Damp paper bag (Short Story)


“You and I can create history,”

“or You and I can become history,” whispered Ben repeatedly.


The coal-smoke is making me blurry, Sir. I have been standing on the station platform for two hours now. Today, I can create history otherwise I become history.


“Do I look like a Sir to you!” An old woman wearing navy trousers regards him, titled her head to the side, like a wise robin. She leans forward, takes her suitcase in her free hand, and tiptoes to speak to him.


“I heard you repeat yourself like you are losing out of words or either recalling something so deep on a mission.”


I look around prudently and wish I could tell her everything. But…


“Say something young chap, the train will not arrive soon. There was an announcement that there is a protest going on, so these nitwits are taking it out on us. We are not the government,” said the wise robin.


“That is terrible. I did not think it would reach this far. I have to be somewhere before it is too late,” I speak hurriedly and try to squeeze myself forward.


There are hardly any options at this point in time. The train is the only way to get to the city. A dog barks suddenly and as I turn the white ball of fur lifts its head to send a reproachful bark after its owner. I notice that the old woman has made her way behind me. I think I made the mistake of thinking she could be a wise robin.


“Hey, young chap.”


“Yes, are you following me?”


“No! I see your torn bag and papers halfway out”


“WHAT!”


Frowning and getting so worried, I remove the bag resting on my shoulders. The bag has become useless to me and my papers are so important. Looks like somebody was trying to steal something from me. I have all these notions in my mind and lookup.


The old woman’s very deep grey, almost violet eyes look at me intently. Never saw anything like that before. There is something about her. She keeps showing up.


She shrugs, “I do not feel too well. The body odor of these sardines, are making me feel nausea.”


“Sardines? You can have some kind of humor at this point in time. It is not helping. I don’t think I can make it to the city. And these are the only valuable assets I have right now.”


“What is your name?”


“Ben.”