|Part 1 * Part 2|
When his eyes opened, he was inside a tent. A familiar tent. He was lying in a sleeping bag. To his left were some utensils. All shut except one. Something was lying inside. Were they eggs ? He felt dizzy, his eyes burning, his body heavy and aching every inch. A number of packets were lying around. To his right, bulk of medicines laid near. Except him, there was no one in the tent. The only thing that sounded alive was the wind that blew outside with hustle as if upset with something.
He breathed deep. Where was he ? Why is he lying in a sleeping bag ? Is anything wrong ? Why is his head hurting so bad ? He strived to think, but couldn’t without hurting his head. The last he could remember was the sight of him lying in the snow. He tried hard, recollected some memory, but only in flashes. He threw up. But what happened after? He strained more. The pain was unbearable, frowning, he held his head between hands, massaging the temples. Yes! Somebody was there. Who was it ? He was now banging both the fist on his temples. Yes! The man. He strangled me. He tried to kill me... But I am safe. I am not dead… Who was he ? Should I run ? Run for life ? But... He heard a sound from outside the tent.
Somebody was approaching. He searched around. No hiding place. What will he do now ? His heart was pumping wildly. He picked the knife that lay near the eggs. And shammed to be sleeping. Someone unzipped the tent. The stark and grating unzipping sound was the only sound that interrupted the silence. It sent a chill down Anil’s body. He can’t fake sleep. How could he ? He can’t stay calm. How could he ? He will be dead soon. If not the first time, it would be this time.
The man entered crouching. It was Tashi.
Tashi! The sight of Tashi strangling him snapped before his eyes. His pupils widened. He was about to scream but felt his voice was lost in fright. Why did Tashi try to kill him ? What did he wanted ? Everything was so incomprehensible….But now he will have to use the knife. He will use it. Tashi hadn’t moved an inch from the door, still crouching. He looked dumbfounded. Why wouldn’t he ? He had not expected him alive.
...to be continued