Imaginative , maybe a bit , tinkering yes , but more than anything I think I was inquisitive . Too curious about the plants and the flowers , too keen to know how the sun rises and sets , but above all , what I wished to know was the people , my people and other people , and every kind of people that existed in any corner of the world . I wish I had a better start . I was 6 when I had to leave the place that I knew was the boundary of the seven realms of reality and my imagination. I did hear stories from my father . He and I , we were quite close back then you know. Just like every son and father are, untill they realize that only one man can make a decision and none can follow.We used to sit in the verandah after dinner on the four legged wooden flat , it was crooked at the edges , but nothing ever felt more comforting ever since. He used to sit on it in his usual white kurta , with his legs folded cross and I use to jump between them and find my royal seat . Then as the sinisters rose and night turns dark the jackals would start their treck in the woods that stretched infront of our house onthe other side of the large fields. He would scare me saying that one of them is a lion and he is hunting for preys , and I would start sinking closer to him . A frightened cub I was . He would tell me all the folk stories that he knew , mostly the same one , not that he knew just one , but more because I insisted . He use to begin with the story of the wolves who would howl at night to let people know its time for their duties and end with the story of the king who hunted a hen , however he hunted the hen or the hen hunted him is still a mystery. He would always start snoaring in the end and act as if he is too tired of working . I knew he wasn’t , he never gets tired of me , that was his thing , where all parents tell their children stories as many as they could , my father told me just one , and then listened to a hundred of mine . I wonder if he saw a younger him in me. My sister use to tell me all she knew of his childhood , even though he talks very less of it . My father was raised by his grandfather , ‘baba’ , he called him , as I call my grandfather. According to my father he was the proudiest and the most open hearted man he ever saw , however he will need a whole new chapter for description , so maybe other time. I do find things common between me and my father . Not like my mother ofcourse. She would trace my whole morphology to be inherited by someone or the other in my family , and sometimes to others’ . All in all she is one hell of a superstitious lady , but never agrees to it. Anyway as the trails of the story came to an end and I began to smother my eyes , he would lift me on his shoulders and bring me in and as we would get in , my mother would shout out loud as hard as she could “Bolt the doors please , it’s not safe outside ” .
Suddenly , I was back to my senses , the present was now , I sat on my reading chair with a book in my hand as the light ,from the street lamp entered the window , with no curtains , and got lost on this glittery but wrinkled face as she said ” It’s 11 now , Shivansh , I know your studies are important , but , it’s not safe outside , you’d better close the door . And please get some sleep , it’s not good for your health to push yourself so hard and stay awake for so many days. Some times you would sleep all day and the other times , you turn into a ghost…..” , even though I knew she wouldn’t stop talking , I wanted her not to . So many years it has been , but still feels like yesterday , and it’s all because of her . Sometimes I would wonder , what is that notorious creature that she is so scared of. What is that thing ,that she fears , maybe it’s the person who comes at night to steal the gold, or maybe its the jackals that come at night to steal the infants , or maybe it’s the whole world , that she thinks is too envious of her children , whatever it is , it’s out there , and all that stands between them and me is an open door……..
13 hours ago, at Scotland Yard
Jones kept walking up and down the aisle, while the sour thread of depravity across the pitch black forehead made you realize the gravity of the situation.
“The wind is getting thinner and thinner , minute by minute , second by second . All I depend upon is just you . They said you were good with interrogation thing . Well then you got your thing here Watson.”, Said Jones in a deep but trembling voice.
“He’s a kid , thirteen maybe. I got what it needs to tackle the enemy not tickle some gum out of a toddler’s belly”, mumbled Watson.
“Well then this ain’t no war you get it” , walked Jones in slow steps towards Watson raising his tone , decibal by decibal.”This is your shit . Get it done or you can go back to your little hut in Afghanistan.”
The words were as sharp as a needle but no-one except Miss Watson to burden it on her ego. She smashes the door right onto Jones face . The next thing you know is that she smashes a another door ,this time to open the one with the boy sitting on a chair.
“So Tobias is it , what did you see at the sight.” , And she kept a tone of aggression and didn’t plan to ease it anyway. The kid maintained the silence of the room.”Do you know what happens if you keep quiet for too long in this room.Do you really wanna find out.” , this time the boy takes a back with an expression of terror on his face. “Don’t test my patience , and tell me what I want to know” .
And suddenly the doctor raises on her “Get back Watson , you are scaring him “, screamed the lady with a white coat on , blonde curles and a golden namebadge that said Dr Camilia Mereau Forensics Dep.
Natalia gave a glancing look to Camilia and then around and finally took a few steps back and then went out of the room tottering.
“It’s alright Tobias , she is just as scared as you are , she just doesn’t know how to express it very well. You can tell us about it when you wish , alright” said Camilia to the little fella.
Presently at the Museum , Baker Street…
“I don’t get , why do you want me to help you?” Arnold asked , “or maybe a better question , why should I help you ?”
“Well for starters , cause I didn’t kill you , and I promise not to in the near future ” , and Natalia finishes her sentence with a fake big smile.
“Well technically you were about to kill me and even more technically you can’t kill him you see cause you don’t have any bullets and you don’t get any untill and unless you sign a requirement receipt with reason behind every single fired bullet.” Said Syndia as she suddenly appears beside Arnold.
“You were listening to all of it?” ,Asked Arnold.
“Hey this ain’t no story , how can a person not hear two people talking from 10 feet specially when they are so loud.” Answered Syndia.
“So you in?, Or not”asked Natalia but without waiting for even a minute she baffled” Oh screw it , I ‘ll handle it myself ” , and holding up her gown she sprints away in the dark.
The two in the museum stared at each other, then finally Syndia breaks the silence “Remember that thing about not getting in trouble, yeah well that’s crap , cause its London. If you don’t get into trouble , you actually never got into London. Now go get her.” , And Arnold plunged on for his cardigan and ran outside.
