Consider a situation when you are a fish and are trapped in a fishbowl by a person who might break the bowl, pour out the water, snatch you out of the bowl, forgot to feed you for who knows how long or simply flush you into the toilet. And if that person likes you as much as a worm in his undies, It goes even better. The condition was not much different for me as I was trapped by Lord Varun in a dimension created by his will, and I was not much more than a plaything for him.
We all jumped to stare at the man who had appeared out of nowhere and was standing as lax as if he was in his backyard. Before we could have said anything to him, there was a rustle of leaves followed by a thump on the other side of the clearing and we turned to find another man growling at the first. “You shall not touch a hair on their bodies while I am alive, slave.” The last word flew out of his mouth as a curse and he spat at his feet. He was hardly old enough to be called a man but held a shotgun with apparent ease which told us that he had used it quite often.
There were sounds of leaves shifting and thumps all around us as more people appeared out of the dense foliage to accompany the two. There were clearly divided into two groups. The first two men who had shown themselves to us were not the leaders. The man demanding our heads was standing behind a stocky one. He was well built and carried an AK 47 at his shoulder. The second man to reveal himself also stood behind someone certainly neck to neck with the leader of the first group; at least physically. He carried a pair of revolvers on his thighs with hands ready to take them out at any moment. All of them were armed in some way. Their weapons ranged from a Swiss army knife to swords and gyns to a bazooka. Surprisingly all of them appeared to be bored, if not relaxed. The presence of so many weapons was no big deal for them.
“What do you want?” Agnishikha snarled at them while sliding into a defensive crouch and trying to face both the groups at once. Natasha studied them with a frown on her face. I was wondering what to do myself. The leader of the first group smirked and spat at the ground besides him. “Didn’t you hear girl? We would be obliged to take your heads to Lord Varun if what I heard you speak is true. You disgust the creators who gave us life and everything we have. I have nothing to do with your sort. Unless you want to start a war against Lord Varun himself?” There was a mad glint in his eyes as he asked and hoped for the affirmative. Agnishikha was about to shoot back a fiery retort at him but Natasha grabbed her hand and jerked her to a halt. She shook her head slightly and looked at me pointedly. If we opposed openly against Lord Varun at that moment, We were sure to be hit by at least one of the shots going off from one of the groups.
“I knew it the moment you appeared here. You are all cowards but can’t accept the Lord’s grace. I can’t stand your sight anymore.” The man spat again and turned to walk briskly away. The one who had showed himself first looked at us with a mixture of hatred and disgust on his face and turned to follow his retreating group. I didn’t relax until they were long out of sight and then turned to face the other group. Some of them had also left and the rest were looking at us. “What do you want?” Natasha asked them in plain exasperation. They looked puzzled to find a child talking in such a way. The leader stiffened and said. “I don’t think you are fans of Lord Varun or have stumbled upon this dimension accidentally?” He had a no-nonsense tone of voice and his demeanor was almost pompous. I didn’t let any of the ladies to blast him with the flaming furnaces of their speech and replied quickly. “No. You were eavesdropping at us from the moment we appeared, I presume? So you must have guessed we are trapped here. The way you behaved clearly showed that the other group was a devotee of Lord Varun. Will you please tell us what is going on here? And why are those devotees of Lord Varun trapped here as well?”
The leader blinked and turned his stare at me. The girls were shooting daggers and I had clearly interrupted what they took to be their right – to talk. The leader cleared his throat and said. “I am Ronan. Ronan Pierce. For the moment know this much that we are prisoners here the same way as you are. Accompany us and you shall be told what is all this about.” He motioned the rest of his group to leave and all left immediately, except one girl standing on the fringe of the meadow. She was a demon by her aura and a young one at that. Natasha was about to say something when Agnishikha strode forward and cocked her hip in an ignorant pose. “How do we know you are not pawns of Lord Varun and mean us no harm?” The way she talked was a clear imitation of her badass behavior. She was trying to intimidate Ronan. Her mouth slacked open when he replied “You Don’t.” And turned to retreat slowly.
I didn’t want to miss the chance of knowing more and he was certainly better than the other group who wanted to skewer us given the first chance. I grabbed Natasha by her hand and she shot me a frown, but didn’t resist as I trotted to join Ronan. He was deliberately walking slow to let us catch up. Agnishikha stood gaping at us for more than a few seconds and followed us stumbling shortly after. We all were together by the time we reached the trees. The demon girl nodded to Ronan and turned to vanish into the dense foliage bounding. “I’m Akshat. This is Natasha and Agnishikha.” I told Ronan and he acknowledged us with formal nods. He frowned at Natasha again but kept his mouth quiet. Agnishikha was muttering under her breath and I caught a few words as “dumb”, “mule” and “insolent”. Ronan didn’t pay her any attention at all.
“Why are you here? If I may know.” He asked politely. The pompousness was present ever so slightly but I ignored it and replied. “We denied heaven in Lord Varun’s face.” I pointed at Agnishikha and me. “And she helped us escape. Only that she accidentally let Lord Varun guide the teleportation to end us here” I said nodding at Natasha, who seemed lost in her thoughts. Ronan was staring at Natasha as if seeing her for the first time. If a 12 year old girl stood up to a god, I would definitely be staring. “You must’ve had strong reasons to deny heaven in a god’s face. Well… None of that is for now.” He gave his head a slight shake and continued through the forest. Agnishikha was quite for so much time that when she spoke in a normal tone it was startling. “Is there an end to this forest? Where are we going?” She had an almost normal tone. Almost. Ronan glanced at her and said “We will walk for another hour. Then it would take about 3 more to get to our destination. The city Heandash.”
A city? Never could have I guessed that Lord Varun would create a city for his prisoners.