This had to be done... There aren't enough cynics around

This story was first published as a part of the Chennai Bloggers Club Initiative,  After the Floods, an Anthology on the Chennai Floods of 2015 published by The Sixth Sense Publications.

The Beginning

                The hands slid along her thighs and the hot breath of the assailant caressed her tattooed neck and an unintentional sense of awkwardness crept inside, displacing the excitement she had felt moments earlier. <96 more words describing, hot, girl on girl action has been edited out due to censorship issues and is instead, replaced by this useless, pointless line >. She felt the bitterness of her semi naked body, especially in the presence of a near complete stranger. Three minutes later it was over.

The protagonist of this futuristic post-apocalyptic thriller will simply be called Y. Why, you ask, well, for one, you said ‘y’ twice in your head and I find that funny and two, naming our heroine would actually give away the very little we have by way of ‘plot’.  Y, like most women of her era and the bygone ones was pretty health conscious and that was exactly what had put her in this predicament.

 “Thanks for your cooperation… Ms… Y??”

The guard, who had frisked Y, seemed surprised at the name in the ID card. The name was odd… even by her threshold, especially for a young lady of this particular ethnicity, for you see, while the protagonist’s name is hidden from you, the guard actually gets to know it because she is not prejudiced, judgemental or condescending and more importantly, is part of the story.

Y, having braved the discomfort of undergoing a manual security check to avoid the full body scanner and its cancer causing radiation, nodded and entered the massive library. The secret headquarters of the Resistance . 
The Name

                God this is big the letter and all why was I invited now wish I could pull off pink like her and the letter this one is going to be epic rosebud finally my writing has paid off maybe next time I should try stream of consciousness Ulysses James Joyce damn the old book and Harry Potter Wonder what is in that to be banned Strict governance my ass free will where is it you cannot control everything bloody they do actually my hair the books the movies Little Sister and her Stick men And the suppression of freedom my freedom oh this place is nice maybe I’ll read a forbidden book the time capsule the secret perhaps what book Oh what is that book five point No God what is in the name name of all the names I get Y seriously grandma why did your parents call you Y Why I have to take that time capsule I have to Banana what Banana Seriously am at the home of the human free will’s only hope and bananas I can think of only bananas
The Capsule

The nervous young girl, strangely called Y approached me with obvious trepidation. I wish I could get into her head and find out what was going on inside, for she was the Chosen One, clichéd, I know.

“Hello Miss Y… As the Librarian of these Archives, the home of the lone resistance against the First Order and its ruler, the Little Sister and her sycophantic cronies, I welcome you, The Chosen One.”


“Let’s cut the niceties... There is so much exposition to be given and just one paragraph. Long after the fall of the society, a few elders created a few hundred time capsules, each that will take you a particular time in humanity’s long history to which a chosen one is genetically linked. The chosen one can then alter the course of that incident and whatever emotion was prevalent in that time due to their action will become a reality here due to genetically synchronised thought broadcast. Do your best wherever you go.”


I felt that, for a writer, this Chosen One spoke very little and, as expected seemed a tad rude and probably suffered from the delusion of grandeur too.

“Wurzburg gave us hysteria... Arkham gave us terror...”

She just nodded at me and the silence was so deafening that I had to break it with a question I had been itching to ask from the moment I learned the name of the fourth Chosen One.       

“And just curious… why are you called Y?”

“That is me granny’s name”

                I let her inside the Theatre of Dreams for her to use the force and find her time capsule and realize the truth, but not with much hope for her or for humanity.

“Enjoy your trip, Miss Y”
The Memory

The moment Y entered the room called the Theatre of Dreams, she was taken aback. It looked more like a planetarium with a single chair right at the centre. Keen not to offend anyone secretly observing a lone lady enjoying in a room, she sat, there;  rather sheepishly. All of a sudden, one of the stars twinkled and then came hurling towards her. Minutes later they collided and she was tossed right out of her world- the one where art was suppressed and all citizens had the same bloody hairdo and where gender neutrality was taken too literally and Y was not allowed show off her… well, very much like beauty, perversion too was etched in the eye of the beholder, so <warning 4th wall breach>where do you think the fault lies in the beep song? In the lyrics…? In your ears...?
The Flood

Y found herself lying face down, covered in mud and surrounded by strangers frantically shouting, completely oblivious to the sudden appearance of a woman in their midst. A moment later, as she walked away from the yelling men, she came to her senses; it seemed someone had inceptioned some weird stuff into her brain. It was raining heavily and the roads were flooded and oddly, she understood the language. It was what her ancestors spoke. As she stood there, alone in the cul-de-sac, absorbing the situation and the magnitude of the task that was before her, she heard a cry. It was a woman, waving for help as the water was rising inside her house. Without a moment of hesitation, Y plunged in, used her sonic screwdriver to open the jammed door, partly broken by the angry water and rescued the visibly pregnant lady whose water had broken. As they moved towards safety, they were rescued by a makeshift catamaran. Four hours and 3 phone calls later, Y was holding a beautiful girl.

“Thank you”

The husband said, having been rescued by a helicopter shortly after the news of his daughter’s birth reached him.

“What is your name?”

                He asked with the intention of naming his new born princess after the odd looking person whose gender he couldn’t tell, but still, saviour is a saviour is a saviour is a saviour.


That was how Y’s granny was named Y.

The End

The flood thought her a lot than she had hoped for. She had read from The First Order sanctioned texts that the world of the yesteryears was filled with nations that hated each other for fuel and people fuelled by hate and divided by religion that were basically devoid of any discipline or goodness in them but when the walls of the city were felled by the floods, the barriers were broken, fences were mended and humanity fought side by side and of course there were idiots, but they were a slim minority.

 It took some time for Y to adjust to her new life of freedom and unlimited exposure to nearly all forms of art, from Orson Welles to T.R... From Cary Grant to T.R... From John Williams to T.R. She kept wondering how she was going to get back to 1989. She was in 2015, but the First Order had created a new timeline and in that the year of Y’s existence was 1989. She realized that the time capsules were like the pensive in Harry Potter only you can alter the course of the past. And then suddenly one day, while stargazing, another random star hit her and she was cast off into 1989. She was greeted with rapturous applause and eight thousand three hundred and twenty six questions.

“So… how was freedom”


“Anything you learnt about art..?”

“The eighth Star Wars film was called ‘Fifty shades of Rey’”

Nobody understood why Y looked disgusted.

                Then there was an announcement that made the library fall silent.

“You unlocked a Level one Emotion!”

It was the librarian, announcing the repercussions of the most recent visit through the Theatre of Dreams…

“And what has Chennai given us?”


A review of the Anthology can be read here, here, here, here and here.

Any and all reviews are welcome, the more the critical, the more the merrier I shall become.


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