Friday, 7 June 2013

Existence - a short story

About the story
'Existence' is yet another experimental short story (Wounded being the recent one) which I wrote long ago (in the year 2012). The concept struck me while I was watching this film 'Jacob's ladder'. I was eager to try such screenplay in my writing and the result came out in the form of 'Existence'. 



Location: Mount Kanchenjunga
Altitude: 20,500 feet
A thick layer of mist covered the entire region leaving less traces of visibility. At a height of 20,500 feet it was quite hard to concentrate as the human mind gets out of control. The summit was far away from reach and Jack was waiting for the storm to clear. He was hanging on to a cliff tightly and was trying to breathe harder as he started to run out of oxygen. Suddenly an avalanche hit the region leaving Jack to lose his control and that made him to slip off the cliff. Jack had a free fall from 20,500 feet to 16,400 feet, where he landed on a surface covered with snow. He wasn't able to feel his legs and he started to lose his consciousness. He kept uttering the word 'Clara' for several times until a huge mass of snow fell on him.

'Clara... Clara..' Jack's scream woke up his wife Clara, who lay asleep beside him.
'Jack?' Clara turned on the lights, 'Jack, what happened?'
She rubbed her eyes and looked at him. Jack took out his blanket and said, 'ah! It was a dream, isn't it?'
'Honey, are you okay?' Clara held Jack in her arms.
'It was a dream. I was climbing the mountain. There was the storm and the avalanche that hit me.'
'It's okay baby, just relax,' Clara rubbed his shoulder as she continue to hold him.
'It came in full force before I reached the summit. Why couldn't I make it? I was almost there,' Jack's voice seemed tensed.
'Baby, look at your face. What happened to you?' Clara said as she looked into his eyes.
'Kanchenjunga, it was Mount Kanchenjunga.'
'Baby, it's okay. It was just a dream,' Clara held him tightly and kissed him. 'Everything is going to be okay by tomorrow,' and she turned off the lights.
Later that morning Clara was leaving to work while Jack was still on in his bed with his eyes wide open. Their kids, Jane and Jade, were getting ready for the school.
'Honey, get up. I've to go,' Clara murmured it in his ears.
Jack kissed her and said, 'you look so beautiful today.'
Clara blushed and whispered in his ears, 'yeah, I know that'. She kissed him and then she said, 'okay, can you drop the kids at the school today? I am getting late for work.'
'Okay,' Jack nodded.
'Breakfast is ready on the table. Goodbye sweetie,' Clara left home after saying this.

Jack refreshed himself and drove his children to school. After the kids left the car, Jack tried hard to recollect the day's plan. He was not able to figure it out. As he was thinking, he found someone knocking at the window that lay towards his right side. Jack rolled down the window.
'Hey Buddy. What happened? We are doing it today right?' the guy said to Jack.
Jack was not able to figure out who he was. The more he thought the more stressed he felt. He gave a strange look at the person who was speaking to him.
'It's me man, Edward. Why are you looking at me like that?' Edward noticed something was wrong with Jack and then he asked, 'is everything alright with you buddy?' He asked Jack.
'Ah! Yeah, everything's fine buddy. Get in.' Jack slowly regained his memory, 'yeah, tell me Edward.'
'I heard that Christine is on the way to the store. Let's get to him before he takes the stuff there,' Edward lowered his voice and said, 'this has to be done today else we will lose 50,000 pounds. Everything is in your hands.'
Jack was confused. He looked at Edward and said, 'can you explain me once again. I'm a bit confused right now.'
Edward explained everything from the start and Jack was made clear about the plan. Jack drove the car to the store where Christine was about to get the stuff while Edward helped him with the directions.

The car was parked outside the store and both of them got out from the car. Edward went inside the store while Jack stayed outside. After sometime he saw the gang of four heavily armed people walking towards him. Jack looked around and then looked at the gang that was approaching him. On seeing Jack, a guy pulled his trigger and the bullet straight away hit the window of the car that lay next to Jack. The firing continued and Jack covered himself from the bullets by getting behind the car. Before the gang got to the car, Jack ran away from the location. The gang started to chase him. Jack ran along the road and entered into the subway which took him straight into the underground metro station. The gang followed him further and saw him getting into a train which left the station swiftly. Jack's pulse began to rise. He started to take quick breaths and his heart thumped louder than usual. An old lady, who sat next to him in the train, offered him some water.
'Son, you look tired,' the old lady said as she gave him the bottle.
'Thanks for the water,' Jack, after drinking the water, went and stood near the door as the train neared the next station.
'Don't worry Jack. Everything will be alright,' the old lady said.
Jack was stunned. He looked at her for a moment and then asked her, 'how do you know my name?'
'I know you Jack, take care.'
The station arrived and Jack got down from the train. He was looking at the old lady as the train left the station.

