representatives from every clan would be present here, except for the wizards of course.” “Why won’t the wizards be here?” James asked, as if asking why wizards aren’t invited to a party is common occurrence between them. Chuck replied grimly, “because there are none left.” James fell a deep chill in his spine. “How-“ he croaked, “how did they…” “Die?” Chuck said with the same grim expression. James nodded. “When the four lords became… unstable, the wizards decided that it would be safer for society if they could eliminate the lords.” Chuck paused here and looked around him and then continued in a lowered voice,” And they were right too. The lords were getting extremely sick. They were raising armies of their own and sending them to ruin the lives of many kingdoms. So, the wizards formed their own resistance, which they called the Crescent Moon after their leader Blue Moon. The resistance thrived and grew many creatures from across the lands came to join asking for freedom from the constant threat of death. And soon they had an army to rival the lords. As word of this popular resistance reached the four lords’ ears, they became paranoid. For the first time after a century the four lords came together to fight this threat, and swore that they would hunt down every single wizard. The war was bloody and quick. However big and strong the wizards army was, the four lords were bigger and stronger. And as they had promised, they killed every wizard there was left.” James shuddered involuntarily. This recent relegation had shook him. If the wizards with a whole army couldn’t beat the four lords, what hope did a teenager have? James gritted his teeth and pushed away the negative thought. He was going to get home and that’s that. ‘Home to what?’ A voice inside him whispered. ‘To a broken house and a dead mother? You have nothing left, admit it.’ He held his head in his arms and swayed slightly. Home to what, indeed? His rational mind agreed. But the animal part of him refused to hear it. It needed a motive to keep working. James suddenly became aware of the concerned look Chuck was giving him and shrugged. “I’m fine.” “Really?” Chuck said with raised eyebrows. “Been better,” James amended. “That’s more like it,” Chuck whispered. The creatures around them had considerably thinned and noticing this Chuck said, “Well we should get a move on!” James nodded dumbly still stuck in that horrible moment of self – doubt. Chuck walked down and twisted around corridors and they climbed the occasional stair. James’ mind however did not register any of this. On the way he had noticed a tapestry showing the same image of four animals fighting humans as he had seen earlier in the tavern table. Were they symbolic? He wondered. Or maybe these animals are their gods, or their enemies. A gorilla, a dragon, a panther and a serpent, what was so special about these animals? Just as he was about to open his mouth to ask Chuck, a hand was placed on his mouth and a voice had whispered, “Stay quiet and behave. We’re here.” We’re where!? James wanted to shout at Chuck but due to the obstructing hand on his mouth he was unable to do so. His mouth may not but James eyes still worked and he took in the great arching gold door and the huge domed ceiling. Chuck stepped forward and lightly rapped the door with his knuckles. The door silently swung open to reveal a huge ballroom. Thousands of creatures were seated, or standing if their physical form would not allow them to sit. There was a loud din as waiters called out the meals and old friends caught up with each other. A pavilion stood erect at the center of the hall and 10 chairs stood side by side there. Chuck slowly let the hand covering his face down and James let out a sigh. Chuck’s hand was sweaty. As James watched more and more creatures milled in, yet the pavilion remained empty. Slowly yet surely the flow of creatures coming in stopped and as if on cue everyone fell silent. James followed Chuck’s gaze to a small wooden door at a corner. He watched as the door silently swung upon and a short man in ridiculous clothes entered. He spoke in a grave voice, “ And if you all will stand, we shall welcome our Majesty, Queen Mirage of the Fairies.” This was met with some silent clapping and James watched as the beautiful queen entered the hall. Somehow her milky white eyes found his through the throng and she acknowledged him with a nod. Like a leopard she stalked over to the pavilion and sat at the seat in the center. His eyes strayed back to the herald who was announcing names again, “Grimaldi the Minister of Diplomatic Relations, Brom the Minister of Finance and -“ James heart stopped as a man with snake-like eyes entered the room. His cold glare passed over the guests as the herald announced, “Snarak, the Minister of Defence.” The world moved on but a ringing silence was left in James’ ears. His eyes wouldn’t seem to leave Snarak as he made his way to his designated chair beside the queen. He took in every detail he could about him. Same oily nose, same slits for eyes, same stringy hair, same narrow neck – everything was the same! Then why did he feel so different? Was it the power he commanded here, the change in clothes, the way he held himself now. Suddenly the hubbub had started again and the waiters were calling out meals again as if nothing had happened. But it had! A person from earth was here! Moreover it seemed he belonged here. Someone he knew was connected to this place and he hadn’t known. James’ mind twisted. What was Snarak doing in Earth. Surely he was more required here in this world than in another realm? The party passed in a blur but James’ thoughts were still stuck on Snarak and occasionally Mirage. Suddenly Mirage’s voice echoed from where she sat, “A toast to the visitor who comes here from another land.” Mirage’s eyes were fixed on him as she rose a toast to him. James felt himself redden under the gaze of so many people and nervously straightened his clothes. A murmur of assent rose from the crowd as they raised their glasses. James caught bits of conversation about the ‘Fire dancing on his skin’ but ignored it. If these people were awestruck by this fire tattoo then should see what some of the other people on earth drew on their skin. He admitted that although even he was curious why these marks had appeared on him, he had long ago abandoned trying to understand anything here. It was all too bizarre. Mirage called out again bringing him back to reality, “James, what is your plan of action from now on?” Again self – conscious under the gaze of the crowd James began, “Take directions to the lairs of the four lords, possibly get some help on the way, and don’t die?” “You have a most queer way of speaking,” Mirage said with a laugh. With a more serious tone she continued, “I hope you would not mind if one of my men should accompany you?” Seeing the dubious look on my face she hastily added, “Just for your own safety I assure you.” Realising that this was the Queen of the Fairies he was speaking too James performed a rather clumsy bow and said, “I would be honoured.” “In that case,” Mirage said standing up, “I choose our Minister of Defense, Snarak to protect you from harm!”

