The owl and the darkness
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A Short Story By G.S.Vasu Kumar
Gopal opened his eyes and saw the moon lit sky above him. He found himself lying on the grass bed, surrounded by trees, when he turned to his right. He scratched his head, trying to remember
how he had reached this deserted place? How he had fallen asleep here? But he couldn’t remember anything at all.
He got up to his feet, took a narrow path which lead to some unknown destination.
He kept waling as it grew dark and darker. The only light which was guiding his path was that of the moon light. He felt as if someone was following him or was it his hallucination? He wasn’t sure.
He turned back to see who it was? But found no one behind him. He waited to hear the sound of some footsteps coming from the dark. However, the only sound he could hear was that of some crickets from the bushes nearby. He continued walking and again he felt the same thing.
“Who is it?” Gopal asked, turning back. But he got no answer.
“Don’t you dare to scare me like this!” He warned at the top of his voice, before continuing his walk.
Suddenly, he heard the flapping of wings above his head and his heart almost skipped a beat in fear.
It turned out to be an owl, which flew past him, before settling on the branch of a tree in front of him.
Its eyes seemed to glare at him.
“What are you staring at, you old fool!” He cried at the owl. In reply, the owl only hooted.
He tried to mimic the owl as he passed by the tree.
“If it was you who was trying to follow me then don’t you dare do it!” He warned the owl.
As he covered some distance, he found the same owl perched on the branch of another tree in ahead of him.
“How is it possible?” He asked himself quite surprised, as he never saw the owl fly by him.
The owl was glaring at him once again from the distance. He got annoyed. He bent down, and picked up a stone from the ground.
But the owl had disappeared by then. He looked for it in all corners, but it wasn't there.
“Where did it go?” He asked himself, scratching his head in amazement.
Is it some evil spirit in form of an owl? He thought.The thought made him feel really scared. He started running as fast as he could. He turned back while running, and found that the darkness was approaching fast him behind. His heart beat increased, he
halted to catch some breath.
He was shocked to find that the darkness had over taken him. There was faint light ahead of him. He looked up in the sky to see the moon had been overshadowed by dark clouds.
He resumed running as he was afraid of darkness. He found some wooden fence at some distance before him. He ran towards it and leaped over it. He sat on the ground to take some rest. He never knew when he fell asleep again. When he woke up, he was shocked to find himself in a box, which was some coffin.
There was complete darkness inside the box. He tried to move, but couldn't. He wondered how he got inside this coffin? He had no answer.
He started kicking the coffin cover with his right foot. The sand started pouring in through the gap. Now, it was certain that the coffin was buried deep inside the ground.
“What are you trying to do?” asked a voice from some distance.
“I’m trying to get out of here!” He cried at the top of his voice.
“That’s impossible!” replied the same voice. “You are buried at least six feet under the ground, tightly sealed in a coffin.”
“By whom?” Gopal asked, bewildered.
“By whom? Who else? Your dear parents, my boy,” responded the voice. “You had deceased sometime back or should I rather tell you that you had committed suicide.”
“Suicide? Why should I do that?”
“How would I know that? All that I heard from some people who came to see for the last time, was that, you had ended your life by hanging yourself to the ceiling fan.”
“Who are you?”
“Well, I’m your neighbor in the next grave. I too had come here by ending life long time back. Now, I would like to get some sleep...”
“One last question…”
“I was very much on the ground followed by the owl and the darkness...before…I…”
“Ah! That was just a nightmare! Now, try to get some sleep.”