Darkness was engulfing in and it was time for the moon to come up in the horizon to spread its light. It was a full moon night with a sky full of stars but rarely visible under the blanket of moonlight. Yet it looked scary around. I started walking up the hill slowly taking one step at a time, just being cautious of any wild animals or haunted spirits to cross my way. I heard a lot of stories of a full moon night and haunted spirits. Recalling those stories just gave me chills every time. My legs were getting numb as I walked up the hill in that cold wind waves. As I walked up the hill, the temperature started to dip. The silence around was killing. I wonder if anything happens to me here at this moment, who will alert my friends, waiting down the hill for my safe return? What will they tell my parents? I can only hear my footsteps and my thoughts. As I walked more and more up the hill, fear was creeping in and wanting me to run away from there at that moment. But today early morning events made me stick where I was now.
'I am not afraid' I said confidently in front of everyone.
'Then prove it' Cyrus said.
'Prove it, how?'
'I will message you in the group chat and will tell you what are you supposed to do.'
'Ok,' I agreed.
We all left for the day. That evening, there was a message on my mobile screen. It was from Cyrus. It read as, 'Be ready to climb up the hill tonight.'
I replied, 'Not today, I have some urgent work'
Mobile beeped once again, 'You have to climb up today because it's a full moon night'
I wondered what's so special about this night but I agreed. We all met on the foot of the hill at the decided time. We were curious to know the story of the full moon night. I initially thought I was the one who wasn't aware but there were others too. I was relieved. Cyrus sat on the big stone and we all sat on the ground surrounding him. All ears were at him.
'So the story goes,' he said, 'My grandmother once warned me not to climb up the hill on the full moon night. Initially, I also wondered why? She then went ahead to tell me the story of the haunting spirits. These spirits fly overhead circling the hill later the moon. It is said that these spirits step out only on a full moon night because that's when they get their power from the moon.' We all stared at each other. None of us was interrupting him. He continued, 'The moon shines brightly today and not to mention tonight is a Super Blood Wolf Moon. That means there is a lunar eclipse that will make moon to look red when the moon is fully into Earth's shadow and at the same time slight light from Earth's sunrises and sunsets fall on the surface of the moon. This makes the 100% probability of the spirits circling the moon.'
I was now getting shock waves. My happy face started to look like a puppy face drenched in water as sweat started accumulating on my forehead.
'So what happens if anyone climbs up the hill tonight?' asked one of our friends.'
I really don't want to listen to his answer but was forced to.
'I don't think, they will return home or maybe they too will join the haunted spirits community. Probably on next full moon, we can see her hovering up there.' he said laughingly pointing his index finger at me. By now my heart my beating at a faster pace, I was sweating in that chilling winter night. Everyone stared at me as I was the one climbing up the hill tonight. My friends were hugging me tightly, they were unsure of my safe return and this is the last time we are meeting. I tried to stand brave and calm in front of all my friends. I saw a few of my close friends crying too. They already imagined me returning in a coffin.
I was smiling and waved them bye. As I turned to face towards the hill, that forced smile vanished from my face and I started walking up the hill nervously. The challenge was to reach the top of the hill and return. It will take approx. three hours of total time. While I was climbing up the hill, I came up with a brilliant idea for my safety. I will walk a little further up the hill and hide behind a huge stone or a tree for three hours and then I will walk down confidently. Since it is dark around, nobody can see me hiding. I smiled at my brilliant plan and gave a tap at my back.
So here I was walking up the hill and looking for a perfect place to hide. I turned back to see if I can see my friends down but the hill was surrounded with deep black darkness. Nothing was visible with naked eyes. I was sure that none of them could see me either. I saw a huge stone and decided to sit there with a back touching the stone and looking up in the sky at the moonlight. Cyrus' story was wandering on my mind but I just brushed it away as the moon looked mesmerizing and cool. I was constantly looking at the moon. At one point, I was so engrossed that I felt an inclination towards the moon. I felt a strange energy surrounding me. The moonlight was pulling me towards it. I can feel the pull towards the moon. I felt my hand raising as if the moon was pulling me. I saw dark shadows hovering above me.