CHAPTER 6

“James!” Chuck shouted. “James you can’t just storm out of here.” Chuck shouted, catching up to him. “I most certainly can. Your rules don’t apply to me. I’m not from here.” James said and picked up his pace. Chuck effortlessly kept up with him and continued blabbering, “Look, I appreciate your bravado and all that, but there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity. You don’t just walk out on the Queen of the Fairies without consequences.” “Chuck you remember Snarak don’t you? He was so mean. Also what kind of a name is Snarak? Remember the time when he made me do my work 7 times because I made one mistake in each of them.” “Yes, I do remember and let me tell you, that was for your own good. He was testing you at every opportunity seeing if you really were the one-“ “The one?” James enquired. Chuck’s eyes flitted nervously towards the marks on his skin. James looked down in the pale yellow light the marks flickered and leapt around his body. When he moved the flames writhed all around him concealing him in a cone of fire. “Chuck…” James whispered. “What do these mean? Why am I special?” Chuck just silently held his arm and started walking back to the hall, as if leading a funeral procession. When they reached the ballroom every living creature was deathly silent. “Kneel,” Chuck whispered. “What?” James whispered back. “Kneel,” Chuck insisted. James fell to his knees. For a long moment the world was still. Then Mirage slowly rose up and walked over to him and said in words made of ice, “In the interest of our future I forgive this insolent boy.” It seemed as if the wind itself sighed in relief as the chatter resumed. “Don’t. Ever. Do. That. Again” Chuck furiously said and walked off towards a beckoning gnome. James sighed. He looked at the gourmet table and his stomach rumbled. He had just taken one step when he was stopped in his tracks by Mirage herself. Before he could begin to speak she said, “Don’t think I have forgotten this. Today we need you tomorrow we might not. One day when you need the fairies we won’t be there.” James didn’t understand why he was valuable or when he would need fairies except maybe tooth fairies, he still felt scared. Even before he could apologise Mirage turned and walked away. A passing knight clapped him on the back and said, “That was not good.The fairies never forget grudges.” James took in the shining armour and the red lion drawn on the man’s helmet. “Who are you?” “Good sir, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Sir Roland of Bressville, here to serve and defend my king.” “Who’s the king?” Said James naturally scanning the crowd to see someone wearing a crown. “He has still not come down from his chambers.” “He would disrespect the gathering like that?” “The king chooses to do what he wishes. Even Mirage has no power over him. He’s an important man you see.” James nodded in agreement, he had seen rich guys in his neighbourhood get away with everything with a little bit of money. As if reading his mind the knight replied, “Oh it’s not money, it’s his army. And in war it’s armies that matter.” James stomach grumbled unexpectedly and he flushed in embarrassment. “Ah I see the stomach in your lion growls! Come, come the cuisine here is otherworldly. Get it? Otherworldly, because you are from another dimension!” And with a booming laugh he ambled off towards the gourmet. Although he barely knew the man and already hated his jokes, seeing no other option, James followed.

