posted in: Short Story - English | 1

When Jack was around three, his father sent him to a percussionist, to evoke a taste for the beats that rise from the heart. But to the opposite, the little boy considered it just as a mere toy he could play around with when his other tantrum is over. The father sighed when he understood his son isn’t musically blessed.

The boy grew up sucking milk, eating pounds of chicken. When he crossed the threshold of boyhood, his mother tried to inflict in him again the seeds of music.

‘Why don’t you try strings?’

His silence persuaded them to buy a guitar and arrange a tutor for him, who comes to teach on an hourly basis, 100 rs/hour, at home.
The Spanish guitar was heavy for his thin structure. Yet he tried to hold the guitar properly; learn how chords are strummed and notes are plucked. Those sounds were never musical to his ears, even though it delighted his parents and garnered attention from neighbors.
Whenever he was alone with the instrument, the strings whispered to him to give up as he’s not ready for it.

So, the guitar got dumped in that dusty cupboard upstairs where spiders started a new colony inside it.

Without any remorse, he donated the guitar to the school before leaving for college.
The parents blamed him harshly for if he gives up everything, he’s never going to achieve anything in life.
The boy shut the door and spent his time playing video games.
One day he was alone in the house since his family left for one of the outdoor events that he never cared to go to.

He was switching through the T.V channels one by one when he came across a jukebox program that features the song anyone requests for by calling.

Never thought he ever that moment would change his life forever.
Even though he wished to change for the live cricket match, something inside him, compelled him to wait and see which song is about to play.
Some random viewers choose a track from the program before the time runs out.
‘Thank you for calling. Your song is about to play in three, two, one…’

The house shook in the euphoric explosive music.
Punchy bass lines with layered drum beats rumbled the house from its base.
Window panes shivered in the sound, while the boy stood wonder-struck and didn’t have a clue how to respond to a sudden upheaval emotion he’s experiencing inside his body.
With electrifying riffs and groovy rhythm, a tall handsome hunk with a tattooed body sang his hearts out in a crispy voice that caused a hypnotic concussion in the boy.
The T.V portrayed the escapade of the band in an old 60 Chevy Impala while the cops chased them over to prevent their route.
Venomous vipers, thorny cactuses, and how the car drifted past the cops in that sizzling hot desert, rolled before him, and in the last ticking moments of the music, they raced towards a barricade and exploded into a giant cloud of smoke.
This moved the boy like nothing else. With dilated pupils, he watched the whole music video, shaken from his core.
The music opened a door to a strange world that he had never been to.
He felt one among that band crew with them in their car.
Now every time he switched on the T.V, he prayed for the song to be featured once again.
But the song never got picked up again by anyone in the jukebox.
And neither the name ever got registered in his memory cell.
His memories were mounted by fallen leaves in the autumn.

Seasons reoriented and blossomed. Jack entered his sweet seventeen.
He realized a birth of void, growing inside him.
And he tried in vain to fill those depressions, meeting girls in the local park, pretending in love with them and making love with their soul, but nothing completely satiated him.
He craved desperately to find back his lost peace.
That was the time when he met a fancy guitar of his roommate. Alone in the room, they started conversing over many things that nobody ever cared to listen to him.
Not even his ex-girlfriends.
He desired to fit in between the musical notes, live within the melodies to escape a world that’s never built perfectly for him.
They laughed out loud numerous times, and finally, when she allowed for more, he took her by the arms, caressed her curves, and held her tightly, and pecked her on the strings, losing time and space.
They fell in love. And they had a romantic relationship that any instrument in this world wishes to have, smitten by an aspiring musician who truly loves her.
Forgotten about everything and delved into the world of music, he explored all styles, genres, and music that made his mind blown with her.
Each piece of music was a tiny universe for him. And he traveled everywhere with her.
And gradually he started to rise back when the music started to fill the void, the deep dents inside him.

Just like that time unfolds; when one day he was called up for a gig at the local club. With the guitar lying on the backseat, he was driving his car to the club listening to the latest jams from the station.
And the radio jockey spoke, ‘ Now let’s hear one of your favorite songs of all time …’
The caller said ‘ This is a song that I missed listening to during my childhood…I used to hear it a lot in my room.’
Jack was whistling a tune ramming on the steering wheel as the car hit a bump in the road, shaking the radio disrupting the frequency.
He hit the device a couple of times on its head until the frequency returned to the radio station.
‘Okay friend. Thanks for calling the jukebox 94.5. Let’s listen to this old classic song from yesteryear. And this is a favorite of all 90s born. Here it goes…’.

Flashbacks spurred like picture frames going back in time, as his pupils dilated when a strange wave of nostalgia peaked in his mind when he started listening to the music just played out from the radio.

Somewhere deep in the depressions of the inner layer of his mind, he went inside and tried to dig the memories back one by one with a weary shovel.
He remembered the electrifying high sounds of the guitar, the strong heavy voice of the leading singer, and the kick-ass drum beats that created a mental convulsion when he was a boy.
He reminisced about the lost song and the captivating visuals revolved in the back of his brain.
Jack begins to perspire.
Never been so satisfied like that before as he forgot everything around him and was immersed in that musicality, eyes filling with a raging joy, the same euphoric feeling he felt when he first heard the song.
He took his sunshades from the inner cabin and wore it over his face, jamming like a rock-star, involuntarily circled the volume meter to the maximum, and shifted the gears.
As if waken from a dead sleep, he couldn’t believe his guts.
‘Where are we heading brother ?’ a strong hoarse voice asked him from his peer seat.
He got startled at once to see the leading singer from the band sitting next to him sipping from a beer can, carelessly looking through the road while other members sat behind them.
Jack looked at the man. With long hair and tattoos, wearing a torso, he sat there with a huge level of machismo.
‘let’s go to the club at the beach-side’ Jack said to him.
‘Right on.’
He raised a beer can to him and toasted it.
As he was about to stop for a red light, he saw a couple of cars following them from behind.
‘Oh jeez. We are sketched!’ ‘Burn out brother. It’s the cops’
Jack who looked into the rear-view mirror, to see two police cars roaring the siren following their trail.
‘I hope we are safe as long as we are on move.’
‘YEAH!’ Others roared from the rear seat.
Shifting the gear to the sixth he pressed the pedal down, revved up the engine.
Drifting past many cars upfront, it raced on the highway, while the police vehicles followed with sirens fully alarmed.
Whizzing through the road, he looked at them all. They seem excited with a strange pulse of beats, enjoying his drive with their music played out loud.
By the time his gaze anchored at the road, he saw at the far end a massive construction block upfront waiting for them to meet.
His senses were frozen and when he looked for help from his mates, he saw nobody in his car.
Not even the slightest sign of them. He screamed out loud when he thrashed himself into the blockage exploding into rounded clouds of smoke and fire.
And Jack was still burning alive until the last beat of the music was played over in his car.
When the police inspected the scene, they found everything melted from fire except for a crumpled beer can from the front seat.
They reported and closed the case as an accident due to drunken rash driving.

Name : Aswin Melepatt
Company : Mozanta Technologies

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