Besant Nagar beach, a part of the second longest beach strip in the entire world. It is cleaner than it’s counterpart in the city, Marina beach, and it is a far better place for people to go to enjoy. In all honesty it could be one of the last places in the city of Chennai that people can go to to actually relax. The wind in your face, the smell of the salty sea water and several food joints are just one of the several things on the beach that people come for.
At least this was the case for one Maya Joseph. Maya was spending her sunday with her friends on said beach, and so far it was going pretty well. The people they had met were well mannered, most of them at least.
Maya was a strange girl to have been born in India. Her thinking strange from the average Indian teenage girl. She looked like the average Indian, with long curly black hair that reached to her shoulders and light brown eyes. Her cheekbones were prominent, she was beautiful with a skinny build and delicate features to match.
Maya liked things that most people her age wouldn’t look twice at. Classic Indian movies were loud and frankly boring as hell, but classical Indian songs? Loved them. She hated crowds, which was funny considering she literally lived in the country with one of the largest population in the world, and loved open spaces.
Her favorite color was black, unlike every other girl who liked pink or another light color of the sort. She in fact hated pink, her anger towards that color extended to everything related with that color. She refused to even eat strawberry ice cream and though she took to the flavour, she refuses to admit to this day that it was any good.
Maya was also not very keen on clothes as much as other girls her age. She hated traditional clothes like sarees, and hated kurtas even more. As you can see Maya hates a lot of things that would be called ‘classical Indian’ behaviour, but you see there is a reason for that.
Maya is a child born to two different religions. Her father was christian, while her mother was a hindu. Maya was raised with both sides of her family hating her very existence. Her mother and father lived isolated from their extended family, this is because they disobeyed their parents and married out of love. And in India, at that time, marrying out of love was frowned upon, but marrying someone from a different religion was a whole ‘other bag of cats.
And so Maya grew up not knowing her aunts, uncles or cousins. She remembered one time meeting them, her extended family, but out of that meeting she only remembered one thing, they hated her.
Then and there Maya decided, she was going to live her life the exception, the one to break the rules that were laid out for her. They did not even considered her family, so she wouldn’t consider their traditions. So Maya actively went out of her way to push traditions aside.
She dressed in baggy clothes that were more western than Indian. She refused to go to any religious places if given the chance. And she actively went on a crusade whenever religion or tradition was brought into her life.
Due to this Maya made a very select group of friends. Ones that, though may not shared her views about the world, still valued her as a friend and as a person they could count on to help.
Maya sat in the sand with her knees to her chin, she watched as the boys enjoyed the waves, jumping into the water, fighting against the current and enjoying the water. She wore a black shirt with jeans and shoes. She looked at the boys longing to go to water, enjoy it like the boys did, but alas she was stuck here with the other girls forced to gossip about things she did not care about or want to know.
There were 8 in her group, including her. There were 4 boys and 4 girls, most of the girls were sitting on the shore of the beach while the boys went out to the water to go for a swim.
“So did you hear? Prakitsha and Sabarish are going out!” Preethi exclaimed. Preethi was one of Maya’s closet friends, and also the most popular. Anything that happened in the school, she knew before anyone else. Preethi had fair skin, which was very attractive to Indians, she had light brown hair framing her face and was a little bit on the chubby side.
“Really?” asked another one of Maya’s friends, Alanya. Alanya was a girl that had lived most her life as a quiet girl with little to say, but lately she had come to become one of the most talkative and loudest people Maya had ever known. Alanya was beautiful, and she knew it. Her beautiful face and light brown hair made the boys putty in her hands, and girls envied her.
“I heard they were caught making out in the class!” said the last of the girls, Joshuka. Joshuka, or Joshu, is a girl of few words. Shy towards the boys in general, and chooses only to talk to girls, and boys she knew very well. She looked like the traditional Indian girl with braided hair and a face that looked like it belonged on a child rather than a teenager.
“I also heard they are very serious,” Preethi said, “apparently he has already met her parents!”
“They are definitely going to get married,” Joshu said giggling.
“Oh please,” Maya interrupted, “Sabarish is a total jerk, 5 rupees say’s they will break up in a week.”
“Oh come on Maya you are being such a pessimist,” Alanya said flipping her hair back, “they might last longer.”
“Isn’t that what you said about Ashok and Divyah?”
“-And Karthik and Fiona?”
“Yes, yes fine I get it. You win.”
“Oh come one don’t be like that Alanya,” Preethi said laughing, “you know Maya hates love in general!”
“I don’t hate love!” Maya protested hitting Preethi on the shoulder.
“Yes you do. You have rejected every guy that ever proposed to you!” Joshu said laughing.
“I rejected them because they like me because of my face and nothing else!” Maya said crossing her arms, “and don’t say propose! Say asked me out, propose sounds like they are asking me to marry them!”
“The foreigners say ask out, here in indian we say propose Maya,” Alanya said in an angry tone, “if you like their way so much go date a foreign guy!”
“Now now stop arguing you two,” Preethi said jumping in before Maya could speak, “let’s just move on shall we?”
Maya huffed, “I just don’t like the fact that people ask me out,” she said the last three words while looking at Alanya, “because of my face. They just don’t care who I am on the inside.”
“Who cares?” Alanya said in response, “they like us for our looks, we like them because of thiers. They get what they want from us and we get what we want from them What’s the harm?”
“The harm is when you both start getting old you will realise that you don’t actually love each other!”
“Guys enough!” Preethi shouted placing a hand on each girls shoulder, “stop it now. Your both right and lets just leave it at that.”
Maya narrowed her eyes and looked away sighing again, slowly letting go of her anger. She always did have a short fuse, and arguing with Alanya made it so much more shorter.
Soon a silence feel on the group of girls, luckily it did not last long because the rest of the group joined them.
The guys, Karthik, a boy with good looks, money and nothing much between his head, Gokul, a pretty okay guy that refused to take no for an answer when asking out Maya and finally Ram and Darshan twins that Maya hadn’t met until today.
“What were you guys fighting about?” Karthik asked as he and the other guys put on their shirts after drying themselves off.
“Nothing,” Joshu said giggling at Karthik’s body, “they were just fighting over the meaning of love.”
“Oh sounds serious who won?” Karthik asked smiling at Maya, which Gokul did not like one bit.
“Nobody,” Preethi said being ever the negotiator, trying not to upset Maya or Alanya, “just a debate.”
“So what are we doing now?” asked Gokul as he quickly changed the subject, “I’m hungry, anyone else hungry?”
“I am,” Ram said.
“Me to,” Darshan replied just as quick.
“Okay then, every one want to go buy some bajjis?” asked Karthik.
“Sure sounds great,” Alanya said batting her eyelashes at him, while he was focused only on Maya and her response.
And that was the main problem in this little group. Karthik ‘loved’ Maya, and that term is used very loosely. Alanya wanted Karthik because of his money, and Maya just wanted to left out of all this drama.
Maya simply shrugged, “fine let’s go.”
Karthik then smiled, something that most other girls would have found charming, but to Maya felt just downright creepy, it was something about his eyes, so...cold. Slowly the group started walking away from the water and to one of the many food stands on the shore of the beach.
Maya walked slowly letting everyone else go ahead of her. The twins were talking to Preethi and Joshu, while Alanya was trying to charm Karthik. And Gokul kept trying to walk back to try and talk with Maya.
The group ate their food in a small local food stand there. It was a stand with a red cloth around it and a hot stove in the center. There were chairs around that served at seats for the customers and a banner that read, ‘Best food in Besant Nagar.’
Maya watched as the cook fried slices of potato in batter and then fried them in oil. She loved fried food, and watched as their order of plates of potato bhajji and a plate of onion bhajji was prepared.
Maya smiled as a little girl brought their food to them. She looked to be a little over 5 years old, dressed in rags. But the little girl smiled and gave them their food, <here are your food,> she spoke in tamil, the local language there. She obviously did not have an education but the girl was still put to work.
Maya smiled at the girl, <thank you sweet thing,> she replied as she took the hot plates of the girls hands. The girl smiled back and simply started at Maya.
<What are you staring at?> Karthik asked the girl, <get lost.> He told the girl harshly as the little girl went away.
“Karthik what the fuck man?!” Maya asked, angry that he could speak to like to such a little girl, “she was just a little kid!”
“So?” he responded, “she was freaking creepy Maya!”
“Would you speak to your sister like that?”
“No but that’s because my sister is someone important, not a nobody like that girl.”
Maya simply stared at him, her anger slowly coming back. The rest of the group saw their argument but did nothing else choosing to go back to their food and their talks. Maya was surprised how everyone was dealing with this, how everyone didn’t care, how it was just a problem for them to ignore.
This city, her people, they were becoming more and more heartless. They were becoming detached. the meaning kindness was not something know when dealing with strangers. India despite it having the most people in the world can make you feel like you're all alone if you have no one to talk to.
Maya sat in her seat, her head down in anger and shame. Anger towards her friends and shame to herself that she did not do anything to defend that girl.
Soon they finished their food and all started getting up to leave. Maya ate a few pieces and quickly brought the plates to the cook to have them washed. Maya smiled at the little girl, <sorry about that boy, he’s a little stupid.>
The little girl smiled back at her, <It’s okay I get it all them time. I’m used to it big sister, thank you for bringing the plates back.>
Maya left with a smile on her face but a heavy heart, ‘yes but it should not be something you see every day.’
She rejoined the group as the slowly reached the main road. They then started making plans, Karthik was bringing most of them home in his car, but Maya’s house was far away.
“I’ll take the train you guys,” Maya told them.
“You sure Maya?” Preethi asked, “it’s very dangerous this time of the day you know.”
“Day? It’s nearly night time,” Joshu said, “Maya just come with us, we can drop you at home.”
“My house it too far away,” Maya said, “I’ll be alright, nothing’s going to happen to me.”
“Just come in my car ,” Karthik said.
“It’s okay, I’ll be fine,” Maya said while thinking, ‘and I swear if I have to spend one more minute with you I might kill you!’
“Fine,” Alanya said glad that Maya was leaving, “just be careful.”
“If you want I can come with you,” Gokul said smiling.
“Gokul you live in the opposite direction,” Maya said smiling back at him, ‘you a good guy, but so not my type.’
“Fine fine she wants to go, let her go,” Joshu said, “see you on at school Maya.”
“See you then Joshu, bye guys!” Maya said as she walked away.
“Bye Maya!” the group said to her as they waved goodbye.
Maya walked across the beach and at the end of the street caught a bus which brought her to the local train station.
The train station was built along a river, that was now polluted by chemicals and garbage. It smelt so bad that anyone not used to the smell would puke the first time they smell it. But Maya, like the other people in the city, was used the smell.
She walked into the large yellow colored building. It was huge, built to hold thousands of people at the same time. It had several staircases and ever an elevator. It would have been an impressive sight, if it wasn’t run down.
The walls had cracks in them with spider webs in the corners. The inside had dogs sleeping on the floor as well as dog feces here and there. Maya stepped across all the things on the floor until she reached the busted looking ticket counter. There were three terminals to be used, but now there was only one still running.
<One to Velachery,> she said handing the man inside a 5 rupee coin and he gave her a yellow ticket a big as her thumb. She pocketed the ticket and walked to the nearest staircase to the top where the train would arrive.
Maya walked looking at all the closed off corners in the train station. Almost ¾ of the station was now unused and so closed off. Maya had once seen people living there, hiding in the shadows.
The train station however was very popular, and though it was very poorly maintained, lots of people still came in here. Was made it all the more sad that it was so poorly kept.
Maya noticed however that she was the only one there as she climbed the stairs. She put her hands in her pockets reaching for the pepper spray she kept just in case something went wrong.
Maya reached the platform walking out to the closed roofed train platform. She looked around the messy and dirty platform for people, noting once again that she was the only one there. She looked at her watch noting the train would be coming in a minute or two, but then again in India that could mean it would come in five minutes or ten.
She looked around the platform seeing the dirt that somehow stuck to the platform. The water pipe that was now broken, leaking water on top on the platform dripping off the the platform and to the rails. Maya sighed, that pipe would not be fixed for at least two days.
But just then, something stuck out to her. Across the water there were several footprints that could be seen. Whoever left them walked across the water leaving behind three sets of prints. Two of them looked like the where normal, but the third one looked like it was being dragged away, scuff marks visible on the floor.
Maya became curious, she walked slowly, very quietly. She strained her ears listening for something, she did not know what. Suddenly she heard it, a muffled scream.
Maya’s eyes grew wide in realization. She quickly took out her pepper spray and ran towards the men’s toilet where the footprints lead to. She charged the door, breaking the flimsy wood without a second thought to her personal safety. She ran in and saw a sight that came straight from a nightmare.
Inside by the loo were two men, one with red checked shirt and lots of hair and the other with a blue shirt with a bread and short hair holding down a partially naked woman trying to rape her. Maya stood stunned for a second before she moved. She drew back her hand punching on of the men in the back. The other one then noticed Maya’s presence.
He tried to get up and hit Maya, but she brought up her pepper spray blasting him point blank with it. The man moved away holding his eyes screaming.
Maya grabbed the woman on the floor and pulled her up. <Are you alright?> she asked her.
