Friday, February 5, 2010

Unforeseen Chronicles of a Smoker

Selenium barged into the room, and for a moment regretted going in there. A fat guy lay on the bed face up with a cigarette between his fingers and smoke coming out from his nose in the already smoke filled room. "Pump? Are you alive?"
"What is the matter?" replied Pump as he placed the cigarette on his lips.
"We have a presentation to give the day after. My bad luck is on the work and you're
in my group."
"Get to the point."
"Choose your part of the presentation."
"Decide it for me."
"Don't come complaining to me later if I choose it for you."
"I won't if you make it an easy one."

Selenium gave a shriek. DG had grabbed his shoulders from behind completely surprising him. "Damn, you scared the crap out of me man"
"And that's why I love you man..." was what DG said
Selenium was naturally grossed out by this reply, but then he noticed DG's blood shot eyes. "You smoked joints again today? How many?"
"Man, just two"
"The God of Cigarettes may one day get angry at you for two timing with weed you know."
"Who is the God of Cigarettes?"
"Who knows. We have 33 million Gods and Goddesses. There has to be one for cigarettes."
"You know what we call him?"
"No. But because we don't know His name, so we can call Him anything we like."
"Like?"
"Smokey. Sounds like an apt name."
"Why is it an apt name?"
"Will you guys shut the hell up." Pump interrupted irritated.
"And just how many joints did you take today?" asked Selenium to Pump
"Just four."
"And you won't believe what this sorry excuse of a human did today?" said DG
"Like what?" asked Selenium
"You know we take the tobacco out from the cigarettes and fill them with weed instead."
"What about it?"
"This guy took all the waste tobacco and rolled himself some cigarettes with the paper from the copy."
"Wha..."
"Told you he is a sorry excuse for a human. Doing this to a class notes copy. Can't forgive him."
"Shut up you two." said Pump with more irritation than before.
"Meaning he must have smoked more than 6 cigarettes by now?"
"14 actually. This was the total number of cigarettes"
"The God of Cigarettes may just as well call him to hell to smoke with him."
"You mean Smokey?"
"Ya, but... Pump. I'll come back tomorrow. So be in your senses... *cough cough* damn, I'm at my limit now." Selenium rushed out of the room.

DG lay beside Pump. "You know Pump, you may die before me."
"That'd be great. At least I won't have to come to your boring Funeral."
"Meaning you would if I die before you?"
"Shut up and go to sleep" said pump with a highly irritated tone.
"..."

Pump's head was spinning in frenzy and the words that Selenium said flashed across his eyes like disco lights.

                                          Gods of Cigarettes?
                                                        Angry?
                                                                      Punishment?
                            Death?

His head kept spinning and spinning. He finally began to feel that smoke was filling
up his room. Who cared about Gods and Goddesses. He just enjoyed the Euphoria and
intoxication of the smoke of cigarettes and weed. The smoke was now too dense... or
was he falling asleep? Either way, he couldn't see anything. There was a booming
sound. Then there was a banging sound. The volume of the banging sound kept increasing by the minute. Finally Pump woke up shouting "WHO THE HELL IS IT??!?!?"

X-------------------X-----------------------X

An old and fragile voice greeted him. "Are you finally Awake?" Pump was startled by a
voice that sounded like it came from an old woman. He couldn't think of any prankster
in the whole hostel who could pull off such an imitation perfectly. He turned his
face left to face the source of his astonishment. Even more astonishment awaited him.
In front of him was really an old lady, clad in a long black robe that covered her
head. Due to this he couldn't see her face properly. All he could make out was the
wrinkled chin and white hairs. There was a small knife kept on her lap... to this Pump
thought - 'Cutting fruits for grand-kids???'

CRASH!

"What the..." Pump's attention now turned to the background and his surroundings. The
sky was a surreal shade of purple studded with bright stars and the horizon not
visible due to a light mist. He was sitting on a glass floor... 'No... it's not a
floor...' was what Pump noticed. He was on something that looked like a glass tree
with a tree house... only with no leaves.
             
BANG!

