Friday, 26 July 2013

Overturn - a short story (my next level of experimentation)

How did I end up writing this story?
On January 11, 2013, I sat down to write an experimental story. I wanted to write something 'out of the box' and I ended up with this story 'Overturn'. The initial draft had many plot holes and I corrected those in this version just to give the reader the reading flow. It's just a try and I don't know how far it remains enjoyable, rather I could say understandable. Do share your views after reading this story so that I'll get to know how my experiment worked. 

Sequel plans?
There is surely a sequel and I have not yet started my work on it. I'm thinking for yet another 'out of the box' type of narration for the sequel which I hope I'll be doing it soon. 

Genre
Thriller / Mystery

OVERTURN

For every ending there is a beginning. For example, while watching a movie, people are anxious about how it ends and they care a little about the way it began. Likewise, at the end of a day, people remember a little about how their day began. It’s not necessary for everyone to remember what they did on their fifth birthday or what color dress they wore last Sunday. The thoughts start to fade as the time moves forward, solely focused on the ending than the beginning. But it is not necessary that every ending should have a beginning. If that’s not true, then let me put on this question - Where does an endless loop end? It’s highly impossible to answer the question as the loop has no end. There was a time when a man’s life was cursed. The time was switched backwards creating an endless loop and he was forced to survive in the loop. There was no way for him to escape it. 

-Cell phone beep-
He opened his eyes and the cell phone was placed next to him on his bed. He looked at the screen. The message ‘Good night’ flashed on the screen. He looked at the time. It was 10 pm. He took his cell phone in his hand and typed ‘G-o-o-d-n-i-g-h-t’, and sent the message. His cell phone buzzed again. He looked at the display. The message read ‘Ok, I’m feeling sleepy. I should sleep now.’ He typed ‘Ok, sleep well’ and sent it. The cell phone buzzed once again. It was another message and it read ‘Hey, did you have your dinner?’ He looked at the time. It was 9.50 pm. He sat there on the bed frozen. The second hand on the clock ticked backwards.
Cell phone buzzed.
A message received.
Time was 9.40 pm.
The message read, ‘How did your day go?’
Cell phone buzzed.
A message received.
Time was 9.10 pm.
It went on till 8.30 pm. He got up from his bed as he started to feel hungry. He walked to the dining room and opened the refrigerator. There was no food left there. He looked at the dining table and it had empty utensils. 

‘What’s that? I’m unable to figure out… Let me look closer. 
Hey brother, could you just move your ass a little. 
Ah! That’s… B-a-c-o-n-c-h-e-e-s-e-b-u-r-g-e-r… 
Bacon Cheeseburger, what happened to my eye sight? C-a-r-a-m…’
‘What’s your order, sir?’ 
The Burger Shop - 8.00 pm
‘I would like to have Bacon Cheeseburger and Caramel Apple shake.’ 
‘Your order would be ready in ten minutes. Please be seated over there,’ the billing guy said pointing to an empty table.
7.50 pm
He walked to the bill counter and asked the billing guy, ‘is my order ready?’ 
‘Sorry sir, what did you order, sir?’ 
‘Bacon Cheeseburger and Caramel Apple shake.’ 
The guy at the shop verified with the bills he had in his hand. He then replied, ‘sorry sir, there is no such order placed.’ 
‘What the ....!’ he thought. He then looked at his watch. The clock was ticking backwards and it was 7.50, and that was ten minutes before eight. 
‘Sir, are you going to place your order?’ 
‘Ah! Yeah! Give me the Cheeseburger.’ 
‘One Bacon Cheeseburger,’ the billing guy said aloud. He then said, ‘just wait for five minutes sir. Your order will be ready.’
7.42 pm
‘Where’s my burger?’ he asked the billing guy.
‘Yes sir, welcome to the burger shop. What’s your order, sir?’ 
‘Damn it! God damn it! This is hell,’ he thought and then he asked the billing guy, ‘one red bull, quick.’ 

He threw the empty red bull can into the garbage can and walked along the avenue.
7.30 pm
His watch was ticking backward. ‘God damn it! What’s happening with me?’ he said to himself. 
19:30:00  'They are watching,’a lady voice spoke from behind shattered his senses. He turned back to 
19:30:20   look at her. She was a young lady in her mid twenties sporting brown hair and she had blue eyes.
19:30:36  ‘Who are you?’ he asked looking at her.
19:30:48  ‘It doesn’t matter who I am. All you need to know is they are watching,’ she replied.
19:31:00  ‘What the hell is happening with me?’ 
19:30:58   She dropped a piece of paper into his pocket. 
19:30:40  ‘What’s this?’ 
19:30:21   Without saying a word she turned back and walked away. He stood there holding the paper
19:30:00   and when he looked at the paper he found there's something written in it. It was a code. 

What happened to me? Who is watching me? I feel like I know everything but the problem is I remember nothing. Where am I? What’s this sound?

