Prompt #1: Death Of A Hero

“Calpurnia, have you seen my cape?” said Julius from the next room. She found him standing there in his underwear admiring himself in the mirror. She shook her head wearily and silently went about looking for his cape. She found it later in the bath, where he’d use it as a mat to dry his feet.

“Ah, thank you Calpurnia. It’s in a wonderfully terrible state, isn’t it? You should’ve come yesterday. Me and Brutus did so many wonderful things. I’ve never seen him so invigorated before. I guess he decided to go along with my plan after all. Not a word, Calpurnia, not a word did he say about it all night. Not when we swept down on a bunch of Visigoth raiders, not when we pulled that cat out of the river, not one word about today at all.”

“Oh, Julius. If he kept quiet, it was only because he knew you were as stubborn as a mule and wouldn’t change your mind. You know, he doesn’t want you to go tonight. He’s as stubborn as you are. Probably why you make such a good team.”

“Calpurnia, love, I am very grateful for everything Brutus has done for me, but there’s a reason he’s the sidekick – I know better. Our powers are advantage enough. Anonymity is a greedy luxury that we have abused for too long. We have to put ourselves before the state and use our abilities according to the will of the people.”

“And you think Brutus now agrees with you? He was in such a black mood when you first decided, I thought he would do something foolish.”

“I love Brutus. You know I do. I would give my life for the boy. I have put it on the line for him often enough but he never seems to learn, so headstrong. He will soon realize this for his own good. He is becoming broody. Ever since we took care of the Soothsayer and he told us about that group.”

“What group? You never told me about any group.”

“It’s nothing, Calpurnia. Worry yourself not. Brutus, Brutus, he was a changed man last night. He really did treat it like it was his last.”

“Thats good to know, dear.”

“Yes, well now, clean the cape, I have to go to the Senate.” He sighed. “The only problem, the only problem I have with this whole business is the stupid grin on Mark Antony’s face. He’s going to love this. He’s always had it in for Brutus and Me. I can see his big fat face right now. Bastard.”

And then Caesar shook his head as if to dislodge the thoughts from his brain, kissed his wife on the cheek and left the house for the senate. We all know what happens next. On arriving there, Caesar was ushered in and then stabbed by Cassius who as the blade came down whispered the words, ‘Greetings from The Ides Of March, Caesar’. A cry that was repeated by Casca and the others. Caesar struggled at first but when he saw his friend and loyal partner, Brutus too lift his hand he succumbed.

It was the death of a hero.


Theophilus Mog – Chapter Eleven

“So, tell me, son, what is the problem?”
“There is no problem. I’m here because my dad made me come.”
“Regardless of why you’re here, you are here. So why not relax and talk to me.”
“There is no problem.”
“What did your Dad say was the problem?”
“He thinks I’m crazy because I hear voices in my head.”
“You hear voices in your head?”
“Who’s? Do you recongize the voice?”
“Yeah. Well, most of the time anyway. They’re usually the voices of famous people. Famous dead people. If I don’t get who they are, I just assume I don’t know about them yet.”
“What do they uusally say, these voices?”
“Be serious, Karl.”
“No, I refuse to be serious. Listen. Do you know how my last name is pronounced?”
“Kant? Is that right?”
“No. It’s pronunced Kunt. Do you know how much shtick I get at school?”
“Did you just put a ‘h’ in stick?”
“It makes me feel more german.”
“Do you get angry at your classmates, Karl when they make fun of you? Do you feel like an outsider?”
“Yes, but so does everyone else in my class.”
“Not really, Karl. Sometimes the alienation felt in a new culture can have a deep impact and lead to major issues later.”
“I’ve been here since I was 6. There’s nothing alien about this place.”
“I think you’re hiding your feelings, Karl.”
“You’re such a dick.”
“Yes, Karl, let it out, let it all out.”
“Don’t stare at my penis when you say that.”
“I was doing no such thing!”
“You’re a paedophile.”
“No, I’m not, Karl. I have a loving wife and two children at home.”
“Have you touched them?”
“Of course, I’ve-”
“Not in the way you mean.”
“You said it.”
“You didn’t let me finish.”
“Your dick must be really small for you to become a shrink.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“You sit in here and listen to all these people talk about how small their dicks are you and feel better about yourself. I get it. It’s a sweet deal.”
“You perverted little imp. You’ll probably a delinquent when you grow up and end up in prison when you’re older.”
“At least I won’t be a two inch paedophile who gets off on the misery of other people.”
“Fuck off, kid. I’ll tell your Dad you’re beyong help.”
“Will you dream about me tonight?”
“Think of me when you come!”

