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The Orphic Bracelet
The Orphic Bracelet
★★★★★

© Pradeep kumar Proddaturi

Fantasy Thriller

11 Minutes   18.5K    153


Content Ranking

24th December


At 5 in the morning, Gayatri wakes up to ‘Edith Piaf’s - Non, Je ne regrette rein’ which has been her wake up tune ever since she watchedInception. The 1960’s French song which translates into “No, I do not regret anything” reminds Gayatri every morning not to regret even a wee bit.


Chilly breeze on her cheeks, warm cup of tea in her hands, her favorite music in her ears, pleasant smile on her face; “I just love winter mornings!” Gayatri whispered.


An MBA from FMS Delhi, Gayatri works for a multinational management consultancy firm.


“she walks like she don’t care, walking on imported air…” Gayatri sings aloud the songMaria by Blondie as she walks by the Swan Park on her way to work. Her workplace is just 3 kms away from her home. She makes it a point to walk all the way to work during winters so she can enjoy music on her way to work and back home.


Right at the entrance stood a huge Christmas tree filled with gifts all around it. The Secret Santa organizing team, standing at the entrance, reminded everyone to put their gifts near the Christmas tree. Gayatri reaches out for the gift she bought yesterday, quickly writes a name of her colleague on it and puts it next to the Christmas tree.


“Hey Sud!” Gayatri greets her colleague Suddasatwa Sanyal who sits right next to her.


“Hello Miss Winter Mornings! Are you done with the ritual?” replies Sud, still looking at his computer monitor filled with stock market statistics.


It did not take Gayatri long to understand what Sud was referring to. It’s Secret Santa event.


Gayatri didn’t even bother to reply and started her mailbox routine.


The day passed by very quickly with interesting events, contests and greetings. At 5 pm, the Secret Santa team dressed as Santa Claus, distributed gifts and plum cake to employees.


As soon as she reached home, she opened her gift in excitement.


“A Book?” Gayatri sighed in disappointment.


Ever since Gayatri started working, reading for her was limited to newspapers, annual reports and other management stuff.


Shades of the shadow by Varadambika”, Gayatri reads out the title of the book.


She lazily takes a look at the book and finds that it is a collection of stories.


“Everyone likes stories”, she told herself and started reading the book.


*****************************************************************************************



Adorned with breathtaking decorations, the palace of the king Devabhatta shone with great beauty and grandeur. The 8th birthday of king Devabhatta’s only son Itravasu was being celebrated with éclat. Musicians and dancers enthralled the audience in the king’s court. Clothes, food and drinks were distributed to everyone. Citizens of the kingdom rarely witnessed such a festival in the past.


The little prince Itravasu, sitting next to his mother Rudravati, gleamed with happiness looking at all the gifts that were pouring in from across the kingdom.


The joy and celebration slowly faded as people returned to their dwellings. Back inside the palace, the king and the queen left Itravasu’s chamber after spending hours with him.


As the prince Itravasu closed his eyes, events from the day brought a wide smile on his face.


The next morning, Rudravati was on her way to the prince's chamber to wake him up.


****************************************************************************************


25th December


Nooooooooooooooooooooonnnnn, je ne regretteeeeeeee, Gayatri’s alarm went off at 5 am again.


“Reading always puts me to sleep” she murmured and went back to sleep.


Gayatri had planned for her Christmas day well in advance. Binge watching ‘Sherlock’ TV series, cook ‘Hasselback Potato Gratin’ and listen to lots & lots of music.


“Let me read a few more pages” thought Gayatri


***************************************************************************************


Rudravati pushed open the door and what she saw inside terrified her.


“Itravasu”, the queen cried running towards the prince’s bed. Before she could understand what she was looking at, the queen collapsed on the floor unconscious.


Hearing the queen’s cry, guards alerted the king.


The king stormed into the chamber to find his queen lying unconscious on the floor. He turned around and looked at Itravasu which made him go weak at the knees. The king then turned his sight to the window and he couldn’t believe what he saw.


“Close the doors at once and no one shall enter without my permission” the king ordered at the top of his voice.


The first person who came to the king’s mind was Soumitri, the kingdom's renowned expert in the areas of medicine, scriptures and strategy.


Soumitri entered the chamber and walked a little closer to the prince’s bed. The prince’s eyes were wide open and his skin has turned blue. His body was lying still on the bed with his right hand raised above the level of bed and his fore finger pointing towards the window. Soumitri slowly turned his head in the direction of the finger and he saw a life size statue.


