My limbs were locked in excruciating pain. My vision clouded in darkness. There was a sharp ringing in my ears. My throat and lungs seemed to be on fire as I shrieked loudly. For my life. For my sanity.
A woman’s merciless laugh rang out from above me. And the pain got even more unbearable. My legs began flailing about of their own accord, desperate for an escape from the grotesque torture. Each muscle in my body was on fire. It felt like someone had cut open my head and was tearing through my nerves one by one while pouring boiling hot liquid into my skull.
But all that pain seemed nothing more than a mere interlude. Between the bright light that had been my life before. Full of hope. Full of fight. Full of my determination to strike brutally at the monsters that lurked at the corners of the path I’d chosen to walk. The path of a brave soldier. And the gloom of the darkness that was sure to shroud me once the torture ended. The ageless immortality that death’s oblivion was sure to throw me into. Leaving me to deal with the memories of the terror that had been inflicted upon me. Forcing me to drown in the ghosts of my past. Bit by bit, at an excruciating slow speed, the cold hands of pain began to withdraw. As the darkness receded, consciousness returned to me in pools of surprise. And with it, came the frustration and anguish.
Cautiously, I opened my eyes to the reality of the infuriatingly familiar room. And to the face of a young, concerned boy leaning over me, his expression soft and gentle. Instantly, a warm feeling filled my chest. His presence calmed me. Gave me hope. Or what my heart faintly remembered hope to feel like.
I wanted to smile at him. Gently whisper to him my gratitude. I wanted to get up and stroke his beautiful blonde head and ask him who he was. But when I tried to do so, the words would not reach my mouth, instead getting stuck in my brain and forming an endless and illogical loop.
“Alice, dear, are you awake?” The approaching lady called in a rather too loud voice. I closed my eyes again, pretending to be asleep, wishing the woman would go away and leave me alone with the boy for some time.
“She’s still asleep,” came the sweet voice of the boy beside me. Ah, was I fond of him! I felt her linger around for a while longer and then stalk away.
“She’s gone now,” he whispered.
I opened my eyes once again and looked at his adorable, round head and grinned again. Finally. The fight was over. And in spite of all my losses, a giddiness filled my chest. For I had this. My prize. The boy smiled at me with tears in his eyes. “I love you, Mum. You know that, right?”
Cho took a sharp intake of breath. The smell was heady, to say the least.
The mustiness of the rain beating against the castle walls and soaking through her cloak, down her back, as she balanced herself on the window sill. The smell of the lonely corridor that had just been cleaned by Mr. Filch. And the smell of him. So close to her. His breath falling on her nose.
Cedric had his hands planted on either side of her on the window sill as she leaned into him, facing away from the window.
The rain pattered above them, onto the roof of the deserted Astronomy Tower, drowning out the sound of their heavy pants. Cho had her half shut eyes fixed on Cedric’s yellow and black tie, for she couldn’t bring herself to look up after the moment that had just passed between them. She was certain her cheeks were bright pink and her eyes glistening strangely by now.
The rain continued to stream down her back in little rivulets, making her shiver slightly.
Cedric was regarding her carefully, letting his eyes rove over her crimson face framed by her smooth black locks. Not even the success of stealing the Golden Egg from the Swedish Short Snout or rescuing this same beautiful girl from the bottom of the Black Lake could parallel the exuberance and exhilaration he was feeling now. No Quidditch victory had ever made him happier. No moment in his life had made him feel quite like this. Except, of course, the day he had danced with this same girl in front of him now, at the Yule Ball on Christmas Eve, she looking like an angel in her silver robes, ethereal and graceful.
He slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her down onto her feet in one quick move. She turned her face up at him in surprise, her shining, brown eyes widening as he pulled her closer to himself.
His grey eyes twinkled back at her, mischief apparent in the half suppressed smile round his mouth. One of his hand moved up her back to rumple the wet hair stuck at the back of her neck.
Cho shivered again as his fingers lightly brushed against the cool skin of her neck. Her own fingers, resting against the soft fabric of his cloak, now knotted around them, her eyes fluttering close.
She felt his face lean down nearer to hers again.
“Weren’t you saying something earlier?” He breathed down quietly at her, his other hand gripping her waist tighter.
“Uh…” She struggled to make sense of his question, her skin tingling with new sensations. “I…”
“Yeah?” He prodded on, holding back his chuckle.
