Chapter 4 || Where is Sam?


Kekat took her last breath, spreading a wave of silence across the room. Everyone’s eyes were teary, a dismal vibe sprawled within the four walls of the crude shanty. Halley couldn't take it anymore, she ran outside wiping her tears. “ What have we done? If only we could understand her suffering, we would have let her pass away in peace. Oh God! I’m a terrible person”, she sobbed. Her brother, who had followed her out of the house, tried consoling, “ It’s okay. We wanted some answers, she was the only person who knew them. Our previous question still stands unanswered. Where did our mom go?” “ I will show you Kekat’s diary, she must have mentioned something there. Come with me.”, said the old gentleman after he overheard them. He guided them across the room and handed over Kekat’s daily journal to the siblings.

It was dusk, coloring the sky with wonderful shades of yellow and orange. Immediately upon reaching home, Halley ran up to the library, her reading den. She settled herself on the beanbag and started shuffling through the pages of Kekat’s book. Whereas, Harry who did not know how to process the trauma he had experienced went back to being a couch potato and playing games. While he was almost destroying the buttons on his joystick, his sister made sure to read every word Kekat had written. The journal held stories from her past as well as present. Kekat was a pretty eloquent writer, but her language was dark and depressing. Apparently, Kekat was really ill for a long time, death had knocked on her door quite a number of times but still she had a strong will to complete what she called “her work” in her writings. Also, she had written a mysterious statement about the tremors. It read, “ My heart aches for the people who lose someone close to them when each tremor occurs in Tempus.” This statement didn’t make any sense because tremors were a common thing for the people of Tempus. A tremor was never a reason for someone’s death, according to the statistics. Halley was puzzled. However, none of her recent entries mentioned anything about Samantha. “ Harry, let’s return this journal when we go to the funeral. It’s useless. There are entries about tremors here but nothing about these mysterious disappearances.” “ Fine, we'll return it tomorrow.”, he replied.

The next morning after the funeral, Halley started searching for the old gentleman to return Kekat’s diary. Suddenly, the ground shook! Everyone stood there silently. Ah, it was just a regular tremor. Although, this tremor altered Halley’s previous decision. She decided to keep the journal. “ I was just reading about tremors last night, and it actually happened today. Maybe it’s an indication that I should keep this journal.”, she thought to herself.

“Ah! Another tremor just like usual.”, said Samantha. Chris’s face showed a shade of disappointment after hearing this. He asked, “ You know they happen for a reason right?” “ Obviously! Tempus is prone to them. It’s a geographical phenomenon relating to some faults in the tectonic plates. I guess. But they aren’t really severe.”, Sam replied. Chris was taken aback by her reply. “ Even though that is a scientific reason, these specific tremors are something beyond that. I thought you knew things but you clearly don’t. Ugh where should I start?”, he said with frustration piling up in speech. “ This is going to be shocking for you. But I will try to make it smooth.”, he started explaining. “ Look the town you present in right now isn’t actually the one you think it is. This place is actually completely different. Although this Tempus looks exactly like your Tempus, it isn’t the same. You see, there’s absolutely no negativity here, no crime, no robbery, no pain and suffering. Like you must have noticed before, there are no police stations, firehouses or hospitals. But don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a parallel universe or anything like that. Do you understand now?”


Author ~ Pranoti Abhyankar

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