The woman cried, choking on her own tears, <help me please!>
Maya dragged the woman out of the toilet and ran dragging her to the stairs. <We have to get down, the people there will help-> before Maya could finish her sentence a fist landed on her face knocking her back.
Maya looked up seeing one of the men there holding the woman, preventing her from escaping down the stairs. Maya got up, pushing passed the pain that she felt on her jaw. She got up and charged the man, she speared him in the gut, pushing him off the woman and to the ground.
<GO!> Maya roared to the woman, who complied rushing down the stairs to get help. Maya turned and punched the downed man in the face repeatedly. She kept hitting him across the jaw. The punches fast and wild.
But just then Maya felt something grab her hair pulling her off the man and threw her across the floor. She fell to the ground and suddenly several kicks landed on her stomach. She felt a man’s foot kicking her repeatedly over and over. She struggled through the pain and saw the other man she pepper sprayed before stand over her.
Finally, after what felt like eternity, the man stopped. He panted, walking away from Maya, who simply crawled into fetus position. Through the ringing in her ears she heard them speak. Her face felt numb, some of the kicks landed right on her face breaking her teeth and cutting her lips. Her body felt broken and beaten.
<What took you so long?> one man asked.
<I had to wash that stuff out of my eyes, it still hurts!!> the other man responded rubbing his eyes.
<If you had been here sooner we could have caught them both!>
<I’m sorry brother. Maybe we can simply use this girl? the boss just said he need a girl, and this one is prettier than the other bitch.>
<We could use her, if you hadn’t beaten her to near death! The other one we could have given, after we had ‘used’ her because we didn’t damage her too much, but this one looks like you broke something in her, and you know boss hates broken toys.>
<Oh sorry brother, now what do we do?>
<First we need to take care of her,> said the red checked shirt as he walked towards Maya. He turned her head towards him with his boot, <such a pity, she would have been worth a lot of money.>
<Should we throw her off the platform into the river?>
<Yeah, but first,> the man said bringing out a knife from his back pocket, <let’s make sure she doesn't get back up.>
The man grabbed Maya by the neck and brought her up. He dragged her towards one of the open windows facing the river, Maya to weak to resist. He lifted her up and aligned her towards the window. Maya kicked the man, but her body still hurt every time she moved it.
<Hopefully in your next life you will mind your own damn business whore,> and with those final words he plunged the knife into Maya’s stomach tearing her insides. He took the knife out and pushed Maya out of the window, sending her head over heals downwards into the water. The two men looked down seeing Maya’s body make a splash as it hit the water. They then left, their work done. They turned around and left through the train tracks, escaping the police that were arrived just a few second after.
Maya’s eyes drew heavy, the pain in her stomach taking over everything she felt. She saw the disgusting water surround her, getting into her wounds, inflicting them. Her arms and legs heavy, her eyes sleepy. she tried to hold water in, but she couldn’t. the air rushed out of her lips, letting the water in, filling her lungs.
She tasted the bitter water, the toxic nature of the water filled her sense. And so she died, remembering only pain.
Maya opened her eyes. She saw herself traveling down a path made out of moonlight across a plain of darkness. She walked, her eyes showing no sign of life. She walked, dead inside. And so her soul drifted, moving on to the next part of life.
Her soul moved starting the cycle of death and rebirth all over again. At the end of the path there was a light, the light to what laid beyond her life. But just as Maya’s soul was about to pass through, something stopped her.
Maya slowly raised her head. The light from the end brought the life back into her. Her eyes sparkled with life and thought once more. she looked ahead of herself and saw a figure in white looking at her.
“Who are you?”
“That is of no concern Maya,” the figure spoke in a calm feminine voice,“ I am here to simply ask you one thing, if you could choose between peace or revenge what would you choose?”
“What do you mean?”
“If you could choose between passing away and finally being in peace, or getting your revenge on the people who did this to you, what would you choose?”
Maya looked at the figure she didn’t think for more than a second, before answering, “revenge.”
The figure titled it’s head, “why?”
“Because there has to be someone to do so. Someone has to be the one to carry out justice, to bring those who do wrong to their knees. Someone….someone who they will be afraid of.”
The figure then asked, “so what do you want, vengeance or justice.”
Maya looked at the figure at where would the eyes, “justice is for those that can still be forgiven, these humans, no, these monsters deserve vengeance,and I will give it to them.”
The figure then spoke, this time in a gentle tone, “is this what you truly want?”
“You might say this now, but if given the power you so desire, it will scare you. You will become a shell of who you are, before you are truly born again. So tell me is this truly what you want?”
“So if I gave you the powers to get your revenge, and you did, what would you do next?”
“I would then destroy all those that are like them,” Maya said with not a hesitation in her voice. There was something, something about the figure or this place that made her speak without hesitation, all her worries and self doubt, gone. She spoke clearly, “they are a plague to our society. A cancer which I will cut out. If I have the power, I will destroy every single one of them.”
The figure stared for what felt like several lifetimes, but Maya did not look away, she looked straight at it. It then spoke, “Kali was indeed right about you.”
Suddenly where the forehead of the figure would be, a vertical slit opened up. It opened up to form a vertical eye that was red in color. In the center of the eye was a pupil that black as tar. Suddenly a blast of black energy rushed at Maya. It enveloped her, consumed her whole.
Maya screamed, but no sound was heard. She however did hear a voice in her head. A voice so powerful and evil that even hearing it scared Maya to death. The voice spoke in an ancient dialect that somehow Maya understood, <<You who are chosen will carry out my wrath onto this new world. You who are my chosen will protect the innocent and destroy evil. You who are my chosen will bring balance to this world, with my powers the world will once again know the wrath of KALI!>>
Maya screamed as suddenly the path of darkness vanished before her eyes.
Maya’s body hit the bottom of the river. Her blood seeping into the ground, slowly traveling downwards. It traveled deeper and deeper until it hit the roots of an old tree. This tree however was not just a normal tree, it was very old, and very powerful. Thousands had died on this tree, many more sacrificed on its altar. It was the tree that many thought the goddess Kali rested under.
Slowly a black fog reached out from the roots of the tree traveling upwards and into Maya’s body.
Maya’s eyes suddenly opened, her previously light brown eyes now pure black with red instead of white surrounding it. Maya stood up, the water pressure not affecting her in the slightest. Maya, or the thing that she now, became jumped up breaking through the polluted river breaking through the surface.
The beings hands grabbed onto the garbage on the surface of the banks, pulling itself on top. Maya’s body now looked blacker than tar. Her canines grew longer in fangs that cut into her lips drawing blood, her hair now longer and scattered into a mess. Her clothes were covered in garbage and an aura of destruction and danger surrounded her.
This being of vengeance, of destruction looked up into the night sky. The light of the full moon reflected onto the beings black eyes. Suddenly it roared a mighty roar that could be heard through the city. Thousands of people all over stopped and looked around for the source only to find that nothing near them could have possibly made that noise.
The being jumped up and ran into the night, searching for the ones that had killed her, for justice, no, not justice, for vengeance.
Ekajyotis Balakrishnan, or as he prefers EK. EK honestly doesn’t know where his parents even came up with such a name. He always suspected that they wanted a unique name for him to make him stand out, but giving him a name which is almost unpronounceable is not something they should have chosen.
It took him years to finally get his friends to stop making fun of his name, but even then they still used it if he ever started making fun of them. EK had black hair and brown eyes, the typical Indian look. He stood at 6 feet or so with a little fat on his face and on his chest due to lack of movement.
EK stood on the roof top the the Madiver club, one the most expensive clubs in the city. He had come here with his parents. They had money, lots of it, and right now there were at dinner with a couple of people who were trying to help them make more money.
EK sighed as he stared across the city. The building around were all small when compared to the club’s building. But the sight was majestic nonetheless. EK was tired and exhausted, the people inside with his parents had brought their son, a kid with an attitude problem. The entire night EK had been trying to be polite and act normal, but that kid was simply the worst kind of human there was.
The night seemed calm as the sky was clear of clouds and the rays of the moon could be clearly seen. EK looked at the moon smiling, it was times like this that EK considered priceless. In all honesty, EK hated being rich. He knew what it meant to be poor, what it meant to starve.
He still remembered how it used to be. How his parents used to slog all day working, just trying to make a living. It wasn’t until his dad had hit it big with some wise stock investments that EK and his parents started living the good life. They might have forgotten, but EK did not.
And it was all because of his grandmother. She taught him everything he knew today. From right and wrong, and the value of money. EK understood at that age the importance of money, but he also understood that money was not life. He understood that the best things in life were free and the best thing in life, was being free.
EK smiled feeling nostalgic about the past. He kept looking at the moon, but just then a roar tore through the silent night. EK’s eyes widened at the ferocity of the roar. It sounded dangerous, like the call of a wild animal, no, not a wild animal. A monster. A monster that was out for blood.
EK looked around startled, he noticed that he was alone, no one there beside him on the roof. EK sighed and turned back to the moon, he could feel it. He could feel something coming. He felt it in his gut, he didn’t know what, but it was coming.
EK turned away and made way towards to rooftop door. He pulled it open exiting the roof, the cool air conditioning flowing across his face. EK walked down the stairs and saw a club attendant with the red vest uniform on standing there.
“Did you enjoy your visit on the roof sir?” the attendant asked.
“Very much Mr. Kumar, thank you for lending me your keys,” EK said smiling. He reached into his pocket and took out the roof keys. He gave them to the attendant, slipping a 500 rupee note along with it.
“You are a very important member after all sir, it is the least I can do,” the attendant said slipping the money and the key back into his pocket.
“Yes I’m sure,” EK said smiling as he walked away, “if I ever need your key again, I’ll be sure to ask for you.”
As soon as EK was out of range of the attendant his smile dropped from his face. It was so easy to get things if one was rich. There was literally nothing that wasn’t for sale if the price was right. Over the years living in high society had taught him that, you can rule the world with money. It was a principle that he had learnt by himself, and something he had done often. It was also the thing he hated most about himself.
EK hated that if he wanted he could buy a human being to be his slave. EK was a boy who had mastered the art of putting on the mask of a high society being, but inside he hated every second of it. Like a man that was lying to himself, he lived each day wondering, hoping when he could live free of this life, and do something, anything that was important in life.
EK walked into the restaurant and to his table. His parents, Balakrishnan Logeshwaren and Lathika Balakrishnan, sat opposite to british couple, Mr. and Mrs. Wonderman, EK had never bothered to learn their first names. Next to the Wondermans’ sat their brat of a son, Eric Wonderman, somebody that EK was responsible to entertain for the day.
“Ah back are we?” asked Mrs. Wonderman noting EK’s entry.
EK smiled, the mask of the perfect gentleman back on, “yes Mrs. Wonderman, did I miss something important.”
“Oh don’t yourself over the business side of things dear,” Mrs. Wonderman said in her british accent, “you and Eric just enjoy each others company, let us deal with the business side of things.”
EK smiled taking his seat opposite to Eric smiling at him, “now where did we leave off Eric?”
The chubby british boy looked up from his phone and noticed EK for the first time, “oh, I think we were talking about video games.”
“Ah yes, video games,” EK said struggling to keep his smile on as he noticed a lie of snot stream down Eric’s nose. And so the night went on. EK asked questions, entertaining Eric, allowing Eric to start talking about his favorite subject all the while paying attention to his parents conversation with the Wondermans’.
EK’s dad had a company, Balae Int., that shipped out cargo across the Indian ocean. Mr. Wonderman now wanted to use EK’s dad’s company to ship a large shipments of goods from africa to the middle east. The fact that Mr. Wonderman was also the spokesperson for the diamond companies in Africa gave a hint to EK what would be in those containers, blood diamonds.
EK hated this part of his parents, the part of them that became twisted because of money, the need, the greed for more money took hold of them and settled in. And so EK watched the deal was agreed upon in all but paper.
Dinner was quickly eaten but the discussion continued. Though the deal was over and all the arrangements were taken care of, Mr. and Mrs. Wonderman kept the compliments coming. They and EK’s parents still talked like they were old friends, and EK for the most part hated it. Finally EK couldn’t handle it any more.
EK got up, “where are you going dear?” his mother asked him.
“I need some fresh air mother,” EK said smiling his fake smile, “all the food is starting to make me sleepy,” EK said laughing at the end to which the Wondermans’ laughed as well.
“Eric honey why don’t you do with Eka-Eka-” Mrs. Wonderman began.
“EK is fine Mrs. Wonderman,” EK hoping to prevent the vile woman from butchering his name.
“Sure mom,” Eric said getting up from his spot and following EK out of the restaurant. EK sighed on the inside as his private time on the roof was now thrown out the window, because of this large tub of fat that couldn't even look up from his phone screen for a second even to look at where they were going.
EK and Eric kept walking across the many floors of the building as EK took all of it in, while Eric simply started at his phone.
EK walked down the stairs and came a few floor down. According to the signs this room had a huge ball room. The entrance to the room was a double door at the entrance of which was an attendant. Next to the attendant were two men, both decked out in suits.
“Here for the meeting sir?” the attendant asked.
“No, but what is this a meeting about?” EK responded putting on the best smile he had.
“I’m sorry sir, but I’m afraid that is a private matter sir. I believe it is some sort of family meet and greet sir.”