A thought, lost in the feelings of the moment, resurfaced hazily in her mind now.
She swallowed. “The Task.”
“Good luck for it,” she whispered, finally opening her eyes to look at him, a small, shy smile on her lips, pride and hope glimmering on her face as she gathered some of her senses again. “I really hope you win.”
He grinned at her, excitement ready to burst from within him. The Tournament would soon be over. If victorious, which he really wished to be, he’d take Cho to Hogsmeade. If not, well, he would get quite a few kisses to cheer him up later, won’t he?
With his hope raging strong, he picked his girl up in his arms, making her giggle softly, and pressed his lips gently against hers again while the rain fell quickly outside the window, cocooning them in the safety of its noise and making their special moment even more magical.
The streets here are filled with people. There is colored powder floating in the air. The sound of laughter has made the neighborhood come alive. There is heady excitement on everyone’s faces. Music drowns all other sound apart from one. The irregular repetition of a single phrase, delivered in a light-hearted voice, now from one’s mouth, now from another’s.
“What rubbish is this?” Arnav said in a dangerously low tone as he looked at the design chart spread on the glass top of his work table. Completely still, his fingers laced together and his elbows resting on the supports of his revolving armchair, his face was a mask hiding the fury that was making him practically vibrate. He could almost see red spots in front of his eyes and his head felt hot with anger…
I have no idea how this happened! But Sarah from Reflections of a Bear seemed to think my Blog was cool enough to nominate me for the Liebster Award! Thank you so much, Sarah and Bear! It really makes me so happy that you liked my Blog. I’m truly honoured.
The Liebster Award is not a real award. It’s just a Blogger’s way of telling you that they like your Blog and it’s more of a thumbs-up than anything else. It’s a way for older, experienced Bloggers to encourage and motivate new Bloggers. The word ‘Liebster’ literally means sweetest/ lovely/ endearing/ welcome in German. So basically, if someone nominates you and you accept the award (completely your choice to accept or not), you have to answer the questions said Blogger asks you and then nominate a few others and ask them some questions too.
So with a spring in my step and my heart bursting with gratitude, I’d like to accept this wonderful award! Thanks again, Sarah! 😀
Here are the questions she set me :
1. Why do you blog?
At first, I began simply because I found WordPress a beautiful place where I could keep my stories safe. I always fear I’m gonna lose everything I’ve ever written in a fire or something so putting them up on the internet seemed like a good idea. But in just a few days, my outlook over the whole thing has changed. Blogging makes me happy. I get motivated reading stuff other people write and their comments on what I have written. Besides, writing itself is so intoxicating! It makes me feel beautiful from the inside. And leaves me grinning the entire day like an idiot.
2. What is your most embarrassing ‘brain fog’ or awkward moment?
There are too many to count! But the one I always recall with the utmost horror was the first school program I hosted. I was very nervous and afraid of messing everything up, which I did, of course. I tripped over my own tongue, in front of the entire school, forgot to follow the correct sequence of events in the program and blushed bright red. I must’ve made a hilarious sight, but thankfully, no one laughed out loud. When I got home, I curled up in bed and cursed myself the entire evening.
Once I got over the shock of it, however, I decided to take it simply as a learning experience. Though I still get very anxious on stage, I have discovered that following several calming techniques really works. (FYI, eating bananas always helps calm nerves! And so does imagining everyone in the audience as potatoes!)
3. If you could wake up with a superpower tomorrow, what would it be?
The Power of Invisibility. How cool would it be to be able to observe people do stuff without them ever finding out? And I would also never get interrupted by anyone while I’m writing. Psst, psst! Persistent conversationalists!
4. Share one odd rule or saying that your family has, or had when you were growing up?
You must never call out to someone who’s leaving the house on some errand. It’s a common Indian superstition that stopping someone in this way will lead to them failing in the execution of said errand. So if we must handover something that the person had forgotten to take with them whilst they have just reached the door, we must run towards them and overtake them but must NEVER call out to them.
5. Something you hated as a child that you now love?
Funnily enough, chocolate. Yes, yes, you must think I’m weird. But we usually used to have milk chocolate at home and I hated it so much! I did eventually acquire the taste for it (In fact, that is the case with most of my favorite dishes! I initially hate them until I’ve been forced to eat them so many times with a scrunched nose that I end up loving them.). It was only later, when I tried dark chocolate for the first time that I truly realized how wonderful and delicious it is. And now, I gobble up all the chocolate that I can get my hands on!
