Illusion: A short story

The breeze was so strong, I thought I would fly. But perhaps my worries had a larger weight, that was crushing me from inside, eyes so clouded with tension that were unable to soak in the beauty of the green monsoons. The home stay was one of the most beautiful that I had stayed in for a long time, yet this time I didn’t feel any excitement of exploring.

I don’t remember how long I had walked, and how far away when I saw her. She had fallen down on the deserted road in the dark and I rushed to help her, “Are you alright? Is everything okay?” I asked as I helped her get on feet. She got up straight, as straight as the old age allowed her, smiling she said, “Thanks, that was very kind of you, you don’t seem to be from here, what are you doing here.” I turned around to go back answering her, “Yes, I am staying at the coffee meadows, just here for the night, was walking after the dinner, didn’t realise I came this far.” I had walked only a few steps when she called back, “Don’t go by this route, its not safe.” I turned around to face her and for the first time felt the deeply piercing gaze on me.

“But I came from this route, and its not far its just 10 minutes walk away, is there a dog in between? I will take a stick.”, she smiled and this time it didn’t seem benevolent, it was a sneer, “All I can say child is, you shouldn’t have come here, and now that you have, don’t cross that hut again, the hut that is just 100 steps from where you are staying, nobody will tell you this, but the hut is bad luck, the home stay people will not let you go there.” scared and troubled, I asked her, “why, what will happen if I go from this route? And I didn’t see anything when I was walking here”, she smiled again, “Sometimes Its unknown things that are better” and with that she walked away on the deserted road.

I called after her but she never looked back. I quickly took my out mobile phone, to see there was no signal. Now scared, and panicked, i opened the torch light of my phone and started walking back, there wasn’t any other route that I knew of, and I didn’t want to keep standing on that deserted road, telling myself again and again that all these things are just hearsay and that they don’t happen in reality.

I walked past the coffee plantations, clutching my mobile phone tightly. I walked fast, only looking down and then heard footsteps behind me, startled I turned around to find no one. As I turned back, I saw an old lady sitting on the rock, scared I walked faster almost running to get away from her, and she called my name, I shouldn’t have looked back, I shouldn’t have but I did and then I screamed..

I woke up next morning, still shaking, my husband looked up and asked what happened why was I screaming, “woman has no face, that woman has no face”, I hugged him sobbing, “But how did I get here?”, “But you never left your bed” she answered, the old woman who came with a cup of tea, “who is she?” I shouted, as my husband looked at me bewildered, “she is the owner of the home stay, she came home last night. What’s happened to you, why are you screaming?” the sound left my mouth as I saw the same sneer..

 

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