The Whispers of Allegory – A Fantasy (Episode 1)
Have you ever stayed up late in the night with a cold freezing body and a fire burning inside? It feels like you know that you are approaching death. Have you ever stayed up late into a winter night trying to breathe in the chill of the night in a desperate attempt to cool the fires burning inside you? Have you ever stayed up late into the inky black darkness of the night trying to see through the thick curtains, looking for the answer to an unknown question?
Have you known lust? Have you known it apart from love?
Have you known uncertainty? Have you known storm?
The questions were tearing at the very fabric of her existence as she sat at the round table which had ornate flowers placed meticulously in a decorated vase at the center. Her long, black dress contoured the curves of her upper body and fell down to her ankles, with a long slit running up to her right calf, exposing a fair leg which attracted quite a few pairs of eyes.
The ball room was elegantly prepared and dimly lit. A sinister shade of red flooded the room. Or was the shade sinister only to her? In the interplay of the red light and shadows, the drink in her hand seemed darker than it was. Red wine. Only, it looked almost black. She smiled. At what? The questions? She wondered. She whirled the goblet in her hand and took a sip.
Her lustrously done eyes took in the scene around her. The people around her. Next to her. The music failed to penetrate her ears. So did the chatter of people. Only the voices raged through her head, with their unanswered questions. The voices were growing louder. The questions were becoming increasingly unnerving.
Have you known uncertainty? Have you known storm?
Her heels made a certain clicking sound which seemed to waft through the soft music pervading the air and reach her ears. The clicks were prominent to her. Very. Or maybe she was too engrossed in her determination to avoid the crowd of the ball room that her cloistered mind automatically enhanced the clicking of her heels.
She walked with a seductive gait. Her eyes were fixated on the doors opening to the balcony, the untied curtains fluttering violently. The red wine in her hand still looked black, poisonous even. But it was much lesser in quantity. She was a little drunk.
She quickened her pace. A strong gust of wind blew her open hair away from her face. She had reached the balcony doors. Through tightly closed eyes, she could feel the chill of the night spread through her veins. Cold. Yet calm. She smiled.
Storm is coming.
Her eyes flew open. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw the man standing in front of her, smiling. She hadn’t expected anyone there. But the voice and his words startled her. She stood, disconcerted for a moment. Then, with narrowed eyes filled with apprehension, she scanned the man. For what? She could not put her finger on it. Dressed in a simple white shirt and a black suit, he looked, untrustworthy?
“Storm is coming,” the man now repeated, in a clear, ringing voice that suddenly drained the chill out of her veins and filled them with warmth.
He stared at her. At the frown on her face. At her stillness. He smiled. Her heart did a small dance. She smiled back, forgetting her close scrutiny of the man.
“Don’t you like storms?” she asked back. The moment she spoke something at the back of her head tugged at her. Something… but… what? She seemed to be forgetting some crucial thing. But, what?
“Depends on the kind of storm,” he answered, with a seductive smile lingering at the corner of his lips.
She tore away from the nagging of her subconscious and slowly went forward to where he was standing. “Kind of storm?”
The clouds had thickened and huddled closer. They were listening in on the conversation that ensued just below them. The calm and chill was distinct. Indeed, storm was coming.
“Yes. Kind of storm. There’s the storm of nature,” the man said, pointing to the clouds. “And then there’s the storm of your soul,” he said. The right corner of his lips bent upwards in a weird smile which she could not decipher. Taunt? Smirk? What was that smile?
She shook her head a little. Then, looking back up at him, she asked with a smile and one long blink of the eyes, “So which do you like?”
“A bit of both maybe?”
“The storm of your soul tears you apart!”
“Does it? Or does it bring out the fires you have been trying to suppress so long?”
“It rips you apart,” she repeated firmly, though the thought of suppressed fire being lit again did hit her. Hard.
Indeed. The wrath of the soul, the storms; they had always brought out heightened senses of courage and freedom in her. Something about the stranger’s words bore a sharp truth that was pricking her.
“Pardon me. I never got the name of this storm lover, did I?” she asked, mildly surprised at her own lack of guard.
“Jack. And yours?” the stranger asked, with an enticing smile dangling at the corner of his lips.
“Scarlet.” She paused and sipped from the goblet in her hand. For a moment, nobody spoke. But both knew. They were strangers, with their guards down, at a nocturnal party. Slightly drunk. Slightly tipsy.
Nobody spoke. The silence continued. Only the trees spoke in a rustling speech. The storm was nearing. The clouds were beginning to thunder. The trees were beginning to cry out.
But between the two strangers, silence. Calm.
Calm before the storm? One would wonder.
To Be Continued…
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