Tunnel to Darkness........IV

AniM By AniM, 5th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>General Fiction

Travails of two friends working in tunnel under the city

Working in the Tunnel

Vikram and Aaron were stunned at Anand's reaction, rather than a warm welcome, which they had expected, here he was getting angry at their sudden and unexpected appearance at his doorstep. Aaron replied, hesitantly, on both their behalf, 'We wanted to get out of the mines and build buildings like you said, so we came to you, can you not help us do what you do? Otherwise we will have to go back to the mines and maybe die of some disease within the next 10 days..' He stopped, looking pleadingly at Anand, his hand inadvertently gripping Vikram's.
The fire seemed to go out of Anand's eyes, his eyes were downcast, and his shoulders seemed to slouch forward. Sensing his discomfort, Reena spoke after a long time, 'Why don't you wash up and change your clothes? I'll make some tea in the meanwhile for all of us'. Anand didn't speak or look up, after a while gave a faint nod and walked out towards the communal bathroom at the end of the street. Reena turned towards the boys and said, ' You guys should also freshen up and change, do you have a place to stay? Oh! How silly of me, you obviously don't. I guess, in that case you will have to adjust in this room only, at least till you guys get something of your own'. Aaron said, 'We have to start working immediately, as we have very little money left. If you do not support us, we will be lost! But once we start working and save some money, we'll repay your debt...' Reena smiled,'Don't worry, we have also been through our initial struggles. You start worrying about how to earn, then you worry about repaying us. Your biggest challenge will be to get Anand to tutor you and get you into the labor team, after that it is upto you, the harder you work, the more you earn'. Both of them nodded silently, their minds in turmoil. Apprehension filled their minds and clouded their vision, the life back in the mines seemed unbearable now, what if nothing worked out here? What if the Gods turned their faces away at just this minute and abandoned them, hopes of a better life and all, in this strange and unknown place?
Before they could get mired anymore in their own insecurities, Anand returned to the room, and this time he had a warmer expression on his face. He said.'Boys, your turns at the washroom, and make it quick! We have a lot to talk about and we don't have all night, so scoot!!'
Both boys hurriedly left and joined the queue outside the loo and they both started talking at the same time, laughed and Vikram said, ' Are you sure we are welcome here? Maybe we should go back....' Aaron exclaimed, 'Are you mad? Go back and do what? Work in the mines again? Till the infertile land till we drop dead from exhaustion? No, I am not going back and neither are you. We will stay here and see what life has in store for us. We are DEFINITELY not going back!' Vikram, taken a little aback with this sudden outburst, swallowed any further questions he may have had and waited for his turn.
The sky had turned completely dark by now, however, they could not see any stars, a layer of smoke seemed to obstruct their vision. The smell of cooking was pervading the night air all around them, tingling all their senses. They hurried towards Anand's room after completing their business. Anand and Reena were talking in hushed tones, when they entered and they both turned towards them and indicated that they take their place on the floor. Over tea and later a meager dinner, their discussion continued. Anand had already accepted that he will mentor the boys and take them to work with him next day and introduce him to his gang boss and get them some work to start with.
It was rather late when they finally turned in for the night, and all around them lives were winding down for the day, their springs loosening only to be wound tight by next morning, ready to be unleashed on another mundane weary day.....

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW

Tags

City, Fiction Writing, Fictional Stories, Labor, Laborers, Railroad Tracks, Railroads, Short Story, Story, Tunnel

Meet the author

author avatar AniM
I have been an avid reader since my childhood and that is my biggest passion! I will write on Telecom, Cricket, Book reviews and some politics

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