This is for the Picture Prompt competition. The story is about Ajith, a boy of 21 working in a NGO. He along with his friends take a visit to the exotic islands near Andaman for a capturing the beauty of nature. But, it is they who are captured.


8. Loss


 The tribesmen advanced towards me three at a time. The narrow tent allowed me some breathing space as I had to fend three at a time, instead of engaging in an all out of bash. The first three of them had sickles in their hands, which I presumed to be forged out of iron. The fire glinted off from the lantern as the boomerang structured blood cashier arced down upon me. Apparently, these men had only been educated with the ruminations, for they were not in sync with each other and the hazardous blows were not deliberate, they were just blind swings with a calculation that one of them would strike.

My prowess in wrestling transcended theirs in slashing, so I boarded the advantage and did the simplest maneuver. I kicked them backward. The contact was made in the abdomen. The fact that the men who preceded them were in immediate files turned the tides against them. They had not expected something as primitive as a kick from me; they had expected something more complex. This kick nailed them backwards and they stumbled onto each other. Their recovery was fast, but they had given me the vista of hope I required. I wrenched free the fire-encaging lantern from its mantel and dragged Sasha out by stepping on the collapsed warriors. A torch was lying by, I wondered its arrival, but deemed inspection too expensive. I used the hilt of the torch and tried to break the glass. By now, they were already on their way up. The glass encasing the fire cracked and I removed them, then I threw the exposed fire at them and ran dove backwards with Sasha.

The contagious fire licked up the whole tent and in a few seconds, the pitched fabrics had been broken to smoldering entities. Upon calculation and introspection, I found out that six of them had been charred off, that left two more. I looked around to see the boatman and Jagadeesh battling one of them, I joined the platoon and we unlocked our opponent’s defense. But he was a particularly clever one, for he knew that his demise inevitable. The unscrupulous bastard slit the throat of Jagadeesh in a single motion, before being hacked in the neck himself by the boatman. He went down, his face crusted with a layer of satisfaction and I did nothing to extinguish it. I instead knelt near Jagadeesh to record his final acoustics with my own ear. But, no such thing happened, for all I saw was a wide-eyed, fridge-skinned carcass that was a result of someone else’s serendipity.

Tears streamed down my cheeks, my mind was converting all my sorrows into energy for I was now seething with fever. My tears blurred my eyes, but my mind experienced placidness and clarity that was new, I knew I would prostrate all the protocols of the country to kill Raj. Because, only that would wipe me off the guilt, the guilt that would haunt me forever if left unattended.

The boatman swore something to himself and I knew that he had more mental proximity to Jagadeesh than me. I turned around and saw Sasha crying. The life Jagadeesh had asserted into our living, though invisible had been vital, he had been our binding force. He was a lose that nothing lent or borrowed could return to us and that showed in Sasha’s tears, they were not modulated by  the need to cry at such an event, the tears were engineered by blood, pure affection that friendship brought.

She got up, the machine that stimulated expressions in her displaying a fraction of anger for a few seconds, Instead of disappearing, they crescendoed. We knew where we were headed- the island. The only place where we had any chances of finding Raj, this once logic and instinct agreed.


Suddenly, someone sprang from the thicket and clung onto the boatman’s neck. He had taken point on our way to the boat. I quickly realized that one tribal who had been chastised had been sent to guard the embankments. He had clearly pounced on us in ambush, I kicked him and his grip loosened. The boatman bent his head low and knuckled him in the ribs. I caught him and pinned him to the trees. Careful, not to waste any of my anger towards him, I kicked him in his groins and he slouched to the ground. Whether, he was dead, I knew not, but wasn’t there an adage that said “All is fair in love and war”,.


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