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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The story has some explicit contents and graphic details. Along with nudity and profanity. Reader discretion recommended.

Men in Paradise - 23. Chapter 23 - The Crystal


Molten magma forms the vast majority of igneous rocks and the degree of crystallization depends largely on the conditions in which they solidify. As of 1999, a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar weighing 840,000 lb is the world's largest known naturally occurring crystal. The main ingredient in drywall is gypsum and is often added to the water when brewing pale ale and pale India. For literally thousands of years, humans have been utilizing this mineral. But at the turn of the 21st century, when miners found some spectacularly large crystals that were giant gypsum pillars, the world revived its love for things. Half a million years ago, they were buried 984 feet below the Sierra de Naica Mountain in Chihuahua, Mexico. On the cherry-red and purple rhodochrosite rhombs, an apatite crystal sits front and center. Needle-like millerite crystals partly encased in the crystal of calcite and oxidized to zaratite on their surfaces; from the Wisconsin Devonian Milwaukee Formation. From volcanic magma, glass can form naturally. Obsidian is a common volcanic glass produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools quickly, with high silica content. Moldavite (found in central and eastern Europe) and Libyan desert glass (found in the eastern Sahara, the deserts of eastern Libya, and western Egypt) are notable examples of impact glass created by the impact of a meteorite. Stone Age cultures used naturally occurring obsidian glass because it breaks around very sharp edges, making it suitable for cutting instruments and weapons. Glassmaking dates back at least 6000 years, long before iron smelting was discovered by humans. Archaeological evidence indicates that the first glass was produced in ancient Egypt, Lebanon, and the coastal north of Syria. The earliest glass object known were beads which were found in Indus Valley Civilization and other regions.
Sakthi's PoV
During my childhood, my favorite season of the year is summer because of the warm weather, the school vacation, and the endless fun. I enjoyed the warm weather because it was the perfect atmosphere to do outdoor activities. Back home in Chennai, the best part about summer had to be the fact that schools are closed for two months. I was free to do whatever I wanted, not worrying about curfew, or waking up early for school. And, we had family trips, Hindu festivals, carnivals, and get-togethers during that time. Summertime are always stress-free, relaxing, and fun. I did not have to worry about homework, projects, and studying for a test. One of my favorite summer pastimes is staying up late watching movies and eating junk food, and then waking up late and having brunch.
Chennai is a hot and humid place during that time, temperature would rise to 45 degrees. Our city is in the down south of Indian subcontinent where Indian ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal meets. Because it is also a coastal city with a tropical climate thus, we have plenty of beaches and an evening breeze. We have a Summer carnival during the third week, people gather around to enjoy the busy bazaars with vibrant colors, glittery city lights, street foods, and the loud sound of the fireworks. Summer Cricket is a popular sport played in our area. Specific foods are made for Summer. Curd, Coconut, Pulses, Cassava chips, and pickles are popular during this period. You can watch shirtless Teenage boys playing with a bat and ball all over the city like Brazilian boys play soccer in their streets. Summer is a culture rather than just a season in Chennai.
I love the moderate hot and humid days of Paradise island that makes me want to dive into fresh and cold water. And it reminded me a lot back home even though it might not have similar weather and traditions. Summer in Paradise. It wasn't like a typical tropical summer. The Sun was bright and shiny during the day, but we never felt humidity. The temperature was moderate. Once the sun sets down, the breeze from the sea brings down the temperature, and at night mist engulfed the island until late morning, but we felt not as cold as winter. When summertime started, we started wearing lighter clothes and sometimes no clothes at all, they provided us the comfort. The weather allowed us to go outdoors, wandered around the forest and beach. Thanks to the goats which provided us enough milk to make the curd. Jai made a variety of pickles and stored them specifically for that summer. We spent a lot of time in the water stream and beach taking bath as many times as we could. During the day, there were fun activities such as swimming, playing sports, and barbeques. We spent a lot of time together during the evening with alcohol, Afridi’s songs, and dance. We laughed and had a good time.
