Tatoo’d Butterflies

“Will you ever get a tattoo?”, she asked me, as James Blunt crooned ‘Goodbye My Lover’ through the desktop speakers. The chill night air blew through the open French windows of the 12th floor flat and..

“Will you ever get a tattoo?”, she asked me, as James Blunt crooned ‘Goodbye My Lover’ through the desktop speakers. The chill night air blew through the open French windows of the 12th floor flat and I felt it touch my soul. “Yes”, I replied, hesitating. “I had a plan once but… “

I took a sip as nostalgia came flooding back into my mind. Memories always seem to be have a habit of hiding in the corner ready to jump on you at the right moment, I thought to myself. I wondered what she was doing right now as Coldplay’s Fix You started to play.

“What was the plan?”, she asked again as we sat in the dark.

“It’s obvious”, I said, not wanting to answer. I leaned back on the mattress and drifted back into those memories.

“What’s so obvious?”, She asked again.

Sensing that I was lost in reverie, She took a sip of her drink.

“I don’t like those butterflies”, She said after a while, snapping me out from my daydreams. She was looking at the paintings leaning on the left side corner of the room against an almirah. They had been painted just a few days back and had not been put up yet.

Thankful to the change of topic, I found myself at the inquiring end. “Why don’t you?”, I asked her.

“I don’t know.. Its wing is broken. Butterflies are such delicate creatures, no?”, she replied after a pause.

Butterflies aren’t the only fragile ones, I said to myself as I poured another drink.

“Why did it have to break? Why should something so beautiful meet such a sad and pitiful end?”, she continued.

“What do we know of its life? And of its death? ”, I interjected.

She pondered over it for a moment and said, “Something so beautiful could not have lived an evil life. Why can’t we be more like it?”

“You know, it was a cocoon, once upon a time”, I said. “and only by breaking its bonds was it able to achieve this beauty. Come to think of it, isn’t most of our life lived safe within a cocoon? It’s only past 25 or so that we actually get to break it and emerge out into the world.”

“Hmm…”, she said, “I still wish we could fly though.”

I left my drink, got up and walked out into the balcony as Gilmour’s Comfortably Numb wafted into the night air.

This was written as a classroom assignment where we had to write a short story in 500 words inspired from a real life event of our life.

Ignorance isn’t always bliss

He cursed, for the umpteenth time, under his breath as he trudged along the rocky surface of the black mountain. The Garden had been elusive to locate but finally he seemed to have found it. His trial was nearing its end with every step he took towards the summit, every step brought him closer to the item of his quest;

He cursed, for the umpteenth time, under his breath as he trudged along the rocky surface of the black mountain. The Garden had been elusive to locate but finally he seemed to have found it. His trial was nearing its end with every step he took towards the summit, every step brought him closer to the item of his quest; the fabled ‘Pink Mango of the Garden of Elysium’. He could see the tree in the distance, getting bigger with every stride. Soon the Gates loomed large in front of him. There was a cloaked figure sitting crouched in front of the golden bars.

“Stop!”, the figure said, “Who goes there?”

“It is I, Vikrama, I have come to take some fruit from the fabled Tree”

“Read the sign. No one passes these Gates”

“But I need to do so that my curse may be lifted. I’ve heard that eating the fruit gives you the boon of immortality”

“Well if you still want to enter you will have to fight me first. I beg you to heed the advice on the sign”

“I am ready to fight you!”, said Vikrama, drawing out his sword. He knew there was no going back now. “It would have better to have read the notice than fight me”, the figure said. The figure dropped his cloak and there stood in front of Vikrama, a strange animal. It seemed to be a mixture of all the feared carnivores; a chimera of legend. And with one fell swoop of its hand, Vikrama was killed. The Chimera spoke, “These guys are too foolhardy. Why don’t they ever read the sign board?” as he gulped down the last of Vikrama.

The signboard read – “Bob’s fruit shop: 1 Pink Mango – 100 gold coins.”

This was the result of a classroom story writing assignment given to us by Arshia Sattar. The brief was to use the words Curse, Boon, Well, Animal and Mango with a 20 line limit.