A Rat's Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

scribbles from a lucid dream.

He always loathed security checks at the airport. Getting frisked by big bold knuckles was not his fancy, but with the increasing trend of using airplanes as target practice on towers, he was bound to comply. This was not the first time he had to endure with the procedure. The travel spree that he had been on eased the notch a bit, as he hastily stepped into the line.

The submissive queue of passengers shrunk, as he waited and watched the impatience of “victims” to be “touched” from the end of the line by the “man” with the big gun. He spread his arms out wide, leaving him nothing to hide, as stepped on to the dome.

The expressly skilled hands tracked the “rock” from his trunks. It wasn’t just any rock to him, it was the Rock. But the man with ak-47 was sure not to abide his affection, as he instinctively spoke out “rock…stay..! you go..”.
The rock meant everything to him, it was like losing his religion, and hence came the retaliation “what.. you think I am going to stone the pilot…?”
“rock..too sharp.. you go. rock stay..” with broken English and a deeper voice which made his eyebrows meet, made things little more clear.

He held out the rock, it was a souvenir from the Himalayan trip from where he was returning. Stared at it, expecting it to speak out, but alas no rock talks and dropped it in the box indicated by the guard. As he walked past the security check, an appalled eerie of emotions bubbled up inside him.
“What was the rationale of the travel, the reason, and the cause for him to hover like the clouds steered by the wind, from one place to another,” “the sacrifices he had to make to answer his inner demons” “the reason he had to give up his recent idol rock”

With the grumbling sound from his stomach, the thoughts had to come to an abrupt halt. It had been talking to him from last night. He needed to shut it up if he had to get back to his maze of thoughts.
Dragging his sleepy feet, he reached the food court, looked up at the clock behind the counter. The hands split the clock in a symmetrical half showing six. A week ago, on the dot, he had watched the sun chase away the moon with the rhythmic trance of the river, and the whisper of wisdom from the woods, hypnotized by the nature. If ever he believed in god, it was then, that moment, he realized something surreal yet so real is beyond any human’s imagination. He picked up a sharp rock from the valley of wisdom. “His rock” “his idol”

The rock now was gone and the only trance he could hear was that of the airplanes and the loud-whisper of announcements, catapulting him right back into the present. He looked again at the boarding pass to confirm the gate number. The déjà vu which struck him every time by look of his name, which spelt “A.Nil Ratna”, came back to haunt him. The world for him was in a rat race, and he sure was “A Nil Rat!” at that, at least that’s how all the documents read.

The contained rodent must be set free, and his idea of doing so was to travel, leave the race to become a new beast. He did succeed in doing so, temporarily, but the minute he gets a document’s gaze, he is right back in the maze.
He distracted his eyes on to the gate number which showed 13, almost instantly a sweet lady’s voice announced “all flights are delayed by 2 hrs due to bad weather condition, your inconvenience is regretted”. The result was a sudden disruption of otherwise calm fellow passengers, the voices and noises grew louder, muttering and cursing under their breaths. The decorum of the maze was disrupted, and the rats grew chaotic.

He gazed outside the window and saw the approaching storm at the break of dawn. After about half an hour, the battering rain rattled against the window in boarding lounge. The storm inside had settled by then. Realization that the game of Mother Nature could not be changed became more evident as time passed. He selected his temporary dwell; choose a corner seat in the lounge next to the window, with rain as witness, moved into a dream. A lucid dream.

A rat ran from his cellar, broke free from the maze, through the woods, and reached near a flowing river. Under the mellow moonlight he asked the rhythmic river “oh, river, you are so beautiful, I wish I could be you, and flow through these woods with the pace at my own will”.
And the river replied “oh.. Little one, I wish I could stay still and observe the beauty, like how my master does, the ocean. I flow to meet him, to become him.” river flowed away.

The rat thought again for what he wanted to be, for what the river said shocked him. He needed to see this master of master. He went up to ocean and asked “ohh master of river, can I become you, for I wish not to live as a rat until I die”. Ocean replied “little one, even I have a master, the moon tells me what to do, ask him before I grant you the permission.”
The rat was definitely dazed and confused at this point. Who could this be, the moon, who commands the ocean. It would be better to be the moon than the ocean.

“Dear moon you control the night, the ocean and the tide, is there any way I could become you my master of masters..” “you can become me if you wish to, but now I am in a hurry, the sun is coming to chase me away. Come tomorrow and I will solve the darkness in your life.” Saying this moon fled away.
The rat at this point thought about the idea of being chased away by a bigger power. May be he did not want to become moon anymore. Maybe he wanted to become sun now. The dawn was breaking a soon enough the moon was nowhere in sight.

The rat asked “oh lord of masters, the sun, could I be you, and spread light to this world, for I feel insignificant being a rat”.
“you can if you wish, but I must warn you that even my rays are blocked by the clouds, if they choose to”
“that’s impossible even you bow down to the clouds”
“yes!, stay a while and you can witness it yourself”

The rat at this point did not want to be the sun anymore. Once the sun rays were obscured by the clouds, the rat asked in a whisper “oh powerful shield, sun says you are the only person he can’t get through, I wish to block the sun, the way you do, see the earth from soar high.” “You can, but I need you to ask the wind who commands me, to where I need to travel”
“you are commanded by some one??”

“yes” spoke out an unseen voice, “he is commanded by me” replied the wise wind, “for he had travelled with me the most. And no you do not want to be me; as I can also be stopped by the mountains even when I am at the strongest.
The rat’s discontent moved the wind, and said “but I can take you to him, to the biggest one, in Himalayas”.

The rat obliged and thanked him when they reached there. He looked up at the soaring Himalaya who wore a white crown out of snow; a robe made by the clouds and sat majestically on the ground. He humbly asked “Oh lord of lord, the great one, can I become a part of you, for that I will be forever grateful, all I want is to wear the white crown and gaze at the world”.

The great Himalaya replied, “oh little one I can’t see you from this height, but I will let you become me, if you promise me to kill my enemy who seems to get stronger by day”. “Who is that? Who is stronger than you oh lord?” asked the wonder-struck rat.
“They are the only ones who seem to get past me and break me into mere rocks, I have not seen them, but I believe they are called RATS.”

From out of nowhere a strange sweet voice kept repeating for the second time “This is the final call for Anil Ratna, please proceed to the gate no.13 immediately”
His presence of mind acted for the present. He took a last gaze outside the window; the rain had stopped, sun was beaming its rays through the window pane, lighting up the fellow rats. He eyes tracked the name on the boarding pass, and smiled, maybe it’s not a bad thing being “A Nil Rat” that made a mountain into a “rock”.

He jolted into action and ran across the hall way of the lounge. But only this time he loved the race, for why, he understood the maze,and paced up towards the exit.

from the “Rat”

Submitted: September 26, 2011

© Copyright 2020 sreekanth. All rights reserved.

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