More than us, birds on the tree enjoyed the summer. They built nests and laid eggs. Several new bird species migrated to our island from distant places. Swans and Cranes populated our shore and land. The number of ducks multiplied on the pond. Squirrels were all over the place and it had become Captain's hobby to chase them away. Fishes were jumping out of the waters in the stream and the sea. Our garden plants went to their second round of blooming. We planted new seeds and stems too and that includes eggplant, radish, beans, black lentils, chickpeas, white sesame, fennel, chow chow, and cabbages. Unlike the first time, pumpkins, nutmeg, and melons started growing in the garden during summer. Justin planted new rice crop seeds along with millets. The small waterfall at the stream was not as forceful as it was but provided enough water supply for us to take bath and drink every day. Forest was brimming with thick bushes and tall trees. New animals climbed down from the mountains to look out for food sources in the forest. The other day, we spotted a monkey for the first time. We received other visitors in our land too, such as deer, wild cats, pigs, and bugs. We tightened our fence, built a fort around our birdcage and goats shelter to protect them from predators. We built an underground below our storage room to keep our food supplies. Justin told us that we could use the underground during snowfall, storm, and rain.
We built a small blacksmith shed for Afridi and his furnace. Our front porch was upgraded with a clay floor and wooden bench. We built a bigger cage for our twelve howls and expanded the goat's shed too.
Summer was good. I was happy but I am not sure if the boys liked it as much as I did. Afridi gone psychic, he often argued with Justin, he screamed at TikTok and ate all the stored fruits by himself leaving nothing for us. Jai had become melancholy, he uttered very few words to me, he was sitting alone on the beach and staring at the waves almost every evening, it worried me. Captain was not happy much either, I thought he missed his forest life during summer, he started barking at everything around the fence and slept most of the daytime like a lazy dog. Justin had become erratic, of all the other boys Justin was the one I was worried about much. As if he was so desperate to compete with Darwin, he started experimenting with every single creature he saw on the island and gathering a huge pile of unwanted stones all around the hut. When I asked him what he is planning to do with it, he was clueless. To put it in short, summer was good for me, but something seriously wrong for others.
We were shirtless most of the time and replaced our shorts and trousers with a sack towel that Jai stitched us and wore our underwear beneath it. Showing our bare skin on our thighs, abs, and chest. It was very comfortable though. Afridi said summer made porn stars out of us. But I thought we looked like Tarzans of the jungle with our bamboo sticks and short blades hanging on our hips. We became part of Paradise Island.
But two days later, I fell in sick. It might be due to climate change or food poison, I didn't know. But I had a high temperature and had to stay in the loft most of the time. Captain refused to me leave me alone in the loft. Jai took care of me day and night. The boy had been a sweetheart to me ever since we came to the shore. Justin and Afridi refused to let me do even my regular work.
It had been five days in the loft, and I felt my body temperature was normal. I sat on my bed watching Captain staring back at me. The Dog had become fond of me. I didn't know how it sensed my sickness. But somehow it did.
A few minutes later, I was super bored. I needed to get out of the loft and breathe fresh air and probably go for a jog at the beach. I saw Jai climbing the ladder with a cup.
"Is that another one of those soup with Justin's medicinal plants?" I asked him with a disgusted face.
He laughed back at me and said "No, this is just ordinary goat soup. No more medicines for you".
I regretted snapping at him. The boy was wonderful to me and I should be respectful of that.
I smiled at him.
"I am sorry, I shouldn't have snapped at you. You took great care of me. Nobody did that to me until Preethi got married and went to the UK" I told him.
"That's OK Sakthi, I would have felt bad and bitter if I was drinking that sour stuff and had to stay in this loft" he responded to me with his soft voice.