A curtain covered the statue as if someone wanted to cover its face. All one could see was the stretched out right hand of the statue, with its palm facing the prince


Soumitri, not able to make out what he was looking at, asked “What is that statue?”


The king's reply shook Soumitri's senses.


“That statue...” the king said taking a long pause, “appeared out of nowhere”


The king's reply changed the way Soumitri looked at the mysterious statue. What bothered Soumitri even more was the strange smile on the face of the prince who now lies like a lifeless mold of flesh on the bed.


****************************************************************************************************


26th December


“Let me see your gift”, Sud demanded Gayatri as soon as she walked into the office.


“Not now Sud”, Gayatri replied reaching out for the book from her handbag.


“This book has turned my entire holiday schedule on its head”, complained Gayatri sitting comfortably in her chair reading the book.


Anant, Gayatri’s boss, who was passing by, saw her reading the book.


“See me in my cabin right now” shouted Anant.


Sud controlled his laughter as Gayatri walked towards Anant’s cabin.


“Is this what you did your MBA for? The Balanced Scorecard is yet to be reviewed and you are reading story books at work? Not acceptable. Management wants to have a look at it now. What do I tell them?” Anant said.


Gayatri not speaking even a word, walked out of Anant’s cabin.


“I want it by CoB today”, shouted Anant from his cabin as she walked out.


“You guys want everything yesterday” grunted Gayatri walking back to her cubicle.


Sud overheard what Anant said to Gayatri. He started giggling standing next to her cubicle.


“You are reading story books at work?” Sud poked fun at her imitating Anant.


Gayatri felt like shoving her coffee mug down his throat. But then she told herself there is no point in getting pissed off. She read somewhere that when you get angry, your brain releases an enzyme called Tryptophan hydroxylase which can reduce your I.Q.


She stared at the book lying on her desk. She then picked it up and started reading again.


****************************************************************************************************


The queen, gaining her senses, was back on her feet.


“The bracelet”! Rudravati shouted


Soumitri shifted his focus to the raised hand of the prince. The bracelet appeared like a golden snake around the wrist. On one end of the bracelet was a beautiful blue stone in the shape of an egg.


“It was a gift on his birthday. Yes, that lady....” the queen was trying hard to recollect the woman who gifted the bracelet to the prince.


Soumitri focused on what the queen said.


“I was right next to the prince when a lady personally put this bracelet around the prince's wrist” said the queen.


“Can you please tell us how the woman looked?”quizzed Soumitri as he walked towards the statue.


“She was a middle aged affluent woman. Her hair, neatly folded in chignon style. The big red circle on her forehead was something I can never forget. She looked at the prince with a pleasant smile while putting that bracelet. And yes, not once did she look at me. And...” continued the queen when Soumitri interrupted her.


“Does she look like this?” asked Soumitri, pulling the curtain off the statue.


For a moment, the queen went dumb. The king and Soumitri understood that the statue matched the description of the queen.


Standing next to the statue, Soumitri was trying to find some clues. He turned around and looked out of the window. He closed his eyes and felt the warmth of the sun, thinking deep to find answers to this mysterious situation.


He suddenly opened his eyes and said“Durvasura”


“What? It is not possible” the king said


Soumitri wanted to prove it.


“My king, do you see my shadow?” asked Soumitri walking closer to the statue.


“Yes.” replied the king.


“Now please show me the shadow of this statue?” Soumitri asked the king.


The king and the queen, realizing the statue had no shadow, stood in disbelief.


Soumitri looked at the bracelet on the prince’s wrist again and began to recollect the writings in ancient esoteric scriptures about the divine stone that is the key to the gates of Lord Shiva’s abode.


“Is it the same divine stone on the prince’s wrist?” Soumitri whispered.


He immediately started explaining the king and the queen about Durvasura. “It is mentioned in some scriptures that Durvasura is a shadow-less huge demonic figure with disguising powers. He is a great worshipper of Lord Shiva with one true purpose of entering the abode of Lord Shiva. By doing so, Durvasura believes that he can possess immeasurable power. “


But what has all this got to do with my boy”,asked Rudravati.


“The stone will have its full powers only when received from a Shivansh or Lord Shiva himself” revealed Soumitri.


