‘The holy Man’ set in India

About a week or so ago I got the idea for a short story about a holy man with no name or identity on a tortured quest to literally find himself. Unusually, for me, I started writing it right away, it kind of haunted me until I got it down on paper. I did, and was very surprised to see it write its own ending. Only the darn thing did not stop there. It is now insisting that It would like to be a novel. Now I have to write a novel. luckily my sister is an aspiring novelist (who I – the aspiring artist in the family have just royally pissed off by encroaching on her creative turf) and she is very generously and patiently helping me. At the moment we are on silly questions like ‘whats a speech mark and how does one install it?’ and ‘how can I find a website I can post chapters on as I write?’. She has told me some things but I don’t have time to sort them out yet, what with actually writing the thing and arranging further travel. For now I will post an excerpt from chapter 1 and then something else later when I sort my writing internet site out.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt:

In my half dreaming state I take in my new setting for the first time. It is evening and the sun’s light is a soft glow. I lie on the dry dirt, the gods walk by my head. They are enjoying the farmland that is their chosen playground for now. One of them calls out to his friend and they survey their kingdom together. Beautiful girls garbed in gleaming robes wait on them. Neither gods nor girls look at me, why should they? I am below them; my suffering exists only to highlight their contented splendour. My hollow stomach growls with the first pangs of hunger but I know, if I seek to fill it, the birds will find me and my solitude will be lost.

I sigh and pull myself up into a sitting position, closer to the trunk of the banyan tree I have been resting under. It is cool here under its dark green leaves and there is a well nearby, at intervals the girls are using it, but they are very still. One of them, the furthest from me begins to sing with a sweet voice and occasionally another will join in as they work. They sing a folk song, one I think that I have heard before, sung by another. The tranquillity of the scene is beginning to calm me and I decide to centre myself in mediation for a few minutes. I will gather my strength here before facing the nearby town.

I slip into a world of golden light; I see a strong and contented man in a garden before me, he is tall and broad chested, his face is smiling and not yet lined with age, his clothes have been carefully maintained but traces of wear can be seen if you look closely. With him is a beautiful woman, young, with long black hair that falls freely to her hips, she has on a new yellow cotton sari and no jewellery or adornment except that which denotes her status as a married woman. The man and woman are playing a made-up ball game with their child, their first and only; a smiling boy with curious golden eyes. In this strange golden world the boy’s eyes sparkle as though they were made of a substance more precious than anything that could be found on earth, and indeed they are. All the joy of the parents exists in those eyes and is reflected back at them in their sparkling light. I feel their joy and pride keenly. When they were married the couple had hoped for a large family but they do not bemoan the gods for granting them only one. Instead they are grateful that they have been sent a child with such a joyful nature, whose intelligence kindness and even appearance is a blessing to them. They will never have any more children, but along with their love for each other their family is complete.

My eye drifts to the face of the mother, she is perhaps nineteen though the boy is four, her face, with its large light brown eyes, is fair and joyful and her smile is contagious. Her husband sneaks glances at her face, his devotion apparent, he is perhaps ten years older than she is and though their marriage was arranged, for them it was love at first sight. My eyes gaze longingly at her own; I begin to take in her eyebrows, her nose and her mouth. Suddenly the scene turns to blackness. I hear a scream, my own. My chest feels like it is ripped open and my body is numb with shock. I am confronted now by her face, I see her same shapely mouth, but her lips are blue, her purple tongue protrudes between them, her eyes bulge out of their sockets, dead to the world, around her neck a noose. She is hanging from the high bedposts, her hands fixed in death at her throat. Red fingernail marks run down her neck, she had been clawing at the noose.

Amendment: I’m thinking of publishing a few chapters on here just to get some feedback, let me know what you think okay? Go easy as I hope it’s apparent I’m a noob. Enjoy.

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