Pump's attention again turned to the blood curdling banging and crashing sound. His
eyes popped out and his blood didn't just curdle... it froze completely.
"Are they dinosaurs?!?!" he exclaimed in a weak voice. His expression showed fear as
he saw the beast that really resembled dinosaurs, and there were a dozen of them
around. The old woman finally replied "Don't worry, they won't make it till here. The
barrier will burn them."
"Barrier?" Pump was puzzled. However, his face still showed an expression of fear.

Suddenly smoke and steam hissed out from the cracks of the ground. The purple horizon
turned to shades of orange and red, the atmosphere was more misty than it was before.
An inferno of fire reaped out of the ground. The fire was fierce and it's temperature
hit Pump. He in impulse got up to run but a frail voice stopped him. "Don't go. If you
go down, you'll burn to crystals and if you go up, you'll freeze into a crystal." Pump
stopped instantly. 'Well, it makes sense that one may freeze into a Ice crystal, but
burn into crystal???' This time he was more puzzled than afraid. He turned around and
he saw the dinosaurs turn to glass like crystals and crumble to the ground. "I don't
believe it!" was all he could say. His expression was now that of complete awe, yet
his feet trembled. He was maybe too overwhelmed by the emotion of fear and amazement
hitting him together. As the giant beasts crumbled, Pump turned and sat down in front
of the woman.

"Old Lady. Where the heck am I?"
"We should be on the tree of atonement."
"Atonement? What am I atoning for?"
"It's just a name. This tree has no real purpose."
"Hold it! You mean I'm on some tree right now???"
"Yes. Does it not look like a tree to you?"
"Uh..." Pump looked up at the translucent branches. "Tree is made of wood right...
What the hell." Pump shook his head. "That's not what I want to know, tell me what place is this. I was in my room a few moments ago and now I'm here in this... " he paused "... this hell!" he said as he stretched his hands towards the beasts burning in the inferno. "I do not know where you come from son, but I also don't know what place is this, how does it look like or even who or what lives here. You see, I'm blind and my other senses have become very weak." she coughed.
"Huh? Then how did you get up here?"
"A girl brought me here. She said, she'll make me wear a robe, give me a knife and put me in this safe place."
"Anything else that she said?"
"That I've been put here on a purpose. To help lost people like you escape."
"Escape?" Pump's jaw dropped at this statement "This means I'm stuck somewhere and from this somewhere I have to get out."

The fire died down and the sky was slowly turning into it's shade of purple again. The mist cleared a bit but not completely.
"You don't have much time son. Now leave while the barrier is still inactive. Follow the purple sunset from here. You will arrive at a forest that you must cross." She coughed again and then continued "While crossing the forest you will come across a small hut adjoining a lake. You should cross the lake to reach the gates that will allow you to return to your realm."
"But old lady, how do I cross the lake... no... first how do I go from here?"
"Sorry son. I've told you all that I know. You are on your own from this point on. If  you just follow the purple sunset then you should arrive at your destination."
"What the..." Pump looked at the old lady. He was still having a hard time thinking.
'Am I dreaming?' he thought and then shook his head to look at the sky. This sight, the smell of burning ash and this cool weather... no... this felt too real to be a dream.
"Now go son. If you waste your time and run out of it, then you may never be able to leave this place."
"Wha..." Pump's dropped jaw dropped even lower and instantly he got up. He looked around and saw a glass ladder that seem to lead down. He went upto it and put one foot. 'I think it won't break' and then he continued to descend down the ladder. Once he got down, he looked around. 'And this place was burning a few minutes ago??' he pondered as he looked around. He was standing midst a practically dry and flat desert with occasional crystal bushes and... 'Crystal cactus??' he wondered as he looked towards a cactus shaped crystal. 'Just where am I???' he asked himself again and then finally started walking towards the purple sunset.

So his journey to the end of this desert had started. He kept walking without rest. At one point he got tired. He thought he'd sit for a moment but then the picture of the dinosaurs and the fiery inferno flashed across him and he immediately started walking briskly. He was more afraid of the beast than falling dead of exertion. A long time had passed since he had left the Tree of... 'Huh? What the...' he slapped his forehead. 'I even forgot the name of that damned tree.' But something more serious was on his mind. 'Just how long has it been?' and then immediately something even more strange struck him 'Will this purple sunset ever set?' he thought as he looked at the perfect circular sun hanging down from the sky in front of him. He kept walking and walking. 'Was the Old Woman reliable. Or was she having fun out of me...', and just when he was about to loose hope of ever finding a Jungle, he saw a line of trees up ahead of him. He felt relieved. 'No, the Old woman wasn't lying.' and he walked on. But by now he had very well lost track of time.

