Mystery always attract our attention and curiosity. We might explore until mars and beyond , there will still be mystery remaining to be solved ,to be explored and being ready to be converted into knowledge.
The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
By Albert Einstein.
There is small flash fiction here to complete the challenge, do let me know how you find it.
Forests of Ratnagiri
The forests of Ratnagiri are well known for their serenity, lush green carpet of shrubs and standing tall Mahogany trees holding many dark secrets in their hearts. Villagers living in nearby areas forbid going there at night. Many stories of chhalawa float among mouth to mouth broadcast and warnings given to tourists visiting these forests. Jawaz is a logic-reasoning guy and God fearing so rest of the fears don’t gather much space in his mind. He doesn’t give a damn about such rumors. He is waiting for the night to walk the famous thandi sadak (cold road) where often this so called ghost appear to people . Sometimes the same incident is encountered by different people. Many questions are revolving in Jawaz’s mind, Are they real? What are they? Are they dead or something alive? Or is it just imagination of a human mind giving up to their subconscious fears and beliefs. And if by any chance such things exist, he wants to experience it himself!
It was an hour past midnight the weather was cold and dry, Jawaz felt a bit sleepy but he decided to walk the dreary road .He confirmed his checklist of his required stuff .He kept his phone in his jacket, took torch in one hand and a stick in another to ward off any small animal if appearing, normally that part of forest does not have wild animals but just in case ! Walking down 200 meters Jawaz felt the footsteps of someone following him. The fear started to surge in, should he look back or not? What if it is a ghost with a scary face? Or just someone on a ghost hunt like him? A chill ran down his spine, his legs a bit shaky, Jawaz closed his eyes, sweat ran down his forehead, He said to himself “You are not scared of anything and anyone except Allah” he turns back quickly. There wasn’t anybody. Jawaz looked around the sides of mud road amidst the forest, no sign of anyone. He kept walking and footsteps kept following, stopping when he stops and moving when he moves. After another 50 meters, he started hearing some chuckles of a girl along with footsteps. The 500 meter long road seemed never ending, every second felt like an hour, his heart pounding faster, throat getting dry and mind losing every sense of logic. He took a deep breath, not letting fear overpower him, there is something not visible to human eye but it is following him. If it wanted to attack him, it would have done it already! Jawaz regaining his thinking process while the fear going down. He decided to talk, “who are you? Why are you following me?’
Few seconds of silence, the laugh got stronger and harder, echoing through the forest , a female voice replied ‘ you know who I am, Villagers have already told you about me then why are you here‘ Jawaz was speechless, words never reached his mouth , heart was pumping a mixed strange fear along with blood. He couldn’t still believe what is happening to him, is his mind hallucinating or is it really happening? He looked around there was nobody .
‘I am here up on the tree’. The voice came again.
Jawaz looked at female figure in white sitting atop the tree, he couldn’t see well because of distance in height.
‘leave my forest now!! ‘ , this time voice was with filled anger.
Jawaz couldn’t gather courage to look back at tree or ask any question. His instinct was telling him to leave immediately, He kept walking until the end of the road but this time no footsteps followed him, he had constant feeling of someone watching him until he left the forest.
Even after four years Jawaz couldn’t gather courage to go back to the forests of Ratnagiri and he still has a confusion if he really saw ‘Chhalawa’ that night or was it just his hallucination.The mystery of those forests remains unsolved in his mind.