The Challenge

The Challenge

Photo Courtesy – Tomu00e1u0161 Malu00edk on Pexels.com

The night was long and tiring.  The exhausted eyes refused to open up even though the sun was hitting his face directly.

The worn-out legs were unwilling to budge and bruised hands stayed close to the body as his mind felt helpless as the body pleaded for some more sleep. 

The sole of one of his shoes had tapered off, allowing the cold air to enter from below as he slapped his feet on the ground intermittently to warm them up, but they still felt numb.

The hills which appeared enchanting on the first day had now turned dreaded and scary. 

“I want to be back in the city,” he murmured inside his head.

The challenge to spend 5 nights in the open, with the temperatures reaching sub-zero and with nothing to light the fire or warm oneself had already sucked out every ounce of his energy.

It was only the 3rd day and he was dreading spending the rest of the two more frightening nights out in the open now.

“It’s better to give up”, his mind tried convincing, but the conscience immediately ignored the advice, deciding to continue further.

The legs were finding it difficult to support their weight, as he tried getting up to drink some water, but instead, spewed out whatever he drank and ate the last night.

The eyes slowly opened up now as he noticed a small hut in front of him; two kids were playing with a lamb while the chickens running around the house.

He tried getting up slowly but fell once again.

He tried again, but, with a loud thud saw his face kissing the small pebbles this time too.

The hut was enchanting, “come and eat your breakfast” the mother screamed as the two kids after looking far ahead towards the mountains, now started running back towards the house.

“I should go before they finish up everything,” he suddenly thought and gathering all his energy was able to finally stand up.

A stick he had been using the previous day, was lying close by; picking it up to support himself, he tried walking.

The legs began to move but trembled vigorously, the hands were shaking and so was the stick, “only a few steps more,” he tried convincing himself.

The hut, however, would move further away with every step he would towards it.

Scared, he decided to run; the mind had ordered, but the legs wouldn’t follow as he fell once again.

The bruises on the hands turned into wounds as the nose began oozing out blood profusely.

“One, two, three,” …he counted and managed to stand up once again.

Just two more steps he encouraged himself.

The first long step took him to the door, but he fell down again as he stretched his right leg to take the second.

But this time, he didn’t touch the ground but continued falling.

The mind had turned blank and the body felt weightless.

A loud thud and his eyes suddenly popped out; the birds shrieked loudly as eagles began to gather around. One more has fallen from the cliff, the words spread fast as the scavenging birds hovered around the lifeless body in the forsaken mountains.

8 thoughts on “The Challenge

  1. What spooky writing, Deepak. Magnificent. That vision proved to be the end of the man. Maybe it’s better that he was hopeful right before his death. The fall and the birds are a shocking finish. Well written and very engaging. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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