A Frosty Little Lake-Town

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Winter was especially harsh this year, even though we tried to keep ourselves warm with heavy wools and jackets, cold was still seeping into our skins. Among many inconveniences at least there was a silver lining – the view of the lake was breathtaking. This lake is kind of important for this recital as the whole story revolves around the lake.

To start with, we moved to this little northern town last summer. Though the name of the town is of no importance, it’s worth noting that the nearby town was 200 kms away. Isolation was one of the attractions that this little town had to offer. Being the youngest child among 3 siblings, I was sent to junior high as soon as we settled in this town. The school term started in the month of June. I was thoroughly intrigued by the local culture, most of it because the kids in this town were overwhelmingly well behaved and silent. As soon as I got introduced to the new class, I made two best friends. They both were local boys of my age, which till now I think was the best age to explore new and hidden places that the town had to offer. Every day, after school, we three venture into the remote places of town and make our own childish story for every wrecked house we see, every oddly giant tree we see and the lake that lay adjacent to the town. Of all the stories, we made, the lake had us guessing and we came up with different stories, that none of us believed, sort of though. Following is the story as recited by one of my friends:

“It’s not a lake, it’s a sanctuary of a lake demon, Octorus. It’s not easy to keep him happy, you see. You may ask, why we need to keep him happy? The answer is we have no other choice. Octorus has been living in the lake for ages now, legend has it, once Octorus ruled the land some thousand years ago. When humans started flocking in to this part of the country, they had to parley with the lake demon, committing humans will present the lake demon with offerings every full moon and in return the lake demon will let the humans live in peace. Since then people of this town give offerings to this lake demon every full moon.”

My immediate interruption was “It’s such a conventional and overly told story”

My friend continued with irritation, “Then I guess, you already believe in the legend. Anyways, to continue, people say no one has ever seen Octorus till now. Every full moon night they just leave the offering by the side of the lake & find the offering gone by next day morning. The night in question, said to be the quietest of all; trees stand still, wind resorts to silence and the mountains stand watching as the night unfolds.”

“That’s spooky!”, I exclaimed.

My other friend spoke quickly with a hint of laughter, “You think that’s spooky. Listen to my imagination then. It’s not a lake, as you may think at the first look. It’s rather more than a lake. It’s a womb of a creature, that gives life to its babies. The little creatures, they move around the town and every midnight they come to drink from this life-giving lake. Though they don’t hurt any human beings in the town, every full moon they crave for human blood. They sneak into anyone’s house with open window or door & snatch one of the family members. To avoid this from happening, the town members decided that every full moon, all the houses must be checked for closure before the night falls. But still, these hungry monsters keep tapping on the windows all night, trying to find a way into the house.”

By this time, I was properly scared & asked them to return back to the town. As deserved, they made fun of me being spooked so easily.

Days and months went by and we three grew stronger friendship bonds. With the start of December, which brought snow with it, our winter vacation started. I was more excited about Christmas than the beautiful frosty days that was passing by. We three friends had so much in common that we never had to decide what to play or where to go, we just had to makeup our minds. One thing was our daily routine, that is visiting the lake. In December, the lake was partly frozen and partly turned into black color. But still the sight of the lake was breathtaking.

Finally, it was Christmas eve and I was excited about receiving gifts at the midnight. It was kind of a family tradition that we exchanged gifts on the break of 25th December. Or more like, our father gave us pretty gifts. Christmas eve dinner was warm and filling. Mother wanted us to be well feed because of the excitement we show around mid-night. Around 9pm we were asked to go to bed. Unknowingly, I fell asleep quickly, hoping mother will wake me up at mid-night.

