Mother, what is my fear?

By Arvind Chatterjee

The night, I woke up with a start and ran to the kitchen window to lick the misty glass. There was not enough saliva left to swallow, just two huge trunks of tree, down my throat. Mother, standing by the main door. It's not closed. It never was. Her back was on me. Though, she had always known where to look. The dinning room was chilled as the refrigerator used to be once. The boneless meats were rattled. Not me. Not her. 
The unusual midnight gale, made her look like the dove that abhorred peace. As I sat on the torn velvety green sofa, a rodent jumped onto my feet. I shuddered silently. 
'Mother, what is my fear?' she struck the matchstick on the box; there's a glow, a crackle, there's smoke. Mother turned to her left and swiftly unfastened the window. 'Air' she murmured. She started pacing between two blue walls, puffing on the half lit cigarette. Stretching her hair with slender fingers, her eyes are dry but widened. White smoke is oozing out from the innumerable holes on her white night gown. 
I could taste sleeplessness on my tongue and salt in my eyes. The ceiling fan crawled down the floor and started dragging itself towards the door. The deafening screeches blinded me for a moment. I rubbed my eyes hard, as if, to cover my ears. 
The photograph on the shelf started to fade. The yellow faces were gone first. Then, the bodies?
I can't see her anymore. I looked for the cigarette butt on the floor, maybe she'd eaten that too. With soft steps, I walked back to the kitchen window and started licking the misty glass. 


  • Very evocative and surreal prose. The style is quite striking and the imagery vivid.

    Kashif Ilyas
  • This is creepy. :-O Amazing narrative skills!

  • This gave me goosebumps


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