This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Friday, 12 October 2012

Voice In The Night

I was about to go to bed when I heard the voice.

I live way out in the country, and at night I hear nothing except maybe the wind in the trees, so if I say I was surprised it would be an understatement.

Even more surprising was that the voice was right outside my bedroom window, and the curtains were drawn back, and I could see nothing there.

More surprising still, I could understand not a word of what was being said. It was no language I know, and I speak several; more, it was a language I would not have believed a human tongue to be capable of speaking, all clicks and intonations and slurred consonants, and yet it was a human voice. I could not identify age or even gender, but it was a human voice, and for some reason I knew it was talking to me

I had a torch. It was a marvel of a torch, longer than my forearm, capable of throwing a beam a thousand metres. I shone it out of the window. Nothing. But I could still hear the voice, and I knew now that I would have to go outside. That was what the voice wanted. So I went.

My torch illuminated the shrubbery of my garden. The brilliant circle of light illuminated my wall and my bedroom window, from outside. I shone it on the trees and the grass, but I could see nothing out of the usual. Not even one of the huge yellow moths flapped to the light.

But still I could hear the voice, still talking to me. I could hear it from right in front of me...but the torch beam showed nothing.

I may have been frightened then. But the same thing that had called me out of the house told me that the voice could not hurt me, even if it wanted to. It was just a voice. But it had something to say, something it could not in the light. That was it.  So I switched off the torch.

Darkness fell like a velvet shroud, but there was a light. It was a small, bluish light, oval and wavering, but it grew, and grew, until it towered over me. As it grew there were whorls in it, and eddies of light, and the voice clarified, became distinct, and feminine; the words took on a definite tone and meaning. And then, at last, in the middle of the glow, I saw her.

“You,” I said, the torch dropping from my hand.

“Yes,” she said, looking over her bare shoulder at me. She was as I remembered her, but nude, and her skin had a pallor I had never known it to have. Her lips were a startling red, her hair black as the night.

“I thought I would never see you again.” I said.

“The grave is cold,” she answered. “Too cold for me.”

“The grave.” Somehow I had been sure she was alive.

“The grave.” She turned to me, her beautiful naked body straining to come out of the light. “I don’t blame you for anything,” she said. “Just take me into your arms? Just once? Please?”

“I can’t...I’m not worthy of it. I am not fit to touch you.” What I had done to her overwhelmed me

“Please...just for a moment. Try.” But she was fading, and the light was fading, and the darkness fell on a sexless voice murmuring incomprehensible things that I could now only too well understand.

A thin sliver of moon rose eventually and broke the darkness. I must have been standing there for a long time. 

Copyright B Purkayastha 2008

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