I woke up drawing a heavy breath. Why? I dint know. I heard someone calling my name. It wasn’t mother, though. I looked at the watch and it was 11:30pm. Being a little light headed I walked towards the door to see if other family members were awake. I heard my name again, someone shouted this time and it came from outside the house. I ran to the window of my room & saw my friends standing near the house’s lawn. I was happy to see them; thinking they have come to wish us merry Christmas, I waved at them. But, something was strange with those two, infact, something was strange with the whole town. I waved at them, again. But no reply, they both were just standing still. I looked around at the town & noticed, not a single trace of wind, trees were as silent as it gets, the moon, it was full phased & staring back from the sky. It was a full moon night! I shiver ran through my spines. I quickly opened the window & shouted the names of my friends. Still no response. They were just standing like some mannequins. I tried focusing at them, dim street light wasn’t much of a help but I saw what looked less human & more demon-like. They both had no eye-balls in their eye sockets & their mouth was parted from ear to ear. I was about to faint, however, I gathered myself and ran to my parent’s room.

I was stuttering more & speaking less. My parents calmed me down, rather quickly. We all were in the kitchen, downstairs, I told them what I saw and the legend of the lake – a monster resides in the lake and little demons move around in the town hunting for human blood, also I told them how these demons search for open windows or doors. Oddly, my father had also heard of those legends. Suddenly, there was a big noise upstairs. Open windows! I forgot to close the window! I gasped and shouted “I forgot to close the window”. Looking at my hysteria, my father told us to go to the car & wait for him. He wanted to check upstairs, I tried stopping him, I cried and shouted, but in vain. He started walking slowly towards the stairway. Meanwhile, we, rest of the family, went to the garage & started the car. It was about 2 minutes that we were waiting in the car, my father came running & jumped into the car. He was panting & dint speak a word. He started the car & drove out of the garage. My mother was asking, “What’s going on? Where are we going?” Father replied calmly “I heard about the legend, that our son spoke of, & never believed it to be true. You will see when we drive by the lake, what exactly is this legend.” I was shivering by the thought of my close friends turning into demons. Whole town was silent; we were the only one driving. Within few minutes we started exiting the town through a hilly road, that gave a clear view of the lake. My father stopped the car, as we were safely away from the town. We all came out of the car and stared at the lake. Few thousand humanly figures were littered around the lake. They all seemed to be kneeling at the shore and drinking from the lake. Suddenly there was a low frequency noise and a figure emerged from the lake. “Octorus”, I whispered. It was a strange creature. Monster, yes, but not a demon. It was like a overblown size of wolf and snake, combined in a single body. My father spoke “Guess, we have seen enough. Time to drive away, as far as possible & try to forget what we saw tonight”. As we drove 200kms to the nearby town, I stared at the full moon & whispered “I will miss my friends”

So, that was my encounter with the demon town. Though we were scared, but we will never forget the beauty that the snowy lake-town held.

Murmus and Bulbus – Tale of two robots

Murmur

Looking across the dim-lit, half draw blinds, Murmus focused on a rising Sun and made a clinking sound as she boots-up her vital robotic parts. Her memory chip was not programmed to appreciate the beauty of dawn or to soothe over the jingles of morning breeze. But she was well programmed to service her parts with the first ray of every dawn. She has been doing this for over a decade. Sun light, or sometimes preprogramming, brings all her sensors to life & she proof reads hers daily protocols. Super intelligent yet naïve like a new born baby; Murmus steps out of her 1×1 closet. Her white & slender body glimmering golden in the morning sunlight. “Go’’d Morn’’g” She spoke in her robotic voice. Her owner, an early 30s single mother, was a cheerful woman with a 4 year old daughter. Murmus had the duty of morning ritual to cook breakfast, to pickup clothes for laundry, to prepare the little girl for school, and to pack bags for both mother & daughter. All done, Murmus leaves the house to drop the little girl at school. Murmus was dearly loved by the family.

Fifty miles away Bulbus was walking with his 29 year old master. Bulbus was a high profile robot working with his master at a stock trading center. Bulbus was not capable of doing anything other than complex calculations and pattern recognition. He was strongly built of about 2 meters height & his head was oddly larger than  rest of his body, may be because of larger processors. His master was a rich young trader with an attractive vibe. Bulbus interacts with lot of other robots everyday but he is ruthlessly focuses on his needs. His neural system was sharply conditioned by his master to make money at every step of his move.

