Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Leeches!

It was a beautiful day - warm sunshine, clear skies, a light cool breeze blowing. Perfect outdoor weather and so we did just that. The field was crowded and after a brief wait, we eventually found a spot large enough for us to start playing. Being able to get out after so long got us so engrossed in our game that we lost the track of time and also the sky. It was the last point. One more catch and the scores will have a big enough difference for our team to win. Someone threw the ball at me and I just let it drop. There were cries from the rest of my team even before the ball had hit the ground because I was not focusing on the ball at all. In fact, I did not even see the ball drop because I had my back to it. I could feel the outrage being expressed by my team mates as they bore their hard stare into my back. But I had other things to worry about. I had seen something that the no one else had spotted. Not even the girls who were supposed to be on the lookout. This abrupt change in my demeanor stifled the cries of my team mates. What started out as a bellowing outrage ended in a whimper and I think some even tried to swallow the words into their stomach. No, I was not menacing nor was I a bad player. In fact I was the best catcher on the team. But everyone knew the drill, you cannot make any sound when they are around. It was one of the ways that they could detect our presence.

"We promise we will pay attention" they had said to all of us. As much as I was against the idea of letting them take over the watch from the guards the relentless pleas from my team mates sounded convincing. After all, there was not a cloud in the sky to be seen and we had a score to settle with the guards. They had beaten us by 1 point in the tie-breaker in the last game. I let the euphoria of the good weather get to me and against my better judgement, I let the girls take over the watch from the guards for the lousy game! I was so angry at myself. Of course they got engrossed in enjoying the weather and forgot to notice the clouds move in. Of course they did not detect the presence of the leeches that were now moving in by the dozens surrounding the huge field. I didn't even know how long had they been waiting in the dark forest at the edge of the field... waiting patiently for the clouds to move in.... watching their prey running and jumping about before they strike. More than the girls, I was angry at myself. Why did I give in and let the guards play? Why! I knew the girls did not have the skills to be lookouts. This is why we never allowed them to take that responsibility. How many people will pay the price for my decision! Oh well, now was not the time to ruminate.

The girls were smart enough to move into the center of the field. They were surrounded by 2 concentric circles the inner one formed by the civilian men and the outer one by the guards. The latter were now fully alert and had quickly fallen into their combat positions. I saw one of the guards move towards the edge of the field towards the pile of weapons. He was a newer recruit, Jack. Obviously. Any experienced soldier would never have made such a foolish move. The stack was too close to the forest and in spite of their massive size (some were more than 12 feet tall), the leeches moved with agility - Especially when they were hungry. Jack's intentions were noble and the weapons would have bettered our precarious position greatly, but alas, the move was suicidal. I knew it! I could not run and stop him from what he was doing. Heck, I could not even shout out a warning to him for that would instantly alert the leeches of our location. Their vision was weak, but their hearing was very sharp! It now came down to numbers. Survival of many - sacrifice of one. He was headed towards the pile of weapons, straight in the direction of the enemy. While the enemy had their attention focused on this sure shot prey, we had to make our escape. Jack's death should not be an utter waste.

I signalled the guards and we started moving slowly towards the vehicles. As much as we wanted to, we could not afford to make any sudden movements. They could still spot us. I counted Jack's steps as he moved closer and closer to the weapons. He was so focused on his task, He was not even aware of the giant leech hidden in the clump of trees behind the stack. I was intently watching Jack move and I was also watching the leech. I had to anticipate the enemy's movement precisely when Jack notices it and cries out in surprise. This will distract the rest of the leeches and we will have to make a break for the vehicles. Hopefully the other leeches will be distracted enough by the smell of blood and the the noise and coupled with the poor eyesight, they won't notice us. It was a long shot, but I had to take it. It was our only shot! The clouds were getting thicker and the sky darker, soon they will be able to roam free in the dark night. Escape would then be impossible then for the zombies will also be out at night!

It was now! The other leeches noticed it, I noticed it and so did a few of the other soldiers. The big leech moved towards Jack who now slowed down as his eyes grew big in horror as he noticed death, in the form of the big beast, move towards him. He slipped and slid, kicking up a cloud of dust as his feet scampered in a futile attempt to stop his advance in the enemy's direction as he tried to reverse his stride. The dry mud did not help. Even if it was asphalt, he still stood no chance. Not at that distance. The leech moved with speed in Jack's direction. I saw Jack's feet slow down as he was almost mesmerized by the sheer agility of the huge beast. The jaws opened and it swooped upon Jack who was now screaming his guts out. We were almost 115 meters away from the vehicles when Jack's screams died. I turned my head around slightly to witness the horror!

His torso lying on the ground. Jack had no head. In fact, Jack had no chest. The leech had bit him in half and the upper part of Jack's body was in the beast's mouth. Blood was dripping from the mouth of the leech that had devoured Jack and the other leeches were moving towards the lower half of Jack's torso. The smell of warm blood must be overwhelming for them. We shut the door of the vehicles and bolted off. We lived to see another day. Thank you Jack!

