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The Dead Civilization

by Bidushi about a month ago in Fantasy
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A Ghost in Time

Ila sat against the wall, whirling the semi loaded revolver in her hand. Am I really just a ghost in time? The full moon flooded her bedroom, glistening against the greenish gold bindi on her forehead and outlined her pointed ears vividly. Even in that chilly temperature, she sweated like it was midsummer. A secluded shack atop the jungles in the cliff. This dreary house was probably the most Ila felt a sense of belonging in. As it overlooked the city below from a hilltop, the distance in between them dampened the din of the raucous nightlife. It almost brought a death like serenity, if not for her teenage daughter Isha turning around in her sheets constantly through the night. Probably the pain is still getting to her. Ila looked over with fondness at her offspring. At Least her pain will end once her ear has fully transformed. Maybe she should have left her in her father’s custody. If so, Isha could have gotten the best of medical attention to dampen the pain for her. After all, he was a council member. There was much power he could wield. No! A lion reared with the lambs will believe itself to be one!

As her mind went into an overdrive, she stared at the swerving trees beside her window to calm down and listened to the whistling air. They were so weak, unable to change anything around them. Unable to run away from the violent wind. Or maybe they also think it is better to just wither away and be born anew through a seed. Lifting the revolver to her temple, she looked at herself in the mirror. Her curly tresses fumbled around the barrel of the gun. The reflection amused her. Who would say this was the same person from this morning where she had given the other kids a briefing on their dangerous mission, while keeping their morale high. If anything, her oratory did hide her well. But in the silence of the night, she wondered if she was right or was she a monster like they say.

Click! Her whole body was shaking. The revolver almost fell out of her hand. In the midst of her erratic breathing, she looked at the mirror again to compose herself. That it was blank soothed her and annoyed her at the same time. But the world can’t complain anymore. She had given it a chance to remove the anomaly plaguing it and it failed. Can she really be blamed anymore?

Knock, knock! It was almost the middle of the night. Did one of the kids wake up? They were in their teenage years too. Probably the location of it all makes them restless.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me.”

Ila stared at the door with disbelief. She didn’t need the person to introduce himself to know who it was. Making a beeline to her dressing table, she fully loaded up the revolver and aimed it at the door. Her previous shakings stopped, and her senses focused on the height where a human’s head would be.

“Come in if you dare.”

The door slowly creaked open. The man looked at Ila and then wandered his eyes to the fidgeting Isha for a while as he came inside.

“I come in peace Ila. Lower the gun please?”

“I would be a fool to trust a human '', yelled Ila in a suppressed tone, taking care not to wake Isha up.

She looked suspiciously at her trigger finger. From when did it have so much restraint? Did she miss him that much or does she pity him? Or is there still love between them? She shook her head vigorously, even the idea was revolting. She liked him before she knew her true self. It doesn’t count anymore.

“Amaleen, how did you find this place?”

“Tracked it down. You forget, I am good at following tracks of activity trails. Are you thinking of blowing up the city below?”

“None of your business, get away from this place and never speak a word of this to anyone, then I will let you live.”

“Stop this madness, Ila! What are you trying to accomplish? Did you think about it? Will it make those people revere the elves or just hate them more? Tell me!”

A maniacal smile spread across Ila’s lips, “You forget, elves don’t exist!”

Amaleen shook his head.

“What would be your end goal? Will you single handedly commit a genocide? Why don’t you teach the new humans your ways of living, what comprises your identity? Magic doesn’t exist anymore anyways. If I can accept your new identity, they can too! You just need to talk to them, that’s all. At the very least, think of our daughter.”

He ignored the alive barrel and hugged Ila. The revolver made a 180 degree turn in her wrist and dug into his head. She wanted to end him. He thinks she didn’t try? How much does he even know of her history? Because she was skeptical of the humans from the start, she could figure out the evil in them. Their government actually secretly prosecuted the ones who awakened elven blood and pretended to be washed basil leaves on the outside. And she was supposed to trust this evil? As if breaking her trust once wasn’t enough.

“Do it. If things have come to where you can’t come with me, I don’t want to see you go down this path. I would become a living dead. Death is much better. End me.”

A vein popped on her forehead. Still she kept her calm. She needed more information. “Did you tell anyone you were coming here?”

Amaleen looked at her. He looked pretty hurt by those words. Releasing the hug, he looked at her in the eye and said, “No. But if you leave me alive, I am not letting Isha stay with you. She is coming with me. I will give her a proper life.”

Bang! The bullet grazed Amaleen’s temple. He looked back at the bullet hole in the wall and turned around.

“So, you made your ….”, stopping halfway as he found tears streaming down Ila’s face. Even she seemed dumbfounded. With disbelief, she touched her tear tracks. There was no way she missed at point blank. It was as if her whole being disobeyed herself. Why wasn’t he an elf?

She lowered the gun and hugged him.

“Ila?”

Ignoring the commotion that could be heard outside her door, she kissed him. As he started kissing back, she raised the gun behind him and hit his head with its grip. As he fell unconscious in her arms, she whispered to him, “If only you were an elf. I am sorry.” As she laid him down on the floor, the knocks got louder.

Opening the door, she shouted out orders, “Pack up your bags. We are moving through the forest during the night. Our location was compromised.”

One of them peeked through and noticed Amaleen, “What about him?”

“Leave him here.” She turned around to Isha, who had woken up at the gunshot sound too and asked her to hurry up and pack her bags. Isha, who never spoke over her mother, started obliging. She stole a few glances at her father in the process. Probably the last time she could see him.

A few moments later, the whole camp left for the cliff on the opposite side of the city. They still needed to be in range of the city for the bombs to work. Once the first sun rays hit the city, Ila looked over at the switch. It had come to life as soon as it could absorb sunlight.

“In the light of dawn and the darkness of night, death will come upon your race. May you never sleep peacefully at night again!”

She declared as she pressed the button. The whole city went up in smithereens in a matter of seconds. The smokes blew through Ila and the group. She could hear some cries for help in the rubble down below. Looking down, she looked with revel. The poison in her heart seemed to callously flow down by the cliff into the rubble of the city. It was the first big city that they have taken down. She scanned her teenage companions whom she had saved from the government’s killing program. Each one of their eyes were lit up with excitement too.

Ila chuckled. They will be the future heralds of death alright. Pulling the hood over to cover her head, she turned around.

“Let’s go. We need to move before they can find us.” The whole company receded into the forest heading towards their next destination.

Only Isha seemed to be battling her demons. The internal struggle reflected on her face. As Ila noticed it, she shrugged. This child had inherited her father’s gentleness. It was a long journey ahead and this was probably as good a time as any to tell her. Contemplating, Ila mustered up her brightest smile and placed her hand over Isha’s head, saying, “Let me tell you a story while we walk. There was once this elven princess named Durga….”

Fantasy

About the author

Bidushi

Let me make you a world to see. Reality is anyways always there. Wanna tag along?

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