THE FINAL TWIST
Blue shards of the sword’s dance were flying everywhere , and Hector was lying dead on the bridge . His eyes staring into eternity , without a hint a life in them .
Aarav had just opened his eyes , after lying unconscious for who knows how long . He was sitting with his back supported to the railing of the bridge , while cold water was running down from his mouth.
Initially he didn’t see who it was then he saw , Reva was helping him drink some water , while his Mother , his real mother , was looking at him with watery eyes . Megha too looked concerned , and so did Pranay and Mayank.
“Are you feeling alright?” Reva asked.
“If you stop drowning me in drinking water , i will feel alright.” He said . She hit him on the shoulder as a jape , and said,
“You idiot , you think its funny?” And she hugged him .
“My mother’s watching you know...” Aarav whispered in her ear. She quickly pulled away with a blushed cheek .
Aarav looked at his mother , she was smiling and crying at the same time .
“Why are you crying?“Aarav asked her.
She shook her head.“I thought i’d lost you , just when i found you.“She said.
“Don't worry mom, nothing will happen to me.“Aarav said , then suddenly he remembered
“Where’s Shiba?“He asked.
Pranay pointed out his finger to a girl standing behind them near the other side of the railing , peeping her head to see what lay below.
“Is she alright?“Aarav asked them , trying to stand up . His ribs hurt and so did his hands , his legs and his whole body .
“Yeah ...“Megha said ,“But...”
“She isn’t talking to anyone . We were waiting for you to wake up , thinking atleast she will speak to you.“Reva said. Holding Pranay’s hand for support , he got up and slowly walked towards Shiba .
“Shiba?” Aarav said .
She turned and looked him in the face . Aarav saw she had grown up , but the thing that had changed the most were her eyes . When Aarav had found her , all he could see in those eyes was innocence but now....
Aarav bent down to speak to her,
“Are you alright?”
She ’hmph’d and turned her head away.
“Are you angry?” Aarav asked her.
“Alright then , how about we go and get some chocolate ice-cream?“, for a moment Aarav saw the same innocent eyes , but he was wrong . She turned her head to the other side.
“Great...“Pranay said, “We save her putting our lives in danger , and she isn’t even willing to talk!”
“Shiba , what happened ? Why are you angry?“Aarav asked her ignoring Pranay.
Then she finally spoke .“You killed him , he was good to me!” She said.
“You little runt...“Reva said but Aarav stopped her.
“Calm down , she’s just a kid.” Aarav told them.“Shiba , don’t worry about him , you’re now safe with me . With all of us , okay?”
“NO I’M NOT!"She yelled, “Just like you killed my mom and dad , you killed him too!”
“What? Who told you this?” Megha asked , sitting beside Aarav . “Its not true.”
“They’ve been feeding her lies. What do we do now?“Pranay asked.
Aarav was taken aback . He somehow had felt that something like this would happen .
That dream , will it be true then ?, he thought.
Aarav gently took her hands in his and said,
“Shiba , you’ve got it wrong okay? We’ll find your parents , they aren’t dead.”
“Really? ” She asked , and this time her innocent eyes were shining brightly in the red , blue and black sky .“Are they alive?”
“Yes..“Aarav lied , “They are.We’ll find them , now you go to my mother over there , we’ll be back..okay?” Aarav said pointing at his mother . Shiba beamed at them and hopping she went to her.
“You sure?” Megha asked him , once she was away.
“I don't know , that’s the only thing that i could do.“Aarav said. Reva put a hand on his shoulder and smiled. That was enough for him to cheer himself up.
“We’ll see what we can do with Hector...” Megha said.
“Um...i’m not so good with dead bodies.“Mayanak said , silent as he was . God knows what changed the bully . He simply walked towards where Aarav’s mother and Shiba were standing .
They reached the body and Megha kept a hand on his neck and closed her eyes.
“Aarav what did you do ?“She asked , eyes still closed.
