In The Mood For Love

The rain came down like a wave of tears. They were caught. A moment. An instant. Under the rooftops. The gentle breeze blew away their words. He looked at her. Her profile against the diffused light of the street lamp in the distance. So many thoughts yet so few words. The water dripped down from the roof above and fell on his coat. He looked at his watch. Time had slowed down as it always did when he was in her presence. He took out a cigarette.

The lost letters. The connected food. The little words. The long silences. The invisible walls. The dried flowers.

The night was warm in spite of the rain. Her arms were wet. She made no move to wipe them. She cast a glance at him. He was leaning against the wall as always, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. So many similarities yet so different. The rain flowed in waves driven by an unknown wind. She remembered last night. Inexplicable feelings mixed with the sudden shiver that traveled down her back.

The late nights. The noisy neighbors. The rhythmic ringing. The passionate poetry. The rough stubble.

He wished the rain would stop. Their moment. Their instant of time under the rooftops would stop. Thunder rolled in the distance punctuating his thoughts. He shifted his legs.

“Do you think we should run for it?”

“I’d hate to see your dress get wet”

“Did I tell you that you look good in this dress?”

“I didn’t think you noticed such things”

As if on cue the rain stopped. They walked back slowly. A taxi would have been the logical choice but the thought never crossed their minds. The street glistened with water sliding down nooks and crannies. Their shadows almost touched.

The moment had come to pass. What was left unsaid would remain unsaid forever. The rain had taken with it their little secret. Years would pass. Times would change. But they knew. They knew a little secret that would remain in their hearts like unused clothes in an old wardrobe.

The Kiss

She came into the room I was in sometime after midnight. I was still awake, tossing around under the weight of all the shared memories that had reared their head. Hard to think that what had happened was a decade before. The remnants of that passionate affair still echoed in my heart from time to time. But here they were unstoppable. The gentle heat of the night was also not making things easy. My body was consumed by desire and that was the main reason behind the lack of sleep. How can one sleep when every cell of your body is craving for that which cannot be had in the present circumstances? But her entry changed the equation a bit. Her roommate was in the other room, only a thin wall separating us. She stood at the foot of the bed. The soft moonlight gave shape to her beautiful outlines. It was obvious she was not wearing anything under her thin nightdress. Even in the dim light I could see that her nipples were rigid. My tongue craved to taste them in my mouth and hear her sigh from the depths of her soul. I was sure that her eyes would be half-closed, intimating that she too was in the grip of our shared past.

Without a word she slipped beneath the sheets beside me. Her flesh was warm to the touch. She snuggled up to me, her body turning me on like one turns on a light bulb in a dark room, a sudden rush of extreme passion. It was one of those rigid, painful yet sensuous erections. Chucking the burden of the past into lust’s dustbin, I embraced her fiercely; my hands tried to envelop every little inch of her. We moved to the edge of the bed, interlocked thus.

Slowly, we slid down the bed and onto the floor, still wrapped around each other. Our mouths dissolved into each other as my tongue undid the soft tension in hers. The languid kiss one dreams of was a reality lived only by our lips. A gentle exploration of each other while tasting the love written on our tongues. My nose touched hers, a pleasant friction of two disparate senses. The long kiss continued, uniting sense and skin in a low wave of rising erotica.

I loved the silky smell of her mouth. I committed to memory the mellow taste of her tongue. I savored the feel of her lips interlocked with mine. I anticipated the sensual delights hiding behind her naughty smile that I could only taste. Her hand traveled down my body in one graceful arc sending shivers along my shy nakedness as her fingers awakened sleeping rivers of desire along their wake.

After a billion years our mouths separated, the aftertaste of her tongue still echoing in my mouth.


In her mouth my words swirled like white wine. She opened her mouth and I took her tongue into mine. A soft taste of conversation and sweet saliva. We kissed languidly, looking into each others eyes. It is a wonderful feeling to kiss with eyes open, fighting your body as it wants to close your eye lids. She caressed my chin and rubbed my ear. I explored her tongue, our mouths lost in each other, my hands roving through her hair while she caressed my neck.

We lay back and held hands, my fingertips restless and exploring the minute imperfections of her silken exterior. They stopped at her rigid nipples. Mottled and subtly erotic to the touch, I traced their pointed outlines. She turned and let out a long sigh into my ear and closed her eyes.

I closed my eyes too and felt her solely through my fingertips. The delicate flesh of her drooping breasts, the baby fat of her shoulders, the smooth rigidity of her stomach and the shallow depths of her belly button. The language of love being felt and re-written by my fingertips on the palimpsest of her beautiful skin. Slowly, we dissolved into each other, our peaks and depths framing the tangent of love as it was meant to be.

