The first part of this story can be found here.
However, that is not how stories end, do they? And for our good folks of Ferbishire, the story had just begun. As they reveled in their happy joyous lives, they started realising that it wasn’t just their life, but rather the entire world around them that had become so joyful. Anakin realised how Lily took every chance to give him extra cheese, less apples or just a hug now and then. Mr. Bennet saw his wife transform into the tender, coy woman he had married all those years back. Mr. Johnson tasted his wife’s infectious enthusiasm in the several new recipes she dished out each day. And Emily realised that her father had started showering her with small gifts quite often.
It was all almost magical, except of course, a few odd things here and there.
Anakin, for example, went out to play with his friends. As far as he could remember, he had played with his friends every day since… well, since he could remember. And yet, when they started playing their game, he couldn’t remember the rules! He looked at the other boys, puzzled, and they stared back with the same confusion in their eyes. Utterly bewildered, he came back home, hoping he would ask Lily if she could help him learn the game. But Lily wasn’t home! She had left a note saying that there was pie on the kitchen table, and that she would be back in an hour. An hour! In an hour Anakin could go over to the other side of the river and come back!
In the house opposite Anakin’s, Mrs. Bennet too had informed her husband that she was visiting a friend in the hamlet, and would be back in an hour. Mr. Bennet, therefore, had decided to call all of his friends and tell them of the merry turn of events. He loved hearing their congratulatory messages, and couldn’t fail to notice the slight tinge of jealousy in their voices. He was surprised, therefore, when one of his friends asked him why he hadn’t bought that villa in the city he always talked about. Mr. Bennet had never wanted a villa, though, definitely not in the filthy cities! He told the friend so, but in a saintly voice, the friend just replied, ‘Maybe you had a change of heart.’ Flustered, he cut the call, hoping to talk to his wife, who he hoped was still sane in her mind, and not talking about changed hearts. But Mrs. Bennet was nowhere to be seen! Hadn’t it been an hour already? In so much time, as the villagers said it, he could have gone to river and come back!
A few blocks away, Mrs Johnson had suddenly declared that she fancied a walk, and had left with young Mrs Bennet. Mr Johnson, in the meantime, had seized the opportunity to look at the old photographs of his family. However, in all of the albums, he found photograph after photograph of himself with his wife, but not a single picture showing their son with them! There were the old photographs when he had been younger, but none whatsoever of his son’s prom night or graduation ceremony. Where had all the pictures gone? After a long time, rummaging through his wife’s belongings, he found a small album – and in that album, page after page, he saw the beaming faces of his wife and son. He himself was nowhere to be found! Where had he been when his son had graduated, or married, or become the Senator? He shouted for his wife, and then remembered she wasn’t home. It had been so long – she surely couldn’t be walking all this time! Angry and worried at the same time, he walked out to meet Mr. Bennet, hoping to find out Mrs Johnson’s whereabouts.
Emily, too, hadn’t been spared of these unreal turn of events. Touched by her father’s kindness, she had decided to make him a cup of strong tea and serve it to him in person. But her father wasn’t in his office, nor was he napping in the bedroom. Looking for him, she even went to his study, and instead of him, she found a cryptic note from a certain ‘Lily’. The note just said ‘River at 6’. What could that mean? And who was Lily? Was her father dallying with another woman? Could the note mean that he was to meet her at six by the riverside? But Lily… She knew just one woman named Lily… Wasn’t she the same age as hers? She was an orphan, and had a younger brother who was always… But why would she want to meet her father? That too at the riverside… Just thinking of the riverside sent shivers down her spine… Didn’t her father know the stories?
Worried, she went out and asked the servants if they knew anything about the matter. They all shook their heads, and Melissa merely said that he had left more than an hour ago. Emily thought for a few moments, and then went to her room, grabbed her purse and left for the riverside.
Mr. Johnson reached Mr. Bennet’s cottage, only to find him annoyed and looking for his own wife. Worried now, he suggested that they both set out to check if they were fine, wherever they were.
Mr. Bennet agreed, but wondered who could know where the ladies had gone if the husbands themselves were unaware. However, as they started asking the people around, they found their trail. His heart sunk as they found that the trail led to the riverside. Swallowing their fears, they started in their direction, but with every step, he couldn’t help but think… The riverside… what madness had driven them there…?
(To be continued)
This is my attempt at weaving a story which moves through seven emotions. This was the second part of the story, and the mood that I had tried hard to create was Wonder. Thought frankly, I haven’t been so successful! If you can think of any suggestions which would make this better, please feel free to leave a comment.
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013, where for straight seven days, we would be writing on the theme ‘Seven’. For this festival, I have challenged myself to write seven emotions. From among the navrasas, or the nine moods, I have chosen seven, namely Joy, Sorrow, Anger, Heroism, Fear, Wonder and Peace. This is my attempt at weaving a story which moves through each of these emotions.