As he started crossing the jungle, the ground became uneven and difficult to just walk over. He had to jump and run sometimes. His eyes were having a hard time as the jungle didn't look green. It was dark blue and black. Rather, everything was blue, black and purple. 'Is it because of the color of the sunlight?' He continued walking and after some time he became really tired. He sat under a tree. 'Dinosaurs or no dinosaurs, I've done enough workout this time... Mom would be very happy to see me loose some weight.' He was breathing heavily but soon he fell asleep. After some time, he woke up with a startle 'Hospital? What was I doing at a hospital...' he pondered over the dream he had. A dream about him being in a hospital and needles stuck throughout his body. The very thought of it gave him chills and made him uncomfortable. 'Strange... it was a dream in the normal world. So should I be happy?' But something else hit his head like a hammer. 'Damn! How long was I asleep?!' he got up and his blood froze instantly. Towards him, from a far off distance, where three dogs running and drooling. The dogs were nothing like what he had seen or heard of before. Their eyes glimmered. One had glowing green eyes, the other had shining orange and the third had sparkling blue eyes. Despite his frozen blood, Pump made a run for his life. The three dogs too chased him ferociously. He ran with all his might, and turned his head periodically to see how far away was he from them. Strangely enough, the dogs covered the distance slowly. It was natural. Any dog can outrun a person as fat and sluggish as Pump. But he was becoming more and more afraid because as the dogs covered the distance between them, they became larger and larger in size.

Pump didn't run for a very long time. A hut suddenly appeared before him. He didn't stop running and barged into the hut and immediately closed the door shut behind him.
"Whoa!!!" a middle aged speckled man with a long white beard and long white hairs, wearing a Sadhu type dress exclaimed.
"HELP ME! HELP ME! THERE ARE MAD DOGS AFTER ME!!"
"Calm down lad. The dogs you talk of won't harm you here. If you don't believe me you can look out of the window." Pump who was still panting heavily slowly turned his body and looked out of the window that was to the right of the door. "Wha..." Pump's jaw dropped to the floor yet again. The three dogs were sitting, still drooling looking through the window with extreme intent. But Pump's jaw didn't drop because of this. His jaw dropped because he was looking at three dogs that were the size of a Small van.
"Aye lad. Come here now."
Pump turned around. The white bearded man was sitting on a corner with a laptop. Pump walked up to him. "What is it?"
"What is your name?"
Pump told his full name. The man typed something and then looked deeply at the screen.
"Hmm... so you're basically lost."
"Yes." Pump felt a lot like what he felt when talking to the old lady.
"Here, stretch your right arm to me."
Pump complied. The old man stamped his right wrist with two circles.
"Here, now the dogs won't chase you."
"Eh? How come?"
"You were lost up till now. The dogs there serve to protect this area."
"Huh?"
"Ah! Forget it. Now you must retur..."

