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by Dreamy

Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

A/N: This is a translation of a short story originally written in Tamil language by a very famous Tamil writer Jayamohan. I take credit only for the translation. Reviews on grammar and the flow of the story is welcomed and highly appreciated.  

There was no sun in the sky; it appeared as thought a glass bowl was flipped upside down, so clear. How was it lit up so bright was a mystery. There was girl with him. His heart was desperately beating to see her face. But every time he turned to look at her, she looked the other way. They didn’t speak. The bright yellow saree that she wore raised a soft ruffling sound as she walked, and the smell of her body kept all of his sense under arrest. The scenario increased the desperation in him. There were no tress as far as he could see. Like a desert, the landscape stretched like waves. It wasn’t sand that covered the surface but red mud; her and there were potholes, illuminated by the sky. It was exciting to him that the woman was walking with him but who was she? Yet he didn’t speak to her since he doubted that she could be a dream. Secondly, the desert-like place had no sound. The quietness wasn’t deafening though, it just appeared normal to the place.

He didn’t understand why he was walking in the directionless place. It wasn’t decided where he was going to go, but his heart didn’t care about it. He walked fast yet steadily. The fact that she was walking alongside him gave enough meaning to change his walking style.

Late, anxiety slowly got hold of him How will he get back from this directionless, sign-less place? Scared, he looked around. He realised that she was scared too. He thought he’ll lose his life if he got lost here. He looked around as his heart beat fast. The muddy path they walked in had their foot prints, spindling like a long chain. He felt relieved at once. The foot of the hill was much brighter and so he decided to go there. He believed that the foot prints will follow him to any distance. Confidence and courage illuminated his heart.

He realised that the sky was losing its light slowly. The landscape was getting darker too. The wind was getting colder. The women’s warm breath touched his shoulder; her body emitted warmness.

He saw an old house at a distance. The roof of the house was dilapidated. Tentatively, his legs took him to the house. The front door was closed shut with mud; shattered, and dust were everywhere. He climbed from the side of the house and entered, breaking the spider webs as he moved forward to the living room. She stood outside.

The spider-web was spindled from wall to wall in the mysterious room giving it a closed feel. He tore them apart and walked forward. There was a wooden book cupboard. He forced opened the door. It was dark inside. Dust filled his nose. His eyes after adjusting to the darkness noticed that the cupboard was covered with books that were almost destroyed by bookworms. He stood looking at the books as shiver passed his body. Later, he looked through the books, slowly moving them one by one. The books were of a man’s height and leather bound. He noticed a man’s head while moving the books. He thought he was living a worst dream. But he was able to touch the head, he was able to see it clearly. He was able to see the body as he moved the books: slim shoulders and chest prominent with bones. The body was pressed in-between the books, thinned, lifeless. He touched the body. Fear struck his underbelly. The body was warm, it had life. He bent down and looked closer. A scream tore through his stomach and out his throat. The man was looking at him, expressionless.

Screaming- there was no sound- he came out of the room and leaped out. He realised he was in the kitchen. First, he saw that the walls of the room was covered with dust with no human movement, resembling a secret room in a palace, he thought. Later, he saw bloody-red, shinning like waves, on the wall. The room appeared as if it was on fire. He saw a stove burning at the corner of the room. The fire in the stove was wavering, soundless. He saw a human-like figure sitting in front of it. He was so frightened that he was not surprised on seeing the figure. With his cold burdened legs, approached the figure.

It was a woman-like figure made out of wood. The hair was in the colour of sand and appeared like a bunch of root placed on its stead. The wooden figure was balancing on the ground with one hand. The other hand was folded. Some parts of the figure appeared decayed and some eaten by pests. Curious to see its face, he moved forward. He bent down a bit and looked at it. Cold shivers ran through his body again. The women-like figure was bawling. He shrugged his body rashly and walked backwards. Claaannng! The vessel fell from the stove and rolled on the floor. He clutched to the wall. After the water spilled out of the vessel, a small hand fell out. Petrified, he observed. He doubted if he was still breathing. Inside the vessel, half-cooked, pale skin peeling, were two small children.

