The caress of the morning call yanks my soul. It screams for attention. I cannot tell who calls whom or why. Beneath me, the dusty pavement offers little by means of protection.

‘Here you go sir.’ a little girl said to me, dropping a coin. Everyday I’ve come here, for twenty-five years. I’ve owned this spot for the last twenty. I’m not alone here on the pavement. Behind us, a little further along, is a river. I’ve been told it is more like a stream.

I hear the little girl giggle as she went on her way.

The song of a blackbird resounds from somewhere around us. It prods my own voice and I begin humming. My hoarse throat cleaves through the melody, yet I continue responding to the lilt of the blackbird in the distance. The swinging bends of the call arrange themselves in harmony. Ahead of me, footsteps come and footsteps go beating a heavy but steady rhythm. The sun’s warmth toys with the cool breeze around birthing a soundless symphony. The sudden calmness of my soul on the pavement springs an awareness of the thudding of my heart. I am aware, like I’ve always been for twenty-five years.

The echoes of the song hovers even as the bird’s voice dies away while I sit in the sun, my weathered coat feeling the force of oncoming evening winds. The flowing river fills the gaps with its gushing between people’s feet and the jiggle of a stray coin tossed my way. There is a strange peace in the chatter of people’s conversations as they pass by, most far enough for me to think they only mumble. The break comes when my stomach begins to rumble.

The medley of sounds broken; I reach out for the coins. I can sense it is enough for a meal or two. Folding the rug on which I parked myself I clear the spot for the day. My companion on the right is always telling me my spot is the worst. I have no way to tell; I only come here for the music.  This spot is mine, but it is only mine because a friend who used to sit here died before me. I missed him for a day or so but there is no sadness. He had no use for this spot anyway. He was deaf.


Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

CategoriesFlash Fiction
Keerthi Sudhakar Vasishta

Keerthi Sudhakar Vasishta is a student currently pursuing a Masters in English and American Studies at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany. His poem "A Foreman" appeared in the Contemporary Literary Review of India in April 2018.