Of Women & Moonlight

A land that pushes women to the stature of a Goddess

Is also adept at pulling them down when necessary

This reminds me of necessities that arise out of despai

A colony of ants climb the hills that reek of sweet sanity

Between my knees are bruises that never healed

Between my palms are lines of sweat that never left any empty space

‘Push, push, push’ – “It’s a moonlight wailing in birth and blood!”

How do I tell them,

That it’s the moonlight wailing at the prospect of illuminating silently, humming songs of anger that sound like sweet sanity?

It’s another bitter Goddess biting her fate, watching the poison take nefarious shapes in her throat

Until the day she takes back her throne,

Until then there’s only a sip of hope.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

__________________________________

The Scream of a Deaf Girl (Short Story)

The wind never talked to me but she used to always tickle my stomach while I’d laugh like a maniac when I was a little kid. Sure, I had never heard her but she was my best friend. I think we both understood each other way better than most people would. They never heard me and similarly she had been rushing past deaf people all her life. Sometimes, we’d just sit quietly and look at all the people raving endlessly about things that never made much sense to either of us. I still remember the way she raged against my bare back that day. She carried my screams all the way down to the basement but no one came. She raged endlessly while my confused senses called hormones started to run and hide in blazing terror. He said he could hear the wind too but he lied. I know this because he never saw her drop the wooden tool box on his head as he ripped my dress apart, he never saw her until his head was smashed open and he lay on the cold bedroom floor, looking up at her big fluorescent eyes and illuminating body; he murmured something before death carried him far, far away from me (us). I think he said my mother’s name, our mother.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

The Cure

Gold like honey dripping from
The tip of your tongue
Willfully made a way
Down my throat
Through the
Chipped lips
That never
Seemed to
Bother you.

Your enigmatic daisies still
Sit intact, crowning my
Strands like precious
Gems favored upon
An ocean of
Black.

The fragility encompassing
Each beat of my heart is
Afresh beneath a battered
Chest as blood rushes
In dismantled parts of
Me at your
Fingertips.

I’m the disease spreading
Across your body,
With surity my hands
Manoeuvre unholy
Territories within
You only to find
Myself standing
Face to face
with my
Fears.

Masked behind an antidote,
Your true colors showed
When I found solace
In your arms.

You were the poison;
Conniving and dismembered,
Trying to find your place
In a plague, don’t you
Know diseases will
Forever be
Dislocated?

We can never belong,
We can only eddy
Around the pool
Of normalcy
Like a mist,
Deranged
To the
Core.

(Who says diseases don’t fall in love? When they do, till death do they part)

-Nameera.


I was very little when I watched Cleopatra. I never understood the story back then but after watching it again few years back, I fell in love with Elizabeth Taylor. Her portrayal of Cleopatra will always be my favorite.

The Mirror

They weren’t eyes,
They were
Windows to you;
A glimpse of my
Secrets.

No matter how hard I tried,
Pain had a way of making
Itself evident through the
Brown hues fading into
The morbid blackness
Hovering upon my
Existence.

They’re tainted pink & purple,
But exhaustion is always
Crystal clear.

Didn’t you ever feel,
Like you were
Looking in a
Mirror?

Maybe that’s why I
Could never read your eyes,
Because I wasn’t looking
Inside a window,
But at a mirror.

I never understood what I saw,
For I’ve never been
Familiar enough
With myself.

(It wasn’t you I was tired of looking at, it was me)

Shards of broken glass
Still pierce my mind,
But I’d rather be
Blind than give
In to expectations
That will forever
Be unmet.

-Nameera.

Under the Crimson Moon

“So, why do you work here?” She hung her head & stared hard at the plate, with the burger sitting still upon it. He followed her gaze & realised that she hasn’t even touched her food yet. How long have we been talking, he wondered.

“I had no other option” she broke the silence in a metallic voice. Her sudden change of voice surprised him to some degree. He fell into deep thought, as was evident through his closely knit brows.

“Would you like to order something else, sir?” He looked at the face of a smiling waitress. Her eyes were too far apart, he noticed as was his wont. The brown hair lacked texture unlike her counterpart sitting right across him at the table. “No” he shook his head, “Are you going to eat it?” His eyes focused on the woman he had been talking to for about an hour. Her lips parted as though she was going to say something but not a word escaped her throat.

“Creep” the kind, average looking waitress said aloud. “Excuse me?” His puzzled expression didn’t answer much queries since the waitress had already dashed away from the two of them, taking frantic steps & disappearing behind the counter in no time. All this happened too fast for him to take into account how uncanny things were that night.

“Wow” he rolled his eyes feeling awkward about the inexplicable little encounter. “It’s okay, she’s always like that” her kind smile burned a hole in his heart. It lingered upon her sweet face for more than a minute & then turned into something horrible. The more attention he paid, the more he felt confronted by the plastered smile across her face. She stared in his eyes listlessly. He thought he saw her pupils expand, almost devour the white space around them. The smile she wore was getting devious each minute.

It wasn’t too late to notice the change in his surroundings but he didn’t. The creamy walls of the restaurant looked dirtier than they had upon his entrance. A pall of dust & hunger hung in the atmosphere, making it too hard for him to breathe.

“I should get going” he could sense an unusual fear & the need for some fresh air stirred within him. The lights began to dim. “So soon?” she tilted her head to the right in an unnatural position, mirroring inhuman ways. “I still haven’t had dinner yet!” She displayed her white set of teeth as her smile definitely looked wider this time, stretching from one cheek to the other. Placing her clenched fists upon the table, she let out a hiss. He held his breath & froze in his chair. A concourse of all things insane & wild, thirsty for blood mingled right before his eyes.