Bulbus and his master usually take the same route to reach their office. Walking three blocks from their home, they take around 30 minutes to reach their office. But today was different. Five minutes into their walk, Bulbus’s master got an urgent call from his family and he had to leave. He strictly inspected Bulbus navigation protocols and instructed him to go back home. Biding goodbye to his master Bulbus continued his journey back home. Something was eerily odd that day. Bulbus was evolving as a droid from being a robot. Partly because of his adaptive learning skills. Curiously he halted next to a bus stop & focused on a particular stop ‘Primary learning school’. Bulbus checked his batteries – He had 15 hours of charge left. An evolving thought compelled him to visit this primary learning school & check how human beings start learning in this world. In a minute he boarded a bus & travelled 40 minutes to reach the school. Walking towards the school Bulbus stopped suddenly. He has never seen so many young human beings in the same place ever before. Awestruck with the overwhelming sight he walked slowly towards the gate. “Sir, are you here to drop your master? I am sorry but I have never seen you before” Asked the security guard. “Oh! My master is travelling now. Unfortunately he had some family urgencies to tend to. I am here to see how you humans start learning. Thank you!” Bulbus recited & walked into the gate. “SIR! I have to stop you here. You can’t go inside. Unless you are guiding your master to the school. Please step out of the gate.” Bulbus couldn’t comprehend the concept of restriction (Since he has always been freely moving in and out of his office. And never have been to any other organization). He stood there staring at the security guard.

Meanwhile, Murmus checked the little girl’s bag and ensured she had everything for the day. Walking towards the school gate she greeted good morning to the security guard & dropped off the little girl saying “Have a good day. See you in the evening”. Then she noticed this strange odd looking robot standing there. Staring blankly at the security guard. She asked him politely “Are you alright?”. “Actually no. I don’t understand why this human being wont let me go inside the school. All I want is to have a look at the way humans learn” Bulbus replied in a surprised tone. “HaHa. Whats your name?” Murmus asked. “Pardon me! I don’t know you atall. I cant reveal my identity or my model details to a stranger.” “Clearly you haven’t seen much of the world. Have you?” asked Murmus. “You see,I have a specific duty to perform & I do it well. But today I am a bit curious to understand human beings a bit more. I am Bulbus by the way.” Bulbus replied looking down at Murmus. “Well, nice to meet you Bulbus. I am Murmus, a household robot. I must say, I have never seen a curious robot like you. Your master be a smart and humble human being”. “Yes he is. And nice to meet you too Murmus. Do you stay close by? Will it be okay if I can learn about human beings along with you. Well to be honest, being a house hold robot you must be aware of all the social protocols that humans follow.” Bulbus asked in a curious fashion. Giving out a little robotic giggle Murmus replied “and aren’t you a socially awkward robot. Lets see, I guess you are safe enough to spend few hours with.” “Thank you so much. So were are you headed now? You see, I have around 14 hours of battery left, so I propose I must go back to my place by 4 pm evening.” “That sounds about right. I have to pick up little Jane around 4:30pm. So I can leave you at the school bus stop.” There was a sense of excitement in her voice, as for the first time in a decade she is having a real conversation with another robot. Deciding upon what places to visit ,both the ‘now evolving droids’ set off for their day trip to urban chaos.

City Centre – Ticked off, House of Parliament – Ticked off, National Park – Ticked off. Having visited so many social gathering places, Bulbus was overly excited about the life style of human beings. “Such a wonderful city this is. So where next?” Bulbus asked. “Ha Ha. Yes it is. I have to buy some household items. So lets go to the Myran shopping center. That falls on the way to the school and now its 3:30pm.” They reached the shopping center. Looking up at the clouds Bulbus said sadly ” My my looks like its going to rain in an hour. I better find some shelter. My model is not made to be exposed to water. Well, I am suppose to stay inside office all the time” “Its okay. We can go inside the shopping center.” Murmus replied. As the duo entered the shopping place, the proximity alarm tripped off & security guards came running to them. “Wow, is that a Grade-A robot? What is he doing so far away from down town!” “I am sorry, this one can’t get it. He can put us out of business in 5 mins. Haha. Sorry sir you have to wait outside” Bulbus was confused again. Murmus answered to the now gathered crowed “It alright. I am guiding him through a city visit. For now he will wait for me outside & I have 10 minutes of shopping to do.” With that bulbus went outside to wait for her.