EK nodded, “I see,” just then a woman wearing a red and gold saree exited the room. The two men in suits by the side of the attendant held the door as the woman left, EK noticed that underneath each of the men’s suit jackets was a hand gun.
‘Pretty big weapons for a small family gathering.’ EK thought as he guided Eric to the next flight of stairs, ‘unless of course they happen to be a mafia family.’
EK’s eyes widened in realization that he might be right. He looked up and caught a sliver of an image of the inside of the ball room. He saw a table and in the center if the table was a man with a gun laid out in front of him and a scar across his cheek.
Suddenly the man looked up from his gun and right into EK’s eyes. EK moved quickly, hurrying down the stairs and Eric followed.
“Where are we now?” Eric asked finally looking up from his phone.
“I think we are in the guest room section of the club,” EK said as he walked into the maze that was the club guest room corridor.
“And why are we doing in here?”
“Come now Eric where is your sense of adventure?” EK asked, in reality EK was hoping to lose Eric in this maze of corridor. It could damage the deal his father was making, but that was exactly what EK wanted.
“Ah are you sure we should be here?” Eric asked, now getting a little scared.
“Oh man up Eric my boy,” EK said faking a british accent, “where's that good ol’ british courage and sense of adventure I keep hearing about?”
“Shut up,” Eric said as the two boys walked around.
Suddenly a smell of garbage filled the air. EK took a deep breath smelling the air over and over again.
“What is that smell?” asked Eric as he held up his nose.
“I don’t know,” EK answered honestly, and that was the thing, he hated not knowing.
“It smells like,” Eric said smelling the air again, “it smells like garbage.”
“I think that is exactly what that is,” EK said walking towards the smell.
They took a turn to the left and in front of them was a corridor that lead to a dead end. But instead of a wall there was a human sized hole in the wall. EK stared with wide eyes at the giant whole in the side of the building. There were pieces of the wall on the inside meaning something had come inside from the out.
“EK,” Eric asked, “is that supposed to be there?”
“Obviously not,” EK said as he felt the warm night air come into the hotel.
EK walked to the edge and looked out. He saw small marks along the side of the building, it almost looked like they were made by hand. Like something had dug into the side of the building and literally pulled itself along the building.
EK walked backwards, lost for words. It-it didn’t make sense. None of this made sense, was this some kind of joke? No, it’s impossible, there is no way anything could have actually climbed along the side of the building all the way to the 15th floor!
“EK should we tell the club attendants?” Eric asked shaking EK from his daze.
“Y-yeah,” EK turned to Eric, “Eric go and tell that guy we saw upstairs tell him to bring some help, I’ll stay here and make sure people know not to come here.”
Eric nodded and moved away as fast as his fat feet could take him. EK turned and looked. He went to the hole once again and this time noticed that the hole, while it looked big, EK could barely fit his shoulders through.
That meant whoever made this, had smaller shoulders, a woman? EK moved away trying to look at it from a different angle, it just didn’t make sense. He racked his head, and just then he saw the carpet.
The carpet along the hole was covered was concrete and pieces from the wall. But as it went away from the wall there was something else there. EK noticed something black and smudgy along the carpet. He focused and noticed that the black mess looked a lot like a foot.
EK bent down and sniffed the tar like foot print. It smelt of garbage and pollution, similar to the smell around the area, but something this little could not be stinking up the whole place, it had to more, more… and then he got it. EK placed his foot next to the tar footprint, the tar foot was visibly smaller. He then tracked the black foot prints walking inside the maze of corridors.
‘That means it is a woman who did all this, or somebody with really small feet, and is now inside the building somewhere’ EK realised, ‘but who and how did-’
“EK!” Eric’s voice was suddenly went out.
EK’s eyes widened. He got up and ran towards where he heard that voice. He passed by several corridors and finally arrived near the stairs where he saw Eric standing in front of two big and ugly looking men. One of them wore a checked red shirt with lots of curly black hair. The other wore a blue shirt with a beard and short hair.
“What’s wrong Eric?” EK asked eyeing the two men in front of him. He got a feeling off these men. A feeling of danger and warning came into his head the moment he saw these two men. Something about them made EK….unsettled.
“These guys want to know something EK, I can’t figure out what,” Eric said slowly walking behind EK’s taller frame.
<What do you want sir?> EK asked switching to Tamil.
<We just wanted to know where was room 421> said the man with the red checked shirt.
<Okay,> EK said still keeping a close eye on them, <it down the hall on the first left.>
<Thanks boss,> the man with the blue shirt said, <why did that white boy call you?>
<He just felt a little uncomfortable talking to you, he doesn’t know the local language like we do, also he finds you scary.>
<Haha, we are not scary,> said one of them.
<Yes, we would barely harm a fly!> said the other one.
<Haha, I see> EK said putting on his fake smile fooling the two into thinking he let down his gaurd, <so why do you need to know the room number?>
<Oh our boss wants us to bring his wife to the meeting upstairs,> said the red checkered one.
<Oh I see,> EK said now nervous knowing that they are in fact part of the mafia party that was just above their heads, <good luck then, she seemed very angry from before.>
The two men laughed, <yes she gets like that, don’t worry we can handle her,> they said and soon they were off.
EK smiled as the two men left down the hall, they took the first left as EK told them and as they did EK noticed something at the end of the hall. It was a figure in black. It stood there motionless, out of the shrod of darkness surrounding it EK made out it’s claws and teeth which stood out like the moon in the night sky, the dust from the broken concrete still under its nails and evident on it’s hands and legs. She wore what looked like a red shirt and a pair of dirty jeans.
EK stared at it, suddenly it moved it’s head pushing the hair that had gathered on it’s face to move aside and causing it and EK to make eye contact for the first time. For a second, time seemed to stop for EK as brown meet black. EK saw it’s eyes. It’s eyes filled with hate and rage. It’s eyes that looked for blood and wouldn’t be satisfied unless blood was given.
EK suddenly felt a pain in his eyes forcing him to look away. EK blinked back the pain and looked and realized that now he was looking at an empty corridor.
“EK?” Eric asked, “are you alright?”
“Eric get to the attendant,” EK said turning to Eric, “get him and till him what happened. Tell him someone might have broken in and is looking to kill somebody tonight.”
“Someone? You think a human created that hole in the wall?”
“No Eric I think something that looks like a human created that wall, now go!”
“W-What about you?”
“I-I need to find this thing.”
“What?! Are you crazy?! Why would you do that?!”
“Because, because I need to find out what that thing is,” and with that last word EK took off running towards the end of the corridor, where he saw this being last.
EK reached the end of the corridor, he turned all around, noticing he was in fact alone. There was nothing there, no one there. The corridor led to a dead end. So unless the thing suddenly disappeared, it must still be here, somewhere.
EK’s eyes widened, he slowly turned upwards and there standing right above him with it’s eyes looking right at EK was the being. It’s hair didn’t fall down, defying gravity, it looked at EK, and the young Indian stood there shocked stiff. He was paralyzed, and suddenly in a second the being jumped of the ceiling and landed on EK’s shoulder. It then used EK as a jumping board and launched itself away from him and towards the corridor he came from.
EK stood and watched, still petrified, as the being then quickly took a turn and went right to where EK had told those two people from before to go. ‘She’s going after them!’ EK realised. He finally snapped out of his state and moved his legs.
He ran and quickly took the same turn and as he did he came upon a sight that came straight from his nightmares.
The being had it’s mouth on one of the men’s neck, tearing it open with it’s fangs. The other man wearing red stood in shock at the sight of the monster on his friend. He quickly turned and ran towards EK, pushing passed him and towards the party upstairs.
The being then pushed the man down, any resistance the man gave, ignored. It bit in again and again, the man’s screams rang out into the corridors. Suddenly the being got up, it picked up the man with one hand like he was weightless, and rammed him against the wall.
EK stared with horror as the being ripped the man’s throat open with it’s claws then drinking his blood as if it was water. The man yelled, his voice now not even recognizable due to his throat being ripped out. He moved his hands about wildly, but the longer the being sucked his blood out, the less the arms moved.
EK watched as the man became thinner and thinner as slowly the being drained all of his blood. Finally it slowly removed it’s mouth from the now dead man’s neck and flung him across the corridor.
The body landed right in front of the EK, it landed without any sound indicating it was merely flesh and bones now. EK tore his eyes away from the sight before him and looked at the thing in front of him.
It slowly walked towards him, it’s feet glided across the carpet. It stood face to face with EK, and then for what felt like eternity they simply started at each other. EK started shaking, is this it? Is this how he would die? Without even getting a chance to live the life he wanted, the way he wanted. EK steadied his breath and then looked right at the monster in front of him.
Slowly the being moved it hand up, pointing one finger at EK, it opened it’s mouth and a voice that sounded like it belonged to an goddess spoke, <innocent, true.>
Slowly it put it’s hand down and moved, before EK even had time to react it caught his hands restraining him. It then lowered its head towards EK, it’s came within an eyelashes distance to him. EK’s heart started beating faster and faster, his head became filled with thought of death and pain, but the monster simply said, <stay out of my way,> it spoke and suddenly it moved away releasing EK. It dashed across the corridor and went up the stair to the ball room.
EK moved back hitting the corridor wall, he slowly lost his balance, his fear finally catching up to him. He sat down on the ground, his heart rate slowly decreasing. EK turned towards where the monster left, it went towards the ballroom, towards where that other guy went. It was going to kill him, it was going to do the same thing it did to this man right here.
EK closed his eyes, finally relaxing, he was safe, his life wasn’t in danger. But that….that wasn’t enough. Finally something had happened, something incredible had happened. His very life was in danger, everything he ever had or did didn’t matter any more. The thrill of danger, that rush of blood, he wanted more.
EK turned to the stairs again, he realised that right now he was at a crossroads of sorts. Beyond those stairs was a life of mystery, of something beyond him, beyond anything he could ever hope to be. It would mean leaving it all behind, there would be no one to guide him, to tell him what to do, he could even die. But EK knew, this life he was living, this ordinary life was not enough.
And so EK moved his legs getting up.
He pushed himself forward. His head telling him it was a mistake, that he should go back. But his heart, no, his very soul made him push ahead until he reached the stairs.
He grabbed the banister and pulled himself up, slowly he reached the floor above him, only this time everything was noisy. The door to the ballroom was propped open with the dismembered head of one of the door men he saw before, the other one was left in pieces on the other side by the plants.
EK didn’t see the attendant of Eric there, that meant they must have made it out or where somewhere else at this time.
EK moved towards the door and peeped in, and inside was something no short of a massacre.
Piles of bodies laid on the side of the room, blood splattered all over the floor and the curtains. Pieces of humans laid on the floor, torn right out. And in the center stood the woman with the black skin.
Several men surrounded her in a circle, each having a gun in their hand. The opened fire blasting her with bullets. The woman simply jumped up and stood again upside down digging her feet into the ceiling. The resulting bullets hit the men on the other side killing most of them in a hail of friendly fire.
<Get that bitch!!> the man with the scar that EK had seen earlier said, <The one to kill her gets 1 crore!>
The remaining men all put back their guns and took out knives and aruvals, an indian blade used to break open coconuts. They threw the blades at the woman but before they could land on her she jumped down dodging them all and grabbing two of them from mid air.
She then moved towards the closets man plunging her blade into his shoulder and flung him across the room with the blade still inside him. She then ducked just as another man swung his blade at her. She kicked back knocking the man’s teeth out with her foot and knocking him on his butt.
She jumped up, and landed behind the downed man, ripping his throat out with her bare hands. She then turned just in time to see a man plunged his blade into her stomach. She spilt blood, but didn’t stop moving. She grabbed his neck before he could move back and bit into it drains him of his blood.
The other men all stared, as slowly the man that attacked her became nothing more than a husk of flesh. After she finished draining him she threw him away and pulled the blade out of her stomach, her wound instantly healing. The woman looked up, her eyes now turned full blood red, she opened her mouth, “ROAR!!!!”
The remaining men ran heading for the door, but didn’t get far. The woman jumped and landed in their way, cutting through them, men by men, piece by piece.
She walked slowly towards the head, who moved back until he hit the wall. He got down onto his knees, <please please let me live!> he cried out falling to his feet.
The woman however didn’t hesitate, she lifted him up by his head with one hand and prepared to strike him down, but just then a voice rang out.
<DAD!!> the cry of a boy came out. The woman and EK turned and saw a little boy charge at the woman with a knife, pushing at the woman, tearing her jeans pockets. EK saw a yellow slip of paper float down along with drops of her blood.
The woman then took the boy and threw him back hitting his head against a wall and knocking him unconscious, <innocent,> she mumbled under her breath. She then turned to the head of the mafia, <guilty.>
She cut off his head with her blade spraying his blood across the wall. She dropped his body and turned and walked towards a table. The monster smashed her fist into the table and drew a person out from underneath it.
It was the other man, the one that got away. She killed everyone here, just to get to him. She looked into his eyes, and suddenly plunged the blade she held into his stomach. She twisted the blade, enjoying his screams and then took the blade out in one swift move. She then plunged her teeth into his neck and drank his blood until he looked like a mummified body.
