The flies were the only companion it had. And now there was Me. I used to squat on the cold floor, my naked legs flippity-flopping against it until mom asked me to stop. The dusty old lamp was kept right above that huge wooden cupboard that housed the untouchable things. My stature against that wooden giant was like that of a snail staring into the eyes of an elephant.
Every morning the window above would usher in new waves of sunlight and I would hope that the waves would carry enough weight to rub the lamp and make it dance and twirl until something magical appeared. I would camp at the bank of this invisible river that separated me from that cupboard. I wouldn't dare cross that 'river', scared that something would disturb those magical creatures living inside. Asking mom to fetch it was out of the question as mom would instantly turn into a stone if she touched the lamp. Dad wasn't around in daytime and I couldn't possibly look at the lamp in the dark, let alone step inside the room.
Only once had I caught a glance of it after sunset, when I crossed the 'room with the cupboard' to get to the fridge at 1 in the night. After cursing myself for getting thirsty at that hour I darted across the room with closed eyes. But inquisitiveness got the better of me as I peaked between my fingers and could see the lamp shining like a pearl and smiling at me like a vicious animal.
From that day on, I never entered the room at nigh-time. Though during day-time, when angels roamed around the streets dressed as humans, I could tell that the lamp too had transformed into a friendly magician, waiting for me to make the first move.
I tried talking to it once and was sure that it listened because as I spoke, a fly sitting on it flew across the river and landed on my nose. I knew it was a message from the inhabitant of the lamp. Even my breathing would've disrupted the message; Holding my breath I tried to bend my ears towards my nose, like those dogs do, to listen to everything the fly had to say. The fly wrestled with my nose for a few seconds and flew away.
'She' must have scribbled something on my nose. Even though I was completely desperate to know what it was, but regaining my breath was more important and so I took in a mouthful of air, more dramatic than panting after running a mile. Rushing towards the bathroom mirror, I stopped millimeters short of the glass and pushed my face right into it. So close that if I poked any more, I'd risk falling into the other side. A friend had warned me against doing that, else I risked getting nabbed by the 'Stealer' from the other side of the mirror. He'd told me that once he had seen a picture of his grandma looking into the mirror. She was so young and pretty, with long black hair. But now she was old and weak and her hair had gone grey. It was the 'Stealer' who had stolen her beauty. So scared was he that he never got too close to the mirror and always had the most disheveled hair in the class.
But I would've believed him, had he not made up a story about the big scar he had. He said that his father had given him the scar when he had put out his cigarette on his arm. He thought I'd believe that!
Anyways, I had to checkout what was written on my nose by that messenger fly. Maybe it contained a code that would set the lamp magically alive. But even the closest of examinations did not reveal anything. Disappointed, I washed my nose and looked out of the window.
Huge birds flew again in the sky, leaving a trail of smoke behind. I ran out to chase them....