Dream of Dread
It really was an odd evening. I was resting outside in my grandmother's garden. It was one of my favourite places since I was just a child no older than three. I could remember the trees which were cut down or simply had decided to die. They were my unlikely friends with some admiring power of tolerating the greying chaos of the insane world. Everyday I used to run or dance or complain or cry or simply walk with a sour face thinking about something very serious. I used to take pride in my ability to act like a matured person. People often called me a mature person which only I knew was not true. I would hug the trees or talk with them in private because such behaviour was unexpected of a five years old who was surprisingly very intelligent. Yes! I always pampered myself for my intelligence but not for my innocence. So on that evening when I woke up only to find myself laying outside with trees I was quite shocked. The sun had set and birds were quarrelling. Not believing my own sight I turned my head and found my mother lying beside me with her front facing the other side. She was awake and was humming noiselessly. Then my sister walked towards me and I noticed that I was lying on a very comfortable bed completely unattached from the ground below.
The bed had no foot and I could not find anything from which it was hanging. So the bed was just eerily floating in the air and it was suddenly too still and too stiff to be a common resting place. I watched my sister smiling mischievously looking down at me holding an empty hand-basket. Before I could react she said,'' Didi I was just picking up some flowers'' and then she left. It was strange that I never once caught her choosing flowers from grandmother's garden on such a peculiar time. My mind was unaccustomed to such situation and left me speechless. Shrugging away a queer feeling I decided to enjoy the surroundings and the weather which was a blessing. Summer days are usually vengeful and very unapologetic with continuous heat blows and rising humidity sucking out irreplaceable amount of water from human bodies. The word sweat was too simple and too indifferent to use on this account. Light breeze was blowing and I found the regular stickiness absent from my anatomy. The sky was slowly falling asleep and few twinkles could be seen. Suddenly drops of cool rain started falling and the smell of wet soil tickled my nostrils. A movement from the right side startled me and reminded of my mother's presence. I asked her,'' Why are we lying here out in the rain at this time?'' but she ignored me. The floating bed was making us lazy. It was very strange indeed. But heaven on earth is only a mythical occurrence. Very soon the rare peace and quiet was taken away from me. My heart gave a loud jump at the sight of the limbless reptile and stopped inevitably only to beat very louder than before. It was hanging just in front of us shining like a deadly weapon. Suddenly there were more of them slithering around the branches and on the ground. Their eyes were black and glassy with a look which clearly portrayed that not many things were unnoticed by them. If looks could kill then I swear I would have died already but my thundering heart was too stubborn to give up. I could see my upcoming demise distinctly and twenty two years somehow felt like a very short nap time. There were so many things I had not seen, so many places I never visited and so many emotions I never felt; dread and fear was not one of them. Then I understood the fates of those who faced Voldemort, the venomous serpent in two legs, talking and inflicting fear in those who loved their lives. Not everyone can be Harry Potter and I was certainly not someone like him. I knew my death would not be quick and painless with a simple Avada Kedavra but a rather slow and unpleasant. Maybe I would die a agonizing death like Severus Snape when the snake would stab and plough through my ribcage. I felt my dry throat constricting at this realization. I called for my mother with a great effort and she exclaimed,'' Don't worry nothing will happen.'' But I couldn't stop being afraid. I regretted that there would be no butterfly hovering over my head and nor would there be any sunflower on my breast with which I could rest in peace. I couldn't cry so I closed my eyes. And then my sister came and discovered my petrified state. She started scooping up handful of those snakes and put them inside a packet of incense stick. My saviour, my sister did that with the ease of picking flowers. I was in awe at her display of bravery. Though I couldn't tell if it was bravery or fearlessness but she proved to be capable of handling the serpent behind the flower. My tender heart was overwhelmed with such turn of event. I woke up and spent the next morning with a terrible headache.
© 2020 Sannyasi Raja