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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 50
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
The Wrath of Kali
Matthew Palermo
The Wrath of Kali

The station was filled with steam and smelled of a mixture of coal smoke, tobacco smoke, and sweat with a hint of perfume. People shuffled and shoved themselves about the platforms, through crowds of paupers and aristocrats who mingled with each other long enough to get into an isolated compartment on a train that would take them far away from the overcrowded platforms of King's Cross Station.

A young couple sat on a bench beneath a large clock on Platform Five. Their gratuitous amount of luggage was piled in front of them on two trollies, each manned by two servants, a clear sign of their opulent life styles.

Chugging into the station came a sleek, black locomotive with red trim hauling several ornate coaches that seemed brand new. The engine slid smoothly up to the platform, easing the coaches to a halt abreast of their passengers-to-be. With out much fuss, the engine was uncoupled from the coaches and huffed away in a cloud of smokey steam before being replaced by a similar Great Northern locomotive that was to haul the couple's train north to York, where they would then catch a train to the coast. A porter trilled his whistle and the doors opened, unleashing a flood of passengers.

The man, handsome with dark curly hair and tanned skin from years in India, turned to his wife. "You're father will be pleased to see the goddess you've turned into."

The wife, who was athletic with a lithe figure and red-golden locks cascading from under a small hat, merely blushed. She loved it when he spoke to her in that tone.

They waited until the last of the passengers had disembarked before boarding themselves. Taking with them only three cases, they boarded the second car as the rest of their luggage was loaded on to the baggage car. Several loved-filled minutes passed before the whistle chirped and the train began rocketing northwards.

Once the had set, leaving a purple-hued sky in its wake, the man left the compartment, his hair disheveled and a broad smile upon his face. He entered the restroom at the end of the coach and was relieving himself when the lights were extinguished. Suddenly, a gruff, foreign voice filled the compartment.

"You were warned not to take from the temple. Now you shall feel the wrath of Kali!"

"That's what I heard from a hundred or so of your chums."

Stealthily, the man drew his revolver as the voice spoke. He fired in the general direction of the voice. The muzzle flash revealed a frightened look upon a dark face and the bottom of a turban.

Upon returning to the compartment, he found his wife standing over a similar man with a Derringer in hand.

"That ought to be the last."

"Yes, it ought to be." As he spoke, his eyes rested upon a case. In his mind, he could see the glistening statue. They had beaten the wrath of Kali.