“What do you think? He was using something called fire dance , so i used something that rhymes with it.” Aarav said.“Well , actually i didn’t ....“He added.
“What do you mean?“Reva said,“Dont tell me ...”
“That other half got triggered ...“Aarav told them , but only he knew he was lying , actually he had called upon the other half , the darker side.
“Are you lying?“Reva asked.
How the hell did she find out?, Aarav thought.
“What? Why would i lie?“Aarav asked her.
“I told you , you’re face changes to weird when you lie...“She said.
“Love birds , shut up for a minute...“Pranay said.“Listen to what she has to say.”
“Right , thanks Pranay...“Megha said ,“So Aarav, his body has no nerves and all his internal organs are burst to the particle without damaging the outer body. That Sword’s dance of yours , its too dangerous . Lord Silver’s victim’s weren’t damaged at this level. My grandfather recorded their data , the most it did was rupture the heart . But this body...its hollow from the inside...”
“Boy , Aarav , that is some ability you’ve got there and what is this?” Pranay said , bending over to look at Hector’s curved sword.“Isn’t this a beauty!” He touched it and quickly pulled away.“Bloody holy swords.“He muttered.
“He called it ,’the red bane...“Aarav told them .“He sure was powerful . But , i should accept one thing , he fought till his death. He has to be given a proper burial...”
“Are you crazy?“Reva asked him, “First of all , he’s the enemy , and if you want to bury him where’s the earth?”
“He was doing his job , good or bad doesn’t matter . And after all , if we don't respect our rivals , what’s the difference between them and us...“Aarav said, “About that earth, we have to carry him , i guess...”
“Some boyfriend you’ve got Reva . If you dont kiss him right now , i will.“Megha said.
Reva didn’t require a second time saying , she leapt and kissed Aarav .
“Calm it down , my mother’s watching...”
“Well , no need to worry about the earth....“Pranay said . He bent and touched the bridge’s material . For a minute , nothing happened and at that moment , the area they were standing in was pure earth. And then slowly , Hector’s body , with his hands folded over his chest and his curved sword between them was dissolving in the soil . After it was completely gone , the bridge was back to normal...
“That should do it.”
“You changed its material?” Megha asked.
“No , just for a minute I brought the nearest earth body here...“He said . After he was gone , Aarav closed his eyes and muttered a prayer for Hector’s peace .
“Hey Pranay...“Megha said.
“You know you fought awesome...” She leaned in and kissed him and simply walked towards Shiba. Pranay was staring at her with broad eyes .
“Well , atleast somebody can kiss in the open...“Reva muttered , enough for Aarav to hear.
“What should that mean? Are you saying i’m too shy?” Aarav asked her and pulled her in for a long kiss .
“Alright alright , i take it back...you’re mom is watching .“Reva said after pulling herself out .
“Pranay , you can stare at her along the way home you know.“Aarav said and dragged Pranay to where the others were standing with one hand over Reva for support. They walked and finally Aarav’s mother smiled at him. She saw Reva and smiled at her too.
“Guys , lets go shall we...“Megha said and started walking ahead of them with Shiba and Mayank behind her . Pranay was walking , but his mind was somersaulting . Reva walked ahead of Aarav and his mother.
“You look just like him...like you father. He handled swords just like you do...“She said with watery eyes. “You know , he would be proud if he were here.”
“Mom...“Aarav said , and hesitantly asked,“Who...who was he...?”
“Your father was...” She bit her tongue and stopped talking.
“Who mom?” Aarav said eager to know.
“We have lots of time to discuss about that . Lets first go home...i want to see my sister...please.”Aarav’s mother said. Though Aarav wanted to ask more , and talk more , he knew what she had gone through .
At that moment Shiba came running and started peeping below into the infinite darkness.
Aarav went close to her ,”Shiba , what are you looking at? Its dangerous you know...”
“How deep is it?” She asked.
