Satoma Asadgamaya

In Memory

Migrated Datasets


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Man

Cold sweat dripped from his face. His eyes darted nervously across the dingy little room, straining to see in the dim light. For some reason, the place made him uncomfortable. He felt a knot form in his stomach.

It was poorly ventilated. He could hardly breathe at all. Whatever he could breathe had a dank, unhealthy smell to it. He didn’t like it. He fidgeted with his fingers as he sat there, all alone, on a black chair. He almost jumped when it creaked. It was a drawn-out, nerve-jarring and sinister creak. Other than that, there was not a sound to be heard except for a dull electrical hum. It made him even more nervous. He waited. Uneasily.

He started as the door opened with a hideous screech. A shadowy form appeared, blocking out the light that had illuminated the room for an instant. It closed the door quickly and threw on a switch. He blinked as a bright lamp, directly above the chair, came to life. He tried to rub his eyes but his hands refused to leave the chair’s armrests. The legs didn’t move either. Panic surged through his entire body : “Was it the water ?” He looked around wildly for the shadow. He could see nothing except for walls with their paint peeling off and large splotches of red. “Is that…?” In a corner was a large sack. He could trace the most of the smell to it. Next to it was a small stool with a plate on it. It was empty except for some rather large bones with bits of fresh meat still sticking on them.

He felt his brain pound against his skull, trying to make a run for it. He rolled his tongue over his lips, breathing heavily. He wanted to scream but his voice seemed to have dried up as well. And then, all of a sudden, the shadow fell across him. Out of the corner of his right eye, he saw the owner of the shadow – a swarthy, heavily-built man with cold malevolent eyes and a horrible scar on the left cheek. It was just the man and him. The man did not say a word. But the hard lines around the man’s mouth curled into what seemed to be a contemptuous sneer: “What are you going to do?” He gulped.

Splash! It hit him like a bucket of cold water. In fact, it was cold water. He shivered as drops of water ran down his face and trickled onto his shirt. There was a metallic click as the man reached for something in front of the chair. A rack came into view. A row of sharp-edged, dark-stained and grotesque instruments was laid out neatly across the rack. They were of varying shapes and sizes - large and small, straight and curved, smooth and rough – but their purpose seemed to be one and only one. He had a sinking feeling in the pit of his solar plexis. The man allowed a smile to creep onto that stony face, revealing a set of crooked yellowish teeth, fondly examining a particularly wicked-looking tool in the process. It must have been a real favourite. It was long and thin, with an edge that gleamed in the lamplight. “Wait. Those canines…No! It couldn’t be!” His Adam’s apple scampered along the length of his throat in dread. The man turned around, those cruel eyes locking into his, with a taunting look that said: “There’s nowhere to hide.”

He felt his blood make a desperate attempt to flow through his limbs again. He could almost move. He tried to but was prevented from doing so by a large hand that came down heavily on his neck. He could feel the pressure on his skin as the hand ran over, first, his face and then his neck. It stopped at his jugular vein and stroked it gently, almost lovingly. The man looked at him again and smirked. He had seen such a look before. Two words flashed through his crazed mind: “Daniel Pearl.”

He watched, with growing trepidation, as the sharp gleaming edge drew nearer. An edge, expertly gripped, by practised hands having long pointed nails. He tried to scream but his vocal cords had been twisted by terror. He tried to run but his muscles had frozen in fear. The man was observing him carefully, mockingly. Like a butcher before a lamb’s slaughter. Would the man go for the neck or was it the face that offered more? The man’s hand shot forward in a sudden jab, making for a clear patch below the ear. The blade made contact. It drew blood and tasted it. He winced in pain.

The expressionless man said nothing. Picking up another one of its kind, one that was longer and dirtier, the man’s hand made for the other side of his face. The result was the same. The man seemed thoughtful, as if the work was not proceeding in a more torturous direction of choice. A wire was conjured up from the rack. With a contented look in those callous eyes, the man’s hands made for his neck. Perhaps strangulation seemed a better option compared to slitting him open from ear to ear. Or maybe that was part of the process. The wire dug into his skin, bursting his pimples, leaving it red and inflamed. The man then got to work with the favourite again, cutting and flicking at will. He closed his eyes and bit his lips. It seemed to go on forever. And then it stopped.

No sooner had he breathed a sigh of relief than he felt a gash down his neck. He could feel the warm blood running into the cold sweat. He opened his eyes, expecting to see his severed body lying by the side of his head. But it was still intact and the man was smirking again. The man took a foul-looking liquid from the rack and rubbed it into his bleeding skin. “Aaaaaarggggghh !” his voice returned as his face and his neck burnt like oil in frying pan. The pain was unbearable. With a burst of strength, he yanked his body out of the chair and glowered with rage at the man. The man looked shocked.

All that the man said was, “Maalish bhi kar doon kya?” (Should I do the massage as well?)

It was a close shave.

Management Class : Tall Tales

mental baba 9:57 AM | pathar ka lakeer | 0 baba ka katora |