He got out from the subway and looked at his watch. It was 3.30 pm. He walked faster and crossed the road. He then got into a coffee shop and ordered a strong cappuccino. Suddenly someone held him tight from his behind. He felt the warmth of the hug somewhere before. He turned to see who it was.
'Jack. Baby, I missed you,' said the girl who hugged Jack.
'Janet? How come you are here?' Jack was actually surprised to see her.
'Jack, I am sorry for everything happened. I love you Jack,' Janet said looking into his eyes.
'I love you too, Janet. I missed you so much.'
Minutes later, Jack and Janet were found together in bed in Janet's house.
'Honey, you don't know how much I missed you. I'm crazy about you Jack,' Janet whispered in Jack's ear.
'I never thought that you'll be back,' Jack said and looked at his watch. It was 3.30 pm. 'Looks like my watch needs a repair,' he said looking at his watch.
'Promise me that you'll never leave me. I can't live without you Jack,' Janet's eyes froze as she said this and a tear rolled out of her eye.
'I will never leave you Janet. I love you so much,' Jack kissed her.
Jack looked through the window. It was bright. It was past thirteen hours since sunrise and still it was bright outside.
'Looks like the dawn hates me,' Jack turned towards the window and said, 'it's brighter than before.'
'I am sorry for everything happened. I love you Jack,' Janet again said this to Jack.
'It's okay baby,' Jack said and kissed on Janet's forehead.
'I can't live without you Jack.. Promise me that you'll never leave me... I love you Jack... I love you.'

Janet's voice began to fade as Jack kept staring at the ceiling fan that was spinning in the opposite direction. Then, he realized something was wrong. The blades of the ceiling fan slowly turned into the blades of a helicopter. Then he began to hear voices of people. He felt some bizarre sound of storm that constantly struck his ears. Jack swiftly closed his eyes and covered his ears. A few seconds later, Jack opened his eyes and found himself on a snow bed at an altitude of 16,400 feet above sea level.
'Jack, hold your breath,' it was the voice of a rescue officer.
'Hold on tight Jack. Stay with me,' another rescue officer spoke out.
Jack's face was tied with oxygen mask but he struggled a lot to breathe through it. Sweat started to pour out of his face while his hands and legs remained frozen. Rescue officers took him into the helicopter and rushed to the lower ground within hours.

The next day, Jack found himself in a hospital and he was slowly recovering from his injury. As Jack opened his eyes, he found his wife Sarah sitting next to him, with tears in her eyes.
'Oh my god! Jack,' exclaimed Sarah and she immediately called the doctors. She then held his hands and said, 'honey, you are back.'
The doctors came to the room.
'Is everything alright doctor?' Sarah asked Doctor Lindsay.
'Yeah Sarah, but it will take few days for him to walk. His memory responds fine. So there's nothing to worry about,' the doctor said and left the room handing over some medicines to Sarah.
'Sarah,' Jack called out her name.
Sarah immediately rushed to the bed and said, 'tell me baby'.
'I am alive,' Jack winked.
'Yes, you are,' Sarah gave him a kiss.
'I love you girl,' Jack said.
Sarah wiped her tears. Then they had a lengthy conversation.

Days passed by and Jack started to walk normal as before. Later, he was discharged from the hospital. Sarah and Jack bid goodbye to the doctors and nurses who took very good care of Jack. Sarah got into the driver's seat and Jack sat comfortably inside the car.
'Sarah, you know what?' Jack said as he rolled down the window.
'What?' Sarah asked him and started the car.
'I saw something.'
'What was that?'
'I exactly don't know. But it was like I had a glimpse of my past.'
'What?' Sarah said as she stepped on the accelerator.
'Yes, it was after I became unconscious after falling from the cliff. I was able to visualize things. I saw my past. Rather, I could say that I saw my past lives.'
'Jack, are you okay?' Sarah drove the car as she said this.
'Yes, I saw my past lives. I saw my mother, my friend, my wife.'
'Not you, its the wife of my past life. You know what, I was an adorable lover, a gangster, a loving husband and a smuggler in my past lives. I have lived different shades of characters in each of my life. Strange, isn't it?' As Jack spoke, Sarah drove towards the main road.
'You need some rest Jack,' Sarah said and took out a cigar. She saw him taking a cigar from the pack and said, 'Jack, what are you doing? You are not supposed to smoke. Put it down.'
'Okay,' Jack put the cigar back in the box.

Days passed by and he slowly tried to forget the things happened to him. He concentrated more on his physical fitness so that he can get back to the summit soon. But the memories of his past life haunted him more often. Yes, Jack saw his past. He saw Clara, who was his wife in the life before the current one. He saw his gambling partner Edward, who was his friend in the life before that. He was a gangster before that and his mother, whom he saw in the train, was killed by his opponents in that part of his life. And the life before that he was an adorable lover who was madly in love with Janet.

Written by Ashwin Kumar  


  1. past always lives in our memories while we exist in our present in search of our dreams.. hmm.. good read :)