In order for this post to make sense please read In Another City I had taken to Coffee and On that beach I left Nitaya from the book.
Many of my patient readers have asked me – what was going on in the last post? Was the narrator delusional? Did she see ghosts? What was the deal with the table? What was the Russian name doing in between? Did she kill him?
I still have to decide whether the protagonist is a delusional murderer or is there another story but I will try and make the rest of it clear to you –
She is sitting in a cafe reading War and Peace. The cafe is in the open and is fairly deserted. She is sitting in a corner. The cafe has wooden tables. People sometimes doodle on wooden tables – names, numbers, cartoons etc.
When she lifts her cup she sees a hello written on the table. Now she is very happy that she spoke to a handsome boy in the library from where she borrowed the book, and between reading aloud War and Peace and having her coffee she happily starts to talk to the stranger who she thinks would have engraved the hello upon which her coffee mug is placed.
But when she picks up her coffee mug again the hello is not there on the table. The person who wrote that hello is a beautiful stranger in a far away city and in some magical way he has heard her quote Tolstoy and he begins to converse with her via the table by scribing/etching/engraving on it. Everytime she touches the words they disappear, this is one of the ways he knows she has read them. Magic magic !
So they set a date to meet which takes her to a new city ( I had Santorini islands in mind) and then they have fun and stuff.
And she is just telling us how they had fun and stuff , what they did etc etc. In her telling of the love tale the reader goes with her to places – the sea shore, the terraced cafes etc etc and thus the reader ends up in the final scene.
Here the reader sees the beautiful man reading out Crime and Punishment to her. The line he quotes is of special significance – do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn?
As he speaks these lines, the cook serves them with green sauced pasta. The color green triggers the repressed memory of Nitaya. And the quote from the book triggers a string of remembrances. The quote is very important here because literally it means that she had nowhere to turn to when she got locked in that cursed( probably cursed) house. Or it could mean that the entire story of Nitaya was her creation to escape from something ( something terrible that happened to her in her childhood perhaps, too cliched?), Nitaya was an escape when she had nowhere to turn to.
In the last part when she walks in to that old house, I had imagined it as her literally walking into her past, literally stepping into her past. Imagine visiting your childhood home or colony and imagine seeing your old self there.
Here again she is living in the past with the beautiful man till the cook interjects and tells the reader that he is already dead. He tells that he was found dead on a sea shore with a book in his hand a month ago. He also says that he was a beautiful man.
One could perceive the last line to be her confession of his murder.
I am open to any alternate suggestions for the madness of her mind. Apparently there are only so many ways one can innovate in the horror/mystery genre. I want to try something new, a new reason for her being a killer rather the obvious cliched ones – troubled childhood, abused childhood, evil possession, witch, haunted object, ghost narrator etc.
Dear reader if you have read an unconventional horror story/movie or if you have an out of the box idea do share it in the comments below.