DARKNESS HIDING DARKNESS: a novel
Sharp taps at my front door. Who could be out there so early in the morning? I peep through the opening in the window curtain. Nothing I can see in the murky mist. Peril lurking in the pea-soup fog? The indignant wind gods the Anemoi inhaling the savage smog out for revenge?
Continuous short and long taps as if someone telegraphing my name. But I cannot see anyone out there. My mind goes back to an earlier era in my life. Morse code for my name I had learned earnestly as a girl guide: di-dah-dah-dah di-dah di-di-dit… Butterflies in my stomach, my eyes glued to the window. Slowly a silhouette appears, turns into a bluish blob as it walks towards the door.
‘Can I come in, Jasmina?’
Who could that be? No one here knows my name; my first morning in my new house in a new city. My lips are buttoned up in fear, heart trembling. I draw my dressing gown together, my body armour. Look for a butter knife, my Excalibur sword.
‘I live in the block of flats down the street,’ the voice continues, sounds like the voice of a young boy. ‘Not as fancy as your new house, but still cosy.’
After drumming up a wee bit of courage, I open the door and let him in. ‘How could you knock at my door from so far away,’ regaining my composure, I wonder loudly.
‘Don’t be spooked by this action at a distance,’ he says as he walks in dim light towards the living room. ‘It’s a simple matter of bending Newton’s gravity.’
What a boy! Trying to impress an old woman as if I was his new girlfriend. Practising, perhaps. ‘Or a matter of bending the mind?’ I mutter thinking that fear makes the mind irrational. We humans might be the smartest beings on the planet, but our minds are inherently lazy; they subconsciously rely on shortcuts to make crazy conclusions such as turning random sounds into orderly Morse code taps.
‘I help neighbours with their computers,’ He continues ignoring my comment. ‘I thought you might need some help.’
‘At this ungodly hour?’
‘Not ungodly for yoga addicts waiting for sunrise to do their daily sun salutations.’
He ignored my question and continues, ‘I was passing by when I saw the lights on upstairs. Some writers start working before dawn, waiting for golden-fresh rays of light to rev up their creative minds, I reckon.’
© Surendra Verma 2021