After, what felt like a minute or so, Bulbus heard a water drop landing on his metallic head. “Oh Dear”. In few seconds rain was pouring at its best. “Must save all the data! Must find a shelter!” Bulbus shouted and ran around the place like a scattered cat. But all his efforts were in vain. In 30 seconds his system snapped & shut itself down. Bulbus fell to the concrete floor like a cold corpse.

All data erased in 30 seconds – All neural learning erased in 30 seconds – A money vending machine turned in to a pile of metal and wires in 30 seconds. What was remaining in Bulbus was – past 12 hours of temporary memory.

Inside the isolated shopping center Murmus had no clue of the out burst of clouds. After few minutes she came out to a shocking sight. She ran towards grounded Bulbus and checked his vitals. Rain was still pouring. She ran towards the road & stopped a Taxi. She picked up Bulbus & placed him carefully inside the cab speaking loudly ” Cyprus Apartment – Dormathy Road – Lobby A. Please – quick” On the way to her apartment she called her master – Tiffany to explained everything & requested her to pick up Jane on the way home.

She plugged Bulbus to a charging plug & searched internet for re-booting sequence. But handling a Grade-A robot was not a piece of cake. By the time she had quit all her hopes, Tiffany reached home with Jane. “Mom he is so big!” Shouted Jane staring at still resting body of Bulbus. “Did you find out who is his master?” Asked Tiffany. “No” Murmus replied in a sad tone. “Its alright Murmus. Don’t worry. He is a Grade-A robot. Hopefully he will boot himself up. Just give him some time to charge up” Tiffany looked at Murmus and smiled. Murmus pulled her charging plug and sat next to Bulbus – And sat there for the whole night.

Morning dawned. 50 miles across the city, Peter came back to an empty house. And sat down on the floor with palms on his face – He has lost enough.

With a beep Bulbus rebooted & stared at Murmus blankly. Memory wiped clean; what he remembers now is his past few moments with Murmus and he feels good about it. BUT! with another sharp and loud beep he stood up straight – “Must go back to Peter”

…… To be continued

The Famous Journal of Jeff Davis —- Chapter 1 : The invisible matter —-

Jeff Davis Part 1

“This is the story of me leaving Harvard – on the way to become a famous Physicist & how I became a famous detective instead. I dug into my journal & I am going to share the interesting bits of this transformation. In my academic terms, I was hunting Laplace but ended up in the infinite loop of Fourier.”

Chapter 1

19th October 1946 (Saturday)

The invisible matter

My name is Jeff Davis, a Phd final year quantum physics scholar in Harvard University Department of Physics. I hail from a small town of England near North Cumbria, beautiful little town with the scars of World War II. I am on my way to achieve the sole goal of my life – Become a famous theoretical quantum physicist. But strange events have happened in my life, rather I can say in past 7 days of my life. Events that can only happen in my final year thesis have happened for real. So how does that involve me? Well, putting it in a nice way, now I am a part of it.

My final year term started on 20th day of July 1946. Finally my concurrent theoretical research on existence of dark matter & multi-dimensional exchange of energy in sub-atomic particles is taking shape. If successful I will be the next happiest man after JJ Thompson. My equations prove that an atom is made up of rather more sub-atomic particles than just electrons, protons & neutrons. But I am still stuck in simplifying my awkwardly complex equations. My final year aim is to follow the steps of Albert & formulate a simplified universal equation to describe the sub-atomic physics. Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Plank are few of my role models & off course Albert.

