Monday, February 9, 2015

I Waited

And he waited.... for he wanted IT more than his love, life and fame.
Image: Desktop Nexus
Waiting by the docks Jack saw the beam of the lighthouse casting an eerie glow. The shimmering water twinkled merrily like those naughty fairies in the woods, mocking the onlookers by vanishing as soon as their eyes indetified them. Jack inhaled the wisp of whisky floating in the air from the nearby tavern. A gypsy song was wafting towards him like a siren’s call. But he waited - not for the molten liquor which always intoxicated him. Taking away hours of reality and merging them into a dream. 

How he craved to forget his own existence! An orphan. He hated that word. At the age of twenty-six, he wanted more. He wanted his own identity. But he was just Jack. Jack, the orphan. His earliest memory was of stale whisky breath. Every time Mr. Alan came near him, his breath left a stench in the air. His muted voice sent a cold chill down his young spine. He remembered curling his fingers in a knot, to stop the fear from making him feel any less a man. But then, he was less a man against the burly, stomach bulging Mr. Alan.

Mr. Alan always spoke in a very low voice. Never raised it and just when you were mulled into a false sense of security.. Wham! His fist would leave a mark on your cheeks. Then the humiliation of his roaring laughter had to be endured. A laughter, which proclaimed his supremacy over the trembling, anorexic-looking kids and made the tyrant feel like a rajah.

Jack had tolerated all. The daytime beatings and humiliations. The painful fantasies of the sinful night. Painful, for he was the main performer of Mr.Alan's fantasies. His muted cries were smothered. His tears ran dry but nothing left the big walls of Anne Frank Orphanage. The boundary wall bore witness to many such scenes - yet remained a silent spectator. 

And then, she came. Miss. Samantha. Mr. Alex's wife number three. Little Jack fell in love. She was so sweet and pure. How his young heart adored her! She always had a smile for everyone. All the pain stopped. The bread was now not only buttered but they even had a weekly chicken broth. And just when the pain was receding in the past, Samantha decided that the Orphanage was too desolate for her to spend her life in and bade everyone a tearful goodbye. No one sobbed more than little Jack. His life came crashing down like a badly hung glass framed portrait.

Mr. Alan's infliction of pain rose like the Phoenix. Muted cries echoed again within the walls. Cold angry eyes overcast by dark eyelashes shone like glow worms on many hollow faces. But silence reigned. For they were orphans. Who would listen to them? They were discarded appendages. An epidemic to the well-cultured English society which had to be kept However, Jack had enough. So one night he hid under in the hunchback van of the mailman and silently bid adieu to this gloomy place. 

He learnt to beg with dignity until a carpenter took him in as his apprentice. He learnt the craft and he learnt to use the saw. With every movement of the saw, he felt his tensions easing. His woodwork had reached to such a level that the demand for his work grew. He now had a back account. But he never forgot the place he had come from - the orphanage by the dock. He had to return one day soon for he had left behind something very precious when he had run away from that place. 

"Why do'ya want to go back the'r, Jackie boy?" His carpenter Dad asked him. 

"I h've to Da." Jack said quietly. "I h've to get 't back."

So he waited. Sawing everyday. Making beautiful furniture which now the retail shops brought from him. He got a loan and opened is own furniture shop. Jack's Furniture. He now had a credit card too. And he waited.

He met Susan in the Church. Now that lass did pull his heart string. Just looking at her reminded him of Miss. Samantha. His heart was beating again. And this time the Gods were kind to him. She loved him back and they married. He bought a car. And he waited. 

Then the wait became an agony. He knew he had to go back. He kissed his wife, took some bread and wine for the road and started his journey towards the dock. Nothing had changed in the orphanage, except the faces of the children. But the fear in those eyes were same. Jack smiled at them and went to the main office and closed the door behind him.

A single wail rang out. 

A single curse proclaimed the augmentation of a new rule in the orphanage. 

The police came and handcuffed the dazed Jack - all one could hear was a few incorrigible mutterings, "I wa'ted. I wa'ted to get back my dignity."

The law declared him insane. They could not understand why he had butchered the young recruit who had just landed on this job after Mr. Alan's demise. Jack now sits by a grilled window, staring at the orange sky by the dock. His glazed eyes sunk and his once well-defined jaws pinched but only those who look at him closely can see the slight smile hovering on his pale lips. 



18 comments:

  1. Powerful writing; mind-blowing similes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sundari. I know the ending was a bit off mark ..and I have no idea why I wanted that. It just came with the flow.. wondering should I change it or not.

      Delete
  2. Very well written. You had me hanging onto each word. But a rather gruesome and sad end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Suzy. The ending went overboard right? :P

      Delete
  3. Ah, the sorrows of the unloved children. The effects of cruelty live on in their adult minds. You've shown us some of his pain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Francene. Glad some part came through :D

      Delete
  4. Loved the story line and what an ending to a thoughtless action that will make him spend his rest of the years in prison esp after struggling to come up and succeed!

    The wait was worth it...but alas in pain he did not see who the person was...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a ton Ruchira. Yesss! That is what I wanted to show but the ending became a bit complicated.

      Delete
  5. Don't change the ending. It's flowing too well and naturally. Changing it might mess it up unless you have a skilled editor suggesting it. The story has a powerful impact I must say :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I could feel poor Jack's despair! Such a powerful illustration of how childhood traumas can affect one's life forever.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very well set up. The anger and pain had to go somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christopher. Even I felt that if Mr. Alan would die (due to age) to forget the childhood is too easy and to some extent not possible.

      Delete
  8. I wouldn't change the ending, either It makes the story even more tragic. What pain, and only tragedy, not revenge. Alana

    ReplyDelete