Karl Kant gew up to be a very enterprising man. At the age of 17, he started where he bought cadavers off people who didn’t need them. Fitted them out as mythological races and sold them to necrophiliacs the world over. He listed out his techniques for free but charged for personal orders. The skill and the packing that went in were enough to earn him the premium rates he charged. The most in demand and the simplest were vampires. A little makeup. Some teeth. And voila! Werewolves were harder. Usually, he would so no stock on them unless a real hippy or wannabe be rockstar came in. He would ship out only close to three a month anyway but that was enough. He wasn’t really doing it for the money anyway. He closed down the ordering portal in a two years though. He just didn’t have the time anymore. He had found love.

Love came in the surprising form of a girl. On the internet. Her handle was Princest and Karl had no doubts he loved her. He tweeted to her. He Im’d her. He IRC’d her. He spent as much time as possible in communication with Princest. He was pretty sure she liked him too. Otherwise she’d have told him to go and fuck himself by now. He could see no reason why she shouldn’t like him. They were exactly the same. She had even started a body shop website when she was 17! Karl had discovered it too late but once he did, he always ordered from her. He loved the personal notes that came with the body. They made him feel special.

Yet, he had never told her how he felt. (Yeah, I know. Exactly.)

On her advice, he went back to college. To spray-paint ‘FUCK YOU’ on the wall. On his advice, she didn’t get a piercing. She got a magnetic glove that really hurt when brought within ten centimeters of someone else’s piercing. Her friends now hated her. They sent pictures to each other. Of animals in clothes. That was another thing they had in common. They both really liked pictures of various animals in clothes. Dogs in clown costumes, Pigs in victorian dress, Monkeys in tutus. They laughed and laughed at them. And then they went and trolled the happy bloggers.

Life was going pretty alright, for the young Kant, when suddenly something went suddenly wrong. Princest deleted everything. Everything. She took down her twitter account, her blog, her last.FM profile, everything! Karl went a little bit insane. He smashed his computer screen with his keyboard. He just couldn’t understand it. There was no note, nothing! Then, he made up his mind. He grabbed all the money he had and bought a train ticket to where he knew Princest lived. She had always been close enough to visit but they had decided against it. The internet was one thing. Real life was something else entirely. But Karl rode the train for the few hundred miles necessary and ran all the way to the address he had gleaned from his various attempts at stalking her. He didn’t have a house number, just s street name. Sometimes when she wasn’t online, he would just open Google Street View and watch it, hoping to catch anything.

There was nobody on the street. He knocked on every door. Asking for Moira, Princest had told him her first name. He got swore at a lot over the hour it took him to knock on every door. No one knew who he was talking about. He hadn’t minded till the very last door. Then, he broke down. And crying he just fell down on to the street and stayed there. When he was done and there were no more tears left, he got up and made his way back to the train station.

He kept turning around, hoping she’d be there. He knew it happened only in the movies. He hated himself for being such angsty bitch. He thought about killing himself but he was too angry for that. He was never going to find a girl like that again. He rode the train back home. Grabbed a bite to eat and crawled back to his computer. He had a new offline message. From her. She was back! He opened it. It simple read, ‘I knew you liked me. Look in the cupboard.’ He opened it and the breath went right out of him. It was a body done up like Chewbacca.

(It wasn’t her. I’ve got lots of letters from people who don’t seem to understand a goddamn thing! Why would you think it’s her? You’re all mad!)

Theophilus Mog – Chapter Ten

I call this chapter, ‘It Doesn’t Get Any Worse.’

Most lives of Theophilus Mog seem to follow certain unwritten rules. These are the rules oh is essence. One of them is that usually he is never any good with the opposite sex. This is one of the stories that didn’t follow that rule.

Tomo and Kai didn’t feel chinky. But everyone insisted they were. So they decided to become cool. The easiest way available to them was to rock out like the guys on MTV. They were cool. Everyone knew that. None of them knew anything about music though so they became rappers.

