Kullat Nunu

At first I thought a rat did it.

I found out one morning that my passport, which I carefully kept in one of my bedroom drawers, was damp. I suspected some rat must have found its way inside and pissed on my passport. Gross. Against my better judgment, however, I took a sniff of the slightly moist passport, well aware that leptospirosis is often transmitted through rat urine. I’ve read in the news of a leptospirosis outbreak after a terrible flood. The survivors likely caught the disease after wading in floodwaters contaminated with rat urine. Not sure if you can acquire leptospirosis through inhalation though but leptospirosis or no, sniffing the still damp passport, I admit, was disgusting. I did it anyway to confirm my suspicion.

The passport smelled fishy. Like a day at the beach long past. Or more precisely, like some seaweed or seahorse you discover in the pocket of your swim shorts after a day at the beach. Odd.

******

“Once in a few years, a watery planet orbiting around Kullat Nunu would overlap with ours,” my grandma once told me while we were having a dinner of spaghetti bolognese one evening. She spoke as if she was reciting some fact, like the shape of the Earth is an oblate spheroid. Or that a molecule of water has two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen.

“And how, exactly, does that happen?”

“Oh, I don’t know.” She grabbed a table napkin and smeared one of its edges with a drop of tomato sauce. “Suppose this is our world…” She, then, marked the opposite edge. “…and this is that world. A fold in the space-time occurs thus bringing both worlds together,” she explained, folding the napkin in half and bringing both edges together.

I looked at her and smiled. I mean, how would you react to a statement like that? My grandma is well advanced in years and that strange rambling was probably brought about by dementia or somesuch.

******

I dreamed of a song. It was a beautiful song yet alien. The words, incoherent. It was as if it was both there and not there at the same time. As the song went on, it became more sibilant until I was jolted out of sleep by the sound of water trickling from inside my room. I got out of bed and realized that a puddle was forming on the floor. With haste, I turned the lights on and, to my bewilderment, saw that water was pouring out from one of my drawers. I pulled the drawer open and as I did so, there was a massive gush of cold, dark, briny water. My room was completely submerged in a matter of seconds.

Panic rising, I swam towards the door and tried to yank it open but it wouldn’t budge under the weight of all that water. I grabbed a chair and attempted to break the glass windows but it wasn’t of any use either.

This couldn’t possibly be happening, I thought. This couldn’t possibly be happening! I tried to convince myself that it was a dream. That I would soon wake up, sweating yet safe in my bed. But I was almost out of breath and in desperation, I searched for any way out.

Then, I heard the song once again. That otherworldly song. And this time, for some reasons, I understood. It spoke of a distant world in blue, a world all enveloped in water. It spoke of schools of bioluminescent creatures, both great and small, too strange and splendid for me to imagine. It spoke of civilizations rising and falling in the murky depths.

I closed my eyes as I remained floating, my lungs filling with water, and my mind filling with that siren song…

Advertisements

Watermelon

“Today’s a perfect day for a watermelon,” she thought as she fished for a slice from the cellophane packaging and broke off a chunk. She took a bite, red liquid dripping on her chin, and stared at the remaining piece in her hand. “If I were a watermelon, I’d be round. Red inside. And juicy.”

Write one leaf about ghosts

He has always seen himself as a wraith. Or something diaphanous, like a curtain or a cobweb that brushes past people’s faces and no one ever wonders what it is. He would stand at the crossroads and cry out but no one would heed him. “Did you hear that?” “It was probably just the wind,” they would say.

(via writeoneleaf)

White

Picture yourself inside a white room. A medium-sized room, with stark white walls, a stark white floor and a stark white ceiling. On the ceiling are a couple of fluorescent lamps brilliant enough to illuminate the entire room with stark white light. Apart from being stark white, the room itself is stark — no windows, no furniture, not even a door. (And you wonder how you got to the room in the first place. Let’s just say you suddenly found yourself inside that room. Perhaps you apparated or teleported yourself there. But it does not matter. What matters is that you are inside the room).

At first, you look around the room but there isn’t anything of interest to you. It is even difficult to delineate the floor from the walls, the walls from the ceiling. And so your eyes wander, like a tiny bird under a stark white sky searching for refuge. And for some reasons, you feel just like that bird — vulnerable.

So you walk around the room, locate a corner and sit there with your back against the wall. You feel drowsy and eventually, you doze off. When you awake, you check your watch but you realize you haven’t got any. You feel like you’ve slept for hours but then it could have been only a few minutes. It could have been days too, or months, or years! You suddenly recall a story about a man who slept for a long long time after drinking some draught. What was his name? Ah, Rip Van Winkle! You remember reading that story when you were ten. You lick your lips expecting some aftertaste of draught. You feel a little thirsty but you can manage without water for now.

You stand up and look around the room. Nothing’s changed. The floor, the walls, the ceiling and the light are as stark and as white as before. You hear a noise, a low incessant murmur like the whir of an air conditioning system or late night TV static. You cringe at the thought that even the noise in the background is white.

You search the room for an exit. You scour every stark inch of it but you could not find any hidden door. You call for help. No one answers. You call again. Still no answer, just the ominous white noise. You begin to panic. Your heart beats faster. Beads of perspiration trace your temples. You shout. You scream. But the dry, hollow sound that came from your mouth dissipates into the walls.

You try to hurl yourself against the wall hoping that it would give way but the wall stands firm. You fall. After a while, you stand and you ram and kick and claw and in a final fit of desperation, you succeed in punching a hole in the wall. Funny, you thought, it was rock-solid a while ago. You tear the wall down with your hands and emerge like a chick from an egg.

You look around and find yourself in a room. A medium-sized room, with stark white walls, a stark white floor and a stark white ceiling. On the ceiling are a couple of fluorescent lamps brilliant enough to illuminate the entire room with stark white light. Apart from being stark white, the room itself is stark — no windows, no furniture, not even a door.