Story Collection - Uncharted Territories

Chapter 1: Rahkim’s Gambit

Rahkim knew that time was precious. He had spent a lot of it on mundane things in his life. He wished now that he hadn’t. He wished that he had done something better with his life. He had heard that death brings this perspective in everyone’s life but this knowledge did him no good. His feelings didn’t change and he couldn’t handle this burst of emotion that his heart was feeling as it slowed down. It was tired now. He could feel the gap between his heartbeats increasing, slowly but surely.

The screeching sound startled his heart back into a flurry and his weakening resolve strengthened once again. Yes, he was going to die. Yes, he had no more time left. Yes, this is it. But he still had a few moments and if he can conquer these few moments, it just might be a lifetime’s worth of achievement. His mind send out these signals to his body and he got up, his whole body aching.

His left leg was completely shattered. Each step was more painful than the pain he had experienced in his whole life before today. His right leg was holding the weight of his entire crumbling body. The wound in his back had twisted his body to the left. He looked around with a strained neck and saw half his arm lying roughly seven feet away from him, still holding the gun. He was still holding the sword in his other hand and that was the only thing that had held the enemy at bay.

“Seven feet, I can do seven feet,” Rahkim whispered to himself and took one step towards his severed hand. His whole body jolted with pain as he tried to move towards his gun. What he wanted to do now will not work with his sword. In all irony, it was tactically a defensive weapon right now. He had taken two steps when he heard the manic scream again and his remaining hair stood. He knew what was coming next. He felt the heat on his back and a shot of pain as fire covered his body. If not for the sword, he would have been crisp but the sword took a lot of the heat.

“It’s now or never,” Rahkim grunted and hobbled towards his arm. He was still five feet away but close enough to just fall towards his gun. His ribs crushed in his lungs as he fell face first. He ignored the pain, dropped his sword and extended his hand towards his gun. His other hand was still holding the gun but there was enough space for him to pull the trigger. He turned with the gun in his hand facing his enemy.

The brown-scaled dragon looked at him with disdain and prepared for another fire attack. The dragon was almost thirty feet in length from head to tail, slender but with a mean temper. It stood on four legs and the wings remained open even when it landed on the ground. It was bleeding from the one bullet wound and one gash, the two attacks that Rahkim had managed till now. They hadn’t hurt him much but enough to make the dragon wary of Rahkim. Unfortunately, Rahkim had taken mortal damage and was barely breathing. He knew that he had one shot. The bullets were powerful enough to penetrate this dragon’s scales but the wound was not going to be lethal with the thick layer of muscle and fat.

‘Inside the mouth,’ he heard in his head and aimed straight at the dragon. The dragon opened his mouth to attack with fire. Rahkim curbed his instinct to move away from the flame and pulled the trigger as he got engulfed with the fire. With no sword to protect him, he felt the fire’s wrath on each cell of his skin as it burned away. He heard the screeches of the dragon in pain. Rahkim hoped that his shot had reached the target.

His body lay on the ground with no energy, no skin, and no pain. Either the pain receptors were burnt away or his mind was too numb to process pain anymore.

‘The dragon is dead. We won,’ a somber female voice said in Rahkim’s head.

‘Thank God,’ Rahkim said. He thought he smiled but he didn’t know if his face had responded to his mind.

‘Rest now, friend,’ another voice, boyish, said in a tone that relaxed Rahkim.

‘It’s over,’ Rahkim said as he felt his heartbeat increasing and his mind going to sleep.

The void went silent with two bodies – one human and one dragon – lay dead. There were no witness to this battle except for a sword and a gun.

‘Now?’ the gun – called Nisha – asked the sword – called Kabir.

‘Now, we search again. Rahkim was brave.’

‘Yes, I wish we had more time to train him. He would have been a good Slayer.’

‘He would have been. A week’s training was never going to be enough and on top of that, we had to fight a brown dragon.’

There was no sound during the whole conversation. The two weapons were connected telepathically as they were forged from the same metal by the same person at the same time.

‘Let’s find another Slayer,’ Kabir said and the two weapons vanished from the void along with Rahkim’s body.

Poetry

Ek aadmi ki khwahish

Ek aadmi ki khwahish thi.
Zindagi yaadgaar bitaayi jaaye.
Chahe mar jaaye vo khud kisi din.
Duniya mein amar ho jaaye.

Sochi usne tarkeeb, banaaya plan
Jo tha sabse pare, sabse niraala.
Log the hairan ki ye tha mumkin.
Jaisa raasta usne tha nikaala.

Yaad kiya jaunga main duniya mein.
Agar ban jaunga ek taanashah.
Aur gar na ban saka main vo.
Kar dunga ek poora desh tabaah.

Shuruaat thi dheemi.
Har kadam lagta tha bhaari.
Pehle usne apna ghar jalaya.
Phir thi raajya ki baari.

Desh ka number bhi aaya.
Aur ki usne shuruaat karaamati.
Demonetization ka bomb giraya.
Apne desh pe ki gola-baari.

