Five00-2 Short Stories

RASHÔMON

Jerry’s mother, Martha, not one of world’s shiny happy beings, had a saying: ‘When things go wrong, they keep going wrong until there’s tears.’

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Life has changed drastically, and yet how unchanged it has remained at the bottom. Just a week back, things were different, I was always in one of those blissful states of exaltation, and then, this happened. We were captured. I was still quite happy since Mom, brother Tom and I, were together. They put us in a prison, it was made of glass. There were hundreds of them around us. It’s been days since we are here.

Martha: Jerry! Tom! Wake up, wake up!

Jerry: What happened ma, it’s still dark outside.

‘Both of you, as soon as the killer comes, go furthest from the door, make sure he doesn’t reach you’

‘And you?’

‘I will stay here, near the door’

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It had been two days since Martha was killed. Jerry’s appetite had dwindled to nothing. As the first rays of moon fell slanting through the window, upon the glass cage, reaching Jerry’s eyes, a loud thud woke him up. It woke up all the prisoners. Tom grabs Jerry’s fins and pulls him towards the bottom. Lights were switched ON. It was routine, Miss Rosalie, first class passenger, fond of Halibut dishes, ordered weavers at ungodly hours, chefs meekly submitted to her demands.

It was one such night, Chef Lawrence ordered his sous, Percy to get him the smallest halibut from the storage on G deck. Halibuts dishes were all rage across atlantic that season, necessarily kept alive, they were given special treatment of macro-sized aquariums.

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‘Jerry, move back, The killer is trying to catch you’

‘Tom, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to…,’ Jerry wailed as he struggled to escape Percy’s net.

‘Percy, We need to get out of here, we all are going to die! We hit an Iceberg,’ shrieked Mabel, Percy’s lover, as she rushed through the door and hugged him.

‘Darling, This is Titanic, The Un….’ He retorted as water gushed from every inlet and swept them away.

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I was struggling to hold my breath, I saw Tom crying in the cage, I closed my eyes as all hope was lost. Then a miracle happened, As I opened my eyes, there was water everywhere, life everywhere. All my prisoner friends broke free. I felt exhilarated because I made it out alive. I swam with all my strength, away from the wreckage, I felt a strange force pulling me back, I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.I shut my eyes and imagined where I would want to be. Home. A paradise of coral reef, when I opened my eyes again, I was home.

Jerry , one of world’s shiny happy beings, has a saying: ‘When things go wrong, and time is tough, Just look up and pray, “I know you are testing me, I will wait for the day you will reward me for being strong”.’

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Cover credit: Shankar Hosagoudar