Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Chapter 2 - The Muffet Diaries

It was a fairly unusual night that year of the Salamander. For years from that night, Astronomers and Shutterbugs would swear that never before was such a spectacular marvel that had ever adorned a night sky! Pretty much every pair of lenses and eyes in Never Land peered curiously at the sky to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon. And there it was, for ten whole peahens, against the backdrop of a cloudless blue-black sky, a white incandescent doughnut shaped moonette!!

While Oracles and soothsayers fought hot battles on the ramification of the doughnut, Werewolves complained sheepishly that the doughnut-moonette hampered with their transformations. (Their centers were still human*!) Elsewhere in Never Land Vampires sashayed about sleep walking dreamily.

But two pairs of eyes that night were certainly not on the doughnut-moonette. One pair belonged to Elijah-the-Elf, who had a fairly atypical day at work. He unprecedentedly fell asleep through the course of it! Call it intentional co-incidence; he was a part of the torch-bearer elves that shone torches on the moonette to light it up. No prizes for guessing here, but our man usually did the centre!

Another pair of eyes was buried deeply in a pile of its own misery in Room No#202 of the Unheard University dorm, oblivious to all but a state of mind. Room No#202 was just another dimly lit room in that dorm. It was as big as a room would be, where if three people pranced around randomly, then the incidences of them bumping into each other would be at the average rate of three times per minute. Before the present occupant moved in, the room was intended to be cozy. Post the occupation, it sported a bed that was slept in too precariously to be made-when-not-in-use, and a table that had a line of spider books, spider tapes and spider pictures scattered in careless disarray, garnished here and there with cigarette trimmings for that tell-tale finishing touch. An old ashtray had long-gone exceeded it capacity. Beside the table was a sturdy chair on which a hunched figure of a woman with golden locks sat huddled up, wondering if the statement of her room was in fact the statement of her life.

The noisy air conditioner kept blowing gusts of chilly air in periodic intervals that severely affected the trail of smoke from Muffet’s fire stick. She took another drag from her consumed cigarette and stared long and hard at the spider-junction that her table was. Hiding in her cloud-of-smoke-that-was-periodically-interrupted-by-the-air-conditioner, she faded into her first memory of a spider. She was all of five, sitting tartly on her favourite tuffet, digging into some delicious curd… and it appeared! The hideous adversary with eight hairy legs and such evil evil eyes. She could still taste the acrid fluid in her tongue called fear. And it appeared again and again to taunt her in different forms. In class, when everyone was made to chant 'itsy-bitsy-spider' in sickening unison, and she would tremble with fear as the words spilled out of her mouth. Oh, how bitter was the taste of fear! And those cruel kids, how they would rag her and pick at her. She winced at the memory of fake spiders put into her little Barbie-pink school bag. She closed her eyes to re-live those years of torment.

The tip of her consumed cigarette indicated a halt sign. She snapped out of the moment and re-lit a fresh one to absorb herself in some new smoke. Her thoughts faded into her mother. A pang of pain stabbed through her young heart. She was born to a part-time Witch! No, not the pointy-hat-scarecrow-dressed, flying-on-the-broom Witch, but a growing-younger, green-tea-drinking, black-bead-collecting Witch (that alleged herself to some funny cult called Witca).

Muffet’s first brush with amazement was at age nine, watching Mother Witch through a slit on her bedroom door. Her childish eyes brimmed with wonder as she saw Mother Witch move her beads and all the little creatures in the house pledge allegiance to her. Muffet’s first brush with betrayal followed soon enough. In fact, it was a rude stab of shock to discover through that voyeur slit, that the entomological group of Mother Witch’s devotees included a fan club of spiders! Oh, those betraying hands, those white gentle peach-creamed hands that held her... and the acrid taste of fear came charging back to her, inducing her to hallucinate ever since of those same gentle white hands strangling her! A shudder ran through her spine at the memory and the next cigarette bit the dust. She quickly re-loaded her flash-back arsenal and dragged absently into its crisp nicotine. She sighed!

With a desperate attempt to stay sane and spider free, Muffet had moved to Gremlin after high school, to pursue a Baccalaureate. It was on the night of the graduation party, precisely after three tequila shots, Little Bigger Miss Muffet spotted a spider by the side table. Perched comfortably but staring blankly at her with its tiny slits-called-eyes was a small brown house-spider, with gossamer slivers for legs. A sudden bolt of shock teamed with a sudden-hit-with-some-chemicals-released-from-the-tequila, caused her to readily faint into the ample arms of Prince Charming!

What followed in the weeks to come was a brief but heady dalliance with the Prince – some steamy kisses and some unforgettable rounds at the hot tub to be rather precise. The dalliance was rudely interrupted and abruptly ended when Muffet came to find out that Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and pretty much every other babe in the Fairie Tails had been in there, done in that. Like in all love stories, he had said she was the only one! Spiders, large black and ugly trampled all over her wounded heart.

When frustration and insomnia almost drove her insane, and two-packs-a-day was far from affordable, Muffet decided to check out the free therapist for students thrice a week. That didn’t work out, so Muffet decided to take her life in her own hands. What kind of a life is it when one is enslaved to one’s spiders? So thinking, she had stomped into the Unheard University, two years ago, bag and baggage, cigarettes et al, to conquer spiders through her Doctorate in Arachnidology. And conquer she did, atleast enough to figure they weren’t that homicidal after all.

And now this letter! What the fug was an “ethical ground” to detain a doctorate? And ask for 24 extra credits in Never Medicine and Spectacular Brewery? What in the dickens does that have to do with SPIDERS? “Coconut”, she said aloud softly, “whatever this is, you better have a good enough reason for this!”

