You Don’t Scare Me


"It is foolish to guard against misfortunes from the external world and leave the inner mind uncontrolled.” ~ Buddha

I had the slightest window to shower.

The master's annual Eid sermons and prayers were renown for their brief simplicity. He did not like to indulge in what nature was more efficient in doing. He also knew that the bulk of change in the conscience of man did not lay in public performances.

Indeed, he had a very long day ahead of him. A very long week, actually, filled with an influx of villagers who have worked abroad and were home for Eid. And with them, the master exchanged blessings. And for them the house was opened, allowing them to fill the house with noise and children and curiosity. Touching everything with their thoughts and words and fingers. Thus, for a whole week, at least, I was pent up in my room to avoid the nemesis of hermiticism.

Hence, that one small window of calm. When everyone's attention was averted to the Timekeeper and Eid ceremonies. It was the only chance for me to slip in and out of my room without getting ambushed with chitchat and stares. After a few years of miserably spending the week cooped up in my room in past Eid seasons, I had counted on that small window of calm to take my one final break from being eternally constipated and shower.

I stripped and stepped into the shower. Naked and soaped, I remembered that I was also facing a window of doom. If I had known about this small window, would not a lot of other people - more destitute and desperate for more important resources than showering - knew about it too?

It was the golden hour of loot. I've heard stories of thieves squeezing into the tightness of that window, pushing on desperation and murdering anybody found behind the unlucky windows they have cracked open.

I turned facing the shower door. Naked and wet, I thought, if I was going to share that window of calm with anyone I might as well try to get a full view.

That was when I saw it.

Looming taller and wider than the shower door, it stood behind me, blocking my view of everything else behind it. Its thick fur and stocky figure overfilled the shower stall. Its cookie-monster eyes rotated insanely, never meeting mine, offering subordination in its language. Naked and wet, I nearly slipped off my feet laughing.

Did the master send you? To protect the house?

And the master’s servant genderuwo's massive head stilled for a moment in humble and silent acquiescence.

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