01 January 1970

Short Story: Awakening

Weekend Reads

Short Story: Awakening

Author Anjana Dutt writes about the time when the eerie silence of hills covered in impenetrable canopy of trees took her to another time in a mysterious place.

Author writes of the time the eerie silence of hills took her to another time in a mysterious place
Author writes of the time the eerie silence of hills took her to another time in a mysterious place Getty Images

As I neared the edge of the hillock, the mist rose to reveal rolling hills covered in an impenetrable canopy of trees. The eerie silence took me back to another time, another place, a place where cold misty tendrils wound around my legs masking my journey through lands unknown. Silent. Mysterious. Seemingly calm but with an underlying streak of danger. Masked pitfalls waiting silently to trap the unwary traveller. A place echoing with solitude, I was faced with the choice of forging ahead into the unknown or turning back to warmth, light and safety.

As I warily advanced, a sinuous river snaked into my path, rushing over moss-clad stones. I forged ahead, determined to free myself from this cloying darkness. A streak of red caught my eye and as I bent to take a closer look, it unfolded into a bright red flower, rising above the dark water into my palm. In its centre lay a key — intricate, delicately carved from a single piece of stone. It felt warm, and as I held it in my hand, my whole being was suffused with a feeling of comfort and inexplicable peace.

As I looked around me, the mists lifted, the river disappeared and I found myself in a walled garden alight with sunshine and the heady perfume of a hundred roses. Ivy-covered walls framing an intriguing wooden door stood before me. Perhaps the key would free me from this enchanted garden. Or it could lead me back to that dark mysterious place I had traversed to get here. 

I hesitated —a heartbeat of trepidation held me back— but my fear was no match for the pull of what lay ahead and I turned the key.

I stepped over the threshold into Life.