6. What is the most delicious food you have ever eaten? (Describe it)
Basically, anything my mother cooks is heavenly. Comfort food, yum! And among her dishes, the best would be either Curry and Rice or Pao Bhaji. ‘Pao’ is a soft bread roll and ‘Bhaji’ is a kind of spicy curry made from several vegetables like potatoes, bottle gourd, tomatoes, pumpkin, carrot, onions etc. It’s actually fast food but the Bhaji seems so healthy that I sometimes forget that fact! (Oh, I’m a vegetarian, just so you know. 😀 )
7. If you were an animal, what would you be, and why?
Probably a squirrel because I jump around so much (Though I’m not that good at running!). I also widen my eyes a lot when I’m surprised and my friends sometimes joke that they fear my eyeballs might pop out of their sockets. (I’m also very often compared to Dobby, the Free Elf from Harry Potter because of my eyes. Hehe!)
8. One little thing that annoys you way more than it should? (aka pet peeve)
Geometric patterns. I keep looking at the lines and figures and create a sort of mental loop where I’m imagining drawing them and as a result, I kind of enter a robot-like state where I can’t think of anything else. It gets very frustrating. I have no idea why this happens, though.
9. If you could magically play one instrument perfectly, which would you choose?
A piano, most definitely! I’ve been crazy about it since I was 8 or 9, I think. It’s such a beautiful thing! A wonderful addition to your living room and such a gorgeous sound! I listen to a lot of piano melodies and my fingers sometimes dance of their own accord while I’m listening. Unfortunately, I’ve never had a chance to learn how to play it.
10. Favourite quote?
Allow me to bombard you with J.K. Rowling’s wise words. There is no choosing favorites among her quotes but here are some of the best.
‘It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
‘Of course it is happening inside your head but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?’
11. Share a silly joke that makes you laugh.
A seven-year-old girl was flipping through her parents’ wedding album and asked her mother sadly, “Mom, why wasn’t I invited at your wedding?” To which her mother replied, smiling, “Because you were in my stomach, pumpkin.” The girl frowned and said, “Mom! You ate me?”
* Display an image of the award on your blog (Google it, or make your own)
* Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog.
* Answer the 11 questions that are provided by the person who nominated you.
* Nominate between 5 and 11 other bloggers to receive the award.
* Create 10 or more questions for these nominees to answer.
* Inform those people who are now nominated for the Liebster Award, and provide a link to your post so they can learn more about it.
* List these rules on your blog post, so your nominees can find them.
And my questions for you are :
1. What is your favorite childhood memory?
2. Which is the one place in the world that you’d like to visit (or revisit)?
3. What is your favorite part of blogging?
4. Introvert or extrovert? (Or ambivert? Hehe!)
5. Which is the first book you remember reading? (No textbooks!)
6. The biggest risk you’ve ever taken in your life?
She was screaming. And even in her dream, she knew she needed to stop.
But she had to reach him and they wouldn’t listen to her, he wouldn’t listen to her unless she screamed at the top of her lungs. Her heart was sinking in her chest as the boy became smaller and smaller at the end of the dark tunnel, the distance between them ever-growing. Her bloodcurdling screams drowned all other noise and she flailed around in her sleep.
Her chest was rapidly tightening with anxiety. Chills were running down her spine and she couldn’t breathe. Her wrist was being gripped sharply and try as she did, she couldn’t wrench it out of the grasp…
When life lands you up in situations where it is impossible to express your emotions, what do you do? When thousands of insane ideas tumble around in your mind, gasping to be let out, what do you do? When a streak of sudden, unintentional creativity serves you up with a beautiful story, what do you do?
My mind muddles up when I think about all the wonderful ways in which people can express their feelings. Tell their story. Or someone else’s. Create something of their own. From nothing. To everything.
Seated on the old, antique carpet with her legs tucked under herself, she seemed to fit perfectly into the picture. And Arnav stared at her with widened eyes, startled by her presence and captivated by her persona.
Surrounded by ornate armchairs and cushioned footstools in varying shades of orange, red and shiny brown with freshly polished wooden edges, she complemented the traditional Indian feel of the room in her own little outfit of red chudidar leggings and white kurti, complete with a fluttery red dupatta…