The story so far :
- A Haunted Memory
- Three Strokes of Red
- The Red Saree
- Black Heart
- Who’s next???
- 3 NUMB3RS
- I Watched You!
“Roses are red and Violets aren’t blue
When your body aches and your day ends
Where memories will be your only friends’
‘Catherine, where do you live?,’ asked Steven as the three got into the Jeep.
‘Why, are you taking me home?,’ she asked.
‘Yes, we need to let your parents know you’re safe,’
‘Will I be a part of your team? Or will you drop me off?’, she asked, dreamily, opening her sketch-book.
‘What do you want to do?’ came Prakash’s voice from the backseat as he tried to position himself in a way that didn’t hurt him too much.
‘I want to draw and not go home yet,’ she muttered. Steven peeked into her book from the driver’s seat as he started the engine to see lines emerging from the ends of her pencil as she drew over the paper, furiously with a cold smile plastered to her face.
‘Go to Annie’s, Steve. Something tells me we’ll find something there. If she is, indeed, alive then she would have tried to tell her parents. She cared about them too much to keep them believing she is in danger. Or maybe she is in grave danger. Any which way I will find out,’ said Prakash.
A light rain had picked up as dusk began to settle and the three drove to Annie’s residence. Prakash explained to Steven and Catherine that Annie’s parents were both meta-physicists and sometimes acted weirdly but otherwise they were really good people. Annie’s parents had met in a research camp at Dartmouth and moved to India when she was just a little girl in her Mother’s ancestral home. Annie was half South American.
Samantha, the mother, answered the door – her grey hair frizzed up and tied into a bun, she welcomed Prakash with a warm hug.
‘Tell me, any news?’ she asked, calmly. Steven was almost suspicious at the lack of worry in the mother’s voice. Prakash nodded a no and inquired about Aberto.
‘He’s stopped talking, completely, son. He’s always locked up in our office – with his readings and charts. He believes she’s sending him clues from the multiverse. He believes she’s found a way. She left to see you, I keep telling him but he believes she escaped into Another Else.’
‘Another Else?,’ mumbled Catherine as she appeared before Sam from behind Steven’s hefty self.
‘Lissy!,’ gasped Samantha as she almost fell back.
Catherine’s face displayed no emotion. She tugged at Prakash, who had gone cold at the mention of Lissy’s name from Samantha’s lips, and handed her book to him. His hands shivered as he took the blank sheet to see two women under a tree watching over two girls sleeping on the grass and a note.
‘Roses are red,
Violets are turning blue
Their fates entwined,
The ends are due.’
‘Its me! Who is she, Prakash! Where did you find her?’ exclaimed Samantha still holding on to the wall and peering into the picture he held.
‘She’s Catherine, Samantha. Why did you call her Lissy and what do you mean that she drew you in this sketch?’
Samantha fell to her knees and cupped Catherine’s cheeks in her palms.
‘But she is Lissy. Her mother and I were the best of friends. I had heard that their father had deserted them after getting caught for grave acts of fraud and a business that shut down but I could never locate them. Oh, dear!’ she wept.
This post is a part of the “Tagged” Contest by writer Kaarthika and The Chennai Bloggers Club. Kaarthika’s book is being released on May 29.