Raghav woke up from his deep slumber; he wasn’t prone to these breaks in his sleep as long as there wasn’t a reason for that. He felt he heard a constant buzzing sound; he wasn’t hearing any now. He attempted to gain his full senses. He looked at the dimmed screen of his iPhone; it hadn’t woken him up as there were no new notifications. He wasn’t fully awake yet as he could hardly see anything around through his dizzy eyes. He attempted to see the time again on his iPhone; the screen read 03:28. He didn’t feel thirsty nor did he want to take a leak.
He got up and tottered along the floor to the bathroom. “I am awake anyway, might as well go visit the bathroom“. He got back to the still, dark room. The clock on the wall read 03:30 now.
Just as he fell flat facedown on the bed, the sound hit him again. He could clearly hear the steady, deep buzzing noise that had woken him; he was absolutely certain it wasn’t coming from something in his room. He got up, this time fully awake, wide-eyed. He was convinced it was a sound he had heard before, a rattle of sorts on a wooden top. He got out of his bedroom; he was certain now that the sound was coming from downstairs. He tried to calm his mind, suspecting it was his loneliness that was playing games.
Raghav stepped onto the first stair and the sound stopped with the first creak of the wooden stairs below his feet. The lack of sound now made him even more nervous. Did he make someone or something aware of his presence? Why did the sound stop? The lack of persistent hum was making his legs shake. He stood frozen on the stairs peering into the darkness beneath. It was lifeless, as it should be. But even the normal made Raghav quiver. He felt that the narrow staircase was closing in on him on both sides, becoming narrower with each second that he stood there.
“I cannot stand witless here anymore,” he thought. He flicked at the switch panel. The light hadn’t even filled the staircase yet and the heavy hum filled the empty soundless surrounding again. He was sure now that his mind wasn’t playing any games with him; there was something rattling on the dining table in the kitchen. He took a deep breath and ran down the staircase. He stood at the entrance of the kitchen and peeked inside. It was pitch dark inside, except for the dancing light from a buzzing mobile phone on the dining table. Raghav was relieved it wasn’t an unexplainable sound. But the relief was only short-lived as the realization that the phone wasn’t his soon hit him.
He ambled slowly towards the shuddering device; the screen visibly showed that there was an incoming call. Before he could see whom the call was from, the phone stopped ringing and fright struck him as the room went dark around him. He scuttled across the floor to the dining table, picked up the phone, and brought the screen back to life. He heaved a sigh as the faint light illuminated his surroundings. He hadn’t even exhaled the full sigh yet before the phone in his hand started to vibrate again. He slowly turned the now-brightened screen to face him; his face went white. The screen read Incoming call . . . Raghav iPhone.
Was that really Mary that she saw at the window with dad? The thought was eating Gina from the inside. She wished she’d stayed there for another glimpse of Mary. She wondered if she can go back to her place again. “Will I fall for his hollow promises? Did Mary? Again?” #mbnov
Roy paused at the window for a second. He stood there alone — it made him realize the moment that had just passed was both superb and nasty at the same time. Was this all simply a build up to a deluge of sorrows to follow? Will the storm that surrounds me ever abate? #mbnov
Roy leaned in towards Mary – the stick missed his neck by a feather and shattered into pieces against the wall. The noise jerked Roy from his trance. He peered outside – a shadowy figure was murkily visible, running away.
Was that Gina? Or was it his selective memory? #mbnov
He wished he could reach outside the window and feel the touch he dearly missed. He did stretch his hand outside the window. He did feel the raindrops spattering against his palms. But it was the touch he felt on his back that startled him.
It was undoubtedly Mary’s. #mbnov
Note: I was recently held back by the 10th prompt of Microblogvember. I couldn’t come up with a satisfying subplot. I asked my 6-year-old daughter to tell me a story about space. This is her short story — I believe she has a better plot than what I could come up with. She always beats me with her creativity and freedom of thought.
There once was an old spaceship. No one used it. Everyone wanted to use the new spaceship. The new spaceship had too many lights and it flew fast. So all new people wanted to use the new spaceship.
Some old people were talking once how they wished they could go to space and see the stars from close. The old spaceship heard them, it felt sad. So it took them to space. It showed them the stars and the moon. The old people felt very happy.
Some young boys did not like those old people were also going to space. So they stole the old spaceship and hid them. The old people felt very sad that their friend was stolen. So they searched for the old spaceship everywhere. But they did not find it.
One day they got an idea. They announced to the young boys that they have got a very new spaceship. They should come and take it from them. The young boys came to take the new spaceship. But they fell and all the old people held them.
The young boys got afraid and gave the old spaceship back to them. The old people were happy that got their friend back. Now they went to space every day with the old spaceship.
Roy gazed out at the nippy darkness outside. The surrounding wasn’t deserted, but he felt desolate within. He wished he’d lend Mary the space she needed when the time was still at his hands.
The darkness that spread outside was stretching itself toward’s Roy’s mind. #mbnov
Roy relished the cold weather, more so if brought on by a persistent drizzle. A gentle wind wafting through the air carried few droplets along. He moved closer to the window, closed his eyes and soaked in the light sprays of rainwater. The atmosphere made him call Mary. #mbnov
“When life clasps you in the grinds, holds you down with sheer pressure of existence, when you feel insignificant, look up to the stars. Billions of them, doing exactly the same thing day in, day out. Doesn’t make one shine less brighter.”
Mary’s words made Roy smile. #mbnov