To my friend’s girlfriend

I wonder what’s so special,

It is just a birthday;

The day you came on this earth,

And led my friend astray.

Startled by your beauty,

He had nothing to say;

Even going to China,

Just for your sake.

Can it get any better?

Celebrating this day;

With the person you like,

Creating your own new way.

Well then, the happiest birthday,

To the girl my friend admires;

Just like this celebration,

I wish many more come, sire.

– Siddarth

The Giants beneath

#Story #mystery #giants #house #friend #love #drama

Ravi hadn’t told her yet. He had invited Fiona to his apartment on her day off but hadn’t been able to speak a single word about it.

Looking at her he couldn’t help but think How much time has it been? Three years right? Three years since we have known each other. Should I ask her now? Is it the right time? But she doesn’t know about the gia…. Oh, I can tell her after we are married, it might scare her but it won’t be that scary. It’s not that important. Maybe telling her out of the blue will scare her and make her leave. I will try to tell her. Let me just get the ring for now.

Ravi went out of the room telling Fiona that he will get some snacks and something to drink. Fiona replied with a ‘hmm’ still going through the science magazine in Ravi’s collections.

After Ravi was out, She waited for a few seconds and then stood up. She scanned the room and thought This is my n-th time in this room, Yet it still feels new to me every time. It feels like something is there that I can’t see and that makes me all the more curious about it. But what is it exactly!? I can’t tell it. Let me search this. Again. I have just been able to search it twice before because Ravi rarely leaves his room with someone in it. Thankfully the housemaid didn’t come again today. Let’s just start searching now.

She went towards the drawers, I wonder if anything has changed anything here. What could it be? But a secret won’t be hidden in that obvious a spot. And she didn’t find anything different.

Fiona scratched her head, Something else, something that happens in movies maybe.

She kept looking around the room, right and left, up and down, On second thought this carpet…, I think Ravi has it all time long, whether it is summer or winter. People usually move the carpet off during summers but he doesn’t. Why is that? Can there be something beneath this?

She goes to the edge of the carpet to lift it up. Sliding her hands under the rug, she pulls it up and throws it across her, revealing more than half of the floor that was covered earlier.

Looking at it she thinks, Just the floor. Of course what was I thinking. Is it going to lead to an underground cellar. Ha. Sure. But still, the floor seems too clean. Hasn’t the carpet not been removed since a long time? Maybe Ravi or the maid cleans the floor beneath the carpet too.

Not caring about it she walks across the floor to get the carpet back in place, But all marble and shiny. It looks so beautiful and yet he covers it with the carpet all the time. That is stupid. I will ask him to change this.

Creak! pschschsh!

What was that sound? Did it come from the floor? how can any sound come from a marble floor? Moreover, I am just wearing socks. Let me try this again, maybe I just imagined something.

Creak! pschschshshch!

What the hell is this? This time it felt like it was going to break. She bends down to get a touch of the floor. It is just marble. I knew it.

She moves her hand around to check again, Wait a minute. This part doesn’t feel like marble. What is this. Paper? Cardboard? But it’s marble everywhere else.

She moves her hand along the surface to check if she can find the edge, Ah! I knew it. Pulling the surface from the edges, she finds a half-foot by half-foot piece of cardboard in her hand, It is painted in the same color as marble, and given such reflection & effects that anyone will mistake it as marble on just seeing it. But why go through such trouble? Why not just replace the marble? Given his condition, it doesn’t seem that he can’t afford a marble tile.

Fiona was looking at the cardboard when her eyes fell on the partition on the floor, Aren’t the edges too straight to be called broken. This seems more like an intentional hole having been made by someone. Does Ravi know about this? Of course he does. It’s his room after all. He has been here since the day I first met him, probably even before. But why? Is he hiding something inside this?

She tries to look inside but wasn’t able to see anything even in the bright light of the room. She switched on the flash on her phone and pointed it inside the hole, Still nothing, How deep is this hole really? I can’t seem to find the base. He can’t hide anything in such a deep hole, there won’t be any way to pull the object out.

