The Hushed Entities

Dipti Kulkarni

As a kid, I lived in a friendly neighborhood
All gaits, barks, and meows familiar.
Parents never let me enter a particular house though,
Talked about it in hushes and fear

I walked past it every day.
An unkempt front yard, an abandoned dog house,
Creaking, broken windows with the door slightly ajar
My thoughts could not drowse.

My mom said she'll let me explore it
When I was a strong, responsible grown-up.
I believed I already was.
Shook my fears and marched there, it was time to woman up.

A pungent smell welcomed me,
With whimpers and forlorn howls.
As if the muted were being abused
I saw a silhouette of poachers prowl.

The darkness continued to swallow me whole
Till I saw a flicker sway
A shriek escaped my mouth as I saw beheaded heads of colour
With expressions denoting the injustice faced and the infinite years of dismay

Sprinting away I almost entered a door,
Until I saw a hand protruding, holding a blood-red rose.
The thorns pricked it while it waited for true love
Till it's heart completely crumbled and time completely froze.

A group of huge, burly men were dragging a bruised girl with torn clothes towards me.
They yanked the door open, crushing the flower.
Desperately I tried to grab on to the wide-eyed, helpless girl till the door thudded shut
With growls of male laughter and squeals of help that slowly did cower.

Frantically looking for an exit,
I almost stepped inside a deep well.
Frustrated, blood-curdling wails echoed as people trampled on each other
Trying to climb over, but infinitely fell.

Staggering back I bumped into a slumped figure,
With sharp metal rods protruding it's back and a smile that made me go still.
Walking around with blood and tears marking its path.
I tried to help, but it whispered, the human mind is fragile.

Finally finding the exit I dashed to my mom's embrace
Narrated everything that happened to her
While she caressed and kissed my face.

I told her I'd never want to experience that again
But she simply stared at me in silence
While I grew up to become a grown-up
In this era of selfish violence.

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