Tanya and Sonya weren’t really sisters. Hell yeah. I know what you’re thinking. But everyone thought they were becuase they looked the same. They got really pissed off about that and so they started a band. Tany aplyed the drums and Sonia sang and played acoustic guitar. Well, she held the acoutics guitar, never changed chords and pulled a few strings. But if it was good enough for Bob Dylan, it was good enough for her.

Tomo and Kai took prerecorded beats that they had ripped off the internet but claimed as their own and started performing on street corners. Their song, “Jack, jack, heart attack” even got the audience to interact. The boys would say, jack, jack and the audience would get a heart atatck.

Tanya and Sonya started playing in open mic sessions and people quite liked them. Their best song was called, This is the boat of dreams and we’re all singing, raised a few eyebrows especially with its anti-establishment lyrics like “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Stop, look, around, it’s a dream.”

No one liked Tomo and Kai. Mainly because they sucked.

The two groups never met. Yeah, Theophilus Mog was never any good with the ladies. I was lying.

Theophilus Mog – Chapter Nine

This story has to be precluded with a note. This is absolutely necessary.

Note: Of all the many lives of Theophilus Mog, there is none as freakishly impossible as this. The chances of this happening is so close to zero that I wouldn’t bother even trying to calculate it. But as was once said by Douglas Adams, anything impossible almost always happens, usually immediately.

It starts with the birth of Elsina Drakhov, Theophinus Mog, in a small village outside Moscow. She was the daughter of a farmer, Boris Drakhov and his wife, Elena Drakhov. She was born like a normal baby, from her mother’s womb in the middle of the night at the least convenient time possible. Elina Drakhov was an experienced woman at birthing even at the tender age of 26. Well, relatively tender. She had witnessed numerous birthings of lambs, horses and cattle. She had seen the tiny bodies emerge from the body of the mother animal and her heart was in her mouth. Not the tiny animals, Elena’s. So when her turn came, she did not panic. She screamed but only out of pain, not of fear. She felt that her child would be destined for great things and she was right. Elsina Drakhov was born healthy and she developed into a healthy child. She made friends easily and she never complained of bullying. Everybody gets bullied at some point. How you react is what sets you apart. Elsina showed a maturity beyond her age, beyond any age to be honest because most adults are as ridiculous as children. When she was a child, she never feared the dark. She would stare at it with wide eyes as if asking for it to open up and give up it’s secrets. But it never did. Because it was the Darkness and the Darkness is nothing without its secrets. She wasn’t afraid of ghosts or ghoulies or the bump in the night. She never checked under her bed or behind her cupboard door. She never came home crying about a lost pen or coin. When she grew older, this same behaviour continued through her relationships with boys. Her heart had been broken a few times but she had always accepted it and dealt with it. This made her parents very proud. And scared.

When asked about why she was always so sensible, Elsina simply replied, ‘Because I understand God.’ This perturbed everyone who heard it. Usually it perturbed them so much that they stopped talking and went away but some of them didn’t have that much sense and would probe her more deeply. For if there was one thing people can’t stand, it’s someone who knows more than them. Elsina would wave away further questions though. This enraged the stupid people and soon she was branded ‘a freak’. She dealt with it. Like she had dealt with everything.

Little did they know that the answer they were all looking for was lying in the bottom drawer in the desk in her room. It was a book. A notebook. With blank pages and thin neat handwriting all through it. And at the end of the book, there was a map. What was the book? It was a diary. The diary of someone who didn’t have a friend who was in a place that they didn’t really understand and needed some space to write their thoughts down. To make sense of it all. It wasn’t Elsina’s diary. Oh no. It was someone much more important. Elsina called him ‘God’ because that’s what everyone seemed to call him. But she knew he referred to himself as Yolf. Yolf’s diary showed him to be quite a confused soul. He had been very young at the beginning of everything and didn’t know what to do with all of it. According to the diary, he had spent the first few million years waiting for someone to turn up and tell him what to do. He realized then that there was no one else. There was nothing else. There was just Him. Yolf began making things. And he made many things. Then he combined the things he made. Again and again. To make more things. Soon things started making themselves and Yolf had got very excited. He saw it as a giant playground. And he danced through it, creating as he went. And whenever he saw things happening on their own he would stop and watch, fascinated by the complexity that had developed from the simplicity he had imagined. That’s when he found Life. To say his mind was blown would be to put it lightly. He learned the How over time but the What never stopped fascinating him. And then he found Death. This came as a terrifying shock. He had never even pondered the thought of the idea of an end to himself. This scared him a little but he knew somewhere deep down that he would not die and he shook away the sensation. That’s when he thought of the concept of heaven. He wanted a place that people could go when they died. He could stop people from dying but then he’d have to rub everything out and start from scratch and that sounded like way too much work. So Yolf created heaven. He put a lot of thought into it and was pretty pleased with the result. The diary had a lot more in it but that’s the important bits. And the map? It was a map to heaven.

