500-word flash fiction for the platform Arttons Inn.
(Prompt: Choose one word or phrase that has been borrowed into English from any other language and write a 500-word story making sure the word/phrase is either the basis of your tale or plays a major role in the story.)
I am in love…
The gentle breeze ricocheting the snow-clad Himalayas patted my cheeks tossing my unruly mane out of control. I would have been lost in chilling oblivion if not for this gorgeous woman admiring the opulent nature like there was no tomorrow. Her bright orbs unabashed and brimming with anticipation squinted as she turned towards me and even as the sunlight climbed the lush my heart skipped a beat. Her loosely held bun at the nape of her delicate neck urged me to grip it and drag her towards me…
I gently took her delicate palm in my calloused ones and as if by a quirk of fate she smiled, the dimple on her cheek so deep that I wished to drown in its profundity. I was so fortunate… she had agreed to meet me…
“Aa…aa…arti… I… I …” I stuttered, looking away as my speech impediment reared its ugly head. I half expected her to go away, but her grip tightened. The surroundings paved the way for her garrulous articulacy and I wanted the time to freeze, to feel her velvety voice that drowned my sorrows.
It was the absolute koi no yokan… that instinctive sensation coursing through my body, that I was meant to fall in love. But no one desired me… even the ugly duckling in my neighboring home looked down upon me, ridiculed me, and resorted to name-calling. I had no friends and Arti was that breath of fresh air, the perfect elixir for my wounded soul.
Looking up at the stretch of azure sky, I thanked the Almighty. I remembered the jibes thrown at me for my disability and mannerisms.
‘You are vain Amrit… a disgrace to our family…’ Papaji always said.
I snickered and lifted my hand to push back a tendril of hair that had escaped the confines of her bun. Her eyes widened and the beginnings of a shy smile escaped her lips. The vision almost enflamed me and I didn’t mind getting burned to ashes. The subtle crimson blush adorning her cheeks, the perfect angular jaw identical to mine, and the breathtaking lyricism in her words left me wonderstruck.
‘Look Papaji, Your Amrit is beyond misery and my ultimate quest for happiness ends here.’ I chuckled silently. Papaji can finally rest in peace.
Arti caressed my cheek, her soft palm making a deep imprint on my soul.
“Amrit, thank you for liberating me,” Arti whispered.
I shook … no… someone shook me… NO… NO…NO…
I heard a gruff familiar voice. “Amrit… stop fidgeting. Sister, ward boy, hold her limbs please, she missed her injection today…”
“Doctor, what’s her condition?” Another woman spoke.
“Amrit Kaur was reticent and when they got to know about her sexual orientation the family disowned her. She began to dissociate* and one day in a fit of rage, killed her father.” Did I kill Papaji? The lady continued, “…and probably met her concocted alter ego…”
Her voice faded, as darkness engulfed me.
Arti was real.
Koi no yokan….
Koi Na Yokan: (Japanese) The feeling that the first time you meet someone you will fall in love. Premonition of love
*Dissociative identity disorder: Dissociative identity disorder is characterised by the presence of two or more distinct personality identities. Each may have a unique name, personal history, and characteristics.