The woman rose swiftly & cackled with her mouth wide open showcasing saliva dripping down to her chin. Her sharp fangs were an accessory to that unholy smile. To add to all this, the lights began to flicker incessantly doubling the doze of horror he was to endure.

He inched back in his chair, his best move so far. “Are you ready for dinner, Jim?” She could smell fear all over him. His whole life eddied like a dark mist around his head as his eyes closed & he slowly fell into a deep sleep.

“Jimmy, boy wake up!” Was that gravel in his mouth? He could also taste a bit of grass. “He was too heavy for me to drag” he heard a voice that sounded unusually familiar. “You just had to turn him over & drag, sweetie” He heard his father speak. “Don’t call me that, you’re not my father!” The familiar voice retorted. “Alright, go get some water” he heard footsteps stomping away in a direction he couldn’t make out. “Ghost, fangs” the words he managed to utter sounded like an apocryphal story, too insensate to believe. His father leaned over him with a pleasant smile, though it seemed quite incongruous considering the situation. “Its okay, I’m here now” were the last words he heard before retiring in his black castle of disquietude.

The ceiling was unlike any he had seen. It wasn’t his bedroom, he knew that for sure. So, where was he?


I never imagined myself writing a Vampire fan fiction yet here I am shaterring all my previous notions. For some reason, I’ve always disliked fan fictions. I don’t even like reading them. But I suppose Carmilla & Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde along with one of my favorite horror movie ‘Crimson Peak’ was all it took to get down to writing this piece of fiction wholly inspired by some exceptional characters.

Thanks for reading!

Impulse

I often wonder if crazy,
Happens only to few.
A reality so damn hazy,
And the aftermath; anew.

As long as the strings,
Of sanity are attached.
The thoughts that bring,
Darkness wouldn’t hatch.

Yet I constantly imagine,
Letting sanity slip away.
And giving in to a legion,
Of underlying craze; if I may.

I could create a door,
And set insanity free.
Satiate it forevermore,
What a beautiful, distorted reality it would be.

-Nameera.

The Skeleton in my room

It was one of those days when I decided to let sleep get the better of me. Around that time I also started getting lucid nightmares but the night had passed peacefully & it was almost evening.
Suddenly I woke up, not physically but mentally. My mind was wide awake but I couldn’t move my body. I tried to open my eyes but the lids simply wouldn’t budge. I thought I knew what was coming next. Little did I realize that there was something else in store for me this time.

For quite some time I struggled to muster enough strength to open my eyes and in the end, my view was crystal clear. What followed next was the strangest occurrence of my life.

I lay motionless in my bed for about a nanosecond. You see, what was in front of me was mind-blowing. It stared at me with its burning hollow eyes.

The skull it had for a head was on fire & it wore a black cloak. Its bony hand was placed on my chest, restricting my movements.

What would have been your first thought on seeing something like that?

Well, the top three things on my mind were:

1. Can this be really happening? I mean, could it be that the Ghost Rider is really real? Wow, hey Nicholas Cage, Sup!?

2. Okay wait it could also be a dementor from Hogwarts.

3. No wait, what if he’s Malak-al-maut (Angel of Death) & he has finally come to take my soul?

When the third possibility hit my mind I began praying in my heart though I couldn’t move my lips.

I also made sure to notice my surroundings so that when this is over I can make out whether it was just a dream or something real.

The first thing I noticed was my purple curtains. There was faint sunlight pouring in my room filling it with orange light. I could even see the finer particles that appear due to Tyndall effect mostly near the window pane which was quite close to my bed.

It must have lingered for about 5 seconds or so and then there was a sudden sensation of someone letting go of my chest. I sat upright in bed with a clear picture of what just happened.

My room was almost orange & I could see Tyndall effect making itself evident near the window.

The very next night I saw the bony hand again while I was half-asleep. But after that everything stopped (I had had other experiences too, besides the one with the skull).

I don’t know if this was just a nightmare or a real incident but I was never afraid of these occurrences. Honestly speaking my courage comes from experiences of this sort, not on my own.

I always had(have) a hard time believing in ghost stories. Even the skull, apparition or whatever it was didn’t scare me as I would normally be, imagining about it.

I’d like to add the fact that I wasn’t depressed when these things started. I was around 14 & was having the time of my life. All this began out of the blue which ultimately led to my disturbed mental condition(particularly related to sleep). This in turn became the sole reason for my lucid nightmares.

Sleep

It’s either me,

Or your thoughts.

-Sleep.

Betrayal

I don’t want to look back,
Yet I can’t help but ponder.
The memories safely stacked,
Now come alive, as I loiter.

The first ever poem I wrote,
Was a sincere ode to you.
I had hoped beyond hope,
Alas, I was merely a fool.

The true meaning of trust,
Was a lesson you taught me.
In my head I had pictured us,
Should to shoulder eternally.

I called you a friend, so true,
Yet you showed me betrayal.
Leaving me alone in the blue,
Where nothing seemed real.

-Nameera.

Online Condolences.

Flags painted on cheeks,
As widows silently weep.

An updated profile picture,
After the soul is lost forever.

An article posted online,
While little children whine.

Rage brings people on streets,
But bombs drown their screams.

Vivid photographs capturing pain,

Yet innocent lives die in vain.

The painful echoes of their screams,
Appear on our mobile phone screens.

As we type away in the night,
War engulfs another life.

-Nameera.