Fantasies & Fiction

There’s a fantasy, at the surface of my spine

It flutters into your arms like a Gothic Romance choking on its own saliva

I spill the rainbows that you planted in my bladder ~ an acid leaves my body crawling on all fours,

There’s a lullaby growing in my belly & with every kiss, you extract a note from it until every syllable is infused with your name

A name this territory knows all too well, a fantasy that speaks my name like it’s the only poetry that matters; the only fiction worth realization.

-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.

Lucid

The shivers rose from the deepest folds of my skin
He said it was the ghost of my past and promised to make it go
The man inside my head laughed his head off
Since then, I’ve never seen his head clearly except for a blur in its place
Mother said a prayer to make the ‘things’ go away
While it was just a premonition of what my life was to be
The coarse voice screeched in my left ear & all I could do was pray for death
No, mother; prayers never come true, death never arrived
Instead, my battered chest swallowed the weight of the air until the voices stopped
The next afternoon there was a bony hand clutching at my throat,
I opened my eyes to the sunlight pouring in through the purple curtains of my room
There was still the stench of sleeplessness hovering about the air
I reached out to the man once more, when there was still some lost hope left
He told me to kill all of it
I did

COLLECTING CAGES

My hands are stories you never read
Long, slender and painted red
An estuary within me connects to you
Not the whole ocean inside of me
Pandora’s Box lies safely in my stash
I lick the dust upon it to get a taste
They way you slid your fingers under
My sleeve
Made me swallow the suns for I
Believed
When your fingers were intertwined
In mine
I thought we would talk of irrevocable
Love
Yet you forced your way deep in
My skin
Digging a grave out of my elbows
And mounted upon my palms,
You broke the seal
Freeing the secrets within the box
This time
A man led to the ultimate demise
A man who has turned into my
Irrevocable disease
Memories of him is the trauma
I collect
Looking in the mirror, I forget
To reflect
My existence has become a
Prisoner to you
Wherever I see, whatever I touch
Morphs into a remnant of you

Love is the closest thing to magic
You never know when the rabbit
Disappears from the hat forever
Replacing ‘trick’ with ‘tragic’.

-Nameera.

 

A BANQUET WITH MY DEMONS

I saw fear huddled in the back with a hand pressed against his chin, altering the shape of his pale cheek. He looked beautiful tonight in a bow tie and formals, staring listlessly at the dancing duo, depression and insomnia going at it as though it was just the two of them in the gloomy looking hall with a high, ancient ceiling. Depression had a smile so wide that the corners of his lips were uncannily stretched whereas insomnia had her eyes shut while being swayed in exquisite motions that didn’t seem to bother her. Self-doubt was busy eating as usual; tonight the special main course served was his absolute favorite, confidence with a tinge of self-esteem. Anxiety played the morose violin that nearly put a sleeping spell over the guests. Fear had already dozed off. I slid in a chair next to him, watching, wondering, and thinking when a waiter drew beside me and offered happiness for desert. I took a bite, it tasted like my ex and cherry wine; I smiled. My friend sadness just joined the party! We sat atop the chandelier because it was my banquet and anything is possible here. She sang her mother’s lullaby while I wrote it down and together, we created poetry all night long as the demons of my mind busied themselves with celebration and laughter; fading a little as words set me free.

-Nameera.

 

SLIVERS OF THE MOON

 

Last night when I went to sleep 
God spoke to me
He said the moon is a gift
For me to seek light
Even in the face of darkness

I said to him,
But that’s the problem
Darkness has no face
It just is
And it spreads
Without my consent

He asked me to look hard
In the mirror,
Within the reflection you’ll
Find the face of darkness
Look closely inside the eyes
And don't blink
Because the deeper you go
Down the spiral staircase between
The whites of your eyes,
The clearer it becomes

The reason you can see
All the stars and the moon
Even at night
Is because inside each of you
There’s a sliver of the moon,
God said to me
As I woke up,
Smiling at the part of me
Hanging in the night sky
Lighting up my side of the
World.

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.

Inertia

Purple curtains drape
Windows that are shut
So tight not even air
Gets through,
Aphixiated
Anticipated
Assimilated
I stare at a wall
For hours on end.

I’m laughing now,
Like a child he says
Because I bob my head
Back and fourth as fits
Of laughter distort my
Vision.

I’m happy,
Drowning in this moment
Flowing like spilled ink
On white sheets until
I reach an irrevocable
End,
I’m weightless now,
Almost floating in
Mid-air
When an arrow hits
Its mark,
Right on the black
Spot where time
And senses cease
To exist,
Where eternal pain
Paves a way for
Oblivion.

-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.