Y junction

Raakshas

Moments ago…

Gautam was examining the cars engine when he heard a familiar cry calling him for help. It was then he realized Preeti was not inside the car. He looked to his right and found Preeti rubbing her stomach violently in the forest.

”What is she doing there? ” His legs moved on their own, chasing her, but he ended up returning to the same place again and again.

At that moment, Gautam heard a shrill cry from the opposite direction, waking him from his trance. Everything shattered into pieces. There was neither the forest nor Preeti. What remained was an illusion when he looked to his left. He saw Preeti running in search of something.

…..

”We had enough for today, ” Gautam said. He felt like this place just turned his worst fears into illusions. ”Lets talk about this tomorrow. We will return home now. ”

”This place is haunted. The anklet womans spirit is here. ” Preeti said, releasing herself from the hug. ”We are not taking this road at any cost. We will go back to the main road and stay in a nearby_ ”

”Ah! ” Preeti screamed, clutching her stomach with both hands. She grabbed Gautams arm, squeezing it tightly.

”Whats wrong, Preeti. ” Gautam was startled by Preetis sudden shift of emotions. She was doing fine just now.

”I think my_ my stomach hurt when I fell, ” Preeti grunted. ”It is shooting up, Gautam. I can bear_ ”

”We need to go to the hospital. ” Lifting her into his arms, Gautam searched for the car. It was parked a hundred metres away. He hoped the pain was not another illusion or that ghosts work. Preeti had pains during her first pregnancy, so its normal, Gautam thought. Even if Vikramgad is just a few Kilometers away, he is not stepping into that town on this stupid road. He had had enough.

”Hold on, my dear. I will take you to the hospital, ” Gautam said, running towards the car. What he didnot know was, leaving this place was not in his hands anymore.

Gautams feet muddled through a twig and hit a rock, causing him to lose balance. Preeti was thrown into the air, her back hitting the ground. She had no time to feel the pain or worse. An invisible force dragged her by the hair, slicing through the dirt into the deep woods.

”Gautam! Gautam! ”

”Who are you..leave me. ” Preetis whines argued the emptiness, and her hands fought with nothingness.

”Please….I beg you. ” She pleaded, thinking that her cries would move the monsters heart. It did affect for worse. Her bangles shattered as it yanked her body through the bridges harsh surface, scraping her arms.

”Who the hell are you! ”

”Why are you torturing my wife. ”

”Please… ”

”Please don harm her… ” Gautam shrieked, running behind the blood stains that Preeti left behind. The invisible force that dragged Preeti stopped each time Gautam halted to catch a breath, only to resume the torture when he was at a foots distance from Preeti.

Moments later, Gautam lost sight of Preeti as he reached a certain spot.

”Preeti! ” He screamed. The place he stood looked precisely like the one he had seen moments ago: the forest, the century-old trees and the occult symbols. Skeletons and fresh dead bodies lay on the ground, reeking foul smell. ”What is this place? ”

”Don feel bad for them. You are going to join them tonight. ” A voice of a man whispered into Gautams ears from behind. Before Gautam turned around, the man dug his fingernails into Gautams neck, lifting him off the ground.

Gautam howled in pain, trying to fight, but the man overpowered him. He was lean but strong. Gautam had zero visibility of his features as his face was painted in blood, and his body was covered with Cheetas skin.

”W_ho are you? ” Gautam screeched. ”Why did you bring us here? ”

”Don you know that you shouldn step out on Amavasya? And you know what happens when you take this road? ” The man hissed, pointing his sunken eyes at the banyan tree so that Gautam could witness it.

Under a banyan tree, Gautam saw something that would haunt him in the worst nightmares. Preeti was pulled into the centre of a tantric mandala[1], drawn with turmeric and vermillion paste. Five concentric circles were marked inside the mandala, each with occult symbols, patterns, and evil markings. The inner concentric circle had six pointed stars, each vertice had a cowrie shell and bones.

”W_hy… ” His heart pained to see Preeti in that state.

”Please…leave my wife.. ” Gautam pleaded. ”I beg you. Please take my life instead. ”

”You have committed a sin.. ” The man said. ”A great sin. You better be dead than alive. ” He smiled cheek to cheek.

”AALINGAN![2] ” At the mans powerful command, the giant banyan trees roots tied his legs. ”No…. ” Gautam howled as the trees knotted arms flared towards the sky, locking Gautams arms.

Gautam was on the verge of sinking into darkness when he saw a man as dreadful as Satan. Another person? The man looked precisely like the one who tortured him, but he had an unmatchable aura of creating havoc in the three worlds.

Stripping off Cheetas skin, the man stepped into the tantric mandala unclothed and lay next to Preetis naked body.

The noose on Gautams neck tightened, and the rest was history.

….

Tantric Mandala: A sacred diagram used for rituals. I have added the picture for better imagination. Please check in the comments.

AALINGAN: Locking, or binding something in the Sanskrit language.

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