On a sunny day, as soon as doctor Daniel opened his clinic, he had a patient waiting for him. Though it has been few weeks since he had patients waiting for him, pretending it was usual, he invited her to his cabin.
After both of them settled, the doctor could observe that the girl was quite tensed. Before he even asked for her problem, she mentioned, “Mr. Daniel, I didn’t know whom to consult. I’m in need of your help to find my friend.”
Asking her to take a deep breath, Daniel took two cups from the shelf beside him and served coffee from his flask. Passing one cup to girl, he mentioned, “I’ll certainly help you Arya. Could you just tell me everything in-detail and not rush?”
Looking into the doctor’s black eyes, Arya replied, “One of my friends is missing and I cannot help but feel that he is in danger.”
Daniel suspected Arya was lying as she never reached out to such great length to help someone before. So after tasting his sweet coffee served with milk, Daniel asked, “Can you tell me details about your friend?”
Arya took her first sip of coffee before stating, “He’s name is Anthony and we are colleagues. In fact, we share a cubical at work.”
As Daniel realized he isn’t a friend, Arya continued, “He is quite unique compared to most guys at work. He’s an introvert and seldom shares his views.”
Looking at her oval face and pony tail, Daniel suspected if he might be a gay. Meanwhile Arya continued, “Exactly four days back, he resigned from his job and when I asked for a reason, Anthony told me he was going in search of his Senorita.”
As his eyebrows raised, Daniel confirmed, “A title to address a young lady in Spanish?”
Arya nodded in agreement. Placing his cup of coffee on the table that seperated them, Daniel questioned, “So your friend left his job and is wandering in search of a Spanish girl?”
Arya nodded again. Feeling confused, Daniel questioned, “Is he traveling to Spain?”
Arya thought about it for a moment before saying, “I’m not sure. I have come to you suspecting he is lost in his loneliness and is destroying himself.”
Taking a deep breath, Daniel questioned, “And why do you think so?”
Looking at the doctor for a moment as he waited for her answer, Arya replied, “I have been to his home to talk to him. After entering using my spare, I witnessed his thoughts through his wall paintings and took time to read his diary too.”
Finishing her sentence, Arya passed a black diary to the doctor. Taking it, Daniel replied, “A few people’s diaries talk more than them. However, I’ll need time to comprehend his intentions.”
Arya impatiently pleaded, “Please get it done as soon as you can doctor.”
Arya tried tracking Anthony with the help of cyber police but since he wasn’t carrying his phone, they couldn’t help. Even tracking through money lending machines didn’t help because the last time he used them was when he was in city.
Meanwhile a few police officers checked the travel records to confirm that Anthony hasn’t left the country. Every contact Arya seeked told her they don’t know where he could go.
Two days passed by and even Daniel didn’t call back. Arya felt, she would lose Anthony and while eating lunch, she received a message from Daniel saying “Meet me as soon as you can.”
Arya immediately rushed to his place taking a leave that afternoon. Daniel could see her tensed and offered her a glass of water as soon as she settled down.
“I am excited about this case as it’s interesting. Your friend is quite unique and could be in grave danger if he is not helped.”
Arya curiously asked “Why? What did you find out? Can you help him?”
Daniel smirked. He knew how tough it is to find Anthony, as he is a fantasizer whose reality is his dreams.
However, he said “Your friend's personality is quite intriguing. I have never been more motivated to take up a case like this but I will need more evidence of the theory which I’m using as a reference before we start helping and to do so we must speak to father Joseph.”
Arya herself read from the diary that every Friday Anthony confessed his sins as he believed that God would forgive him and give him a lovable life if he did so. But never thought speaking to the father would help.
Both of them visited the church that evening. As they walked in, they could see father Joseph sitting in the first row reading a book. Arya tried to take a look at the book as it did not seem like Bible. As they walked half journey, Daniel said “You must be father Joseph. Hello, sir! I am Daniel a psychiatrist and this is my friend Arya. Both of us have come to seek your help finding Anthony.”
