Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Haunting by Vengeance

It all began with those grotesque nightmares……………
I felt like someone was forcing this dream on me. Like someone wasdeliberately tormenting me against my will. The familiarity of the dream wasstrangely comforting. Though I couldn’t put my finger on it but this time theair was permeated with as a subtle newness. There was an eerie silence in theroom .  It was engulfed in utterdarkness. The moon stealthily moved across the sky, searching for a nebulouscloud to cover itself. Even the clock refused to go on, in an attempt to beinconspicuous. The setting was perfect for the sinister act that I knew wasgoing to take place.  
Icrept into my father’s room. I was happy to see he was sleeping. No fear ofresistance! I took out the towel-smeared it lavishly with a lethal poisonousacid.  For a 10 year old I was quitestrong. I unmercifully suffocated him to death-a strange inexplicable sensereigned over my soul. The scene that followed is indelible in my limitedmemory. I was rudely jolted out of my reverie by an agonized soul-searing,ear-splitting, animal like unnatural moaning. I didn’t need to turn back, thepain couldn’t disguise that voice .Even before I saw my mother’s steeledemotionally  devoid blank eyes I knew Ihad lost her love even before I got a grasp on it (no matter how loose thatgrasp was).She was the incarnation of a possessed woman.  
               I couldn’t bear it. I   wantedto wake up. Molten lava was searing through my veins! Like someone had plungeda knife into my heart. My agony compounded as an unwarranted deluge of repressed,blocked, unwelcome memories hit me with a seismic force. A sweet voice of abeloved pulled me back to ‘reality’.” Wake up, wakeup…………………” If only I could.Disoriented, I tried to focus my eyes as I woke up. Somehow I had landed on thefloor and my newlywed wife was standing over me. My body was drenched in sweat.Her face was lined with worry. She was sobbing brokenly, gaspingly she said, “Itried to wake you up……………….. You were ranting and screaming in your sleep. Youterrified me. I didn’t know what to do!”
               Unannounced, guilt hit me with agreat force as my eyes landed on her anxious face. NO NO NO ……………….. I can’ttell her. I can’t. I am sane. I am not abnormal. She is my life. No, I am notsexually attracted to my mother. It’s not true .it can’t be! Getover the nightmare.
                       “I am sorry sweetheart; I haven’t beensleeping properly lately. I was tired. Maybe that’s the reason of the nightmares.Don’t you remember I turned 35 today? Old men like me tire easily.” It was afeeble attempt at humour but my beautiful wife’s face relaxed.
                                                        ……………………………………………………..
                I no longer knowwhat is real and what’s not. My nebulous nightmares have encroached on myreality. They are more real to me then things that I can touch; taste; sense; see;smell. The nightmares have kindled the desires; they have morphed the ‘ashes’into a conflagrant fire. Desires that I was content were latent, dead. Desiresthat I had locked in dark, solitary, seldom visited, corners of my mind. Mymother’s face had come back to haunt me with a greater beauty, allurement,enticement. The harder I try to block it out, the clearer it emerges.
                         All of this started the day I turned 35,the day I started my newly married wife. How I to know that is was was merelythe beginning of the end. Sounds ironic hah? According to the doctors it wassupposed to go away in my childhood. Then why was it pursuing me? This Oedipuscomplex is something I should have left behind in m y past. DAMN! I was treatedfor it.
                                Then why is it that every time I make love tomy wife, I envision my mom instead? I feel my mom. Why? Why is it that I guiltexudes from every pore of my body? Why is it that I feel my wife has doomed herlife by marrying me that she was better off without me? Why am I unable to ridmyself of this nauseating, mounting revolting guilt that I am cheating on mywife? I feel like a BIGAMIST.  Why is itthat I am ashamed of talking to her about my mom?
                            I am haunted by my past to such degree thatmy present is like a dark, damp, dungeon- like pit. Unbearable! My future islike a foggy street on which I am driving. I have lost control of the car; I amterrified. There is nobody out there to help me or hear my muted pleas forhelp. The air reeks of uncertainty. I have to move forward. But I don’t want to.How can I when I don’t know what to expect, when I know there is a sharp cliffahead.
                                            Will I kill my wife the same way I killedmy Dad. Is she also a potential threat in my renewed seduction of my mom? Am Igoing to use her as a pawn in this game of mine? I guess this is my dad’s wayof taking revenge from me. I killed him when he was 35. I am not a greatbeliever in coincidences.

9 comments:

  1. More effective without mentioning the disorder...we can deduce what it is....
    Short Story - Yes
    The Haunting - Yes
    Guilt - Yes
    Terror - Yes
    Love it! 9/10

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. 1*
    The genre of the story is crime and horror.
    For example, this story starts with a 10 year old boy murdering his father. The rest of the story revolves around the guilt of murder, having sexual feelings towards his mother and not being loyal to his wife.


    2*
    The story represents reality. Such an incident can take place in normal life of any individual. Therefore, it is non-fiction.


