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An Allegory Written In Blood

“How was your day?” I ask my wife as if I can still ruin it...

An Allegory Written In Blood

“How was your day?” I ask my wife as if I can still ruin it. I ignore that she startles and hides the cellphone, and whatever she might have been watching dies in a snap. Perhaps the hush tells what it has been. She confirms, “I was watching Lovecraft Country.”

It is banned in this country, and so are other docu-series like The Man in the High Castle, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Docu-features like, World War Z, Rosemary’s Baby, I Am Legend, Mockingjay, or Stree or Go Goa Gone. They have been contraband since the year zero.

We may find ourselves in prison for the possession of those, or the garlic.

I scratch my head. My voice boils, “Did you feed the ghosts in the cellar?

The authorities have mandated at least one spirit to be a pet in every household. Any mistreatment falls under the purview of ‘The Otherworldly Cruelty Prevention Act, Year 1’.

Rose nods. She has done the duty. ‘Thou shalt name all girls Rose, and all boys Thorn.’ She slow-poisons herself fearing that one of our pets will kill her someday, or she may send it on the way to the rebirth.

We cannot own a house without a spirit. It is prohibited.

We welcomed the vampire autocracy without knowing. Voted for the clan. Watched Twilight Saga and Vampire Diaries. We chose to shed blood.

“What were you doing when civilisation fell, the dawn of the year zero?” Again and again the same question finds my brain, and sometimes I let it fly out through my orifice. Life seems like a World War trench movie directed by Ramsay Brothers or by Ed Wood.

I stall time in front of our dirty mirror. On its left corner your lipstick wrote ‘Allegory’. The dust coated word has darkened and faded at once. It stamps our reflections. We enter into the world reigned by the bloodsucker-elites.

I remove my mask, look at my face featuring the day’s disintegration, and my eyes follow my wife’s silhouette that conceals the cellphone used chiefly to stream moving pictures. She places the device behind the state-approved books and DVDs, behind Anne Rice, Stephenie Meyer, Bram Stoker’s gospels, Charlaine Harris or John William Poli­dori. Percase there was never a year zero. Perhaps those books had been propagating the agitprop of the now rulers since ancient times. We welcomed the vampire autocracy without knowing. Voted for the clan. Watched Twilight Saga and Vampire Diaries. We chose to shed blood.

I have not let the mask go as if the virus V is still active in this realm beyond disbelief.

My wife says, “Today the ghosts seem melancholic, withdrawn, less scary. I can’t recall. Is it that day when they were burnt and locked inside their own houses?”

“I believe, it is the day when the little one was raped in an old temple.”

Rose changes the topic, “Did you get the job?”

The plague mask falls from my hand, the last leaf of resistance, and my voice bears the chill of the winter, “No.”

“I have plan B.” I whisper to the walls, to my wife, to the gas oven, and to the lights and ceiling fan. I cannot detail it to my wife. Not yet.

We have potatoes for dinner. We listen to the wings, watch the bats while we munch our foods. One bird-of-Minerva fancies a flight above the porch hosting our dinner. Its hoot stretches the silence of the city. The slave quarters begin reading Dracula again, or watch a re-run of ‘How Human Was Liberated From The Humanity’.

Rose says they will show Evil Dead on the Gold channel, but we have discontinued the subscription, and hence it is a conversation for the sake of it.

Later on, the night makes our flesh speak the ancient language of desire. Our limbs melt. The blood ministry has made it mandatory to reprod­uce at least one child and at most two. The chil­d­less couples are taxed twice, and if you have more than two the state snatches the extra bairns. We can guess what happens to them. The government wants a steady but controlled flow of humankind.

Postcoital desire to smoke hit me hard. I never smoke. I nurse this urge as a rebellion. They prohibited smoking since they do not want to spoil our organs or our blood. My rebellion always dies in the bud.


Rose sighs, “Even if we conceive, what will we feed the baby? Potatoes? Where will we send it for schooling?”

I was a history teacher. They burnt down the history before the year zero, blasted off the face of the stone Gods, dug out shrines of Lucifer and Lilith where the churches, mosques and temples used to be. Thousands of blood drinkers climbed up the old edifices and worked on their hammering skills.

I am a widower of history. Rootless and jobless. Sometimes I work as a daily wager under a government scheme of minimum number of working days for everyone unemployed.


It is alright. I have a plan. I cannot tell Rose. You see, sacrifices have silence for its machismo. She is Rose. I am Thorn. Authority knows our inner chauvinism. Time imitates a horror movie. It needs one fool to fall so that others may survive. In my case others include I and my wife.

Now here should be a jump cut, a jarring music contradicting the pleasant song. I hum:

Ho ho, darkness reigns my eyes.

Darkness walks the swag.

I cry,

and my tears trickle down all black.

Is not darkness a resort for all the anomalies, fre­aks and the downtrodden? In the cosy corner of the black I hide my evil fire and the ashes of depression.


Sleep Rose. Thorn will sell himself tomorrow, whore his blood and soul. They call this blood gigolo.

And tomorrow comes.

I tread slowly, leaving the house. Rose wears purple today. I shut the door, and I can hear the ghosts growling, and Rose shouting, “Down, down boy.” For a jiffy I think, if they devour Rose, I shall not have to go to the local party office, and enrol my name as a volunteer for selling my being, and letting those rich and spoiled blood suckers to bite my neck and God knows what. Evil me. Evil tho­ughts.


One puny ghost blooms near my feet, says, “Have you ever seen a baby coffin?” I shiver.

I wait at the party office. The leaders fly in. The cadets snarl. I can already feel the teeth, but first, they will inject an antivirus so that I may not turn into a vampire. How can they let me belong to an upper caste?

I know the shot will set fire in my blood, and melt down my organs, and morality.



Kushal Poddar is former editor of the Words Surfacing magazine, and an author