This chapter is just an introduction for the setting of the times and the conditions of the future story. The main storyline would begin from the next chapter. Please read!
The Final Stance
This night was black, no sign of the moon and a few stars that grouped in the east twinkled. Willowfield increased towards the barren house with a steady pace, feeling the coldness of the winter night of the North. New York's skyscrapers were some way behind him for now and he was particularly in a village that had a slight sign of development.
'They all have gone mad,' he murmured, his words escaping as mist into the air. 'No one can ever guess what they want?'
His words shrieked in the temperature, such pity that no voice could be heard in flow. The birds were all silent for now and the land somehow welcomed the sarcastic climate. It was a weather that a nightly wanderer like Willowfield would love if there were no specifics for him to roam about. It is true, every man loves to be free and to roam about the pitchy blackness and senseless cold of night but if there are some substances you need to work upon in such circumstances, it purely fades your instinct.
And for now, the silence didn't pass away, although Willowfield's eyes scanned every movement in the dark accepting the break of the silence. His face was covered in wrinkles, which were highly concentrated in his cheeks, radiating out of the nose and then his eyes were deep as if confining whole mysteries of the world in them. Some black spots were inoculated near an eyebrow and then, again the layered forehead. He had a jacket around his waist and the chest, yet there was an awkward trembling continuing all over his body. Sometimes, as he grew forward, his body hair stood in anticipation, probably applauding his might and then settles down like claps the gladiators had once experienced. But a martyr lives only for applause.
His mouth was clenched in disgust and the rashness all around. The grass, the trees and the air, all appeared to be uniting with the tension in the surroundings. It was too much in all.
He stopped at the threshold of the bungalow. The white paint of the walls obliged with the cedar door. The letterbox by the side was probably empty, though Willowfield didn't care to peep into it. It was none of his business. He scanned the front wall with all his attention and then brought his sullen view dumped on the doorbell nudge. There were a few windows and a faint yellow light coming out of them, probably through the curtains.
'He is awake,' Willowfield muttered fainter then ever before. 'May be in a mood to welcome me. While his lawn didn't do this.'
He stepped forward and stretched his hand towards the doorbell. Hardly had any moment passed and the door opened before his hand had actually touched the doorknob.
'Oh!' the man came out of the door. 'Willowfield! You're here! Surprise! But what were you doing to the door?'
'Doorbell,' Willowfield answered to the silly question, his voice prudent and reasonable, yet full of hatred. 'What happens to you?'
'Roaming in the calm cold of night can't be called care, Willy,' the man said. 'By the way, I… I needed to throw this eggshell in the grasses… the back of the house.'
The man went out of sight by the wall of the house towards the back. Willowfield made a what-the-hell type of expression and carried his gaze towards where the man went.
'Be back fast, Mathine,' Willowfield said after a moment's pause.
Willowfield's voice was edged at some points and crooked when heard from a distance, but after all he had a passionate tone which a girl would fall in love with at first hearing while stab herself to death at his first sight.
'Am coming, Willy,' a sound came a few seconds later. Mathine appeared from behind the walls after a minute or some, shivering in cold. He was wearing just a night-suit made out of cotton. One could point it out undoubtedly that the cloth was thin like hair.
Mathine was as fatter as the fitter Willowfield was. The only difference that was cast between them was that Mathine had a face that was plain and round, unscarred while the later had a wrinkled and unkept face.
'Come in, Willy,' Mathine said in a youthful pace, added a little care into it. 'Its too cold to survive out here.'
'Awful,' Willowfield wandered, entering into the big hall insulated from the outer cold due to the chimney-fire. 'He is awful. Only thing he seems to be caring about is the cold.'
Willowfield sat on one of the wooden sofas, which were also hot due to the soothing atmosphere inside the house. Mathine rushed towards the fireplace and irritated the system of fire with his prongs. He sat on his soles and looked deeply into the orange light. His face turned into an anguish-filled ball as he rose up and advanced towards the kitchen, which was nothing but a platform raised aside the hall.
'I know what you're here for, Willy,' Mathine began after a few minutes, pouring the mutton curry into dishes while Willowfield scanned the room and the artifacts attached to the wooden lodge. 'But I am no worth to be talked to on that matter.'