Somewhere in the middle of her thoughts, two little June Bugs had eloped from the garden into her room and right under her bed. For several minutes, forgetting the steamy purpose of their amorous adventure, the little June Bugs, in standard June Bug curiosity, stared with their tiny beady eyes at Muffet. For those several minutes, they observed softly releasing fumes from a deliberating chimney, periodically contorted. Feeling safe to ensure posterity, they decided to head right back under the bed and indulge in some delicious debauchery from meiotic revelries of the night...

** (end of chapter 2)**


Footnote Glossary:

*This sprang some concern on Privacy issues as well.

24 comments:

Shreya said...

Heheh, love the doughnut moon and the Witca! Can't wait to read more!

amitas said...

Me too! loved the moon n the mother's betrayal! enjoyed this chapter even more than the first one..keep them coming!!

Prats said...

*he was a part of the torch-bearer elves that shone torches on the moonette to light it up* ...that was precious.
Your way of leading in the characters into the tale is amazing. There could be a little bit of polish, to make it crisper. Its weaving itself blissfully....waiting to see what happens.

Debashish Goswami said...

Spectacular imagination and vivid story telling, not to mention side splitting literary allusions...

I like the dark and steely side you're showing....

But maybe, just maybe....simpler english ?? You're not sitting down with a dic, I know...but the rest might not think so...

Keep it coming...

Joy said...

Splendid! You have a way of weaving the timeless classic characters into this nice enchanting story.

Thinking Aloud said...

***incandescent doughnut shaped moonette!!***how did u ever think of that???
Great imagination...:)

Tys on Ice said...

ziah, u r really gud at this...time to rethink ur profession..its amazing...cant wait to see wht happens mext...i hope elijah figures more later on...i like a guy who can cause widespread chaos by playing hooky with his job....

loving it...keep it coming

Ziah said...

@ Shre & Amita - thank you babes!! I'm getting more and more convinced that I'm "off" the sanity line...:)

@ Prats - Thanks for the generosity in complimenting... erm.. babe,need favour... me been staring too much at my own draft, getting hard to identify tweak zones:)...(happens with my agreements also).. can you, wen u have the time, highlight the tweakable zones for me or something? Tys, et tu helps? Mebbe you guys ken mail it across.. will help me polish it up:)Thanks!

@D - God of Verbiage! Wah wah! Whelcome saar. :) And Thenku partner sahib! For all the help and advise.
I'll try toning down chap 3... if I get stuck, you're gonna lose one night's sleep ok... ramzan or no ramzan!! :)

@joy - Glad you like it! Trust me, you really boost my morale:)

@thinking aloud - thanks for dropping by... I guess I'm quite moony, so the whackjob ideas.. :) Glad u like it.. quite inspiring to make me write more:)

@Tys - hey! Thanks for the review. I could so use the profession shift.. in time maybe, wen Viv makes a lotta money..:)
Hehe, I like Elijah too.. lets see what I can do with him:)

Meanwhile, like I pointed out to Prats, ichchiri help cheyyan pettuo? :)

Tys on Ice said...

no probs..but u must realize iam someone who really cant spell that well...just letteng..sorry, lettting...opps...letng...screw it...letting u know...there!

Tys on Ice said...

okie then...chapter 3 please ..u know something , iam reading this like the hitchhikers guide...it has the same crazy sort of imagination...

Mia Makarand said...

very sweet writing zia although i haven't had time to go through all the posts... but thanks for your comment on my celebrity interpreter blog. i guess i just might go back to it, now that some nice folks are showing interest! i have been thinking about it, so will keep you posted! all the best with your writing though and thanks again!

Mia Makarand said...

hi again, i'm not totally sure i'll go on with the blog ;) might just go straight to the novel! still, my first novel should be coming out soon... see if you like it!

love and squalor said...

I found this easier to go thru than the latest post in your other blog. wait a nimit, do I subconsciously have a thing for fantasy?

are you actually gonna publish this?

Prats said...

No probs out there...just give me a day to recover from the rotis , paneers, and bhaiyya ,cos thats where my vocabs end now....
And whats happening to the moons and the doughnuts??
Zapped like sleeping beauty??

Prats said...

chapter 3 I need....

Thinking aloud said...

Little Bigger Miss Muffet has been lost in her thoughts quite long now ;)

Prats said...

hey, muppet!!, what happened to muffet?

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Very nice reading,light and with its own fun weaved into it!!
TC
CU

Kottikkal said...

Hi Ziah,

Hats off for your imagination..Certain usages like brush with betrayl, long-gone etc... realy deserves to be applauded...
If u intend to release it make it a lil bit of desi..for eg How Rowling made use of London in her Potterites, similarly concentrate on one particular city and introduce some desi words like for eg.for the degree u use the witch learns Indianise it...That will be very effective..
Anyway keep imagining...certain people have the potential to imagine but unfortunately not to pen...for others its the other way round... u have plus point over all of themm

Tys on Ice said...

me wnt more on Elijah the sleeping hobbit...wht u doing? get with the programme

Tys on Ice said...

hye stud, u ok?...havent seen u arnd in a while...things are cool rite?

Prats said...

barin drain or strain??? Wehavent seen the muffets for a very long time??

Adorable Pancreas said...

Was the moon inspired by the whitening chewing gum ad? :)

Loving it, Ziah-ji.

Tys on Ice said...

GIRL, WHERE ARE YOU? IS EVERYTHING ALRITE...U BETTER BE ON A VACATION OR SOMETHING..HOWS HUBBY'S WORKS? SAY HI