Delightful short stories covering a wide range of subjects. Stories that will hold you enthralled to the end.
Excerpt from Compelling Persuasions:
Young Panak considered himself a thinker and writer; his collogues considered him opinionated and mad; his thinking was at variance to theirs, he was stubborn and bull headed to boot.
The human ‘soul’ was the singular obsession of Panak’s preoccupation. He would contemplate for days in deep thought – missing out on food, snacking when hungry, and sleeping fitfully at night.
I suppose ‘soul’ is a combination of energy a life-giving force, with somehow a destiny intertwined. But what is this force? And what is energy? Both terms are so vague and interchangeable. He decided he needed a ‘soul’ to properly study it. But how would he get hold of a ‘soul’? Nobody had ever done so!
He would kill his wife.
Yes, of course, killing her would help his experiment; he would have to make sure he captured her soul - that was the whole idea – he wanted her spirit.
Panak lay awake at night: he thought of ways to take her life and the method he would use to capture her spirit.
Kanika was his wife of five years, but there was nothing between them; he wouldn’t miss her – she never was anyone he thought about; she was just there. At times he didn’t notice her, forgot her existence, he would see her as she walked past, a couple of feet from his nose, and he would wonder who it was until his mind came back to the present
Panak had married Kanika when she was fifteen –good looking, good figure, but dumb! Her father had let out a big sigh of relief after the ceremony. Her family had painfully accepted that no one would marry her, for she was dull and stupid. The malaria that had struck her down as a child had affected her brain: she would sit for hours looking at nothing, saying nothing. She was ‘all grown up’ now and though her brain was underdeveloped, her body had matured unhindered.
Panak had married her because his mother kept badgering him to marry before she died, ‘I’m getting old, son,’ was her constant whine. He didn’t want to marry at all, but his mother’s hounding was distracting him from his writing; from his study of the occult. Though he had eventually conceded to marry, he was angry at being coerced; he would like to ‘turn the tables’ on his mother.
During his travels through the country to collect material for his writing, he had visited the village where Kanika lived. One look at the girl and he knew he had his revenge! He would marry this 'retard' and show his mother what comes of harassment.
His mother was horrified when she saw the girl, but he insisted. If she wanted him to marry he would marry only her.
And so a wedding took place.
That was five years ago; he had slept with her once! He would not take her out, for people would stare and patronize her which embarrassed him. As compensation for her loss of outings with him, he paid her bus fare back to her village every few months; she was grateful and happy to go. But her parents looked sad on seeing that fate had struck their only daughter this cruel blow.
She had a friend in the village pundit who was always patient with her: he would explain to her, like one would to a child, that which she could not understand. She learned slowly. She didn’t mind him groping her breasts in exchange or making her handle his front part; it did nothing for her; she was glad to please him and grateful he took time to explain things to her. He had entered her a few times too, not in front…“No, no,” he had said, “that will put a child in you.”
She realized, over time that she had a certain hold on him, tenuous though it may be, but it was there. She had never had sway over anyone before.
“But how am I going to think like you people?” she asked the pundit on her visits. “I know I am stupid and just cannot think, but you’ve got to help me.”
He gave her herbs to eat and concoctions to drink saying it would help her. But it did not and she became more insistent that he help her.
“Eat a lot of brain in your diet,” he told her in desperation, “it will help your brain to develop.”
She had consumed brain in her diet: chickens’, goats’ and sheep’s for years now and it had not helped.
“It’s not working,” she told him.
“You are eating the brains of animals; they are not very bright so it is not showing quick results. Perhaps, it will take a long time.”
And then one night ‘like a bolt from the blue’ a thought entered her dim mind: it would have to be the brain of a human being! Someone clever, someone clever like her husband! That’s it, she decided, she would have to eat her husband’s brain!