Short Story by Prapti Mishra
The masterful art of story telling is one of the key ingredients that has helped mankind to develop into a society of society of intelligent beings but most importantly, the art has transcended a way to communicate the differences in cultures and in spirits of human beings.
Such is a story by Prapti Mishra. She tells this fantastic story about the fighting spirit of the woman who will become a shield for the ones she love and for the humanity itself. Read it
The Last Battle
by Prapti Mishra
She woke up screaming again. This perhaps has happened the umpteenth time by now. There were the sweat droplets on her face shimmering in the beam of moon light that fell on her from the corner of a window. She has seen the same dream again, the same nightmare again.
“Are you alright my child? Did you see the same dream again?”, the old man asked. He was way too old to stand straight .His age showing perhaps he has seen the centuries pass by. He looked like a saint bend by the age, white hair that was woven to make a bun on top of his head and white beard that reached his knees when he walked , and he was grinding some leaves with a stone, perhaps making a medicine sitting on the floor near the bed. The situation introspected was like this young lady was too ill to get up and move. And the old man, perhaps a sage who has knowledge way beyond his age, was her doctor here.
This tale starts from the foothills of Mount Kailash and I am the only living person on this earth to tell this tale to others as a folklore. Some believe this , some ignore this saying it’s just a story. But only I know the reality.
I remember that night. It was a hailstorm that had hit our village and that night was the chilliest of all the nights of the year.Around midnight the wild dogs started howling as if a stranger had entered our village of Bruce.We came out to find a young lady riding a white horse with full speed,her hairs braided into a plait flying in the air,she almost pale white because of the snow sticking to her face,but her body carefully covered.She was trying to cross the village perhaps.But was too weak to move further,she fell from her horse and fainted.
The morning came,like a new sun rising from the eastern skies and it seemed like the storm was never there the night before,or it was just the warning of some evil rising in the far off land,because the time has come.I went inside the hut where the lady had been taken the night before and she was being treated by the best hands in our village.There were a few people who have gathered inside the hut to examine the situation.
We saw an old man walking slowly towards the village from the curved path that was almost covered with the snow from the foothills that paved the path to climb the mountain.It seemed like he was descending from the mountains and was holding a stick to help him walk.His face had a shine like the Gods ,even the age couldnot have diminished that aura and energy that was emitting from the man.He was a saint who slowly came near the hut and said,”Let me go and meet her,because she is here to meet me.I am the end and the beginning of her life’s quest.I will treat her henceforth and she will recover soon.”
I was really astonished and my villagers were also dumbstruck.We never saw this old man before and how he came to know what happened last night.But everyone preferred to keep silence.And we let the old man in.He exactly looked like a saint from the Mount Kailash,and I felt like he was The Lord himself , there was a calmness and a sense of purity and fulfilment around him. It was like he was a source of energy himself, disguised, so that commoners wouldn’t even imagine his identity.
He started his treatment soon.With his experienced hands the lady started healing .Now her wounds were healing and she got her senses back for sometimes in the day.Slowly she was recovering,and she had become a great friend of mine.We talked and laughed alot. She said her name was Sarah,his father gave her this name because she was a princess ,the princess of Dausa,the arid region that covered the northwest of the land.She had travelled from the west to far north east,into the provinces of Bruce to get the answers to some unsolved questions.At first I couldnot believe my ears to what I was listening,but alas there was no way of denying it when the old saint also smiled in conformation to her words.
Now I knew she was a princess and had stayed in the hot burning climate for all her life and that was the reason why she was not able to breathe this cold air that burnt the nostrils.Her body was succumbing but her spirit was alive.She started again,”when I was young I my parents would always find me near Lord Shiva’s idol.It was like I was drawn to that energy everytime,in spite of having a lot may dolls to play,I would still prefer the bows and arrows.When I started to grow up ,I loved the forests and the jungles that the walls of my castle.One day a saint arrived at our doorstep .Seeing me he said to my father,”start searching for a groom for her,before she reaches Twenty years,else her fate will call her towards him.You will lose her forever.”