As she was pulling out her hand, something in the hole pinched her and her phone fell inside, Ouch! What was that? An insect living in the hole? What the hell? Where is my phone? I can’t loose it. My dad just bought that for me on my birthday. I can’t risk losing such a present.

She peeked inside the hole to see if she could still see the flash from her phone, Where the hell did it go? I can’t even see the flash. Fine. I can’t wait for this. I need to take it out.

She inserted her hand once again, and continue to go deeper. She was arms-length down and still hadn’t reached the bottom. As soon as she reached shoulder-length, her shoulders almost touching the floor now, she felt weird and collapsed.

When Fiona opened her eyes, she was lying against a wall. Another woman was crouched beside her with  what-appeared-to-be a glass of water. The woman introduced herself, “So you are finally back. Hi, I am Diane.”

Fiona was startled, What is going on? Where am I? Who is this woman? Wasn’t I at Ravi’s? She doesn’t seem to be Ravi’s maid. Who is she? What is she doing at Ravi’s place. Wait a minute.

She looked around and was shocked. The interior of the room was grand and not the same as Ravi’s room. The walls rose high, like in a castle. There was just one window on the wall to her right, Where am I? What is this place? Thousands of questions popped in her head, and her heart started breathing fast.

Diane said, “Please calm down. You don’t need to exert yourself. I suppose that you came here by mistake. You don’t seem to understand this place, nor does it seem that you knew about this earlier.”

Fiona didn’t say anything. She was still scanning the room, looking at the high ceiling, the one big chandelier in the middle of the room. There was just one desk and chair across from her with a Laptop and printer placed neatly on the desk. The chair was rotated to the side, as if someone had suddenly got up from there, So I assume that this woman works here.

There had been a rhythmic sound in her ears since she had regained conscious, and now the sound had increased considerably, as if something big was coming towards her.

Fiona turned towards her left, and was shocked. It wasn’t that that thing wasn’t there before, but she had been too startled and shocked to look closely.

She had been trying to stand up all this time, but now all that courage, all that strength had suddenly turned to dust. She just kept her mouth open and pointed the index finger on the figure approaching from behind Diane.

“Wh-What is th-that?”, She asked Diane, still shaking due to fear, “What the hell is that?”

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A short!

He looked up at the sky. Was this for real? When did his world get turned like that? He couldn’t recall what had started this change in him. Tears rolled down his cheeks. Vivid images of Diane came pouring in his mind. In one she was cooking pasta in the kitchen, in another she was giving a presentation in front of the Marketing team about the next steps of Social Media marketing, and in another one she was lying on the bed with him. He chucked on the thought of remembering the Social Media marketing presentation so well, and why at this moment. He tried to remember the first time he saw Diane, Was it Two years ago at a wedding. She was one of the guests at his friends wedding. His friend, Ramlal had introduced her, and then cunningly pushed his foot from behind. He remembered how he had splattered all the apple juice (And he was trying to show that he was drinking beer) on her. And yet, the strangest thing happened. Diane wasn’t angry, she just felt bad that her dress was ruined. Ramlal had asked Diane to go to the washroom while he asked me strictly to go buy a new dress for her immediately. Diane, on hearing this, started laughing. She said, “It was okay. And by the way, you were drinking apple juice? That makes two of us.” He blushed. All he could manage was a faint smile and say,” I am so sorry. Tha…That is great that we both were apple juices. I mean drinking apple juice. I am sorry about the dress. Ramu is right, I will go buy a new dress immediately.” He turned away and kept walking, half blushing and half ashamed. Diane was amused at this. She faced Ramlal and said,” Ramu?! I didn’t know about that name. It is good, suits you. Ramu kaka. I will go get this juice of the dress. And your friend is a bit strange, there was no need for him to go buy a new dress for me. I am sorry if I said something wrong to make him go away.” Ramlal showed Diane the way to the washroom, and then whispered to himself, “You shouldn’t be sorry. I haven’t ever seen him make a face like that. He was blushing. Man, I should have taken a picture!”