Story: The Substance of Fiction
By: Raja Jaiswal
I was on my way to home. The sky had changed its blue curtain to black one. It was dark enough, cannot be darker. Possibly the stars were twinkling, sparkling in the sky. I could not see any of them. They had lost the influence of vision to those ugly street lights. They were the rude ugly street lights. I tried to explore the aura of those enlighten bulbs of streets, and in return they tried their best to turn me blind with the warm yellow rays. It was not only the street lights turning me blind, but an agglomeration of trash of thoughts. The trash of thoughts evolved from a little conversation with a girl, very previous day. The girl who I considered best of my best friends, she went violent at the end. At first, she dragged me into a gossip with her sleek words. But it was a fabrication of a trap designed for me. Or maybe the things went on happening itself. Just like a giant rock roll down on a mountain, takes up a violent speed, and stops until it has murdered a good number of things. She gradually pushed me into a gorge of debate over a chip topic. Rest of the things were done by its gravity. At the end we were no longer the best friends, or the friends forever, or you die I die type of friends. But it reduced to merely good friends. It cost our entire vows of pizza sharing, cold drink sharing, project file sharing, some part of debt sharing, as well as all those pen drive sharing for movies.
The topic of debate blearily concentrated on superstition. It evoked precisely from conversation over the bad acting of an actress of a movie we had watched yesterday. It grew and finally stuck to an unrelated topic: ‘the discarded things by science’. It had an impossible cord of contact with the starting point. She claimed Newton’s laws are true, Quantum mechanics are true, but the god is truth, souls are real, spirits are felt, ghosts are seen, hunted house are hunted, wizards exists, and rebirth happens. I told her the cell is the smallest unit of a living body, those cells units to constitute organs and tissues, and organs and tissues units to form a body; people, animals, plants die and decompose; birth is truth and rebirth is fiction; spirit, ghosts, wizards are the notion of deluded minds. I was firm, she was adamant. I was calm, she was irritated. As I proceeded to emphasis on my perception I felt that she wanted to pour the whole coffee, on the table, over me. She was so infuriated.
Until that great conversation, turned into debate, I was being dwelling with a pleasant mood. A pleasant mood for the CAT paper I had given a few days back. I rode the paper better than the prophecies of my tutor’s expectations. The foot stepped out of the examination hall and the delighted mind stepped in the imminent MBA institutes. Since then, in the imagination of corrupted fiction, I was dwelling in the cafeterias, hostels, and classrooms of the MBA institutes of my wish-list. Until, she plugged out the wires of the blissful dreams.
I was still on my way to home, a lonely person on the lone road in the still placid night. But the loneliness did not have to wait more for its demolition. The sober trees, the glaring street lights were the audience, and I was the witness. Two vehicles emerged from the two extremes of the road. One was motor bike, other one was motor car. The bike paced up with a raged speed of indecency, the car moved against with all decorum and etiquette. The leaking lights of the headlights lashed over each other. All of the sudden an entirely black cat emerged from nowhere, on the other side of the road where I was. She looked towards the bike, and the headlight enlightened her eyes like a molten gold. She looked towards the car, and the headlights flamed her eyes like the ignited coal. The puffy tail straightened itself, the pair of ears got a direction as if they were eyes, and the legs filled the storm in it. She pranced and rushed over the road, and disappeared somewhere in the bushes, to the other end. She just not only crossed a very small part of the earth. But she had stretched a strong line of ill fate over it.
The line could be only crossed by an ignorant person; he will not suffer the consequences. Or by a person, who had seen the cat crossing, dare to suffer its curse. The car crawling with polite speed stopped just before the fictional wall over the line. The stroke engine continued to jolt the car impatiently, with a feeble noise. But the bike and the biker did not have the same fate. The brakes used its full will to freeze the tyres. The frozen tyres scrubbed a long footprint of black line on the road. The bike stopped subtly before the imaginary barricade. The biker was relieved. The uncertain success amazed him. He would have bought an accident although, with his taboo stunt.
The car driver, the biker and I looked at each other at the adjoining of the line. We had an indirect acquaintance, and the source was the cat. We would be of different caste and creeds but bounded by same faith with the cat. I just realised a cat could be a social tool of gathering. For them the cat is the most inauspicious creature, spirit of evil, messenger of the death, omen of misfortune, door to hell, and the power house of the negative energy. For me it was just a cute and beautiful creation of god; a hungry cat in the search of food; a homeless cat in the search of shelter; or simply a cat who wanted to cross the road. I walked ahead and broke the protocol of curse code. Their faces bloomed with the smile of relief. The engines roared up from the flushing fuel. The car paced and the bike raged, and both dispersed to the extremes of the road. I continued my steps on my way to home.