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!

Colors

All the colors she’s living,
Black, tangerine & pink.
Is his majestic giving,
For as long as he lives.

Once death meets man,
She’s stripped of her hues.
Bangles taken off her hand,
She sings the lonely muse.

Pushing her into the fire,
They send her away to him.
Colorful bangles she admired,
Now pierce her naive skin.

With wrists covered in blood,
The fire wraps around her.
The death of a man she loved,
Becomes her ultimate curse.

-Nameera.


The practice of Sati was quite common in India till the British invasion.

Even though it was initially tolerated under the colonial rule, protesters like William Carey(Chritian missionaries) & Mohan Roy(Hindu Brahmin) led to a ban on this immoral practice where a woman, on the death of her husband would commit suicide by burning herself, whether she wanted to or not.

The red sindoor on her forehead and in the parting of her hair, one of the signs of marriage, is wiped clean. In some cases, all her jewellery is removed and her glass bangles are smashed. Other traditions, that are thankfully becoming less common, include shaving the widow’s head and giving her a ritual bath, after which she may be forbidden from wearing colourful sarees. She will only be allowed to wear white or pale colours.

_The Quint

Even though all or most of these practices are illegal now yet it’s not uncommon to hear about the prevalence of such rituals in rural areas.

Apparently with the death of a husband a woman loses all rights to live a colorful life.

-Nameera.

Expectations

They vanish without a trail,
Leaving me weak in the knees.
When my memories go stale,
Stench of my efforts define me.
My soul begins to whimper,
As I try to suppress my cries.
Abysmal thoughts whisper,
Words that were never mine.
Skies have fallen tonight,
Unleashing a storm so wild.
My racing heart can surmise,
The dawn of an unholy night.
The fragile mirror of my hope,
Has been shattered once again.
Stripping my expectations of a home,
As I throw them across the dead end.

-Nameera.