Father stood up and shook hands with Daniel and said “How come you know Anthony? And you want to find Anthony? Is he alright?”
Daniel sat on the second bench while Arya stood. Father sat back in his spot but faced Daniel.
Arya answered “Anthony is a colleague of mine father and four days ago he left his job to go in search of a girl called Senorita. As far as I know no boy would ever leave his job to find a girl but he did as he is insane. I was curious and went to his apartment the next day to talk some sense into him and could not find him. I even... ”
Joseph interrupted saying “You are Arya Allen, Anthony spoke about you almost every time he came here and Mr. Daniel nice to meet you. So both of you have come to me to help Anthony from what?”
Daniel leaned forward and in a steady voice said “Anthony is mentally unstable and is insecure. He is afraid of loneliness to such extreme ends that to protect himself he imagines characters and voices.”
Joseph explained “I know he is single even now and was lonely since a long time but he is definitely not afraid of it. He grew up in an orphanage which I owned and as most humans he seeked what he didn’t possess which was nothing more than love and care…”
Daniel interrupted saying “He was excited to read Misterio Señorita by Antonio didn’t he?”
Joseph thought for a moment as how Daniel knew about the book. He was pretty sure that Anthony always excluded about his lover Senorita in his diary. So he asked, “How do you know about the book?”
Daniel did not care to answer and again asked “Tell us, father. What did Antony really tell you before he made up his mind?”
Joseph plainly answered “Just a few days back he came to me and confessed his petty sins as usual but his tone was high as he was excited to tell me about his eternal lover waiting for him. He told me that he has been hearing a girl’s voice which was very sweet and he spoke with her every day. He also told me that he lost his feeling of loneliness when he heard her and eager to meet her he asked to reveal herself. She insisted that he read a book named Misterio Señorita and told him that this book would unveil the way he would have to travel to meet her. So he asked me to advise him as he was stuck in a dilemma. According to the book, he must let go of all his possessions before he started his journey in search for his lover and since I knew how he cried for years of loneliness, I asked him to win her as I felt his commitment.”
Daniel shouted “You should have never said that! You ruined this boy’s life!”
Arya got tensed while Joseph immediately asked panicking “What happened? Is Anthony alright?”
Daniel explained “A few decades ago a Spanish writer named Antonio Javier wrote poems for years about darkness and loneliness. Seeking to help him, his friend reached him out and took Antonio’s to a psychiatrist. After a clean study, the psychiatrist told Antonio’s friend that he has been lonely all his life and all his thoughts have been overcrowded with darkness and the will for hope has been shattered to such an extent that not even one thought of faith is left in him. The psychiatrist suggested that he would treat Antonio by making use of his strong internal desire to travel. The psychiatrist created a character in Antonio’s mind named Senorita, a girl who would provoke interest in Antonio to travel whenever he is depressed. Antonio’s friend accepted and for about the next two years Antonio wrote the best poetry as he traveled with the voice of Senorita. He started to love Senorita and asked her to reveal herself. She asked him to follow her voice and promised him to one day meet him. Considering nature as the goddess and its everlasting beauty, Antonio wrote the best classics and as time passed by his perception towards love and violence changed. For about two years, he excelled in writing and the last of him was his first story Misterio Señorita a journey he narrated to meet his eternal lover.”
Arya asked “Senorita is a fictitious character, right? How can he find her?”
Daniel smoothly said “Yes but the voice in his head made him travel a specific path finally leading him to a cave in the hills where the voice promised him to reveal herself. When he went in, he could see nothing but a dark pit. Lost was he again into the shadows and disappointment. Crying in pain he threw his book and not wishing to live any longer he killed himself as he felt betrayed. However his book remained as his legacy and since the story is left abrupt it attracted many readers and is an inspiration to many as the truth is always a sour pill but lies are as sweet as honey.”