A Strange Kiss

The night rolled away powered by our flights of fancy. We were outside the city on a small hill. The Zinian’s alu-boats could be seen far above us ferrying important members of their entourage for a night out in the glittering city that glowed behind our backs. I looked at her sitting by my side lost in contemplation of the crystal sand at her feet. I brushed away the dark hair falling into her eyes. She did not turn. I don’t think she even felt my fingers.

We had to come to a decision soon. For the thing between us would not be a secret for long. Most importantly, our actions would have grave repercussions that could and would concern a hundred planets in the multi-verse. It was not just about simple and pure love. It was also about big words like inter-life relations, space-culture dynamics and other arcane jargon.

She was still an enigma to me. From the time my eyes fell on her in Tulot’s hybrid party I’ve been fascinated by her inscrutable looks. She had the looks of a goddess but the face of a diplomat. We got talking soon. I did not find out her true nature until much later. But how does that matter? For the first time I found someone with whom I could discuss my inner dreams without that person secretly laughing at my naïve notions. Three thousand years of human development and still we hunger for the old basics; love, companionship and emotional bonding. She had a resolve and intelligence within her that could have propelled her to great fame in the known inti-verse. Strangely, she was not in the least bit interested in that. She was the exact opposite of me in that respect. As far back as I can remember I’ve wanted to be famous. I’ve always desired for people to talk about me, to recognize me from a distance as I walked down the virtual boulevards of Semperi City, or when I took a weekend break in the brilliant blue waters of Hintenia’s famous never-ending oceans. It was a hunger that had been driving me mad with frustration. But being with her soothed the raging fires of my twisted ambition. I had never felt more at peace with myself.

“Do you want to talk about it?�?, I asked her. She shook her head gently. I sighed silently. She had been difficult that way, refusing to discuss our situation, even though more than me she knew how difficult it would be for us once everything came out into the open. I let her drift back to wherever she had been mentally. I suddenly started. Perhaps she was consulting the RCI. She trusted that…that thing too much in spite of knowing that I did not like it. What would the RCI say? Would it agree to mediate on our behalf in front of the Global Bureau? I snorted at that. The RCI was notorious for its cunning, almost like a bio-human many said.

She got up suddenly and nodded at me. It was time to go back. I got up and brushed the sand off my clothes and looked at her. We stared at each other trying to divine our respective thoughts. Her eyes were wet with some deep emotion. Was I right? What had that hulking monster advised her? All of a sudden she pulled me to her and kissed me full on my mouth. A deep, deep metallic kiss. I could taste her cold tears in my mouth. Her lips melting and her tongue searching for mine with some desperation. Her hands gripping my head with a fierce determination. I had never been kissed like that before. She let me go as suddenly as she had pulled me. She turned towards the city and started walking without a backward glance. Confusion was stalking my thoughts and nothing seemed to make sense. Perhaps, there would be time for words later. I shrugged and set off after her.

Tell me can a man ever fall so utterly and madly in love with a robot?

Les Morts

They came in their machines and ate us. They fed on our brains, inserting their squeaky clean protrusions at the base of the head and sucking out the grey matter. They left the white matter alone for some reason. No, no they only wanted the stuff that drove us, made us think, made us love, made us hate, the stuff which made us humans. We called them ‘les morts’, the dead ones.

I think I’m the last one left. I haven’t met anyone else in years. I’ve hidden out for long in the forgotten corners, living on scraps and wild roots. But I knew it was a futile struggle from the start. How can one man stand up against their inhuman single-mindedness? This is the job I had set myself to do. To record the passing of our species. Something that kept me alive until now, running and hiding, running and hiding from their horrible sounds.

Yes, yes that is something that drives me mad. That utter, utter horror of a sound they make. It makes me lose grip over reality. It is a like worm digging into your brain, inch by inch, slowly but steadily. Oh…the sheer mental torture of it. I cannot stand it anymore. I cannot run anymore. There is nowhere to run to. Everything is empty. This whole planet is one vast graveyard of the brain-dead. Not a thing moves except for them. Not a sound anywhere except for their wordless whispers.

I don’t know if anyone will ever read this. The last testament of mankind. A message in a bottle for a whole species. But I wanted to do this. To leave a record of our passing. We were good weren’t we in spite of all the havoc we wreaked? We were after all human, not like them, not like them. There they come. I can hear that sound again. It is like a heartbeat speeded up mechanically and played back in reverse in high pitch. Words cannot describe what that sound can do to a mind. I wanted this to be a comprehensive record of our existence and all I could come up with is this disconnected rambling of a mind on the edge. I failed. We failed. They have won. Game over.

River Ride

The ride across the river soothed him. There was something in the gentle flapping of the sail, and in the way the prow cut through the still water that eased the clamor in his soul. The river flowed around him like his dreams at night, lazy and indulgent. He looked at the horizon and thought of the love he had lost, found and was in the process of losing again. The sky looked like a painter’s canvas waiting to be filled with the fluffy figures of clouds, transformed by experience.