"HIYA OLD MAN!!!" came a super cheerful voice as the door barged open. Pump noticed a long... really long line of people. 'Where did they come from? They weren't here before...'
"Ah! you two. It took you quiet a while to get them eh? I was getting bored here."
'Two?' Pump looked back at the door. Indeed outside was another cheerful girl in the same dress as the one that came into the room. 'No. Wait. They are the same girl?!?!' Pump's eyes popped out. The two girls were strikingly similar. Pump looked to and fro as the first girl talked to the bearded man. He couldn't find any difference between them save their expression. The girls were exceptionally beautiful and had well toned figures. They were wearing some Chinese-Japanese dress. 'They don't look Chinese to me... more like French.' thought Pump. But his train of thoughts was derailed almost immediately as a brute force grabbed him by the collar and started dragging him outside. It was the first girl.
"You don't have time to be lazing about you know" came a commanding voice.
"Hhe?"
"And Enma... don't forget what I told you. OK?" spoke the old man.
"Aye Aye" instantly replied the first girl.
Pump was (mercilessly) dragged out of the house. The expression of the other girl changed. Her eyebrows were raised and had a look of concern. "Nee-Chan, we could have just asked him to come with us. I'm sure he would have followed..." The three ferocious dogs were nowhere to be seen. "Ai. We'll talk on the boat. And don't worry about him. We'll just drop him at a place before the next batch gets here."
"O... Ok." was all the other girl could say. 'Isn't she adorable...' was what Pump began to think when the other snapped in.
"Hey fatso! No comparing me with my sister OK. I know she's adorable, but you're yet to taste me." Pump who was still being dragged looked up. There was a vicious smile that had evil written around it looked down on him. Something struck him. Did she look familiar. '... like a witch? Where have I seen a witch before?' and then he suddenly remembered the old lady saying that a girl had brought her here.
"Yes, that girl was me." the first girl said. Pump felt a knot tie up his stomach.
'How did she...'
The first girl let go of his collar but didn't turn back. Pump flopped to the ground like a sack of rice. "How did I know what you were thinking? Because in this realm, thoughts don't exist... and neither does speech. However, words and language do. So, in your terms, when you think, you are just conveying a string of words and sentences from your inner self that anyone around you can read or in your terms "hear". We are here right now to take you back to your realm. So, until you get there..." the first girl turned towards Pump who had stood up and was now brushing his jeans "... don't dare to look down upon me or think of bad things about my sister." said the first girl as she gave a smile that froze Pump completely. 'Never before have I seen such a scary expression.'
"And never you will..." the first girl turned her face around and started walking again.
"Errmm... excuse me." The other girl looked at Pump with a lot of concern "Let us go now. You really don't have much time." The girl never opened her lips... she just looked at him. This was when Pump realized that he never saw the old woman's chin move up or down when she talked.
"Ya let's go." said Pump. He said it because he was a human and not used to this realm.

The trio then walked up to the lake's coast. There was a huge ship there.
"Is that the Titanic?" Pump asked in awe.
Pat came the reply "This boat has no name."
'Which one said it?'
"Who cares who said what?"
"Ah... ya... right"
They climbed the stairs to get up the boat. The boat was indeed huge. They walked up to what Pump would recognize as the ship's control room on the top. One among the two pulled a lever and the boat's engines fired up. 'Where is the rest of the crew?' Pump wondered.
"We are the only ones who run the boat. There is no one else"
Pump wasn't getting used to this. 'Better talk than think'
"That's right. Just talk and don't think"
The boat now steered and sailed towards the setting sun.
"Does the sun ever set here?" asked Pump.
"No. This is the land of the eternal sunset."
"Any idea how could I have gotten here?"
"No. But you could go back because you had intentions to come here."
"Heh? How did I intend to come here."
"When you leave this place, you might know. After all it's you who knows how you live your life."
There was a few seconds of silence.
"Who were those people outside the hut?"
"People who need permission to stay in this realm. Otherwise hazards like those three wolves would come and destroy you."
"They were wolves?"
"You couldn't tell?"
"I thought they were dogs."
"If they heard this, they'd come and kill you even if you had permission."
"Ah... well..."
There was silence again. Pump noticed that neither of the two looked at him. Both looked out of the window. One had her hand on the steering and the other stood in front of a different panel of controls. Pump decided to gaze out of the window too. He stood up and started looking out of the window. The Purple color didn't seem to change and the lake looked like some modern painting. But soon the scenery outside started changing color a bit. Things began to turn blue. Initially it was dark blue and now it turned to lighter shades of blue. Pump looked at the sky. 'So finally the sun is rising now... rise??... Hold it...'
"Weren't we leaving the land of eternal sunset? Why is the sun rising now. It should set right?"
"No... the sun is rising because we are on our way to the land of eternal sunrise." the girl on the controls replied.
"Wha..."
"Sis here means that the sun doesn't rise or set because of the time of the day. It doesn't happen here because the time dimension doesn't work here. So, the sun rises or sets by the location." said the other girl on the steering.
"..." Pump was having a hard time finding where his lower jaw dropped off too.
"And we're gonna reach the coast of afternoon soon. See that... at the distance you can see the coast."
Pump got up to see. "Indeed there is a coast... but why were so many people there?"
"They are waiting for us to take them to the land of eternal sunset. Which reminds me..." one of the girls turned around. She had to be the first one as she had a scary smile on her face. Pump got the chills. "... we don't take people for free. We demand proper payment for this journey." she narrowed her eyes on Pump. "What will you pay us?" Instinctively Pump reached for his pocket. But it was empty. "You don't have money... but don't worry. We don't necessarily need money as a payment. We can take other things." continued the girl as she came close to Pump. Maybe a little too close.
Pump was definitely scared now. "L... Like?"
"Like your flesh. In this realm, the flesh tastes better than the soul." and the girl went on to lick Pump's cheeks. He could feel her warm breath on his skin. He was now so freaked out that he pushed her away but fell down as he lost his own balance. "Isn't he cute..." came a similar voice but definitely from somewhere else. The other girl now walked towards him with a smile like a young girl's who was given her favorite doll as a gift. "... acting all shy and scared. He's turning me on."
"OOOHHHH! Now it's done. We'll now definitely have your flesh!" said the other girl in a clear excited voice as she started to go on top of him.

