Sunday, March 1

Chapter n - draft 3

NOTE: What you see below is an excerpt from a literary project, a WiP(Work in progress). It is a teaser of something i hope to complete by mid-2010. I will be updating info on this periodically, though not very often. If you've read this, and have any feedback/advice/opinions(good or bad), please feel free to let me know. Thanks for reading.

"Se réveiller."

(Wake up)

A voice echoed in a broken man's soul, and in his mind it resonated like wave of shattered emotion, gradually and progressively building up into a volatile outburst. It seemed to be getting closer, and he felt as though it was creeping up on him. He felt weak and powerless. Perhaps it was conscience calling for reason, a subtle reminder of all that had passed, and all that was yet to come. Or so he thought.

"Se réveiller, mon ami. Se réveiller."
(Wake up, my friend. Wake up)

The voice spoke yet again, and kept repeating itself. He shook it off with a jerk, only to feel its return the very next moment. Every night was the same now, a constant battle between between cognizance and unconsciousness. He felt as though he was trapped indecisively between the two, driven to one end of the spectrum only to be pulled back towards the other. The hallucinations were more frequent now, serving as constant reminders of his past, taking his mind to places and people he wished to forget and avoid. Memories and thoughts played back and forth in constant repetition in his head. It seemed as though they were a part of his conscience now, an amalgamation of fragments juxtaposed at the advent of every awakening, and at the departure of every stillness.

There was very little he could do, but a lot that he wanted to.

Krane Hawksworth felt a freezing chill run down his spine. Another nightmare had taken its toll on him yet again. He got up in a start, his heart beating at a rate faster than it could handle, pumping blood to his already stressed brain. He was gasping for air, and was still in shock from the harsh reality that unreal dreams delivered to him so voluntarily.

Through his bedroom window, he could see the cold moon looking down upon him from the stars, smiling, shining, its soothing light radiating away into the night sky, declaring to all a selfless embrace of universal harmony, reminding him of every moment that had just passed him by without a single word of farewell or a slight mention of remorse. For that one moment he felt free, he saw hope, but before he could grasp it for himself his mind switched back into first gear and ran over his illusion of freedom. And so he returned to where he had started from.

This was not how he intended things to turn out, this was not where he saw himself in life, and certainly not what he had imagined in his blissfully ignorant mind, completely oblivious to what fate had in store for him. The revelation he got now was not doing much to ease the agonizing pain either. He sighed as he glanced across the room, his eyes looking around mechanically, searching for one sign of divine intervention, one sign of an exit from this painfully repetitive monotony.

"Qu'est-ce que tu veux ?"
(What do you want?)

"Qu'est-ce que tu veux, vieux ami?"
(What do you want, old friend?)

The voice repeated itself, taunting him, mocking him, drawing him deeper towards insanity and delusion. He wished it would withdraw and take its departure, but it didn't. It stayed and tormented him, toying with every thought, every intuition. It seemed to make sense, but he wasn't really sure if it did. He wondered how long it would take before he went completely insane. He knew he was about to break, he just didn't know when it would happen.

"Qu'est-ce que tu veux!!!"
(What do you want!!!)

The voice was no longer hollow and faint. It seemed like it was coming closer, creeping up behind him, waiting, watching. What scared him the most was that despite knowing the fact that it wasn't real, he had no control over it. It seemed so real and true that it almost made sense. He wanted to ignore it, but he couldn't. It stayed and kept talking to him, demanding answers and explanations. He wondered if he was going insane, or if it was just hallucination overpowering reason .

He sat by the window, eyes weary, heart heavy, his mind filled with nebulous thoughts of doubt and apprehension that remained in constant collision with thoughts instigated and actualized by rationale and logic. He realized now that he had landed himself in a fabricated chimera of his mind, a chaotic delusion waiting to implode. He also realized that it had given him a splitting headache.

Outside the window, the world seemed unaware of his predicament, blissfully ignorant and content in its own current completion and fulfillment. He looked around the room and noticed a flickering light bulb in a corner, its isolated filament lost in its own glass vacuum, shining away with a blessed innocence, and the privilege of not knowing the fact that its fate was inevitable, that its fate was the same. One with an end.

