Kshitij and Shonali were Geologists went for 2 day trekking trip with friends in mountain forests. Excited to explore new adventure, they reached the meeting spot to start trekking. Dark clouds were accumulating giving a sense of heavy rains. With all camping stuff they entered the peneplain slopes of hill with a dense forest. Sounds of birds and animals chirped in the background, slight drizzle the lush green valleys were looking serene, with cold breezes. 

Forest was famous for its varied and rare floras and faunas, some of which thought to be extinct but other reason it was famous was for mystic and haunted stories. They were talking suddenly a strange voice started to echo from those limestone caverns where the rapids flow in small rivulets. 

Slowly it was getting darker and darker, and the crew was trekking faster to reach the top where they had to camp their tents to see the beauty of the full moon. Suddenly Kshitij realized that they were left far behind from the group, with torches in hand they were not able to follow the steps of the other group members and were not able to locate themselves, it was so dark and with the clouds even the white milky limestone also could not help them on Full moon night. 

Shonali who usually stayed calm had now started to lose patience. Suddenly she saw a small way between the woods, they followed it and saw a beautiful lake with blue waters, delighted to see they reach their. Shonali was thirsty and wanted to have a go at the water. Kshitij asked her to be careful as there could be animals, but Shonali was impulsive enough to reach the water and drink. 

Kshitij laughed and said, chewing a leaf from the nearby tree, “You can’t be patient right. 

Shonali smiled and replied, no I can’t.

Drink this water, it’s so sweet and fresh. 

Kshitij grinned and said not as sweeter as this leaf.

Both looked at each other, and the eyes chatted, and they laughed.

The white limestone in the periphery of the lake was making the water look more aesthetic.

Shonali started to feel something in his head 

Shonali came walking towards Kshitij and suddenly disappeared. Kshitij shouted scaringly, reached to the spot but could find only a stream which had now disappeared somewhere in the white limestone. 

Shonali, where are you, he shouted but in vain.

He suddenly heard something coming towards him, he took a branch of a tree as a weapon. 

A group of persons were there in a flash, they had saws in hand and guns. He stood tall blanketing his fears with a superficial facial courage. 

He was shocked to see them pass near him, without even asking or reacting. They reached the lake and started talking about their plans with no sense of him being around. 

Kshitij had no idea what is going on and why they are not noticing him. He reached to the edge of the lake trying to talk to them and figure out why they are ignoring? but soon he notices there is no reflection of him in the lake. 

He was scared like hell but calming himself that he is now invisible, was figuring out that what can cause this thing to him, but he had no idea. Suddenly he noticed they started to cut trees and some of them took their sniper guns and grounded themselves for hunting. 

Bang, one of them fired and the deer was gone. He cheered in excitement but silently. 

Kshitij had a love for the trees, he knew this power of invisibility can be a boon at this moment. As soon as the sniper was taking an aim, kshitij just deviated his gun in the other direction and bullet missed Deer this time, Shooter got shocked that what had happened.

Kshitij then reached to the tree cutting group and pushed the man in the lake, the group there got scared and shouted in fear. 

“Run. There is some Ghost here”

The group of Shooters blindly fired in the air.

A short bearded man shouted, let’s pack up, and go to the other place from here. Kshitij followed them back. 

On the other side Shonali was shouting for help in those limestone caves trying to find her way out in the darkness. She was struggling but saw a ray of light where the cave reached surface but it was not the surface, the light was coming from a saint who was meditating. She asked him to guide to surface, he smiled and asked her to follow. 

Kshitij was trying to negate the plan of cutting the trees, it was just moment before the dawn when the moon rose tearing the clouds spreading the moonlight. 

The troops were not able to accomplish their plans for cutting the woods and hunting. Kshitij realized that these are the one, who are hunting the animals here and smuggling the woods. 

Short guy ordered the troops to get back. 

Kshitij jumped in joy that he has done a noble task to get invisible. 

Suddenly he saw Shonali trying to come out of the sinkhole with a saint. 

Kshitij shouted, Shonali I am here 

Shonali shockingly shouted. 

Kshitij, Where are you? 

Kshitij: I am invisible, I don’t know how. 

Shonali: Don’t Fool me, where are you? 

Saint smiled and said, there are lots of rare floras in this forest, which has special powers in it. 

Shonali with a confused face, so? 

Saint continued, Just like Sanjivani, there are herbs here that can make you invisible 

Kshitij: Guruji, how we can get visible, we want to get back it’s almost dawn. 

Saint: Go In the Lake, drink that water 7 times saying Om Ganapatye Namah.Kshitij reached the lake, started drinking water while versing Om Ganpataye Namah. 

Shonali shouted Kshitij, jumping she came and hugged him. They turned back to thank the Saint, but were shocked to see that he had vanished…

***

When was the last time you read some modern sea stories—stories of ships and the seafarers who man them? Tales of adventure, love, romance, piracy, intrigue... and human nature? Well, look no further.

These are twelve stories of the sea, but not necessarily for seafarers alone. They are for anybody and everybody who likes to read fiction. And a ripping good yarn, as sailors used to say once upon a time.

Written by a sea captain who has spent his entire adult life at sea, more than forty years on the waves and still counting, these are stories set in the 70s, 80s up till the present day.

Will you come aboard now? The voyage is about to begin.

Link to buy this book: https://www.amazon.in/Driftwood-Beetashok-Chatterjee/dp/9385854771 and also at selected bookstores all over India.


Author:Beetashok Chatterjee, ex-Claws Club member at ArtoonsInn.

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The story you've read is an entry for UniK-5, #Invisible, a room8 Writing event by ArtoonsInn.
Check the event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/unik-5-writing-event-artoonsinn/

Photo By:SplitShire

Thanks for reading.

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