To say that it was the diary that had made Elsina like she was would be a grave injustice. Elsina read and more importantly, she understood.

Elsina grew from girlhood to womanhood and she retained her poise right through it as well. She kept the diary and map safe and secret from everyone the whole time. She never once doubted it’s authenticity. The warmth of the pages itself convinced her it was no ordinary book. She would lie awake at night at the end of the terrible days that life throws at you. There would be no tears. Nothing you could see. Just the war inside of your head screaming words like blood, hate, pain, sorrow, sweat, uselessness, suffering. And she’d lie on her bed for a while and then she’d open up the diary and look at the map. And she reminded herself that she could go away anytime. Anytime she wanted. But she never did. She grew old, holding the diary so tight her fingers left marks on the cover. They seemed to add to the beauty of the book, well, the beauty you could see from the outside anyway. She never married. She didn’t find the right person. It wasn’t too big of a deal. One day, she woke up and found herself old enough to die and she was scared. And she decided to travel the path of the map. The first instruction on the map was to take 5000 steps in any direction. Elsina started walking. She walked and she walked and 5000 steps later, she stopped. She looked at the map and the next instruction was to shout, ‘I’m ready’. Elsina shouted. Suddenly, from around her sprang up the cement contours of a bus stop. There was a back wall and a canopy with one seat exactly under it. The back wall and the canopy were even covered by a large Ads powered by google. Elsina sat down waiting for a bus to come. And she waited. And she waited. And she waited some more. But no bus came. Hours, days, months passed and Elsin Drakhov passed away and the bus stop folded in around her.

She was found and buried and the diary was thrown into a box of her possessions and kept in the Drakhov house. Where it was found six years later by Big Ivan. Big Ivan was actually quite little, but was relatively big for a boy of six years. He was Elsina’s cousin’s son and he was also Theophilus Mog. Ivan read the diary and was amazed. But he did not understand it. He kept the book back in the box like a good boy and went back to playing cops and robbers with Constantin from next door. It took thirty years and a lot of getting knocked down and getting back up before Ivan found the book again, read it and understand it. By this time, life had changed from the tiny Big Ivan to a big hulking man Ivan. He was an electrician. A proud man of the working class with a mane of bushy black hair. He had heard tales about his aunt Elsina and had just thought of her as a bit of a kook but now he started to believe in her. But unlike Elsina,, Ivan had a family. His wife, Maria, had been introduced to him by Constantin at a party and they had liked each other instantly. It took him one and a half years to work up the courage to ask her to marry him. She said yes before he could finish the question. She had been waiting for the last six months and she didn’t want to waste anymore time. They had two sons, Vlad and Andre. Ivan wanted the walk the path of the map but he knew his family needed him and so he stayed. He worked and he laughed and he loved and he lived. Slowly, his sons grew up and married and went away. Vlad to America and Andre to the house next door. After that, him and Maria lived quietly, waiting only for their grandchildren that Andre had promised to give them. Then, Maria died. She went quietly in her sleep and Ivan grieved for her but he also thanked God for her painless passing. He could feel the weariness in his own bones and he remembered the map. He dug it out of where he had hid it so many years ago and started down the path. He walked the five thousand steps and shouted out ‘Im ready’ and the bus stop sprang up around him and he marveled at it. Then he sat down and waited. And he waited. And he waited. And he waited some more. But no bus came. Hours, days, months passed and Ivan Drakhov passed away and the bus stop folded in around him.

