Wednesday, November 02, 2011


                                  It was a still night inside the compound. For an abandoned location, it had some well trimmed lawns. There were no sounds at all, in itself it was creepy.  No insect sounds, no cries of the night birds. It was like a void in this normal world. Fear gripped our hearts but it was too late to turn back now. The slow progress till the main entrance was uneventful. The door was old, but it opened up without a sound. It was strange that such a place has not been locked up. The dark interiors conveyed the image of being very spacious but at the same time, strangely empty. Flashlights came out and we started our exploring. The place was clean, a little too clean with no signs of abandonment anywhere. There were no furniture, no pictures on the wall. The only item left which showed that the place was once inhabited was a worn out rug in the main hall. We decided to stop running around aimlessly and camp out there on the rug.
                                Night came without an incident. The fluttering fear that we had began ebbing down. Slowly we made a circle and broke open our picnic basket. Although conversation was slow to start, it soon picked up pace. From trying to calm each other and convince them that there was nothing to fear, we came to the situation where each one of us was trying our best to scare their mates with the most horrifying stories they know. Being the newest member of the group, I was being targeted by the others. We were down to survival tactics in case of a ghost attack & I was given the role of the bait. Being the little fat guy that I am, I was perfect. Hungry ghosts can have a feast on my flesh & blood and still have some leftovers for the next day. Good case since it would allow others to escape safely while they are feeding on me. I did not care to disagree; they had a point after all. Time dragged on, stories became mumblings, and one by one we started falling asleep.
                                The first one to go missing that night was Terry. Not used to sleeping on the floor, he had decided to stretch his legs a bit before trying to sleep again. The moment he left our circle, it felt as if a huge shadow had descended on us. All the lamps and flashlights went out. This sudden development threw us into frenzy, we panicked.  Before we could react, an inhuman scream echoed across the house. And the lamps came on as suddenly as they had vanished. I could feel the cold sweat pouring down my back, the dryness in my throat. With shaking hands, partly with fear and partly with excitement, I drank my drink. But even after this, I was unable to find my voice to call out to others. The lights went out again and this time chaos erupted. There were cries from all around me. I was unable to react, unable to cry. In the middle there were hands grabbing my feet, my arms only to be violently ripped away. The screams continued and with it there was something new, a bitter-sweet coppery smell permeated the air. I knew what it was, the smell of blood. I did not want to be a part of this, it was all a bad dream. I need to get out and fast, all I could do was to drink and drink again and hope I would pass out before I felt any pain. Dizziness came over me but I drank and drank till nothing was left. The hands have begun to brush against my body again. Unable to move, I collapsed on the floor, waiting for the fate to deliver what she had planned for me
                                It had been a long time since he had taken his original form.  The shadow of the smile on his face suggested that he was genuinely pleased. He walked without a sound, more floating than actually walking. There was a strange grace to his movements. The sun was just rising and Old man Wilbur has just opened his coffee shop when the man came in. He went to the seat nearest to the counter and sat down. Wilbur wanted to tell him the shop was not yet open but somehow he did not feel like denying this young man. He had such amazing eyes, childish yet weight of ages danced around in them. Shuffling to the table, he passed the menu to the young one.
                                The night was very long but finally the sun was up. I left my fat frame behind and walked back to the town. Wilbur was just opening his cafe and I went in. For a moment I thought he would throw me out but he didn’t. I needed to be as far away from the door as possible so I went to the seat nearest to the counter. Wilbur gave me the menu but I wasn’t hungry. Coffee was the only thing I needed, busy nights always left me with a little bit of a headache. Wilbur shuffled away to get my coffee. Staring at the town’s populace moving through the glass doors I knew it was time. The kids were pretty popular in this place and their absence would be noted. A detailed investigation would be inconvenient at this point in time. Another change of location was required. It needs to be far away from my usual hunting grounds. I looked at the crumpled brochure in my jacket pocket. A little sunny but sun do not bother me anymore. The place was far, sunny and quiet, just like home. I need to get there before the thirst rose again. In the morning rays the dirty golden letters on the brochure glinted -“Goa Institute of Management”. Yes, this would be a good place for me. The hunt has begun.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The first cut was the sweetest sight to behold.The smooth white skin, a line of red forms in the middle and then like a glorious fountain the blood gushes out.Blood is messy, tough to clean. But without this much blood , the art of cutting flesh has no beauty in it. There is no challenge.Cutting up someone without fear of them dying of blood loss. Avoiding major blood vessels and cutting deep and sharp.It was messy at first but through practice she had perfected this art.
Today it was the delicacy - the fingers.Long, beautiful and delicate, them are one of the tastiest morsels you can find.Taste comes at a price though, they are tough to cut up cleanly.There must be the right amount of meat and the right amount of bone, just like chicken.It was not the fingers alone which captured her attention.The fingers first and then along with them,the meaty hand.Till wrist would serve as the best appetizer she had cooked in a while. Although she preferred some parts raw, experience had taught her that cooking the fingers and hands imparts a specific flavor and taste to them that is unparalleled.With her hands quivering with anticipation, she watched as the blood drained from her first cut.And she felt really good, for the first time in months.
Blood finally stopped.Now it was time for the cutting to start. Glistening butcher knives were arranged neatly by her side. She selected the sharpest one among them, the cuts have to be clean and precise. When it started, the hand always gave her trouble, it was tough to get a clean cut. But then once in an inspired moment she discovered the secret. The hand is just like a cut from one end fast and not stopping and then carry on till the end.In 2 minutes, it was ready. It was surprising to see that it took her this long to figure this out but today she was going to be at her best. This time there would be no mistakes.The knife came down on the fingers with a "swoosh". And a precise delicate piece of finger just jumped off seperated on the table. Blood spurted out, washing her face and hair. The sweet coppery taste of blood excited her. The primal instincts a maniac she started chopping. Each stroke precise and measure, and with no hesitation. She had to stop herself at the wrist, it was feeling so good to just continue chopping. But she knew that she must stop, the wrist and rest of the arms are for later in the day, not now. All around were pieces of flesh that once formed a hand.
Licking off the blood from her lips she started cleaning the pieces. Her own skill amazed her, the pieces were neat crisp and clean.She preferred cooking them with the nails on, they can be removed later. Dumping the bloodied knife in the bowl she arranged the pieces on the now cleaned cutting board. It was difficult to see the pattern but it somehow resembled carrots rather than human fingers.Various receipes flashed through her mind about what to make them into today. She tried getting the pieces into the over. Keeping the door open with one hand, she reached for the bowl but instead she knocked it over.A curse escaped from her lips.In that moment, she became just another normal woman cursing her clumsiness,but then it happened. That moment of normalcy is all it took to make her jump back in horror at that single thought...
" How am I supposed to cook with only one hand now ? "