Coming of Age Horror Inspirational

   At this ripe age of 78 years slides of various pictures come in the reflecting mirror of advancing times that at the present moment have gone. Experiences whether they are joyful or painful remain in the mind and some happenings are just erasable. They leave positive or negative influences. There happen certain very unfortunate incidents that leave pains for the rest of the whole life. Some most unexpected occurrences leave painful stains on the mind of the sufferer. My name is Christian Brunner and my whole family and my friends too call me 'Chris'.

                 My life as one of the children had been quite good and Almighty has stood with his children through every thick and thin. As early as a mere kid I always was madly fascinated by the long stretch of lilies and fresh garden flowers and I felt like running and dancing all the way. The woods inspired me to sing the rural country songs. I inhaled the smell of different flowers and I looked in joyful amazement at the whole so beautiful scenario so madly fascinating. The woods provoked me to sing rural songs of virginity. The basking sun-light made me lay there I saw the scrawling greenery and I was tempted to sing there like the singing cuckoo. The basking sun light made me lie there for hours together. In the cold January I would cuddle up next to my sister.

                    In this way my fun free walks and runs like that of a lamb or calf prancing amidst bunch of flowers, I think I had been a very lucky boy indeed!

                     We had quite peaceful and contented lives unlike the noisy and ears smashing noises of urban cities. The pretty winters on the farms of north-east of U.S.A. we inhaled the smell of thousands of lilies, fresh garden flowers and bask in the sun-light in July on the hay stack where others too hung around.

                      My father grew up in a farm and it was in summer that we used to gather logs and wood stack them up in the barn for chilly months of the winter. We needed the fireplace where we all nine hung together and had hot porridge and soup. Father would lambast upon us: "Why don't you explore the forest that hangs out! Go Go you fools. Would you not explore the forest all around.  You should go to explore every foot of this beautiful forest and also it’s dangerous sides. I don't want you to become lethargic frogs just confined to a well. The Sun is your navigation guide. Learn using the Sun skillfully. It is the greatest guide of this good Nature.

                      My father was a deft artisan who knew very fully to clean the soot. He called me one day "Aye Chris come here and understand the skill of throwing out the soot. If the soot is not is not cleaned and removed it can poison all of us. Let's make the exhaust pipe for the fire-place. It is an absolute need. We have no other option. His objective in calling me was to make me also learn the process. House management cannot be done by one person. It has to be managed and maintained by all the family members.

                 Father made me learn the whole process of soot cleaning as early as when I was just seven. He told me in clear words 'we have to steer off all the soot and it is too important matter that cannot be under any circumstances be neglected. We had a great dinner with all nine, Christ and Eddie and my old friend who had come along with Susan his girl friend.

' Susan could not believe that me and Eddie were childhood friends and grew up together. There was stark difference between both of us. Eddie was glad that he stopped over and felt like good old days were back. Eddie could not believe that I had come back in town for the past few years to my roots and that. We were so excited on catching up on the events of our lives that we forgot that we were no longer kids and we had more responsibilities."

                The story hereby undergoes a drastic change that forebodes drastic results. Susan suggested a hike in the woods far away from the town. We began this hiking programme. It went on quite well for five hours. This was the only time really enjoyable for we three of us. But it is also true that fate had enough powers to change the course of human lives. I and Eddie jumped upon that idea. We packed necessary clothings and few odd needs. Little did we realize that the journey would be one of the most challenging hikes of our life time? Five hours had passed in a very pleasant manner. But now in our joy time outing it started snowing and everything became white around us, my guts instincts were out for the sense of direction since the whole sky was nothing but a white roof of clouds. We talked but we heard not each other. The snow stuck on our lips. We would remove one layer but soon the other layer of snow stuck on our mouths. The readers can really imagine the inconveniences that the snow brought upon us.

                   Eddie Susan and me were a little lost and in whatever direction we took for our way back home seemed to take us away. How chilly the whole place became, how uncomfortable became our mental and physical state and the tired state seemed to touch the points of culmination.

It was not an ordinary snow. It took us away from our abode. We had not realized but it was not to end and it would be a record snow of 1987! It was just white and white everywhere. No senses were left to recognize where we were! We could hardly trace any signs of our abode-- chilly and chilly, all snow upwards, downwards, towards the left , towards the west.

