Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chapter 2 - The Mirror

The wind was blowing hard making the trees shudder….beach witnessed the oceans furry. Darkness engulfed the last trace of light and d universe seemed conspiring in silence. A small lone Iceland stood fighting the giant waves. Ocean kept touching its only cliff as if warning the Iceland to merge its existence into her arms. Cosmos kept thundering violent cry and suddenly the blowing wind gave way to rain in the strange night.

Up on the cliff came a sudden puff of light out of nowhere and started moving towards the cave frantically…on close there was a white faced gal wearing a serene expression, her open hairs forming tidal waves in the wind….rain drops falling one by one on her charming face as dew on a rose petal….her eyes strained to look in the dark and each step she took was a fight against the wind. Slowly with vigilant steps she darted towards the cave and illuminated the candle with a wave of hand. Strange noises filled the cave and it seemed the paranormal lady was quite familiar with the terrain. Many pale eyed creatures watched her confident walk from the rough roof.
She kept walking and lighting the chandeliers across. It looked as if the cave turned into a never ending tunnel. The deeper she moved louder the noise became. The only sound besides a giants snoring was her steps and rain drops seeping in through minute holes. She kept walking wearing a golden pendant which shined over her neckline.
With time the lady came to the end of the cave which had a small opening to the other side of the cliff facing ocean. The dark area smelled peculiar and was filled with the snoring of an unknown giant beast. As the young lady entered the area to her surprise the so seemed giant tuned out to be a black kitten sleeping snuggled up below a huge oval shaped gold embossed mirror.
The lady’s face illuminated with the sight and she moved forward to peep into the fancy mirror. When she stood standing in front of the mirror she saw a tall thin figure wearing long hairs and broad framed spectacles in the reflection who wore a perplexed expression. Suddenly the lady pointed towards the mirror and noticed that d girl in refection remained intact as if stupefied. Soon the lady realized the ironical image and started noticing the new face intently…it was a young, fresh face…a determined one…explicit features , bright eyes….it was Aarshu….and they both kept looking at each other without a word and a sound grew louder with time it sang “Alone…walk alone…I walk alone”
“Hello” Aarshu moaned
“Hey get up u lazy bones, pack your bags and b ready in an hour’s time for an overnight outbound. Keep ur boots and stuff intact will be of help. C ya don’t be late. ” cried a husky voice
“Hey u joking!!! ohh cut me out ..i am sleepy soni dear” aarshu
“What? Shut up n get ready u sleeping queen we all are coming to pick u up at 10 sharp.” Ordered Soni
“Errrrrr….nnooo” wined Aarshu
“Hey u cnt do this!!! u r my best friend and who on this hostile earth will help poor me earn a date with my pucchi coo sweetheart Martin…..oohhh…..nw like this u will do now…” Soni
“Ohhh Stop the drama gal...I m in..okiee cya byee” Aarshu hanged up getting up from the bed.
Nothing’s more confusing than watching a girl pack up. Its frantic, messy, mind boggling experience only girls can bear and excel. After one such session our aarshu was ready for the outing and she jammed up in an open jeep with her other friends. The little outbound crew comprised of Aarshu, Soni, Sophie, Martin, Zeenat, Rohan & Archie.
The gang planned to go on a trekking and eventual camp fire in a dense jungle little far from the city. Jungle was quiet popular among frequent trekkers and water sport enthusiast as it had camps and games on ongoing basis. There was nothing to fear of but still Soni, the tube light, kept asking weird questions and made foul comments on the freaky ambience and become a source of mockery of the entertainer, Archie.
They parked their vehicle on a safe terrain and then started walking down towards the heart of the jungle.
Soni took hold of Aarshu’s hand and winked at her pointing at the strong but evenly smart Martin.
Den Soni hushed “Yr do something”
Aarshu nodded and just smiled.
It started to get dark so the pack decided to settle their camp in the available clearing. Soon the girls started to complain for the mosquitoes and guys went looking for logs for the fire.
With the last fragment of light dying out and girls sitting alone in the clearing all heard a quick hustle in the bush. Soni being alarmed quickly clutched Zeenat’s arm with force. Suddenly the hustle grew louder and more prominent sending chill on all 3’s spine. Not knowing what to do, Soni started to cry in shock with aarshu by her side pacifying.
Then from the dark three figures appeared laughing slapstick. Zeenat, Sophie and aarshu understood the prank and smiled besides Soni who was too terrified and now equally annoyed by the lame joke, she left the place. Boys keeping up the humor imitated girls and lit the fire place to life. They joked sang and danced late in night when suddenly Zeenat went back to her tent to call back Soni but was alarmed not to see her anywhere in the vicinity. All got tensed and decided to go in for search hunt in pairs…Sophie with Archie…Zeenat with Rohan…and Aarchu with Martin…They decided to explore different directions and see each other in an hour’s time.
