Art, Pen


I made another reluctant effort to light up the lighter. Some sparks lit up the room momentarily and darkness leaped again from the corners and behinds of those dusty photo-frames, taking over everything, victoriously. That instantaneous light was enough to reflect my frustrated half-lit face of the mirror. I threw the cigarette in the ash-tray. That faint smell of tobacco-smoke was making me more anxious. Involuntarily, I started rolling the striker-wheel of the lighter hastily and  those short-living sparks kept fighting with that bossy and intimidating darkness. The flashes of things kept untidily in my room built a dramatic environment. Like they were playing peek-a-boo to cheer me up, maybe. But instead of popping out some colors, they were monochrome. Lifeless. Like that dead emotion on my face. To amuse myself, I came up with an idea. After every flash, I will change my emotion. So I started with a smile. It was a bad one but after that dark gap I tried to stretch that grin. Next one was a little better. I went through the smiles of different kind. The smile that you give to a friend, a smile you give to your parents, smile you give to the old man next-door etc. I made some weird faces and tried to imitate Jim Carrey or Mr. Bean. The fact that I was bad at making bad faces made me laugh. Then came my natural emotion. Nothingness. Void. I had to do no extra effort. After every flash, the same. Like a lake or a tree but lacking the touch of life. More like an old note stuck on the refrigerator door. Or those signboards which point towards the path nobody takes.

In or Out?

In or Out?

I looked again at the bottom of the lighter. A thin layer of gasoline trying to shape according to the orientation of the body of lighter. ‘I will let you free’, I thought to myself. So I turned the striker once and for the last time. Out of nowhere, there was a thin, flickering and almost dying flame. With my every breath it took its last. Without taking my eyes off the flame I searched for the ash-tray with other hand. I put my fingers in the tray and found the half cigarette and put it my mouth. I covered the flame and closed my eyes. My brow muscles were tensed. I took two deep breaths and puffed out the white smoke, relaxed. I threw the lighter on the floor with some gas still left in it. I was happy to meet my old friend again. Darkness, take over me!


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