CHAPTER 7

THIS STORY IS STILL IN PROGRESS, I AM CONTINUOUSLY EDITING/ ADDING IN IT. LOTS OF LOVE TO THOSE WHO STILL READ MY WORK EVEN AFTER I SORT OF GAVE UP ON MY BLOG. >3

Shades of Me

Shades of blue,
Paint the sky,
Streaks of pink,
Score the mile,
Little lines,
Of yellow bloom,
From the dark corners,
Of the approaching night.
Swirls and eddies,
Of purple flow,
A barrage of orange,
Streaks by.
But slowly and surely,
The dark appproaches,
The streaks of pink,
And the swirling yellow,
Fade into,
The twinkling stars.
And from deep within,
My murky depths,
I smile.

Imagination vs. Knowledge

There are two ways to see the world. One is to see through the keyhole carved by your ancestors and one is to forge your own. Neither is better and neither is worse, however some are more appealing. When you see a flower through the keyhole you see a living organism with different parts and functions, you see it’s anatomy and it’s structure. But when you open the door itself you see the flower as something entirely different. You see a food source for the insects, you see someone who plays an important role in its ecosystem, heck you can see it is the tool to propose to a woman. This is the difference between imagination and knowledge. Knowledge is set on predefined grooves that only harden as you move further. Albeit it also involves discovering previously unknown facts, it still moves in a repetitive fashion. Imagination however is a fiery horse you use to clear your way through past beliefs and make your own fiery path. Imagination is a belief that the world can be anything you think about and that you are no slave of fate but make your own destiny. Imagination is all about seeing the world through your own mind. Even if one does not have knowledge but has imagination he can survive but the opposite won’t be true. And this is because it doesn’t matter what you choose to be or do, everyone needs a healthy dose of imagination.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Revised)

The nastiest tales,

of blood and nails

are fairy tales,

mind you.

For example let’s take Goldilocks,

that thieving little snot.

When the three bears,

made 3 bowls,

of porridge mixed with hair.

They decided to take a walk,

to London’s big tower clock.

But when they were away,

disaster came to play.

Now children, stop reading the story,

for now it is gory.

I wish this tale,

wasn’t put on sale.

So you read still, is it?

Are you not afraid even 1 tid bit?

Now, I must ask you,

how would you feel,

if one thieving snot gulped down your meal?

Well, that’s what she did,

that rotten little quid.

Oh, and there’s more to add,

things are getting bad.

She saw an antique chair,

priceless for mother bear.

And she jumped on it for all she was worth,

and ground it down to earth.

She then went up the stairs,

without any cares.

When she went upstairs,

she found the beds of the bears.

And flung herself on one,

with her shoes dirty with what a dog had done.

Then without a worry,

she slept in no hurry.

When she woke up she saw,

straight into papa bears open jaw.

And GULP! She was swallowed!

THE END.

Bad Guy

Every time I look down,
I see his face...
that rogue smile,
those twisted eyes.

I feel the sting,
of his hands on my face.
The blood pouring,
from my broken nose.

He pushed me down,
but I got up,
already brushing of the dust.

I’ve had enough,
seen a lot,
it’s my turn to be the bad guy now.

You’ve hurt me ‘nough,
you’ve done a lot,
but it’s my turn to be the bad guy now.
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