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By Shiwangi Naithani

Am I blinded? I thought to myself as I looked down trying to look at my hand. It was pitch black and so silent that I could hear how my heart thumped in my ears. All these questions and a sudden surge of adrenaline was fogging my brain as I needed to know where am I and how I ended up here. The slow breeze was sending shivers down my spine and trying to get out of this place seemed like the right thing to do.

I started walking carefully trying not to make too much noise, the only thing giving me strength was that my eyes were adjusting to the darkness and I now knew I was in a forest.

A Forest?! How did I end up here? The more I thought about it, the more it puzzled me. I was deep into this thought of how? when a small sniff startled me. I stopped, almost not breathing to hear that sound again, coz trust me the last thing I want is company.

And again, I heard someone sniffing and crying the sound was so faint that it almost seemed like my mind was playing tricks on me. I thought to myself to not try to be a hero but my legs already started to move in that direction.

Maybe, I just didn't want to be alone here as I moved forward the crying became louder and it was clear that it was a girl crying. I walked some more and saw the trees thinning and the grass growing taller. I have never seen grass as tall as me. The sound came from deep inside them, I gathered the little courage I had left and entered it. It almost felt like I was in a maze that had no way out, the crying became long sad wails but I couldn’t see anything, I gulped and with sweaty palms grasped the straws to see clearer and I saw her.

Long Golden hair beaming in the moonlight almost making them look white, covering her face as she lowers her face into her hands while her shoulders shake lightly as she sobs. Her long hair cascades down her back like a waterfall. She had this slight shine around her like a halo or it was just me finding her really beautiful even in her misery.

It almost felt like she pulled me towards her and all I wanted to do was to take her pain away, to take her out of her misery. I slowly said hey… but she continued to sob I moved closer I think she would hear me better if I’ll get closer. Hi, I just… I just want to help you. She stops sobbing but still cradles her face in her hands turning away from me. I moved closer and stood behind her, I could smell her, Jasmine….. and something citrus almost made my mouth water. I tapped on her shoulder and she turns slowly to look at me, I was stunned at how pretty she looked. She had dried tears marking her face and scared eyes looking at me in confusion.

I told her I was lost in this forest and heard her crying so came to look for her. Her confused eyes relaxed a little and said that she got lost too and lives near this forest. We decided to move together to get out of there. She was not as scared as before and started to talk as we started walking.

I told her that I am clueless as to how I ended up here, She was a little hesitant but said that she came here herself as people said that no one gets out of this forest and she wanted to prove them wrong.

NO ONE GETS OUT! I thought to myself either she is brave or stupid. As we started to move along the tall grass it felt like I knew where we were going and she followed me but didn't speak much. It felt like I have been in this place for hours but still, there wasn't any change in the night sky, the fog grew denser but I was so focussed that I pushed my way through it. “Hey…. aren't you cold?” She exclaimed and turned to look at her she was panting while trying to keep up. “Can you see something? A way out? We need to slow down.”

“No we can't stop, I think I know where we are going. So stop being lazy” I am so exhausted and hungry and she wants to stop. “ you know what I will stop and sit here, you can move along,” she said sitting down with a thud. I crouched down to nudge her into walking with me but wouldn’t move. I grabbed her hand and started to drag her, I want to stop her misery and no one can stop me not even her. She started to scream and asked me to stop but why she doesn't want to be saved?

Moving forward, CRUNCH… I hear and then another crunch. I could hear crunching as I walked, looking down it was bones, pieces of bones. she started to scream, even more, her voice was filled with dread which made me want to help her even more.

We ended up in a small patch where the grass was cleaned out. It felt like I reached home. I looked at her beautiful self sobbing, screaming, and shaking, trying to get away from me, but I just want to help her. I pulled her, and with one swift motion her neck cracked and she stopped. The only thing I can hear was the gentle breeze kissing my face, I am so happy that I calmed her to sleep.

I helped her….

By Shiwangi Naithani

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