Type: Flash Fiction First Published on: perhappened mag Word Length: 700 Themes: Existentialism, Fable, Anthropomorphism
I. LIGHTS IN
An aspen leaf wakes up with a breeze. It looks around with its invisible eyes, and up and down, as the slaps of wind make it dance. It sniffs the odor of stones and flowers and breeze and goats. It also sniffs an oncoming rain. With the soft wind, it shifts a few inches. An indistinct echo of a scratch which a passing goat-herd can’t hear comes out of its contact with little pebbles underneath. They try to stop it. But the wind wants to carry it to another world–a new world of snow and brown soil and sea waves and mountains and sleep. The wind appeases it to come with it and see the world.
Publisher : StoryMirror Infotech Pvt Ltd (15 July 2020) ISBN : 978-9388698580
One night, two strangers, a high school biology teacher, and a government servant find themselves together. All of a sudden. Thrown into an absurd not-so-alien world by some unknown paranormal force. Which turns out to be a dream that they are dreaming together.
Swapna is a strong new-age woman of Urban India of the 21st Century who loves playing with bacteria and Koala bears, and Parnab is a sweet timid gentleman, who collects coins and is ashamed of looking at women with eyes of lust; but does. Swapna is married to Shobit, a truck driver, and lives in Chandigarh, and Parnab is married to Padma, a wannabe writer of children’s fiction, and lives in Faizabad. Both are unhappy with not as much as their partners as the institution of marriage.
They continue meeting each other in their common dreams, sharing their lives with each other, living through the worlds that their dreams put in. In the Tajmahal, in the railway station of Paris, in a museum, on the top of a skyscraper in New York City, on an empty highway in Utah, and a post office of a small village called Peherwa. They meet an injured pilot in Pakistan and try to heal him. They wander in a supermarket, gobbling everything up they can lay their hands on. In a school at night, they try to find the gatekeeper so that they can scare the bejesus out of him, but end up discussing the uncertainty principle instead. In a post office, they sort the letters together inside a closed room, talking about boyfriends and homework. And on a train, they come closer than they should have.
42000 words long, UTCOS is a fable on the Existentialism of marriage. It’s a kitchen-sink fantasy adventure fiction without dragons and fairies. It is a long dream.