15 December, 2012

I ran ....



(Picture courtesy : writebynight.net via Google)
I ran.  Out of breath.  Lungs bursting.  Legs hitting the earth.  I thudded up the path, around the corner, right up the stairs and reached the door.  I flung it open and there it was – my escape route.  I had never been good at stealing stuff and today was nothing different.  People don’t understand me at all, I thought to myself, as I crouched in the space behind the door.
“Look at me, crouching behind the door” I thought to myself.   My mother, if she could see me right now, would have been so proud of me” I thought sarcastically, cringing at the very thought.  There was nothing more I could do for the moment, until the danger passed.  There were people chasing after me and I could not, for the life of me, let them get anywhere near me. 
My heart was pounding so loudly, the whole floor seemed to be tilting at crazy angles.  “Please don’t let me faint now” I prayed, as hard as I could.  My eyes had dilated and my whole body was shaking with fear. 
“Hunger, it is often said, drives every single living being.  The very same hunger had driven me to steal today, just as it had driven me to steal yesterday and the day before and the day before and the day before.  The very same hunger, I knew only too well, would lead me to steal again tomorrow and the day after and the day after and the day after. 
I could hear footsteps thudding up the stairs.  “Find her !” came the voice, which clearly belonged to a man of authority.  “You two go left, you come with me and the two of you go towards the right” said the same voice.  “She’s got to be somewhere here”. 
“What do we do once we find her ?” I heard one of the other men asking, as they moved off to widen the search towards the sides of the house.  “Get hold of the little wildcat” said the other man, a smug leer on his ugly face.  “Wildcats.  I like wildcats” he said and I could almost see him smacking his lips in anticipation.  If these men caught me, I did not dare imagine what they would do with me.  A lone lady in the midst of a pack of wolves – I was sure they would have nothing good in their minds.  Pure evil – that’s what they were.
As I heard the footsteps drawing closer and closer to where I was, a fresh coil of fear unwound itself within me and I crouched further, trying to make myself as small as possible.  The door flung open inward with such force that it caught a fold of my skin in that small space between the floor and the bottom of the door.  I could see stars dancing around my eyes as the pain seared through my body.  I dared not utter a sound until the beasts left .
“She’s not here” said the one who always had a toothpick stuck in his mouth.  The toothpick bobbed up and down rather obscenely every time he spoke.  My tired eyes found the movement rather hypnotizing.  “I need a cold beer” said the other man, who had just one eye.  He had a devilish looking eye patch on the other.  “Let’s get a beer and then come back and look” said the man with the toothpick as they left the room.
My skin was bleeding where I had to force it out from between the little space beneath the door and it hurt – hurt like hell.  The only thing that kept me going was fear and anger – a feeling that was so feral in nature.  
I hobbled towards the window and managed to get myself up the sill.  I was hurting all over and the only thing I wanted to do was curl up someplace warm and sleep for a few hours.  I’d forgotten what it was like to sleep ever since these evil men started their search for me. 
I had to get back to my children.  They would be wandering around, looking for me by now.  The last thing I wanted was for these animals to even know that I had children to care for.  If they did, I knew they would use my children as leverage to lure me out.  I could not let that happen.  I had to get back to my extended family.  They would take care of me, take care of my children until I grew stronger. 
To jump or not to, was the question, as I stood on the windowsill, five storeys high.  Just then, my ears picked up sounds as I heard Toothpick and Eyepatch make their way back up the stairs.  Throwing caution to the winds, I jumped.  Felt the wind whizzing through my hair as I said a quick prayer.  Felt the gravity as it gripped me with its talons and pulled me back to the cold, hard earth.
Now if you’re wondering as to what happened after that, let me put an end to the suspense and tell you that I did make it back to my children that day.  They were hungry, as was I but we were safe.  We resumed our search for our extended family and did eventually find them.   Most of our home had been destroyed because of the humans.  They had left large patches of the forest nude and bald.  Yet, greed still continued to drive them and they continued to thrive. 
My babies are growing and I do fear for them too.  What sort of a future does this world hold for them ?  I do wonder, as I set out to search for food.  Like I said, hunger cuts through your consciousness and delves into the most serious of thoughts.  Hunger makes its presence felt, it spurs you into action.
What does today hold for us ?  I wonder as three senior members of the family move out to hunt for food.  Will the forest provide us with food today or would we need to stick our necks out and steal again ?  I wonder, as we pad into the grass silently, eyes alert and searching, the tips of our tails, swishing.


6 voice(s) said so:

Prats said...

Good take on the prompt...
and loved your blog

Uma said...

Super! loved it..lovely plot with gripping minute details to add depth and strength..too good!

AJ said...

Love how you've captured the minute details.

Shubha Hegde said...

Really really good. Loved it!

Aparna said...

Loved loved loved how the last couple of paras changed around the context! Kudos!

Simran said...

Wow! Loved the story and how you got the message across too!!