Natalia stood by the side of the road , waiving for a cab but none seem to stop for queen Elizabeth. Suddenly one cab stopped right infront of her with a man at the window seat opening the doors for the lady. “Come in malady , the prince is waiting” said Arnold in the gesture of sarcasm. No matter how furious Natalia took her chances and went into the cab to summon to the crime scene.
For a distance Arnold maintained peace and so did Watson. After a while , Arnold digs through his pockets took out a bubblegum and start chewing. Suddenly he blows a bubble and pops it with a noise that filled Natalia with disgust.
“Okay , that’s enough , I just don’t get , not a single logic ” ,screams Watson and Arnold interrupts “Hey, I had only one of it “,
“Alright this is despicably unexplainable. This is just as nausiating as shit. You explain stuff like you have planned all of it , you look like a part time circus whack from 1800s and you blow up gum in a cab and above all how do you know I was in Afghanistan.How do you know of the bullets ?”
” Pretty easy ” ,he says as he keeps chewing his gum , “But what bothers me is I know you were army , I know you were in Afghanistan RLC squadron 6th , I know you have a rich family, but you don’t loathe on them , yet your biggest query is ‘how do you know’ rather than ‘I wanna kill you’ “,
“Believe me killing you is still on the desk”, answered Natalia.
“Well then let’s start from the simple one. The bullets. The first sign of you not having the bullets were you aiming at Syndia . Well if you expect to aim and talk, you don’t aim at someone rightway , holding aim that way for as long as a conversation gives loss in precission , the next step was simple . Checking your hands . Just the moment you keep your next hand on table I went bingo. You had bullet greeze on your hand that too spread like it happens if you press a glass too hard , that will say a party , a ball or from the dress and time my best shot would be a masquerade, and ofcourse confirmed the unloading theory. Now coming to the Afghanistan case. You see if you were a normal police officer , you would use a Glock -27 pistol but no , you had a M-9 Beretta pistol . So an army person. The barrelhole had quite a few crossmarks , that did mean you used it as your primary , so definitely not a field person , so anywhere between an afterfield to logistics.Then I go for the gripmarks , astonishingly you had all kind of fingerprints on either side of the pistol , but the left one’s firm , so you should have been lefty ,but the in the bus you use the right one to hold on to the book ,at the reader you use the right hand to scan the card , at the subway you use the right hand to lay your supports onto the railing. So not a lefty , rather you had better equipments in the right hand , so a tech ofcourse in right with a firm grip of high callibers in left , definitely an RLC -6th soldier . And where did a RLC would get a wristline tan but no face tan . Definitely a place where you keep your heads covered but not your hands . So that narrowed it down to Sri Lanka or Afghanistan , but more to Afghanistan , you know , cause its Afghanistan.”, And that cab hunches with the brakes.
“You are a freak you know that? , What do people call people like you?”Watson asked.
“I don’t know , Consulting Detective maybe?”answered Arnold as he moved out of the cab.
Both of them stood together on the peddlestone and faced the crowd right up at the Shelstrope’s. Suddenly as if the time stopped ticking the wind took its pace to the 5th dimension of space. And the shadow of the man in a moustache in the check long coat and the cigar was right there in the corner of the cab as Arnold could see.
***************To be Continued***************
At the Museum-
“Ok dumbshow , if you hold your breath for just one more minute , I swear I am gonna strike her as well as your head off “, said Natalia brandishing the gun in her english gown.
“You won’t” , smiled Arnold.
“You think I am bluffing?”, Severed Natalia.
“No, sweetbeans , I know you are bluffing , cause you already emptied your cartidge and I don’t think that this service pistol of yours is any good without bullets.”,and Arnold kept smiling, and gently took the gun from Natalia as she stood stunned.
“How the hell could you possibly know that ?”, Asked Natalia.
“Well let’s start from the beginning shall we . ” , And the scene goes into a flashback .
So , you got up on the bus at Camden street , got to the second last seat , besides a teenager , even though when there was a seat on the windowside at the thirdlast slot in the same row , that would say that you were looking for a place to avoid both the wind and chit chat from some tourist , cause no teenager would sit alone on a window if he were visiting London , this made pretty clear that either you were about to read a book or onto some really nasty gossip with a friend on your smartphone , but then you got a orange book out of your bag , torn at the edge , palish in hue that narrowed it down to two possibilities , either you borrowed it from someone or its your favourite old collection item , but then you start the book from the highlights and critic review at the backcover , that you borrowed it , now , you open up the contents and rather than reading it you pick out your smartphone and then without making more than just a click you keep it back , that tells you are either waiting for someone’s message/call or just checking if your boss got some news for you , but then you start querring about something like busbooking to the teen , that means you are new to london and it was the boss’ update you were waiting for . Now you start with the first page but don’t get to the second , before 20 minutes. Now an average reader would take 3 to 5 mins max to read the first page , but you no , that says you were convinced to read it , by a friend , family or doctor. You are new to london so no to family , no friend would suggest a book in a bus , but sightseing , so its a doc. Let’s say a psychiatrist. So that makes you a traumatized 32 years old, new to london , and new , civillian tech. So you are an army retired , now what do army retired do the most in the free time , well they doubt. So I gave you something to doubt and that was me.” Arnold paused to let it sink in as he went through the whole flash back in one breathe.
“Why the hell did you do that” confused and stupefied Watson asks Arnold.
“Well I was bored, so back to flash back, ….
You went down at Stop D and you had the smartphone and book in both of your hand so how to scan the card on the reader to check out , if it were someone else , he / she would keep smartphone in the pocket but not you , you keep your phone on vibrate , cause you don’t like tinks and rings , so you keep the book down and scan the card and as soon as you keep the card back you have already kept back one thing in your pocket and one in hand so you were mostly to forget book and you did . I grabbed on to it and well leaped through some fast steps to make you doubt me again. Then at the subway you just entered dark right from the bright sun well i had a hat , but you barely had anything , so i took my chances and offered you a seat”, and suddenly Watson as if fell into an endless well of darkness . All the pieces came fastening up with all the blood pumping into her brain.