"Hmm, thank you for everything," I told him with all my heart.
He looked at me as if he was shocked and nervous when I said that. But then he recovered from it and gave me a shy smile. I started wondering what I said wrong. As I said earlier, I guessed that the summer heat had affected him badly and might have emotionally drained him.
"It seems you are better now. Finish the soup and get down. Come and look at the new arrival in our goat shed" He said animatedly.
I finished my soup in a hurry and left the hut with him. Captain followed me.
I saw Justin and Afridi were busy discussing in front of the furnace. I wonder what was that all about, probably another one of theirs new experiments.
I turned my head and looked at Jai with a question in my eyes.
"They are making glasses. I don't how" He blurted out a laugh and I joined him.
We went to the shed and watched the new arrival. It was lamp twins. Both looked similar with their white skin and blackheads.
"Aren't they cute?" Jai was jumping with excitement.
I said "Yes" and beamed at him.
Every time we had a new arrival in the shed or at the bird's cage, we always felt excitement and some sort of accomplishment as if we were their parents.
"Justin wanted to discuss with you for the new barn and pigs We were waiting for you to recover" Jai informed me in advance.
We went to the furnace place where Justin and Afridi were arguing each other vigorously. Both of them were shirtless and their hair was disheveled.
"So, whatsup guy?" I asked them.
Afridi turned and stared at Justin furiously for a few seconds and then said
"Please tell Justin that we can't get into that rocks near the mountain. Isn't it too dangerous? would be slippery with sea waters and salt" Afridi complained to me.
There was no scarcity of rocks in both Paradise and Purple island, they were scattered everywhere. Some of them were naturally formed and have been there for thousands of years, some of the rocks big and small were formed due to volcano eruption. As we have noticed earlier, some rocks are partially on the island and the rest are immersed in the sea. They were mostly slippery due to their wetness and salt contents except for a couple of big rocks on the island which we saw on day one. Many rocks have caves particularly the ones which are closer to the mountain both in Paradise and Purple island. Until then, we mostly avoided exploring those rocks, even though Justin was desperate to go to those caves and explore them. We mostly ignored them whenever he brought that subject.
"Why do you want to go there?" I asked Justin.
"I found some crystal pieces on the sand near that rock. And I have a feeling, those crystal pieces were coming from that rock. I wanted to go in there and check it" Justin said.
"But why do you need crystals?" I asked him not understanding the reason for it.
"He says we can make glasses out of it," Afridi said, throwing up his arms in the air as if he thought that was a naïve idea from Justin.
"Look Justin, I know stones, plants, and geological kinds of stuff are your academic interest. But do you want to put yourself at risk? That path to the caves is narrow, you will fall into the sea if you slip even an inch" I warned him.
"No, it’s not just my academic interest it’s my passion. I thought you would understand me better” He replied with a tone of disappointment.
I looked at him calmly, I was unsure of how to respond to that.
Then he continued saying “This Paradise island is full of resources that I have never heard about. And I'd be careful climbing on the rocks to the caves I will have enough safety measures" Justin tried to convince me.
Afridi stared at him once again with anger and then started interrupting by saying
"If he is going in, I am going with him too. I am not leaving him there alone" Afridi said adamantly.
I had no idea what was wrong with people on that island that summer. Boys had suddenly become mad for no reason.
"Then I am coming too, I haven’t seen a crystal rock before" Jai joined in.
Ok, that was getting out of my control and I had to find a way to keep the boys safe, so I decided to join the gang.
"Ok, all of us are going then. Justin, be ready with your safety measures. It’s not just your life, but all of us are in it" I told him in a serious tone.
“Yes, our lives are in your hands now” Jai echoed my thoughts.
We spoke for few more minutes. Arguing and planning back and forth on the safety measures for the trip to crystal rock. As usual, there were plenty of arguments and infinite ideas from Afridi. Jai and Justin collaborated to come up with safety measures like Firefighters. Finally, we agreed on our safety measures. Then we headed to the hut for breakfast.
On the way back, Justin spoke to me.
