Someone Like You, Mother
I walk towards the forest in slight incoherence. The flashbacks from the morning keep haunting me every now and then. The forest is the only place I can expect solace from. I had always known my father was disturbed and whatnot, but I hadn’t expected him to hit me!
I stop short in my path. Looking over my shoulder, I see a brilliance in the sky that I hadn’t noticed a while ago. The sky looks like it has been set on fire. Is it the aurora I had read about in His Dark Materials? I try to find a hidden city in the beautiful tussle of light, but fail. Shaking my head, I try to memorize every detail of the fine lined light dancing all over the sky, like stars in themselves. Throwing my backpack onto the ground, I sit back and gaze.
I don’t remember when exactly I fell asleep. I stare- half distraught, half amazed, at the now monotonous looking sky. The brilliance is gone. My aurora is dead already. I sigh and lie back and sit up again instantaneously. What was that? I wonder. I think I saw a shooting star. But do shooting stars leave a tail? Was it a rocket or something? I don’t know. My eyes drift around the trees, now alert.
A soft crunch of the twigs on the ground. “Anyone there?” I ask, even as something inside me shouts that my company cannot probably speak.
With a distinct sense of being watched, I start walking back to my house. Was that a comet in the sky? I wonder when I remember about the geography lesson we had learned two years ago.
“George, you home?” My father shouts from the kitchen as I enter the hallway. I avoid answering and walk upstairs towards my bedroom.
He taps my shoulder. “Baby, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to…” he starts but his expression changes as he registers the look on my face. “What in the name of Christ…”
A shriek escapes my lips even before I realize it. “Look, there – ” I say, my voice barely a whisper.
He looks towards where I point. No shrieking. He looks back at me again.
“Georgie, I know you are upset. Baby, go to sleep. You seem tired.”
“But dad…”, he embraces me and scoops me up in his arms, as if I am still a three year old. I stay quiet as he puts me into bed.
“Night, baby”, he flicks off the light.
The slimy green thing keeps looking at me, without looking away for even a moment. It immediately reminds me of a chameleon, only bigger in size. However, it looks much too strange to be a reptile.
Black eyes all too big, with no nose at all. Its two webbed feet look lanky, as if it has been sick for quite some time.
The only thing that keeps me from shrieking is in fact the way it looks at me.
Its stare, quite strangely makes me remember my mother, who died two years ago.
“Who are you?” I whisper, afraid that dad might be around.
It doesn’t reply but keeps looking at me as if expecting something to spring out of me.
I half expect it to scream at the top of it’s lungs, but it’s stare immobilizes me completely.
Suddenly, as if taking cue from my horrified glance, it walks towards my bed. I can hear my heart beat faster as it nears to me.
But rather than springing at me, it snatches away my backpack that was dangling from the bedpost.
Embracing the bag to it’s chest, it goes back to where it had been standing. Baffled, I look. A tiny pair of eyes look back at me.
It’s her baby! Realization dawns upon me. But how did it land up in my bag?
I remember the footsteps I had heard in the forest. Was it the baby? I wonder.
She takes a brief look at me, once again making me remember my mother, and then it vanishes.
With my head in my hands, I sum it up- the (what I thought was a) comet, the weird creature, how it managed to vanish earlier, and now.
“Alien sightings, they say” , dad says and looks at me, as if trying to make sense of the morning news.
His eyes soften and a sad smile plays on his lips. “I am sorry, baby. I didn’t mean to…”
“I know dad, parents love you”, I grin.
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