Life was on track until the 12th day of October, 1946. I received a telegram from North Cumbria stating one of my cousins – Henry had suffered a major brain disease and was in the state of paralysis & this happened in one day. Reasons were unknown; a fully healthy man with no apparent reason got his brain dis-functional. I packed my bag & boarded newly launched Pan American Aviation craft. It was Saturday & the aircraft was airborne by 9pm in the evening. It took me 12 hours to reach North Cumbria as I had to take railroad from Bournemouth-Hurn Airport in London to North Cumbria. It was a usual gloomy cold morning of England; rain was drizzling on my ear high hat as I walked towards my home. Strange silence surrounded the house. I knocked on the door to see my mum’s sad face. I stepped into the living room to the strong smell of burning coal from the fire place. Removed my cloak and placed my hat on a hanger. I went into the guest room to see my paralyzed cousin. He lied on the bed motionless & cold. “It has been 2 days now Jeff, we are trying to feed him liquid and soluble but his body is rejecting lately” my aunt spoke. I kept my calm strong and tried to ask few questions. “Aunt Marge, how did this happen, did you or anyone notice anything unusual. I can see there is no epidemic nearby. So, evidently this is not any wide spread disease.” Mum and aunt Marge asked me to take a seat & mum said “I will make you a cup of tea while you listen to Marge”. Aunt Marge sat beside Henry’s cold feet & spoke softly “He is the strongest man I have ever seen; well for me he is still a boy – brave, dedicated & smart. He served the Royal army with his full honor & fought against the Germans at the France strong hold. But he was under Royal army protection even after the war got over. I never understood why though. He came back home in summer 1945. He has been very normal physically & mentally; until recent events.” Mum came back with three cups of tea. Aunt Marge kept the cup on a table nearby and continued “Strangely, Henry started speaking in the sleep lately. Well, it was not something that we can overlook.” I cleared my throat & asked “Aunt, everyone speaks in the sleep when they enter a phase which scientifically called REM phase. Did you hear anything in particular?” She replied “Yes, he speaks in German!”

There was a momentary silence in the room. “So, did he learn German when he was serving the Royal army in France border?” Aunt replied “He didn’t even understand German when he was awake. I spoke to him about this many times. He always replied – Mum I have no idea how I can speak a language if I can’t understand it. We have also noted another peculiar but strange happening with him. From past one month he has been vomiting a lot even though he was in perfectly good health. That might sound quite common but we have noted he only vomits whenever there is a lighting strike close to our house. I dunno, but how can a human body react to thunder & lightning?” My mind rushed back to Harvard in Nano-second. I started thinking about “Lightings are nothing but discharge of large amount of energy stored in charged particles and ions in clouds. How can they interact with human brain? But Aunt Marge spoke about Henry only reacted to lightening that stroke near the house. That means it has something to do with ionization of air. Human brain generates minor electrical charge while passing information across neurons. May be somehow his brain interacted with the ionized air & that has completely shut down his brain neurons. Hmm, sounds reasonable. The only way to stop the ionization of air is to seal this room with lead or aluminum foils” Then I spoke out loud “Okay, Aunt Marge I have understood what has happened. We have to seal this room with aluminum foil.” Mum & Aunt Marge were thoroughly confused. Mum spoke “I you say so, we have aluminum rolls in the store house, we can use those. “Yes. Let’s do it right away”.

It took us three hours to seal the room properly. I told Aunt Marge “Nothing to worry, just keep feeding him. Now that lighting strikes won’t affect his brain, there is a hope to bring him back. It was around 7pm and dusk was upon North Cumbria. My father had just come back home from his cotton mill factory. He was happy to see me but also sad to see Henry lying motionless on the bed. “I presume it must be your idea to seal the room, eh Jeff, hope this works!” We had our supper around 8pm and I went outside to sit on the porch. Few minutes past, Dad came out with 2 pints of beer in his hand & spoke sitting next to me “It’s really terrible what happened with Henry. Poor Marge, since Roald was killed in the first Great War, Henry was her world. It’s good that she decided to stay with us. Atleast she has some company in this tough time.” I took a large gulp of beer & spoke “I dunno if it’s strange or Henry is highly unlucky to be in this situation.” “Yes, I would say it’s rather unlucky, being a captive in a war changes you” Dad said. “Henry was captured by Germans in the war? Did Aunt Marge know about it?” I spoke with a surprised accent. “No. She doesn’t even need to know. Henry asked me not to bother her with this information. Anyways, he was only captive for 3 weeks. Royal army could able to retrieve Henry & 4 other privateers safely. Henry told me, he remembers to be conscious only for a week. He has no recollections of other 2 weeks. Strange!”

