Friday 15 June 2012

Flash Fiction 2012 Longlist, Arka Bhattacharya

Words of Summer

When was it that words of love was were etched in the afternoon breeze, as the local Mosque sung praises to the one above for being there and saving us from disaster and all that disaster can touch?
When we, starry eyed and naive, measured our timid steps towards life itself, the wonders and the horrors, the angels and the demons that lay ahead?
It couldn’t have been very long ago, but my, does time fly!

But, the reprobates that we are, we weren’t destined for such luxuries. The reprobates that we are, we sang when the neighbours were asleep and slept off when the train arrived. Our good has probably been interred with our bones, for we have been long dead. Do you not remember how as foolish adolescents we jumped off the cliff and killed ourselves, saying to each other all the while that it was the journey that shall remain with us, not the destination?
You look at me, and I look at you, and yes, we truly do not understand, but there is consolation in the
big grand hymn of the universe, that chants.

 "Fools! Nobody has ever understood, and nobody ever will! Get on with it!"
We were told dragons do not exist, and somehow we wandered off and found ourselves in one's lair.
‘Good to meet you, Mr. Dragon, will you breathe life into this precious thing we share? We’ve been shielding it from the eyes of the world for a while now, and want to bury it somewhere dark and deep, so that no harm may reach it.’
He was a good little dragon, but a dragon after all. So he breathed fire instead, and scorched our bodies and our souls.
I may be even using the royal 'We', which is to say, I may be talking only about myself. But I am not, for I am not this person. I used to know him well, though.
The dragon walks up behind me and peers into my doggerel verse.
"Is this the time or place for such mawkish sentimentality? Don't you have papers to write and people to meet?’

"Yes I do, but it's Valentine's Day! Come on, let me laze in this sunshine for a bit!"
He lowers his glasses and gives me a disapproving glare. He mutters 'Kids these days' and saunters off.
He's right though, I have things to do. But as I sit here I keep looking at the small crack in the wall and the patch of sunshine on the floor. It wasn't there this morning, but sometime in the afternoon, you, my dear old friend, struck the wall with your axe as you were going by. It was a gentle blow, but the aged wood cracked easily.

Now I sit here and warm my cold limbs for a little while, until my dragon, my good old dragon, sees it and repairs it. He means well, the poor old thing. He's just getting old.

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