(Back on it once more. After such a lengthy wait, here’s more of my historical work. Hope it’s likable. This is where their relationship starts getting more and more strained, and we will know who is responsible for it too.)
Minakshi put her hand on Ishwari’s shoulder with a sigh. “It’s the life you chose, and it’s the life I chose too. Honestly, it’s not too bad. Now leave me alone, please, I’ve had a hard day as it is.”
They looked each other in the eye again, and she saw Ishwari’s nipples swelling against her blouse, straining painfully as her gaze intensified.
Minakshi backed up a few steps.
Ishwari’s eyes wouldn’t peel away.
She wrapped her arms around her companion’s waist, pulling her closer, and feeling the tender skin around her navel against Minakshi’s own.
“One day,” she breathed dreamily as the other devadasi struggled to break away, reaching for the wall.
She gripped Minakshi’s hair suddenly, quick as a viper, but the latter screamed, strongly pushing the smaller woman away with all her might. She stood erect as Ishwari paced around, hunger and desperation in her dark eyes, nostrils flared and wet from excitement.
“Right, right,” she quickly added, looking down with a quick breath. “I’ll just…I’ll…go now…? Yeah…”
Hastily, the dancer exited the room.
Minakshi, still confused, left too. She would have no peace that night, she knew…
Rising up in a trice, she nearly flung herself out of the bed, the flurry of sheets flapping about her like wings.
Shaking her head a few times, Minakshi sat up in bed, and looked around the room. It was a cloud of pitch darkness, and she tumbled out of bed, groping the air a few times before doing so. Her forehead bled, and suddenly a jolt of memory struck her. It hurt her at first when it shot inside but somehow her son screamed, his own forehead dripping blood.
The crimson liquid was pooling around his feet as he knelt down, crying.
Tears and blood mixed up in a salty red puddle on the floor as the massive hand swooped down, a primal monster with open jaws…
“Mother!! Mother!” Sivapalan sounded frightened. She had forgotten that he was playing in the dance-room. Yet, to her disbelief, his tone began to alter, growing in depth, turning into something alien and menacing.
A familiar voice started to slur something in a drunken rage and the little boy stared, wide-eyed in horror as a familiar pair of eyes glinted with a raptorial sheen…
The loud creak of the front door bolted her senses back into focus.
She walked quickly into the dance-room and spotted Sivapalan. Looking at him, she saw that he looked frightened, possessed almost. Eyes wide, he gripped the periyazh with trembling hands. Now even she had reason to be terrified.
“My son? What’s…what’s wrong with you? Dear are you alright?” He hid his face between the instrument and the wall. A child’s fears, she knew, could either be for the most irrelevant thing or for something so realistic that even the bravest man could be unnerved beyond his limits. Right now she was unable to tell what he was so scared of. “Sivapalan, please!” Reaching out for him, she bent down, but her musical instrument fell with a loud bang and he rushed to another corner of the room.
He quaked with fear.
Never before had she seen such a mask of pure horror on anyone’s face.
Especially when her husband walked into the dance-room.
“What the…is this the sort of time you choose to come home? How long were you going to spend at your soldier friends’ houses anyway? I can’t just stay alone in this house, in this city I…I mean, heaven knows what kind of wretches rule Thanjavur at this hour, I…” She felt like going on and on, but all she got was a stare that was, half vacancy stemming from illness and half dark and hellish cruelty.
He glanced piercingly at her, fixing his stare as if she was his opponent on the battlefield.
“Speak to me! Are you alright?”
He leaned heavily against the wall as she watched his gaze. One minute his eyes were scanning her with deadly bloodlust and the other, at Sivapalan cowering in the corner. Now even she had reason to reach for the walls. But it was like they had achieved a life of their own and strained against the chains of the worldly laws that bound these four walls to their task of protection. Demonic possession held the whole house captive now, it seemed, and she was unable to shake off the feeling.
Minakshi began to circle slowly around the place.
She watched her man as a frightened pariah dog would stalk gently around a large, meaty bone, wondering if the person who held it had a knife behind his back. Every so often, the wetness of saliva flooded her mouth, rolling down her throat as she tried to fight back every instinct to aggravate him. For he certainly looked like he was about to grab something from his sash.