The Crocodile Cronicles
The Crocodile Cronicles
The brotherly bonding…
Their eyes met and they spent several moments in surreal silence to themselves, each one of them wondering whether the other was ‘real’. After having spent so many agonizing years away from each other, they needed at least a moment to reflect on the times spent apart.
Their web of thoughts was broken by the creaking of the door. A man wearing blue overalls emerged, carrying a tubful of meat chops. All the crocodiles present in the room scurried towards him as he proceeded to toss chunks of meat into their waiting mouths.
The brothers too awaited their share. As they resumed eating, Draco shared with Joyo, the cruel ordeals, the inmates faced there.
Draco contorted his face into a wistful grin, as his mind drifted back, filling him with reminiscences of the past.
Coming to the present, he explained to Joyo that the place was an unlicensed crocodile farm and that their main business was to capture, breed, and sell crocodiles in the black market.
Now, Joyo understood why all the reptiles present there looked so miserable!
Determined to switch to happier topics of conversation, Joyo asked Draco, “Hey brother! Do you remember the times we had fun by the great river?”
Both recollected the days when they lay lazily submerged in the water flicking their tails…swish ….swish!! Draco remembered how they would chase each other in the water and grapple with each other on the warm, soft sand on the banks of Nile.
Meanwhile, Joyo new to the place, surveyed his surroundings. It was minuscule compared to the humongous Nile River he was used to living in. It was painted in cheap yellow which had begun to peel off in flakes here and there. The concrete floor too was chipped in places.
The place also had a small ‘pool’ filled with murky water which emitted a terrible stench. The farm was dark and dingy, which made it next to impossible to see what was right in front. Thus the animals spent major time in complete darkness, as the electrician was too petrified to repair the flimsy light bulb which once dangled from a spot on the ceiling. They were crammed in with lots of other crocs, most of whom had developed severe eye soreness and cramps due to being crowded in together.
Among them, one particular inmate caught Joyo’s attention.
“Who is that?” Joyo asked.
“Oh! He is Vicious Volly, the tormentor of the crocs, harbinger of terror. We call him the ‘BEAST’. He is infamous for terrorizing crocs who try to escape through the flood gates. That’s the reason the owner has kept him there, to prevent any crocs from escaping,” replied a trembling Draco.
A few days later when Joyo was just beginning to settle in reluctantly, he heard a soft, cherubic voice, something unusual to the dreadful place.
“Daddy, who is the new croc… can I see him?”
This was answered by a belligerent grunt…
“No Eric! Those creatures are hostile…one jab from them can hurt you.”
“I told you…NOOO,‘’ replied the adult who was upset then.
“NO…Eric. What part of ‘NO’ did you not understand?”
“But…” the plaintive voice said, his voice trailing off.
Thwack…! Eric got a sharp slap on his face and his soft voice was silenced.
Joyo caught a glimpse of Eric who had tears streaming freely from his eyes, scamper past quickly, trying to hide from everyone the fact that he was crying.
Eric came and sat with his back to the crocodile enclosure railing. Joyo felt sorry for the little figure. He trudged slowly out of his pool and made a soft movement so as not to startle the little boy and crept up behind him.
What would you think when a vicious beast comes up behind you and stares at you like you’re his next meal?
….That’s exactly how little Eric felt when he looked behind. He was petrified to the core. But somehow he felt reassured when he looked into Joyo’s emerald green eyes.
It had soon become an everyday routine for Eric to come and sit facing the crocodile enclosure where Joyo was cooped up. Both wouldn’t move from their places. Gradually an unspoken bond brewed between them unknowingly.
One day, as Eric sat looking at Joyo like every day, he failed to notice that the beast’s cage was open. Sensing an opportunity to devour another victim, Vicious Volly plunged out and…
Will the Vicious Volly succeed in his attempt or will Joyo emerge as the victor…?
[To know how the lives of the characters in the story take a turn, read the last part of THE CROCODILE CHRONICLES! To be uploaded soon]