“Its endless.”Reva said.”Aarav, look at this!” He followed her gaze and saw that she was pointing at Shiba’s neck where something was glowing at the neck under the shirt.”Isn't it that pendant?”
“Shiba , who gave you that pendant? Did you meet them ?”Aarav asked her.
“I want to know how deep it is.” She said ignoring Aarav’s question.
“Shiba , i told you its endless...”Reva said.”Now can you tell us who gave you that pendant? Was it the guy who was taking you?”
“Its too deep isn’t it...?”She said again in a misty tone.
“She’s acting strange...”Megha said behind them. She came close and slowly pulled the pendant out of her shirt. “It...it came away but these...”
Aarav understood what she was saying . The last time when they had tried to pull the pendant , it was stuck to her skin. But this time... Aarav took a closer look at the glowing pendant , and saw there were two tiny fingers inside it.
“H-her f-f-fingers , those are inside it...” Megha said and quickly left the pendant as it was.
“I want to know how deep it is.”Shiba said again.
“What is wrong with her?” Reva said .
“You killed my mom and dad , now you will kill me. But before that i want to know how deep this is...”
She saw one last time at Aarav and before he knew , she had already jumped.
“Noooooo!”Aarav yelled , and he jumped without thinking .
He was hanging, with one hand on the railing , the other holding Shiba . All he could see was the infinite space with no beginning and no end.
“SHIBA...hold tight!”He yelled.
“Aarav , what the hell were you thinking? Are you crazy?” Pranay said . Aarav's hands were sweating and he could fall any moment .
“Shiba , whatever happens , DON’T leave my hand. “He said and lifted her slowly. He was pulling her close to the bridge , with all his strength , he pulled her , with one hand about to slip. When she was finally only a foot close , Aarav saw something silver in her hand .
His bracelet, Vajra . It was now shining bright in the darkness . Pranay, Mayank and Megha were trying hard to pull him up , but for some unknown reason , his body weight had somehow increased . Neither he could go up by himself , nor could he be pulled . When he was just thinking what he should do , the shining sword was in his chest , right in the middle. It cut through his skin , and the other end tore through on the back . All the voices went away , all he could see was his mother crying ,a mother who he never knew . Reva was crying , he remembered how he had first kissed her , before saying his goodbyes after the attack at the royal ball , but then again he had returned , but not this time. He saw Megha , always the intelligent one , if he had an elder sister it would be her. Then he saw Mayank the bully , no , he’s Mayank the silent . He softly chuckled at the thought . Then he saw his other half , his best friend , his brother , Pranay . He was his first friend after all .
Then finally he saw Shiba , he wanted to ask her why she killed him. But all he could manage was,
“Don’t blame her....She’s innocent...”
Pranay’s eyes were watering too , he was saying something , or maybe yelling a curse about Aarav , about how stubborn he is to not blame someone even when they killed him.
He could have held on for even longer and watched their faces one last time . But he didn’t ...He closed his eyes and his parents , not the real ones , the precious ones who took care of him.
How kind his father was , always happy and smiling . He never even raised his voice at him.
Bloody old geaser. then again he remembered much less about her .
A face came in front of him , of a girl , long face , kind look , big eyes , it was Disha .
I should have forgiven her ...
Then another kind face came in front of his eyes , his mother ,
Does it even matter if she didn’t give birth to me? She loved me more than anyone else , isn’t that enough to call her ‘mom’?
He didn’t have any complaints about the life he had lived , but yet , he still felt that he made his mother sad by not going back .
She wouldn’t mind, she’s too kind to get angry on me...
He didn’t know how long he had been falling , but he wanted to yell at them ,
FORGET ME AND DON’T CRY WHEN I’M GONE, but he knew , the last time he had asked them to forget him , he had returned . But this time , this isn’t something he was going to return from , ever.
A small part of his mind wanted to return , but even the deepest part of his body knew , that this is ...
A REAL GOOD BYE.
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