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South for Winter (standard:Psychological fiction, 1446 words)
Author: sayanAdded: Jul 25 2004Views/Reads: 2359/1483Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The story of one winter in the back of beyond.

17th was bitterly cold. A little girl was running madly up a steep hilly
road. Dark clouds ominously rolled in the sky. 17th was dark. She ran 
madly, stumbled on a stone, fell and cut her elbow. She laughed, but 
quickly shook her head, picked her shivering self up and ran faster, 
faster. Over and over. There was nobody around but she ran madly. The 
clouds chased her. 17th was cloudy. I couldn't help, clouds were in the 
way. Tears blew off her face. Over and over. The wind wanted revenge. 
It picked up dead leaves and flowers and blew them onto her face. They 
won-the clouds, they embraced her and she was wet. 17th was stormy. The 
blinding dust hit her like needles. Holding something cold and green 
she ran madly. She often turned her face away to avoid it- the dust. A 
yellow butterfly came under her feet. Her house was near, just dipping 
below the horizon. Little things die so easily and forever. So she ran 
holding cold and green. It would have died anyway because 17th was 
bitterly cold, dark, cloudy, stormy. So she ran. The butterfly-besides 
it was a little thing. ... 

....It's so cold-where am I? -Oh-must have dozed off on this park bench.
It's getting dark, I better go home soon, it's going to rain today. The 
dream- I dream it often. You may not like to hear it, dreams of a 
loner, but come home with me, I'll tell you. For that you'll have to go 
back with me to the winter of 58 (nineteen silent) almost forty years 
ago, when I was a little girl of eleven; the one in the dream; and we 
had come to this little hilly town about six months ago when my father 
got transferred here from Calcutta. 

.. I was not really the social type, so missed few old friends .In fact
when I was six years younger I overheard the doctor tell my parents not 
to expect much from me, for I had a wonderfully low IQ and-well many 
other things I can't remember. I do remember, however, that everyone 
said I was the sweetest child with the bonniest smile, “Rupali”-that's 
what they called me for short-have I told you that before? 

Anyway, I loved my new home. However, when I quietly roamed the hilly
terrain, watching the wind blow everything around, rhyming to myself, 
somehow my parents thought I was feeling lonely .So one fine day, my 
father bought me a parrot that was warm and green. I thought of a name 
no more common than” Polly” and put a red ink mark on her neck. And my 
name-no I've told you that -. So when I roamed about the hills with 
Polly's cage in my left hand, somehow my parents thought I was not 
lonely. Days, weeks and months slipped away, as was their old 
habit-though I used to weep quite often. Days, weeks and months slipped 
by with everyone thinking I was sad, so they tried to comfort me with 
words, which stopped whenever I looked up at them and smiled. 

It doesn't rain here like it does in Calcutta. Here the clouds chase
you, embrace you and you are wet. But sometimes it rains as in Calcutta 
and we have rain with scary thunder, lightning, storms and occasional 
hail. Then the air smells really sweet and-they used to call me- no. Oh 
yes-the rain, and next morning I would find temporary brooks 
intersecting the road to school, as they lazily flowed down the green 
mossy hills. As these little streams twisted and turned, small pools 
would form here and there where you could see your face. Often they'd 
be leaf covered and splash! My feet are wet. ... 

Its raining outside now, let me tell you more over some tea. ... I
always took Polly's cage in my left hand on my rambles. She, however, 
never moved or reacted, just stared away at some far, far away place, 
where she wished to fly away-I rhymed-I began to like her though I 
don't know from when or why. I felt she wasn't happy like me, as she 
never wept. However, she never smiled either and I wished she were 
happy like me. She, Polly my parrot-no I've told you that before-. 

”Birds are never happy in captivity. They wish to fly with other birds,
some birds migrate or fly south for winter and-“; I was wondering what 
rhymes with that; “Rupali are you listening, I was talking about 
freedom, birds like...”- my 5th grade morals teacher. I smiled. “ Sweet 
girl”, she said and turned her face away. Mother- She echoed the same 
words about the subject, only using “animals” in place of “birds” in 
some sentences, before turning away. Why? Why? Am I so ugly? Then why 
‘Dear' and ‘sweet' me all the time? ... I'll tell you later. It's 
raining hard now. 

...I ran faster, faster. 17th was bitterly cold, dark, cloudy, stormy. I
was holding Polly's dead body in my hand and running madly and crying. 

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