This article has been submitted by Shraddha Kul for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
I am no Ruskin Bond but a day in the hillside inspired me to write a short story..so here goes!
There is not much you can do except play with the blades of the grass. They don’t complain either. Moody fingers twist them, turn them around running along the sharp edges, taking in the smooth texture and then, upon a sudden whim uproot them from the ground.
It was one of those hot summer nights.
A light breeze brought much needed relief, yet, caused tremors along my naked spine. The silence was deafening. Not a sound to be heard, except my own quiet breathing. The moon which had been higher up in the sky earlier, had now descended among the firs, causing them to glow with a certain eerie light. They swayed like hooded phantoms, bemused, as if, by the ancient secrets they withheld. The stars twinkled knowingly.
It musy have been midnight, the evil hour, as some said. I looked at the various shadows on the ground, moving and changing form. They seemed to be playing tricks upon my mind, because I fancied I saw something white sparkle down the river. I looked but did not move, transfixed it seems, by the beautiful sight. As if in a trance, I went nearer. I wanted to touch her to believe her. She was floating on the water, clad in pearly white. Her dark tresses kissed the water, their darkness accentuating her fair complexion. Although pale, the moonlight did its best to do justice to her beauty.
As I bent down to touch her, I was reminded of the first time I came here.
It was the winter of the same year. He was standing under the huge oak, a bunch of roses in his hand, these he unsuccessfully tried to conceal behind his back. He had smiled and held me close. Those whispered promises of eternal love and vows of marriage, “To stay together until death do us apart” had brought on dreams of their own.
Fate however, had other plans. Soon after he left me to serve his country and join the war. It seemed the long wait would never end and each passing day seemed to take away a little of me. All this until I received the news of his death. The words had pierced me then, searing like a frosted arrow, numbing me from within. I had not been able to say anything then, I couldn’t bring myself to say anything now.
I knew what I had to do, the grey clouds of perplexity gone.
Promises made, had to be kept.
I had gone to the edge of the water. The waves lapped at my feet. Dusk was falling. The last embers of the sky gave way to the night .I could already see him ahead, his arms outstretched for his beloved.
The water was cold. I started moving forward. My dark tresses swayed in the wind.
The darkness closed in on me and soon there was quiet.
I was happy I had fulfilled my part of the promise, but its a shame my white dress was ruined!