Then she drank her medicine and some water and continued,” Hearing that I got scared but I had no other options.That night I prayed to the Lord asking to show me what was written in my fate and went off to sleep.I saw a beautiful dream.It was lively,so real that it never seemed to me I was dreaming until it suddenly changed its course from beautiful to fearful and got converted into a nightmare.”She was feeling uncomfortable now.She paused for some moments,trying to get some breathe and again continued,”I was inside a jungle searching my path to get home quickly.I had travelled into this vast jungle perhaps without knowing my way outI felt lost and frightened too.Soon it would become dark and I will lose my path, but then something happened. I found a cave,and walked nearer to see if I could get some help, to find a young man ,perhaps in mid twenties ,sitting under a banyan tree near the gate of the cave, deeply engrossed in his meditation. He was young,but had grown long hairs and beard, it seemed like he was meditating for years. In the departing light of the sun, I could somehow see his face, perfectly ached to resemble to the Gods’. I just gaped at him. I had forgotton my existence .I felt like I knew him from ages and it was only him I knew, he was the one for whom I can fight any battle in life just to be with him. I sat near his feet waiting for him to wake up. My legs were hurting after travelling such a long distances, and I was not able to see properly inside the cave. I don’t remember how much of the time had passed, perhaps hours or days. I had nothing to do, no where to go, I just looked at his face ,blank, I had no thoughts, I had no words, tears were rolling down my eyes and dried up.I had forgotten my existence and my world for him, without even knowing who he was.”
The saint was silent all throughout this conversation , now walked towards the bed and patted her shoulders. I saw tears in her eyes, rolling down her cheeks. She quickly patted it dry but her pain was intense. Till now I was only hearing out what had happened. After seeing Afriel’s condition, I started to listen properly.
She continued,” He opened his eyes,I was still sitting in that statue like posture ,no movement at all.I couldn’t even feel my limbs ,my body parts. He looked into my eyes, and just smiled.That energy was so intense that it made a current flow through my body.
The smile spread across his face like sunlight spread after the night. At that moment I forgot all my problems. May be this feeling was love, deep sense of love, the calmness of a mother’s love for his child yet the pain associated with it. I wanted to ask him his name, to talk to him, but I couldn’t.I was completely mesmerised when I realized that it was just a veil and slowly it was fading.Now I could see the gleaming red eyes clearly ,instead of the watery auburn eyes that created the ripples of love in my heart. He turned into a completely black and shadowy figure .I could just see the silhouette , figuring out to be some kind of a monster. I wanted to scream, but there was no voice coming out of me .He attacked me ,mercilessly,as if he was waiting for this day to come I was fighting for breathe,he stabbed me mercilessly kept stabbing me until I was screaming in pain and then suddenly he vapourised, into thin air.I lay there,in the open, on the wet ground ,looking at the sky,everything slowly turning hazy.I finally lost my consciousness.”
I was shocked to hear such a nightmare that haunts this girl.I felt such pain that I couldn’t imagine how she must be holding herself up.I was in my own thoughts when the saint said,”This is not the end.”
I asked him,”Is there something more to say Lord?I thought her dream was over.It really felt so lively that I got goosebumps”.He continued”yes.That was just the beginning .That nightmare haunted her everynight since that day.Every night she felt the same pain being killed by the person she loved .When she started saying about this to her parents,they at first ignored thinking it to be just her imagination.Ther slowly days turned to months and she kept dreaming that dream everynight and woke up screaming.Her parents thought that she was getting mentally ill and called the kingdom’s best doctor.No one could trace her disease because in reality this time her energy, her spirit was dying and not her body.
Atlast the same priest arrived,who had made the prophecy.He told her”Ride east from here,then North.U’ll reach the foothills of Mount Kailash,the abode of Lord Shiva,whom you have worshipped since childhood.You will get all your answers there.”
And so one night without informing anyone,she took off on her journey,in search of her answers.I knew the time has come to save my child.So I woke up from my meditation and came here.”
Now Afriel and me ,we both were cofused and looked at each other.How did he know exactly what had happened to Afriel and what time has come?There were no answers to our questions,when he replied,”You both will slowly get to know me.Don’t stress out now.”And I knew he could even read minds .Such powers were rare for humans atleast.
Now that I knew the truth I was also searching for answers to Afriel’s problems.How will a person survive under such stress?Why her?These were the questions that kept popping up in my head.I couldn’t see her in pain and atlast I decided to meet the Saint.I went near him.He was in deep state of meditation but opened his eyes.
He said,”She doesn’t know yet.The prophecy says that a gir will be born in November, will be saving the world from the devil ,pure evll, else no one can save the world .”
He continued,”When God created the universe,he created two energies complementing each other,The Yin and The Yang.The positive side,the light and the darkness.Now the time has come for the darkness to rule the earth,plunging the whole of mankindinto the grasp of evil for ages.So she was born on the eath.The positive side of this devastating dark energy to stop this from happening.This will be the last fight against the darkness just to save us.”
“Then who was the person whom she fell in love with?”I asked the saint.He replied”Its the devil himself,and he will keep coming to lure her and kill her until she kills him.”I felt afraid hearing to all these tings.Many things have changed since the night after Afriel arrived in our small village.This will be also a silent audience to see the greatest ever fight of this universe.
I asked him,”Now what?”
He replied,”I ll train her to fight.You will also help me in that.She needs to be ready before her journey begins.And so I am here to help and assist her.”
And so her journey begins,to save the mankind,to save the world.