The crowd surged, all of a sudden. Mouths foaming, eyes narrowed by the glare of hate, faces contorted by fear – a deep, primal fear of the predator. The loathing of the hunted, when unleashed, knows no reason.

The pain had stopped a long time ago. He could only feel the blunt impact of the blows, sometimes it felt like something sharp was cutting into his flesh, but there was no pain. His brain had fried all the nerve endings, all 100 billion of them.

Reasons are often unreasonable. Wave after wave of chemicals drown out even the strongest of logic. The mass of humans, all of a sudden, became one creature, breathing, screaming, moving. All brains, hands and legs fused together by an intense current of emotions.

A 100 billion images streaked in a blur. He could, in great detail, see every contour of the hands, the nails, the fraying stitches of the shoes, the rings of age on the sticks, the blood – lots of it. ‘Where has all this blood come from‘, he wondered.

Emotion is a strange word – almost laughable. It often turns one into a monster without feelings. Contrary to popular belief, the crowd is not really unthinking – in fact it is singular in thought, as it was now. A concentration of intent. Unshifting in focus. The crowd screamed in concert, a wail rising hollowly.

He wondered, also, about the silence. There was no sound – not even of a pin dropping. All he could see was a flurry of moving hands, feet, faces, sometimes even a stone, and in between all of them, pockets of darkness.

The hands rose and fell in furious rhythm.

Black arrived in a rush, finally.




About victoranish

A theatre worker living in Bangalore.
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