The tea was scalding hot. And so was the blood in their veins. The tea was laced with
ginger and burnt their tongue.
The mean machines rested under the trees after refueling their tanks. Their tyres were
tired. The road was less taken and serpentine. This was intentional to avoid being
They had donned black, the colour of their vehicles. Only one wore white.
"How is the josh, buddy X?"
The words penetrated his eardrums but he close to remain mum. His mind seemed to be
occupied with something else other than their target. The members exchanged
"Are your feet unsteady or your mind wavering?" , mocks Panther A.
"Remember, you are compensated handsomely.", taunts a bearded panther.
Panther X turns away his face in disgust and moves away from the group.
Panther A raises his index finger above his shoulders indicating the group members to
stay behind while he follows X at a safe distance.. They both settle down under the
shade of the Chinar trees.
"Don't address me with this code-word", the words escaping his throat at a frenzied pace.
"Panther X", raising his voice. "Have your forgotten our vows?".
"I have a name and an identity", tears running down X's bony cheeks.
Panther A, the assumed leader concludes Panther X's behavior to be jejune.
" We have dedicated our lives to a higher cause", admonishes X.
"There is no noble cause. You are all brain-washed".
"Your words reek of a rebellion", anger spewing from Panther A's gullet.
Sensing the heat and their unfriendly demeanor, the group members start to inch closer
to the warring duo.
Panther X could not believe that he has inhaled the same air of their serene village as his
friends who are now reduced to mere code-words. The Sun that shone upon them,
strengthening their bones, the river that they all frolicked together, celebrated festivals
and grieved in funerals, could have such bipolar ideas and ideologues.
"Our journey is ahead. There is no looking behind", Panther B wiping the tea stains off his
"This is a dangerous journey and there is no destination", reasons Panther X.
"This is a religious war and it is our solemn duty to free our brothers and sisters",
thunders Panther C.
The function of freedom is to free someone else – Toni Morrison
"No religion preaches violence and hatred. Emancipate yourself first from wrong notions ",
Panther X sermons.
The muddy unkempt road undulates and disappears. No one knows where it leads. Is
there a return or a one-way ticket? The questions are many and there are no answers in
The road behind is a bit familiar and treaded. It leads them to their village. Can they
reverse their gear and head towards Paradise? Would the evil perpetrators spare them?
There is uncertainty at both ends.
When peeled, they were all similar peas in one pod. Only one pea turned out to be
on the other side.
I have combined the word prompt is 'Serenity' , the picture prompt is via Pexel and the
quote prompt ," The function of freedom is to free someone else" – Toni Morrison
I'm Writing Bravely for the Write Tribe Festival of Words -March 2019