This is a continuation of my story: Crimson Nights. Starry Skies. Crimson Tides.
You might want to read the first part to better understand the second one. So, here goes.
White Mornings. Clear Skies. Crimson Sea.
“The crimson sea will engulf another life. You will be helpless just like you once were.” The voice in my head became weird as I tried to sleep. The dream where my mother kept screaming for help woke me up several times until early morning when my tired body gave way to some much-needed sleep.
Birds woke up and went about their business in the greens surrounding my home. They would always wake me up before the Sun comes up. Sometime I go up the hill and watch brilliant sunrise above the sea. It’s glorious, you should try sometime. I left a note for my father so he won’t worry. The last time this happened I was too small to understand anything. I have to watch the crimson sea at the break of dawn. I tie my shoes and pack myself a bottle of water and some snacks for breakfast. I remember how Geetli, the village chief’s daughter and I used to go to the top of the hill and have a picnic. We used to have so much fun but then she was married off to Indra from the neighboring village.
Five past thirty and it’s so chilling out here. The sun won’t come out for another half an hour. There’s a temple of goddess Durga at the foot of the hill. I pay my respect to the Goddess and continue my walk up the hill. I like to think of the goddess as a silent friend in my journey. She was brave, fierce but nurturing and fragile too. Stories of her many incarnations keep enchanting me, I remember hearing a few of those from my grand mother. Grand mother believed she protects our village from all harm. Hmm, after my mother’s untimely death I wonder about that. A wild fox is walking just around the corner of my road. I have never seen them before and I am scared. Father warned me not to go near these cunning creatures. The fox saw me and stopped. It is looking at me with those tiny orange eyes, frowning a little like it’s angry at me for intruding his morning path. I try to shoo it away but it doesn’t go, instead he stares at me sternly. I am so scared. “Show them that you are stronger.” I can hear my father’s voice in my head. But how? The sun won’t come out for another 30 minutes or so. I looked around and found a strong enough stick that was lying around. I pick it up whirl it in the wind and it makes sharp noises. I can see the fox’s fear now. The fox first took a step back then two steps forwards and then it turned around and ran into the hill. I took a deep breath and ran on to put some distance between the fox and me. Sky is starting to turn hazy orange with shades of blue and some silvery lines. Couldn’t be more beautiful. I could hear the almost silent sea from there. I am near.
There’s a huge light house on top of this hill and grandpa Kishan lives here. “I ish 70 decades older than you pappy, in time you will come to know all the great things about our island.”
“Kissshhan…” I wave at him from the ground. His trance of folk songs breaks as he looks down. He waves back and gestures for me to come upstairs, putting up his hand holding a cup of warm honey-ginger tea. I wave my hands and say, “I want to look at the sea. I will come in after sometime.” He nods his head at that and gets back to his folk song. Walking around the grand light house I reach on the side of the hill where the earth is met by soft waves which turn to foam as soon as they touch the hill’s foot. Sun is almost out of its long sleep and I can see the sea clearly. The horizon’s are pale white and the sea, the sea had the hues of crimson all around. It was as if the sea was bleeding and there was nothing we could be. I silently stood there, feeling as powerless as ever.
I stared at the sea for an age. Kishan’s voice brought me out of it. Me and Kishan have an understanding, he doesn’t treat me as a mere girl and I don’t treat him like a mere old man. We are both more than we seem. He calls me again. “Come on in. Tea will get cold. Plus the view is better from here.”
Sigh. Old man after all. I smile and run towards him. The weather seems nice today, it might rain. Rain in early May, it would be another firsts for me.
“It’s going to rain.” I whisper as I am panting from all the running on the stairs.
“What? Can’t hear you.”
“It’s going to rain…” I say again.
“No it’s not pappy.”
“How can you be so sure?” I ask him.
“Can you feel it in your bones?”
“Umm…” I wonder what I feel in my BONES right now. So I blurt, “I don’t think so.”
“Then it won’t rain. Always trust your guts. If it ain’t raining there, it ain’t raining here. Right pappy?”
I nod with my head full of thoughts as I look at my sleepy village. My father is awake. I can see him sitting, cleaning his mouth with the babool tree’s tiny branch. I look towards the other houses and I can see a child coming out of village chief’s home. Geetli’s son. No doubt. But why isn’t she with him? She never leaves him alone. It’s dangerous out there right now.
He is taking baby steps towards the beach. It’s dangerous.
“Kishan… Look.” I point towards the little boy walking out of his front yard. The voice in my head spoke again, “The crimson sea will engulf….” And I ran.
(To be continued…)
The story will be concluded in the last chapter.
If you read through, please leave a comment. I appreciate criticism as well, so hit me with your best. 🙂