Sunday, May 1, 2011

Coconut Island (short story)

Coconut Island

(click above for story)

A young girl dies while attending a school for the uber-wealthy of Bangladesh on St.Martin's Island. Did she kill herself? Zafar Shah travels down there at her mother's request and uncovers the unexpected, to say the least.


"The silence lay like a blanket, and the heat emanated from the hills in waves. We forget that sound and light are substances and that they beat on our bodies like any other substance. The quiet of the place affected the body: only a few crickets could be heard, and sometimes the bark of a dog or the call of a child from the village nearby. A plume of smoke rose from between the areca and coconut palms, indicating cooking. Otherwise there was hardly any sign of human activity. The quiet of the place affected the body: there seemed a sudden oneness between mind and body. At night, the darkness affected me similarly. And the moonlight – for it was full moon – clothed the hills and forest in silver. All stress seemed to escape the body: only the heat remained to affect it strangely. The heat of the hills was different; it was an enveloping, ambient heat; it did not descend from above, or rise from below, but embraced one from all sides; it was an erotic heat, suffusing – with the darkness and the silence and the moonlight - the entire personality; it reminded me of an elephant in must."

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