The storm

The sea was far from calm. There seemed to be a strange turmoil in its depths. God knows what those deep blue depths hid. But for Majid, the waves were the loving arms of his mother, the sea. Majid did not know any other mother. From the time he could remember, he was always in her lap – playing running & catching with the waves, building sand castles, even venturing into the open sea with the other fishermen in the village. It was in his blood, the sea and its salt.

But today the sea scared him. For the first time, he felt her rage. He was worried for his friends who had gone out for fishing that morning. Majid was just recovering from a bout of viral fever and had not gone. He still felt the taste of the antibiotics in his mouth – thanks to the missionary hospital near his village, he hadn’t suffered with the fever. Dr.Ramesh had told him he’ll be fine in a week. That was 4 days ago. Majid felt fine, just a lingering tiredness in his limbs due to the dehydration and lack of nutrition.

He stood at the shore, the waves lapping at his feet. The air was laden with rain – he could have sworn he felt electricity in the air. The sky was an angry grey and a rumble ripped it every now and then, with the occasional flash of lightening. Storms were not new to Majid, but this would not be an ordinary storm. He could feel it in his bones.

The evening breeze had turned into a forceful wind. He found himself shivering inspite of his blanket. He turned to go back to his hut when he thought he saw something bob up and down in the water just ahead. He couldn’t be sure what it was, till a flash of lightening appeared. His heart leapt to his throat when he realized it was a human. Someone was drowning!!

It was more of a reflex that Majid rushed into the waters to save the poor fellow. The waves were not in a mind to let him save anyone – the harder he tried, the harder they pushed him back. Majid let out a groan of anger and surged ahead. He caught a hand and pulled with all his might. Only after reaching the shore did Majid realize that it was a girl. But wait..it couldn’t be a girl. It couldn’t even be a human being!

She was beautiful – strangely, angelic. But her body, how could it be, thought Majid. Where legs should have been, Majid found a tail fin! She was half fish! Majid stood rooted on the spot, unable to move or take his eyes off her. He didn’t know if she understood his language. Hell, he didnt know if she could be dangerous! He went nearer, cautiously though.

She sensed him and looked up. Majid felt his heart skip a beat, she was beautiful! She extended her hand towards him, calling him to come closer. As if in a trance, Majid moved closer and touched her hand.

It was instantaneous – there was a loud clap of thunder and Majid woke up in a sweat. He was in his hut, his blanket twisted around him. The broken watch on his hand showed 6:30. It was just evening. He rushed out of his hut, expecting to be met by the half-fish girl. He found no one outside. He wrapped his blanket around and walked to the sea and stood there, feeling the waves on his feet. The evening breeze had turned into a forceful wind. He found himself shivering inspite of his blanket. He turned to go back to his hut when he thought he saw something bob up and down in the water just ahead.

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