“It was you to offer me the seat , but you took off the the cardigan , and I barely saw the face , but the voice . Holy mother of god , and that crying , there was this infant , he had the baloons . Oh my god ! It was right infront of me” and Natalia as if lost the conscious of her knees.
“Well that part was easier after it you know I just stood there , pretend to notice you were following me , then just as you turned , went to the street side , turned my cardigan upside done and took the hat off and suddenly you thought I vanished , ta daaaa”, and Arnold rolled the gun in his fingers and gave it back to her .
Natalia was still figuring out how to sink into the most unpractical yet happening scenarios of the screenplay she has gotten herself into.
“So what was it Sri Lanka or Afghanistan?” , Asked Arnold looking at the window , but referring to Watson.
Natalia as if about to fall apart , says it all loud and squeky “What in god’s name are you?”
“Well not very proud to say so but the name’s Arnold Strange and the address is 221B Baker Street”, and Arnold goofs with the smile.”But for more important concerns , there is some important texts I believe that you have regarding your case , maybe something regarding the masquerade party..” and Watson reaches for her phone in the back dress to see the message-
The crown is down , the city’s in trouble
The ‘Strange revelations ‘, were breathholding but this piece of text took the life out of Watson.
5 hours ago at Scotland Yard
The wind has never been so thick at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters as it was with the intuition case. A 13 tear old kid Tremmer Tobias was predicting the death of people right before they were reported. The whole department was in terror and so was the Vincent Force.
“I don’t get , it , I didn’t sign this job for this shit . This is not some trouble , its one hell of a scary Harry Potter movie. “, Said Jones smacking his head on the wall.”For all we know it could be anyone , anywhere and all we could do is just sit hands on hands thinking of an excuse to the freaking media. I can’t take this. I want each one of you on this . Now get your arses off the chairs and on the case.” And by the furious letters Jones made all the pips jump of the table and on the case.
Suddenly Camilia came in running and smashed the door open
“The boy knows of the third murder, It’s a retired colonel. At the Arms and the Man masquerade . It’s a charity fund ” , the forensic expert almost sprinted through her words.
“Bring Nat in , she has got some work to do”said Jones.
1 hour ago at the Masquerade on Park Road
“I hate this , and the hell I hate the heels , I simply hate the fuss” mumbled Watson in the microphone.
“You took one for the team Nat , now don’t piss me off we want this killer and we want it anyhow” said Jones from other end.
Natalia slides into the party with her hats up in the beautiful Elizabethan black gown with a classic hat and a classy pair of masks. She swifts throgh people talk to many trying to find anything suspective but yet can find none.
“Oh my days at the front , only if we had the beer and scotch of those dusty sands , I would happily puke to death rather than drinking this wine” said one old brat in the crowd.
“It must have been a sporty past you had with the arms and the men I guess”, Natalia played along.
“Well aren’t you a beauty , why don’t I buy you a real drink , wait for me ” , and the colonel went dancing down the aisle, when suddenly Natalia notices something that took all of her mind of the masquerade. She saw a guy shouldering an old man in 70s to the street side , drunk and babling. But what strikes her the most are the shoes. She remembers those shoes and she knew it is the guy from the subway , the one that vanished in the middle of the street . She forgot the drink and ran for the boy.
Presently at the museum
“Alright I don’t how or what did you just do now . I don’t how did you know about Afghanistan , but if you are doing this the way you just said you do it , then I want you to help me out with this one.” Said Natalia breathing heavily.
“What exactly happened?” Asked Arnold.
“You heard of the two recent tourist murders?”
“Yes , everyone has.”
“There has been a third one , a Colonel, and I want you to help me find the suspect” and Natalia grazes into Arnolds eyes as he breaks into a stun.
***************To be continued**************
“The night was blind , but not the moon
The fate was kind , but not too soon,
did the sailors row the boats.
Did the traitor sow the hoax?
Maybe he wasn’t sure of him, maybe he was so adored of him.
He saw the enemies in his sight
But still choose to sit down quite.
Call it his fear or a moment fright,
But it killed them all , wrong or right.
The men were young , but the story is old.
One does the mistake, and all face the cold.”
And the quote as if just echoes down the corridor as the old man rhymes it with his deep grave voice.
“Indeed Mr. Hudson , one does play a gamble when he puts his eggs in someone else’s basket , but is that reason enough and just to confiscate all the goodness one feels in the comfort of his comrades. Or is it just not worth thinking and one shall live and die alone like the two of us . ” Babbled Arnold as he slipped his hand over his palm and smacked the tabletop with a bam all drunk.
“You see son having a company always pays off. I mean in the war. You definitely don’t want to spoil your pants when you see a 7 foot tall german with a 3 foot tall rifle right infront of ya face …”
“To give you toilet paper?” Interrupted Arnold.
“No you smuck” Mr. Hudson pauses “to give you a clean set of pants ” and the table cracked with laughter waking the junior hudson up.
“Alright I think its too late you know , maybe we should sleep” said Arnold.
“Well I ain’t sleeping with you” answered the old hudson and laughed again .
Finally Arnold escorted Mr. Hudson to bed and as he laid down he said “You are a good man Arnold , with a good heart , and it’s hard for a good heart to beat it up in london . Don’t you ever get yourself in any trouble ” and started snoring . Just as he turned around to leap his way back to the shop , their stood Syndia on the door
“He’s right , you should listen to it” said her to Arnold
” I know and I do stay out of it” he answered
“Well being all drunk , midnight and working in a shop full of antiques isn’t safe”
“Well then I am not drunk and I need to clean the shop before closing it”
“How could you be not drunk? , You were rolling your toungue out drinking beer”
” Well Mr. Hudson was drinking beer , what I had was just apple juice”
“You got high on apple juice?” She said and chuckled.
“Who the hell gets high on apple juice? “Said Arnold.
“Well then what was with all the growling and drunkard talkshow” asked Syndia.
