The hallways and chambers of the ancestral mansion are bathed in an orange sheen cast by the setting sun. Soon, it will be awash with the palest of hues as twilight streaks the sky.
A faint fragrance of Parijat flowers floats in from the backyard. Through the wide windows overlooking the garden, I see her sitting under the blossoming tree. Although lost in thoughts, her fingers are deftly weaving the flowers to adorn her hair.
I hear the tinkle of her anklets approaching me from where I’m sprawled out, suspended from the high ceiling in all my splendor, crystal pendants chiming softly in the light breeze and casting prismatic splashes on the marble floor.
She lowers me down to light my candles. I’m facing her now. Romila, the lady of this mansion. An ethnic beauty with an oval face and pools of brown, melancholic eyes, her face is listless and tear stained. Her efforts to look cheerful draws a naught.
She lights me up every evening at this hour. Her duty is done and I’m back at my elevated place. It’s a vantage point from where I witness the horrendous goings-on after every sundown.
The beast is sloshed as he storms in and bellows. Romila gasps as he clutches her by her hair and drags her inside even as she struggles and protests helplessly. The Parijat florets torn away from her cascading hair get strewn around. Beyond the door, I hear Romila’s blood curdling shrieks. Her pleas for him to stop thrashing her go unheard. Calls for help are muffled. After a spell, the indistinct sounds fade to a sputtering… choking… and… silence!
Out he walks in a drunken stupor and looks up, claiming victoriously that he has done away with the ill-omened wretch who had only brought setbacks in his life.
A gust of wind howls outside. I sway furiously with an intensity I’ve never known before. My crystal pendants jangle in a rage. There’s nothing left in this mansion now. My glory and magnificence don’t deserve to adorn this slaughterhouse!
There he stands right below me, throwing his head back and guffawing uncontrollably like a maniac. His cackles stop abruptly. His face contorts and freezes in a silent scream as I let go of all of my 70 pounds of dead weight metal to come crashing down on him.
Shards of crystal cut through his skin and flesh. Blood oozes out of deep gashes, the crimson pools soaking up the carpet. The lit candles scatter all over and the tiny flames whispering around the tassels soon become a roaring fire engulfing the beast trapped under me, toasting him alive.
I have put an end to a demon. A glory in name, I have lived up to it like a warrior, avenging Romila. As I lie wrecked, broken and splintered, the mansion soon becomes a mountain of fire putting an end to a vile bloodline.
My sacrifice was worth it!
Pic Courtesy: Pixabay