Jimmy took some outfits and packed his minimalist bag. Put some snacks in his backpack along with the camera and the chargers. He was already late for the station. His train was about to leave in the next hour, so he needed to check in at the station at least fifteen minutes prior departure. The train doesn’t wait for anyone, the total onus is on the passenger in the event of an inconvenience. He was a bit nervous until managed to complete the checkout procedure at the hotel reception.

Once done with the checkout, Jimmy all at once leapt out of the hotel’s main entrance, dragging the bag behind held by its sliding handle, and wearing the backpack on his back. He ran straight on to the road shouting and waving at some cars, which he might have thought to be taxis. Anyhow, one of them turned out to be a taxi. It stopped at the moment, by the way it was on the other side of the road. The driver gestured moving round his one hand that he is about to come this side taking the next U-turn and the other hand on the wheel, but his face was facing Jimmy.

Finally, the driver dashed and stopped right beside him. ‘I am here at your service. Where do you intend to go Mr.? The driver was quite good looking and seemed attentive. ‘Just take me to the train-station as fast as you can. My train leaves in less than an hour.’ Jimmy hurled his bag into the back seat and perched in the front seat.

Jimmy was basically a lone tourist. He has almost been to every tour destinations of the country. He has traveled alone to all those places except for two times when his cousins accompanied him. He has an ardent admiration for Mother Nature.

Once, he embarked on a usual solo journey into the far off east woods. He traveled by his bike to which he parked and left in the middle of the woods, because the road was bumpy. The route became muddy and jagged that it was quite impossible to drive further on it. He undid the fastened bag from the side stand pole of the bike, locked the steering and set his feet towards the destination. This time, the place of touring was a hilltop in the middle of that wood. He knew quite well that the forest reveals its secrets to one, who knows where to look.

He now diverted from the common path because it was hard to walk on the muddy surface without getting his feet stuck. Network of weed, shrubs, colonnade of trees belonging to variety of plant families in the way ahead. Also, myriad organisms, some sprawling here and there. A platoon of sparrows making a quick flight between big trees. It would have been his luck, as he was strolling through the thicket a sharp voice startled him. He stood still for a few moments, and then a Golden Eagle popped up from behind a thick leafy tree soaring in its full zest. It took a high flight and let itself fall so fast, till then Jimmy realized that it was after some prey. In a flash, somewhere near, beside a timber tree, there the eagle stood proudly clasping tight the poor rabbit in its piercing talons. Head high and menacingly looking around with its vigilant eyes.

Jimmy lingered freeze at the same place for an eternity, even after the eagle had gone with its prey. He started to wonder again over the delicate making of the nature’s mechanisms. ‘How mesmerizing are the ways of nature? The interconnections are mind-boggling between the organisms. Every living being is food of another. Even we humans become food of the worms underground.’ Shaking his head pensively, Jimmy turned to his way towards his destination.

After marching two miles ahead, plus the need to dodge the shrubs and plant lings which came in the way had much drained his energy. He thought to make a stay beside a nearby stream. There was a web of little streams flowing in different directions in that forest. He sat on a flat stone, right beside a fresh water stream thereupon, walking almost an extra fifteen minutes. The sound of running water made a rejuvenating rhyme in the stillness of the forest. His exhaustion had almost gone even before stretching out some limbs and quenching the thirst. Such was the power of the nature can become for one who knows how to imbibe the delicacies which emanates from every speck in this universe.

Jimmy guzzled whole water bottle which contained one and a half liter and refilled it with fresh water from the stream. Washed his face and sprinkled some water on his head which kind of helped blowout the dizziness. He played a classic song in his mobile and ate energizing chocolate and snacks. There he stopped nearly for an hour, till then all his tiredness had disappeared. Bracing himself up, Jimmy was once again on the way to his hilltop destination.

He had barely traversed half a mile when a gorge appeared in the way. First, he dithered for a moment whether to go through it. It was a little dark, gorge walls went very high in a curve and both the wall edges were almost meeting at the top. Anyhow, he stepped into it, and began to walk slowly. His own footsteps started to resonate, each sound came back to him from all sides. It created a sheer dreary scene. Yet Jimmy was used to of touring alone, yet this situation made his heart throb at a great pace.

