March 16, 2009

Short Series: World War III

He sat alone, looking dreamily deep into the thin flame from the candle. The gentle breeze that seeped in through the window made the flame dance. He could hear the sounds that the rain created outside. Droplets falling on the asbestos sheet that covered the neighbor’s car. The electricity had gone off because of the rain and it had been a few hours now. The heavy sound of thunder and flashes of lightning added more drama to the dancing flame in front of him.

In the quiet of the night, he could hear cars and motorists screeching on the road that ran outside his house. They all seemed to be in a hurry. They always were, he thought to himself. A smile escaped his lips. He sat there quietly; everything in that room seemed to happen in slow motion. His movements, his thoughts, the dancing flame from the candle, the smoke from the mosquito coil. The mosquito hovering around his ear seemed to have other plans. Furiously fluttering around his ear, the little thing looked like a being possessed and with a mission. The silence from the room only amplified the buzz from the little fella.

"Target found. All units be advised. Proceed with caution", said a voice, although slightly garbled, it was clear. He turned back to check where the voice was coming from. He couldn’t see anyone. Maybe it was coming from the television next door or something, he thought to himself. But there isn’t electricity. “Target locked. Eagle 27. Attack”, said another voice and before he could react, he felt a sharp needle like prick on the soft spot on his neck. ‘Ouch’, he let out a scream and his immediate reaction was to swat the back of his neck with his hand. “Target hit. I repeat. Target has been hit. All units lock on to the target”, the moment he heard those lines, he had a whole army of mosquitoes breathing down his neck and buzzing around his ear. They were everywhere. Where did they come from? He wondered and quickly took evasive action. He lit up another of those mosquito coil’s murmuring profanities about the worthless qualities of these coils. As soon as he lit the second coil, everything became quiet again. Slightly relieved he sat down on the chair and made himself comfortable. In the corner of his eye, he saw a tiny little fella creeping close towards his ear, he acted as if he didn’t see him coming and when he was close enough, he turned around and with both his hands made a clapping motion. ‘Whack’, was the sound it made and it echoed in the tiny room. When he spread his hands, he could see one of those blood sucking thingy smothered on his hands. There was blood. He took the little one and brought it close to the flame. What he saw shocked him.

There he was the little fella with a smashed skull wearing army fatigue. The mosquito had his face painted. He couldn’t believe his own eyes. Was he dreaming? This just couldn’t be. It’s a mosquito- an army mosquito. As he was still reeling from the shock, he could hear more voices, “Officer down, officer down. Kamikaze units attack”. Before he could react he saw an army coming towards him. He could see they were angry. They attacked him. His ear, neck and forehead were easy targets. There was a separate group attacking his arms. The attack was pretty intense and he did everything possible to stay safe. He waved his hands, and smacked it together, tried slapping the space in front of him in an attempt to cause damage to his attackers. He did manage to hit a group that was launching another attack. They went tumbling down. He tried to catch them, but it slid right through his fingers and fell crashing to the ground. He managed to get a radio that the mosquitoes were using to communicate with the base. “Eagle 39. Eagle 39. Do you read me? What is the enemy status? Do you want us to send more troops?” the voice on the other end said on the radio. ‘More troops?’ he thought to himself. That’s not good news he said. He had to do something to stop them. He got up and tried to cover himself with a blanket. So that he doesn’t reveal any part of his body to the enemy.

“Target has gone hiding. Seek & destroy”, those were the dreaded words. He thought it was time to show those blood sucking monsters, who the bigger person was. He was ready. He let out a loud scream and he was on his legs to try and counterattack. He began racing across the room with his hands and legs swaying and striking the air furiously. This was a calculated attack from his enemies. They were not easily visible, while there he was a target out in the open. The train outside his house came to a grinding halt at the station. The sound of the wheels on the track could be heard very clearly. Other than that, there was silence. Then it happened. The mosquitoes began attacking him and he began fighting back. What was earlier a quiet room with a candle light was now a war zone. He managed to strike down a few groups that kept targeting his neck and ear. They went tumbling down and fell on the burning flame of the candle. He could see them burn. The slight hissing sound it made when they were burnt to ashes. He felt good to see that. ‘Serves them right’, he told himself, concentrating on the others. He quietly went up to the kitchen and took the mosquito spray. He hid it in his hands and waited patiently behind the couch. Then finally when the intensity of the buzzing sounds near him increased he got up and started spraying all over the room. He closed his eyes and began swirling around the room. Diving to take cover every now and then when he saw his enemy braving the spray and still trying to attack. In a few moments it was over. No more buzzing sounds and no more attacks. It was quiet. Extremely quiet.

The only sounds in that room were coming from that of walkie-talkies that were damaged. And the flame flickering with some of the attackers still burning in them. He felt relieved. He was injured a bit in the war. His arms were swollen from a few bites and his hands had blood stains. But he had won the war and that’s what mattered. He sat down on the chair and laid back. The electricity came back then. The first thing he saw was the war zone. His attackers were lying on the floor dead, crushed and smashed. It was a huge army. He just shook his head and decided to watch some television. As soon as he clicked the remote, he felt a shooting pain on his neck. He took evasive action and slapped his neck.

“Target has been hit and nuked. Virus has been infected. Sniper to base. Sniper to base. Over and out”.


Renu said...

Very poignantly written, am glad you survived to tell the tale :). Errr, did you write this soon after you got infected? :P

Zeph Keyes said...

dont expect any sympathy from me... u shoulda listened when i told u to do something about those damn kamikaze 'toes back when i was their target!

arvindiyer said...

To Renu

Am glad I survived too.. but then I seriously get the impression that they are planning another attack shortly. Intelligence reports that I received have made it pretty obvious:)

arvindiyer said...

To Zeph

I did try and do something bout those bloodsuckers. But well those were days of absolute poverty!!! Kindly adjust:P

Nivedita said...

Rest In Peace, dear nameless martyrs, may you be born humans in your next life and let this cruel man be born a mosquito starved of love and eager to jab into your plentiful veins.
We bloodsuckers stick together:P

arvindiyer said...

To Nivedita

I love you too:)

Vinita said...

Liked this one a lot! Was pacy.

arvindiyer said...

To Vinita

And it was also painful:) Thank you.

Zeph Keyes said...

update already

Pixilicious said...

moral of the story- war is pointless.

arvindiyer said...

To Pixicilious

If only everyone thought that way:)

Suresh said...

That's interesting! Can you please share more about it? Thank you.

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