55 comments:

Illeen said...

Oh man..what a post!

Was glued onto it..could feel my skin crawling..

Awesome!

eye-in-sty-in said...

Thank you for the encouraging appreciation of my 1st fiction write up, Illeen. I wish I could write half as well as you do :-)

avdi said...

chilling.. u shd write more !

Bouncing-Bubble said...

excellent buddy!first time reading such an account of fiction from u..

Shayari said...

Wooo an impressive write up, Einstein!Reminded me of those giant spiders stalking Harry in the Forbidden forest.

Loved it. More of these please!!:D

sujata said...

That was impressive!! Great work!! fiction is tough..you did brilliantly.

Smita said...

Such was the impact of your writing that I was cursing the guys for leaving Jack alone!!!!

I have always felt that your command on language is such that you should write something beyond reviews, something original needless to say am glad you wrote this piece.

Wonderful!!Excellent!!

I wish you write such stuff more often!

AD said...

my head was spinning until i read this.

it stopped until the moment you wrapped up the post.

i think a thunder bolt hit me!

Vee said...

Wild Imagination!!! Keep Them Coming!!!

PurpleHeart said...

Great imagery ! Keep it going !

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Ava,
Thank you! You are kind.

Hi Bouncing-Bubble,
Yep.. 1st attempt at such stuff. Thanks 4 reading.

Shayari,
lol @ the Harry Potter comparison - This was all in a dream that I had. I must have been influenced by the gory stuff that I watch. Thanks for being kind in your compliment. Hows the wedding prep going on? If I can be of assistance, pls let me know.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Sujata,
Really? Be honest in your criticism. I can take it...

Hi Smita,
Are you saying my revus are unoriginal :P Grrr :D Thank you! But honestly, with the amount of stuff you read, I was expecting a more critical comment from you...

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi AD,
Was the emotion driving the thunder bolt? Shock, boredom? what?

Hi Vee,
Thanks buddy.

Hi Sandy,
You want it to continue? Will try. Thanks.

Angel's Flight said...

U wrote this!! really??

Are u nodding?? Yes??

Ur freaking amazing! now u know what to do...for the rest of ur life...or till u get bored!

Cheers

Smita said...

Grrr!!! You know i didn't mean that. You expected me to be more critical? I wonder why!

SAHITYIKA said...

hi spike..
really horrable..
and the last part.. oh my god.. reading whole thing was like seeing a movie (visual image) and that is the best part of fiction writing.. that someone can make u imagine exactly what he was..
really nice work.. keep on going.. bt less horrabel.. :(

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Angel
Yep... creation of an evil mind... and I had a feeling you'd enjoy reading it :-) Thank you for the flattery.

Hi Smita,
Cos I wanted to know a critic's POV.

Hi SAHITYIKA,
Thank you for your feedback... Was it that horrible?

Smita said...

Well then i would say it could be trimmed a bit here n a bit there :-) and i don't agree that am a critic. I hope am not penalised for being honest ;-)

eye-in-sty-in said...

If you dont mind, can you please srop an email and tell me where could it be edited? Thanks!

couchpapaya said...

very gory! next time make the girls kickass and u wont have casualties like jack!!

eye-in-sty-in said...

I didn't expect to pass the critic's cut :-)

Ripples said...

Wow if I dint have to read the comments on this post I would think it was a real experience....Well i used to read fiction and I loved the way you have ended the post....
IT has a trickle down effect....
Will look forward for some more of such posts!

Vidooshak said...

ewwwwwww

(that means it was well written. almost like WATCHING a movie. gross!! u should add a TVMA icon to your blog now)

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Ripples (Ghosh! What a name :P)
thank you for reading :-)

Hi Vidooshak,
really? If I add that rating, the teeny boopers that like such posts will be unable to follow it :D Not a good marketing strategy... :-) Thanks 4 reading.

AD said...

i love boggling brains ;)
i think i m gettin good at it :D

eye-in-sty-in said...

err.... thanks?

AD said...

Was the emotion driving the thunder bolt? Shock, boredom? what?


SHOCKEDDDDDDDDDD!!!
like struck and your hair stand up!

eye-in-sty-in said...

oh ok. :-) thanks for clarifying....

couchpapaya said...

eh, didnt mean it in any negative way!! it was certainly v. imaginative and a great attempt. sorry, i wasnt v. encouraging earlier.

so, what i think is that for any story u need to have characters (this is from my perspective as a reader and the type of things i like to read), so if people in your stories had names (for eg: kay, a girl with ADD who had been posted at the perimeter as a chance to prove herself) i think it's easier for readers to relate to them rather than as a group ie. the guards, the girls. the narrator can remain nameless, since we're seeing everything through his eyes, we know him. it was good giving the new recruit a name, it made his sacrifice/foolhardiness more interesting. also by making them individuals, instead of a group, u tend to not irritate/alienate touchy people of said group when u stereotype :)

Nikki said...

