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A detached calm and unabashed power branded his craggy visage. A lacuna would deputize for the stoic, the heartening splendours of humane spirit, the grit and glory of the gold dust but I will call him the brute.

The scent of mossy soil mingled with that of wild plants and bustling creepers that carpeted the floor of the forest scampering every which way to snare the invaders and sinners that set their feet in their land. The land of perplexity and prophecies, epic and enigma and indelible lore. The ogre and carnivorous plants that swallowed humans alive, their hearts are stoned and don’t melt whether you are a baby or having the buns in the oven for that matter. What if someone gets caught short halfway through? My flesh almost crawled off my bones..

“ Stark staring bonkers!”

Plunging in the pit of despair I hollered. I heard my heart knocking. The last time when I kneed him in his groin, the taste wasn’t that delectable or to my liking.

“ Life isn’t the barrel of laughs,”

It was like water off the duck’s back! Nothing riled the brute.

As to this jaunt, I didn’t have the foggiest where he was taking me or whether there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The forest was punctuated by stones of different shapes and sizes. As I paced up, I tripped over on the foot of a colossal tree that too with a bump.


The unexpected turn of the tide made the brute dead in his track. He turned to me but didn’t offer the precious little help to bail me out of the trouble. His nut-brown crook blazed in the dark. Giving me a hard look he spun on his heels and flounced off.

I gave him a dopey grin and hoisted my rucksack back wrapping my mind around the daunting prospect.. Though the woods were dark and deep which make you scared witless, the night was closing in.

I gave a sharp pull forward to match his stride.

“So? Are we heading to the temple?”

My voice was so much softer than the earlier yelp of dismay.

“ Brothel or temple, you will find whatever you are seeking.”

Tinged with angst the tone of his voice brooked no argument.

That’s a bit of a tiff that doesn’t sit well with you but the sombre and ascetic life of the brute evoked an unbidden feeling of reverence and respect.

Originally published at on May 22, 2021.

I am a writer.