Par raasta tha lamba.
Aur gati pad rahi thi dheemi.
Itne se desh kahan tabah hota.
Ek aadmi ki aakhir kitni taakat hoti.

Kismat ka chahiye tha saath usko.
Ya phir ek nayi kism ki rajneeti.
Usne apna kaam shiddat se kiya.
Aur bhagwaan ne bhi thoda saath diya.

Waqt ki lakeer mein aaya ek bhanwar.
Duniya ko mili ek nayi mahamaari.
Darr ka bana maahaul par.
Sabne ki isse ladne ki tayyaari.

Har desh jab lad raha tha isse.
Yahi hai mera mauka, usne socha.
Jab waqt tha sach aur himmat ka.
Usne desh ke galat raaste moda.

Banaayi baatein usne aisi ki.
Logon ne dekhe khwaab kamaal.
Kiye logon ne faaltu kaam.
Taaliyaan bajin, baje thaal.

Waqt laga, saal gaya.
Rakha usne dhairya.
Aakhir jala poora desh.
Apne bhi ban gaye gair.

Darr, beemaari aur maut.
Ab yahi har taraf aalam tha.
Kuchh logon ko lagne laga.
Kya yahi uska maksad tha.

Usne dekha apne aas-paas.
Ek tha waqt jab jala tha raajya.
Garv se chouda hua uska seena.
Aaj jal raha hai saara raashtra.

Random Tales

.

Jennifer smiled and then kissed Keith. As their lips touched, Jennifer felt her heartbeat rising. After the kiss, their lips lingered as Jennifer felt his warm breath on her face. She wanted to melt in his arms but she resisted.

“We uhh…” Jennifer started but was shut by Keith’s lips again kissing hers. Jennifer pulled away from him with all her willpower, and whispered, “We need to stop.”

“Why?” Keith asked.

She looked at him, into his eyes. She bit her lip and held his shirt, crushing its crease. Her resolve wavered and Keith took the opportunity to kiss her again. She kissed him back with fervor and Keith’s hand slipped under her skirt.

“Stop!” Jennifer said suddenly coming to her senses. She pushed him away and he looked at her confused.

Jennifer blushed, her face flushed and she whispered.

“Period.”

Random Tales

Enchanté

The two had a lot in common and that was the problem. They fought over each thing tremendously as each had a strong opinion on each thing they had in common.

“I sometimes wish that we were different from each other. At least, we wouldn’t be fighting over everything,” Ishika said holding her head in frustration. They had been fighting for hours now and she was close to tears.

Karan’s eyes were also shining with the water in them. ‘Not again,’ his mind seemed to scream.

“Why do we fight so much? We are supposed to be perfect for each other!” He whispered, more to himself than her.

“Ha! Perfect,” Ishika said bitterly.

“Should we just break up?” Karan asked for what would be their tenth break up.

Ishika looked at her wide-eyed. She was already at the edge and this statement from Karan elicited a laughter and tears from her.

Karan looked at Ishika laughing and crying at the same time confused for a bit before it dawned on him. He swore.

He sat down on the bed, hands holding his head, and swore some more.

Ishika sat down on the floor, completely broken, tears flowing without pause and a grin on her face.

Karan dropped from the bed and sat beside her wiping her tears.

“We are screwed,” Karan said.

“Yes,” Ishika replied.

“Did we get married too quickly?”

“After five years of dating, forced by our parents. Yeah!”

“You look beautiful in this wedding dress. Red suits you.”

Ishika looked at Karan and smiled at him. They are gonna be fighting each other for life now.

“I love you,” Karan said.

“I love you too,” Ishika replied.

“Welcome to the first night of marriage.”

“Enchanté”

Tales of a Clumsy Girl

#13 Nightingale

Mansi hit her head with a stick.

“Ouch! Damn!” She screamed with pain.

“Why won’t you get out?” Mansi said with annoyance woven in each word. She kept pacing in her room holding her head in her hands and rubbing the spot where she had hit herself.

“Damn this song. Why can’t it leave me alone?” Mansi said again as the song went on a loop in her mind.

“What should I do? What should I do?”

Mansi repeated along with the song.

“I wish there was some way I could give this problem to someone else,” Mansi said and suddenly an idea popped in her head. Her eyes lit up. She picked her phone and opened the recording app.

And she started to sing. In a perfect pitch, with her soul in it, she recorded the song.

“Not the best quality but it should do,” Mansi said listening to her rendition of the song. She shared the song with her friend.

‘In love with this sing. So decided to sing it myself 😝’
‘After quite long’

Soon enough, a reply came.

‘Wow!’ and felt a huge weight lifted off her mind.

A couple of days later she got another message from her friend.

‘Listening to your version of the song on loop. It’s stuck in my head now. :(‘

She had almost forgotten the song now. She had successfully transferred the earworm to someone else.

Mansi smiled.