Andre found his body in the forest, the news of his wife’s pregnancy dying on his lips. He named his son, Ivan. Little Ivan was a peculiar boy. Not peculiar in the sense that he  was again Theophilus Mog. At this point, that comes as no surprise. Clearly something is going on that doesn’t really pay attention to what we would call ‘good sense’. Peculiar as in that he was born and raised in front of a fancy television. He showed no interest in anything else. Except watching TV. He watched every show regardless of what it was about. And that was how his childhood passed. To call it a wasted childhood is to claim upon oneself an understanding of life that can be considered at the very least, presumptuous. Ivan grew up to be a nice enough man. Never very sociable but very knowledgeable about TV listings. He would always even when older, finish his job as a bus driver for the local public transport department, go down to the pub and stare at the screen over his beer. Then, one day, he found the map. It was quite by accident. He was rooting through his grandfather’s old possessions, looking for something he could sell when he saw it there. An old book. He would’ve thrown it away but there was a warmth emanating from it that startled him. He picked it up and skipped through all the boring words, to the very end where he saw the map. And his eyes widened. And his mouth opened so wide, it couldn’t open any wider. He wasted no time. The very next day he walked the 5000 paces and said the words, ‘I’m ready’. He watched the bus stops spring up about him with incredulity and even a nod of appreciation. It was clean. There was so many bus stops that just weren’t worth stopping at. This wasn’t one of them. And he sat down to wait for the bus. But it didn’t come. Finally, an idea struck his head. He ran back to the depot and clambered into one of the vacant buses. Pasternak, the superintendent, ran out and tried to stop him but Ivan was already tearing away. He drove up to his bus stand. Opened up the map and followed the rest of the instructions by himself. He drove and he drove and suddenly he found himself turning a corner into heaven. He could tell by the angelic music and the gigantic white marble gates before him. He honked impatiently and shouted to them to open up! A little time passed and the sound of scurrying was heard from behind the gates and then someone opened a flap at eye level and slipped a small note out. Ivan jumped down from the bus and ran to pick it up. It simply read, ‘IT WAS A METAPHOR, YOU RETARD.’

Theophilus Mog – Chapter Eight

There is an old legend in china about seven brothers who left the country to travel to a far off land and open up a restaurant there and make lots of money. This is the true story. It’s much weirder.

Seven brothers – Tau, Mau, Pau, and four others whose names the parents didn’t even bother thinking of because they knew that they’d only be side characters in this story – were getting very restless in their hometown of Guangzhou. They wanted to gout and seek adventure, scale the horizon, and most importantly, get the hell out of their parents’ house because there was no goddamn space anymore. So they built a boat out of Reed and wood and glue. They packed carefully and optimistically, one of the brothers bringing a small packet of powdered tiger penis. They had heard of a land far away called America. It had been told of in legend that such a land of vast wealth existed and so they set sail for it.

About halfway through the voyage, they realized that maybe building their own boat wasn’t a good idea. It has to be remembered that they didn’t have Google or Lifehacker to help them out. But even if they did, the middle of the ocean wouldn’t be an good place to learn this. They were just about to give up all hope when they saw an island in the distance. They jumped out and swam towards it. One of the unnamed brothers died at this point. The rest reach the island. At first, they’re afraid of what they might find. Their fears are allayed when they realize that the island is absolutely deserted. Nothing but rocks and trees and water. Pure virgin land. They decided to set up their restaurant immediately. Who could argue with their logic? It was a beautiful location.

They decided to call their restaurant, A Place To Eat. (This story works so much better in Chinese.) They made huge plans for a grand opening. They were going to go all out. They started slowly carving up the rocks into giant heads. Finally, after much preparation, the big day came. The grand unveiling of A Place To Eat!

But no one came.

At first, the brothers seemed calm but as time passed they began to blame each other! “Who was it who forgot the secret sauce?”, demanded Tau. No one had an answer. So they hit him instead. All of them died in the ensuing fight. (Don’t ask how.)

Theophilus Mog was their first customer. He died of starvation, complaining loudly of the terrible service the whole time.

(The scientist, philosopher and genius, L. Gomot was later greatly puzzled about the bones that were found on Easter Island. In his own words, “Either the answer is really weird or I don’t understand the question.”)

