The Shesha

A lamppost flared over a deserted street that was hidden in the haze. The yellow leaves wafting in the breeze signalled that winter had set in. Someone with a small briefcase stood under the lamp post holding his greasy old overcoat tightly. His long curly hair was spread all over his rusty face. Tucking them behind his ears, he stared down the street.
“Waiting for someone, eh?” A pudgy man emerged from behind.

“Was.” The man replied with a smile.

“Arthur, right?”

“Yes. For now.”

“Me believes ye have what me needs.” The man looked at the briefcase and continued, “Will ye let me see?” His eyes glittered as he remarked, “Master has been waiting for this for so long.”

“I’d suggest you do not open it.” Arthur handed him the case.

“Well in that case, might me also suggest ye one thing?” He added, “Mind yer own business! Me shall open it. Take cover if ye wish, eh?”

The briefcase was opened and out came the most fantastic and horrid creature, the Shesha Naga, as the locals called it. With its five heads, all hissing at once, it charged towards the man. Twisting and turning, it proceeded to maul him.

“My, my!” The man was terrified. “Me had imagined it to be a lot smaller! A LOT!” He ran for his life.

“Now had I not warned you?” Arthur jumped between the Shesha and the man. “Run.” Arthur suggested him.

The man took cover behind a rock and observed the happenings.

Arthur and the Shesha stood their grounds at a distance and facing each other. With a loud roar from Arthur, they ran towards each other. The street now glowed under the moonlight and felt more like a battlefield. Whenever the Shesha tried attacking Arthur with its deadly fangs, he dodged artistically and when Arthur tried to grab the Shesha, it slipped right through his hands. None of them was able to inflict any harm on the other except for the one time when Arthur jumped over one of Shesha’s heads and gashed it. Pitch black blood fell on the street as the Shesha screamed in agony but, interestingly, it did not seem to affect the Shesha as it continued the battle with the same valour as before. They fought and fought for hours without giving up and without getting tired. When attacking from the ground seemed futile, Arthur, to everyone’s surprise, took to the air. He flew high and pranged against the Shesha. The Shesha was taken aback by the strike. It tried in vain to reach out to Arthur and attack. When Arthur felt it was time to put an end to the fight, he pricked its thick flesh with his hands and held it tightly. Black blood once again oozed out as Arthur flew high up in the sky. He cut the clouds charismatically and hovered in the air with the Shesha still in his grip and the full moon to his side. The man was gaping at the picturesque silhouette. Arthur roared again, threw the Shesha in the air and kicked it towards the street. A huge thud shook the ground as the Shesha fell. For a moment, it did not move while Arthur stayed in the sky.

“Is it dead?” The man was concerned.

“Looks like it is.” Arthur was about to say more when the Shesha’s tail twitched. Some of its heads sniffed the dust while others rose above the ground, still dazed by the blow. It was reviving and Arthur did not want that. Arthur, plummeted down and stood beside the Shesha.

“Yield!” Arthur commanded.

The Shesha dwindled till it became no larger than a meter, its heads merged to be one. It then crawled up Arthur’s body and coiled around his neck.

“Magnificent!” The man came out of the hiding. “Ye have earned me respect. Is there anything that ye want to say?”

“You talk funny.” Arthur smiled and vanished in the mist.


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