Aphelion Issue 281, Volume 27
March 2023
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Passionate Blood

by Hareendran Kallinkeel

Anil gropes through a dark alley. Flashes of lightning illuminate the serpentine path. He finds two cobras tangled in passion, rolling in mud. Splashes of the slime hit his face as tails flail.

“Indiscriminate lovers,” he says. Phlegm he spits out splotches the dirt. “Vile sinners…”

Bile wiggles in his stomach, struggles as a lump in his throat. The serpents’ bodies wriggle in a frenzy of mating. Moonlight glazes their black skin, highlighting coiled bodies writhing in blissful abandon. Anil slaps his palms against his ears to ward off the hissing noises.

The lump squeezes out of his mouth, lands in mud. It twists and turns in the mire, takes form. A mongoose emerges, shaking off filth. The predator pounces on prey, hunger gnawing at its intestines.

Flesh tears. Blood spills. Bones crackle.

Anil stumbles out of the alley’s maze and feels a breeze soothe his cheeks.

He examines the bodies lying on the ground, their curly locks entwined like cobra siblings mating.

“You deserved the worst.” He kisses the severed head of his father and straightens his mother’s sari, hiked up in throes of death.

“You birthed evil through sinful union.” Anil claws at the earth.
“Your offspring granted you deliverance; he guarantees you a decent burial.” He throws handfuls of the slime on them.

“Together, you came from one womb.” He peels off flakes of blood caked on his beard.
“Together you depart…” he says, “to the womb of Earth.”


2017 Hareendran Kallinkeel

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