She threw the body and looked around the room for anyone left making eye contact with EK. EK froze once again, but this time he recovered faster. He knew she wouldn’t hurt him, she wouldn’t hurt the innocent.
EK pushed the door open further and walked inside, his legs shaking but his eyes never left hers. “Who are you?” he asked to which the woman simply turned her head sideways, so EK repeated again, <who are you?>
To this the woman simply smirked, she jumped to the window and turned to EK, < destruction, change.> Then suddenly she jumped leaning towards a window breaking the glass and falling out. EK ran to the window and got there just in time to see the woman sink her claws into the side of the building and climb down, just like the way she came in.
EK turned back into the room, the horror of what he had watched finally reaching him. Suddenly his stomach turned, releasing his dinner onto the floor. EK started panting, ‘all these people dead, that thing, that thing's a monster’ EK thought.
He looked around noticing the bodies all mangled and cut open, but just then he noticed by the side of the room several people who were still breathing. EK turned and walked the young boy who had attacked the woman just a moment ago, he felt for the boy's pulse and found one.
EK then turned and saw most of the people by the wall were all knocked out, not dead. ‘She didn’t kill them, because they were innocent.’
And then EK realised something, this thing, this woman she was something that could bring balance to this world. A weapon that can be used to bring the guilty to justice and the innocent a chance at revenge.
EK walked towards where he saw the yellow piece of paper fall from the woman’s jeans. The yellow piece of paper he realised was actually a train ticket people would get when taking the metro, meaning she would have touched it at some point, meaning her finger prints would be on it. It also had a few drops of her blood on it, helpful for a DNA test.
EK took out his handkerchief that he kept on him and took the ticket in it, it would help him find out who and what this woman was.
EK then turned to the room and this time saw something else. He didn’t see a massacre, he saw the salvation to his country’s problems. The blood of the evil was spilt, and the innocent was left in peace. This would be the moment, the moment he was waiting for, to actually matter, to become who he was meant to be.
EK turned and looked at the broken window and swore, ‘I will find you, and I will help you destroy the evil that is this city. This I swear.’
Maya’s eyes snapped open as she drew in a giant gulp of air. She gasped, finally getting hold of her body and her senses once again. She felt like she had been sleeping for what felt like an eternity. She moved her body slowly stretching her spine out and popping her back. The air traveled through her like water through fire calming her down and relaxing her,
It felt like she was packed into a small box and then shipped across the ocean into another country. Maya got up, her head still spinning as she found herself on what looked like her bed. She looked down at the sheets, blue with a wet stain on it the shape of a human.
Maya got off the bed, her legs wobbling, trying to support herself. Maya leaned on the wall, her head spinning and a thousand thought running through.
‘What happened?’ she asked herself as slowly her memories came back to her.
She remembered getting stabbed, she remembered being thrown out of the train station and into the river down below. The smell of the polluted water, the taste of the toxic material on her lips, and then the feeling of swallowing all that water whole.
She remembered that path she traveled on, meeting that figure in light, and then it asking what she wanted. And she answered, she answered, AHH!!!
Maya’s head throbbed in pain as suddenly chunks of memories came back to her. She remembered most of it. Pulling herself out of that river of garbage. Tracking those two men down, and then climbing up the side of a building.
She remembered...she remembered what happened in the ballroom, killing all those people. Without a single thought she did all that, all that blood spilt by her hands. Maya’s head slowly started to clear.
She looked around noticing that she was in fact in her own room. Her window was open, just like how she left. That must have been how she got in when she was that...that thing. Maya smelled herself, the scent of garbage still hanging off her clothes and not in her sheets.
Maya needed to get rid of these clothes. Quickly she removed her clothes and the bed sheets. She opened her room door and peeked outside. There was no one there and the light were turned off, either her parents were asleep or they weren't back yet.
Maya threw open the door to the bathroom connected to her room and placed all of the clothes inside a bucket. She quickly filled the bucket up with water and furiously started scrubbing the sheets and her clothes with soap. The room smelt like vanilla and finally after what seemed to be like forever, she took the now clean sheets out and wrapped them up. She opened her door once again and tiptoed to the balcony and let the sheets dry.
She then returned to her room and quickly took a shower. As the hot water fell across her face, more and more of her memories came to her. She remembered the men's face as she ripped out their throats, their eyes as she sucked them clean of their blood.
Maya stopped the shower head and walked to the sink. The hot water foged the mirror, Maya swiped away the fog seeing her reflection all the while wondering, ‘what the hell am I?’ The memories shocked and disgusted her.
Maya’s stomach suddenly started churning, she felt something inside her trying to get out. She quickly bent over the sink heaving out vomit. It poured out of her mouth slowly drain down into the sink. Maya heaved after a few seconds of throwing up, her head started spinning as slowly she stepped out of the shower and into her room.
She moved to her closet quickly changing into her night clothes and promptly collapsed onto the bed. She looked up, her body now slowly started to slow down as sleep took over her, she closed her eyes,thinking once again, ‘what have I become?’ She felt broken, and most of all afraid.
Suddenly before she knew it, morning came again. The sun light spread into her room hitting Maya in the face waking her up.
“Five more minutes,” Maya mumbled as she turned away from the sun light rolling in her bed. She just got cozy and started to fall asleep once again, just the a vision of a woman with black skin and red eyes appeared before her and charged aiming for her neck.
Maya rose up, heaving from the sudden vision she saw. She grabbed her throat and looked around her room, her senses on alert looking for the thing that attacked her. Slowly Maya calmed down, her sense of danger going down as she realised it was just a nightmare.
Slowly Maya got off of her bed and walked to her bathroom. She brushed her teeth and quickly walked out for her breakfast. Outside her father sat at the head of the dining table reading the day's paper.
“Morning dad,” Maya said as she went to him giving him a kiss on the check. She reached for his coffee and took a sip.
“Good morning Maya, and how many times do I have to tell you, don’t touch my coffee, you want some get your own,” her father responded grabbing his cup from her grasp smiling at her.
Maya smiled back as she took her seat on the table, “Ma, What’s for breakfast?”
“Dosa sweetie!” her mother replied from the kitchen, “just wait a minute and I’ll get it for you!”
“Okay,” Maya replied as she turned back and looked at her plate, her thoughts slowly going back to events of last night.
“What’s wrong angel?” Maya’s father asked not looking up from the newspaper.
“What do you mean dad?”
“I mean you look down today, did the trip to beach not go so well?”
“Oh, ah yeah. Not a great day yesterday,” Maya responded quickly, looking away from her dad and to the T.V. that was playing in the background.
The news was playing on T.V. The reporter there was covering something that had happened last night.
“When did you come home last night?” Maya’s mother asked from the kitchen, “we assumed you were in bed before we came.”
“Oh yeah,” Maya said. She quickly started thinking on her feet making the best lie she could, “I took the train and walked back. You know how tired I get, so I just shut myself in my room and slept it off.”
“I see, but why are your sheets out to dry? Did you wash them?”
“Ah yeah mom, I just realised they were really dirty.”
“Really,” her dad asked looking up from his paper, “you washed the sheets.”
“Ah, yes I did.”
“Yes dad me.”
“And I’m supposed to believe that.”
“Yes, you are.”
Her father looked at Maya, staring for a long time, and soon a staring contest started, and Maya was not one to lose. They continued until her mother came with breakfast breaking their eye contact. Maya then turned to her food digging in with gusto, just now realizing that she was hungry beyond belief.
“Would you look at that,” her father said suddenly. Maya lifted her head up and saw what her dad was looking at and her mouth opened in shock.
The T.V. reporter was standing in front of a fancy looking building, apparently called the Madiver club.
‘Late last night,’ the reported said, ‘a huge massacre happened in the prestigious Madiver building. Apparently last night one of the many mafia families of Chennai city gathered for a celebration. Then event then turned tragic as people have reported that all of the men involved in the meeting were killed brutally. I warn viewers, some of the images you are about to see are very graphic, viewer discretion is advised.’
The screen the cut to scenes from the ballroom. Maya sat there paralyzed as she saw what she had done, no, what that thing had done. It had destroyed all those people, she saw their arms on the ground. One man was even sucked clean of his bodily fluids.
‘Police are reporting that several family members of the mafia were let to live, after being knocked unconscious,’ the reporter continued, ‘here is a testimony from one of them now,’ the screen then moved showing another woman with a blue and black saree. Her hair was all over her head and her eyes were red with kajal stain down her face, ‘madam can you please tell us what you remembered.’
The woman looked up, her eyes void of any emotions except pain, ‘I-I,’ she began tearing up again, ‘it all happened so fast. One second we were all together, the next.. my babies!’ she broke down fresh tears in her eyes, ‘I should have not let them join the gang, it’s all my fault!!’ She cried as quickly another woman held her, carrying her off screen.
The reporter looked back at the camera, ‘as you can see, that woman lost both her sons to this event, the detail of which police have not released, though there has been speculations that it was not a rival gang hit, like most believe, but actually done by a single person. And some even claim by a single woman.’
Suddenly a man jumped into the screen pushing the reporter aside. He grabbed her mic and started shouting, ‘<THIS IS THE JUSTICE OF THE GODS! THESE MONSTERS DESERVE WHAT THEY GOT! THEY HAVE KILLED SO MANY! THIS IS NOT A MASSACRE, THIS IS JUSTICE!>’
The police rushed in pushing the man aside, taking him into custody. Slowly the scene changed back to the news station where the anchor proceeded to tell the next important news of the day.
Maya turned back with her head low. Her appetite lost. What happened last night...was it going to happen again? Was that thing that she became, was only because she wanted revenge against those two men?
‘Wait that means I won’t become that again, right?’ Maya thought, and with that thought, slowly she attempted to put all of that behind her, like a bad dream, and move on.
Over the following week leading up to her school Maya’s life had been a rollercoaster. Every night she went to bed praying that she would not transform into that thing again while she slept.
The first day she even tied her hands to the bed with a belt. Luckily for her, whatever she became didn’t seem to happen again. But she knew it wasn’t gone. She could feel it, in that place where everyone hides their darkest secrets, where they put the things that they don’t want anyone else to see.
She could feel it growing in the darkness, and if, no, when it released itself, she hoped that the people she cared most about in this world would be safe.
Her friends kept her busy for a while, talking to her via Facebook and what not. They distracted her for the most part, but she could never forget.
Most of her story thoughts were about that. She wondered whether the thing inside her was something for good, whether it could be used for good. She read the reports of the crime over and over again, and she found that none of the people directly involved in the mafia died. She had single handedly killed over 50 armed members of the mafia.
But regardless of what happened, of whether this thing inside of her, this, this darkness should never be released again. Maya thought for a long time, and finally made up her mind on the matter.
There were some side effects she found from whatever happened to her. Her hair became longer and straighter and felt smooth almost like it was silk. Her eyes turned from light brown to a chocolate brown color.
Her mother asked her repeatedly whether she had done something to her hair, Maya lied telling she went to the parlour. After all she couldn’t say, “oh this? Oh nothing ma, I just got possessed by something from the underworld and went on a killing spree killing an entire gang. This is just the side effect.”
Yes, not a chance in hell. Maya remained frightened until the end of the her holidays and school began again.
The morning was the beginning of her 12th academic year, she wondered whether she should even go to school. The thing she became, it hadn’t once showed up after the first day. No nightmares, nothing. But she had been isolating herself in her room all these days. She wondered if meeting other people, her friends could cause this thing to explode out, in the process killing everyone and going on another rampage, this time it may even attack the innocent.
Maya shook her head as she put on her school uniform of a red and black checked skirt and white top. She quickly packed her bags and made her way out of her room.
“Bye ma! I’m going to school!” Maya informed her mother as she put on her black shoes and grabbed her keys from the tray by the door.
“Did you take your lunch?” her mother asked from the bathroom.
“I did!” Maya responded quickly grabbing her lunch and stuffing it inside her bag. “Bye ma!” She said stepping outside.
“Bye Maya!” her mother responded and with that Maya closed the door. She turned around, she was now for the first time outside since that incident. She felt exposed, but not like a rose. She didn't delicate, no she felt like a thorn. And anyone who even tried to approach her she felt she would hurt.
Slowly taking a deep breath she slowly walked down her apartment from the third floor and left the grounds onto the roads. She quickly walked making good time to her school that was a mere ten minutes away.
As she walked she felt something stare at her. She turned and saw a group of older men staring at her as she walked by. They always did this. Everyday she walked to her school they would be there. Staring at her as she walked by in her skirt. Honestly Maya wondered why they even bothered to look, had they never seen a person from the female gender before?
Maya picked up her pace walking faster and quickly moved out of the sights of the men. She breathed a sigh of relief as she relaxed. She could understand why they looked, but they were grown men, and she was just a 17 year old girl. Practically a child in their eyes. Maya felt disgusted every time something like this happened, and day by day it seemed to happen more and more.
Soon she reached her school after crossing the main road filled with non stop traffic and one angry p.e. teacher that was tasked to manage traffic outside the school to prevent a big car mess, that he was failing at. The school Maya went to was called Prism Higher Secondary School,why they decided to name a school after a triangular piece of glass was anyone’s guess.
Maya quickly reached the entrance to the school and noticed the new changes to the school. Every year like clockwork during the summer vacation a new decoration would come up in the school. This year it seemed that the school decided that they needed another floor.