“Indeed, Strange” I exhaled & chugged my beer pint to finish. Weather outside was changing – Dark cloud covered the sky & it started raining. I hoped my aluminum foil solution to work. While I & dad were on 3rd pint of beer, we witnessed a strange event. A large patch of dark cloud was missing revealing stars beyond the sky. We were awestruck. I have never seen this phenomenon before. Suddenly there was a major lightning strike next to our house. I ran inside to check on Henry. Aunt Marge was already there holding his hand & speechless. “Aunt Marge! Is he okay?” She didn’t reply. I checked his breath. “No. No. No.” Henry had stopped breathing. Henry was dead.

I couldn’t see Aunt Marge crying anymore. I was angry on myself for being so helpless. We arranged a funeral within 2 days. We let the Holy Father & church mates do their final rituals. Before the burial, I asked my father “Can we weigh his body before the burial?” He was surprised at my strange question. I asked him again “How did he weigh when he was alive”. He replied “178 pounds”. The next day, Dad called few of his cotton mill workers to send a weighing machine. We weighed Henry’s body. I was stopped breathing for a while as I stared at the dial – 175 pounds. Dad snapped me out and asked “Jeff, what’s the matter?” I spoke in a choked voice “His brain is missing, vanished, evaporated – 3 pounds missing.” “What?” Dad replied. “How is it possible?” “We have to get X-ray done on him. We have no other choice”. I kept mum & Aunt Marge out of all this. Few hours before the burial, we took henry’s body to nearby hospital & did an x-ray scan. “As suspected, his brain is missing” I spoke calmly & continued “Lets finish off with the burial proceedings. I need to do some more research on this” We finished the burial on 18th day of October. My brain was a cave of an angry tiger – so many questions & no answers. I packed my bag, hugged Aunt Marge, kissed mum & whispered into dad’s ear “I will solve this at any cost. You stay in your wits & take care of aunt & mum”. I took the late night aircraft to Harvard. I sat in the aircraft seat staring at the passing dark clouds and questioned myself “He was captured by Germans & don’t recall 2 weeks. What happened there? Why there was a strange opening in the clouds that day – anything to do with dark matter? Why was he reacting to lightening – Was his brain neurons interacting with surge of energy? How can his brain go missing without any physical damage – has something happened at sub-atomic quantum level? I am sure only my equations can solve this mystery”

 – Jeff Davis

Boggy Barrow’s Haunted Hut

Boggy Barrows Haunted Hut

I heard it few years ago & people say it might be true. True or a legend – I made a story out of it. Enjoy 🙂

Early august downpour can be a bit of a worry when you are lost in dense woods of tropical rain forest. As seasoned adventurers Andrew & Jane knew the drill. They looked for the high grounds where they can reinstate their bearings. Jane quickly located a small hill which lied 30 minutes’ walk from their current location. Looking at his edifice adventurer’s watch Andrew said “Jane, we better start planning for an overnight stay as well. It won’t be more than an hour that we will start losing light.” Splattering sound of heavy rain on the wind breaker’s hood started to annoy the duo. Earth was soaking with water and mud. The tropical flora was as quite as it gets – just the sound of rain that exists. It took them about 45 minutes to reach the top. While the heavy rain had impaired the visibility, Andrew can see faint signs of modern civilization, but it must have been 30 miles away. With no other choice Andrew said “Common! Let’s look for some dry ground and get a fire going”. A quick scan of the location put a smile on Jane’s face “Look a small hut. I guess it must be occupied by some local cattle herder.”

