Nothing is Safe

Samarth Narayanan

Trigger Warnings: violence, sexual assault

Dark skies don’t think twice before
They banish the sun behind the clouds

Dark black clouds that tear the white
Golden red pink orange skies apart,
As the evening sets in

Over rain-drenched pavements
Populated by the billowing wings
Of circling vultures, standing in dresses
That hide their tresses, whispering
Sweet beckons to women walking up
The street;

Men with knives inside their robes,
Wave welcomes to our protagonist
As she walks down the path
That leads her home

We don’t really know, for sure
If these knives really do
Exist
But the mere possibility
Of weapons that could coerce
Are enough to warrant
Wariness

Mere possibilities
Echoed by mothers and fathers
And grand old uncles
Patriarchs sitting on ancient thrones
Telling us to fear
Our women aren’t safe
Our women aren’t safe
Our women aren’t safe
They tell us, again, and again
The knowledge that nothing is safe
Is why we hold bottles with nozzles to
Defend our honour if it ever were to be defiled
As we walk back home amid the darkening
Streets

A backpack filled
To the brim with commentaries
On textbook statutes
weigh down against our law student’s shoulders
As she makes her way
Through urban foliage

The time of the day
Announces the welcome of night
The streetlamps do not yet
Know
That the world is now dark
And cold

They refuse to light up

Straying away from the well trodden path,
Avoiding birds of prey with
Steampunk voices singing over ambient
Soundscapes in her over the ear
Headphones, our protagonist who shall
Not be named
Walks down an empty street
A street that she thinks a better choice
Than the bustling crowds of groping fingers
On the more frequented paths

Dark foreboding clouds
Sweep over
Desolate homes as the moon
Casts
A soft white glow,
Reflecting off of the puddles of rain
As worn out feet patter against the tiny
Little intersection,
That leads from the urban sprawl
To safe sets of apartments
As she walks, trying not to get
Her clothes all wet

Splashes
Cut through the monotone of this
One woman’s feet against the ground,
But the noise of the music
Promptly hides this development;
An entity appears behind our woman

An eight foot tall monstrosity,
Would’ve been seen if shadows,
Could’ve been seen,
But spidey senses tingle, and she
Who cannot be named
Turns around immediately, fingers
Instinctively jumping to pause music,
Backward glances show,
In the distance, the figure, appearing
Slowly, but surely,
Inching closer, imperceptibly

Slowly, he picks up pace, and
Turns up barely ten feet
Away

In the next few seconds,
Intentions become profoundly clear,
As he darts forward, to grasp
Her by her
Shoulders

She flips right over, and in
Tumult,
Lands against the wet floor
Scrambling for
Her pepper spray
Which she can’t seem to find

Instead, her fingers make their way
To the large big bound Ratanlal
Dhirajlal Indian Penal Code textbook

A legal document that she can finally
Put to use

She flips it out,
Whacks the aggressor,
Over his head as his face
Staggers backward

A scream of elation escapes her
Face,
She lifts it back up
Thrusts it down,
Again, and again
And again she slams
The big fat Penal Code
Over her antagonist,
Who now lies in a heap on the floor
Face in a puddle

The moonlight falls against her face
In delightful glee, glinting eyes,
Maniacal joy at being set free
The ten foot tall stalker
Now lies fallen against the
Rain-drenched floor

The lights come on, and she stands straight up
Wears her expression once again, straightens her
Now muddy clothes and thrusts the impenetrable
Textbook back into her backpack

She walks back home

Her parents simply shrug it away
We don’t need to prosecute
We don’t need societal scorn
Why did you walk down the empty road
Why were you listening to music
Nothing is safe, you know this is true,
So why walk down an empty road?

Nothing is safe,
Nothing is safe.

*All images used in this article are either Eyra’s own design or widely and freely available on the internet.*

One thought on “Nothing is Safe

  1. The last paragraph says so much about the society live in. You’ve portrayed this issue really well. There’s a sense of fear that all women feel walking down roads that are not crowded enough and this happens during the day too.

    Like

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