He got up, and started walking towards the kitchen. He thought he could really with a hot cup of coffee after all he just went through. He thought it would help with the headache, and since he was already up, a little caffeine in his system wouldn't make much of a difference anyway. Countless nights of sleeplessness and repulsion had brought about a chain reaction that embedded itself in his every thought. Death seemed like a reasonable option. What he was waiting for was an invitation, an initiation that would push him forward and release him from this inertia. To life. To death. It didn't matter. He wanted an initiation. He believed in Karma, an in the amalgamated unison of faith in a higher power that governed the Universe, but at that point, they both seemed busy, so he decided to choose for himself. It was not his way of looking at things, he had always fought the odds, emerged victorious, stayed humble and loyal to his
motives and condescending achievements, which is exactly why all this seemed so strange and new and unfamiliar. His eyes traced the outline of the room he was in, searching for some source of preoccupation, some source of distraction. There was none.

The coffee was ready and done. He grabbed a cup from the shelf and poured the coffee in. He then dropped two cubes of sugar and just the right amount of milk. He liked his coffee rich, and sweet. But not too sweet. Across the floor, a little farther than a step, was a table. On one side he placed the cup of coffee. On the other, was a PPK, a single action pistol, a German fire arm that saw extensive service in the German government and military during World War II. It was a smaller version of the PP, and was made to fill the need for a compact concealable handgun used by undercover police officers. He had it from the days of war, and of all his weapons, this was his favorite. It was small, compact, and good enough to trust a life with. It was also his loyal friend, who always obeyed and held its own against most of his most dangerous foes. It would soon, perhaps, turn into one itself. And once again, it would do justice to it's role. It was a part of him now, and he felt that it deserved to take a part of him as well, if not all. He had to choose between the gun and the coffee. He wanted to drink the coffee and then go for the gun, but he was afraid that the caffeine would change his mind. A confusing decision in his final moment of truth was the last thing he was aiming for.

Armed, dispossessed, and suicidal was not how he thought he'd end up. And a steaming hot cup of refreshing coffee wasn't really helping in this situation either. There had to be a way, an answer, a solution, a second door. There had to be reason and sensibility. But all that didn't matter now.

The time had come. He had made up his mind. It was time. With one final thought of decision he reached forward and lifted it up. It was decided. There was no other alternative. And in a fraction of a second, he watched as he swallowed his pride and watched it all fade away...

The coffee was definitely better than the bullet.

"Le moment de l'action est venu...."
(The time for action is now....)
Chapter m:

He sat there, helpless and wounded, his hands held tight across his aching abdomen. He wondered as to how everything went wrong. Mistakes were a luxury that meant death. A luxury he could not afford. It had never occurred to him that all the time spent in calculation and execution had stealthily incorporated in itself a flaw so fickle that it now endangered his very life. And to think that he had imagined that this whole day would be the sort one would talk about to their grandchildren on a sunny summer morning in a rocking chair by the garden while sipping away on fresh lemonade topped with ice cubes in a shimmery glass, or like a bedtime story one makes up by the fireplace, a manipulated yet funny anecdote of a fleeting moment that reminds one of a superior entity's rather unpredictable sense of humor. Funny how exactly the opposite had to happen.

His insides hurt. His chest was now burning, and his inner being felt as though it would just give up and collapse at any moment. He tried to ignore the pain and get up. He was still his wearing favorite jacket, made from the best aniline finished leather in his day, hand-stitched to perfection by the best tailor in his neighborhood. He wore a shirt underneath, a pearl white which now turned red with blood. He was getting weaker with each passing moment and was having a tough time trying to stay conscious, which could fairly and justifiably be attributed to the unpleasant fall he had a while ago.

Still no sign of the guy who set this up. He was getting impatient. Back then, a few moments ago, he was armed and ready, it was all going so well, and then everything turned around. In a flash, he was tearing through the nearest window, falling straight down, two stories to the bottom. He was sure he would die, but this was a day that refused to go according to plan. He fell on the car's bonnet, and it did anything but break his fall. He tried getting up, but decided to wait instead. He was better off that way. He had cover, and considered it a good idea to lay low. Laying low at the moment meant staying alive. He didn't complain.

He heard footsteps in the distance. It took Hawksworth every ounce of strength he could concoct from his already battered body to get himself up. He saw a man walking away in the distance, and in the moonlight he could see the faint shape of what he knew was a barrel bolted on to a stock. Yes. A smile appears and takes shape on his scarred face, from the depths of his already twisted mind. Yes. It is who he thinks it is.

He reloads, takes a deep breath, and...

....x-x-to be contd