“Mr. Hudson is not a soul to be left alone drinking and its superawkward to just stare at him while drinking so to give him company I act drunk. ” Answered Arnold.
“Oh thy beautiful soul , you have filled me such a joy , such relief , such satisfaction with your kind and tender behaviour” dramatized Syndia.
“Not buying it Syndia , neither does anyone else so enough with the overacting . ”
“Well maybe I could have a drink and give him company next time. Well a jew better than a hindu , you see.”
“For the last time I am not hindu”
“Then why do you have this pendent of lord shiva ”
“I am not telling you , you do ask a lot of questions” grimmed Arnold.
“It’s because you answer none , I mean where did you live , where did you go to school , who was your best friend , do you have any family , why don’t you ever talk anyone on your cellphone . Who are you exactly?” Asked Syndia as Arnold stood in silence.
Suddenly out of the dark a women enters in black velvet all dressed up fancy. She wore an english hat and dressed as in Elizabethan themes.
“Is anyone in” asked the woman.
“We are about to close ma’am you may come tomorrow. ” Answered Arnold.
“But you may come in as we always welcome our guests with a warm heart” screams Syndia in the middle with the grudge face as she turns to Arnold and adds ” Why don’t you go talk to your ghost friend , maybe you will tell her about yourself , while I can clean the shop as its way more interesting than listening you jabber to a woman” and she grabs the duster from his hand and starts dusting the corner.
Arnold moves to the counter and asks the woman “How may I help you ma’am”
The lady brings her hat up and leaves Arnold to a transfixing stupefaction.
“Now you tell me all that I ask or I kill your little girlfriend here right in the headshot” and she points at the gun in her robe.
“So let’s start with the basics , who are you?”
17 hours ago in Tottenham………..
The sun broke out into a thin silver linning up on the 7 clouds but the view wasn’t so bright up at the front. There was sand all around and troops marching , and suddenly there’s a blast and everything goes inaudible except a costont monotone of a dead heartbeat , and suddenly she wakes up , soaked up to down in sweat.
She got out from her bed to see the same silver linning the sun has shaped among the clouds but it wasn’t gloomy or dusty on the ground . It was happy and quiet. Or atleast it looked so.
She stood up , walked to the kitchen made coffee and went to the balcony to stare aat those clouds and listen to the surfing wind, but suddenly she gets a text.
Meet me at the Rampayne st. , Marylebone infront of Vauxhall bridge. And bring your gun with ya. -DSU Jones
And the tension of the situation just stroke and shoke Watson pretty well , when a notification pops out from BBC
Breaking news- A german tourist dies at the Shelstrope Avenue Café . Thirteen year old kid named Tremmer Tobias said to have been found at the scenario alone with the body.
Natalia dumps the mug down the sinkhole , and in a few minutes is ready to go all detective. She hurries to the bus-stop and goes up for Oxford circus station.
As soon as she reaches there , she is amazed to see the crowd piled up at the avenue. She trimms to the middle of all of it to finally get to see the crime scene.
The victim lied all on the ground , lifeless and his neck turned violet , nails trimmed with a message carved on the floor that said pin.
“The hell is wrong with you , who are you?”asked Arnold.
“Oh come on I know its you. You were on that subway , on that bus , at the restaurant , what I don’t know is how you did it , and you are telling me now” , said Natalia as she reels up the gun.”Now let’s see how smart exactly are you ?”
*****************To be continued****************
In the loving memory of the most adventurous , thrilling and creative writer ever born . From slipping my tongue while learning to speak his name, to be able to write a story based on his works somewhere in the middle maybe I learned a thing or two about literature. This work is solely and completely based on the storm that went up my mind palace while reading works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
“I never speak of what I believe , but always what I know”
“I certainly do not remember what or when changed my life from two wheel bicycle in the barn of open meadows to my nerves , 4 feet away from the wheels of something so indespicable , that I might never be able to find my way out of the nightmares. I have tried everything , literally everything. But the dreams are no metaphors doc. They are reality with just a minute till it all blows up. Reality just 4 feet away from my face and approaching fast , and I can hear none of it.”
“War affects us all Nat , some come back from , some never do , yet the latter are luckier, for atleast they die at once , but soldiers like you die all along. Are you having your medicines on time?”
“How’s it with the new work”
“You mean the Scotland Yard , well I have my first call today , up at Melbourne.”
“Well i guess that will bring some London in your lungs , why don’t you try a book , here “, and with the end of the conversation she gave me a paperback print in orange , with its cover torn at the edges , however still not taped to the back. Must have been one of her favourite giveaways. “The many remedies to a dying heart” ,was what it said in bold. However I didn’t have the vision on how different spectras can the sun bestow upon the mortal heads , untill I finally met the man in the cap, afterall its his story ,or shall I say their story.
“In 1829 we got to see the figure ,an image of what we called the Metropolitan Police Service. In 1842 some of the finest of us got to be called the Detectives.” The Deputy Commissioner rolled up a sleeve as he barged over the next line while walking up and down the cabin. “In 1854 when crime upheld the city in smoke we had our first Investigation Department. And finally in the name of god and by the efforts of Sir Vincent on 8th April 1878 , we got to be called the great Scotland Yard. Today we have some of the finest in this very room up from their own wars to join ours under the special force . I thereby declare the enactment of the ‘Vincent forces’ , under the direction of DSU William Jones , and DCI Natalia Watson. , ” And suddenly with the sound of the camera flash I was back to my senses at The Safari Adventure House , Camden Street near the Greek Church , which was both the crime scene and Houston to my present.
“Ok Natalia what have we got here?”, Said the unusually sunken voice as the man in black sat beside me .
“Well there’s no clear spectacles I can get out of it , victim’s name is David Brims , age 30 , resident of the states, was on a tour to london …”
“Nat this is a murder case we got here. Not sure about the front , but people , are not supposed to die here , specially foreigners . Cases like these , they fly up in the media like tennis balls. Give me some solid evidence , some reason I can fill the papers with , words I can yoddle infront of the cameras. “,with a tinker of aggression , lines on his pitch black forehead , the friction in his snow white beard and now it was pretty clear that Jones was not as easy as I once thought he was.