And so the school stood at three floors high with glass windows and a big playground in the front for break time and during morning assembly.
Maya quickly walked inside her school, the entrance at the center of the school directly ahead as the school was built perfectly symmetrical with three classrooms each on either side. She looked at the bulletin board that was kept out front and noticed that her class, 12th grade, was now in the newly built third floor.
‘Great,’ Maya thought, ‘more stairs.’ She walked up, slowly panting as she did, ‘I really need to work out more.’
Finally she reached the top floor and quickly went to her class finding it to her right. Inside she saw several new faces, and several old ones.
“Maya!” she heard someone call out. Maya turned and saw her friend, Preethi. She wore the same uniform as Maya, “so how are you? Did you do anything at the end of your summer vacation?”
Maya shrugged, “just stayed at home, you?”
“Oh me and the others went out a couple of time, you have no idea how much of a pain it was to separate Alanya from Karthik’s side. It was a nightmare.”
“And that’s why I stayed home,” Maya said as she put her bag in the seat next to Preethi.
Preethi looked at Maya for a few seconds and then responded, “okay what’s wrong?”
Maya looked up confused, “what do you mean?”
“Well you would ushally go into a rant saying how guys only want girls for thier body and nothing else, then you would go and piss someone off.”
“I wouldn’t do that….okay yeah I would.”
“So what’s wrong?”
“Nothing it’s just that….it’s nothing.”
“-I said it’s nothing!. Now please change the subject.”
“Fine. You know,” Preethi said moving closer and reducing her voice to a whisper, “Karthik really missed you.”
“Well he can miss me all he wants.”
“Oh come one, what is your deal girl? Are you playing hard to get?”
“No Preethi,” Maya said rolling her eyes, “I really do not like that guy.”
“Why? He’s cute, funny, has a great body. And rich.” Preethi said winking.
“Oh come one Preethi, not you too. You know that-”
“-Yeah yeah, money’s not everything. But in this world it is. So spill, why don’t you like him?”
“I-” Maya began but then cut short as their class teacher suddenly walked in making everyone settle down taking their place in class. “I’ll tell you later,” Maya whispered as she and Preethi took their seats next to each other.
“Alright class settle down,” the teacher said, “first of all welcome to the new students. I am sure our old ones will make you all feel welcome.” The new students looked at the others nervously as the older ones smiled.
“My name is Mrs. Prakash, your class teacher and the english teacher,” Mrs. Prakash said, “now if anyone has any further questions ask it now, or else let’s start the day shall we?”
She stopped and no one spoke. The teacher motioned everyone to stand and slowly they began reciting their morning prayer. Maya also stood, wordlessly mouthing the words, not really caring what she said. To her, this prayer, it felt fake. So unbelievably fake. It was just something people said, but none of them meant it.
Suddenly she felt something inside herself light up. She thought it was the thing inside of her, ‘no please! Not now!’ she begged in her mind, forcing herself to calm down, closing her eyes focusing. But the darkness inside of her start to bubble, it almost felt like it was getting bigger.
Just then as quickly as it started, it stopped. Maya opened her eyes, she noticed that she was the only one still standing. She quickly sat down and Preethi leaned in whispering, “what fell asleep half way have we?”
“Ah, yeah, yeah,”Maya replied smiling back at Preethi. The girl looked away as slowly the teacher started to take roll call. But Maya wasn’t paying attention to that at all. The only thing on her mind was what had happened, why did that thing inside her react now of all times? Why did it…..what did she do different this time?
Maya stopped and thought, the only thing she did now that was different is talk to Preethi. But that wasn’t right she did that on Facebook a lot too. So that was out, maybe one of these people here were bad? Were they bad people? Was this thing inside of her reacting to them?
Maya rattled her head over and over again until suddenly it hit her. She got it, her prayer. She wasn’t a religious person, not at all. She was born from people who had two different religions. So she had to obey both religions, kind of like looking right and left at the same time. But the question now remains, did her praying did something to the darkness inside of her?
Maya felt Preethi tap her shoulder, “Maya, she’s calling your name!” Preethi hissed and Maya turned to her teacher answering her roll.
Maya quickly sat back down, “thanks Preethi.”
“What happened? You're zoning out a lot today.”
“Just didn’t get enough sleep,” Maya said smiling back at her. Quickly Preethi dropped it moving on. The teacher eventually finished roll call and then started the first period, english. But just as she got up to the board to finish the principle walked in.
Mrs. Prakash saw the principle and quickly yelled out to the class, “stand up, the principle is here! Show some respect!”
Maya rolled her eyes as slowly everyone got up. ‘Yeah let’s all respect the guy who takes bribes from parents to let their useless kids study here, and then when the said kid gets in trouble defend the kid instead of the victim.’ She was of course talking about an incident that happened in the past in her school, the detail of which were long and not very important.
“That’s all right,” the man said waving them all to sit back down, “I just came to bring the new student to your class, poor lad was lost. Come in son.”
‘Great another kid that the principle ‘recommended’,’ Maya thought in her head as she wondered who the kid was.
Slowly a tall yet chubby young man walked in. He had black hair and brown eyes like the average Indian, but there was something about the way he carried himself that made him instantly stand out in a crowd.
Suddenly Maya’s head started paining again like when she first woke up after that day. Her mind started clearing up and soon she remembered a young man that had watched as she killed all those people. She remembered his face, his tone of voice and more importantly the way he looked at her, not with disgust, but with something akin to hope.
Mrs. Prakash asked smiling at the new student, “well what’s your name?”
The boy the principle introduced walked in, “hello, my name is Ekajyotis, but please call me EK.” He then turned his head around the class and finally locked eyes on Maya, and as he did he slowly smiled, “nice to meet you all.”
He then broke eye contact and looked around. “Why don’t you sit over there EK?” the class teacher asked, pointing to the bench right behind Maya’s.
EK smiled and walked back. He put his bag down and sat. Maya felt a cold shiver go down her back.
She didn’t feel anything, she didn’t hear anything. She didn’t here the principle leave, she didn't hear the teacher start the class, she didn’t hear her end it. All she heard was the empty silence as her head started moving faster and faster trying to figure out what this person wanted.
Could he have known that she was that thing? Does he? Was that the reason he was here? No, it can’t be. No one knows, and yet the same boy who I saw there, is now here? What, what is going on?
Suddenly she felt Preethi pat her back again breaking her two hour long trance, “hey I’m going to the washroom coming?”
Maya quickly nodded getting up and running to the class door. She quickly left with Preethi, who was constantly telling her slow down. Before she left however she turned her head and saw EK staring right at her from the corner of his eye.
Maya turned and quickly they hurried to the loo. Inside Maya shut the door as Preethi went on to do her business. Maya quickly washed her face, calming herself down. She looked at herself, telling herself over and over again that him being here was just a coincidence. She started into her reflection and for a second it seemed like her eyes suddenly became black with red instead of white.
Maya shook her head, her eyes returned back to normal. She panted, this...this was all moving too fast. Her heart felt like it was about burst out of her chest. Suddenly she heard one of the toilets flush and Preethi come of the stalls.
Preethi washed her hands next to Maya, “so what do you think about the new guy?”
Maya looked at her, “which one?”
“You know, EK. Think he will be like the last boy the principle had personally brought?”
Maya’s eyes widened, “I, I ah don’t know. I don’t really think anything about him. Seems nice enough.”
“Yeah, kind of chubby around the waist. But I must say he gives of that Alpha look,” Preethi said checking her hair, “kind of looks sexy huh?”
“Hey I can talk all I want to, you on the other hand have a husband to get back to.”
“Karthik of course,” Preethi said winking as she exited the toilet quickly followed by Maya.
“He is not my husband!” Maya shouted out as she quickly caught up to her.
“Alright, alright sheesh, keep it down will you.” Soon the two friends returned to their class, and Maya looked shocked at the scene she came across.
EK sat as his desk while surrounded by all the guys in the class. Every single one of them sat or stood listening to him as he spoke, “and so the guy comes to the doctor’s office the next day with a bag of weed saying, ‘Doctor I think this is the best medicine anyone has ever given me!’”
Suddenly the entire gang of guys started laughing, Karthik being one of the loudest. Maya stood shocked, she was gone ten, maybe fifteen minutes, how did this happen?
Karthik then saw Preethi and Maya, “ah Maya, Preethi, guys this is EK, ” he then turned to EK, “dude these are the coolest chicks I know, the one with the long hair is Maya, the other one with the attitude is Preethi.”
“I do not have an attitude!” Preethi said staring down Karthik, she then quickly turned and smiled at EK, “ignore him, anything he says is a lie.”
EK laughed, “hello Preethi,” he then turned to Maya and smiled. He extended his arm, “hello Maya it is a pleasure to meet you.”
Maya hesitated, she saw his hand and felt all eyes suddenly turned to her. She slowly approached him, like a mouse approaching what seems to be a piece of cheese, but could very well be a mouse trap. She shook his hand, “hello,” she whispered to him.
EK simply smiled brighter and quickly went back to talking with Karthik and the guys. Maya suddenly felt her heart soar. ‘Maybe...maybe he didn’t know it was me. Maybe this was all just a coincidence,’ Maya thought and with that he day became better instantly.
She sat down with Preethi, her friend asking, “hey did you do something different with your hair?”
Maya simply smiled as her day went on. Classes went by, boring as usual. Luckily it was the first day and no homework was given, not that she would have done it anyway. Maya eventually did talk to EK again.
During a free period they had that day EK joined their gang of Karthik, Preethi, Alanya and Joshu to play a game of truth or dare. The game mostly revolves around them getting to know EK better.
Maya got to know a lot of things about the boy. His favorite color was blue, while he loved black as well, something Maya found a kindred soul in. He liked video games, and admitted that was why he looked a little bit chubby despite being so tall.
Soon by the end of the day Maya had forgotten any worries she ever had about him knowing her. Maybe her mind was just playing tricks on her. Maybe it was the wrong face, after all many Indians did have similar faces.
Soon Maya found herself at her home relaxing after the walk back to school. It was still the month of June so it was as hot as hell here. She quickly took a bath and put on a fresh pair of tracks and a loose tank top to battle the heat.
She had just started making her lunch, because her mother worked as well as her dad. Just then suddenly she heard a knock on her door.
“Coming,” Maya shouted out as she quickly put the stove on low heat making her way to the door. She swung the door open and there still in his school uniform was EK.
“EK?” Maya asked, “what are you doing here?”
EK simply smiled, “Oh, I was just in the neighborhood. I thought I would give you back something that you lost.”
Maya tilted her head, “I lost something at school? How did you even find my apartment?”
EK shrugged, “you would be amazed what the principle will give for just a couple of thousand rupees.” He then searched his pockets for something and he quickly took his hands back, “ah here you go.”
Maya looked at his hand and saw him holding what looked to be a yellow ticket that one would get for traveling the metro. “This is not mine ...” but just then Maya’s head started aching again. She remembered going to Indra Nagar metro station, she remembered dying there with the ticket still in her pockets.
Maya looked at what EK was holding, it said ‘From Indra Nagar to Velachery,’ the date was marked as the one where she had died.
“You dropped this,” EK began taking Maya’s attention away from the ticket to him, “when you killed those people.”
EK looked as Maya’s face slowly turned from one of confusion to one of fear. Her entire body language changed as she looked at him now with fear in her eyes, “ho-how did you get this?”
“I was there,” EK said, “and I saw everything you did Maya.”
Suddenly she moved back and tried to close the door, “I don’t know what you are talking about please go away.”
“Maya please listen to me, I just want to talk, please I promise,” EK begged as he tried to pry the door open.
“Go away!” Maya shouted as she suddenly pushed EK with a single hand knocking him to the ground a few feet away from the door. She slammed shut the door and EK simply watched baffled at it all.
EK quickly got back up. He approached the door and slide the ticket underneath, “Maya, I just want to talk, about what you did. No one knows who you are, I am the only one, I promise, please come out.”
“Go away! I don’t know what you are talking about!” she replied though the door.
EK sighed as he got up, “if you ever want to talk, please call.” He then slipped a card with his phone number on it thought the side of the door. EK simply stood there for a few minutes and then simply walked away in defeat.
EK thanked his lucky stars that there was no one who had come out and checked what had happened due to the loud noise. After all when hearing a loud noise in an apartment, many nosey people tend to try and sneak a peek into what is going on.
EK quickly walked down and left the apartment disappointed. He had high hopes when coming here. Maybe just talk with the girl, get to know her. But alas EK came on too strong and so these were the results.
EK rubbed the spot on his chest where he was pushed by Maya, it was still sore. Did she have super strength or something? EK shook his head as he took out his smart phone and opened the notes app.
He clicked the one which read, ‘Maya’s powers and theories.’ On it was a list of all the data and facts that EK knew about her. It went like so:
- Can climb great distances with no use of tools.
- Can drain the blood of target to heal herself.(Vampire?)
- Knows who is in the right, and who is in the wrong almost like magic.
He then added his newest observation to the list.
- Super strength?
EK finished the updated list and shut his phone. He exited the apartment complex and got into a luxurious BMW 5 series car. He closed the door and turned up the air conditioning, he looked at the driver, one Mr. Venkat Narayanan, <let’s go home.>
<At once boss,> his driver responded starting the car.
