“I should have never left the group” Pottu could hear himself mumbling. There was not a soul in sight. There was a sudden silence in the jungle. It was a clear day and he had expected all kinds of sounds : the birds chirping, the toads crackling, and all kinds of insects humming. But, the silence was everywhere.
“What is this ?” , the mumbling resumed. It was more of an exclamation than a question. Pottu could hear his heart beat faster and louder. Strange how his breath sounded. Pottu had never heard himself breathing. He never thought that breathing created any kind of noise. It was suppposed to be a quite activity. But in this silence, he could hear it. And it was growing louder every moment.
He turned around to see if someone was following him. No one.
He looked up in the tall deodhar trees. No one.
A moment passed. Then one more uneventful moment.
A sound. Finally ! Pottu almost let out a sigh of relief. But the silence was back with a vengeance. And this time, it grew even more intrusive. His heart had somehow started beating a lot more quietly. His breathing was almost noiseless now. The mumbling was down to a very faint whisper.
What was happening ? Where was the noise ? “And why is it getting darker already ?” he whispered to himself. The light was fading. The sky remained clear. No clouds. But the sun was distancing itself from Pottu.
A moment passed. One more. One more….
It was a lot quieter and darker now. Pottu couldn’t whisper to himself.It was almost as if his thoughts dissolved before forming. The fear was melting away noiselesly.
Moments passed…but slowly.
Thud ! Pottu felt a blow on his body. Which direction it came from, he had no idea. He could see the trees falling quietly. Almost in slow motion.
There was darkness now. And peace and quiet.
It had ended !!!