It was almost the time of Sun set when Jimmy was about to reach at his destination. He stayed for second time at the foot of the hill, and hiked almost for an hour before making it near to the top. When it was evident that he had made it, he withdrew the camera from his bag and made some awesome stills of the forest plains.

He pulled out the tent which was a couple-tent very small and easy to handle. Swiftly enough, he set up it and began to search for firewood. In less than twenty minutes he piled enough firewood. The pile came more or less to his knee. He then placed some woods in front of the tent’s opening two meters ahead. He made some little specks from the wood to make it easy for it to catch fire. After managing them skillfully, he lit the lighter and the woods began to burn.

It was now full dark and the high flames created an alluring picturesque scene. Jimmy placed four nearly ten-kg stones round the blood-like firework and took the light pan out of his bag and poured some water in it. He then put some meat in it with other ingredients and cooked a mouthwatering meal which he ate with bread. Before going to slumber, he sent a text to one of his friends, and requested to pick him up from a stay point which was near the spot where he had left his bike.

In the early morning, he raised and made a coffee and had it with some snacks. As he had told his friend to arrive in the noon, so he needed to arrive before the appointed hour.

In the noon, around 3-pm he made it to the bike and sped to the point of his friend’s arrival.

This time his destination was a desert, he had three days of agenda. There was an inn in the middle of the desert where Jimmy was to stay at night. In day time, he was free to roam as far as he could, but before dark broke, he would need to make it to the inn, for this time he was going without a tent and firework and cooking was almost impossible in the desert.

The cab driver was adept at his work, he dropped Jimmy at the station almost fifteen minutes before the departure. However, the speaker was announcing and calling the passengers to gather in the train.

Now that he had arrived on time, he carried the bag calmly and entered the train with no hurry. The conductor gave the slip. He had got seat in the eighth compartment. Jimmy put his bags in the cabinet and perched in the seat and sighed a breath of relief.

Meanwhile, in further few moments, a bulky but strong man popped up having a big black mustache. The very first sight sent a shiver of doubtfulness through Jimmy’s body, still, he greeted the man joyfully. ‘My name is James. I work at a farm in our country side. What do you do?’ He responded with a deep and heavy voice which furthered the dreariness of Jimmy. But he thought that what am I to do for whatever he may be. As we are companions for merely a little time in the train.

Before falling to sleep, as Jimmy was hiding his bundle of bucks under the pillow, James squinted at him. Jimmy didn’t react to it and thought that he might have glanced in normal over a movement. Anyhow, in the morning they chatted and became quite friendly. Before noon, the train stopped at a station for one hour.

James suggested that they should probably go in the town and have some local cuisine. James remarked that he knew a top class restaurant which offered best quality local foods. As Jimmy had become quite comfortable with James, he nodded in agreement without giving it a second thought.

As they reached a square at a service road, James excused to make a call. Having done with the phone talk, James pointed towards a narrow street which he said led to the famous restaurant.

As soon as they got into the first congested street, someone knocked Jimmy down kicking him in the back and delivered some powerful punches, simultaneously, let him sniff some anesthesia tic drug.

When Jimmy opened his eyes, he found himself in a cozy room, decorated elegantly. A gentleman appeared attiring a well fitted suit, a mild beard and a silky hair combed so properly from the temple side.

‘Jimmy we found you in a very despicable situation, beaten up mercilessly. Did you have some enmity with anybody?’ Hovering over his bedside the gentleman spoke to Jimmy. ‘No Sir. I am a peaceful traveler only concerned with my own business. I had met a scary man in my train and befriended him not knowing his true nature. He deceived me with euphemisms. He led me into a narrow street and beat me. I don’t recall a thing after I got knocked down by them.’ Jimmy almost blasted without a break. ‘My bag Sir? Did they take my bag too?’

‘I found you with only your bag Jimmy, and your diary in it, nothing more. After reading your diary of your voyages, I considered it a blessing in disguise for you. My name is Jackson Piles. I own one of the leading tour sponsoring agencies. You are in safe hands child.’

Upon hearing this heart ballooning words, Jimmy forgot all the pain, and the lost bundle of buck and the camera and other stuffs in the bag which left in the train.

The robbers had left only the diary in the bag. When Mr. Jackson had by chance came across the street he found Jimmy lying in the dirt unconscious. Upon reading the diary he was mesmerized, and had decided to help poor Jimmy achieve some real shots in his touring career.

May 08, 2020 13:20

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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