Joseph did not understand why the voices directed Antonio to a cave so he asked “Why a cave in the hills? Why not a pit in the graveyard?”
Daniel clapped in excitement as that is the main point “When I got to learn about Antonio in my study of psychology, there is a concept called subconscious memory which will help humans defend from losing themselves when they are in need of strength mentally. Antonio read a poem every day titled “The Cave of Desires” which says that Gods have left a cave in the mysterious hills which satisfies every desire a human has and this poem made his thought shape out in such way.”
Joseph thought for a moment and shouted “So now Anthony is chasing behind the path Antonio left and when he will find out that there isn’t a senorita he would also be lost. Oh! No! What have I done? Daniel, please save him!”
Daniel assured, “I will save him but I need your help, Arya!”
Anthony has been traveling since a week and finally reached the blue hill that Antonio mentioned in his book. He followed not just the book but also the voice in his head and when he almost got into the cave he could see a girl standing in white ballet dancer costume dancing on the stone in between the pond formed by the small hole in the cave’s roof. He raced towards her to peek as he always imagined his Senorita as a ballet dancer. He tried imagining faces to her body as he raced towards her and when he finally reached her, he could see that she was Arya. He was awestruck as she has been with him all these days just beside his cabin and he could not even guess her being the Senorita. He walked near her and she calmly said: “I am sorry for doing this but this is for your own good.”
Saying this she hit him with her taser knocking him unconscious.
Anthony opened his eyes hours later and he could see that he was tied to bed and he could not yell as his mouth was also plastered. Daniel walked in and said “Hello Anthony, I am Daniel your only friend as of now. I will help you let go of your madness and...”
Arya knocked the door and Daniel walked out. She heartily said “Thank you, Mr. Daniel. I am in great debt to you.”
Daniel replied to her “I am angry at you Arya. If you really love Antony, you should have told it to him a long time ago as he would not have started his search or think of Senorita. Frankly it is your shyness that caused the whole thing.”
Arya felt bad but wanted to ask “How did you know about the ballet dancer?”
Daniel replied again “All these crazy people have the same signature line. Anthony loved the poem titled “The Ballet Dancer” by Julius and I presumed that he would love his Senorita dressed like that. I promise to cure him as soon as possible.”
As soon as the sun set, I started my daily evening walk in my colony park. Midway, I saw a kid who was around seven years old resting on a bench dissolved in his thoughts.
He looked worried, so approaching him, I asked, “What is your name son and is everything alright?”
Looking at me, he smiled before responding, “My name is Rahul sir and everything is alright. I’m just waiting for my mother.”
I couldn’t help but ask, “You’re waiting for your mother in this park?”
The boy nodded before stating, “She instructed me to wait here before she would return from her work and then we planned to go shopping.”
Sitting beside him, I said “Don’t you worry if she is late. Maybe she is stuck with her work today. You could go shopping tomorrow.”
Now the boy’s face turned pale. In a low tone, he confessed, “Tomorrow is my third birthday sir.”
I thought he was mistaken about his age but the boy explained, “I was born on the 29th of February. So I only celebrate birthdays once every four years.”
Comprehending his calculation, I replied, “So that is why tomorrow is your third birthday.”
He blushed and it felt like his sadness disappeared for a moment. Wanting to know, I asked him “So what do you expect on your third birthday?”
After a moment of thought, he said, “I want to celebrate with my friends. I want it to be as memorable as possible.”
For a moment both of us looked at each other before I asked him, “Don’t you feel bad that you could only celebrate your birthday once every four years?”
Without a moment of hesitation, he stated, “No one can help it as my mother says.”
I loved what he just said. Meanwhile, he continued, “I feel special wearing that white dress along with my new pair of shoes, belt, watch and wallet.”
I told him, “Shortly, your mother will be here and you will get to buy all of them.”
I could see his excitement mounting up and intending to keep him occupied, I asked, “So what do you do on your birthday?”
