Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Last Twenty Four Hours

He gazed at the staid looking building, gripping the cold steel handles unaffected by the howling winter winds. An ambulance had drawn up to the entrance; paramedics were rushing with an accident victim towards the hospital; the sight made memories flash by, painful reminders of the night he was brought in. He grimaced; those were the only memories he seemed to have of his entire life.

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Robert jerked back to reality as another Ambulance sped up; it was going to be a busy Christmas at the hospital. He navigated around setting the wheels in motion only to crash right into a baby faced burly security guard who reached out instantly to steady his chair. Those worked out arms held him tight; flashing what seemed like a skull engraved on his forearm. He had seen that tattoo before! If only he could remember where. He looked up at the guard, in time to see him bow and tip his hat in reverence before disappearing back into the hospital. Just then he saw the man who claimed to be his brother, arrive to take him to the place that was supposed to be his home.

He was an amateur boxer they had said, sharing a room with his older brother – his only family. He was training for a local boxing event and had started on the jump rope that fateful day. As he jumped higher, the entire room had heard a cracking sound followed by an excruciating cry of pain. Sirens had rung out into the silent snowy night as the paramedics had rushed him to the hospital. He had been unconscious for over a month; when he did stir he had no inkling of any memory from his past.

He jerked out of his thoughts as the cab came to a screeching halt. Home had arrived, or so he was told.

The next morning rose bright and clear but his mind was clouded with confusion. How much ever he tried, he could not forget the tattoo he had seen the previous night. Pushing aside those thoughts he got ready for his appointment with a post trauma counselor. It took little over twenty minutes to reach the clinic. The cabbie helped him with his crutches and dropped him to the main door. He turned around to thank and pay the driver but he was already heading towards the cab. His forearm flashed in the glaring sun revealing an engraving as he got into the cab. With a quick salute he disappeared into the traffic without taking any fare. It was the same tattoo he had seen before. If only he could remember where.

Suddenly he realized he wasn’t alone; he looked around meeting the gaze of every stranger on the street. Wherever he looked people stared back at him. A butcher from across the street gave him a nod just as a bus passed by; its beefy conductor waving out. Both had their sleeves rolled up displaying that familiar sight again. He had seen that tattoo before! If only he could remember where.

He heard his name being called out; it was time for his appointment. The nurse helped him limp into the counselor’s office and settle down on the couch. Maybe he could speak to the counselor regarding the tattoo he thought. He was still trying to shake off the eerie feeling that had gripped him when the counselor walked in. Nothing in the world could prepare him for what lay in store next.

The counselor stopped in his tracks on seeing him. His jaws dropped and he seemed to lose his balance, turning to the couch arm to steady himself. He turned to face Robert and asked “Sir, what are you doing here?”  Robert was shocked on being addressed as Sir. This was the first time he was meeting the counselor and here he was behaving as if he already knew Robert; just like all those men he had come across since the time he left the hospital. He wondered if the counselor sported a tattoo as well just like others. He didn’t have to wait for too long to know.

The counselor was already rolling up his sleeves and flashing the skull at him. Like with the rest, He had seen that tattoo before! If only he could remember where.

Everything seemed to be in a haze for Robert. He closed his eyes trying to make sense of what was going on and then it struck him. He could ask the counselor; maybe he could throw some light on this mystery that seemed to be stalking him ever since his discharge from the hospital.

He turned to the counselor and asked “Do you know what this Tattoo is about? Why do you call me Sir?” With an incredulous look on his face the counselor replied “Sir, don’t you remember this? This is the symbol of our brotherhood, the boxing cult of which you are the boss”.

Cult?  Boss? Was this for real? Rob wondered. The counselor guessed what was going on in his mind, he swiftly moved forward and helped Rob face the mirror. Turning him around he made him look at the reflection of his shoulder. The skull face started back at him.

“There Sir, you are the only one to have our symbol engraved on your shoulder, you are the boss of the cult, a cult that is creating waves across the country” Said the counselor with a reverent look on his face.

Robert went pale and staggered. He was the ring leader of a network of boxers whose penchant for boxing made them play with their lives as a part of the cult. What had made him give birth to such an order… and why? A brotherhood that gave an adrenalin high but made one live life dangerously on the edge; why had he done it…. Why? His head began to throb as fragments of memories started to flash making him lose ground and disappear into oblivion.

The counselor caught hold of him as he fainted. The tattoo flashed yet again. The faces he had seen began to form a kaleidoscope in his mind. Finally the last twenty four hours seemed to make sense.  



This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

15 comments:

  1. Nice take on the prompt Seeta!:)

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  2. What a story! Great read Seeta,

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    1. @ Indrani - Glad you liked it gal :)

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  3. Wow story indeed, Seeta! I have goosebumps! :)
    Really nice & creative. Mystery element till the end!
    'Cult' reminded me of the Da Vinci Code. :)
    Memory loss a la Ghajini movie! :)

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    1. @Anita - glad the story could have that effect :-) I had to rack my brains quite a bit after reading the WOWness in your reincarnation story :)

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  4. An interesting story Seeta :) I had written a story on similar lines although mine had a romance angle to it too :) Loved it :)

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    1. Thanks! and thats interesting, if its on your blog I'll dig it out :)

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  5. This was really good... Gripping till the very end. Loved it!

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    1. Thank you! Coming from the person who enthralls me with her posts, it is indeed a compliment :-)

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  6. you write very well...earned my respect....following u by email

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    1. Thanks Ritesh.. I try :) Hope to give you some good reading moments going forward.

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  7. Here the children get to learn Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. If you want to good player for this particular game then you have to practice always. The main practice is key for this game. Kids Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in Connecticut

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