Few miles away, Inora was hunched in front of her laptop, her unruly hairs slipped behind her ears, a steaming cup of coffee in her hand, with two open tabs on her browser. Two articles, and she read each a couple of times. Then she looked back at her bed. Marco was curled up cozily on his side of the bed. He would have liked her to have gone back to bed. But she read the articles one more time each just to make sure she was not misinterpreting something.
Two brothers, Gogue and M’Gogue, one of the articles reported, had showed up unannounced at some obscure town out in a desert and stirred up quite a media frenzy by claiming that they had been ordered by the voices in their heads to find a source of running water and start drinking. This panicked the townspeople, not because the oasis was their only source of water, which it was not, but because the brothers meant exactly what they said.
The journalist who wrote the article was first on the scene, and asked the only logical question, “Why?”
“Well, the way we see it, missy,” Mr. M’Gogue said, “you spend your entire life listening to the voices outside your head. They tell you to get to work on time, to tip the waiters generously, buy life-insurance, and not lick things that you do not own. But this time, my brother and I, we are going to be true to ourselves and listen to the voices inside our heads.” The journalist followed up with, “For how long?” And Mr. M’Gogue had replied, “Until all the oceans of the world run dry.” And having said that, he had bent over, went down on all four and started slurping up the muddy water from the edges of the oasis. Appropriate authorities have been contacted, the article said, and search was ongoing to find the institution the two brothers may have escaped from.
The second article was from half a world away in Oslo. A middle-aged man, forcibly committed to a mental asylum by his adopted family for causing the death of his youngest nephew during a practical joke executed with deathly earnestness, had managed to break free from the asylum and retaliated by setting free a feral wolf and a giant snake on his adopted brother and two remaining nephews. It is believed that the wolf may have been specially trained to attack the brother who had very little chance of survival. The wolf was neutralized by one of the nephews by punching it right in the mouth, as it was busy trying to chew through the deceased brother. The other nephew and the snake had ended up biting each other and perished quickly. Police arrived soon and arrested the crazy-man, who was inconsolable about the death of his children. It is believed that he was talking about the dead animals whom he had raised in his secret hideout. A horse has been rescued from his hideout, whom the arrested man referred to as his husband. The surviving family members were not available for any comments.
Inora was disappointed. These were exactly the kind of news, she knew, she should have been covering for her newspaper to help increase circulation. She could have done a better job in any case. But what was there to be done? She could no longer ask her boss to pay the price of tickets to fly to the Middle East or Scandinavia. Those days were behind them now. Whimsy was now struggling to not go bankrupt.
Inora looked back at the bed again. Marco had changed position and fallen asleep on another end of the bed. He never slept well at nights. She was quiet as she got up to get dressed for work. She knew he would be wake up as soon as she opened the door to leave.