Strangers in the Land

When the living solves the riddles of the dead and restless spirits flutter the space like fireflies in the dead of the night, the merging of two worlds and the constellations begin. As two unfriendly worlds collide, so Aja villagers welcome strangers every fortnight whose entrance is often heralded with claps of thunderstorms and lightning.
The winds whirl continuously as if the giant trees with fat branches stir them; even birds fly far away refusing to perish in case the winds become more than powerful and dangerous. Sun-struck, rustic roofs drop down like dead leaves, and age-long buildings give away under their weak foundations while fewer buildings shake like drenched chicks in the rain.
It is a marvel that the old herbalist’s shed that stood aloof from other houses, seems untouched by the herald of the strange beings who visit the town.
To some, an old woman who they say was denied a cup of water to calm her dry harsh throat after a seemingly endless journey has cursed the town.
Ahat laid on the threadbare mat tossing and turning, with a strange force she woke and stared with fearful eyes in the darkroom. The old grandfather clock ticked in unison with the distant owl that shrieked in the deep forest. Ahat looked up, both the short and long hand of the clock struck 12. And it’s the same dream. Sighing, she sat up and dragged herself to the wall for support. A visibly shaken bride runs down the road, clutching a bouquet of withered lilies in her with one hand, she raises her tattered flowing dress stained with murky waters. With dried leaves and twigs stuck in her hair, she seems to have been running through the bushes. She could have been mistaken for a bride running to meet her restless groom, but for her face that shows dried lines of tears. Ahat stood at the balcony, staring into the space wondering why the running bride had her face plastered with talcum powder. She tried to draw in the scent of the powder, remembering how her mother rubbed it on her face every morning as she dressed her for school. But her mother is now on a journey.
Suddenly, thunder clapped noisily, and lightning struck making the bride disappear. Lost in deep thought, Ahat smelled the lavender scent she had known since when crawls on bare grounds and eats sands, a woman clad in a wrapper stood by her rocking her baby to sleep. The powder on its face is the same pattern as the running bride. Ahat smiled at the baby while the woman got occupied for a second re-tying her wrapper with one hand, holding the baby in the other…
May be continued!

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