Pained By The Pendant

Pained By The Pendant

6 mins 20K 6 mins 20K

A small shiny object stopped him: a pendant with two snakes entwined into an infinity sign stuck on a rock, dangling before his eyes. Adrenaline surged through his veins, his heart was palpitating at an inhuman pace. Channeling his life force into every vein, every muscle, every limb of his body, he pushed himself to stay afloat and move towards the pendant. But almost as if some force in the universe, beyond his comprehension was conspiring to prolong his last moments, the pendant slipped through the rocks and fell into the water. In an action of final rebuttal, signalling the last hope, the diminishing energy, he took a deep breath and plunged into the abyss of darkness.

His outstretched hand, latched onto the locket. His legs started flailing. White dots clouded his vision. He couldn’t fight the raging force of water and the need for oxygen anymore. He drank in the sight of the locket in his hand for one last time and closed his eyes in contentment. As a pathetic act of defiance against the suffocating flow of water a breath spurted out of him and then another and then many more…and then he lay limp.

And SCENE!!!!! the director shouted. The chopper lifted up the lead actor and pulled him to safety.

Mason Heart sat back as people started hovering over him. People covered his soaking body with towels and his assistant handed him a warm mug of coffee to heat himself up. After a good fifteen minutes and a whole lot of reassurances, they left him at peace. Immediately, the director came in to congratulate him for the excellent shot. Really, the poor man must have been the happiest to see the last of Mason and his crew; given the hoards of creative differences and conflict of opinions.

Mason Heart was one of the most celebrated A-listers in Hollywood. His time didn’t come cheap and nor was his comfort a given. He made sure people understood that. After a grueling five months of actions scenes in exotic real-life locations, travelling across various time zones, staying at numerous resorts (the bills definitely added to the producer’s tab) the film was wrapped up. Now it was time to go on the much-needed vacation.

About an hour and half later of repeated congratulatory messages, handshakes and relentless flattery half of which they didn’t even mean, he left the place in his private car. As he got accustomed to the familiar rhythm of the car, something cold pressed against his chest. It was the locket!!

Strange, he distinctly remembered the crew taking it from him. He was slightly spooked but passed it off thinking that, there were many replicas of the prop lying around and one of them must have stuck to his shirt button or something. Though, he was sure the director would have a fit over this as the particular pendant seemed heavier and shinier too.

To get some confidence back, he looked behind to make sure that the crew was following but, all he could see was the dark road and long shadows of trees falling on it creating a scene straight out of a horror movie.

Oho! This was taking a scary turn. With some hesitance, he pushed the button to lift the screen separating him and the driver. To his increasing annoyance the screen lifted up slowly as if building the anticipation for horror. The driver was sitting almost immobile, steering the car with robotic motions of his hands.

‘Hey driver, look here chap!’, he shouted and immediately regretted it. THUD THUD THUD THUD… The car was tumbling down a rocky path of a small peak. Mason wasn’t stupid enough to not recognize his impending doom. Quickly, with the agility and ferocity of a cornered cat, he threw the door open, untangled his limbs and jumped out of the car. ‘Ah!’ He landed painfully on the rocky terrain.

He could hear the shouts of the driver or the ghost in the car, he didn’t care. Thrashing about like a lunatic, he scurried up and ran blindly. He had seen too many horror movies and even acted in a few to not know just how gory and gruesome his death would be if he let himself be caught. Not caring if he was stamping on a twig or a wild rat, he waded through the path leading up to the road.

Suddenly a wet, slimy hand pulled him. Oh no! he definitely wasn’t going down this way. Struggling with all his might, he freed himself and made a mad dash for his life. His heart was pounding in his ears, he could barely make out any sounds.

However, his pursuer was relentless and before he knew it many hands started pulling at him, screaming in his ears to stop. His doom was becoming more and more apparent. And the icing on the cake was that his feet were caught by an ensnaring root and he fell down with a massive thud.

Silence, that was all he heard. He lay on the ground still for minutes, at least that was what he felt.

‘Sir, sir are you alright?’…..’What happened?’…..’I’m sorry Sir, you had startled me’….’Are you hurt?’...many voices floated around. People turned him over and inspected every inch of him. Mason was stumped. His brain could no longer keep up with anything that was happening.

He kept watching like a silent spectator as the medics tended to his wounds and asked him questions. When he finally got his senses back, he gathered all the happenings since he had left in his car.

Apparently, his body guards and crew had gotten waylaid having taken the wrong route. By the time they got a gist of this and reverted back, his car had maneuvered various turns and it was impossible to follow their trail. When they finally tracked his whereabouts by GPS, his car had broken down and Mason was nowhere to be found. The driver was profusely sorry for losing control of the car due to the sudden interruption.

It was such an exhausting day. His tired mind had played tricks on him and conjured up theories about the locket being the harbinger of evil, wearing him down, depleting his sanity slowly and then finally bringing the omen of death. He felt as if a dark cloud of misery, which had been looming over his head had passed away. Chuckling to himself about his stupidity, he leaned back against the seat and sighed in content. His vacation was long overdue.

As Mason’s car zipped down the trail, a shiny locket with serpentine figures entwined in an infinity symbol was visible through the back window.

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