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Cain

Shweta Singh

As I leaf through my redolent memories; the one which twitches and lingers on inner eyelids with flashes of jiffs, a feeling I can't put my fingers on, perhaps a paroxysm of inveigling fear or a desolate emotion; I found them distinct yet blurry. I remember those muddy galoshes, the weeping willow in backyard, it's dappled light through the white curtains, those wooden louvere wardrobe and he-clad in flannel and tweeds.
He didn't have any name. I called him Cain.
Was it then? When I found a book in that wardrobe one rainy night, light-headed tottered a few wobbly steps to bed and completely left it-open ajar; or was it when I first stepped inside the room which was brimmed with a grim dampness; even the light seemed hesitant through the shutters.
My childhood was exuberant, full of colours and strait-laced; younger women coed me and brought me chocolates, neglected grannies snickered and disparaged me for being a girl-child, my own meticulous father, a rodomontade- owned a few lands in countryside , a luddite but managed a well-known restaurant in the city, longed for a male-child and was always disappointed in me. My mother; if I said to describe her it would be 'a bel ange', a fey grace, her opalescent limbs gleamed in sun and her hairs cascaded in long curls; wanted to be an actress but ended up in school, teaching young children. She was always keen on me. I was the only child.
Later in my late-adolescent days, we rented an independent-house in suburb-Gurgaon. And I was gifted that room.
The very-first night was long, suffocating, a disparate silence and a kind of eldritch air flowing in moderation. I laid seminude in my white cotton-nightshirt beneath a grey bed-cover and if I could run away, I would have but a sudden outburst of fear excruciated me and I found myself clenching my hands and shutting my eyes in vain attempt of falling asleep. I felt stares inquisitive of my existence, my flesh, my limbs. It's origin was the wardrobe I could sense it and the air betwixt us was incarcerating and beguiling. The thing imbibed on me.
I didn't evoke any memory of how I fell into a deep slumber but the next thing I knew I stumbled out of bed and ran outside of the room; enjoyed a pleasurable freedom.
I spent my days in my mother's room, neglected any form of contact with that room or that thing. I spent my days in exhilarance. Oh! Gentle Lord! If I could have been more wary, if I could have just slipped into my mother's embrace, if I could not have just touched the wardrobe, fetched the book or left it open that one obnoxious night; a delirision of pseudo- liberation, no matter how much I lamented- poignant to a degree of no return- I could not have escaped. A limbo.
I hummed. I danced while trying my utmost to fit into my pyjamas, a wiggling baboon; and lounged in bed to read the book; then I fell asleep.
I find it more difficult to describe what was I feeling and experiencing, I woke up to someone twisting and shifting behind me and gleaned a sense of realisation from the weight of pressure behind my back, a few weary puffs and a drilling nonchalant stare that it was in the proximity of a breath away; and I found myself imbibing on a petrified nerve like a deer crumbling under a potentate lion. I faced the white seamless-wall in dread, did nothing and stayed pinned in that exact position for more than a hour. Reluctantly I tried to sneak some peeks but gave in numbness. I couldn't mutter a single word, not perform any movement; even a slight change in my breath was more nerve-wracking, it could have noticed the stiffness in my body but I don't know.
Somehow I managed to attune some stealthy movements slightly turning in to take a look, masking my vigil and slowing opening my eyes only to see a pair of eyes staring right into mine. I saw a man silhouette, an short-aquiline nose, a bedraggled flannel shirt and a rugged brown tweed; his frame was towering at me like a titled-tower and he sat leg-crossed like a buddha.
I was bewitched and distressed.
I found myself unable to move my eyes from it.
I asked his name and he didn't have any name. I called him Cain.
Cain could be a epitome of seraph, he sprawled and growled like a kid. His hand often brushed my downy limbs, lingered more on my face tracing every part of my flesh and his eyes never left mine. I was madly and frantically engrossed with him.
I stayed with him in the room for days, stepped out a bit for fetching food and disregarded any perturbed gazes from my parents.
The room became my prison.
"Cain Cain Cain Cain"
I relished the nibbling sensation on my shin, on my groin and his sibilant sound on my neck with paroxysm of pleasure which I relived again and again in our daily fornication. He was only visible to me.
Then one gruesome morning Cain was no longer visible to me and all I could see my mother stifling her pained-voice and rocking me in a embrace, sobbing and mumbling these words
"All is right now I brought an exorcist"


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