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#RubyIyer: BOMBAY SHORTS 14 – That Place Called SoBo

Recap: Ruby Iyer is pushed in front of a train in Bombay, and wakes up with super powers. Her world is shaken even more when she meets Edward; now when she is face-to-face with her adversary, can she rise to the challenge? Read on…

– That Place Called SoBo –

Straddling the motorbike, she checked the twitter feed on her phone to pin-point the location of the call on Google maps; it seemed to be coming from — The Sealink?

Did people walk across the Sealink? It had to be the Mumbai Marathon. Why would someone running the marathon need her help?

About to fire up the bike, she paused: was the tweet a joke, the tweet? Somebody taking the piss?  

Just so she could burst in unannounced and be ridiculed. Look ma, its a bird, a plane, no it’s not superman, its just me, Ruby.

The iPhone slipped slightly in her sweaty palms and unable to find any other place to hold it, she slipped it between her breasts, zipping up the front of the jumpsuit, before hastily rubbing her palms on her thighs, her hand skittered off the slippery material, reminding her she was well covered against the eyes of the world.

It doesn’t matter, even if you make a complete fool of yourself, no one can tell it was you! 

Trying to bolster her courage, she pulled on the smelly helmet.

“Heyyyy!” The shout had her jerking up and she saw the original owner of the bike walking purposefully up the driveway.

She started the bike, revving it so its noise boomed out, bouncing around the walls of the compound. As he walked up to her, she could hear his lips move but not what he said: raising her shoulders she shrugged, miming that she could not hear him, before rolling the vehicle forward, full throttle so its front wheel lifted off the ground before dropping down abruptly as with a little bounce she zoomed away and out of the drive-away, leaving the stranger hidden behind a cloud of dust, a grin on her face. Why was it so much fun to shine in borrowed feathers?

Swerving through the traffic, in-and-out to avoid the natural speed-breakers of people who wandered the roads like sheep on a hillside meadow; she heaved a sign on turning onto the relative calm of the Bandra reclamation flyover, its open road vying for the attention of the skies which had blushed a fiery red from the setting sun. Just before the toll-booths to the bridge, she stopped, and pulling out her phone tweeted back;

@BombayVigilante: @sanori where are you?

The reply came instantly.

@sanori: you took your time! I am right at the centre, and if you don’t hurry…!!

Ruby raised an eyebrow in surprise at the tone: Typical! Now I am at their beck and call?

Putting away her phone, she revved up the motorbike and putting on a burst of speed gunned the bike all the way down and over the head’s of the surprised guards at the gentry—straight in the midst of the crowds of marathoners milling about, who parted promptly as she bounced once before coming to a stop.

She revved the engine of the bike, surveying the crowds consideringly—when: “Yoohoo” a girl shot out of the catapult of humanity, coming to a stop in front of her.

Slightly overweight she was: yet curved in all the right places and poured into indulgent-to-touch skin, while haloed by that rarefied, heavily oxygenated cloud cover, which marked her to be from that utopia called SoBo.

Just in case anyone had missed the point, emblazoned across her chest were the words: “Everything is Cooler in Colaba!” How well she knew that look: she had been one of them, not long ago, until… Ruby looked down her nose or what she could see of it through her helmet: “So?” Her voice came out muffled.

“There…” Ms. SoBo bobbed her head, pointing towards the nearest diamond shaped, concrete pylon which held up the bridge. Ruby gasped! Half way between the sea and the sky was the outline of a man. “No!” She jumped off the bike, letting it crash, elbowing her way through the assorted individuals till she reached the foot of the tower.

“Hey!” Her scream came out muffled and lowering the shaded visor, she yelled again “HEY!” this time the man looked down at her. Was he saying something? She couldn’t be sure. Jeeesus! She put one foot onto the vertical bar, putting her full strength onto it, testing it, only to slip off instantly—how had he got up there? He must have had some help, had he climbed a ladder?

Shaking her head, she turned around putting some distance between her and the tower, running to where @sanori stood watching her with curiosity. “You are not leaving are you?”

Without replying Ruby ran, her feet barely touching the ground; the speed giving her the momentum needed to spring up and onto the smooth girders.

Ignoring the collective gasp of the crowd, the scream of a siren from far off, the crash of the waves below; everything faded as her senses popped, focussing in on her target: her feet clinging to the bar below her feet, through the pliable material of her jumpsuit she righted herself, walking quickly in the manner of a trapeze artist balanced on a rope, till she reached the man.

– To be continued…

For previous episodes http://bit.ly/19ixZcu

Laxmi Hariharan is a kindle bestselling author. Find her @laxmi or Facebook, and at Young Adult Old Soul.



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