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Tushar Mandhan



Tushar Mandhan


Psicopatica: Emerald And Topaz

Psicopatica: Emerald And Topaz

7 mins 111 7 mins 111

I was never happy about moving to Psicopatica, the city with a past so horrible that it seemed as if the end of the world has started. An incident so horrible that the sky wept for a week for those who will never pollute the Earth with their breath. An incident that wounded Sangue, the river that swept the city diagonally, so badly that the whole city was flooded with its blood. But I had no option. I had to prepare a research paper on the geography of the city for my project that was supposed to confirm my job in the National Department of Petrology.

I was granted permission by the city authorities and for convenience was provided with a local student, Phoebe Murphy. She had been living in the city for like five years then, as told in the letter sent by them. I packed my luggage and took the bus to Tempesta, a town before Psicopatica as no transport went directly there. From Tempesta, I took the only available transport to the city, a canoe made up of woods that survived the incident. The old man who was helming the boat didn't utter a word once the boat was on the water. The river was still with its deep blue water and its stillness was terrifying.

Once we reached the city, I saw a girl standing on the bank of the river. The dusking sun was complimenting her auburn hair and pale skin. As I stepped out of the boat on the wet sand, she looked at me with her green but mild eyes and said, “You must be Mr. Ryan McTim."

"Yes and you must be Phoebe, right?" I replied. 

"Yup. So how was your trip, sir?" she asked with a hidden smile on her face.

"Ah...It was decent as you see the condition of the boat. And yeah, don't call me sir. I'm just a year senior to you." I replied while the old man left and we started walking to the city.

"Okay, then what should I call you?" she asked, setting her curls behind her ears.

"Ryan will so." I replied and she nodded. I knew that she wanted to say something but she swallowed her words with a whiff.

I followed her. It took us about ten minutes to reach a house at the corner of the street in a suburban neighbourhood. She opened the house and said, “I hope you find it comfortable." I looked around. The house had two rooms and a kitchen with a dining table being the only furniture in the drawing room. There was a kerosene burner in the kitchen with some corroded aluminium utensils. "Seems comfortable to me." I replied in a sarcastic tone.

"Sorry but that's what we could arrange," she replied. I sensed a feeling of guilt in her voice and hence I replied, “I’ll manage. I'm not spending my whole life here."

"You never know, Ryan. You might fall in love with this place." she said. There was something fishy about her tone. I realised she called me by my name for the first time.

"I forgot to tell you that we are going share this house," she added.

"What?" I asked.

"Authorities wanted to help you complete the project as soon as possible. So, they requested me to stay with you, 24*7." she said, while walking to a room and then she closed the door.

I thought she was tired. So, I didn't call her and went to the other room. As I entered the room, I realised that the room contained a mattress, lying in the middle with a blanket kept on it. Yes, there were no pillows. I was also tired, so fell asleep soon after but suddenly; I woke up in the middle of the night due to storm. I was guessing the intensity of the storm from the noises of the thunder and the hailstones when I heard the voice of something falling. I stood up and went out the room.

I found Phoebe standing in the kitchen. She was looking very terrified and I could see her cheeks turn red in embarrassment. The aluminium box which contained sugar slipped off her hands which caused that sound. She said that she was feeling a bit sleepless due to the weather outside and hence decided to have a tea. Fortunately, the box slipped after she had made the tea and hence, the tea was sweet. She made one for me as well.

"So, what are we going to do tomorrow?' I asked her as we were sitting on the adjacent sides on the dining table, sipping tea from our cups.

"We can climb up Mount Invitto and collect some sample from there and then we could study them. Is it fine?" She replied with her eyes fixed on me. It was weird. She had started to behave differently since she entered the house. I mean, during the ten minutes walk to the house, she seemed...Maybe that was because she was shy or she might have difficulty in the opening to people she just met and later on, her comfort level may rise as she gets to know the people, she show her real self. Was she being attracted to me. Okay, I don't know why I thought so but thousand things went in my mind while she was explaining to me the next day's plan. 

"What kinds of rocks are found at Mount Invitto?" I asked her as I thought she might be finding it awkward that she was the one who was talking for last five minutes and I was either staring at her, sipping tea, or nodding to whatever she was saying.

"Oh...Mount Invitto majorly contains two rocks; Rosso and Giallo." she replied. I realised that my question brought a charming smile on her face. I somehow loved that.

"So, what's the difference between..." as I was asking her the light went down and we both screamed. Suddenly, there was complete darkness in the room. The only voices heard were of falling hailstones and lightning. "Ryan, where are you?" she said. This time, there was some sort of innocence in her tone. "I'm right here, with you." I replied while pouncing to reach her hand but due to darkness, I was unable to do so. She somehow found my hands and then she held them tightly in her soft yet powerful hands. She stood up and then slowly sat next to the chair that was kept next to me, though she hit herself twice on the way as I judged from the noises.

" should not be here. This place is not safe." she whispered in my ears. I was petrified. 

"What's wrong?" I asked her.

"Don't ask me, just listen. You must leave tomorrow while it is raining otherwise..." she was telling me but then she put a halt to her words. "I don't know if you'd believe me or not but I knew you before me met today." she added.

"Knew me?...How?" I asked. Phoebe's hands were shaking and she was stammering when she replied, “You know Ryan. You know how."

"When it will rain nectar on Earth, and gold will line the clouds,

When Manticore will break sceptre and its the voice will be loud,

And the red stars will be compelled...." she added. I don't know how but I knew what she was saying.

"....They will know themselves." we both said together and the whole room lighted in golden light due to lightning.

We leaned. I looked into her eyes. I could see venations in them.

"Do you know what I see in your eyes?" she asked me. 

"What?" I asked, moving a strand of her auburn hair behind her ear.

"A landscape covered with topaz." she replied, rubbing her thumb on my cheeks.

"And do you know what I see in your eyes?" I asked her.

"No. What?" she said. Her words were like music to my ears. Her face was shining in the golden light.

"A tree with emerald leaves," I replied.

We came closer, tilted our faces and then we kissed. It seemed as if time has stopped. At that moment, she was not there. I was not there. It was us, just both of us and the never-ending rain.

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