#4 Crumble and Fall

The feeling as that of sitting in a water filled couch. Or more like a bean bag filled with water. Wait, that’s too much. Water filled couch. Or maybe like the one they show in TV, telebrands or something. Anyways it was fun and quite amusing. She was beside me and she too was having difficulties in comprehending what she was sitting on. It was a sofa as I said earlier. But then you rarely come upon these kinds of sofas anywhere. We were engaged in small talk. And out of nowhere a rumbling sound shook the whole place and raised our pulses. That is when I realized that my mouth was hung wide open and my eyes were wide open in bewilderment. She was shocked to see me in this state. After a few seconds, I regained myself and I politely explained to her what I had seen. It was the airplane that had flew past us that had made all the commotion here.

And just for a change I looked closely at our surroundings and where we were sitting. And the white tufts that were hovering around us were clouds. Yes clouds. So I poked my hand into the sofa and well it just slid easily inside it. No hiccups there. So I got up, dusted away the cloud dust from my pants, took a deep breath and exclaimed.

We are in the clouds dear.  And that was a cloud sofa, constructed just for us. I can’t fathom all this but yes we are in the clouds.

And then the clouds that were near the airplane when it passed by began swirling wildly, forming eddies and trails that looked magnificent. Art was being made here and seldom had anyone seen it. I showed it to her and she was wowed by it. After the show was over we sat down on the cloud sofa and since our small talk was kind of over, we looked into the distance and started observing the clouds. I hadn’t done that since childhood. Lazy days in the park were the apt time to gaze into the sky and marvel at the clouds after being exhausted from the hectic pointless running around and playing ball. And then I blurted out.

Hey, let’s play Name the Cloud.

Name the Cloud. What’s that?

Well, each person sees things differently right. So we take turn in finding out patterns or shapes in the cloud and share it with our friend. If they too can see the same thing as you have well that’s a point to you. Ok. So let me start this. Hmmm. There, that cloud. You see there. It looks like a gun to me. Did you get it?

Oh wait. Hmm. Oh there it is. To the right. Yes. It looks like a gun, but a loose and wavy one.

Yeah, that is there but the basic shape is that of a gun na. So that’s a point for me. Your turn.

Well ok. Let me see. I can see a cloud there, to the far left that looks like a shoe to me. More like a boot. An army boot.

Oh ok. Yeah. It looks like a boot. A good solid boot. That was a good find. Now initially you will be able to find easy thing but as the clouds exhaust, it becomes difficult.

And we continued on this game for a while. It was fun. My mind was swirling with childhood memories. The park and the lake adjoining it flashed into my eyes and made me feel all nostalgic. Those were some of the best time of my life. No point in wishing to live it again.

Now a bigger cloud was passing near to ours and I really wanted to hop into it. So I grabbed her hand immediately and we ran into the other cloud. The run was more like hopping and jumping as the cloud was all wavy and airy. And with a big hop we landed on the other cloud. Cloud hopping has been successfully ticked off from my bucket list.

That was fun.

Yeah it was.

And we continued with the vigor and pace we had. And strangely we encountered a stairway. A round stairway like the one we find in churches. And it was strange. A beanstalk would have been appropriate; I mean that’s what one would expect in a cloud. Or a castle. A stairway was completely out of question here. And it was extending to the sky above. That’s what I could see from the distance. That was miles into the sky. I couldn’t figure out where it ended or where it merged with anything. It just faded away into a dot, like a star. So we approached it carefully and examined it. It was made of wood. The whole staircase was made of wood. Now that would need the whole worlds wood I guess. There was an entry platform onto the stairway. I took a step into it. She held back my hand. I winked and drew her towards me with all her might.

What are doing? Are you out of your mind? We don’t have any clue as to what this is or where it will lead. Is it even strong? Or just an illusion. Am I dreaming?

The platform is steady. Not at all wavy like the clouds. I just wanted to see what lies below this. I mean where does this spiral staircase lead us to if we went down.

Then I peeped through the centre of the spiral. I could see green below. Nothing more. But it was visible to me. It was approachable. I couldn’t make out the exact distance but I figured out it would be a nice journey downwards.

Hey, I could see something green below. Maybe some ground or forest, I don’t know. But I can see and it is not far away.  And the stairway is rock solid. A gust just blew and while the clouds all fluttered and waved, the stairway was sturdy and held it ground. Its built rock solid. Come here and have a look.

She reluctantly came in and had a look below. She was convinced of what I had said and while she was having a look around I pointed out that we should head downstairs. Just to explore it. The view will be awesome I told. I had no clue. It would be more like an adventure. And she is of the adventurous type. She took a long hard look at me and nodded in approval. And so we started our descent, hand in hand.

The descent was going at a constant pace. We just passed the cloud and could see it hovering above us. And below it we were surrounded by the blue of the sky. It was interesting. Clouds were floating around in their shades of white and it was beautiful. The green below us was actually a patch. Beyond it lay the browns and grey of barren lands, and to the far end there was a strip of blue that seamlessly merged into the sky at the horizon. We were awestruck. We grasped in the views and we were happy. She was all smiles, pointing to some interesting land patterns down below.

And then I feel a tug in my hand. She has stopped walking. She is petrified. I don’t get it. She then let’s out a small cry and clasps her hand to her mouth. She is looking down, towards the centre of the spiral. I take a look and I am scared. The green outland has now been replaced with hues of red and orange. Fire.

We had travelled quite a lot and were exhausted a bit. The fire started to engulf all that was below us. She felt scared and terrified. The fatigue drew in her and she let out a scream.

And then it happened. The staircase started to collapse. From the top and bottom. I was stunned for a second and my mind froze. What was happening? It was as if her scream had started the destruction. But it was rock strong. I had no clue what was going on and what to do. And in that instance she began running up the stairs. I yelled at her to wait and shouted not to but then she was slowly engulfed by the collapsing staircase. And I felt a void in my heart. The staircase had vanished from my feet and I was falling down. Down with my gaze into the sky, trying to find her in the clean blue sky. But alas she was gone. I closed my eyes, cried a bit and after a while turned myself and opened my eyes.

It was madness that greeted my eyes. Fire was dangling beneath me and it felt like I was being thrown into Hell’s kitchen. I was their dinner tonight. Everything was buzzing past me at lightning speeds. The blue skies had turned overcast. The waters way beyond were all choppy and restless. I was afraid. I was scared. I don’t know what was going on. And I cried. I cried out loud.

And I find myself sitting upright in my bed. My friend is sleeping beside me, his snoring breaking the silence in the room. The empty bottle of whisky lies in the table beside me. A glass still has some contents left. I am dehydrated. I need water. I get up, go to the kitchen and drink to my heart’s content. The clock chimes seven. I refrain from moving away the blinds. Along the way, I take a pee. It might have been three in the morning when we slept. It was a good party. But it only makes me wanna hit my bed again. And I do.  A headache is on its way.

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