"Man, it’s good to see you in good health once again. I was worried if my medicines are working or not" He said with a smile.
"It worked like a magic. Look" I showed him my biceps prowess and patted my chest.
He laughed.
“The superman is back again” Justin yelled as if he wanted the message to be conveyed to every creature on that island.
“Captain must be happy now, I guess,” Afridi said with a grin.
Strangely of all those chats, Jai was quiet, and he hardly uttered a word. I decided to ignore it for the time being and given him time to get over whatever was on his mind and talk to me when he is comfortable.
Breakfast was simple. We carried the items needed for our safety for the trip to crystal rock. We walked on the shore and crossed the big rocks. I could see the 'Help' letters painted on them by us. We went a mile further from it. Then we started seeing the beginning of the mountain and rocks below it is touching the sea.
"OK, guys, we tie the thread with us and climb on the rocks one by one. I will tie the end on this wood planted here on the sand. I am going to lead, and you will follow me. If it’s too slippery, use your bamboo sticks for balance" Justin gave us the instructions.
The rocks were slippery indeed. Afridi was the most slippery guy in the gang. Sometimes he could be so unbalanced. And he almost fell into the sea, but Justin held him in his longhand and dragged him back to the rocks.
"I got you bro" He shouted at him with a beam.
Our rock climbing continued, and we reached a big rock that had a big opening in the middle which looked like a cave. Seawater was flowing inside. Fortunately, we had enough space on the edges of the rock to walk inside.
"Generally, crystal forms in a cave-like this, where rock and water substances can collide forcefully" Justin was informing us.
The Cave almost 50 meters longs and it was too dark to see what was inside. Jai brought a wooden torch made of bamboo with a raisin pasted cotton cloth strapped on its top. He lit the fire on it using flintstones. The light from the torch spread around the cave.
The sight we saw was magnificent indeed. White Crystal formations were hanging on the roof of the cave everywhere, it reflected in the light. Anchored to the walls and floor of a sweltering cave, the crystals might have gone through at least half a million years of uninterrupted growth. Many are long and wide enough to walk across, but some are narrow and dangerous to even walk and honestly look like Superman's Fortress of Solitude.
The place was so humid that anyone who lingered too long risked having fluids condense inside his lungs. That can be fatal. We have been already warned about it by Justin. He said that microbial life forms could be trapped inside one of the crystals that may have laid dormant for up to 50,000 years, since we had no idea how long that cave existed or the crystals timeline, we were careful handling them.
Justin and I cut as many crystals as we could and put them in our bags. Some of them were so ancient and strong, we couldn't even cut them with our sharp blades. We found few more small rocks sediments in blue and green glittering in the light. Justin carved it with his blade and took some of them.
"What is that?" Afridi asked him.
"I don't know, I need to check and refer it from my books in the hut" Justin replied.
“Are they diamonds?” Afridi asked him once again.
Justin might have irritated with the diamond question again and again, but he stayed silent and focused on collecting and exploring the stones.
“What are we going to do with all of them?” Jai asked him.
“We are going to make as many glass vessels as you want, we are upgrading our tools, vessels, and windows”. Justin replied passionately.
When we returned from the cave that afternoon with a bag full of stones and exhausted legs. The Sun was in the middle of the sky, shining brighter than ever.
Copyright © 2021 Vikki; All Rights Reserved.
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I am publishing my story here on experimental basis. Readers feedback and comments are most welcome

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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IS the summer heat getting to all of them or are they slowly missing home?

Whatever it is hope it passes soon as they will need to be ready for oncoming winter

So Shakti does not remember anything about the feast nite, thats the reason Jai is hiding from him and sad all the time


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Great story!!!! keep up the great work. I just hope Jai and Shakti can get together. Poor Jai, heart broken all the time. With the way the boys are making the island more livable who would want to leave. Seems all the smart passengers were saved. 

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