He was chasing a lizard, his first meal in a long time. This lizard was extremely fast even for lizards in that place. He was losing strength in his legs. It was a matter of life and death for both. So, both were putting their all into it: running. Before losing, he decides to give one last shot. He runs with all his might, closes in a little, dives at it and finally catches the out of breath lizard. The lizard was not protesting at all. It has also given up. He had won this quest of survival.
"I just barely survived. So, I can live for another seven brightest stars" he thought.
That is what he learned from all this situation. With no food, he could survive at least for Seven whole brightest stars. He has been starving for seven brightest stars. His mother told him that he will die if he did not eat for more than seven brightest stars. It is his longest hunger streak.
His name is Lee Sai. He is Eighteen years old. He lives in this place all alone. "ALL ALONE" means he has not seen any other human being, since the death of his mother. He wanders around all day until his legs give up finding food for his survival, to meet someone like him wandering around in this place and most Importantly to find Someone or something called "Sun".
It has been ten years, since his mother died. His Mother was all he ever had. The only world he has ever known, met, felt, and learnt from. The only being in this god forsaken place who was warm and more importantly, who loved him. He was intelligent or "The Genius" as his mother called him. He could still remember his mother from the time when he was just One year old.
He remembered her telling him every day that she was sick; she was going to leave him someday; to live as long as he can; how sorry she was, for giving him a life with darkness, loneliness, hunger and all the pains in the world; and She Loved him. She told him so, again and again and again. Maybe thousand times or ten thousand times or as he feels maybe really a billion times.
He had finished eating the lizard. He was still not full. This lizard was small. Maybe it had not eaten anything for long as well. He could never find out what these things eat. If he knew, he would try eating that as well. He always preferred Kappa over lizards. Kappa were fluffy, bigger; so, had more meat and easier to catch as well since they were slower. However, Kappa were scarce in number and were rarely found. Thinking of Kappa made him drool.
His mother did not like them much. In fact, she did not like Lizards either. But there was nothing else to eat. So, she would always prefer to eat lizards. She also told him to eat Kappa less as they were not very healthy. Having to eat after a long time and the recent struggle were making him drowsy. He lied down with a stone as a pillow. He was happy. He was alive, as mother told him to be. He smiled and his mother kissed him. He smiled more brightly, and she kissed him again. With full heart, he fell asleep.
Baaang, Baaaang, Babaaang. . . . . .
The loud noise from the land of ghosts woke him up. The brightest star had vanished from the sky. "I slept long enough" He thought. He had not been able to sleep for a past few days because of hunger. He sat up, yawned, and started looking around. He could hear his mother instructing:
Sai-Love! Quick! Look for some rock shelters, empty Kappa sheds or caves. The land has farted. We should protect ourselves.
The place where Lee Sai and his mother lived was very dark. So dark that they could not see anything. He had never seen his mother or those Lizards or Kappa. He recognized the things and food mostly from feeling and sound. The lizard runs with a slapping sound on the ground with its flat feet and the Kappa made a siren like sound from their nose. His mother taught him about sounds. She could catch lizard in few hundred steps when he was 1 year old. But she got weaker due to cough sickness later.
He quickly started to walk in one direction. Unlike his mother, He could always feel the ground. He could feel the hills, the pits, the rocky and muddy places, and he was best at finding cover and caves. He had sensed a small opening not far from him earlier. He walked briskly.
"Sai! take me with you. Don't you dare leave your mother alone." Mother would have said.
He slowed down. If mother were alive, he would come back, grab her hand, and lead her to the mouth of cave.
He reached the cave. The opening was small.
"Perfect." He thought.
"Be careful! Do not forget the rules. First check whether the cave is rocky or muddy. You do not want to be buried inside alive. Right?" The rocky caves were better since they were strong and sturdy.
"Make sure! there are no kappa living in the cave. We do not want to share space with them." She hated those delicious things the most. "Why?" One of the questions, he could never ask his mother.
He did not feel any presence inside cave. He bowed a little to have a better feel.
"Let me go in first! My love!" He heard her saying.
He waited for a while alone outside the cave, reminiscing how his mother would crawl in the cave, lie in with the support of wall of the cave and then spread her arms for him. He would wait outside until then. He would then enter the cave and his mother would wrap her arms around him. Her hugs were warm. If it were not for her, he would not have known what warmth was. This place was all cold. Everything was very cold. Sai did not know cold. For him everything else was normal-Not cold and his mother's embrace was warm-very warm. However, his mother would feel very cold particularly when the brightest star was not in the sky.
He entered the cave and settled in. This cave was smaller for his size. He could not sit straight. He was a little uncomfortable. He could feel the pressure of gases coming. It was the first explosion in this whole year. He thought maybe even land could not get to eat anything for a while. No food, no gas. He tried to sleep again for some time with no benefit. He was all awake. He had nothing to do.
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