Suicide Hotline #1

A: (suspiciously) Hello? Who is this?
B: Er. What?
A: (angrily) Who is this? Why are you calling me?
B: (confused) No, sir. You called me.
A: Oh, what? Really? Oh well. Thats fine then.
B: …
A: So whats your name?
B: My name’s Priya. Sir, you do realize you’ve called a suicide hotline?
A: Hell. Have I? Oh, well, thats convenient. Because I’ve been trying to drink myself to death and I’d like to know if you’ve got any tips.
B: Sir.
A: Come on, you must’ve picked up something by now!
B: Why don’t you tell me about why you’re trying to drink yourself to death?
A: …I don’t think I should.
B: Why not, sir? I promise to be understanding.
A: I don’t need understanding. I understand just fine on my own.
B: You can talk to me, sir.
A: Do you watch movies?
B: Yes, I do. I do very little else really.
A: Have you ever had these ideals? These principles that made you better than everybody else? That you promised to never break?
B: I think everyone does sir.
A: And did you break them?
B: This is about you, sir.
A: Oh right. Yeah. Well, I just broke every single one of them last night.
B: What exactly did you do?
A: I just signed a contract to act in a movie.
B: That doesn’t sound too bad.
A: You haven’t heard the plot. A guy moves to mumbai from delhi and falls in love with his neighbour who later turns out to be his sister. Yeah, not kidding. And she’s lesbian. And she then gets kidnapped by a crooked cop to get revenge on their noble father who doesn’t know about her “preferences”. He saves her by killing them all with a toothpick and a rubberband.
B: What really? A rubberband?
A: No, I made that bit up. It would’ve been so much better if that was really there.
B: That sounds slightly familiar. Still, it’s not a reason to want to die. Everyone with half a brain understand that the industry is like that. People just like cheese.
A: Fuck people. I didn’t study acting at fucking NSD to do this shit. Should’ve just stuck to goddamn theatre. Even doing that bit in that serial was such a fucking mistake.
B: Now, now, sir, please don’t get angry. It’s not so-
A: Oh, fuck off. If I wanted my cock sucked, I could just go ask Karan.
B: ..waittt-oh my god. You’re Neil Dattani. ohfuckinggodinheaven. Karan is Karan Johar! Oh god. Who else would throw in that lesbian thing. He’s singlehandedly proving that even homosexuals can be stupid closeminded dicks.
A: Haha!
B: And the serial! I loved you in that. You were the Preethi’s mentally retarded younger brother. That was brilliant. I especially liked how you didn’t feel the need to overdo any part of it. It was just so tasteful. And thats something you can’t say anymore. About anything.
A: Er. Thank-
B: And I even saw you in The Court Is Now In Session. It was indie as fuck but I’ma bit of geek about these things. I never saw any of your plays though. I just wasn’t ever into theatre.
A: Oh right-
B: Which bar did you say you were at?
A: Um. Reeko.
B: I’ll be there in ten. Don’t move. Bye!

Theophilus Mog – Chapter Seven

Not much has ever been written on the secret lives of goats. This is because they don’t have any. For if they did, Theophilus Mog would surely have been part of it during her brief stint as one.

She was born to two small, poor goats in a small, poor goat neighbourhood. She was at her mother’s side for as long as she possibly could be before her owner pulled her away and sold her to a petting zoo. There she gained her first fans, as many young children loved her cheerful nature and her unfocused eyes. Much later, when she became famous, these same loyal fans would curse her for selling out and losing touch with her roots. After which, they logged off and went back to their sad little lives.

From petting zoo, she started getting small roles in various nativity scenes that happened throughout the city. At first, she was placed at the back but soon people started seeing her real worth and she was firmly placed as Goat Number One. She became a household name among carolers and people in the Christmas industry. You could just tell she was destined for big things.

The big break happened in the year 1993. A movie offer from a huge director. This was a huge opportunity. There was not much screen time and no dialogue but her character made a huge impact psychologically, to both the characters in the story and the audience. She grabbed it with both hooves. It was a nerve-wracking experience to be on the set with so many big names. Luckily, her scene went off perfectly. It was widely reported that no one had ever been eaten by a T-Rex with such panache before. Spielberg personally congratulated her on her performance.

She still ended up as mutton biriyani a few years later though.