'Giving an excuse and ignoring, they are two different and distant things, Mat,' Willowfield replied immediately, gasping after almost every word. 'Why didn't you tell me about this place before? I had better pass my whole holiday season in here.'
'Why shall I?' Mathine replied reflexively. 'I pass my tense time here, in isolation. It relieves me, peace!'
Willowfield rose up and walked to a window, guarded by curtains. He set the curtains apart and gazed through the glasses into infinity. The haze was too dense to allow his eyes to fall at some article.
'Are hills there?' Willowfield asked, turning his gaze towards Mathine, who kept the dishes on the table and sat on the sofa, smelling the essence.
'Yeah!' came the reply. 'Not on that side, toward the west. When you come out of the house, they are in front of you, directly. That is one of the most beautiful shows I have ever seen.'
'And what about the current show?' Willowfield sat in front of Mathine, eyeing him directly.
'I don't understand…'
Willowfield handed his fellow a pack of cigarettes and then a lighter.
'I said there are two things, excuse and ignorance. In your case, its ignorance.' Mathine lighted up two rolls as Willowfield targeted him on his words. 'The rack is still not fulfilled, Mat, believe me. To show others our qualifications doesn't make us truly qualified.'
'It's the only way left before us to prove our victory and continuance as the major,' Mathine replied, flushing the former of his words.
'We are only depriving ourselves of a handsome ransom. We are not ready until three years later, and taking any action before that would destroy the economy, lives and many more.'
'The president has already affirmed the cause,' Mathine shouted. 'And if you caught the announcement yesterday than you should be sure that we are ready.'
'The president is mad,' Willowfield countered. 'And I am going to oppose it at any cause.'
'You will be jailed and tried.'
'No matter what happens.'
Willowfield dumped his cigarette into a bowl and headed towards the yet hot curry. He held it up and smelled it. He came back to his senses after another few seconds.
'You are always good at cooking,' he added after the first sip. 'How do you do it?'
The hot matter was calmed down at once. Hunger always creates a stir and panic, and soon, the food restores the peace.
'Now, its twelfth time you've asked it this month,' Mathine rose of his sofa and carried his empty bowl to the kitchen to refill its contents. 'Well, I again would say that you're good at changing topics. But this time, it won't do. A single man can't perform against the whole government. They will chain you, ground you, crumble you and destroy you.'
'I don't understand why they wish to claim their superiority?' Willowfeild questioned, a pathetic and painful voice inner to what he spoke.
'They?' Mathine said at once. 'You must say we, its our nation. The public wants to clear in front of the world that United States is the greatest.'
'Its no more we, Mat, make it clear. The public doesn't want wars, whether it is an equipped one or a cold war. It is the government; they wish to prove their superiority, the greatness. The public knows that we are superior over every other country.'
'In this case, we are not the only.'
'I don't point just our government. Its all, every country that's jumping into this Cold War.'
'We are not wrong,' Mathine added, countering the later directly. 'But I fear you are.'
'You are going on the wrong side, mate,' Willowfield felt the silence in between their words cruising into his veins. 'Its not us, its they. They are doing it wrong and you can stop it.'
'We,' Mathine tried to end the conversation. 'We rejoice when our nation wins.'
'I contempt you. Those who rejoice at the announcement yesterday are they who don't know that the previous plans spanned for three years, not six month.'
'We are ready, Willowfield, when are you going to accept it?'
'I was myself an element of the team that predicted that it will need whole three years to carry all the operations smoothly, if you remember, and now, these idiots think it could be done in one-sixth of the time?'
No reply came. Mathine rose once again and stopped in front of the fireplace, ready to play with his tools and the embers.
'Oh at least you'll believe that they took this decision in envy and rage.'
'The decision committee was mentally stable, and believed that all the resources are well equipped, as I met them two days earlier in the office.'
Mathine fetched heat out of the fireplace. Willowfield stared into his black hairs. It appeared as if the time had stopped and the coldness outside continuously tried to fetch inside.