I tried looking carefully at them. But I can see only the dark shadow and a black outline. One of the shadows stood in front of me, extended her hand towards me and I held that hand. They started walking in front of me and I was following them. All of a sudden they all disappeared in the dense jungle. I looked around but was not able to trace anyone. I started walking upwards hoping to find the shadows again. I felt someone following me, I turned back but there was none. I felt I noticed a shadow on the left side, I ran in that direction but none. I felt something just crossed touching my hand, some force was pulling me towards the right, I ran there, still no one. I looked upwards, the moon was still shining bright.
At the top of the tree I see someone sitting on the branch of the tree, her face was covered with a long black hat. This long elongated hat was very much similar to the hat of witches we see in movies. Her eyes were sparkling red and it stared through me. I just cannot move at that very moment and was mesmerized by her eyes. She then fell and hung upside down. She gestured me to come towards her. At that particular time, my heart was beating fast, on the other hand, her eyes were mesmerizing and pulling me towards her. Once again she extended her hand towards me. I stretched my hand, it was then when I noticed she had a strange kind of tattoo design on her wrist. This tattoo was unusual but yet so appealing and serene. I moved my fingers on her tattoo and tried to feel it. It had a moon in the center and multiple stars surrounding it. But, the stars, on the tattoo, were in a dotted line in a perfect flow, however, in actual, stars are never in a perfect flow. So what are they? I wondered.
I touched the moon on her wrist and felt electrifying current. It wasn't a good sign but I still loved her tattoo. The wind started gushing at an alarming speed when she got up and sat straight on the branch to fly back with her folks. I looked up the sky and saw hundreds of dark spirits flying across the moon at a greater height and can be seen as tiny dots in a perfect flow. I now understood those dots in the tattoo were not the stars. I followed them wherever they flew. It felt as if they were enjoying up in the sky. I was running on the ground. Multiple times I saved myself from hitting the tree or falling on the stone. I missed seeing that I was climbing up the hill.
One and a half hours passed as I was climbing up the hill. Dark spirits were visible and sometimes invisible. My neck was straining by constantly looking up at them and following them. My legs were tired by now but I was not in the mood to give up. I wanted to catch them. After a few furthermore minutes of running behind them, I reached the top of the hill. I just crashed there on the ground. Sleeping, breathing heavily and facing up in the sky. No trees to block my view. A sky with big moon owning its place, dark spirits flying around in the perfect flow and stars were twinkling. A perfect look, the moon was changing its color from orange into red and then into a deep red. It felt so calm and ease there. I was not in a hurry to rush home and wanted to lay there until dawn.
I saw those dark spirits in the moonlight above, their crown chakras were shinning. They were absorbing the moon's energy as Cyrus mentioned earlier. In a few minutes, their crown stopped shinning and it was the time to retreat. They all started to ascend at an alarming speed towards me. They were in hundreds count as I lay there alone. I quickly got up and started running down the hill. It seemed they were now fully charged and in attacking mode. They were now at a distance of thirty meters away from me. I was running fast but my legs were not supporting me. I was tired and breathing heavily. Their distance was reducing and they were now about to reach me, just about to engulf me into them. I looked back and saw few them had a cruel smile on their completely dark faces
20 meters, 15 meters… 10 meters….5 meters… Bang. Something hit me hard and I fell on the ground.
I woke up with a startle, nervously looking around. I was sitting behind the huge stone where I hid earlier. I stood up and felt some drowsiness. My legs were shaking, I was feeling strong pain at the back of my head, somewhere just above the neck. I was wondering about the nightmare I just saw. I was walking down the hill when I saw my friends running towards me. They were happy that I returned. They didn't know that I was hiding behind the huge stone. I started hugging each one of them. They seemed relieved now. I hugged Cyrus too with a broad smile of victory. I completed the challenge.
I felt some itching on my right-hand wrist, I looked at it and with a great shock, I saw a tattoo of moon and stars. 'No, it wasn't stars, my mind said to me. It's the dark shadows flowing in the perfect flow around the moon,' I said to myself. I smiled and looked up. I left Cyrus from the embrace as my eyes glow red in that Super Blood Moon night.