Woweee! I have goosebumps! Nice!

eye-in-sty-in said...

ha ha ha - u thought I stereotyped! you of all people :P ok, if u say I did, then I must have. The reader has every right to express their opinion.

I didn't take ur earlier comment in a negative way - just that I expected book reviewers like yourself and Smita to give some critical feedback :-)

I did not even think of naming any other characters in the story. I was not even going to name Jack, but let is slip in the story while penning it. The reason for not having many named characters was to keep the storyline taunt. The opening is open ended, yet it has closed this story. This gives me the freedom to keep the story a short story or a chapter of a series. Now that you know the thought process, what wd you say about it?

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Nikki,
:-) Thank you.

couchpapaya said...

EISI - u shld ask if u want a critical comment :) it's not always easy to criticise the work of someone u know and the possibility of offending when giving opinions without solicitation are v. high. i figured when i read that u wd have ur reasons, i just gave u some of my thoughts as a reader. actually, it will be great if u serialise it, more adventures of the giant leeches!! tho why leeches now (i find them v.v. creepy)? and what made u write the story ? :)

eye-in-sty-in said...

ha ha ha - I know you know me long enough to know I should not have to ask for it CP. Your thoughts were taken in the right spirit coz I know you like to do the balancing act and be critical without ruffling too many feathers... its one of the reasons I like reading your writings. Searilise it? Well, if i can get a sequel dream, i'll be sure to pen it down... althought I do have a faded memory of the 2nd half of this sequence in my head... maybe it'll make it to paper one day! Thanks for the critical review :-) and for mellowing it down for me :-)) lol

eye-in-sty-in said...

serialise*

Zeba Talkhani said...

Loved it. a change from the movie reviews which i dont really understand!! loved this one. Read every word. I never knew leeches could be so huge..

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Zeba,
Thank you! It was my 1st attempt at such a post. If u stick around, you might find out ;-)

Yword said...

Tu sach mein bahut filmi hai. And i mean that in the nicest way. Good stuff- crichton ka fan hai kya? this was very imaginable. now elaborate the rest of it please

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi M,
Chrichton? Jurassic park? Never read any of his books - just watched the movies. Thank you... Aap ki is compliment ne to is blog pe char chand laga diye (living up to your comment)

PurpleHeart said...

so, working on the sequel ?

eye-in-sty-in said...

trying - had another story in mind too.... but still a few dots left to fill... got any inspirations fer me?

WhatsInAName said...

i came, i read, i was left speechless! You write beautifully, but how come you chose leeches for a start :-D but seriously you kept the story moving!
as an aside, aapke blog me aane ke liye aap mujhe rs 10 transfer kar de ;-) Just kidding! you are their on my blogroll. Its just that when you write on hollywood i dont have anything to comment hehe i am clueless you see

WhatsInAName said...

btw yes please write short stories more often. You are a master story teller.

Aparna said...

Sorry, a different take here, but i honestly did not get it. You guys were playing cricket? And then a leech attacked you? And then devoured Jack? I think I am getting too old for this.The brighter side, your language skills are amazing.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi WIAN,
Thank you for reading and for the flattery... Choosed leeches coz they are blood sucking parasites that can be used to cure heart attacks too :P
I'll be very happy to transfer the said Rs. 10/- in your account. before I do that, please send me your bank a/c number where i'll make a small deposit and then a withdrawal to confirm the account belongs to you :-)
I know I know - lot of folks dont like hollywood stuff - so was the case in MS... I can understand that (note to self - not a frequent reader, make a larger withdrawal *rubbing hands in glee*)

Hi Aparna,
Yes.. it was so sad that poor Jack was killed by a giant leech and you missed the part where I say its "fiction" :P hee hee - too old? you dont look a day older than 21 :-)

WhatsInAName said...

well in that case, let the amount accumulate and i will collect it when you come down ;-)
And hollywood is not the only reason for general absence. There is something called lethargy too :-D Oh how i love garfield!
btw even Lice are blood sucking ;-)

eye-in-sty-in said...

Lethargy? ah, now that is a totally legit excuse :P And yes, please send a hefty fee for asking me to hold the funds! The days of free banking are long gone :-)

swati said...

Gosh i was hooked up wid ur post right till the end :) very dramatic in a pleasant way!!
Good day!

eye-in-sty-in said...

Thank you Swati! Gd day 2 u as well :-)

PurpleHeart said...

Hmm...You still could expect another attack from the Leeches. You never know. Like the horror movies where the friends get killed one by one....how about that ?

eye-in-sty-in said...

hmmmm..... the idea is ok but kinda boring... I'll get repetitive. I was thinking of using the zombies I mentioned in the story... ne other ideas?

lafemmereva said...

good post!! :)drama till the end!

eye-in-sty-in said...

drama in fiction is as good as drama in real life is bad :-)

Thank you and welcome to the blog. The quetion now is - will she come back for seconds! The leech, I mean! ;-)

Babli said...

Very beautifully written.I appreciate for your brilliant post.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Thank you Babli. Glad you read n liked it.