Lost And Found
Lost And Found6 mins 182 6 mins 182
The cool wind brushed away Meena’s long brown hair. The night in the hills is really amazing thought Meena.
Thousands of stars blink down at her. Each shining brightly unlike the city where stars are smothered with smoke.
The pine’s fragrance is carried on by the wind leaving the teen trilled. She closed her eyes and swayed a bit with wind feeling like a pine tree.
The mountain soil felt soft on her bare feet. The multi-colored birds all chirping during the day were now asleep on the treetops. Their tiny nests nicely camouflaged in the branches.
An old owl was hooting somewhere. Meena eagerly scanned the treetops for a glimpse of it but was unable to locate it.
Everything was perfect. The whole setting was serene. Meena's eyes gleamed as she turned around to absorb it all when her eyes fell on something ugly.
Mohan, her little brother was standing near a tree heaving heavily and ruining the quiet atmosphere. His clothes were soiled and spectacles askew. This clearly displayed how many times he had tripped while following her.
‘What are you doing here?’, hissed Meena.
Mohan spoke in an injured tone, ‘I should be asking you that. You left without informing.’
‘I told you I was going for a walk’, hissed back Meena.
‘Well, I thought I would follow you,’ retorted Mohan.
Meena rolled her eyes, really her brother was a big scaredy-cat. He couldn’t even stay in a room alone for 15 minutes.
Meena spoke up, ‘You know Mom and dad would be back from the spa in some time. Why don’t you go back to the room and wait for them?’
Mohan frowned, ‘You are trying to get rid of me but let me tell you that I am not turning back until you are.’
Meena sighed. Well, here’s an end to a peaceful nighttime stroll, she thought. So, she turned away from her brother and started to move ahead on the trekking trail.
Mohan followed her complaining audibly. The owl continued to hoot and the two continued walking.
After some time, Mohan stopped weeping instead he started babbling. He went on to talk about the trees, their properties, the types of animals found in the hills and so on.
Mohan was great at his research but it was annoying Meena all the more. Even the owl thought him to be a restless predator and so, it too left that spot.
Meena was just going to tell him to be quiet. When Mohan screamed loudly, ‘It’s a new moon night!’
‘Stop shouting idiot. So, what if it was a new moon night that’s the reason, I am out to enjoy the stars and the peace. So, why don’t you head back’ added Meena hopefully?
By now Mohan’s eyes were wide with fear and he hushed, ‘Don’t you know that a new moon night and a full moon night are both the perfect setup for a horror story. It’s the time when ghosts, spirits, vampires, and what not wake up. Also, right now we are all alone on an isolated track. Oh no! we should really be heading back.’
Meena started to hush him but seeing his pleading eyes she conceded. ‘Fine we are going back. Anyways, it’s getting late, we should now be heading back,’ she spoke shrugging her shoulders.
Mohan ran towards them and gave her a hug. Well, it always feels good when your scared brother gives you a hug, thought Meena. Smiling inwardly, she turned back and started walking towards the hotel.
They have been walking for about 20 minutes now still Meena was unable to locate the way back. Mohan had again started whimpering. He cried out, ‘We are lost. Now the monsters will eat us.’
Meena spoke out, ‘It’s fine just calm down. I must have taken a long turn or something.’
But Mohan kept whining. They turned another turn and a pale man in a black coat appeared.
Both of them screamed. Mohan shouted, ‘A vampire.’
The man affronted spoke up, ‘Well I am sorry to disappoint you sir but I am not a vampire. I am the hotel’s porter.’
Meena calmed down and blushed at her stupidity. Mohan was still staring at the man with his mouth hanging open. Meena shook him. They both apologized for their false accusation.
The porter smiled, ‘Well never mind you both too freaked me out. Anyways what are you both doing out in the walking trail at night?’
Meena spoke up, ‘Well we got lost. We were just walking to enjoy the natural beauty.’
The porter gave them a swift a bow and remarked, ‘Hope you enjoyed the beauty of the hills but madam it would be even prettier during the day. Also, there would be no vampires to scare you off.’
Meena laughed and even Mohan gave a nervous chuckle. The porter then offered to guide them back. He was really an amiable person. He seemed elderly yet his feet were well guided on the hills. In just a matter of time, he had guided them back on the main path.
‘So, here we are back on the path. By the way in which room, you are staying?’ he asked.
Meena replied that in room number 340.
The porter then spoke up, ‘Oh! You are staying in the east wing then you shouldn’t have come this far to have a taste of natural beauty. Why the most beautiful thing is right next to your room.’
Their curiosity was aroused and they followed him with great excitement. Just near their room, the porter beckoned them towards an old pine tree. He picked a stick from the ground and hit upon several holes and crevices on the trees. He had performed a magic step which had now released something really beautiful.
From every crevice and hole came out millions of tiny fireflies. Each glowing brightly. Meena’s eyes were twinkling in fascination even Mohan was too stumped to speak.
Meena looked over at the porter he too was smiling at the fireflies and was going over to wake the others. His batch was glittering. Mr. Ram Dayal, it said.
So, the porter was Ram Dayal thought Meena. Well, she made a mental note to remind her parents to say special thanks to him later.
Finally, they returned to their room with wonderful memories etched in their minds.
‘Anything else you require madam or sir?’, asked the porter.
Mohan instantly spoke up, ‘Yes please, a glass of water for me. All this excursion had left me really tired.’
Meena too piped up, ‘Also Mr. Dayal thank you so much for today.’
‘My pleasure madam,’ he replied, and giving another bow to both of them he closed the door and left.
Quite a time went by but Mr. Dayal didn’t return. Their parents too returned from the spa but Mr. Dayal didn’t come with the water bottle.
‘Why don’t you call the room service, dear,’ Their mom spoke up. ‘Your porter might have forgotten about it.’
So, Mohan rang up the room service and ordered some water bottles. They arrived at some time but this time someone else was present to give them.
Meena too came out with Mohan to collect the bottles.
The new porter spoke, ‘Really sorry for the delay we didn’t receive your message earlier.’
‘It’s fine, Mr. Dayal must have forgotten about it,’ spoke up Meena.
The new porter looked up at her and replied in bewilderment, ‘I am sorry ma’am but you couldn’t have possibly met Mr. Ram Dayal because he passed a week back in the servants quarter.’