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January 2016 vol 11 no 4

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Paresh Tiwari

Electric Chair

He loved sparrows. And when the last one goes limp in his cold-creased-tired palm, he scrounges far and wide for the perfect alloy and the right gears. The quest for a power source that would last an eternity and is small enough to fit inside a dainty body, leads him to the algorithm of body heat and the equation of life force. He even calculates the precise need of reproduction and that of self-preservation.

Piece by piece, jewel by jewel, the seamless machinery falls in place and by nightfall, a tiny heart beats against his fingers.

The next morning when the house-keeper flicks the curtains apart, flooding the room in egg-yolk warmth, she finds the crumpled remains of an old man’s clothes and a sparrow twittering around the faux ceiling, testing its brittle mechanical wings against the downward draft of ventilation ducts.

war news . . .
the dark underbelly
of autumn clouds