Beloved Death (Micro-fiction)

My parents brought him home when I was seventeen. I was ill and spent most of my days inside the confinement of my room. I had recently lost my television to short-circuit and was adamant to replace it with those fashionable flat models making rounds in the markets. Loneliness had enveloped me in a cocoon. Gradually, my neighbours suspected the change in my behavior and suggested my parents to get me a friend. Adopting skeletons was a craze during those days–resurrected from dead animals, especially from the carcasses of dogs. They were made up of silent bones, and remnants of feelings and emotions that were left behind. My mother placed him beside my bed. At first, I treated him with contempt. He asked no questions and passed no criticisms. With silent, hollow eyes made out of tunnels, he kept staring at me–his sympathy felt like salt on my open wounds. I wasn’t used to such unselfish kindness. He reminded me of my bereavement–my lost friend, my television. He was the bitter reminder of how death felt like–a sudden spark and everything went up in flames to leave behind a framework of molten plastic and shattered bits of glass. His sooty frame proved to be a biting mnemonic. He was wired into my life without any warning and acceptance was far from the picture. During one such moment, when I was agitated by his presence, I lost my control and aimed my soccer ball right at his ribs and he crumbled into a pile of bones. “What do you know about my pain?” I yelled at him. Kindness shattered into haphazard pieces of calcium strewn all over the floor. He made no movement. I heard a bark without a dog. Something got over me and I arranged him back but he kept himself prostate before me. He wagged his tail in silence, making clattering noises against the floor. “Does it hurt?” I asked him. I heard a howl without the dog. “Does death hurt?” I whispered and he responded with silence.


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