    3*
    The writing is descriptive with emphasis on setting and atmosphere.
    The atmosphere is full of guilt, self blame and bitterness.
    From the description of the setting, we know the story is revolving around a particular "bedroom" type environment.
    For example, The boy murders his father while the father is on bed. He constantly imagines himself to be having sex with his mother. Even when he is on bed with his wife, he is thinking about his mother.

    The effects of such an atmosphere and setting helps the reader to picture what the story is like, and helps to decide what to expect from the story yet to be uncovered.


    3*
    There is a constant use of similes and metaphors.

    The effect is that it makes the text more fun to read, enjoyable and real. It is easier for the reader to imagine what the situation is exactly like.
    For example,
    1) -"Molten lava was searing through my veins"-
    this statement makes it clear that the blood (referred to as molten lava) was rushing through the man's veins in a manner that made him uncomfortable. It was extremely hot, and moved along his body at a killer speed.
    2) -"Like someone had plunged a knife into my heart"-
    the feeling the man went across were such painful that they can be compared with a scenario where somebody literally stabs a man to death.
    3) -"unwelcome memories hit me with a "seismic" force"-
    the force here is described as so powerful that it is compared to a seismic force. The memories that still haunt the man are so powerful that they can actually shake him to a great extent.
    etc.


    4*
    The tone is Contrite throughout. It shows sorrow and remorse for the sins committed, making the character feel guilty.
    The mood this tone created was depressing. I was full of terror and pity at the same time
    (I was terrorized at the scary reality of the man's life and how badly tangled he got into it. I felt pity for him because it wasn't really his fault. He just got caught between a disagreement of his heart mind and soul).

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  4. 5*
    The vocabulary used and the style of writing is fancy to a particular extent. It is not simple and straight-forward.
    For example,
    1) grotesque nightmares
    2) The moon stealthily moved across the sky, searching for a nebulous cloud to cover itself

    The effect for such a choice of words and sentence structure is that it gives the reader a dreamy picture which is full of imagination and wild thoughts and feelings.


    6*
    The POV is first person.

    The effect is that there is a lot of description about the mood of the man and what
    he is feeling throughout the story. The reader knows exactly what the man is feeling and what emotions take over him at different times. The "world" in the story is viewed through his eyes.
    This way of writing story actually forces a reader to put himself in the character's shoes, and sense the emotions taking over the character's mind at particular times. Readers can actually imagine a clear picture of the situation, and what the character's troubles and problems really are.


    7*
    I believe the writer's purpose is to convey a message and present reader's with an information which is not socially acceptable, yet a common issue arising among people. There are certain "disorders" that never leave a person's mind, even after they are treated, or thought of as those which fade with time. People suffering from such disorders can reach an extreme, and then they are left with no turning back, because it's too late. This is usually because they "fall down" in their own eyes because of the "crimes" they have committed. They believe their "illness" to be too humiliating or nonsensical.


    8*
    The story moves around in a circle format.
    It begins with a 10 year old boy suffering from Oedipus Complex. He kills his father to get sexually attached to his mother. The liking he has for his mother remains throughout the story, even when he reaches the age of 35. He can not lead a happy life with his wife because he derives no satisfaction out of her; he is not loyal towards his wife. And the story ends without any resolution or solution. The middle-aged man still craves for his mother.
    The conflict (wanting to have sexual relations with his mother, that blocked the man's mind) is left unresolved.
    It ended as it started, and by the end, the man actually starts to believe that he will meet the same fate as his father, and that he is being punished for his ill deeds by God.

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  5. p.s. There are 9* different points. I have made an error while counting.
    (stated the 3* twice)

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  6. The genre of this story is Horror and the writer’s purpose is to give an insight on the feelings of a man who was, and still is, attracted to his mother. The first person POV makes the character relatable, helping us to actually understand what the protagonist is going through.
    At the beginning, the reader doesn’t really know what’s going on. The writer attempts to create suspense “ Though I couldn’t put my finger on it..” And succeeds. The story starts with a dream; however, it is later shown that that dream is not a dream, but actually a flashback. It shows us that the protagonist is tormented by his past.

