The Red Night
La Rouge Nuit, as promised was supposed to be a prose piece written here. But, as mentioned earlier, I need to be more fluent with French before I can start with my writing. It’s going to take some time, but it’ll happen. Until then, you keep enjoying the english.
The cold winter night hadn’t seen this coming. Dry wind blew all around Lahore, chilly and far from comforting. Distraught souls aimlessly roamed the city, some wanting to pounce on the enemy and draw out the crimson liquid out of their bodies, others seeking solace amongst equally lost, but familiar strangers.
That night, she was in pain. Pain such immense that the thoughts of succumbing her precious life to the wrath of the darkness seemed better than possible. “Precious,” she thought and spat out in disgrace with all the energy she could muster.
Every life is precious. A beating heart full of adventure; Adrenaline ready to take over the world. So was hers. But they didn’t understand that. They never tried to understand her anyway.
They treated her like dirt, like she didn’t belong. She was supposed to cater to all their wants and needs. Never did she have any time for herself, it had always been either a matter of being forced to be obedient, or get imprinted with the lashes of that wretched brown leather belt on her frail back.
And she didn’t want to answer any questions any more. She was tired, so let it all surpass and gave in to the red night. Twilight broke past the torn green curtain as she realized she was bestowed with the responsibility of carrying a child.
Tonight, that child wanted to break free of its protected womb, and get a taste of the cruel atmosphere that dawned upon mankind.
She wished it was a boy. Otherwise she knew they wouldn’t let it live. Her screams were soon drowned by the loud wails and gasps of a tiny little boy, swathed in red and fluid. She didn’t know which emotion to feel. She tried to breathe a sigh of relief, but it wouldn’t come. The pain hadn’t subsided as yet, and the pitiful reassurances of the midwife troubled her mind even more.
She winced because of the trauma that was being inflicted on her, both mental and of the body as the two other women in the room got ready to help the boy’s twin sister out.
And she thought she had failed; because her daughter, she knew, would be killed as soon as she would try to breathe and take in a whiff of oxygen to fill her tiny lungs. It was the beginning of the end.
Kael was eleven. He spoke in a way that mesmerized people around him. His grey eyes, a window to the world, spoke of his latent innocence. His voice, almost hypnotizing, he hummed and sang, while going about his daily routine, trying to make the most out of mundane circumstances that Lahore had to offer. Mundane, yet full of terror.
Kael’s experiences ran past his years. Always calm and patient, the boy felt he was missing something. Something that was his, part of the same world, mind and body. No, it was not his mother: He never felt her emptiness. He didn’t know what she was like, and he didn’t want to either.
It was something else, the reason for which he didn’t feel complete.
She worked in a small tea shop on the outskirts of Punjab. The war was almost over. Many didn’t even want to use that coined term, war, yet what else can such a grave division of one’s motherland be called?
She was not alone though. A little girl, over a decade old, always managed to keep her spirits up. Her imagination, as vivid as a myriad of colors, expressed itself through her grey eyes.
Her mother had just finished telling her the gruesome yet wonderful tale of their escapade. She wanted her daughter to be able to make the world a better place through her beautiful song and lyrics.
The woman proceeded to tuck the cheap glasses away on the bottom rack of the wooden stall. The clinking of the cups sounded comforting mixed with the hum of the wind that came in from the neighboring enemy outlines of Lahore.
Yet the wind is pure, aged and wise, and the little girl laughed as it blew her hair away softly. “When are we going to meet Kael, mother?” she inquired for the umpteenth time. “Soon Kyla, soon,” her mother said as she felt her guilt overtake the burden of false promises yet again.
x EdgyShark x