“The victim’s got a shade of violet on his throat and his lips are more crumbled than dried , which could be the evidence of cyanide ingested orally , and not forcibly. And..”
“So it’s a suicide you say”
“Well there’s more to it”
“No I believe I have had what I need, darling”
“Only if and buts were candy and nuts , we’ve had Christmas everyday”.
And now I was pretty clear that there was hardly any string in the rhythm of those men or even a teetsy bit of fresh air in the smoke of London breeze. With my hands wrapped and my muffler stripped I packed up and went afoot to Mornington’s.
I always wondered what made moon so crescent, and at once, I even made myself believe that it had something to do with the way you see it. And now after all the time when one would mock and laugh upon the innocence and absurdity of ones childhood , I was yet able to find some truth out of it.
In just a few minutes , while I was at Stop J , the bus arrived and I went mingles over my excellent timing . It was only later that the 12 year old toddler taught me how to check london bus timings on my smartphone. If it weren’t for my distance from the streets of London I would have been pretty ashamed to learn it from a kid even though I have a major in CS&E from MIT , however, I had been lucky ever since.
It was only in the middle of the journey that I noticed this person. 5’11” , face mostly hid under the grey-ish cap , with a thin text on its verge that said “Philosophers Property” . I don’t know why but everytime I tried to blend away my visions got cornered to him . There was a peculiar sound to him. His face was hardly visible , but I was sure I didn’t knew him and I got that from the small beard hairs that filled up most of his face. Although it wasn’t very much the era of beard but the black hue and the level 3 trim was quite a look. However it was the width of him that would catch one’s eye. His waist was so slim that one could actually say that the black cardigan he wore actually never touched the white to-fit t-shirt he wore inside. And on the strangemost note the guy wore boots from like 1887. However I was still dazzled about why was I so concerned about this guy’s layout even though , I had chapter 1 – The first aid to your heart right infront of me. Well afterall , now I atleast know that the book works , just not in an apparent way.
I finally got off at Mornington’s Crescent , after swiping my not so efficient American Express card on the pink reader , to give up some £1.75 that I will not at all regret.
While I was walking on the Hampstead Road in the peaking sunshine , right from the high scape houses , towards the subway station, I actually saw this guy again. This time he had a book in his hand. It might not have been my best days at rememberence , but I was pretty sure the guy never had a carry bag or anything neither was their any bookstore nearby. How the hell did he get a book?
With my lucky fortunes working in the favour of my curiosity , the guy actually traced his path to the subway station. Apparently it was the same slim concavity of his tender waist that aided him to walk so fast that I actually had to trottle in my pace.
It was getting harder and harder to keep my eye stuck in the heavy crowd , however it was his hat that kept me going .
Finally as I entered the station in the bustle my eyes like lost the track of everything , it must have been the lights and the glimmer that caught me in the dilemma of forgetting my purpose their. Finally after searching through the crowd I saw him entering one the tubes and it was to Tottenham and I had no wish to be lost in the lights again , but there was this red tailed satan named curiosity sitting on my shoulders that I couldn’t help. Finally I barged in the tube and as soon as the doors closed i started moving forward. I don’t know it was the colour of people or just the london fashion but all my memories of Afghanistan as if rushed into my brain with all the blood and it made me sick. For sometime I thought , I might give up.
“Ma’am you fine. You don’t look pink”
“I am fine, just tired”
“You can have my seat”
“Thank you , that’s very generous of you”, and I couldn’t stretch it anymore.So, I sat down took a deep breath but , it wasn’t quite helping as the infant besides me was crying his pitch best and I was nowhere fond of children. So ,as I moved up to give the man his seat back , he was gone . Must have moved forward .
Then with a light pause the tube stopped , it was my drop and I went for the station outlet and then again I saw him . This time he had the book but he had baloons too. As far as I remember he didn’t have baloons with him as he entered the train. Now this was a pinch in my shoes. How and where from , but of all why.
This time it was his tracks on road so it was quite easy actually go detective . In seconds we hit the Oxford street and were finally in the heart of London that too in dark . But yet again Oxford is never dark. Its the people here. The man took turns so jumbled that it was hard to see where he was planning to go. However after a few turns I was pretty sure he aimed for Primark place. Walking like blitzkrieg the guy stops suddenly. Maybe he saw me, I always maintained the minimum distance of stalking principles but it was as if he sensed my presence. I did as I was taught . I kept moving and finally surpassed him , but with a very slow pace. After some distance I drop my earrings , take a few steps , act surprised and then turn back to pick them up . He was gone. Vanished in thin ai , like wind took him away to some place where no one has ever been . It was like one of those magic shows where they get pufff in the middle of a street. Now I was a bit scared . I started walking afterall , there was no reason to stop or shall I say no one to stop for , because a guy just disappeared infront of my eyes and it was impossible. My senses suddenly went up for a MCD and I was pretry sure I wasn’t very hungry yet I popped in. I went through the counter ordered a 1 person meal and went to savage a corner for myself. There was one two-seater in the corner but there sat a guy on it. Wringling with my short and sinple haircut aback my ears , and with a what the hell! , I went for it.
“Umm , Is this one occupied!”
“Doesn’t look so!”
“Well may I?”
And with no more words against the eccentric outlook of the person I sat down.But as soon as I sat down I saw the person was quite familiar . He had a book in his hands there were baloons under the table and a cardigan and hat on the corner.
Giving no time to click and no air to surpass I reached for my hancuffs and locked him to the chair . As soon as I do so he looks at me , but rather than confused he actually sat there quite calmly , pretty much the reason why we got no attention, and then again got back to reading .
I was bumped by the whole scenario, and curiously waited for me to wake up. But neither was he some normal person , nor was it a dream.
