Hi all… I request you to read the attached pdf (Karadi tales 8563) first , before proceeding towards my blog further. My blog is the end that I have conceived for the story attached in the pdf below. This story was passed on as part of a competition to write an ending for a story by Karadi Tales. However, I was unlucky in knowing about it just today, but elated, being brought to my attention by my fellow architect/blogger/writer friend. She is also completing her version of the end as I speak. I would shortly include her link for the end as well. Hope you have a good read.
Raghunath was sweating profusely. It was a windy night. He managed to pinch himself to reassure that he wasnt dreaming. He stepped off his berth to get to wash room. As he washed his faced he saw his face on the mirror. He looked petrified. He washed his face again and unlocked the door. He stepped out, his heart still pounding.
He walked towards the compartment door and saw it locked on the contrary. The passage to the next compartment was also locked. He tried to read the place where the train had halted. He could see it was not a major station and it was deserted. It was not astonishing to see that at this hour. He stood straight. The train jerked back to life to bring senses back into him. He realised he was motionless for a while from the time he stepped out of the rest room.
He paced across the length of the compartment in darkness and carefully navigated around the protruding legs of sleeping people. He reached the other end to be identical to what he checked before. He paced back and forth a couple of times and hitting against few legs and hearing people moan in their sleep. He felt like a caged bird whose wings were clipped. He felt paranoia sinking him for no absolute reason.
He told himself relax, relax, relax. This amused him. He wondered, steering away from his paranoia, if repeating relax a thousand time would achieve his intentions. He paced across again to see if anyone was awake. He felt like the night watchman of a cemetery.
Finally he gathered calmness and walked back to his berth. He climbed up to his berth with utmost caution. He lay there, eyes dilated, and looking at the concave ceiling. That didn’t help him. He closed his eyes and as he was slipping into oblivion he heard a cloudy whisper. He squeezed through a hazy vision in the dark to be astonished to see 8563, who was continuing to whisper.
He jumped off the berth and signalled 8563 to keep calm. He managed to convey the message. Now he signalled 8563 to follow him. He was glad, as he managed successfully to convey 2 instructions to a man who has a name in number and who spoke mere numbers.
8563 walked ahead of Raghunath and parked himself against the compartment door next to the wash basin. Now both of them frantically began to speak in their own languages, one the true language and the other in number. Raghunath’s mind couldn’t relate to what the conversation was on about, but gave him a calmness of a perfectly synchronised conversation.
He felt that they have struck a chemistry in conversing amidst the barrier of words and numbers. When he though that they are having a meaningful conversation, he heard faint whisper again. He turned around to realise it wasn’t a whisper but a guard on nigh patrol in the train standing on his face and yelling at him. He regained his senses back to focus on the guard . The guard was now questioning Raghunath on his intention to standing next to the door at that demoniac hour.
Raghunath turned to introduce the reason being 8563, found himself in a despair due to the sudden disappearance of 8563. he nearly slumped to the floor by the shock. The guard held him and helped him back to his feet. Now keeping calm Raghunath tried explaining to the guard, the entire chain of events. The guard didn’t seem amused, he moved close to Raghunath and asked him to exhale to check if he was drunk. Now that disappointed the guard again, he ordered Raghunath to head back to his berth.
With profuse breathing, Raghunath went back to his seat. Unable to catch some sleep due to the confusion of the night and his station approaching along with some daylight, he decided to continue reading his book. He picked up his book to be astonished to see a blank cover with no name. Curiously he opened the page he was reading to be shocked to see a furious flood of numbers. The pressure of the situation was weighted when he felt a sudden hunger.