The next station is Station 24. Platform is towards the right side
Wake up, they have made the announcement. You have to get down at the next station. Wake up!
Brakes applied… Eyes Open
6.30 pm
He opened his eyes and found himself asleep in the train. He rubbed his eyes and walked to the door. The doors were opened and he got down at Station 24. The train departed from the station and he walked to the exit. 
What am I supposed to do now? He looked around. There was a coffee shop. He then looked at his watch. 
6.20 pm
The coffee shop wasn’t crowded. There were five empty tables and he chose the corner one. He took out the note from his pocket. MzA0NzM1NDEyMw== what’s this? Being a cryptologist, he began to think of decryption techniques. He started with the basic mapping of numbers with the alphabets. It ended in confusion. He tried several methods. Finally he ended up with Base64 decryption technique. The result was 3047354123, a telephone number. He took out his cell phone and looked at the display. The battery was 50% and the signal was full. He dialed the number.
Ringing…
Ringing…
Picked up.
‘Uh, hello…?’ he said as the person picked up the call.
‘Hello,’ the voice from the other side spoke. 
There was a brief pause from both the ends. Later, the call was cut.
5.00 pm
He redialed the number. The number got connected and it was ringing. 
Ringing…
Ringing…
Ringing…
Picked up.
‘Hey, hey, don’t hang up,’ he said. 
‘Who is this?’ the person from the other side replied.
‘Who are you?’ he asked. 
Call hung up!
‘Hello… Hello… Hello…’ 
He looked at the display. The call was cut. He looked at the right corner of the display. The reception was full. He looked at the contacts in his cell phone. There were none. He browsed through the cell phone contents. Everything was empty. The phone appeared to be reset. He then walked back home.

I remember my name, I remember who I am but what I don't understand is why the time is running backwards? If the time is switched backwards then why everything around me appears normal? What’s happening with me? 
2.00 pm
The thoughts kept running in his mind as he lay down on the bed in his room. His thoughts slowly faded as he began to sleep.

-Cell phone ringing-
The ring of the cell phone shook him up from his sleep. He wiped his face and took the phone in his hand. He looked at the display. It was call from a number. He picked it up.
2.00 am
‘You got 4 hours to survive. Find me before I do.’
Call hung up!
He looked at the call list. The call was received from the number which he had dialed before from the coffee shop. He took out the paper from his pocket to verify the number and it was exactly the same. He was left in a panicked state not knowing what to do. He then opened his computer and started tracing the location of the phone number. He saw a red dot moving across the screen and that red dot was the location of the caller. As he stared at the dot, he fell asleep.

-Beep sound buzzing aloud-
10.10 pm
The sound shook him off from his sleep. Looking at the computer screen he found the red dot moving closer to his residence. The red dot turned bigger and bigger, and suddenly he heard someone unlocking the front door. He rushed to the front door and saw someone entering the house. He first spotted the legs, then he saw the man holding a gun, then he saw his shirt and then when he saw the face of the man he was stunned. It was him, his look alike. He then saw his look alike pointing the gun at him and say, 'I told you to find me before I do. Now I have no other option left than killing you.' 
Gun cocked!
Gun shot!
10.00 pm

Written by Ashwin Kumar

12 comments:

  1. Sorry, I don't understand what happened at all. Why was time running backwards?

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    Replies
    1. the reason will be explained in the sequel.

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    2. Oh, sorry. I thought this was the entire short story. :-)

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    3. haha.. no, there's a sequel on the way ;)

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  2. wow.. just wow..! am stunned with this story.. reminds me of watching some movies. :)

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    Replies
    1. thanks Rat ;)
      did you find confusion at any point in the narration?

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    2. well i did wonder.. if his time supposed to run backwards why his watch ticking normal for a minute when he was talking to that strange woman? and also if he met that woman at 7.30pm how come he found the slip in his pocket by 6.20 itself and made that call? ah am bit confused now i guess. :( but its like a sci-fi movie.. well a mixture of some movies. :P
      i dono if i get the story right but to me it was like... the future kills the confused past and survives in the present. like a time travel.. hmm anyways looking forward the sequel or prequel to unveil the secrets beyond all this commotion ;)

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    3. haha.. you've analyzed things in deep.. actually i penned this story considering only this - 'yesterday you have lived your life. so you'll be filling the previous day's void. when you experience a time switch suddenly and travel back in time you meet your past version at one stage and from there only one can cross the loop to enter the next level'.. :P
      i didn't consider those time travel and other things. this is just and experiment ! :P

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    4. here in this story only the time has switched backwards... the point where he talks with the girl the time moves forward only when the girl replies him (go back and verify it).. so that's the turning point which comes in the sequel..

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    5. everything he experiences seems like its moving forward except the time which is switched backwards.. that's the concept i handled

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    6. oh my.. o.O
      i haven't thought deep but its you... anyways i loved this concept of time moving back.. :P

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