Descending down the hill they found the hut was wildly surrounded by slimy & stinky swamp. A narrow pathway was leading to the wooden hut. Jane was holding Andrew’s hand as they crossed the swamp. The hut’s door was half open – a clear sign that no one occupied the hut. “Better something than nothing” Andrew exhaled. The rusty door made a creaky noise as they entered the hut. The smell of rotting wood was strong – at least the roof was not leaking. “This is our last resort for the night & boy isn’t it royal” said Andrew with a hint of humor. “Andrew, you have always fancied a spooky looking place to stay. Looks like god has finally heard you” replied Jane placing her backpack on the wooden floor. Jane & Andrew have been together from high school. And they have been to numerous adventures together. They probably were the best couple with common interest & lifestyle. They beautifully complimented each other.

Night fell & the rain grew even harder. Luckily the hut had a small fire place. Andrew picked up some dry wood from the floor & made a nice and cozy fire. It must be around 9pm & they had some cold sandwich for dinner. No time to waste, they must have a good night sleep for next day’s walk. Using the backpacks as pillows Jane slept on the arms of Andrew & Andrew held her tight. The fireplace was still alive, giving warmth to the hut. As they slowly drifted into sleep, Andrew heard sobbing sound. He looked at Jane to find she was sound asleep. He checked his watch, it was midnight and his digital clock just moved from 11:59pm to 12:00am. Then he heard a sharp sound at the door “Thud! Thud!” Someone was knocking at the door. They both were up and awake. 15 second passed and the heard it again “Thud Thud!”.. “I think few others are lost too” Andrew said. With a bit of courage he went to open the door. Jane had asked him to be cautious, so Andrew had a wooden plank in his hand. Thinking “Anything suspicious & I am gonna swing this piece of wood so hard” he open the door. Darkness – no one was at the doorstep. Rain was stopped & the forest was covered with post rain fog – lit with full moon in a cloudless sky. Andrew was properly spooked and took a step back. As he looked carefully he can see a figure standing across the slimy swamp. He gathered his wits & tried to figure out what was that.  As his vision got cleared, he could see a figure resembling a little girl was standing across the swamp. He took his eyes off her & spoke to Jane – “I guess you must have a look at it”. He moved his head back to look at the figure again & screamed! That little girl was standing next to him. Wearing a white night gown, the girl’s face was hidden in her overgrown hair. Jane was stunned at that moment & Andrew thought “God! I have seen this girl in horror movies & looks like time to say goodbye to this life”. Snapping out of shock Jane asked “Wwwwho are you?” What happened next changed Jane & Andrew’s life.

Moving the overgrown hair off her face, the little girl spoke “Well, I always try not to scare anyone. But, I guess I failed this time too.” “hmmm..Yes you did. But do you live here” “I used to – When I was alive. Now I try to save other beings who take shelter here.” Stammering Andrew spoke again “ssss..save beings. From what?” The girl spoke “I was killed by a tiger that lives in the forest nearby. Many local villagers & adventures are recommended not to venture this part of the forest. But few – like you, unfortunately wander off here. And its my duty to safeguard you from that tiger. That’s the reason why I had this deal with god – let me stay back some more time & save few souls from slaughter” Suddenly they heard a sharp roar of a female tiger. Jane was even more scared than she was before. The little girl said “Yes she is here. You both stay inside and let me stand guard outside. And take my word – No one will hurt you till I am around you”. “A ghost saving humans life – never heard that before” Andrew thought & shut the door tight. After a few more roars the tiger went quite.

As the dawn broke, the couple came out of the hut to see pure calm & beautiful forest. Jane said “Looks like we have a tale for our kids & grandkids”. Smiling at each other, but walked past the forest & reached the nearby town. They asked the locals about the hut & learnt a family was killed by a tiger in that hut.

Now the locals call it – Boggy Barrow’s haunted hut.

A Happy Old Lamp Post :)

Picture1

Last night while walking back home, I stopped and stared at an old lamp post for a while. Lost in my thoughts of empathy I heard the old chap speak.