It was dark with chilling quietness and all one can hear were people shouting a name from distance. Aarshu and Martin had come far from the camp and kept calling Soni aloud to see a little trace of her. Martin looked pale and too tensed to speak or comfort aarshu. Suddenly Aarshu nearly tripped of something when martin took hold of her .They saw a size 6 green Converse with yellow lace and Aarshu instantly recognized it as Soni’s shoe. A sigh of relief was seen on their sweaty faces and they darted quickly in the direction. In some time they witnessed the beauty of glittering riverbed on the full moon night. Both lay awed by the beauty and romance in nature for few minor seconds. At the very moment a numb hand touched Aarshu’s shoulder sending chill across her body and she looked back instantly.
To Aarshu’s delight it was soni, she was crying and seemed terrified. Suddenly Martin hugged soni, who seemed too surprised to understand the situation and slowly he versed the magical word looking in her brown eyes “I love u soni, I...I (he stumbled) was scared that I will never get to see you again….never ever leave me…I love you…my darling.”
And it seemed that the romance in nature waved its magical wand to send cupids arrows in all direction. Scarlett turned Soni meet passion filled martin’s eye. Aarshu wanting to leave the new couple alone started going back to the tent to announce soni’s whereabouts and her found love in Martin…
She was happy and too elated to see her friend getting the man of her dreams just instantly.”Love is infectious…u just gotta love someone from the core to spread the illness” she muttered to herself.
Immersed within her thoughts she hymned and strolled over the dry leaves but was instantly alarmed with a beast’s sudden growl somewhere near her. She stoned herself at the very place to avoid any noise that might attract the unknown beast. But to her misfortune the damage has been done Aarshu saw yellow eyes glowing in the dark and giving hungry looks to her. Fear rose in her nerves, body shaking vigorously. Without any thought even losing track of the direction she ran with her full might to avoid the beast.
The hunter was quick and kept following her. It felt as if the beast was eager to end this deer run and make her his prey soon. To Aarshu’s delight she found a cave and decided to go deep in it and hide from the horrendous beast. She kept walking in the interior of cave and after briskly walking about a mile she meet its end and was amused to see a lot of artifacts and shiny stuff at the disposal. There in its center lied its masterpiece a big oval shaped golden bordered Mirror standing on a long golden stand. Aarshu went towards the mirror but on the very spur a Black Panther came roaring all set to attack her. It growled so hard that aarshu tripped and fall at the far corner of the cave. With nowhere to go she saw the beast approaching her. His mouth was salivating and eyes yellow with madness. Aarshu find herself too weak to move and laid helpless in front of the Panther at his mercy.
The time had come panther was near enough to smell Aarshu’s breath and in an instant he moved back a little to attack the girl. It started to get dark in front of Aarshu as she was in wreckage already. A blue light filled the room in an instant. The panther got hit by the blinding light. He winced and moaned while limping out of the cave. Aarshu was amazed to see the protective shield light has formed around her. It had warmth of a beloved and slowly Aarshu gave in to the tiredness and slept staying cuddled in the protective shield.
Aarshu had the most beautiful sleep she ever experienced. She got up by hearing the birds chirp and some hot sensation on her cheeks. When she opened her eyes she saw hazel eyes watching her over…licking her face with affection. It was an adorable black kitten. Aarshu took hold of the kitten in her arms and moved towards the camp where she saw all 6 sitting exhausted with a sad smiley expression imposed on their faces.
She went near soni and lied back on her lap and no one spoke for what looked like an hour or more. Aarshu watched her new kitten playing with the grasshopper and finally Rohan broke the ice “Let’s go back and inform parents & police.”
“POLICE!!! What for?” shouted Aarshu
Everyone was too tensed to answer her and resumed packing without a word. Silence prevailed in their return journey with frequent sobbing by soni who was being comforted by Aarshu with her soft tabs. She was very much confused for a minute or two she even eyed Martin and suspected him for the reason for soni’s condition.
After reaching home all settled themselves in the main hall whereas rohan and martin went into the dining room to talk in private with Aarshu’s mother. Aarshu was too confused and remain glued to her place. In some time her father dashed into the house with police following him. They went straight to the dining room and suddenly they all heard a long painful cry.
Aarshu’s mind was boggled and her heart beat got accelerated as she entered the room. She found her mother crying over her father’s shoulder. Police was interrogating Rohan & Martin and making quick notes. At the very moment the chief of police assured in a husky tone “We will do our best to search your daughter soon..i m sending a search squad to the jungle….keep your calm Mr. Singh.”
WHAT?? Cried Aarshu
Her heart beating faster, hands cold and numb….she tried jostling and shouting to attain attention. All efforts went in vain.
“What is this…..another nightmare…..i’ll get up soon ….lemme pinch” she thought and realized soon after pinching that it’s a nightmare turning true.
“Oh My God am I dead???”

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