Soumitri reminded the king and the queen about the rituals they performed in the honor of Lord Shiva to get rid of childlessness. The lord, impressed with their devotion, not only blessed them with a son, but also gave away a part of himself making Itravasu a shivansh


Soumitri further mentioned that this divine stone was granted by the Lord to only a handful of his greatest devotees. One such great devotee is an Aghori.


“I think Durvasura with his power to disguise, must have somehow deceived the Aghori to possess the divine stone. Durvasura knowing very well that the divine stone does not have powers unless received from a shivansh, he disguised himself as a woman and gifted the divine stone to the prince.” Soumtri expressed what he thought could have happened.


Now Soumitri could pretty much visualize what must have happened last night in the prince’s chamber.


“A clash of spells occurred that night in the chamber. Durvasura has cast a spell on Itravasu which would make him give away the divine stone to Durvasura. But being a Shivansh with the divine stone on his wrist, he stopped Durvasura’s spell by turning Durvasura into a statue. Also, the spell of Durvasura were so devastating that had Itravasu not been a Shivansh the spell could have killed the prince” Soumitri vividly described.


“Parameshwara. What is this hell you have put my boy through” cried out Rudravati with her eyes filled with tears.


“But there is a way to rescue the prince from this dangerous spell. But it is a path which could lead you to hell”, assured Soumitri


****************************************************************************************************


“Madam, should I order dinner for you?” the security asked Gayatri


“No thank you, I will be leaving in a minute”,Gayatri said looking at her watch.


It was already 8.30 pm. Gayatri, not willing to walk back home, called for an auto-rickshaw. Throughout her way, she was only thinking about the story.


This has to finish tonight, thought Gayatri.


As soon as she reached home, her neighbor Sudha came across.


“I desperately need your help Gayatri” Sudha requested.


Before Gayatri could ask Sudha what help she needs, “Please look after my kid for some time. Me and my husband are having a fight” Sudha said pushing her 4 year old daughter Ananya through her door.


Gayatri switched on her television to engage Ananya so she could start reading the book. The plan worked. But the moment Gayatri opened the book, Ananya jumped on her shouting “Story book, story book”.


For the next 1 hr, Gayatri was busy trying to distract Ananya from that book. Finally, Sudha and her husband were done with their fight and Ananya left.


“Im jaded” Gayatri fell flat on her bed.


27th December


Next morning, Gayatri woke up, but not to Edith Piaf. She slept through the alarm and woke up at 8 am.


“I will finish this story today come what may” she told herself reaching out for the book from her handbag.


But she couldn’t find it there. She searched in her bedroom but failed to find it. Gayatri got irritated and started looking for the book in the kitchen, refrigerator, oven, washing machine, toilet, shoe rack. She looked everywhere but couldn’t find it.


She was totally pissed off. “Where did I put it?”she screamed.


“Wait….could Ananya have taken it?” Gayatri went running to Sudha’s place and asked her if Ananya brought any book last night. “No. Why? Was it very important?” Sudha asked back.


“Where is it then? I can’t believe this is happening” Gayatri was baffled.


She rushed to her office to meet the secret Santa team.


“I know its weird asking this, but do you guys know who brought what for the Secret Santa event?” Gayatri asked Rohan, a member of Secret Santa organizing team.


“We don’t record those details. That is not how it works.” Rohan replied.


“I know. But I was just checking in case you did”


“If you want to thank your Secret Santa, you can stick a note on the X-mas tree.” Rohan suggested


“Actually, someone gifted me a book. I misplaced it just before I could read the final few pages”Gayatri said nervously.


“Why can’t you just buy it and read”


“I have already tried. Checked it on the web and even in a local bookstore, can’t find that book”Gayatri frowned.


“Forget the book, there are no results for the author when I searched online” Gayatri said


“I’m really sorry but can’t help you in this” Rohan stood up and left his desk.


“Why is your hair in a mess? Is everything alright?” Sud asked Gayatri


Not knowing what to say, Gayatri looked for her comb in her handbag. She felt she touched something. She quickly peeped into her bag to find out what it is.


“Oh my GOD! The snake shaped bracelet”, Gayatri felt like all her organs stopped working for a second.


Before she could think and say something, her phone rang loudly.


‘A lady named Varadambika is waiting for you at the reception”, the receptionist informed.


“This can’t be happening “she tightly held on to the bracelet and rushed to the reception.


Seeing Gayatri enter the reception area, the woman stood up.


Gayatri’s heart raced like a bullet. In a fraction of a second, they exchanged looks; both of them fiercely raised hands with their palms facing each other.

bracelet spell book

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