The boy took a deep breath before saying, “I pray to God. Wear new clothes, shoes, and everything. Distribute chocolates to my friends and sweets to my teachers. Invite my friends to my birthday party. The rest of my time, I eat my mother’s delicious food and play with my dad after I finish the cake he brought me.”
I felt bad for him because he gets to celebrate his birthday only once every four years. Meanwhile, the boy asked me, “Do you celebrate your birthday?”
To which I honestly didn’t want to lie. So I told him, “I used to in the past but now I no longer do. However, when I used to celebrate, I did it every year.”
The boy’s face glowed. He asked me curiously, “How did you celebrate your birthday?”
I couldn’t remember what I did. So instead of answering, I asked him, “Why don’t you celebrate your birthday on 28th February for non-leap years?”
Observing his shoes, he answered, “My father still buys me a cake and my mother feeds me sweets but there is no party during those years.”
I felt happy since he was content with what they gave him. Finally, his mother did arrive and I bid him goodbye as she took him to shop.
Two days later, I met the boy in the same place during my evening walk. Walking towards him, I wished, “Belated Happy Birthday son! Couldn’t wish you during the last two days due to the heavy rain. How did you enjoy your birthday?”
Dejected, he replied, “Due to rain, my school declared a holiday and my friends didn’t attend my birthday party!”
I suggested, “You could celebrate your birthday any day after it’s done. Now that the climate is favorable. Select a day and celebrate.”
To which he was unwilling. Looking at me, he even stated, “I would rather wait four more years!” and I could feel his anger on God to which no one could help him with except for Him.
This short story is dedicated to Devika Devadas. Add your opinion on the short story in the comments and thank you for your time - WP Team.
As of every morning my alarm rang. I woke up to switch it off but I couldn’t and after a few seconds it stopped. It was 6 am and I woke up after a long sleep but still laid on my bed. It was time I got ready to my college. My mom came to me and said “Wake up son it is too late and get ready to your college.” I walked into my living room and breakfast was already served. Around 7 am I reached my bus stop. After sometime I got into my bus and I sat in my spot.
All my friends were enjoying amongst themselves and as usual I stayed calm. At 8 am I reached my college. I went to my class and sat in my place beside Rohan my best friend. Classes started and Rohan just sat beside me and to my surprise he did not even greet me and I was waiting for him to talk. At 3 pm classes were over and we both traveled back and he still did not speak. This continued for two days.
I could observe some changes in these two days which I never experienced before in my life. No one in my family was responding to me. My mom only said me one thing every day and that was “Wake up son it is too late and get ready to your college.” My dad read a document all day and he did not even talk to me. Another surprise was my younger brother stood before our house every evening and cried for few minutes. Later he went to my uncle’s house which was just beside ours. I’m totally confused about what is happening in my life. I could not understand why my family was behaving differently.
The next day I saw the date-card and it was 14th February 2015. As the present date was 17th February, I tried changing it but I was unable to. I don’t know why but to that mix my parents weren’t even present at home. I thought of going to Rohan’s house to talk to him.
I walked and reached his house which was just in the next lane. I could see him speaking to our classmates. I walked near to them and I could hear what he was saying. Rohan gathered all our friends to tell them that “Three days ago while Vimal was traveling to visit Hill Top to attend our meet he met with an accident and was dead. I got to know about it from his younger brother.”
He continued saying that “His father and mother who were visiting an advocate were also dead hit by a truck and it was his younger brother who is still alive he is been taken care by his uncle.” After all that I heard I got to know many answers.
The saddest part was I could not even cry.
I went back to my house after knowing hard reality. My parents were acting usual not knowing what happened and I wanted to let them know about the truth. However, I saw my uncle coming into my house. For the first time in my life I felt very grateful for him as he was taking care of my brother.
