Plain shirts, out-to-date bottoms, spooky hair, embellished glasses, short in stature, lean physique, beautiful face and an eternally perplexing look on the face. This is Joe, born to Mr and Mrs D’Silva after eight long years of their marriage. He was a weird child since birth and his parents were aware of this truth. Joe never befriended people of his age, had imaginary conversations with equally unrealistic creatures, smiled at select instances with just a 5-degree turn of his lips and was always seen confused and scared of unknown dreams.
An extreme introvert, Joe was fond of one hobby and that was painting. His room was a secret as no one had ever entered his uncanny world and many didn’t dare to. Days rolled by and Joe was now an adult. Nothing much had changed except for the fact that Joe had become a little approachable. He still did not talk to anyone about his personal life and thoughts, not even to his parents. As he was good with academics, his parents were sure about Joe having a secure life in future.
Dreams shaped Joe’s personality to a great extent and there was this constant dream that he dreamt about a peculiar brigade of dwarfs. These dreams began specifically after his family vacation to Kerala when he was 7 years old. Coincidentally, this was also the time after which Joe had started staying aloof and became more mysterious. So his dream dwarfs, clad in white aprons, laughing heartily, approached him with daggers in their hand. This dream made Joe wet his pants all the time when he was still young. This dream was recurrent and kept visiting Joe all through the years of his childhood and later in his adult life.
One day, on his way to college, he fell asleep while on the bus and startled everyone with his sudden loud cry. The dwarfs had visited him yet again. A college mate, Alice, came to Joe’s rescue. For the first time, Joe experienced the bubbles inside his heart. He experienced the warmth of Alice’s touch. Soon, love blossomed between the two and Joe started becoming more social in the company of Alice. Everything seemed to fall in place until that disastrous day when Joe lost all connections with his present.
Joe, like other days, set out on the bus to go to work. A lady in red resembling one Joe’s dream dwarfs mind boggled Joe to such an extent that he immediately jumped off the bus. Everything seemed to blacken out and the next moment Joe found himself in the hospital. When Alice asked him the reason behind his stupid act, Joe, with much hesitation, narrated the entire incident about the Lady in Red. Alice was taken aback at Joe’s words and started wailing loudly.
Joe could not comprehend Alice’s sudden sobs so asked his mother about it. This was when Joe understood the complexity of his mental state. For the past one week, Joe had been in bed and had not even taken a stroll in the garden. He had jumped off the first floor of their bungalow and that’s how he landed up in the hospital. Joe could not handle the stress and anxiety and became still due to shock.
Alice and Joe’s family called for a well-known psychologist to solve Joe’s dilemma. Depression was the main culprit. However, an incident in Joe’s childhood seemed to impact the most. Joe was not ready to cooperate with the doctor and so the doctor asked for Alice’s help. He told Alice to keep a tab on Joe’s behaviour and to get hold of all these hidden paintings that he has been doing all his life.
Alice followed the doctor’s orders. She planned to sedate Joe with some harmless pills to get hold of the keys of the bedroom where his paintings lay. Everything was calm and things happened as desired. Alice had got the master key and when she entered the room, Lo! What a sight it was. All the paintings, in blood red and coal black, depicted just one scene, of seven monstrous dwarfs with daggers in hands, killing Joe. There seemed to be cross marks on the portrait of an old man that looked like a sage. Alice could not control her fright and immediately took a photograph of the room and locked it hurriedly. She was unable to accept the dark side of her husband’s ominous adventures.
She visited the doctor and handed over to him all that she had collected. The doctor looked satisfied as he had predicted such a grave catastrophe to be in progress. He and Alice treacherously got Joe under a hypnotic test.
“I do not know. This man, he cursed me. He said I‘ll have seven grave sufferings in my life that will occur on the 7th of a month. I begged and begged but did not relent. I had not hurt him purposely but that sage he did not seem to spare me. I kept thinking and thinking but could not find a solution.”
These were the words of Joe while he was being hypnotized by the doctor. His dreams, the seven dwarfs, the seven daggers were all hints given to Joe by his subconscious. When Joe was shown the video wherein he confessed about his childhood trauma, he understood that he needed help. His insanity was costing him his life and his family. He agreed to undergo a complete psychiatric treatment and took a new approach towards life.
Alice, shocked at the entire episode vowed to help Joe get over his childhood curse to live a happy life thereafter. And so began Joe’s new journey, into the other depths of the universe where he started searching for his lost self.