"But why..."

Pump felt something suck him down. His head spun like a cooler fan and he felt he would throw out any moment. He closed his eyes, but soon the spinning stopped and what started felt like a never ending fall. Pump opened his eyes and screamed.

'What?'

In front of him was a nurse trying to push him down. "Sir Please calm down, relax and lie down." Pump suddenly realized... 'I'm in a Hospital?' He felt weak and couldn't resist the nurse's force. He lay flat on the bed now. "That's it sir. Please stay like this while I call the doctor." She immediately rushed out. Pump looked around. There were needles stuck on both his arms and he had a oxygen mask over his face.

'The nurse was good looking. I wonder when will she push me down again?' was all he thought after that.

--------------X-----------------X-------------------

Pump was sitting on the bench in front of the canteen.
"Feeling better dude?" asked Selenium. He was just passing by.
"Ya kinda."
Selenium sat by his side. "So tell me what did you dream about?"
Pump looked at him with some amazement. "How can you say I had a dream?"
"Well, to stay asleep for full 4 days and not dream is simply boring. I'm sure your brain must have dreamt something out of boredom."
"Well, if you care to call that a dream."
"Go on. I'm all too curious to know."
Pump then started his story about the old woman and narrated his tale up to the two twin girls who were going to eat him (or something like that). "Not worth believing. I tell you, I'm happy that it wasn't all too real."
"Are you sure it wasn't real?"
"What?"
"You said in your story that all felt too damn real to be a dream. And then the old man with the laptop, the three wolves, the twin girls, and both are named "Enma and Ai"... damn it's the same name as the anime."
"You mean to say I was in one of your Japanese nonsense?"
"No... maybe you didn't notice. You know who is Chitragupt?"
"Eh? Isn't he the guy who speaks out the karma of all the dead people from a book, so that Yamaraj (God of Death) may decide whether to send him to heaven or hell?"
"Ya... him. That old man with the white beard must have been him."
"Jeez... you..."
"Wait. Let me finish..."
"... Ok."
"And then you said three wolves and the twin girls who steer a huge boat. In Greek mythology, after a person dies, one goes to the underworld which can only be reached by crossing a huge river. There is a boatman who'll give you ride to cross the river, if you can pay him. And guess what? The gates of the underworld is guarded by three dogs."
Pump looked at Selenium with some amazement. "You mean to say that all this time I had been..."
"... yes. I'm afraid you paid a visit to the underworld, or in other words... the realm of death. Now I remember. Mom told me that whenever a person dies two death gods or death messengers come to take the dying person's soul. The fact that the boat was run by some twins seems to fit the description. And then it also fits that Anime... Girl from Hell."
"Selenium..." Pump said putting his hand on his forehead.
"What?"
"Listen. I want to think it was all a dream. And then how do you explain the fact that I had some time to get back here before I was stranded there forever. No... How did I get there in the first place? Can you give me a logic for that? You can't. And hence it was all a dream."
Selenium went into deep thought. After a couple of minutes "Do you know the reason why you went to the hospital?"
"Ya... something like lack of oxygen or something."
"When one's body lacks oxygen, he is nearer to death. You were very near to death. But you fell unconscious and accidentally fell or got lost into the underworld. There you were able to come back because the gates remained open for you but closed to the rest of the world."
"I'm loosing you."
"Well, you know that the girls brought you to some gate to come back to this realm?"
"Yes... something like that did happen..."
"That gate remained open because it was waiting for your body to come here. No... I should say the gates to underworld start opening when you indulge in a habit that shortens your life."
"What habit shortens my life??"
"Smoking."
Pump was aghast. "You mean, because I smoke... I was able to come back to this world. Smoking saved me?"
"No you idiot. You came back to this realm because the Gates to the underworld didn't close yet. The Gates to the Underworld close as slowly as it opens. Because everytime you smoke, you shorten you life... by 7 minutes I think or something like that... and then the Gate opens up a little in anticipation of you to come here. And once you dropped into the Underworld, the Gate started closing slowly for you. Once the Gate closed completely, you wouldn't have come back. But you made it before the Gate closed. I'm happy to see you here man." Selenium patted Pump's back.
"Hey... you're making this all up right?"
"Ah!" Selenium let out a sigh "Yes... kinda. But hey! It fits the description of your dream."
"Damn you! Trying to have fun of the sick me... just get lost!"
"Brr..." Selenium shivered a bit "Some bad presence. I'm going now. Maybe the boat girl came back to get your body."
"Shut the hell up." Pump said in annoyance.
But Selenium had already got up and walked into the canteen. Pump layback on the bench's backrest. He took a deep breath. Then he felt something nibble his ears. He turned around in reflex.