“You sir, have been able to seek my attention on something seriously disturbing . You never had a book you entered the bus and there exists no store near Mornington’s . People don’t get balloons in the tube and definitely do not get vanished from the middle of the street , so either you tell me who are you or you are in some serious trouble” , I gave the warning as quiet as I could yet as strict as a poll.Yet all he gave is a goofy smile , and before I could say anything the order alarm beeps , I turn back , and as soon as I am back again , he’s gone. He’s vanished again. I couldn’t have been more scared , but bloody he did accept that challenge too and there was a book on the seat with the baloons tied up to the handcuffs with the lines written in black marker
Thanks for the book , I would have been bored without it.
And I sat there with my mouth open to watch to my horror the title of the book
The Many remedies to a Dying Heart.
At Baker street near the Park Road entry-
Their was always quite a crowd up in this part of the street , and why shouldn’t there be , afterall it was once home to one of the fonest detectives , no matter if he ever existed or not.
The door creaks open with a bell up on its other end that rings with every entrance.
“Welcome gentlemen , how may I help you with the warmth of the deepest corner of our heart , well why don’t I show you a trick”said the little girl dressed like 1890 maiden with a pack of cards in her hand.She shuffles it in the most extraordinary manner and then asks him to choose a card.
“Ok well yes I have made my choice”
“Well then you must not forget which one, alright”
“Fine ma’lady”, and he chuckles.
“And then she shuffles again and this time rains them down to the ground from a level below her waist , and pops one out.”
“Is this your card sir?, “, Asked her blushing red.
“Well yes ofcourse it is, the king of spades, why wouldn’t it be in a pack of cards where you can pick only one”, and he picks the deck up from card to see the other cards, which were all king of spades.
“The girl chuckles and laughes to a bubble , breaking Arnold to the goofy one he usually had.
“Syndia , is he here yet?”
“I believe he is Mr. Hudson”
And the old man is his seventies comes down the stairs with a brown army stick in his hands that said 6 th force RLC 1st Squadron.
“So you are the one for this job . I bilieve you are just as bright as your words were. You say you are a big fan of Arthur Conan Doyle , but this place is all Sherlock , where will you find your Arthur in it?”- said Mr. Hudson.
“If you rule out all that’s impossible then whatever left however improbable ,must be true, “, he paused and continued “there exists no Sherlock sir , there’s always an Arthur that decorates him with a hat and lights his pipe all long , without an Arthur , there is no Sherlock.”
“Indeed son , but yes , no need for sir and all the formalities , we all are comrades in the battle of life , call me Mr. Hudson” said he himself.
“Well as you may , so where do I start”
“Oh our little Miss Hudson will guide you to the way to your work, won’t she?”
“Ofcourse gentlemen , please proceed behind me , everything you see here is o..”she keeps saying and moving when suddenly the clocks start ticking to a greater noise , the breeze starts sizzing and the time slows doen and suddenly Arnold turns by his side to look at the corner and he sees a large man in a check coat and a round hat. But Arnold isn’t scared or worried , rather his face turns green when suddenly the keen voice breaks her out of it.
“Arnold , Arnold… Where do you think you are?, Cmmon we have loads to do , first of all we need to get to the groceries and I need to buy some stuff , do you mind giving me company”said the little Miss Hudson.
“Sure why not!”
And they move out the door when finally Arnold finds himself at the corner of the street with an history of 140 years. He was right infront of a green house with a nameplate that said
221 B Baker Street , Marylebone- The Sherlock Holmes Museum -Souvenirs, Books , Antiques and more
“We are here Arthur , we are home!”- said Arnold with a gentle but jolly sound as he sweeps his cardigan , brings over his hat and swifts with the wind.
***********Till next time********************
The wind kept humming , but he didn’t move , the sun kept setting but he didn’t flick , the window was open right infront of him but the view was much different as reflected from his deep blue eyes. Such deep thoughts ,yet nowhere to run , nowhere to hide from what’s inevitable. To cure a broken wing of a red old sparrow was yet possible , but to cure a broken petal of a young tulip was still an entangled issue for Balthazar.
“What’s the matter master steel , you seem to have built something of a climate around you. I didn’t want to disturb you but you missed the lunch already and it’s already time past dinner . With the mistresses out of the town if you are going to be such lazy on your appetite , I sure would loose my job.” , said Betty the maid of the mansion.
“You have been here from before I was born Betty if someone’s gonna get fired , my money is on myself.”, answered Balthazar in a fake tone of his own.
“Jokes apart master , I have been watching you from a long time and its not that much of a delight to watch the happiest face in the most drastic hue. Its like there is some face , some words that keep crushing you . I am not at all to be called the family for sure , but for if I can be any help do let it out.”
“There’s this girl….”as Balthazar said , Betty cuts in.
“Oh!there always is”
“No,no,no,no,noo not in that way its totally plutonic.”
“Oh , isn’t it always plutonic”.
“It’s about a friend of mine who’s friend , which happens to be a girl is having trouble”
“A friend I see!”(giggles)
“Okk tell me this if a person is in pain , and in terrible pain and you know it but the other one doesn’t want you to know , and if the other one , everytime when meeting you picks up a smile on the face then what should the person do.”
“Well it depends does the person care about the other person?”
“”I think so!”
“You think so ???”
“Yes the person cares about the other person”
“Well then that person should talk to the other person , bring all of her pain out , help her realize that no matter how great the pain is , it must not be held on to , rather it should be embraced and let out because you see pain demands to be felt .”
“You really think that’s the best idea?”
“I know a thing or two about it , and I wish this one works for you , by the way you really like this girl”
“Yeah I do,.. wait no what girl , there’s no girl , … It’s totally completely plutonic ……….” and before he could end his growling Betty walked out of the door silently with a smile on her face .
The next day at school right under the Banyan tree was Sophia , ….
Wait , wait , wait a Banyan tree you say?
Well it’s the last chapter dude , I might as well include the half writer you see.
Well so how is this tree , tall , bushy , handsome??
Past. How can a tree be possibly handsome?
