Photo: Joel Filipe / Unsplash
Photo: Joel Filipe / Unsplash


A short story

Over the last few days of that tortuous journey our boatman developed a taste for human flesh. He hid the old man's carcass under a tarpaulin. It was to save the flesh from getting soaked in rain. Poor man! He would have died anyway if he had stayed back home. Would have been killed by the blood purifiers: the army, the angry Mogs. Worse, his own folk were eating his flesh now.

I remember things in pieces. I cannot tell you for sure if Yunus killed the old man. Or he had died of hunger. But he was starving for weeks. So was I. We were lost in a watery wilderness weeks ago. Our engine broke. Our food depleted. Our clothes rotted in the heat and rain. And one day we saw the sun rising behind us. But we told ourselves that we must sail towards it. Not away from it. We realised that death was crawling into our boat. So, one by one, all the passengers died. Starving. Except the three of us.

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Himal Southasian