'For what time do you know about the future actions?' Willowfield shot the most unexpected question towards his companion.
'Oh I am sorry I didn't tell you about this all. I knew you'll react this very way, but believe me it was required. To end this war, and to prove that we are still the greatest, we needed a strong action. And this is it. Undoubtedly.'
Willowfield's expression had rotten to a great degree. He had never thought that his friend would turn into such a nuisance. It is true that every scientific and well organized action always has an emotional side. There is always a question whether the moment when emotions were being gifted to mankind was the moment of esteem or that of rage. Willowfield felt no right to question his friend why he did that.
'For what long?' he asked.
'Umm… its been almost two months,' Mathine replied without any regret in his voice.
'And I doubt you did nothing to stop it when the plan was introduced.'
'Err… I knew I can't do anything. What would it cause if I rise against that? I mean I am a single person.'
'And you're brainless,' Willowfield replied immediately.
'What did you say?' Mathine turned towards Willowfield with the red tongs stretched towards his direction.
'You're brainless. I have already met some people who stood against that decision. But they didn't tell me that you're present that time, there, in the meet. And you didn't tell me.'
'What had it caused again?' Mathine interrupted in a custom fashion, highly into the argument now. 'You say you find people who stood against the cause, and they settled down. You won't find anyone, anyone who may rise against the government.'
'I would at least have tried…'
'You are weak at it, Willy! Many who were present did thrive against it, and Birmingham, he tried to speck the officials. He tried even to abuse them. Don't you find him out of job now? They are highly strict against every authority who indulges against them.'
'They threw him out?' Willowfield stood at his place, searching for any stars in the night sky. The fog was denser and all he could see was a gloomy image of him and a feeble smoke coming out of the kitchen. 'They have no sense of authority anymore!'
'Why don't you go through your belief?' Mathine said a few seconds later. 'What proves that you are a millions of percent right?'
'I am right, fellow,' Willowfield came back to his place and cast a look through the room to find any relieving object lying across.
'Its probably your ego that's speaking.'
Willowfield figured out a version of The Times scattered down on the floor a meter away. He cursed himself that he didn't find the object down there anytime before, and set down to gather the pages.
"THE PANIC DRAWS CLOSE"
'And you believe I am the only staunch person against them?' Willowfield continues sometime later, reading the headline. 'There are many out there. And if you join us, we may be doing some of a handsome job!'
'And what the hell does let you believe that I am going to accompany you in your objectives?' Mathine replied reflexively. 'They have had their accumulations and resourcing much time before, I swear.'
'Clear it,' Willowfield removed his vision from the pages to the man who now stood with his back tilted over the platform.
'Oh! They are not the idiots you think of. They must have had their provisions working for the mission before they even made the silliest of announcement.'
'Are you underestimating what we told the country in that interview with the BBC? Its not possible for the Earth to continue over that thing before even 2020.'
'I fear you're still of the very orthodox beliefs.'
'Oh Merlin!' Willowfield brought his attention back to the papers and the other indulged back into his work. 'But what the hell are you doing by that platform?'
'Ought you not I to have some tasks of washing my dishes myself, and also those you ate in!'
'Oh continue!' Willowfield answered what he thought to be the best reply for the harsh statement. He walked to the sofa, sat and darted his looks into the pages.
"Russia and the other Irritatives have demisted their stance in the ongoing conditions of stress. On Tuesday, the 8th, as it comes out, India signs another deal of arms exchange with Russia, which would be carried out by the end of the year. It is now again under question whether the surrogate action of the so-called Peace Loving India was assigned to cause another irritation in the peace constituting designs of the leaders. It is worth mentioning that the country had a major role in the Non-Aligned Movement, which followed the conditions of the First Cold War.
Maybe it is still under suspicion whether the conditions have grown up to be called a Cold War, but the sudden pacts that have come into force this year show it as a malice. Dr. Nascent Will, the leader of the SAARC himself condemns the agreement under such conditions. He says: 'It is really off track and disturbing that a country like India rules upon such a pact when the conditions around us may be leading to another World War.'
