Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

Rainy Day

“Most people were seeing it for the first time. I wasn’t one of them. The first time it had occurred, it had lasted only for about 15 seconds. I didn’t know anyone who saw it for what it was and I could find anyone who would believe me. A fifteen year old girl, with a history of lying, doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in adults. Today, they all believe me. Today, it is too late.”

5 years ago…

“You have to get it right in one attempt.” Jing said with a twinkle in her eyes.

“Wh.. Wh.. Why?” Peter asked.

“One of these days, I will pull out that tongue of yours and fix that stammer. And then tie a knot on it for asking such stupid questions.” Jing said showing annoyance. Jing knew that Peter didn’t handle pressure well and no that Peter thought it was a one attempt thing, he was going to fail. His failure was crucial for her plan.

“I.. I.. I don’t think I sh.. should be doing th.. this.” Peter said even more scared now.

“Just get on with it or I’ll tell your mom that you tried to kiss me.” Jing said threateningly.

Peter’s face went white. His hands started to shake and he started working. Within seconds, he promptly failed to put the wire without touching the sides and the circuit was completed. Peter moved away from it with horror as he realised what had happened. Jing shouted with glee.

The whole town’s electricity was gone. They had started to work just before dusk and now, the light was very low. With the light gone, anything could be hardly done.

“Wh.. What did you do?” Peter asked Jing.

“Me.. I did nothing. I was making a small dynamo for the project. You are the one who made the mistake and took off the light of the whole city.” Jing said with a wicked smile.

“You are ho.. ho.. horr..” Before Peter could finish this thought, his voice choked. He pointed and Jing turned to see.

The pond behind them had water floating over it. It slowly started to move upwards and started going towards the sky.

“It’s impossible.” Jing said and moved towards the pond.

Peter tried to hold her hand to stop her but she pulled him with her. The two moved closer to the pond and the water continued to move upwards, slowly closer to the pond but pacing up as it moved upwards.

“It is like inverted rain.” Jing said.

“Di.. Did we do that?” Peter asked.

“Maybe. I don’t know.” Jing said wondrously and moved to touch the water flowing upward.

“N.. No.” Peter said and pulled her hand. “It could be da.. da.. dangerous.”

“Oh Peter.. You are an idiot.” Jing said and stretched Peter’s arm to touch the drops. She felt an immense shock and was pushed back. She had heard Peter’s scream but couldn’t see anything else. When she opened her eyes, there was no sign of Peter and the inverted rain had stopped.

“Peter.. Peter.. PETER.. PETER.. PETER…” Jing shouted, running across the bank. Then she jumped in the pond and tried to find Peter. She called her parents and within half an hour, the city police department was at the pond with her and Peter’s parents.

“I’m telling you. The rain was flowing upwards and then Peter and I touched it and I felt a shock and then he was gone. I looked in the water but he wasn’t there. He is nowhere.” Jing said crying.

“You went in the pond.” Jing’s mother said with horror. Jing nodded.

“But I couldn’t find Peter. It’s all my fault.”

“It’s ok, dear. It’s not your fault.” Peter’s father said in a deep voice. He was holding Peter’s mother who was crying in his shoulder. She was ashen white and could hardly breathe.

“We have looked everywhere but haven’t found anything yet. We will continue the search but I think you should go.” The police officer told the party.

Jing’s parents took her back as she continued to claim that the rain was flowing backward. She realised soon that they won’t believe her but vowed to find out the truth about her best friend. She repeated her experiment again but besides giving some annoyance to the city, it didn’t give the same results ever again.

Jing spent the last five years studying Physics, to understand what might have happened that day. Her primary working theory was that she had accidentally created a dynamo powerful enough to charge the water. The theory was fraught with loopholes but that’s the best she had come up with. The biggest problem with that theory was that this meant Peter was most likely dead. She didn’t like this part of the theory.

Her second theory was some science experiment by government. A third theory had aliens and fourth one involved magic. More than anything else, these theories survived on the hope that Peter was alive. His body was not found in the pond and that gave Jing confidence. The pond wasn’t big and the police had previously found even small backpacks in it.

Peter was alive. He had to be. Jing thought to herself fiercely.

“It’s time.” Peter said.

“Are you sure?” The voice said.

“Yes.”

“Ok. Beginning the procedure in 3.. 2.. 1..”

Jing was sitting in her house when she felt the spark. She felt like her whole body was charged. She looked at the glass of water on the table and surely enough the water was forming a layer just above it. Outside, every puddle, every open pool was turning into a cloud. Water started moving upwards.

She picked up her bag and ran outside to her car. She knew that today, she will find Peter. It took her less than 15 minutes to reach the pond and in that time, the inverted rain continued. It was no more than a drizzle for most part. However, near the pond, the rain was heavier. She saw a figure near the pond and her heart beat stopped.

“Peter.”

“Hello Jing.”

“I’m so sorry Peter.”

“It’s alright Jing. What you did helped me gain something more, made me something more. I thank you for that.”

“Your stammer.”

Peter just smiled. He flickered a bit as a shot of electricity flew through him to the sky.

“What is happening?” Jing said scared.

“It is time for me to go. Before I go however, I wanted to apologise.”

“Apologise?”

“These electric discharges that you are seeing here are subdued by my presence here. However, in the city, they would be causing a bit more trouble.”

“But what is happening.”

“It is difficult to explain Jing. But I suppose you deserve it. After all, you are the one who helped me become who I am.”

“What have you become?” Jing whispered.

“That day when we were doing that experiment, someone else was also experimenting on turning matter into energy. Your experiment connected with that and focused all the energy on the pond. When I touched it, I turned into energy and got sucked into the other experiment. I became a proof that the experiment was successful. This, here, is the second phase of the experiment. The scale is larger and if successful, it might bring teleportation to the world.”

“So, you are working for the government, aliens?”

“I am not sure if they are aliens. They definitely are not government. Let’s just say that they are beings of higher order. And by turning into energy, I became one of them.” Peter said with calm.

“You are saying energy is alive.”

“Alive might not be the right word. I would say that as mass can be sentient, energy too can be sentient. I am one of the few beings who turned from sentient mass to sentient energy. There are also some beings who turn from energy to mass. Rare phenomenons, these are, but they do happen.”

Jing kept looking at Peter as he turned brighter. Her mind was unable to comprehend what was happening and had shut down.

“Peter…”

“I miss you Jing and tell my parents that I miss them too. However, it is time for me to go to my world now. Good bye.” Peter said and vanished.

“Good bye.” Jing said to the pond.

She returned to the city which was half destroyed. Most electric equipment had blasted like mini bombs. A few people looked at her and shouted that she was right. Rain was going upward. She had wanted to tell them the whole story last time but no one was listening. This time, she just wanted to go home and relax. After five years, her knot of guilt had dissolved. Peter was alive and while she didn’t understand it completely, he was alright.

She went to her room and picked her phone, the only working electrical device in the city right now and started speaking to it.