Guest post! Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Shafali the Caricaturist!
I am happy to be posting here on Barb’s blog. I’ve said it often but not enough, Barb inspires me. I admire her ability to discipline herself, her positivity, and her consistency. I don’t often wish to be like anyone else, but Barb makes me wish to be like her in many ways. This tiny story is a Thank You Note:)
My Imagination is My World
The soft quilt under her chin felt so good. She drew the quilt up and tucked herself in some more. The alarm hadn’t gone off yet so there was no reason for her to wake up, but in some crevice of her mind, she was already beginning to. The quilt felt good, but it felt too soft and… too unlike her quilt, and the warm glow that was beginning to spread through her cheeks too didn’t feel normal. Something was different… nice but different. The warmth felt like sunlight, but on a Monday sunlight didn’t have a reason to enter her bedroom before six when her alarm would go off, and she hadn’t heard the alarm yet.
Her eyes flew open. They were blue in color with a tinge of green – you could’ve called them cyan, but in the sunlight that streamed in from the French Windows gave them a golden tinkle – but the golden tinkle couldn’t hide her look of shock and disbelief. This wasn’t her bedroom. Her bedroom didn’t have French Windows that opened on a marble terrace, which had carved pillars on its edges and a quaint little fountain in the middle, it didn’t have that magnificent dresser that stood in the eastern corner, and for god’s sake, it didn’t have a canopied bed! Her bedroom was a modest affair, which had a simple wardrobe, a bookrack and a couple of reading lamps. A canopied bed? Good Grief!
Something was wrong. Either she had been abducted by the aliens because she was the reincarnation of their long-dead princess, or she was brought to Atlantis, or perhaps she belonged in a fairytale and the fairytale was real while the life that she had been living was actually all fiction!
After the initial shock, she decided to explore the place. It was amply clear that she wasn’t a captive here; captives aren’t given gowns of silk to sleep in. She went back to her bed and looked for her slippers. She found them – they weren’t hers, at least she didn’t recognize them as hers. Lined with fur, they were the softest things that she had ever sunk her feet into. A girl could easily get used to this lifestyle, she thought.
“So am I alone here? There must be someone else who polishes the furniture, vacuums the carpet, makes the bed, or who knows, even runs me a hot bath,” she mused aloud.
Her heart skipped a beat, as she almost stumbled and turned. A matronly looking maid, followed by a…butler! Good heavens! Someone tell me what’s going-on. Please.
“Great. But what am I doing here?” she asked, almost afraid to hear an answer. Any answer would make her heart stop, because all this just couldn’t be true.
“Ma’am, you were sleeping until a while ago, and now you are ready for your bath.”
Bath sounded good and mmmm…it also smelled good. As she slipped into the warm bubbly comfort of the beautiful bathtub, she decided that she’ll take it one moment at a time. She had already pinched her arm red and blue, and she knew that this wasn’t a dream. Whatever else it was, she better found out, because she was already beginning to miss her collection of books, her computer, her blog, and her stash of Bollywood movies.
When she got out of the tub, the maid was right there – she was looking through her, and funnily enough being naked in front of her felt like being naked in front of a robot. This is how those Roman women pampered themselves, she thought as the maid helped her with her dress and makeup. Makeup? I seldom used anything more than a lipstick, she thought. But then the pampering felt good.
Stepping out of the bedroom, the first thing she wanted to do was find a library and a computer. Unless she had moved into a different timeline, which she perhaps had, she’d be able to find a computer. So she asked the maid, whether there was a computer in the mansion. The maid looked surprised, but led the way into a beautiful room with bookshelves lining its walls. Those books looked so lovely, so rich – some were clad in leather and had their titles embossed in gold. Those must be the older ones. And then there was a glass cupboard right behind the handsome rosewood desk, and it contained hardcover books that looked like…fantasy literature!
She let out a long sigh, and forgot everything else. At least, this place had books that she loved to read…and write. She went behind the desk and picked up one of the books. It was a new book, one she hadn’t read before, and it looked like it could be an interesting read. While she still wanted to find some answers, the idea of leaving the sleuthing for later and enjoying the book began to brew. So she requested the maid for some tea and settled down behind the desk. The book started off well, but after a few pages, she began to feel slightly uncomfortable. The book was written in a style that she recognized well…in her own style. She turned to the first page – it was written by Katyayni! Someone else had stolen her writing style…but, wait a minute. What had the maid said? They worked for her? Did she say that? If she had heard the maid right then… a possibility began to emerge.
She got up and got a few more books out of the rack. All the books were written by the same author, but they were all printed after 2014! How could she be reading the books that were published in the future?! She could hear her heart thumping in her chest. Something wasn’t right. Who was Katyayni? She opened the drawers to find some clue. The files were neatly organized. They contained the contracts. She browsed through them…not knowing what exactly she was looking for, but she found it.
She found herself staring at the contract that clearly told her that Katyayni was Barbara G. Tarn’s newest pen-name, the name that made her the most read fantasy-fiction author ever. The contract was signed Feb 28, 2014. As she lifted her eyes from the contract, they automatically found the calendar on the desk. It was 20th of January 2020!
We can make a world out of our dreams and live in it, and once in a while our dreams can help us make a world that will make us want to live in it!
Convoluted? It appears that the caricaturist within me is struggling to get out and speak her mind. She always exaggerates, you see :) My best wishes to Barb’s readers and visitors. May your dreams come true.
Well, thank you, Shafali, for this little story! I must admit I guffawed through it, so you not only draw to smile, but you also write to make people smile! :)
Anyboy else with a blog who would like to ramble in here? Just leave a comment and we’ll set it up… have a wonderful Sunday! :D