Never regretted my existence, never have never will,

So what if I am the least admired article here,

I have an old chair here, who I hold very dear,

She might sound creaky and I am half bent,

But how does it matter when we evenly compliment,

I miss her through the day as we work on shifts,

Night falls and I spring into life,

Flickering my way to brightness I see her eyes,

Old as she is, but looks beautiful in my glowing light,

Snapping out of his own thoughts, the old lamp post looked at me in a curious but frightful manner and spoke in calm and rigid voice:

Oye! you young man with a bag,

Are you just a traveler or a drunkard like the last one,

Hesitating I said “I’m…I’m just a traveler. Give me a sec and I’ll be gone”

Be who you wish, but my bright light is plenty in solace,

I give free hugs to the drunk and broken hearts,

I give shoulder to the jaded and exhausted,

I light up a small house for the poor and needy,

Bright minds use me to think in isolation,

Struggling minds use me to catch a breath in starvation,

Greedy minds use me count their greed in the dark,

Thieves run past my trunk leaving their knife mark,

I will tell you what, Mr. Traveler,

I am not sure if I will be in heaven or hell for my last toast,

“But I am sure I am a happy old lamp post.”

Elders are the best guides available for all of us. We like it or not, they will always have our backs. Even dealing with ignorance and part hatred they will always be happy within. My heart bleeds a little when I see helpless old chaps. If not wholly by actions at least I let my words make my stand. I keep my folks close to my soul and one day the whole world will!! 🙂

Dusting pages from an aging library

library-shelves-with-ladder-of-homes-diana-old-book-library-ladder-bookshelf-widescreen-for-landscape-pathways

” I never taught a thing to Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton; never told Galileo how to polish a piece of glass” he spoke placing his book carefully onto the shelf. “Yet they managed to make sense out of flashy lights of the heavens, fallen apple and lurked into the darkness proving we live in a fabric of space and time. Have they been touched by some unearthly wise being who taught them to think the way they did? No one to say in certainty.” Walking down the sliding ladder of the old librarian spoke in a soft and lofty voice

” Oh, if only my words obscure  your thoughts,

Its just a wipe woven to your sleeves upon glimmering dew

Bright minds must kindle, but bright; are you?

Oh, I see how you scoff impious pride from fiends impure,

We are stripped but who to say the thoughts are real,

Till the nakedness draws the false from true.

Oh, fellow visitor with hollow smile and frozen sneer,

The heavens would faint at your thoughts cheer,

For one last time let me unveil the silk off your brow-ridge,

Come with me and dust the pages of this aging library.”

More than his wrinkled eyes, his grey long beard made him look wiser. “But is he really a wise man or just a poet who happen to have a grip on history” I thought to myself. Walking at the pace of a snail the old librarian waved at me for some help. I gave him a hand to walk to his old reeking work desk. The strong smell of old mahogany had an intense grip on my thoughts. “The old librarian does know a bit of sorcery” I thought. Cozying in his creaky chair he spoke “I know the reason!” and coughed swiftly to continue ” I know you are a wonderer. But unlike you, I know the reason. I know the knowledge you hold. I know the knowledge you seek. But my young wonderer! The path you must embark wont give you smile. Nor will it wet your cheerful thoughts. But that’s what they did and you! must do.” For some reason I couldn’t utter a word. I was comfortably numb in my velvety chair. ” Is this a pure act of sorcery?” I thought.

Clearing his throat the old librarian continued “As I said my words will only obscure your thoughts. But young wonderer I am sure in this obscurity you will find you glimmer. Seven billion brains are at work as we speak. Do all of them are conditioned for greatness? Yes they do. But the willpower to peek into oneself and unlock the potential lies with few brave beings. History proves it and so will the future. My young friend, I am an old man who has seen ages of history. People warring over the bright minds. Great achievements! At times caught a glimpse of Archimedes running naked though the streets of Syracuse. But I must say even mind favors the brave beings. Never shy from expression. Pitfalls will come as cushion when you enjoy falling. Fall graciously my young wonderer.”

The old librarian pushed his creaky chair slowly and walked towards the book shelves. I was watching him in seer silence. Few minutes passed and he vanished into the crowded book selves. “wow, that man deserves to be called as an awesome librarian” I thought. Exhausted as I was; I pushed my chair to stand and that’s when I heard his voice again. Looking though a distant book shelf the old librarian spoke sharply:

“Oh! My young wonderer; Never hesitate to fall graciously”