I lay in bed, thinking. The train of thoughts did not have a particular direction, and the thoughts were simply rambling and hopping from one thought to the other. I was making a tremendous effort to divert my mind from the pain that was swelling up in my legs, but ironically, the more effort I put in to be away from it, the more attention I gave to that pain.
It was difficult to fall asleep, but I felt too languid to get out of bed either. In the dead of the night, everything was so quiet, that even silence was deafening. And in the midst of this deafening silence, I heard a deafening cry. The sound seemed to have amplified manifold in the night. It was loud, yet it was so short that I thought I had imagined it. I think the sound came from a bird. It had a faint melody to it, yet it was the harshest sound I had ever heard.
For a long time I strained my ears to get another hint of the sound. I felt its alien presence right outside the room, in the garden. I heard the cry in the distance again but it was too soft. It was 3:30 a.m. The uncanny cry of the unknown bird was reverberated in my ears. I lay awake for a long time, my senses alert, hoping to hear that voice once again over the monotonous drone of the fan.
The bird had successfully diverted my mind from my leg ache. I kept thinking about that voice. Why this was important, I do not know. Though I was sure that sound was wound up just for me. I knew it carried an unknown message that I had to decipher. It was a sign… but of what? I looked out of the window, gazing at the shadows of the moon lit trees. They didn’t answer those questions for me, yet I felt I knew.
Just as I was slipping into the long sought for sleep, tired of rebounding thoughts, I christened the sound, which I knew would haunt me for times to come, as the cry of the wind-up bird.