A Dark (K)Night

14th November- A true story:

Shadow prowled around during the midnight hours. The unsuspecting and young (and slightly overweight) couple slept fast in their bed. Paws moved; fast and deadly.

The clock struck 2:30 AM.

Rewind.

Rohit was a hardworking young man working late into the midnight hours to make his dreams come true living with his parents- his father- Kumar and his mother a humble teacher from god’s own country- Kerala, India. Both were away from their children for some time now. Rohit’s was just recently married and Adi new the shy bride.

The young couple worked hard to keep the home the way the mother liked it- she had a little OCD. But it helped in keeping the home good and happy for all. They worked hard to get money and spend it on vacations. They worked hard generally…at least they thought so. Good for them!

14th November.

Adi did the chores of the house. Rohit had just come home after a long day at work in office. He realized, that Adi had given Chilli their ‘slave’ (read: pampered pet) dog a bath and he smelt good too for a change! The guard dog and protector; Shadow (the other dog) was also taken out by Adhya for a walk and for him to do his business in the early evening hours. Rohit had it easy tonight- or so he thought.

Earlier on 13th November: Shadow was a sick dog, he cried and whined at 12 AM. At 2 AM. At 3 AM. He seemed to have a bad stomach. At 3:15 AM he and Rohit went for a walk — they both had enough of each other whining. So at 3:30 AM while Shadow shat in the bushes, Rohit watched the wind blow across the lonely winding road. He watched his house and thought about how alone they were on that street. They walked back together inside and finally they went to sleep at 4AM. Tough night, but finally over. Though Shadow was still a sick dog.

14th November, 11 PM: Rohit worked to finish a presentation for office. Adhya said “Aye, there is no water in the house”- “I’ll boil some”… (the filter water outlet wasn’t functioning that night) Rohit merely acknowledged, as he wanted to rest easy tonight and go to sleep early. Shadow had not eaten all day after the earlier night’s shit at 3:30 AM. He was sick. Earlier his sister; Rosi had come in to help give the dog his tablets. Shadow had growled and snarled at Chilli then. It was a near miss. But we thought nothing else can happen. Stupid.

Shadow was reluctant. He flattened his ears. He looked at the hand with the tablets- should he bite? No. He ate the tablets. Good for him and us?

11:15 PM- Adi cannot be seen. Where is she?? What happened?

Rohit assumes she has gone to bed. The assumption is right.

11:45 PM: Rohit is about to retire for the night and has finished work. He stretches and watches Shadow look at him from the corner of his eyes. Shadow is hungry- he wont eat. He is violent- he wont bite. He is tired- he wont sleep. Then he hears crackling.

“What was that? Whats that noise?” He checks the gate- he has not locked it- He checks on Adi- sleeping peacefully in bed. He envies the bed!

Then he sees it and in a rush of adrenalin- Rohit runs…

He is in the kitchen in a fraction of a second- he switches off the gas- the water on boil had long evaporated. The vessel is glowing red. “Oh shit!!” he breathes- “at least nothing else happened”

Shadow follows him warily — wondering why Rohit ran around at midnight inside the house. Rohit has had enough drama now. He takes a quick shower, re-energizes, puts out the bed for his slave dog Chilli. He cajoles and pushes and pulls him into the bedroom, with all his strength he pushes the dog on his duvet and pets him to sleep. He watches Adi sleep.

“Oh, we need water anyways in the morning”- Round two of boiling water on the gas in a new vessel. Rohit takes Shadow for a. walk- it’s a little past 12:30 AM- The dog had been fidgety. The walk helps calm him down. Rohit quickly comes inside from the cold autumn air in Bangalore.

Gate lock- check. Run upstairs- close doors- check. Water for the dogs- check. Lights out- check. “oh shit- the gas”

Fortunately- this time he reaches right on time for the boil. He covers and switches off the gas and the lights in the kitchen. Check. No double check.

Bedroom- light out. Sit down and stretch one last time. Lie down and almost instantly he is asleep. Time: 1AM

Shadow prowled around during the wee hours. The unsuspecting and young and fat couple slept in their bed. Paws moved; fast and deadly.

Rohit shouted and yelled- SHADOWWW! CHILLIII!! AYYEEE. Blood curdling he got up in the darkness and yelled. Heart beating fast and angry, his eyes blood shot and his fist clenched, he lunched in the darkness, fumbling at the collars of the dogs.

Chilli had somehow made it to the living room. Shadow was waiting for him. GROWWWWL… WAAAWWW WAAYUY*&%&^$%&^.. Shadow attacks Chilli lethally- going for the jugular vein near his ear. Almost instantly Rohit had pounced from his sleep and ran there to pull them apart. Adi was thrown off and she was shivering scared.

Rohit managed to pull them apart and switched on the lights- he checked for blood.

Seeing none- he turned on Shadow. Shadow growled again.

Rohit would not have it- he growled back. They moved to the dining area- both snarling. Adi is terrified and is frozen sitting on the bed. Rohit blocks shadow from attacking with a chair. He pushes him around the table and moves him to the stairs. He blocks the path with the chair. He swiftly looks at Chilli shivering in a corner.

He hold him tight and says “good boy” reassuring him- nothing has happened. He moves him quickly to the room. Shadow watches; all his fur standing up.

Chilli is moved to the room and Rohit shuts the door behind him.

It’s now him and Shadow in the living room.

Rohit looks at Shadow and slowly moves the chair and stands there…they look at each other; ready to react either ways. 2 seconds pass.

Shadow then bows and wags his tail. Rohit ignores his apology. He walks back to his room- shuts off all lights and closes the door on shadow- ‘You stay out’ he says.

Shadow comes to the door and rests himself near it. Rohit hears him breathe. He looks at Adi and then Chilli who is now shivering again.

He calms the slave first. He checks him carefully for cuts and bites- sees none- all is ok. Puts him back in bed- locks the door- now nothing can happen. He thinks he should have done the first time itself. But Shadow was sick wasn’t he… poor thing he had thought. Poor thing he is. But also sick and angry.

Time:2:30 AM

Adi, is scared. She cant sleep. Poor thing is terrified after hearing growing and snarling- human and animal. How can she sleep now… Rohit reassures her all is well… nothing to worry.

Shadow was sick and Chilli acted like an idiot.

2:45- Rohit snores, Adi keeps tossing around. He won’t know when she finally managed to sleep.

6:15 AM- the alarm rings again.

Round 2 begins. THE END.

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