"Zeus" in disguise

Submitted into Contest #96 in response to: Write about someone welcoming a stranger into their home.... view prompt

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Fiction Mystery Happy

Today something happened, something very unusual, very uncanny. I was sitting with my laptop open on the tea table, when I saw the new writing prompt popped up on my Reedsey page. The prompt said about a word “Xenia”. I immediately fell in love with the word. The small word weighed really heavy, not only full of knowledge about ancient Greek mythology but many more aspects relatable to our day to day life, some we see and some we just ignore or overlook. I went into a deep thought at once. Yes it’s easy for me to wander in my thoughts with not a single soul to disturb me within 10 kms or more perhaps I’ve never bothered to do the math.

There are definitely some perks of living alone in a wooden cabin by the river, far-flung in solitude. Well!! I converted the wooden cabin into a bulletproof glass cabin. I wanted to indulge into the nature. I wanted to get myself soaked into the nature thoroughly. That is when I got lucky to witness the tranquil beauty of nature changing every moment with every minute even when I am inside my house. My parents and friends visit me once in a month. Some of my close ones think I am crazy some think I am creepy. But I am complacent. I do not rectify their thoughts. Each and every person has the freedom of thought.

So, let me take you back to my laptop and the prompt. Now what I am going to tell you is not a story at all. It’s an incident which was utterly a coincident…….or………whatever……..I am still baffled.

The sun moved to the western sky and the twilight was followed by the darkness of the night. The bright round moon was compensating the darkness with its elegant milky glow. The full moon nights are my favorite. I get a positive vibe from the moon when it is in full bloom. Usually I pull on the curtains during night. I know there’s no one so watchful outside who would like to keep an eye on me. But the thought is disturbing for me. It distracts me a lot. A whole long day passed but I couldn’t think of any plot related to the prompts given. I cooked dinner to get into the momentum. I have read somewhere cooking is not only an art it’s considered as a therapy these days. I prefer vegetarian food during night. Again, there’s a reason behind that or just my notion I don’t know. I think the appetizing smell of non-veg food may attract the wild animals at night and bring them to my doorstep. And I don’t like strangers.

At first I sat on my bed in a hope to start writing something. An hour later I came and sat on the living room on my cozy sofa. It was really very strange that nothing clicked. I was totally blank like a white sheet of paper. I checked my WhatsApp, then Facebook, then Instagram and so on and so forth. Except liking some random posts and laughing at some hilarious videos I did nothing productive. That is when I heard a sound, a growling sound, coming not from very far away but pretty close. I didn’t freak out. This is among one of those perks of living in an isolated cabin I was talking about. There are lots of sounds I hear every night. But this was different. The sound was moving from one place to another. I felt it was coming from all the sides of my cabin, moving round and round. I recognized the sound. It was of a wolf’s and just one wolf which I felt with the sound of the footsteps. But they move in packs, why is it all alone? Or the pack is just behind it waiting for me. But they don’t know that I am not going to entertain any stranger.

Just then there was a loud sound as if the wolf is beating the glass with its paws. “Thud……thud….” The growling was increasing eventually. But something was different with the sound, it was not the fierce one rather it was low, suppressed. “Is the wolf in some sort of danger?” the thought occurred to me out of the blue. I rushed to the place from where the sound was coming and removed the curtains at once. My jaws dropped and my face turned white. Two red eyes were staring at me eagerly. Suddenly the wolf tapped the glass again and I jumped back with fear. Though it wasn’t dark outside but still I threw torch light on the wolf and all around to get a clear picture. To my surprise the wolf was all alone and wasn’t aggressive at all. I had a feeling that it’s not in the mood to attack me on the contrary it needs some help. It wants to get inside. It is showing me the fangs from time to time not to scare me but trying to plead. The growling sound is very low “grrrr….grrrr……” My inner voice said to get it in but my head said it’s a wolf after all. What if it eats me up? I will get killed in my own home by a stranger. No, this isn’t gonna happen. The wolf’s tapping increased this time it was harder. Just then I noticed something. The floor is full of blood. I took a close look of the wolf and I noticed a deep cut near its hind leg. What I thought at that particular moment I can’t recall but I opened the door in a flash and the wolf entered limping and crawling. It sat down at once. It neither attacked me nor ate me up. It was crying in agony, withering its fangs in tremendous pain. Blood spread all over the floor. I tip toed to fetch the first aid box and prayed to God to grant me strength to help out this weird stranger at my home. I really wanted to help the wounded wolf. After all it has come to me for shelter in pain and I must protect it regardless of the fact that I hate strangers.

I cleaned the wound with clean water and trembling hands. Then I put some antiseptic and tied the wound carefully with a bandage. That is when I noticed that the wolf is female and she’s pregnant. My eyes filled with tears. As if I was sharing the pain with her now. And trust me the wolf didn’t do anything to scare me rather I got full co-operation from her. I gave her some food and water but she only licked the water few times and didn’t touch the food at all. I felt she was quite comfortable now. She closed her eyes resting her face on the ground. Half an hour later she looked up and started sniffing and tried to stand up looking all around watchfully. I was sitting quietly on the sofa. Her sniffing increased and she came to me limping and started pulling me with her paw. I walked near the door with the torch and my eyes widened to see another wolf at my door. This one must be the partner. Seeing no other option I opened the door slowly and the wolf crept in. He started licking his partner. I saw a strange cut mark on the male wolf’s front leg, like the shape of a lightning. Both of them walked to the door and started tapping the glass again. By now I have become a wolf expert. I immediately intercepted their sign language and opened the door. I stood watching at the door. Limping and walking slowly step by step they were out of my sight. I will never forget the look of the male wolf when it turned back to see me before vanishing in thin air. It was full of empathy and nothing vicious. It was around 2:30 am and I spread myself on the sofa and fell asleep.

I woke up with a tapping noise on my door. I jumped up on the sofa, rubbed my eyes and picked up my mobile phone. It was 6:30 am. Nobody comes here and at this hour it is very dreadful. The tapping immediately reminded me of last night’s eccentric incident. I walked to the door and removed the curtain. At the door a tall and dark man was standing with a very well built up body and apparently a stranger. He was holding a huge basket full of fruits of every variety. As soon as he saw me he smiled and requested me to open the door. I opened the door and walked out as he refused to enter.

“This is for you. Please accept it and bless our tribe and my family.” said the man with a bow.

I frowned and said “who are you? I have never seen you before. And I don’t accept anything from strangers.”

“I am not a stranger anymore. I live inside the forest with my tribe. We have seen you from the day you have started living here. But we love to stay aloof with our own tribe. My wife gave birth to two beautiful twins early this morning, a boy and a girl. It’s part of our culture to distribute fruits to neighbors. And you are our only neighbor. Please accept and honor our tribe.” He said still grinning.

I smiled in return and took the basket from him. Just then I noticed something very odd. There was the same cut mark on his wrist which I saw last night on the wolf’s paw. By the time I returned to my senses he had walked far away from me. He turned back, smiled and gave me a look very similar to the look of the male wolf last night. I stood perplexed holding the basket and the stranger vanished in thin air. 

THE END

May 30, 2021 14:02

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2 comments

Roger Scypion
03:53 Feb 07, 2023

Great story! Fantastic ending! A sequel or more stories about this cabin and the woods would be great.

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Sharmishtha Saha
05:35 Feb 08, 2023

Thank you dear

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