It was a dark and stormy night. I wonder why though. It’s almost some kind of a cosmic script is it, that events have to happen on a dark and stormy night?
Actually, it wasn’t a dark and stormy night. It was a normal sliver moon kind of night. Som was sitting on his table next to the window watching the trees sway in the mild breeze, enjoying it on his hair. He could almost taste the salt in the air. This close to the sea, the air was full of the smells, and occasionally, the taste of the sea.
He was supposed to be revising. Well, that assumes he had studied previously, so may be it’s better to say that he was studying something for the first time ever! And as it always happens, whenever one sits down to study in front of an open window, one promptly falls into a waking dream.
As he dozed, shimmering lights appeared all around him, descending as if from the very heavens themselves. The lights glittered and shone so brightly, that Som found himself cringing even with his eyes tightly closed. It was like the 70’s discotheque, all bright shiny strobe lights circling him, surrounding him, increasing in intensity.
Now there was sound added to the lights, a sound that seemed to be coming from a far distance and yet, Som felt, that the sound had been there forever. He just had never noticed it before. Now he was hearing the low pitch wail that seemed to be inaudible, but wasn’t, and he wondered how he hadn’t heard it before. He resolved to investigate the sound the moment he woke up. You see, unlike people who don’t know they are dreaming, Som knew exactly that he was. There was no way those lights could be real.
Just when he was getting used to the light and sound show, if getting used to is the right phrase, he noticed something (someone?) in the middle of the lights. Again, almost insubstantial, but suddenly noticeable. The funny thing was, that the thing / person seemed to be changing shapes. Very speedily too. As if choosing clothes and finding that nothing fits exactly. Som squinted against the lights to see better but the thing seemed to defy closer examination. Well, things happen for a reason, he told himself. Will just have to wait and watch.
And so he watched, and as he watched, he observed himself too. He was afraid, but not too afraid. He was, if he was honest, a bit excited to know what was happening. Ah, that object / person seemed stabler than before. A little more settled. It also seemed to be growing bigger (oh no?). Yes, it was growing bigger. Almost a complete sphere now. Sphere? Why sphere? Was it actually a sphere? It was too hard to tell with all the lights flying around. Yes, it did seem like a circular body, almost like earth…
Earth? Nope. Not earth, but, something like it. Almost. But if it was earth, why was it black (?), yeah black. Why was it black? Was it black or…. Oh my god, the thing was growing bigger even as he tried to comprehend it. It was almost as big as him now, and still growing. The low pitch wailing was increasing in intensity too. It almost felt like it was coming closer to him. His sleeping body was trying to wake up but the brain was lost in the dream. Som felt like he could control his dreams, but this one didn’t feel like something you could control. More like a nightmare that one had to live through. Or so he thought.
The sphere (he was beginning to call it Black Earth now) was gently spinning on some axis. There were images drawn on it, too blurred to be seen clearly but evidently there. Did a certain shape resemble India? Was it India, or was his imagination now taking over? He couldn’t be sure. But he no longer had a good feeling about this. He idly wondered if he had smoked something in the day that was manifesting now, but nothing came to mind. So, observing his faculties, he was clear headed (sleeping but clear headed), and had nothing that could impair judgement. So then, what was it that he was dreaming about?
The sound changed. He could hear chainsaws, millions of them as they worked at cutting trees, the screaming of trees burning, the frightful wailing of animals as they burnt to a crisp, the sounds of distress of whales and sharks as they were hunted for food. He wasn’t even sure how he knew that this is what he heard, but the knowledge lay there somewhere. He heard the sounds of mega drills boring deep into the earth and the unnatural hum it produced. He felt the pain of the millions of small creatures that lived around the drill now having to live with the hum. He felt the confusion of billions of bees as they stumbled around, having lost their sense of direction. He could almost feel the dying of hundreds of animals as they no longer had forests to live in.
Adding to all this, he heard his name being called out. Som, Som, Som – wake up. What happened? You were screaming, what happened?
He blearily opened his eyes expecting to see his mum…
Wow such simple yete sophisticated style of writing. Once I started reading, I was hooked!! And beautiful storytelling!! Would love to read more of such stories by you Chaitali!! 🙂
Whoa , very nicely written .. After a point i felt like , i am in that dream with Som .
Waiting for the next Episode !!
I could imagine being present with Som and hearing the sounds.