So then Ravana takes his flying chariot and lands a little way away from Rama, Sita and Lakshman's home. Maricha takes the form of the stag they talked about and goes up to the house where the three are having a nice little lunch.
Sita, seeing Maricha, freaks, "Oh my God! What a beautiful deer. I want it, Rama! I want it! Get it for me, please, please, please!"
Rama stands up and takes his bow without a thought. Lakshman, who notices that all of the animals that had been bouncing around like in a Disney movie a few moments before this deer came have disappeared and there's this weird sulfuric smell, and beyond that the world just feels wrong, says, "Say Rama, I'm not sure that's a normal deer. There's something strange about it. And do you smell that?"
Rama, taking his brother's warning says, "You have a good point. Stay and guard Sita. I'll go after the deer alone."
"It could be a trap, Rama. Why not just let the deer go? If a simple deer, its only crime is beauty, and isn't the whole world guilty of that? Our eyes touching it is punishment enough for beauty." He jests poetically.
"But..." Sita whispers, knowing that she is being immature but not wanting to control herself, "I want it." She gushes. "Please get it for me?" She flashes big round eyes at Rama.
He pleads to his brother. "How can I say no?"
"I do a pretty good job of it." Lakshman smirks. "If it's a demon you can kill it. Go, go. I'll guard the door to your wife's rooms. I always do." He rolls his eyes and goes back to his soup.
Rama leaps down from the balcony, already notching an arrow and letting it fly at the deer that moves too quickly into the forest.
"Yup," Lakshman sighs, "That's definitely a demon."
Sita, realizing she was just being immature, blushes. "Oh. You're right. Vishnu protect him. You should go and help him!"
"No." Lakshman shakes his head simply, puts his empty soup bowl down, and begins blessing the house.
"Why not? There is no danger here. The danger is with the demon."
"The secret of demons is that you never know where the danger is. Within. Without. Around. About. All the same. For all we know you are under some sort of spell. For all we know, so am I. So, knowing nothing, I pray. That is the way, isn't it?"
And he takes up a large bag of holy ash and begins to sprinkle it in a protective circle around the house, whispering some mantra his guru taught him when he and Rama were first introduced to demon slaying as a hobby.
Rama continues to run after the deer. The deer stays just far enough ahead of him to keep him running at a gallop, unable to stop and aim an arrow.
Lakshman moves on to the holy water to bless the door. Sita says, "I am worried about Rama. Shouldn't you go to help him?"
"I promised him to look after you. What if something were to happen to you, my brother's wife, my sister? What could we do without you? He would be broken, and then I would have to hold him together. Much harder to hold a man together than a house. No, no. My place is here, while my brother fetches you your deer." He chuckles to himself, blessing the windows.
"How can you be so calm? My Rama could be rushing to his doom." She begins shaking worriedly. "Rama! Rama!" She calls out. "What if Rama dies? What do I do then?"
"I guess I take you back to your father." Lakshman shrugs and continues his blessing of the house. He has the ash again and is climbing on to the roof.
"No. You'd take me for yourself, wouldn't you! That's why you won't help Ram. I've seen you look at me. You want me for yourself!"
Lakshman falls off of the roof, the ash spilling from the bag.
"For my self? For my self!" He calms himself with a very long, slow breath. "When have I ever acted for my self? The way I look at you? What other women are there around? Please if ever you see a woman, do tell me! What am I even doing--"
And a scream cuts him off, in Rama's voice. "Help!"
Lakshman is on his feet. Within the next breath, he has closed Sita into the house. "Open the door to no one, Sita. No one, do you understand? No one who is not invited may enter. Even if you see Rama and I walking back with that deer strapped to our shoulders... DO NOT OPEN THIS DOOR!" And he runs in the direction of the voice, bow in hand.
After ten minutes of running, he and Rama nearly collide. "That yell was the demon, not me. Its last breath. It is dead. Sita! Why are you not with Sita?"
Lakshman lets out a yelp of anguish before turning on his tracks to rush back with Rama to the house.
Ravana, who had been watching the house very carefully and listening to the conversation, disguised himself as a monk with a begging bowl. Naturally, one can never refuse to give food to a monk, to wash the feet of a monk, to give shelter to a holy sadhu. So when he came to the door, disguised as a monk, at first Sita told him she was not to let anyone enter, that he must wait for her husband to return. But then he played that, "Child, I am a poor wandering monk in need of food and rest, would you really refuse me," card and she let him in. He immediately he showed his ten heads, grabbed her, flung her over his back and took her to his flying chariot. She started scattering her jewelry for Rama and Lakshman to follow.
When Lakshman returns, a few steps ahead of Rama, he sees that the holy circle he drew has been broken and the door flung wide, "I knew." He gasps, "I should have put that spell on the roof!"
At just that time, Ravana is being attacked by an ancient vulture named Jataya. Jataya saw a woman being held against her will on a flying chariot and decided to do something about it. This gets the old bird stabbed in the gut and he drifts agonizingly to the ground.
A short time later as they are flying over a mountain, Sita sees some monkeys and the monkeys see her. They jump as high as they can but cannot reach the chariot. They throw sticks and stones, but these do nothing but annoy Ravana. She manages to take off her necklace, the final piece of jewelry she has and throws it to the monkeys who catch it, while shouting monkey curses at Ravana. They are very upset by the scene as well, as monkeys are by most scenes, but they have their own problems.
Rama by this time has torn down the whole house and is ready to unleash an arrow from his bow that will blow up the sun. Rama is ready to end the universe. "She is gone! I do not know where she is. She is gone." According to the story, if not for Lakshman calming him down, Rama, as the incarnation of Vishnu, would have ended the universe in an explosion of rage.
Lakshman takes him around the shoulders. "We will find her. Look, there a shining pearl. One of hers!" He quickly picks it up and gives it to Rama. "We will find her."
"But we don't even know who could have taken her."
"But we know which way she went, brother."
They hear Jataya's dying moans, their eyes meet for a moment, and they take off at a full run. They already have everything they need in their hands and pockets. There is nothing to pack.
In Part Six - The Monkeys' Business: Rama becomes sidetracked by primate politics.