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Denouement or: The Time My Future Was Abruptly Cancelled

“Aprameya Gupta. Hello.”

A beautiful woman, thirty-something, was standing beside my seat. The seat of a train, I was traveling at that time. Speaking of which, the train was mostly empty, as far as I knew there were only 6 other people in my carriage. So, an empty train and a beautiful woman, this appeared to be the setting of a movie, either a horror or a pornographic. I mean, it’s not common to be greeted by a beautiful older woman while everyone else is asleep who also happens to knows your name. And she pronounced it correctly too, wonderful!

“Yeah, umm that’s me, hello.”, I said. She took the opposite seat. I hastily got up and hit my head on the middle berth. Damn, they are too low. And why did I open it in the first place? God, I felt stupid. She laughed, “You really are cute, your fans weren’t wrong about that.”

“Umm, my fans?”, I scratched my head, “I have fans?”

“Sorry, I should have started with that. Aprameya Gupta, you are the protagonist of a series of monthly short stories published in the world famous “Curtains” magazine. That’s is the reason for your adventurous life, in which you frequently get into trouble, have a miraculous escape, maybe learning a lesson or two in the end. Your character is loved throughout the globe for its complexity. However, the man who created you is currently facing prosecution for alleged rape charges, therefore, I am charged to find a suitable end for you.”

My thought process split into three parts. One tried to comprehend the massive dose of information she gave me. The others wondered how a magazine named “Curtains” would be world famous. And lastly, could this still be considered one of the two scenarios I mentioned earlier, I still wished this would somehow turn in the later kind, she had a strong powerful sort of face that would make beta and gamma males like me go crazy for her. Makes us want to get dominated.

“Umm so, can you prove the things you said earlier?”, I asked,” Why should I believe you?”

“Oh, that’s not a problem, you know I can always MAKE you believe without explaining anything but, this would be more presentable to our readers.”

Six passengers suddenly walked up to my compartment, their eyelashes grew giant which they used to fly. The ceiling of the carriage split open, like a chest, and they flew away.

“Now”, she said,” You pretend that you hate your name but you love it, it makes you feel special. You’ve had a homosexual crush in standard 9th, something you refuse to accept. You are secretly addicted to the taste of incense stick ash. Are those secrets plenty? If not then come with me.”

The base collapsed to make way for a staircase. As we climbed, she said, “You’ve already seen the Taj Mahal, allow me to show you the rest of the seven wonders.” One of the passengers returned with the Great Wall of China hunched on his back, still flying using her enormous eyelashes.

“Now, how about some mathematics my dear?” She turned and conjured a blackboard out of thin air and drew a triangle on it, and then drew a DIAGONAL on a triangle, a line that was somehow touching both the vertices of the triangle without being a side. “Th-That is enough, please.”, I said. She smiled and nodded and we returned to my seat.

And so, this turned out to be the first kind of scenario.

“You believe me now?” She said,” Now its time we discuss your end.”

“I don’t get it if I am really world famous, why are you killing me? Can’t they have you writing my stories instead?”

“And why should they? Or why should I? You are his most famous work, his legacy. A rapist’s legacy. You need to end.”

“And how will you end me?”

“Oh, that isn’t a difficulty really. We can just kill you off – by disease, accident, murder, we can make you depressed enough to commit suicide or we can leave you alive and kill everyone you love. After that, the planned collection of the stories will never get published, the movie studio that bought your live-action adaptation rights will drop the idea, and we’ll recall all unsold merchandise. People don’t really want you to have a happy ending, you see they see too much of him in you.”

“He is a rapist, not me. Why do people hate me? It’s unfair.”

“Is it? Because I seem to remember, you found an underage girl cute in one of the stories, you have lascivious desires for some of your female cousins and aunts and you’ve been having lewd thoughts about me ever since we met.”

That damned writer wrote this too, I’ll kill him.

“Hey I was underage too, and I said she was cute in a non-sexual way, plus all those cousins and aunts aren’t my close relatives, and you are genuinely beautiful. Everyone will think the way I did!”

“But not everyone is the creation of a filthy rapist. Think of it this way, it’s your creator who is suffering here, he is getting the punishment he deserves by seeing his hard work reduced to ashes…”

“But”, I cried,” I am the one who is losing his life!”

“See it this way – ‘You are not real so it doesn’t matter’. Now Excuse me, I’ll be leaving.”

I sobbed,” If you can’t give me a happy ending, can you at least write something like I didn’t mind it at the end, or that I was happy.”

“I’ll see.” She left.

So, that was probably my last appearance in this “Curtains” magazine. I hope this end wouldn’t be painful and that you guys will remember me for my adventures, not for my perversity, because as it turns out, those were his thoughts, not mine, though unfortunately, I still have to suffer for them.

Well then, GOODBYE.

-Deepansh Bhargava

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