                      Eddie and also I were lost. Our abode became far as still far. Eddie seemed to have got lost. I as well seemed to have got lost. We were all tired, all pleasures were lost and in its place the whole of our bodies underwent enormous loads of torments and sufferings. Susan was not used to this kind of weather and she started having difficulties in breathing and could not even lift her leg, seemed to have buried her leg in more and more of snow.

Snow and more snow - seems like Lord almighty had forgotten to switch off the snow button in these few hours - and prayed to Almighty to please save us and not give us a white clod coffin.. Lord forbid Susan lost consciousness and me and Eddie did not know what to do - Eddie was too bulky himself and he could not carry himself in the bed of snow leave alone carry Susan. I missed a heartbeat with the thought of losing my friend and his would be spouse in an adventure … We had to leave Susan unconscious there and me and Eddie continued looking for some shelter - we tried to leave signs and signals and cloth strips so we could back track to Susan but the snow was so much there that all signs we tried to put but it got buried in the snow. 

No navigation skills, no words, just deep breathing of two souls could be heard - I could imagine Eddie frustration and anxiety for Susan.. Eddie could not walk any further and seems that he was breathing so heavily as if he had ran a marathon - his eyes and nose were all watery and the tears that formed from his eyes solidified as icicles because of the cold .. Eddie was not used to this kind of weather and he also lost consciousness.. I shouted for help but my hoarse voice was a mere whisper in the woods..

I was angry hungry tired frustrated dejected and felt being rejected by LORD and I thought I was going to die with my loss of sense and loss of sense of direction Lord must have felt our pain and I could lay our sight on an old dilapidated structure a few feet ahead of us buried in snow - there were no doors and it seemed as if no one had been there in centuries - I felt like a zombie and I also lost consciousness as I entered the structure.. I remember it had antique looks and there was a bunch of cobwebs inside the structure which looked like a curtain in the entrance - I could see that no one had ever been here for years..

I must have been out of my senses for a day or so and when I regained my senses - there was still so much snow around me and whatever food and water that we carried was all frozen - I was so thirsty but all I had was a frozen water turned with me - I remembered that my father used to rub his hand to heat up something in snow - but nothing was working here - I tried to use my hands but nothing was working - was hungry and I nibbled on a couple of loaves of bread I had and I prayed to Almighty to save me and my friends.

Three days later it stopped snowing and I garnered courage to look at the sunlight which came in after so many days - Eddie and Susan - what must have happened - I trekked for another day when it stopped snowing and as soon as I could reach a road - I tried to get help from people around -I was incoherent and inaudible to people because of the cold..

I was hospitalized because of hypothermia and the rescue teams that went on looking for Susan and EDDIE had bad news for me - both of them lost their lives in the wood it was the most shocking happening that transpired into my life. I felt awfully guilty for the two. Why the hell I consented to Susan’s idea of trekking. She was ignorant of the weather Conditions but at least I should have known. I was the culprit; I was partly responsible for their miserable end. I could never excuse myself.

I felt ashamed and for Eddie and Susan I went on holding prayers of pardoning me. I could never pacify my heart and sometimes I could not restrain myself and I did not know that I was crying for them.

. ‘Oh my Lord were they destined to meet me and die here only here as my guests. But they are gone and are destined never to return.

My childhood friend met me after years and lost him in a few hours and Lost lovely Susan too.

                                   I could not ever forget them. What had happened?

Under my nose, my guests had come to die under my very eyes. Why the hell I did not say ‘no, not at all’ .I will not allow you to go for hiking. It is next to impossible. Did I not know the weather conditions!

“Oh dear Lord what a fool I had been. I went on cursing myself. Do not

Pardon me Lord I am the greatest criminal. Punish my God! You must.

In the whole graph of my life I always felt that I was solely responsible.

Oh my Lord I am the sole culprit for their unexpected death and the murderer is none else but me.

 I have never been able to excuse myself. Never! The

Pain for them is gravest and I never hope to regain my tranquility.

Lord blesses them. Bless Eddie and Susan..

Chris was the fool that he happened to be so.

January 22, 2021 10:10

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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