Tawsif Anam Zoheb
Sparks flew around as Bob put the pieces of logs into the fireplace. The flames grew higher and denser and the heat made him shiver. Rubbing his palms against each other, he walked back and took his seat on the armchair, opposite his grandma's. His armchair swung as he looked into his grandma's face. Those wrinkled eyelids hid the eyes behind - the eyes that had seen so much, and for so long. Her lips, grey and cold, gave her face a melancholy look. The long white hair, slightly wavy and parted in the middle, fell on both sides. So skinny was she that her cheekbones jutted out. Her left hand rested on her lap, while her right hand lay on a small table, right beside the cup of coffee from which vapour rose. The old lady had been lying like that for the past ten minutes, since the time when Bob had gone to fetch her coffee and bring in the woods. On seeing his grandma taking a nap, he did not wake her.
John sat there, his eyes closed too. He listened to the sound of his own breath and the fire burning the woods. Slowly and slowly, the sound of the burning fire seemed to get louder. It was not long before Bob could hear nothing but the fire burning. In his visions too, he saw fire - raging and eternal. In the fire of his imagination, he saw a face; a face with eyes burning hotter than the flames, eyes that emitted wrath and fury.
He instantly opened his eyes and hurriedly stood up, and walking towards the wide window, looked outside. The sky was full of enormous clouds, cold and dark and ugly. Yet everything seemed to be burning - the sky, the clouds, the hidden moon behind, the stars unseen. Fire seemed to be rising from the marshy moorland, fuelled by the raindrops and provoked by the gusts of wind. When the whole world was burning, in the flames he again saw the face. With a jerking movement he turned around and took his seat in the armchair. He looked at the fireplace. The fire still burned. Looking at the logs that burned in the fire and had now turned black, he thought of himself. What separates the dead from living is the soul. He knew he was alive and he felt his soul being engulfed in flames. Through his defenceless eyes, he saw the clock on the mantelpiece; he saw the fiery hands of the clock burning away time.
Vapour still rose from Bob's grandma's cup, but was less dense now. And Bob was now drowsily lying in the armchair, burning.
While the old woman was in sleep, her hands slightly moved and came in touch with the hot cup of coffee. Instantly, she woke up.
When Bob opened his eyes, he felt his grandma softly caressing his cheeks with her trembling fingers. He looked into her eyes, grey yet lively, full of love and tenderness.
"What happened, my child?" her gentle voice filled his soul with serenity and he looked around to see the fire dying down.
"Nothing grandma, was feeling a bit sleepy." Bob rubbed his eyes.
"Go to bed my dear, if you are tired."
"Not now, grandma. Your coffee is getting cold grandma."
"Oh yes, dear! I'm going to have it now." Saying this, the old lady sat down in the armchair again, her hands approaching the cup and the saucer.
Bob got up and went to the window again. The clouds had drifted away to reveal the moon. The stars twinkled and reflected in Bob's sparkling eyes. He saw no fire this time.
"The sky is so beautiful grandma!" The words of his soul came out through his lips.
He turned his head around to see his grandma looking back at him, holding the cup, and with a celestial smile on her face.
"Yes, my dear. The sky really is beautiful!"