• Nikhila Jain

A Weird Trip


In the year 200 BCE, on the coast of the Mandarin river, lived a family of six in a small hut.

A grandfather who loved gardening. A grandmother who loved to knit beautiful woolen clothes. A father who was a woodcutter. A mother who loved to cook. Two children, a boy, and a girl. The mischievous boy, named Nigel, used to trouble his sister daily by pranking one or the other trick.

They reared animals and exchanged wools, eggs, and wood with cereals and other items. A family that lived happily and ate happily.

One day, Nigel went to the forest with his father. While his father was busy cutting the trees, he wandered in the forest. Soon Nigel lost his way and went deep into the dense forest. While taking his stroll, he slipped and fell into a dark hollow passage………

******

After like forever, Nigel felt the thud and landed on hard ground. His back ached, with trembling legs, he got up. There was pitch black darkness, and he could not see anything. The harder he tried to adjust to the dark, the darker it seemed. He had been walking for hours, tired, his throat quacked, but he had no water. His body ached and cried for rest, he summoned all the strengths, but his legs refused to walk further. Exhausted, he fell to the ground.

A strange pungent smell woke him up. He saw dim light penetrating from a far away. Suddenly, he felt pumped in and ran towards the light. In the vicinity, he saw two red eyes looking at him…… Before he could think or do anything, that thing pounced on him, and he felt the fresh blood oozing out of his hand. Unable to think and see anything, his hand searched for rescue. He found a log of wood, and with every ounce of energy he could summon, he hit it hard. The red pair of eyes fell to the ground.

Nigel gasped and ran in the direction of light. He saw a small trapped door ajar from where the light peeped in. He pushed the door and fell to the ground. He quickly got up and closed the door, putting wood logs, stones, rocks, whatever he could find. Exhausted, he sat down. His throat quenched for water, and his lips felt chapped. He looked around and saw a hut in the vicinity. He wondered who would live in this deep forest. Hopeful to find some water and bread, he walked towards the hut.

******

The hut was made up of wood and had glass windows. A pond surrounded by beautiful flowers was at the doorstep. Curious, he thought to go near the pond. That very moment, he heard noises, and he quickly hid behind the tree near the pond. Moments later, a weird-looking woman came out of the hut. She had worn a witch’s cap, and he thought, a witch! Amazed, he peeped out to take a closer look.

The woman said in a hissing voice, “Come out at once,” and spoke at the woods. A small cat appeared out of nowhere and said, “My Lady! We have a visitor”.

The witch snapped her fingers, and Nigel stood in front of her. Surprised and shocked, he said in a low voice, “Did you do magic?” The witch laughed a throaty, hollow laugh and walked towards the hut. The cat came closer to him, Nigel saw the same red eyes. The witch’s hollow laugh filled the surroundings, and the red eyes came closer to him. He felt that the elevation, and then he fell. He shut his eyes in horror.

A loud bang and his whole body ached. His eyes still closed, he heard footsteps. “Were you sleeping on the tree?”, Nigel’s father said. Nigel opened his eyes and saw his father looking at him. His father said, "Confused!" He nodded and got up, dusted his clothes, and thought, “Gosh! Thank goodness, it was a dream”. His father said, “Come along”. He walked with him.

He looked back, where he had seen a hut, and murmured, “Was it a dream?”

******

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©2021 by Nikhila Jain. Wildly Creative