He walked into our house and looking around he smiled. I was curious of why he was smiling. Foolishly he shouted “Soon I would become rich and no one would ever dare insult me as the whole property my brother owns would be mine soon.” After listening to my uncle I was stunned. Not even for a minute I believed that he killed us. My father for the first time apart from reading the document stood up and wanted to hit my uncle and now he knew he couldn't.
After my uncle left I and my father told my mother how all the three of us were killed by our uncle. We knew that our brother will also be killed when he becomes an adult. As he planned my uncle shifted his family members along with my younger brother to our house. To my surprise my uncle and aunty were taking too much care and were showering too much love towards my brother.
After two days my uncle and aunty for some reason started quarrelling and as I heard I got to know it was because of my brother. My aunty was questioning about the burden of raising another kid in the house and she straight forwardly said can't afford her love to another one besides of her own ones. My uncle then revealed to her why he was taking care of boy as it was the boy who owned all the estates. He assured his wife that the burden would only be for few months. On be asked by his wife of what he is going to do, my uncle just smiled.
We tried so much to communicate with my brother but our efforts failed. I could observe that my brother changed so much after our death. As he started learning more and more about souls and devils as he was also in desperate effort to communicate with us. Though both of us lived the same room all the time, we couldn’t talk. One day I found him reading a book “Dark Shade” and it was reputed as the best book to find answers regarding souls and after life. After completing the preface I started reading along with my brother and the chapter was named "Lucifer: The Ultimate Master".
The chapter said according to ancient mythology Lucifer was son of deity Nature and was representative of demons. He’s responsibility was to send away all those souls with desires to hell for proper judgment. Living in every Graveyard Lucifer waits for people to be either cremated or burnt and seeks their souls. However the chapter concluded saying that Lucifer was also tempted with desire and has given up his duties and stop serving his purpose.
I completed reading and assumed that Lucifer could be of help. So around 7 pm in the evening I and my parents went to graveyard. Before we walked in we were requested by many other souls to leave and not to enter. These souls were as bright as sun and we couldn’t stand near them. We went inside without heeding their words.
As we entered we could see many black souls waiting around burnt bodies. As we walked in between them we could see a young boy flying about the flames of burning bodies. Noticing all the souls round us we could understand that the boy was Lucifer. So I walked towards him and while I was about to talk he said "I am going to help you but you should in return do me the favour". I immediately asked "What is the favour?" to which Lucifer smiled. He said “I want all the three souls to be my slaves” and without any second thought we said that yes.
All souls cheered at once to our answer. I was astonished to see them rejoice. Now Lucifer gave us two wishes and the first one being the power to talk and the second one to generate fire. I took the power of the voice and my Father took the power of fire. Before we left Lucifer touched us once and he was ice cold. His touch marked our bodies at the point of contact. Then he asked us to come to the same place after our work was done.
As we returned to our house, I immediately reached my brothers room and while he was sleeping I whispered to him to follow me. He woke up feeling shocked and switched on the lights and could not see the source of the sound. Immediately he started chanting hexes to invoke the great Impala’s guards. I shouted fearing if the guards would really come and that is when my brother recognised my voice. I asked him to follow me. He trusted my voice for some reason and I asked him to follow him. Both of us reached the hill top the exact same place I was visiting when I met with an accident.
After around fifteen minutes, my aunty and her daughter went to a party. My parents went to my house and my father waited for my uncle and when he came in my father burnt the whole house. Unable to escape my uncle died.
I was about to return informing my brother that I had to leave. My brother enquired of me the whole story of what exactly happened? And I told him how Lucifer gave us the powers. Listening to my words, my brother was shocked as Lucifer did exist and after a minute he shouted in disappointment as he knew how Lucifer lures everyone into his trap. He asked me to stay back immediately and started reading the book to complete it.
Meanwhile my parents wanted to leave the house and while they were leaving, a cage formed exactly in the shape of the house. When they touched the cage they experienced the pain of their soul ripped into two halves. They could see Lucifer standing out of the cage saying "Stay there my friends! Stay there! Counting you in, I am getting very near to my goal”.