Well you don’t have to be peculiar about it .
Okk then tell me how do you want a tree?
Only that you beg to ask , well the tree should be brobdingnagian, it should be this enormous bushy but firm yet fluffy green tree in its hundred and forties ya know . It should have this dark brown barks but lighter shades for branches and upper leaf style like an Amsterdam you see… And..
Oh past you are such a girl.
Me oh no no no me nah I was just having fun I mean what kind of tree is so choosy with its leaves .
Well then shall I.
Yes , not like you get to be anywhere in the story.
Fine continue with the story
Thank you . So , Sophia here was sitting under a nice , ‘handsome Banyan tree’ with her eyes gazing upon the grooves between the signatures of a hard bind book like hallows on the surface of gaia ., When suddenly a shadow covers up the sun she kept feeling up her head.
“May I join you ‘misstress of death and the tales of blood haven by Martha Buffay”
“You may Master Steel ”
“Haha very funny , don’t say that ever again.”
“Why everyone calls you Master Steel , why not me”
“Well cause there’s enough people calling me Master Steel and I already hate it enough”
“Hmm Well I would love if people called me princess you know. I would wake up in the morning and as soon as i drop my feet to the ground there’s someone who slips a pair of sandals into my feet . ..”
“Hey , hey wait up Cinderella , it’s not like that .” Killing the mood with sarcasm Balthazar just as soon realizes he’s in trouble starts running for his life
“Hey, maybe we can edit the part with the Cinderella , you know lets say there’s a 50 50 chance”says Balthazar with his heart pounding as he keeps running.
“50??? Oh I tell you there’s 100 peecent chance that I kill you today”
“Okk now I think that the horror books are having some bad effect on your health”
“My health , run for your life Balthazar Steel cause I ain’t gonna stop untill I bring that tongue out of your mouth”
“Okk let’s just say you become a princess one day , this is no etiquette for a princess”
“Oh you come in my hands Balthazar I will tell you what etiquettes I got”
And in such a way they kept running untill both of the finally felt their lungs in their mouths.
Finally they found themselves at the rooftop with the set setting its brows to bow infrint of the majestic forests that lay a surface of hills and greenery infront of them.
“When I was 5 my granny would dress me up like a princess , she would give me a tiara and a sceptre of my own and I would dance all around the house”, and just speaking of that sophia mumbled and almost broke into tears.
Balthazar moved forward , held her in her arms and embraced her sorrows as his own.
“We all miss them Sophia family or friend , someone we love , others we hate , we never realize how important they are , but only when they are far away , far enough for us to forget the spark in their eyes and warmth of their heart , only then we realize how incomplete we are without them . But life’s not gonna stop running its wheels. They may be gone but its us who live today in their name , and we must live on , so that their memories never fade away with us in oblivion. ” With a heavy tone and an even heavier heart Balthazar lets his arms open to wash tears off the flower girl .
The next morning was brighter , the wind was softer and the tress were greener . As soon as Balthazar enters the school he notices a difference in the aura of the fauna. He sees those lockers where Romero would lie about his tales of valour to a bunch of girls of the junior year. He sees those water fountains which he would turn on over Romero so that when he enters the classroom he is all wet yet has no reasons. He sees those corridors where both of them would rush just as soon as the recess bell rings to race to the car to get to the front seat. And then he sees the sweet chery face of the flower girl and all of those memories fade away in the past .And with a gust of wind rising up his mind he murmurs to himself “A steel does bend”.
Because that is what life is all about at the end. To bloom in the present and rush into the future , because no matter if its going to be easy or harsh , you would have made great memories untill then to live on , to thrive on.
***************End of Story **************
P.s.- Well I know it’s been too long for this chapter , well I must say it has been hell of a month for me , and I might even tell you about it , but let’s save that story for some other time . By the way the important thing is that I will be starting an all new action – adventure thriller “Arthur” from next week and yes guys I am super excited about it too. So there will be a break to Banyan stories untill then and I will be giving a glimpse to the title cover with this post , so nothing fancy yet I made it so do tell your views about it and as they say it . Adios!
There’s this one curious question , that has been bugging me .
I don’t think it’s gonna end well , yet , hit me!
Well you are an age old mystical tree right?
I had prefer experienced and knowledgeable , but go on.
Well all that I have heard in stories is about these trees who have very depressing voices , and they always start with ‘Once upon a time…’.
Hey ! I wasn’t accusing , or anything but still if…
Only if and buts were candy and nuts , we’d have Christmas everyday. Now seal it up and tell the story , it’s already been long enough.
Fine , you don’t have to be naggy about it. So where was I , Sophia was with Balthazar at the hill top graveyard and just as she told him of how two graves were the ones she was in debt for.
“Who are they Sophia ?”,asked Balthazar with a deep graze but faint attention to his visions.
“Just someone who cared for me , but I bilieve I am too late to make it up to them. ” answered Sophia , with a tongue of lack in interest .”Come on lets go , its about time and I don’t want to miss it on my first day because you know I won’t like to tell everyone that the great Balthazar Steel was wimpy , and so I got late” said she turning the air around jolly.
“Well all you have to worry about is your high heels miss sugar ” , said Bathazar as he rushed by her sideways andstarted running uphill, “Meet you at the summit slow-phiya” .
“You …… ” and in a burst of a blue laugh , she joined the race up to the top, and both of them went running up the hill.
On the other side of the time and space , Samantha looked quite dipped into some deep long lost food for thought. She was diving deeper and deeper with her all might but yet didn’t seem to have found an end. Just as she was busy in her thoughts , Tiffany interviened .
“Mum , may I come in ?”
“Look at you , asking the question that you know I have no answer to . You seriously think that this old lady would ever mind to have her daughter sit besides her . Come in .”
“I want to talk to you about something”
“Well it’s like someone I want to talk to you about, someone Balthazar seems to be intrigued with.”
“I see you have some serious lumps on your forehead , tell me dear what’s bothering you?”
