“It was a dark and stormy night…”, wrote Sahil in his little notebook.
The last time he had written a story beginning with these words was in Standard 9, that too for the final English paper for the year. Did pretty well with it, he recalled.
So why was he writing a story with the same start now?
A distraction, really.
A distraction from what was coming that day. Something he dreaded, and had done so since he was 3.
He hated every part of the experience every single time he’d had to go through with it in the last 24 years of his life. The eyes of everyone in the room on him. Judging, mocking or simply gleefully enjoying every little flinch, the tiniest shudder.
The horror-filled grimaces.
What he hated most though, was the touch of the cold steel blades on his neck. It was a terrifying reminder of a gruesome childhood experience. A moment filled with the sound of quick blades, the roar of pain as he watched a large part of his ear fall into his lap, the bright red of his blood falling to the floor as everyone in the room had gasped violently.
That was 24 years ago. His childhood was ravaged by the fear of blades, and as an adult even more so. He couldn’t enter a kitchen to cut and cook anything that was raw, or eat with anything but a spoon. He couldn’t do arts and crafts because of his morbid fear of scissors and craft knives. And yet, once a year now, he had to endure the torture of getting his hair cut.
So, as he sat down in the barber’s chair, Sahil figured that this time onward, he’d channel his fear into a morbid story that he’d write as he had his hair cut by the same butcher that lopped his ear off at age 3, since he was the only barber in the village.
“It was a dark and stormy night,’ wrote Sahil in his little notebook, ‘and the wind made the tiny chime made of broken scissors scream into life.”