He believed his legs disconnected from his body. He couldn’t stand. He believed he won’t be able to get up, at all, if he fell down. He felt like his head was bursting, he realised his body was hot yet shivered, sweating profusely. He up his entire body weight on the wall. For a few seconds he could only hear his heart beat. Later, he felt like heavy voltage of electricity being passed through his manhood and on his forehead. The wall became soft as skin and was warm and alive. His fingers ran through the all, mapping the protruding body parts. Only after looking closer, did he realised that the wall was covered with hundreds of faces. The building was built with human faces instead of bricks. He saw hundreds of eyelashes move, and all the twinkling eyes were on him.

Suddenly, a new kind of rush passed through his body. There was no sound as started running and screaming. He felt like he has been running for a long time. He was breathless, he hit walls, he tripped and fell and got up and ran faster. Every single atom in hi body was burning and he was soaked in sweat as he came to the living room. The place where she was standing was empty. Outside, it rained, merging the sky and the land.

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146 Reviews

Points: 8900
Reviews: 146

Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:16 am
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LittleLee wrote a review...

Hey there, Lee's here for a review!!!
Firstly, I'd like to start by saying that the story is pretty interesting, although the opening is a little random. I won't talk much about the plot, since it's another writer's work. And I can see you've done a decent job translating the story, but allow me to be a bit critical!
I'll do this by each paragraph.
1. You misspelled "though" as "thought". Probably a typing error, but be careful!
The main problems here are grammar and punctuation. The sentences seem to have been automatically translated.
You wrote "sense" instead of "senses".
"Trees" was misspelled as "tress". Two very different things, but again, I think you did that by accident.
You forgot the last "e" in "here".
I think instead of "raised", you can just say "made". I'll just rewrite the first paragraph so you can see how the diction, punctuation and grammar can be improved.

"There was no sun in the sky; it looked as though a clear glass bowl had been flipped upside down. How it was lit so brightly was a mystery.
There was a girl with him. His heart beat desperately to see her face, but every time he turned to look at her, she looked the other way. The bright yellow saree that she wore caused a soft ruffling sound as she walked, and the smell of her body arrested his senses. The scene around increased his feeling's intensity. There were no trees as far as he could see. The landscape seemed to ripple with waves, like a desert. But red mud that covered the ground, not sand; scattered here and there were potholes, illuminated by the pale sky. It excited him that the woman was walking with him, but he had no idea who she was. The reason he walked in silence was because he was worried she was just a dream.
There was absolute silence in the desert; he could here nothing as they walked meaninglessly."

No offence, but this really needs to be looked at properly. The story is rendered vague and difficult to follow because of simple errors and weak sentences. I think there's a lot of scope for improvement, and sincerely hope you edit the translated story once again. I think that translating each individual sentence is not a good idea, so read the story and morph each paragraph into English using your own words and separate understanding. I had to go over the whole thing several times to get what was going on.

I'm sorry if the review was a little critical, but I think justice needs to be done to a gripping story like this one. And perhaps you should put up a link where people can go read other versions to understand the story better?
Lee out.

Dreamy says...

Thank you for the review. I agree and I'm sorry of the typos were annoying, I recently printed out the story to go through I found all the mistakes but forgot to update it here.

Thank you for taking time to read and review this. Much appreciated. :D

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91 Reviews

Points: 1925
Reviews: 91

Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:43 am
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dahlia58 wrote a review...

This is one of the scariest short stories I've ever read in my whole life. And it's written originally in Tamil? Amazing, you've managed to translate it so well. I cannot read Tamil myself, but as a fellow translator, I know a good translation when I see one. You've done a great job. Just one thing...There's a spelling error in the line starting with "Every atom..." The "his" is mistyped as "hi."

I'm glad I read this story a week before Halloween.

Dreamy says...

I'm super glad you enjoyed the story. Thank for leaving a review. :D

The words you speak become the house you live in.
— Hafiz