The reign of Shoulder Bearer started long back; and he has roamed the forests and the hills. Though none knows where he came from, he tells none where he is headed for. But those who rested on his shoulder knows that the shoulder will always be there for them, because of the unseen thread that always keeps them connected.
The Shoulder Bearer roamed, as the Artiste kept painting and destroying his canvases. The Shoulder Bearer kept walking with the Pianist still trying to bind him with his surreal notes. Was the Shoulder Bearer tired, can we see a hint of limp in his stride? Is he bleeding from the walk? He dreamt himself to be a god; or was it the heads resting that gave him the feeling?
He stopped to nurse his feet, and he discovered it was his heart that was bleeding. The Artiste and the Pianist were smiling; they know that the reign of the Shoulder Bearer might be closing towards and end. The Artiste picked up all of his brushes to paint the picture with million colors, the piano jumped to the sky to fill the ether with its mystic tune. They were inviting the world to see the beginning of the end.
Shoulder Bearer looked skywards, the rain falling on his eyes, trickling down to his chest. His chest was wet, was it rain? Was it his sweat? Or was it fusion of tears – rain’s and his own? The world was churning; can even Noah’s ark bear this storm? The Pianist quizzed, does he really want heads to rest on his shoulder? Or does he have a hidden agenda? Is he there just to liberate the grieving hearts, moist sighs and grappling hands? Or is he searching for a shoulder in return too?
The shoulder bearer pondered, is there a land that needs him along with the Pianist and the Artiste? Can they all coexist? The storm tormented his soul and his eyes and his creation, but he was lost in the rain.
The storm was short, but it left a trail of devastation. The stars were twinkling in the sky and the earth was wet. The moonlit night glided on top of the bubbles of his dreams. The night was calm, but his reign was in tatters. He lifted the head resting on his shoulder, carefully removing the long tresses covering his shoulder and her face; he looked in to her eyes. The depth of the eyes put the oceans to shame, it was as deep as the space itself. With all its dark mystery yet holding the brightness of million of stars and novas. He inhaled her aroma kissed her goodbye.
He stood up to survey, to find pieces of his heart strewn around. Was it a storm or a lifetime? His tent with no doors lying in tatters, his carefully decorated memoirs lying in rubble. He carefully started collecting the pieces to treasure in his casket. He collected the moistures from his chest, the strands of hair from his shoulders, the broken leaves scattered over the place and the blooms glistening with the raindrops.
They bid her goodbye, while keeping her with them. The flashes of lightening was not theirs, she was free to go to her master. It was rain who stayed, not imprisoned but crowned as queen. With the first ray of the dawn hitting the realm, they saw their world clear. The smile was back; the Artiste went to his canvas, as the Pianist once again started mesmerizing the kingdom.
The shoulder bearer once again left in his journey, this time assured that he has his treasure that he hoped to find during his lifetime. He has spent a lifetime in search and lived a lifetime in the storm. Carefully carrying his casket treasuring the pieces of the lifetime he spent in the storm, he prepared once again to go missing in his journey. Sometimes during the silence of the nights dotted with the loneliness that was so his, he opens his casket to relive the lifetime he spent with his queen under the storm. Only sometimes – when his heart springs back, to beat!