Picture by Vargab Dasgupta.

Eight minutes to twelve. I drove down the winding roads in a sleepless stupor, counting fireflies. Screeching tires, blaring horns and my languid soul drew map to the quietude, too illusive to trust. I had my name carved on a mahogany, the one I was promised. An unreal willingness chivvied to find the right vines. I trailed along my own blood on the grass.

There were flashbacks. My noctambulant self followed the dragmarks. I had to answer the call. But the more I plunged in, the deeper it was. Soon, I lost track. An artillery shell of diaphanous silence hit my bosom and I winced.

 The nights that followed saw recurrence on a blank canvas until a daybreak when I heard someone say,

Are you like me? Are you alive or just pretending to be so?’