A short story on goings on in December...or...
|He went out and rushed back in.
“Guys, you won’t believe this!”
Junaid groaned. “Now what?”
Anand ignored the tone. “You realize how long we’ve been cooped up inside right? You all know what month this is?”
Lohit looked up with interest. His mind went back to his three break ups. There was something about December. Things always brightened that month.
“We’ve really been here that long?” he enquired though he knew the answer.
Anand seemed as chirpy as ever.
“You know what this means right?”
Junaid responded in his usual dry manner. “A Long December?”
Anand smiled. “No, you idiot. It means that we are free to go out. They don’t come out now.”
Junaid was not to be dissuaded from his mood. “How do we know for sure?”
Lohit now took more interest. “Anand is right. If you think about it, we’ve never seen them during this time.”
Junaid shrugged and said nothing.
Anand had renewed vigor from the verbal support that Lohit seemed to be offering.
“If we can get past this month, we are all safe until we get back to December,” he stated and for once Junaid nodded, though with some reluctance.
The three opened the curtain and peered out. The street was empty. Even the birds had paused their incessant conversations to drink in the peace.
Lohit and Anand were convinced it was okay to go out. Junaid wasn’t so sure. He had been taken once and he had had to suffer for a whole year with that infernal woman.
“I can’t believe we’re the only three men left on this damn planet!” he exclaimed; painful memories built into his voice.
Lohit looked at him. “Well, you can’t really blame them. How else are we to regenerate and procreate?”
Junaid grunted. “I’d rather we all just fizzle out. I pray for a permanent December.”
Anand and Lohit exchanged glances. They knew the trauma their friend had endured. Somehow, they had escaped every year with this neat trick of locking themselves up in an effective manner.
The women were not bad. They only wanted children. It’s not that they were desperate for the last three males on the planet. But, for the three of them, it meant having to stay a full year with a woman and do her bidding without question or even a hint of revolt. Punishment for such dissonance was swift and severe.
The freezing winds in December meant that the men had a free rein of the outside world. They could roam around freely and not be the unwitting partner in another reproductive endeavor.
Junaid had a son who was a few years old now, but he never saw the boy. He never asked either as slaves don’t get to ask questions.
“What day is it anyway?” he enquired, hoping in his heart that month had barely begun.
Anand’s face fell a bit.
“It’s almost the end of the month. We don’t have much time to enjoy our freedom.”
Lohit was all business. “Let’s not waste time boys. We need to get out and have a good time.”
Junaid hung back a bit and let his friends walk out of the door.
No freezing wind hit their face and the clouds had cleared.
Lohit gave a puzzled look as he surveyed the sky.
“Something is not right. I can see the sun in late December.” The worry was palpable in his voice.
Around them, hungry eyes devoured them. One by one, the women emerged. The men were trapped! They turned back but it was too late. Their path back had been cut off by three women. A brief look of sympathy appeared on one of their faces, or so Anand thought. It passed in an instant and the glacial features took over.
As he was bodily heaved away, Lohit’s mind was still wondering as to how they could have miscalculated the month so badly.
Junaid hadn’t quite made it out of the door. With no semblance of loyalty for his friends, he slammed the door shut as the house shimmered and disappeared leaving two men stranded amongst an army of giant women.
He felt sorry for Anand and Lohit but he couldn’t deal with another year of slavery.
He rationalized that they would be fine and none the worse for the wear. He would see them next year, joining him in involuntary fatherhood.
An almost extinct race would live on.