He wondered where he was going wrong. Had he not said the right words? Was he not trying to do the right things? Was his habitual silence to be interpreted as indifference and coldness at best and even malice at worst? Was it hard to see that it would be the same on this side of the mirror too? But then he had always misunderstood relationships. Invariably, he would be caught on the defensive unable to put his point across. Inevitably, he would succumb to what was being said and thrown in his face like a dirty shower of autumn leaves, dried and aged. It was an endless circle of poignant pain.

The boat executed a slow turn around a bend. A bird flew overhead calling for its lost mate mirroring his quest. The trees on the bank stood like wise old men conferring over some important detail not understood by life. He ran his fingers through his hair and was reminded of a similar action from the past. How different things were then! Everything was new and innocent. The shape of things experienced could be caught in the hollow of the palm like an earthen lamp aglow for a festive evening. Nothing was to be lost but there was everything to be gained and stored in the form of burnished memories.

Now on the horizon he could see his approaching destination. The time had come again. Should he follow the path laid down by his heart…or by his mind? Once before he had followed the path laid down by his heart and had thought he had succeeded. But that path had been a disguised circle and he was back to where he had started. He wondered idly whether life was a series of concentric circles arranged to look like the ups and downs of a mountain road. Everybody came back to the same point in the end. Perhaps it was only perspective that changed, not the path.

The boat bumped gently against the jetty and people gathered at the gangway and jostled to be among the first ones to get off. Yes, he thought, the time to face the truth had come again.

Final Light

The auditorium is huge. It is an ocean of space built in three levels. Diffused lighting lights the whole place. The light makes the space expand further, pushing the corners in and masking the details. The light lacks quality but makes up with its evocative display of vast space. The stage is the focus of the brightest lights. It shimmers like a mirage. The curtains hide in the corners like nervous stagehands, streaked with fine dust. And it is quiet. Quieter than even an empty house. The silence covers everything like cold dew. It drips from the dangling microphones, it fills the chairs flowing in like waves and it gives shape to the shallow shadows hiding under the seats.

I’m lying in the center of the stage, stomach ripped open. My fingers clutch the intestines crawling out of the jagged hole. I want to scream but the silence is on me too. It covers my mouth with a dry kiss and the screams struggle at the back of my throat. I do not want to fight it. I want it to engulf me. I squeeze my intestines harder.

Everything explodes.

Space expands and then contracts into a thin but intensely white line. I close my eyes and embrace Death.

(final part in a trilogy of short pieces loosely based on the themes of light and death)

Second Light

The chairs are empty, three of them under the lonely spotlight. All three are draped with a white cloth. One is slightly in front of the other two as if wanting to stand out solely in the light. One is without a cushion and is made of pink plastic. The other two are wooden and have cream-colored cushions. They do not look too old and appear to be waiting for someone. Someone to come and occupy the empty space and throw an additional shadow taller than that of the chairs but blending in with their manufactured uniformity. Perhaps they are like the Sirens of Circe placed there for people fate has abandoned in the alleys of failed ambition.

Time passes. Now there is a man. He is sitting in the plastic chair, the least comfortable of the three. He is foaming at the mouth. His hands are clutching a thin black rope made of plastic. At his feet lies a disposable syringe, old and ugly. His eyes try to concentrate on the spotlight as if by doing so he can find all the answers he ran away from every time. But it is too bright for them. His pupils dilate suddenly. The light overwhelms him and rushes through his open mouth, up his nose into the brain. As everything turns a brilliant white he sees a young child walking away from him, hand in hand with his mother.

(second part in a trilogy of short pieces loosely based on the themes of light and death)

First Light

It was night and the lights were flashing, long streaks of them, white and bright. The air was still but not heavy. There were people around, curious and concerned. They were standing in groups, their collective whispers a pleasant background hum, faces lit up like old paintings in the intermittent light. Dull yellow tape marked off the inner from the outer. Bored faces on the inside going through the formalities. Their actions familiar yet unfeeling. Their clipboards and pens glinting under the flashing bulbs, the chalk lines flowing together to form an unknown constellation of connected paraphernalia.

In the center, the body of the woman, oblivious to all the sudden entropy. Her arms splayed wide open on either side, pointing to some lost direction. Her eyes open to the stars, taking in the empty splendor of the wheeling heavens above.

(first part in a trilogy of short pieces loosely based on the themes of light and death)


One by one they all left, like migratory birds on the journey south, each taking a moment to look back and take in the surroundings one final time. The light outside profiled them against the darkness inside. They stood like solemn sentinels keeping guard over some hidden truth. I was in a corner, my territorial integrity intact from their invisible stares. Their extremities twitched and twirled from some internal rhythm. Or was it a new nervousness on their part? Perhaps they thought that I would leave my corner and claim more of the space outside. Or perhaps they feared that I would find the truth they had been hiding all along. I did not care for the answers. I was content to just sit there and observe their individual coronae visible in the momentary eclipse of detail and shadow.