    Moving on, the tone becomes more dark as the writer creates drama, and indicates that something bad is about to happen. The writer shows that the protagonist was confident about what he was doing, but, at the same time, having his doubts. However, he got over it when he saw that his father was sleeping. “No fear ofresistance!” The writer has also used metaphors, as shown through “She was the incarnation of a possessed woman”
    The next paragraph, the writer shows that the protagonist is in pain and is being tortured by projecting his thoughts. Molten lava was searing through my veins! Like someone had plunged a knife into my heart. We are brought back to the present when the protagonist is being woken up from his nightmare. “Itried to wake you up……………….. You were ranting and screaming in your sleep. Youterrified me. I didn’t know what to do!”
    “Unannounced, guilt hit me with agreat force” shows us the protagonist is overcome with guilt. Instead of putting it in clear words, the writer could have indicated it through the thought process of the protagonist. “ I can’ttell her. I can’t. I am sane. I am not abnormal. She is my life. No, I am notsexually attracted to my mother. It’s not true .it can’t be! Getover the nightmare.”. The protagonist here is clearly confused and is not in his senses.
    I no longer knowwhat is real and what’s not. My nebulous nightmares have encroached on myreality. They are more real to me then things that I can touch; taste; sense; see;smell. Words like these terrify the reader as he/she begins to feel somewhat sorry for the protagonist.
    However, the reader is soon turned away when “ Desiresthat I had locked in dark, solitary, seldom visited, corners of my mind. Mymother’s face had come back to haunt me with a greater beauty, allurement,enticement. The harder I try to block it out, the clearer it emerges” Through this, the story starts to make much more sense as the protagonist was INDEED sexually attracted to his mother because “every time I make love tomy wife, I envision my mom instead? I feel my mom. “
    The last paragraph shows that the protagonist doesn’t know what will happen next and is uncertain of his future. The ending therefore is ambiguous, as the reader can not exactly what is going to happen.
    Will I kill my wife the same way I killedmy Dad. Is she also a potential threat in my renewed seduction of my mom? Am Igoing to use her as a pawn in this game of mine?
    Similes have been used throughout the story to make the story more appealing, “my present is like a dark, damp, dungeon- like pit.” Indicates that it is difficult for the protagonist to live.“My future islike a foggy street on which I am driving.” Means that is it uncertain what is going to happen.
    Metaphors have also been used as “sharp cliffahead” indicating danger and “Molten lava was searing through my veins!” Throughout the story, sentence structure varies as there are long sentences as well as short sentences.
    Overall, the vocabulary used is excellent as the writer uses words like ‘grotesque’ and ‘nebulous’ which makes the text more interesting to read. It creates mixed feelings, as the reader is confused whether he/she should feel sorry for the protagonist or satisfied that he is suffering. The writer succeeds portraying the feelings of a man suffering from Oedipus Complex.

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  7. COMMENTRY:
    The genre of this short story is Horror/Suspense.
    The writer's purpose could be to entertain the readers,given the illustrious details in the passage,which presents a vivid picture to the readers.Another purpose could be to inform;to make the readers aware of the Oedipus complex.
    The writer begins the story at the point when the character begins to have nightmares about murdering his father and concludes the story with an ambigious ending,as he contemplates on the mysteries of his future.There seems to be no progression taking place in this story.

    In the first paragraph,the reader is told that the character is dreaming;experiencing a nightmare. in this paragraph,the words''delibrately tormenting'' shows that the character wishes to come out of this situation and that he is forced to dream like this,however hard he tries to repress the condition.Also,it builds tension and suspense in the paragraph.The reader feels a sense of mystery.
    Furthermore,this paragraph also emphasizes on the setting and the enviroment of the scene before the murder takes place.It creates terror and tension and the reader anticipates something rather gruesome to occur in the story.Also,the writer mentions the words ''steeled,emotionally-devoid,blank eyes.'' to emphasize on the severity of his mother's expressions,after she had witnessed the murder of the father at the hands of the character.The tone used in this paragraph is eerie,dark and mysterious.

    As we move onto the second paragraph,it shows the feelings of the character after witnessing the dream.The words''Molten lava was searing through my veins'' potrays the intensity of regret and pain felt by the character.The reader gets an idea of the character's emotions at that time. The quote ''My agony compounded as an unwarranted deluge of repressed,blocked, unwelcome memories hit me with a seismic force.'' shows that his previously repressed memories have returned to haunt him.It displays the internal conflict that the character has within himself,as he unwillingly battles with his past.The reader feels a sense of guilt and surmounting worry within the story.

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  8. In the third,fourth and fifth paragraph,the character is contemplating on his past and these paragraphs display a portion of his thoughts to the reader.The reader now gets a better idea as to what is really happening in the story.It shows the true feelings of the character.Hence,it is more subjective.The quote,''The nightmares have kindled the desires; they have morphed the ‘ashes’into a conflagrant fire.'' shows that the character had locked up his desires for his mother into a distant corner of his mind,but they have come out to haunt him once again in his reoccuring nightmares.His mother seems to have become more attractive to him and no matter how hard he tries to banish his thoughts,his emotions come out again.Also,the writer lays ephasis on the fact that the man feels sorry for his wife and her misfortune of marrying him.The quotes,''Why is it that I feel my wife has doomed herlife by marrying me that she was better off without me?'' and '' I feel like a BIGAMIST''
    shows that he doubts his own character and regrets ruining hs wife's future and his own.The feeling of guilt and remorse is potrayed to the reader through these words.The tone is somewhat dismal and its effect on the reader is that he/she feels sorry for the character for undergoing such an experience.

    In the last two paragraphs,the character is fearful of his past and feels uncertain of his future.This effect is displayed in the quotes,''I am haunted by my past to such degree that my present is like a dark, damp, dungeon- like pit. Unbearable! My future is like a foggy street on which I am driving. I have lost control of the car.'' It shows that the character has lost control of his life and feels utterly helpless.The tone is sorrowful and the reader feels drawn to the story.The character also questions his actions and meditates on the situation.The short story concludes as an ambigious ending as the reader does not know what will happen next.

    Overall,the tone of this story was dark,gloomy and it shows the man's helplessness towards his condition.

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