"I still haven't taken your flesh... I'm here to take it."

Pump screamed and started running away.

"No wonder Sis... you like him so much. I guess we'll stay here for a few weeks ne?"
"Yes sure please." came a similar voice from behind. The two girls started walking towards the direction where Pump had run off to. Maybe he was promising to all the 33 Million Gods and Goddesses that he'd quit smoking if they got rid of the twins??


==========================
Author's Note
--------------


Well, I got the idea thanks to a Schrei's Blog about smoking and some of my real life friends who smoke like Hell. Thanks a lot Pump (his name isn't Pump, but then P,U and M are the letters that appear in his name :P) for being my main character (though I didn't take his permission or anything), DG for his strange behavior.


And yes... Selenium is me. I like to show off my supernatural sensing abilities (Yay!)
If you've come this far here. Thank you for reading my story which by blogger standards is really long.
Please do comment about this strange story. Criticism is allowed :D The critics can't make me sad :D


EDIT : I'm writing this on my 12th edit. I've edited this post this many times to fix spelling and grammatical mistakes. If there are still some... forgive me. After all, I'm no Ph.D in English...

8 comments:

Chocolate Lover said...

hey!
nice story.
so you have got supernatural sensing abilities?!
cooool

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

0/o so long post..anyway..ill read 'em tomorrow :)

☆Ths[Schrei]☆ said...

really good! if you'd imagined this(mean like not real life) you're one amazing mix-matcher! I mean.. u had a pulp of:
Anime+Greek Myths+Science===Realll Awesommee!! :) XD

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

glad ive finished it!!! 0.o! amazing imagination..i was right when i think of the Hell Girl..haha..the other anime is not familiar to me..but i like your criss-cross ref. in Greek mythologies and others..i like how you changed the setting and what's happening in instant..:P really really good!!

(P.S. if you'll reply to this comment..pls. put it in my blog's comment box so that i can update my comments :D)

Selenium said...

@Choco-lover ::> O_o NO... I'm just a normal guy...

@Schrei ::> Ya... I'm some sort of a mix-matcher as far as this (really long) story was concerned

@Aye ::> Thanks :)And the only anime reference I've used is from Hell Girl. The rest is Greek Mythology (with one part Hindu Mythology... the Chitragupta and Yamaraj one)

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

oh i see...

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

have a great day selenium~! :3

misses your visit,
ayu ( / ・ω・)//!!!

Abhinav said...

dude... to good... loved the flight of imaginations :)