EK sat back watching the scenery pass by. His thought shifted to what he had witnessed today. Maya it seemed was a normal girl. She was very nervous around him at first but eventually she became easier to talk to.
EK then wondered how Maya acted so differently from before. Before at the hotel she was a force of nature, no doubt in her eyes that what she did was just, but now, now she just was an average teenage girl.
EK sighed as he shook his head. ‘How could one person act so different? Was she just a good actor? No, she’s hiding something, and I am going to find out what. I need to keep an eye on her, see where she goes, track her every moment, she is bound to slip up once, and then I have her,’ EK thought as he made up his mind.
<Driver, do you know where we can get a cycle?> EK asked his driver out loud.
<I think there are several shops around sir, would you like to go and buy one right now?> the man responded.
<Yes, take me to the best one,> EK said as he slowly started the next step to his plan. He felt like a stalker, and it felt very creepy, but it needed to be done. She was hiding something, and EK is going to figure out what.
Soon the car pulled up to a cycle dealership. EK walked in with his debit card and walked out with an order form for a brand new state of the art cycle. He had gotten one which was red with black highlights and a gear system.
EK sat back in the car looking over the order sheets, the manager said that the cycle would be home delivered tomorrow, meaning EK had a day to figure out how to use a gear cycle. <Driver, is learning the new gear system in the cycles these days that hard?>
<No sir, but I am not familiar with them, do you want me to ask a colleague of mine to teach you?>
<No, no. I have a day, I will probably have it done by then,> EK said as he tossed the bill aside and started thinking of ways to convince Maya to talk with him. In the end it seemed the only thing the boy could do was wait and see. And pray that an opportunity came for him to talk to her.
The next day at school was a mess to say the least. EK smiled and chatted up the annoying people that had now come to surround him like moths to a flame. Honestly speaking EK hated acting like this, he hated being the leader of a group, which he certainly was now becoming. He put on his fake smile and laughed at the stupid joke, but the only reason he even came to this shit stain of a school was to get closer to Maya, who was now avoiding him like the plague.
During the first period she moved to the other side of the class with her friend, Preethi if EK recalled correctly, and hadn’t moved back since. EK could see her shoulders shaking the moment he stepped in, was he really that scary to her?
Either way the rest of the day EK couldn’t even get close to her. His time was otherwise taken by the guys. Soon the day ended, with the classes being a bore and uninformative. Honestly speaking the only thing he had enjoyed about the school so far is the fact that there were plenty of places one could go to to have a private lunch.
EK sighed as he walked away from the school gates saying bye to some of the new ‘friends’ he had made over there. He quickly made his way towards his car that was parked away from the school to both avoid traffic and the attention he would undoubtedly get because he had such a fancy car.
EK walked to the driver’s seat as the man rolled down the window. <Did you bring it?> EK asked the man.
<Yes boss, it’s in the trunk,> the man responded as he unlocked the back.
EK walked to the back and lifted the trunk cover smiling at the sight before him. His brand new Joe D24 a collapsible cycle that was folded up into it’s back pack from for easy transport. EK pulled it out and spread open the cycle. He threw his school bag in the trunk slamming it shut and mounted his new cycle.
EK quickly got a feel for the cycle and the gear shifts as he peddled to the driver's seat again. <Alright, I’ll call you when I need you to pick me up, got it?> EK asked.
His driver nodded in response, <Got it boss. But can I ask what are you going to do till then?>
<Oh you know, just drive around, meet up with some friends,> EK said smiling, <well, see you later.> EK put his legs in the pedal moving the cycle head and towards Maya’s house.
EK reached the main road, moving through traffic as he cut corners and moved through it. EK felt a rush come over him as he speed up, moving faster and faster. He even quickly got used to the bike gear system that he had just learned about last night. Screw amusement park ride once you have gone on an Indian road with not a care in the world, everything else just give you the same rush of adrenaline. There was even a saying EK had, ‘if you don’t almost die every time you cross the road in India, that is not a proper Indian crossing.’
EK quickly reached Maya’s house, after driving like a maniac that is. He slowly pushed his bike to the side and sat down under the shadow of a nearby building with his eyes at the gate waiting for Maya to come through.
And so he waited until dark every day. He would then go back home in his car only to repeat the process everyday after school. The thought of Maya doing her secret thing during the morning also came to EK, that was why he also woke up early in the morning and waited again by her house already dressed in his school clothes with his bag by his side.
Eventually a week passed by and EK learned a few things from watching Maya’s house. She leaves the house for only two reason, one to go to the mini mart that was nearby or two to go to one of her tuitions.
EK tracked her everyday until one day something happened.
It was right outside her tuition center, EK was waiting as usual outside when Maya came out. He waited for her to get further away before he took of following her on his cycle. He cycled faster and faster waiting to see where she was.
Eventually however he lost sight of her, maybe she saw him? Did she run away? Either way EK moved trying to find her. If she suddenly disappeared this might be what EK was waiting for. He looked around all over the street that she would usually takes to get home. He stopped in front of her house.
EK started panting, exhausted. ‘Okay calm down EK,’ he thought to himself, ‘let’s go over this again. Where could she be? What would she do if she realised I was tracking her? No, wait. What would I do?’
And EK started thinking, his head filling with ideas, but only one popped up, hide until the person passed you. EK quickly turned back around and then bolted towards where he saw Maya last. On the way there however he saw something in the corner of his eyes. He turned and saw inside what looked like to be an isolated and easily ignorable road was a bunch of men huddled up in a group trying to drag something to a van.
Maya was walking back from her tuition when she noticed something in the corner of her eye. It was a young man standing to the side along with a black and red cycle. She immediately recognized the person as EK and quickly Maya started to panic.
‘What is he doing here?’ she thought, ‘is he following me? How long has he been doing this?! Oh my god if he knows anything about what I-no wait I didn’t do that. This t-thing inside of me! It killed those people! I need to get away from him. Once I’m home I’ll wait until my parents arrive. I-I need to lose him!’
Maya quickened her pace as she ran as fast as she could without alerting EK she knew he was there.
She saw EK starting to follow her on his cycle and she knew this was the time to move. She quickly took a turn entering into a narrow street one she wouldn’t usually take and ran. She got the other side before turning and looking back just in time to see EK pass by.
Maya sighed and quickly started moving again. Maya walked a little bit faster holding her bag close as she looked across the road. this wasn’t a place she liked or frequented, it was dark because of the trees by the side of the road, and honestly it had a look about it that unsettled her.
She quickly reached the road that lead to her house, just before she could exit the creepy road suddenly her path was blocked by five men. Maya’s eyes widened as she recognized two of them from her daily morning walks.
Their eyes suddenly widened as they recognized who she was and immediately their eyes went to her legs and she could feel herself being striped in their heads. The quickly began whispering between themselves all while keeping an eye on her,
She brushed their looks aside and tried to move away from the oncoming group, but before she could one of the men grabbed her by the neck and pulled her further into the alley way. they quickly surrounded her and pulled her near a van while covering her mouth to prevent her screaming.
EK eye’s widened in wonder as he realised that the person who was inside the group of men was Maya. EK charged ahead on his cycle colliding wheel first with one of the men from the gang. EK fell down rolling on the road, but he quickly got up seeing the other men looking at him.
EK counted five in total. One of them looked he was down with a broken rib, but the remaining four looked ready to kill. EK slowly brought his hands up and readied himself.
Two of them men broke up from the group, <get the girl in the van, we’ll take care of this guy.>
They charged EK with fists swinging, and if it had been any other person they would have have run away leaving Maya, but EK was not any other person.
The first man swung his fist wildly at EK. The strength behind the punch making up for the speed, but EK simply pushed the slow man’s punch away by hitting his elbow knocking the punch of course.
The man started wide eyed at EK as he saw his punch miss by a large margin, and in that moment of doubt EK moved. He grabbed the bigger man by the collar and flipped him over his shoulder and into the ground head first.
EK then immediately moved towards the other man, he landed several blows of the second man’s body before he could even react.
EK then stood over the two downed figures staring at the remain three, <alright you bastards, who's next?>
One of the men holding Maya tried dragging her into the van while the remaining two charged EK. They speared him, knocking him to the ground and started punching his downform.
“No stop!” Maya screamed waving her arms towards EK as she tried to escape her captors grip, but the man was stronger than he looked and he simply dragged her back.
<Get in here you bitch!> the man yelled out as he pulled back. Maya kept resisting, she kept trying to escape until suddenly she stopped resisting. The man thinking he had won pulled her back with all his strength, but Maya didn’t budge.
EK guarded his face from injuries, but his body was still beaten black and blue, but just then he suddenly felt the hits lessen. EK looked up and saw only one man on him now, and he was not even looking at EK.
EK turned and saw Maya, but now instead of being pulled by her captors, she stood alone with her head bent down and an aura of danger around her. EK turned the opposite direction and saw the man who was beating him before in a pile with the man who was pulling Maya away.
EK thought, ‘did she throw him?’ He then looked with his eyes peeled open and wonder in his eyes, this… this was what he was waiting for. Suddenly Maya moved like a snake, she reached the man on top of EK and with a single kick flung him backwards.
Maya stood in front of EK as he slowly pulled himself up. Now that he was closer EK could see the whites of Maya’s eyes were now blood red. Maya was panting softly as she suddenly jumped on top of the men.
She grabbed the man she threw from before and punched him again sending him through a wired fence and into what looked like a pile of garbage. She quickly whirled around and picked up another of her assailants from the ground and smashed his head with her fists several times before finally throwing him away.
She moved again, this time directly at EK. EK’s eye’s widened, but before he could even make a move she went past him and towards two of the men EK took down before, who were now running for their lives.
Maya grabbed one by their neck and sent him face first into a gate. The other she threw into the van they had prepared to kidnap her in. She walked up to the van and pulled the man towards the door. She opened door and placed his head by it, and then repeatedly slammed it shut over and over again until the man started bleeding.
EK stood shocked, this...this was what he saw that day. This Maya was the person he needed to talk to. “Maya,” EK said in a weak tone.
But she heard him, she turned her head, her hair now covering half her face and slowly EK could see her skin turning black from her stomach out. She walked to him, and suddenly placed her hand on his throat lifting him up.
EK grabbed her hands trying to escape her grip, but it was too strong. It felt like iron as slowly the wind was knocked out of EK’s lungs, “Maya….please..stop” he whispered out begging. He looked right into her eyes. And just as his vision started to cloud over she let him go with a gasp.
EK feel on his behind panting for air rubbing his throat. He coughed as he slowly looked at Maya, “Maya,”he strained his throat asking her, “are you there?”
Maya looked at him, she quickly bent over with a panicked look, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry! EK are you okay, did I hurt you?” she asked quickly as she helped him to his feet.
“No,” cough, “I’m fine.” EK then watched as slowly her eyes turned back into white from red. Even her skin turned normal, “we have to get out here, now.”
Maya turned around and her faced turned into one of shock. EK quickly picked up his cycle and Maya’s bag, he shoved it into Maya’s arm while mounting his cycle, “come on!” He said motioning to the cycle rack he had on the back.
Maya snapped back, she quickly climbed on and EK immediately pulled away while Maya still looked shocked at what had happened.
Before long EK brought Maya back to her flat. The two quickly went into her home as Maya slammed the door behind her as EK finally stopped to catch his breath and notice the injuries from before.
At worst it was a broken rib, at best maybe just a bruised one. EK panted as he held his ribs grunting from the pain.
“Oh my god,” Maya said as she suddenly noticed his pain, “are you hurt bad?”
EK simply shook his head bending over holding his ribs, “d-do you have any ice?”
Maya quickly nodded rushing to the fridge and gathering ice in a fresh wet cloth. She quickly handed it to EK who pressed it to his sore ribs. He slowly sat down on the couch as he looked around, “aren't your parents home?”
Maya slowly shook her head, “n-no, they won’t be back till tomorrow. A trip to visit family.” Maya sat down next to EK watching as he pressed the ice against his wounds. “Thank you,” she said, “for saving me when you did. Those men watched me everyday morning when I went to school, they looked but I suppose now they wanted a little bit more. I shouldn’t have taken that shortcut, but….anyway thank you.”
“I think I am the one who is supposed to be thanking you,” he said as he grinded through the pain.
“I-I didn’t do much.”
“By my count you may have knocked one guy's jaw clean out, shoved another one into a heap of garbage and one face first into a wall. Am I missing some one? Oh yes, the other guy who you pushed to the ground, beat into a pulp and then threw him away like garbage.”
Maya looked down scared, “I-I didn’t mean to-”
“-And you know what else?” EK asked raising his voice making Maya flinch, “you saved my life.”
At that Maya looked up, she expected him to shout at her, try to run away scared, but instead he was looking at her with a simple smile, “w-what?”
“You did what you had to do to save yourself and save me Maya, god knows what those guys would have done to you if they had succeeded.”
“But I nearly killed them!” Maya said her voice scared.
“You defended yourself,” EK said in the loudest tone he could without hurting himself, “and in doing so you simply hurt the scum of the earth, nothing else.”
“They were still people! They had families!”
