Nothing was clearly visible from the mountain’s top most point. The place overlooked a deep valley and rugged terrain around. But that morning, unusual mist shrouded the entire area. Though very thin and silky, made of blanket of water particles, it had an eerie quality covering all that was part of that area. Even the birds did not wake and spread their morning chirpiness. It looked as if they had a secret watcher who warned them off that morning about the ominous mist. There remained a deadly silence and the mist seemed to rule the place.
The sound of dried leaves under my foot multiplied ten times and echoed, adding to the scary feeling. The hot puffs of breath from Ravi’s nose and mouth made him appear like an unnatural creature. The moment he moved a few feet away, he seemed to be swallowed by the greedy mist. Heart in the throat I called him out and scolded him for moving away from my sight. He got irritated and chided me for my unnecessary fear. Our voices boomed around and the mist seemed to enjoy amplifying it greatly and our echoes came back to us with a villainy hoarseness.
The morning chill added zillions of goose bumps on our exposed skin and added to the discomfort. Waiting always killed people. That too on a misty morning waiting for Ravi’s good for nothing father, my ex, added to the tension. My anxiety seemed to stretch and touch the mist and it started swirling wildly. It behaved like a cunning creature, moving around us and in between us, separating us momentarily. Instinctively I pulled Ravi closer to me. The wrought iron railing that stood separating the deep gorge and us,appeared to be nothing in front of this mighty mist. Where did this acquire so much power?
I realized that the wind is adding its forces to it and in cahoots with the wind, the mist now began its devilish dance. I was stupid to have come here at this ungodly hour. 5:30 am is not ungodly, at least in cities and towns where the civilization has its strength in giving comfort. But this place during December is a place for murders, horrors and thrillers. My heartbeat gets louder by the minute, but I found Ravi, with his youthful adventurous spirit, always trying to stray into the engulfing mist and made me jittery. Of course he was unaware of the reason we came here. It was my hopeful heart that propelled me to come this far at this hour, hoping that my ex would come to terms with the custody and let me be with Ravi. I ate his reason of having a flight to catch by noon from Delhi, gullibly, and accepted to meet him here at this strange hour.
I had hoped the sky to clear and bright sunlight to break through any early morning mist, but did not except this smothering cover of menacing layer that could eat people alive. A sudden shift in the wind direction, the mist moved towards us with vengeance and it seemed to have gathered speed and unlikely life force bent on swallowing us. I found myself wrapped in white smoky cover, I could not even see my own hand. It appeared amputated at the wrist. I quickly pulled my hand back and let out a breath of relief as I found my hand intact. Silly of me to fear its safety. I wished the sun to come and obliterate this demonic mist.
Just when I thought so, magically the mist began to clear, curling itself inside and receded. I could still see a threatening glare in that retreat and I shivered. Was that a threat or a triumphant glee? The vision became clearer and oh! my! Was I happy then or before when the mist covered the impending danger? What vision I saw stole my breath, made my feet rooted to the place, I was choked and wished the back instead of this ungodly, blood chilling scene that spread before me.