The questions that the man raises again puts forth whether the conditions are truly serious? The suspicions of a future World War again put under question the motives of the government in the announcement of the Unicorn-I. 'It is all mingled up,' says Mr. Joe Benfury, the man-in-chief at the Canterbury Association. 'No one can even say that the circumstances are serious and nor can anyone deny the fact that any shake can lead to a World War. There are serious flaws in the advancements of both the governments.'"
'They write rubbish!' Willowfield ran to the chimney and threw the papers into the coals.
'Are you mad?' Mathine shouted randomly.
'They still doubt the fact that a Cold War has begun!'
'They are true at their opinions and we at ours,' Mathine came face-to-face with his fellow. 'And once again, Willy, I fear I am wrong with my words. They are obviously true with their opinion, and you, you with yours.'
'What do you mean to say, brat?' Willowfield shed his words in a meager voice.
'I doubt that if you incline at your words, very soon, you are going to be alone. They would cast you as a traitor and soon, outlaw you and although if the war ends, you would be given no attention. I foresee the danger, Willy. Consider me, here. Its true about the war, it had begun. But a single person can't do anything in here.'
'You are wrong!'
'I fear I am right. Its already been two months of the decision and you're late.'
'Why didn't you tell me?'
'Two months? Its not a pretty deal! You hid the fact from me for two months? How can I underestimate the fact that you're inundated into the Ruling Assembly? I am poor.'
'Don't surmount the matter back up. I tell you I guessed that you would say against it in this very stance. But, you should ponder upon it. If the ministry has ruled upon the mission positively, there must be some reasons.'
'The only reason is to set back all other countries,' Willowfield cried. 'They fear their priority is under danger and so, they are doing this all.'
Mathine left the sofa and got back to his duty.
'Whatever!' he added, getting mixed back into the dishes. 'But I alarm you; I am not with you against the government. And also that you are not going to shriek even a tiny matter going around there. In this very stance, your future is alone and… lonely.'
Willowfield hated the word, but loved to be so. He got off the sofa and rushed towards the door, zipping his jacket back.
'You are truly brainless!' he said, bumping the door against Mathine, you came rushing towards him.
Out there, Willowfield panicked back in stress. The grasses since then had the same sense and taste of tension in them. The path was black to the nucleus and the road ahead was hardly visible. He waited for Mathine to come out of the door and give him some sympathy.
'You're brainless!' he quoted sometime later, finding no one come out of the door.
'I'm not…' within a second the fat man rushed out of his door, still in the thin night suit. 'But where are your brains?'
'Not in this cold am I going to get on your senses!'
Mathine was trembling in the atmosphere out.
'I'm not made for this temperature, better come in and talk!' insisted Mathine.
'There is nothing left to be talked about!' came the reply. 'You stand on your disposition and I on mine. That's all.'
'Believe me, Willy,' Mathine spoke as Willowfield covered the distance out to the threshold. 'You're soon going to rejoice, when we will complete the mission.'
'And you believe me,' Willowfield continued his steps towards his car. 'There is still a long gap of six months left for it, and I am going to stop it.' He turns back towards Mathine, who was standing shaking in front of his door. 'I am going to form my own community, and I will do it, stop not only this ugly mission, but also this Cold War.'
'I won't ponder upon my stance, Willy,' Mathine addressed, watching the other sit in his car. 'I am not going to be with you, anymore. Your path is dangerous and…'
'He is mad!' Mathine said to himself, in a voice suited only to him better not waking up his neighbors. 'I should do something….' He closed the door and threw himself on the sofa. 'I need to do something. For my friend… or for my nation. I must inform the Ruling Committee about him!'
But he didn't. The heat of the room pondered over him heavily and he couldn't commit himself to duty. His eyes were soon closed. Willowfield had no job other than peeping outside his car, the moon, the only visible and hazy thing in the sky. The night was too cold and the road ahead dark.
Its just the first chapter of this volume. As mentioned, it's a beautiful love story but this chapter ain't even a hint on it. The chapter aims at building the base of the future love story. Soon, I would be publishing the next chapter, which will be introducing new characters, and a new love story. Hope you all enjoyed it! And yeah! I love reviews… So please, please review… Thanks to all!