“Why are you acting like this, you are the ones that beat them up?!”
At that moment Maya simple started back all her anger and guilt washed away,“t-that was not me.”
“What do you mean it was not you? I saw you beat them.”
“That was something inside of me, something I can’t control. I-I wasn’t in control when I did all that.”
EK took this new information in and after a moment said,“I suppose that explains why you almost tried to kill me.”
“WHAT?! When did I do that?!”
“After you beat them up,and before we got away from them. The whites of your eyes were red, you looked dead, almost like something was using you, like you were possessed.”
Maya sighed, “I think that’s because I am.”
EK’s eyes widened as he heard that, he sighed as he removed the ice from his chest, “well I suppose I was wrong about you being a vampire.”
“What?! Why did you think I was a vampire?”
“Well I saw you drink someone's blood and your wounds closed when doing so, so you know, first thoughts kind of lead to vampires.”
“I am not a freaking vampire for god’s sake man!”
“Okay, okay I get it!” EK said laughing. Slowly Maya also smiled as they both burst into laughter, they laughed their pain away until EK’s ribs hurt, “so then what are you?”
“I-I, I don’t know,” Maya said getting up. She held her head in her hands as she walked around her living room, “it’s on long story. I don’t even know where to start.”
“The beginning usually helps.”
“I-I suppose this all started when,” Maya started, suddenly she started feeling afraid, what if he didn’t believe her? What if he laughed at her? No, no that won’t happen and she need to tell this to someone anyone, any longer and she felt like her head would burst “this all started when I died.”
“That’s usually not how a story starts.”
“I know. But that is how mine starts. It began when I got stabbed.”
“Why did you get stabbed?”
“I tried to save a girl from getting raped by these two men. For my troubles, they stabbed me and then threw me into the river. And just like that my life was over. I felt like I was drifting, like nothing mattered anymore. I just felt, I felt like I was done.
“I saw myself traveling down this dark road. This road that existed only to lead me to a light at the end. But as I approached it, the light, it turned into something else. I heard a woman’s voice, she asked me what I wanted. She asked me whether I wanted peace or revenge. Whether I wanted to rest in peace, or get my revenge on the men who did this to me. And I wanted revenge. At that moment the only thing I wanted was revenge, and so I choose the latter.
“Then she asked whether I wanted justice or vengeance and again I choose the latter. These monsters, they didn’t deserve justice. Justice was for the one’s that could still be helped. I chose vengeance and suddenly I was alive again.
“I don’t remember much from what happened next. Just flashes from that night, but I do remember you,” she said turning towards EK, “I remember seeing you, so you probably have more knowledge on what happened then I do on that night. After that I came back to my senses and have been trying to control this thing inside me. But when I saw you getting hurt like that after you tried to save me, I-I knew I needed to do something. So I let it out. I let it take over me and the next thing I know I am holding you by your neck choking you.”
EK nodded at all this information, he then spoke, “I remember you, I mean the possessed you, chasing after two men that day. Maybe you were going after them? Do you remember that?”
Maya shook her head, “I told you they were just flashes, nothing concrete.”
“Then men that killed you, did one of them have a blue shirt and the other a red checked shirt?” EK asked remembering the men he saw that day.
“I...yes! Yes they did!” Maya said as suddenly she got a expression of surprise on her faces, “did I kill them?”
“I you killed one of them and the other is lying dead on the ballroom floor.”
“Oh my god, all those people,” Maya said holding her head down, “I killed so many people.”
“Maya don’t blame yourself. You weren't in control.”
“But I choose vengeance didn’t I?! I choose to let my anger take over, I choose to become that thing! I may not have wanted to, but they, they-”
“-Were all trash,” EK interrupted. Maya looked at him with a confused look. EK took out his phone and pulled up several pictures on it. He passed them onto Maya who saw that each picture was of case file of several people, “those are the pictures of several open cases files of all the people that died in that ballroom. Every single one of them had a file, and each were the scum of the Earth. One was suspected of murder and rape. Another was suspected of drug charges, but every police officer they sent to investigate died under mysterious circumstances. And another was actually caught and charged of his crimes, but the judge let him go, many suspect bribing was involved, because the evidence and the witness statements were airtight.
“Every single person on that list was a criminal Maya. What you did that day, it wasn’t murder, it was the purest form of justice. Only a life can pay for life, and those men were overdue.
“That day after I saw you I went to get the ticket stub dusted for your prints, that’s how I found you. But as I was waiting there, I realised something, ‘what if this thing I was looking for didn’t want to be found? What if it tried to kill me?’I came knowing nothing about you Maya, I thought you were a killer and nothing else. I got scared, but then I saw those files, and then I knew this was something I had to do.
“Maya what you are is not a monster, it’s simply the way the world tries to achieve a balance yet again. Our country, this city, it’s toxic. And we need to clean it. I know you think the same way I do Maya otherwise you would have never wanted vengeance. I know you were meant to be more than this. More than a scared child afraid of herself, you are the balance for this new world, and I want to help you.”
EK slowly stood up and walked to Maya who sat with her eyes on him. Her face had a look of fear, but also one of strength, “so I ask you Maya,” EK said as he extended his hand to her, “will you let me help you?”
Maya slowly stood up and stared at EK. She looked at his eye, they were clear and she felt like he was telling the truth. Maya now realised she had one of two choice, one, fight this by herself by hiding from all forms of confrontation the rest of her life, or two, step into the light with a friend by her side.
Maya slowly reached out and shook EK’s hand nodding, “deal, partener.” EK simply smiled and that very moment the fate of the city of Chennai was sealed as soon an unstoppable force of change would wash over them all, wiping away the evil. And it would all start from this moment onwards.
Maya walked into her classroom with a smile on her face. It had been a day since EK had asked to help her. She slept easy that night, finally she had told someone what had happened to her. Just that alone helped ease her mind.
She walked to her seat next to Preethi and sat down. “Morning Preethi,” Maya said humming a tune under her breath.
“Morning you,” Preethi said with a sly smile, “what’s gotten you into such a good mood?”
“Oh? No nothing really, just in a good mood,” Maya said as she sat down in her seat.
“No, nobody can be in a good mood just like that. Something happened didn’t it?” Preethi said grinning as suddenly Maya’s started sweating a little.
“N-no nothing happened!”
“Oh no ! You started stammering, clear sign that something happened and you are not telling me! So speak!”
“Fine you don’t want to talk about it, I get it,” Preethi said finally relenting. Maya sighed in relief and then Preethi spoke again, “but that doesn't mean I will stop trying to figure out what is going on!”
Maya just rolled her eyes and they both started talking about each other's respective day. Just then Maya saw EK walk in the class from the corner of her eye, she waved to him to which he waved back smiling.
“What was that?” Preethi said suddenly when Maya turned back to her friend.
“What was what?” Maya asked as she tilted her head in genuine confusion.
“You just waved to EK.”
“Last week you avoided the boy like the plague now you are waving to him like best buddies. What is going on?”
“I-I ah, nothing!” Maya said and at that moment Preethi’s smiled turned sinister as she turned and called EK over.
“EK,” Preethi started when he stood next to them, “Maya seems to be in a very good mood, do you know why that might be?”
EK smiled at the girl,“isn’t it obvious? She found a boyfriend.”
Maya looked at EK in shock as the boy simply walked away as Preethi’s mouth widened in surprise, “oh my god is he serious Maya?” Preethi asked with an excitement in her tone, “do you have a boyfriend?”
“What? NO!” Maya said as she then spent the rest of the day trying to convince Preethi that she did not have a boyfriend. And soon the entire class started talking about it. The fact is that Maya was a girl that had rejected every boy that had approached her with a passion, and now to hear she had a boyfriend, well people were justified in knowing who had thawed the ice queen’s heart.
Karthik even looked like he was going to kill somebody and Gokul just looked sad. Finally after the end of the school day walked back to her home exhausted. She slumped as she walked across the road cursing EK in her head, ‘I swear if I ever see him again I am going to kick his ass!’ Maya swore in her head as suddenly she noticed a police blockade up ahead.
Maya slowly walked near it and noticed several officers and two or three news reporters standing in front of the blockade reporting live.
Maya slowly walked to a bystander there and asked the woman, <excuse me miss, what happened here?>
The woman then explained that at 8 o’clock this morning somebody found three dead bodies on the road. One was thrown into a wall, his head smashed in, the other had a dislocated jaw and the last was literally beaten to death.
Maya stared at the police trying to clear people out as she realised that this was what had happened to the men from last night. She stood in shock as she saw three bodies covered in white sheets being carried away. She knew immediately that this was her doing.
Maya immediately took off, she lowered her head and avoided eye contact with everyone as she eventually reached her apartment gates. There standing by the gates was EK, who waved at her. Maya quickly dragged him to her house and locked the door. She put her bag aside and drew the curtains.
“Maya what’s wrong? You look like you saw a ghost.” EK stated as he slowly sat down on the couch while Maya sat next to him holding her head in her hands.
“EK, I-I saw those men. I saw them being taken in body bags EK. They were all dead.”
“Yes Maya we knew that already. When did you see this happen?”
“Just now,” Maya said as she looked at EK making eye contact, “EK if the police find out we were involved...”
“There wouldn’t be a court in the world that would convict us.”
“How can you say that.”
“If we do get caught, which I find highly unlikely because this was just a three scum that died and so the police won’t really care too much to look into their deaths.”
“But if they did?!”
“Then we can claim self defence. I already took pictures of my wounds from last night and a picture of my bike’s dented frame. We can use that as evidence, plus if word got out they tried to kidnap you, and you were the one who defend yourself the people would be enraged. They would say, ‘this girl defended herself, she should not be on trial! The ones that did this to her should be! For the first time a woman defends herself and this is how India deals with it? For shame!’ And that will how it will go.”
“And if they ask us why we didn’t report it in immediately?”
EK shrugged, “tell them that we were scared. Tell them that we feared for our lives.”
“EK, I don't-”
“Relax Maya, worst case scenario I can bribe the police to burn the case report, no evidence, no problem.”
“Really? That’s all it would take? A few rupees in the right hands?”
EK laughed as he nodded, “you really don’t have any clue how our world works do you Maya?”
Maya blushed a little as she looked away from EK. She sighed, slowly letting go of her worries and letting her blood flow down from her face, she then looked at EK with a calm demeanor, “how come you know all this EK?”
EK simply shrugged, “I live with my father who is a trader, often times he deals with smuggling things. During meeting with individuals that want something smuggled, my father helps them. I pick up things when spying on them, so I learn.”
Maya looked at him in surprise, “wait your dad is a smuggler?”
“Ah, I wouldn’ call it that, but yes sure a smuggler.”
“How does he do it?”
EK shrugged,“several ways. Sometime he get an extra crate loaded on when on ones looking. Sometimes he doubles up. Sometimes he just brings it over here without a shit given towards customs.”
“Wait what company does he work for?”
“Have you heard of Balae Inc.?” EK asked to which Maya shook her head, “you probably wouldn’t have. We try not to attract attention. And he doesn’t work for them, he owns it.”
“Wait, so that means that your-”
“-rich. Yes it does.” EK said as he slowly started fiddling with his arms.
Maya nodded slowly, “fine then rich boy, where do we start?”
EK smiled, “at the beginning. I did a little bit of research last night and found that path you said you went on? It sounded a lot like what Hindu mythology states happens after death. The path is called the ‘Path of the Moon,’ or the path of rebirth. Now tell me what exactly did the figure you meet tell you?”
Maya slowly searched her memories to the last instant before she lost control and came back to life as that monster, “I think it said, that who it was of no concern. That it came to just give me that choice…..and then that’s it I think.”
“Come on Maya think, there has to be something that it said. Anything, a passing remark, a name, a lo-”
“-Wait, yes! It did say a name. I think it’s exact word were, ‘Kali was right about you.’”
“Kali?” EK asked in confusion, “are you sure it said that?”
“Yes, why? Who is that?”
EK sighed as he took out his phone. He opened the web and typed in Kali and quickly brought up a picture, “this is Kali,” he said as he showed Maya the picture.
Maya took his phone and there she saw a horrifying sight. It was a woman with black skin and red eyes. Her tongue was stretched out showing it’s blood red color. Around her neck she wore a necklace of finger and around her hips she wore a skirt made of human heads. She had four arms and in each was a weapon with one carrying the head of a demon.
“I so do not want to become that thing,” Maya said as she finished looked at the picture. She looked at EK, “Please tell me I don’t turn into that every time I let loose my anger.”
EK chuckled taking back his phone, “no, not all the time. But when I first saw you, your skin was black and your eyes had red in them. If anything I think you are an imitation of Kali rather than a host for her, I think.”
Maya nodded, “so what now?”
“What do you mean?” EK asked her as he looked at his phone.
“Well isn’t this the part where people usually try and find out more information about these types of things?”
“You know, like in the movies, people who are haunted or possessed try and learn about the ghost to defeat them. So you know, aren't we going to do that?”
“First of all that is the most cliche thing I have ever heard. And second, why would we go to a library when I have access to the internet on my phone?”
Maya looked stunned as she realised that he was right, “right…. good, you , ah, do that then.” She said as she slowly sat back down.
