Fate’s Heartblood – Chapter 3 & 4
Sachin woke with a start, trying to remember the remnants of the dream, but it was already fading. He rubbed the pishacha tattoo centered on his chest as if to remove the faint burning left over from his slumber.
In the dark, he settled back down and stared at the ceiling, thinking. He felt an attraction towards the quiet chauffeur and had reviewed his personnel files.
Jayanta Thodi, 24 years old, working part-time at the Princess Resort while a college student at the Homi Bhabha National Institute, studying engineering. His parents and younger sister lived in Mumbai as well, although kept his own place. A fairly normal, quiet guy. What would he do if he found out what Sachin was?
What worried him more was the curse he was under. Almost absentmindedly, he rubbed the tattoo again, as if to erase it from his skin. He didn’t remember how he became vampire; the problems of being a supernatural creature didn’t fully develop until his young teens.
When he was older, he visited a seer. After the preliminary ritual was completed, the seer fell into a trance, and in an eerie voice, chanted:
“The children of Trimurti, and Parvati will give thee courage to overcome Surya’s anger and caprice. When the threads of fate weave with heartstring’s wish, when Chitragupta gives release, then you shall find surcease.”
Then he had fallen, insensible, and didn’t wake up until Sachin was forced to seek shelter from the sun. To this day, 76 years after that meeting, he had been unable to shed light on his curse, and had given up long ago.
Every few years he was forced to recreate his identity, but it was getting harder as technology became a bigger obstacle to hiding from mainstream society. He had worked at this hotel almost 7 years, and he really enjoyed his current position and coworkers.
Shutting down his mental processes, he got ready for work.
Jayanta was concerned. It was almost a half hour since the shift started, and no one had seen or heard from Manager Kumari. On impulse, he walked to the Security Office and checked in.
“Good evening, Officer Singh. Manager Kumari hasn’t shown up yet, and he’s rarely late. Could you call him and check?” The officer nodded, and, reaching for a card file, pulled out the manager’s information. Laying on the desk, he dialed.
Jay didn’t consciously act, yet he leaned over and read the card upside down, memorizing the information on the form.
The security guard was silent for a moment, and then frowned.
“No one is answering. Manager Kumari normally replies by the second ring.” A decreet cough sounded behind Jay, and he spun around to see an IPS officer waiting in the doorway.
After identifying himself, he got down to business.
“I am checking to see if a Sachin Kumari works at this establishment.”
“Did something happen to him?” Jay asked, feelingly. The officer gave a slight shrug.
“We aren’t sure. It appears his motorcycle was involved in an impact with a lorry, but when public safety officials arrived, we were unable to find the driver. The brakes failed on the lorry, and he struck the cycle on the side. There was blood on the pavement, and we are trying to determine what happened.”
Sachin slowly became aware of his surroundings, a screaming pain in his left leg and hip. He remembered seeing the large truck run through the intersection, but he was unable to maneuver out of the way to avoid the impact. In the ensuing chaos, he managed to hide in a building near the crash site; there was no way he could go to a hospital with his unique physiology.
‘How long have I been unconscious?’ he wondered, and then decided it didn’t matter; the important thing was to get to safe shelter until his body could heal. He looked at his watch and realized it had been several hours since the accident. If he didn’t get assistance soon, he would fry when the sun rose.
Groaning, he rolled over and sat up, white-hot pain from his hip causing a brief moment of tunnel vision, but after a few shallow breathes, he reached in his front pocket and pulled out his hand phone. Although the casing was cracked, it was still operational. Now who could he dial? An earnest young face flashed before him, and he mentally shook his head. His choices were limited, though, and his window of time was shrinking. Closing his eyes on a quick prayer, he typed in the number and pressed the green button.
Robotically wiping the limousine’s dashboard and his mind a million miles away, Jay started when his hand phone began to ring.
“Hailo?” There was nothing but some breathing on the phone, and Jay pulled the phone from his ear. He was about to disconnect when something made him pause. He put it back to his ear.
“Manager Kumari? Is it you?” He heard a cough, almost a wheeze, and then a voice that was familiar in spite of the pain lacing through it.
“Jayanta. I’m in trouble. Can you help me?”
“Yes, sir, what do you need me to do?”
Jay pulled up to the building and turned off his Hyundai. It had taken a little time to collect the supplies that Sachin had requested, and he was in an agony to know how the man was doing. He cautiously opened the side door.
“M…Manager Kumari? Where are you?” A rustling sound from the left had him swiftly heading for that corner.
And there he was. Jay was shocked. Colorful bruises along his left temple continued along his shoulder and upper arm. As he attempted to stand up, it was clear there was something wrong with his left leg. Jay hastened over to assist, and together, they hobbled out of the warehouse.
Jay helped him into the car; Sachin sighed and closed his eyes as he relaxed against the seat. Jay hustled over to the driver’s seat and jumped in. Snapping the seat belt, he reached for his hand phone and dialed a number scribbled on a piece of paper.
“Hello, is this Suvarna Hospital? I’d like your Emergency Department, please…” Before he could be connected, Sachin reached over and pulled the phone from his grasp, closing the lid.
“No hospital.” Sachin said this with a finality that surprised the young man.
“Sir, you are badly hurt, and I think you should…”
“No, just drive me home and I’ll be fine. Where is the blanket?” Jay leaned back and pulled it from the rear seat. Sachin draped it over his body and arranged the corner as a sort of hood.
Jay shook his head and drove towards address given to him by his odd companion.