“I was looking up the newspapers from eight to nine years ago, on account of this project I had , and I found this, ” and she takes a slip , a papercutting out of her purse and shows to her mother.
The heading in bold and curves stated of Norton Danvers’ car accident causing the death of two age olds and severe injury to the nine year old girl , assumed to be the daughter of Norton Steel. Reading the cutting Samantha’s etes widened , her face went scarlet and like fumes get descended her thoughts started clearing up with the course of time.
“This , where did you find it ?”
“It was the news bulletin in a local newspaper , however what astonishes me is how only did this news never scrapped off the legal desks , and even if it didn’t , why don’t we know about it?”
Coming back to the other side again the two todllers as they seemed the day , were quite up on fun with each other . Balthazar shows her the sections and walks her through the corrider , they mostly did a quick run and then dash on the corrider like small kids. He also gave her the tour of the basketball court where he tried to make a lay up but couldn’t even make it into the net , even by a dunk , because no kidding but he was no good at it. However Sophia was able to make it quite beautifully into the basket . Balthazar slave to his own habits breathes out and says
“I just made it you know , must be a ball problem “, and as he turned around to walk away , Sophia , agile as an Amazon rushes to the pole and gives it a perfect shot.
“Yeah you are right , there’s something wrong with the ball, it’s too spherical”and she bursts into laughter with her sarcasm.
Moving on Balthazar introduces her to the most hateful ‘Mrs Simmons’
“I see you have got a friend Mr. Steel . Does she too have the same illness as yours ?”
“Ahh, well lets call it a work in progress” answered Sophia as she walked away by her sides with a wink to Balthazar, leaving Miss Simmons in a mouthfull of grudge.
Finally the day ends Balthazar the gentlemen rather than escorting the lady is escorted by the lady to his house , because apparently his legs had a lifetime of basketball court. However anyhow he makes it to the house where the two of them walk up the aisle to the door.
“So I guess thisis me. ” ,said Balthazar
“Yeah well , I had a great day , I must say , you are seriously far more interesting than what it looks”
“Yeah well I call myself anti-boring “, says Balthazar stamping his feet on the ground in the moment , however feels immense pain in the next one.
“Wish to see you soon .. ” and with the departing words as Balthazar was to say the same she kissed him on his cheeks and with a waive she wishes a bye , however leaving Balthazar in an unknown dimension of mesmerizing moment.
Finally the master of the mansion finds the way to the doors handle and stumbles in.
With the sun all red yet about to be more Tiffany crashes to Balthazar’s attention
“Balthazar I have a task for you”
“Well apparently some yound girl called asking for you ”
Assuming the greatest probability to be true he turns all tomato and jumps up
“Who , what , when , why…”
“She said she wanted offer you something ”
“I don’t know , can’t remember it clearly… ”
Understanding her reference , he asked
“What task?? Sister dearest”
“Well there is this church I go to every friday , however I have some errands to this moment , so I want you to have my place for one day ”
“You know I don’t do this stuff right?”
“It’s just a candle ”
“Okk well thank you”, and she started walking away.
“Hey , what about the call .. ?”
” Oh yes”, she say without turning “it was some girl from a call center offerinf discount coupons , if you wish , its on the redial” , and walks away , with her face all lit up by the thought of soiled expectations of the other one , and that was qite real.
However motto or promise , a steel never bends , he picked himself up the trauma and went for the church. With nothing much to do around. He did the usual one , however not very well. The church was mostly empty which was quite contrary to the day . He was stumbling around untill he saw this cabinet . It was more like a box , a confession box . He always read about it , of existence of god on the othr side. Out of curiosity , he took it quite literally and went the other side finding almighty. Getting into the box he sat down , however to his nightmare the door closed and he got locked. Trying to escape , he tried everything but suddenly the grills got shadowed and the darkness covered with an innocent face . Before Balthazar would say anything, she said
“Good evening father , I guess you weren’t expecting me today” ,as she said the voice rung a bell in his ears. It was Sophia. Maybe the virtue of the moment , maybe the intense gravity of the moment , was something that possessed him to settle down and blend in.
“Well I won’t go one ranting all boring stuff like always , I have something good this time. Its this boy I met. His name is Balthazar. ” And smile creaked upon the old devil’s face wearing the gown of chapel.
“He is different. Doesn’t believe in god though . But he is something familiar , something that seems so new , yet feels very native , someone more like a soul wrencher.”, and the devil goes nuts , however misses the grammar of the last line.
“Today I took him to the grave , thought I would tell him , but I failed to do it . Just the thought of sharing the pain might give us the luxury of relief , but what it takes away from us is the soleness of the very pain that’s ours and only ours. I couldn’t bear the load of the pain , and so I am here to find peace , ‘again’ , so I am gonna start as I always do .Forgive me father for I have sinned , for the mistakes that were no mistakes if I say so , but the misconception of the fate , and the blunders in my soul. The dark night I still remember. I was nine , and it was my birthday. My Granny and I had a fight , andso Granna was sad about it . He took us to the beach , he brought me a cake , with the little pink candles. He bought me heart shaped chocolate. But I cared for none. Then when we were moving back , my anger went in furies. Granny lost patience and shouted over . To the fury I lost my even better half and jumped over her , however ended up shaking the wheels. We were on a bridge. The car lost its balance and , my grandparents their lives . I still live the day every time I see their graves. Some would say I am not over it . But how can a sinner be over his sins. What if I don’t want to be over it. What if I wish to embrace their memories , closest I can to my aching heart , and never let them go” , maybe the moment was too naive , but even the metal has its limitations. Their wasn’t one soul burning in guilt to seek redemption , there were two of them . Without saying a word the sinister went away , however the devil wasn’t able to find enough will or enough reasons to leave the grief their.However the door opened and the dazzled man in white asked the question in the name of christ
“What are you doing here my child ?”
“Doesn’t that requires you on the other side?”
“Well it’s forgiveness for not what I have done father , but for what I am about to do…….”
………………………To be continued………………