“Okay, this is what I have found on Wikipedia,” EK said as he gave the phone to Maya to read.
It said that Kali was the goddess of Time, Change, Power and Destruction. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation of evil forces. It also said that she was another form of the goddess Durga, who was the wife of Lord Shiva. She was one of the fiercest deities on the hindu mythos as she was born specifically to destroy demons and the like and to help her in doing so, each god and goddess gave Kali a weapon.
Kali also is considered beyond time as she is in fact the very nature of energy itself. Kali was pure energy given form, a weapon and the purpose of destroying evil. She drank the blood of her enemies and that is said to have made her stronger. And at her strongest she is said to have almost destroyed the universe, only have stopped because of the actions of her husband, Shiva.
Maya read all this and gave the phone back to EK who put it away.
“So what now?”Maya asked EK as she tried to understand what she had just read. Was something that was strong enough to destroy the universe really inside of her?
“I’m not sure,” EK replied to her, “so far I think the best thing would be to sleep on this. I’ll try to find out more on Kali. You on the other hand should take up yoga.”
“Wait what? Yoga? Why?”
“It says here that Kali is known for her rage. When you first transform you were angry at the people who killed you. Then yesterday you transformed because those men tried to attack you, you also got pissed at the fact that they beat me up, someone who tried to help you. So if Kali is that uncontrollable rage, you have to use yoga, which helps calm people down, as a way to gain back consciousness.”
“Do you really think this is going to work?” Maya asked as she wondered whether this was a ligament sign of hope she could cling on to. It could finally be a way to control her darkness, and then go a step beyond that and control it.
“I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot yes?” EK asked to which Maya nodded, “also,” EK continued, “it goes a step beyond than just the basics.”
“Yoga for everyone else is a tool to calm themselves of an exercise. But to Hindus it is more than that. There is a saying that a master of yoga would know a certain truth, or at least will know the answer to the most important question.”
“And what is this most important question?”
“Simple, it’s the one that every single human has asked at least once in their life, ‘what is the purpose of life?’”
“You're telling me that if I do yoga I would find the meaning of life?” Maya asked highly suspicious.
“No. That will only come to people who have practised it for years together, but that’s not important. What is important is that yoga would also help you become one with yourself, and in doing so would get you a certain amount of control over your life. Many people say the same thing, that yoga helps make their life better. And right now, control is exactly what you will need.”
Maya nodded seeing the logic in his thinking, “and what about you?”
“I will start getting us a place to train physically. Also a place where we can plan out our next move. But you will be spending a lot of time there so think of something good to tell you parents incase they ask where you were.”
“Like what? In case you didn’t know I’m a girl telling my parents I am going out would make them flip their lids! And why train physically? Isn’t yoga enough?”
EK thought on it and said, “you need to be strong enough to hold your own without the help of Kali. And take your time with the excuse, you have time. I’m not going to have the place ready for at least a week. And also in that time I think I will also get us some equipments.”
Maya sighed, “fine I get it, I think I can come up with something by then. See you then I suppose.”
EK smiled, “yeah. See you next week.” And with that EK took off with a look determination on his face. But before he could leave Maya stood up.
“Wait,” she told him to which EK stopped moving, she looked him right in the eye and asked,“why are you doing this?”
“Helping me? Trying to help the city? You said you wanted to clean the city of it’s filth, but why do you want to? Why do you want to help me?”
EK slowly moved away from the door and walked towards the window. He drew the curtains back and opened them. He smiled as he felt the wind hit his face, “it’s because things weren’t always this way for me and my family.
“Back a decade or so we weren't rich, we were barely getting by. My dad worked for a shipping company back then. The company was dealing with trade from India to Singapore. My mother was a worker for a I.T company and they were both never home. I was raised up by my grandmother. She taught me what was right, and what was wrong. She taught me kindness and virtue. Everything she did was for me to grow up a good man. She died eventually, but her teaching were something that stuck with me.”
“You said she taught you kindness,” Maya interrupted, “you said she wanted you to grow up a good person. If she knew what you were planning on doing right now, would she be proud of you?”
“If she knew I wanted to kill every single criminal in the city, would she be proud of me?” EK asked, he then thought for a moment before answering, “no. Probably not. But some things have to be done.”
“You know sometimes you sound like an old man,” Maya said to which EK laughed.
“Yes I suppose I do. But back to my story, my dad’s company started to get taken over by another one, I suppose you have heard of it, Amazon? Eventually it did, but they didn’t have enough to pay their employees that year, so they offered stocks in their company instead, to which my father accepted. Eventually he sold the stock for a thousands times more and bought the company branch from Amazon. He then expanded it and grew in size because he dealt with several underworld members. If they wanted to smuggle something he was their guy.
“One day I found out all this when my dad was drunk in his office. And from then on I swore I would use this money and all my resources to make this city a better place. I was twelve then. And four years latter the only thing I have accomplished was feeding starving children, while thousands more remained unfeed. I clothed and housed some while lakhs more remained living on the street. I made a dent in the world, but every good thing I did was soon replaced by a bad, which was done by the mob.
“One day a year ago I was visiting one of the orphanages I had built under my dad’s name. He let me do it saying I was taking action and it brought in good publicity. Anyway that day I arrived and saw the building slowly burning down in front of my eyes. I saw several children trapped inside. I saw several dead, burnt to black. I rushed in without a moment's thought. I managed to save two kids, and got this as a souvenir,” EK then lifted up his right arm sleeve revealing a burn mark that spread from his biceps to his shoulders.
“Later after I came back from the hospital we had a guest at home. It was the most disgusting man I had ever seen. His neck so fat it looked like it was choking him. His legs couldn’t hold the weight of his body so he drove around in a wheelchair, and his eyes looked at me with a perverted look in it. He and my dad sat down in his private office. I however managed to sneak in and hid behind a couch that was on the side. They talked and the fat man relieved he was the one who had set the orphanage on fire. He said that the orphanage was built on his turf, and it being there made him look soft. He then went on to make a deal with my dad. He said that he would let him rebuild it, if I gave half of the credit to the fat man. He said he need more press, and that his time he would have his boys make sure this one won’t burn down.
“And so I watched as my father made the deal. I watched as the orphanage was rebuilt, brick for brick. I watched as the fat man came on stage cutting the ceremonial ribbon as reporter photographed him, calling him a hero to the children. And I watched as the city praised him to high heaven. Then two children I saved I made sure found a family. The orphanage is now however used as a place where people come to piss on and where the fat man’s people go and use as an whore house.”
EK then hit the wall with his fist in anger. He slowly tried to calm down, “that, Maya is why I fight.”
Maya simply looked at EK in shock. She slowly asked through a parched throat,“w-what was the man’s name?”
EK turned around and looked at Maya, “his name is Sir Ramanathan Parthak, you would know him better as the chief minister of our state.”
“He is the what?! How did he become our fucking CM?!”
“He used the good publicity that he got from the orphanage construction to start his campaign. He used it as a starting point and rode it all the way to office. That is why I want to help you Maya, to help you destroy this system where a child killer somehow becomes our leader"
And with that final statement EK walked out of Maya’s house leaving the door wide open and Maya to simply stare at his retreating back.
Maya closed the door and went into her room all the while remembering EK’s story. She removed her shirt and stared at her stomach where the blade pierced her. She saw a hint of a scar there and as she grazed over it with her fingers she remembered falling into that river. She really had thought she was going to die that day. Her body, no her life had changed since that day. She looked at herself now and realised just how much.
Her hair had grown longer and longer over the past week or so growing from her shoulders to the center of her back. Her eyes now pure black instead of light brown and her face looked like it was healthier and less swollen in because of her skinny frame.
She looked away from the mirror and wondered, why did she fight? She didn’t have a story like EK. And so she thought why? Why should she fight? Just then she realised something, she had heard someone say this before.
Before she got her powers, when she was just a human. She remembered one day coming across a man being robbed. It was in a crowded market and the thief was getting away with the man’s wallet. Maya had ran to the nearest police officer and told the man what was going on, and he said the same thing, ‘why should I care? It was the man’s fault for giving his wallet.’
And that was when Maya had seen corruption first hand. She remembered the police officer then laughed as he simply walked away. She remembered one of the salesmen at the market tell her that the local thieves had a deal with the police for 40% of all the money they stole, and that was why they didn’t do anything to stop them.
And Maya remembered again one time when she was going along the road that there had been an accident on the other side. But the people were just standing there around the body looking, none of them bothered to check whether the person was alive or dead. She supposed, it wasn’t their problem.
Just then Maya realised what this new life was. It was a chance to live not a coward like everybody else in the street. To actually stand and fight for the people. Before she just wanted to control this thing, but now she realised that she needed to do something with this new life of hers.
And so that moment Maya swore to be the change in this world so that no child her age would ever have to. To make sure that the cycle of hate ends.
That night Maya walked to her parents room before she,“hey ma, dad there is this gym which has opened up, I am thinking of joining.”
Her parents looked at her, “ah sure sweets, but why? You're perfectly healthy,” Her father asked
“No dad I’m skinny, there's a difference,” Maya said rolling her eyes.
“Why this sudden interest in you health? Not that there's anything wrong with that,” her mother asked curious.
“No reason, I just felt like I needed to make a change.”
“Alright, find out the gym cost and we’ll pay for it,” her dad said.
“Okay dad,” Maya said, “I’m also going to take up yoga you guys!” She then left the room leaving her parents baffled.
“Where is our daughter and who is this?” her father asked laughing at Maya’s strange new behaviour.
The following week she and EK found themselves in front of the local gym with ‘Mile High’ written in gold on a billboard in front of it. It was a simple five minute walk from Maya’s house, so Maya had no excuse to skip out on day to day training. EK walked in as Maya followed him inside.
Inside was the front entrance to the gym. Their were counches by the corner with a large desk located right in the center of the room. Behind the desk was a woman who was the receptionist, “Welcome sir, ma’am” she said in a sweet tone, “how can I help you today.”
“Hello, my name is EK,” Ek said as he leaned on to her desk smiling at her causing the woman to blush,“ I believe that Mr. Mahesh is expecting me?”
“R-right away sir,” the woman said as she got up from her seat and went to the door on their left which led to the gym’s main floor. Maya sunk a peak inside and she saw inside one or two people working out.
Maya sighed, the place looked good, it looked like someplace where people would actually go to to have a nice sweat. The pictures of people working out adorned the walls as Maya started to wonder whether she was actually ready for this.
“Clam down,” Ek said as he smiled at her, “everything is going to be fine.”
“How did you know I was getting nervous?” she asked.
“Your legs,” Ek pointed at Maya’s legs which were tapping the floor, “they do that when you get nervous.”
Maya narrowed her eyes, “I see, thanks playboy.”
EK’s eyes widened in surprise, “what?!”
Maya smiled and rolled her eyes, “oh please I saw you flirting with that receptionist over there.”
“I wasn’t flirting!” EK said as slowly a blush crept up to his face, “I-I simply smiled!”
“Sure you did,” Maya simply smiled as she turned to the door, which was now opening.
Through it came a large man, standing nearly 6 feet tall with a bald head and a beard. He looked like he ate iron for breakfast lunch and dinner and above all he looked mean. He looked at Maya with narrowed eyes and then turned to EK, suddenly his eyes lighted up in surprise.
“Ah little boss!” the man said as he stretched out his arm for EK to shake. EK smiled as he shook the large man’s large hand.
“Hello Mr. Mahesh,” EK said as he smiled back at the man.
“Now boss I told you call me Mahesh, enough of this ‘Mr.’ I don’t need anymore reminders of how old I am.” he said with a booming laughter.
EK continued smiling, “alright then. Anyway I’m here for that thing you promised me.”
The man nodded as he finally turned and looked at Maya, “and this is that friend you mentioned?”
EK smiled and nodded and with that the man lead Maya and EK across the receptionist desk and to the door behind it. He opened it and revealed to them a flight of stairs that lead to the weightlifting room on the first floor.
The man however lead them to the second floor where the stairs ended and all that was there was a door with a digital lock on it.
“The code is 2997,” the large man said as he typed in the code and turning the handle. He pushed the door in and showed the two teens the room.
It was a large open area with a padded floor. One side of the room was covered with glass while the other side had mirrors on it. At the end of the room was a door with a sign which said ‘changing room’ on it.
“You have it from here?” the man asked EK as he walked back from the duo.
EK simply nodded to the man, “yup, I got it.” The man nodded and closed the door behind him causing the door to lock itself with a click sound that echoed off the empty room.
“This, this is amazing,” Maya said as she walked on the padded floor. She couldn’t even feel any resistance on the floor, if she somehow slipped and fell she doubted she would be hurt.
“I know, that’s why I bought this place,” EK said as he simply walked to the changing room.
“You what?!” Maya asked in shock.
EK looked back at her and shrugged his shoulders, “I bought this place. I had enough cash, even convinced my dad it would be a good investment. It was not really all that expensive. The place didn’t really make much in the first place so their selling price was quite low.”
“I’m sorry,” Maya spoke up suddenly, “can you please back up for a second. did you just tell me you bought this place?!!”
“Yes, now get ready. Because once I’m done changing we start with your training,” EK said as he walked into the changing room and shut the door behind him leaving Maya alone in the large empty room.