Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Hillock

The man climbed the rocky hillock. The air was cool all around him. He had been climbing for a long while now but did not feel the slightest bit tired. His mind felt fresh and clear, as it did every time he walked up this place.

As he climbed, he looked at the picturesque town nestling at the bottom. The lake next to it and the greenery at the distance all looked straight out of a scene from a postcard. He had come to this town a few years ago. And had never regretted the move. The bright and lively town looked quaint and delicate from where he was now. The lake right next to it looked impossibly clear and blue.

He walked slowly taking the whole scene in. There still was some way to the top, but he was in no real hurry. He loved this stretch. He felt more alive here. As if all his senses had been amplified. He felt sure if he concentrated hard enough he could hear the pleasant buzz of the town all the way from the bottom. He could make out the color on each feather of the bird that was flying in lazy circles above him. He breathed the clean mountain air and continued his way to the top.

He felt a cold draft of wind on the back of his neck which made him turn and look up. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the bird freeze in mid air.

He felt a distant rumble under his feet then. Several things seemed to happen all at once. The leaves of the solitary tree in the distance stopped fluttering in the wind as though they had been turned off. He felt a sudden chill in the air. The bird started to fly away rapidly. Unthinkingly, he turned his head a fraction to follow its movements.

That was when he became aware of the big rock that was hurtling towards him. It was so out of the blue, that he was completely stunned. He stared at the rock transfixed as it generated more momentum and thundered downwards. As it loomed closer, he felt unable to even avert his eyes.

He cringed. At the last moment, the boulder hit a small out cropping, deviated a bit from its original path and crashed loudly just about two feet away from him, carrying a part of the rocky path along, as it rolled further down along the hillock.

The man had never had a near death experience before. The shock was still too much for him to completely appreciate his good fortune. He continued to watch the rapid descent of the rolling boulder almost involuntarily. He watched it wide eyed as it crashed and displaced a group of huge rocks, a short distance below him. And these in turn, gathered more stones and rubble as they tumbled downwards. Horrified, he saw a rocky landslide form right before his eyes.

He remembered the town suddenly. It was directly in the path of the land slide.

The scene that followed was something out of a nightmare. The magnitude of destruction of the town was enormous. The group of rocks which had been displaced caused the most damage. He could very realistically feel the angst and pain of the townspeople. He could almost hear their screams. The din and clamor was deafening in his ears. The scene was just too much to take in.

Within a few seconds, a huge cloud of raised dust blocked his view. There was a lull that followed. He shut his eyes tightly as if to block the scene from his eyes. After what seemed like a long time, he opened his eyes.

He could not believe what he saw.

The scene in front of him was as picturesque as it was before. The town was nestling safely next to the blue lake. The bird was still lazily circling in front of him. He could once again make out all the color on its feathers.

This time, the man laughed out loud in sheer relief. He realized that he had not breathed in a while now. He gulped in large amounts of air and sighed as he slowly felt his nerves calm. He wiped the tears blinding his eyes and gazed at the town with new-found fondness.

After a while, he turned, looked at the unbroken path in front of him and debated whether to continue his climb.

He felt a cold draft of wind at the back of this neck. The bird froze in mid air.

The man rapidly walked forward two feet. And then stopped.

He felt a distant tremor under his feet. He looked up just as he felt a chill in the air. He caught one last glance of the bird before it rapidly flew away. He smiled.

A tall pedestal stands there on the hillock today. The structure has been built entirely by the huge boulder that crashed into the lake. The townspeople call it ‘The Shrine of the Savior’.


Mathangi Raghuraman said...

Thankfully it dint have a premonition anywhere. And you picture a lot of detail. A lot of it.:)

skhajone said...

Amazing writing man. good imagination.
Keep em comin :)

Just Another Film Buff said...

Aw, what goodwill! But can I still assume that he could have been alive? :)

Dha said...

@Mathangi: If all one has got to work with is a man on a hill, detail is the only way to fill one whole sheet :P

@Kaku: Thanks, dude :)

@JAFB: Yea, you could assume that. :D

鑽石 said...

Happy New Year~~!!!............................................................