The tangy sea-spray smelled like freedom to Angelique as she stepped out onto the deck. Dawn was close and the lightening sky promised a beautiful day to come.
She was only twenty and sailing around the world on her own. Her yachting father who had taught her to sail had tried halfheartedly to talk her out of the idea. Her superstitious mother would not let herself give voice to all the terrible scenarios in her mind, but she finally said, “Won’t you be lonely all by yourself?”
Ha! There was plenty of excitement, fatigue, terror, even boredom, but never loneliness. How could she feel lonely sailing her own craft across an ocean of white-flecked sapphire, with seabirds crying above her and fish flashing silver as they leaped around her bow?
It had been a month after she had set out from Lisbon, and she was now anchored in a deserted cove on the Andaman Islands. After a swim in the cove and breakfast on the bow of the boat, she hoisted anchor and set off again, heading southeast for the Malacca Strait and Singapore.
It was about ten in the morning and Angelique had settled into the routine of the day when she spotted something floating in the water off to the right. Through her binoculars, she saw that it was an oil drum. As she got closer, she saw something clinging to it. A man. He was not moving.
What should she do? Picking up a strange man was out of the question, but she couldn’t just leave him to die either. Unless he was already dead. She thought about calling the authorities to pick him up, but how long would they take?
Her boat was close now and Angelique slowed and steered closer. It was definitely a man—she saw the scruff of black hair on his chin. His skin was dark, either naturally or from the sun, and his eyes were closed.
“Hey, are you okay?” she shouted.
The man opened an eye and said something so faintly, she could not hear it. She brought the boat closer. “What?”
“Water,” the man said.
Angelique brought the boat closer and then after a moment of hesitation, threw him a rope. He grasped it weakly and pulled himself towards the boat. When he finally managed to drag himself over the side, Angelique was ready, a glass of water in one hand and the flare gun in the other.
“I have water for you, but don’t try anything. Okay?”
The man nodded and she set the glass on the deck and pushed it towards him.
“More please,” he said when he had drunk it all. She got some more and he drank that too and then another two glasses.
“Were you shipwrecked?” she asked.
The man shook his head. “No.”
“Then why were you out here?”
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“I’m going to Singapore right now. I can drop you at Port Blair, on South Andaman, if you want. It’s not too far away.” That was less than a day away, if she changed course and used the back-up motor. She did not want to spend a night with him onboard.
The man shrugged. “Okay.”
“Okay.” Angelique edged towards the wheel, keeping as far from the stranger as she could. “So, if you weren’t shipwrecked, what are you doing out here?” she asked.
The man put his head back on the gunwale and looked up at the sky. “Curious little Joey, aren’t you?”
Author : David Steward (greenwalledtower.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/alone-on-a-boat-part-1/)
Angelique shrugged. “I thought you owe me that! After I saved your life….”
The man shrugged back with a twinkle in her eyes.
She headed back for the engine room, determined to shake him off at the earliest possible port.
A shadow caught her eyes and before she could react she felt a sharp pain on her neck and everything blacked out.
When she gained her senses there were two men, not one on her boat. She was as perfectly tied up with a thick rope as one can be!
The one she rescued smiled at her wickedly, “Let me introduce ourselves- I am Tom and my friend is Henry. Now, I think we owe you an explanation little Joey…. “
“A couple of years back a man contacted me, he had a map handed over to him through generations … a map none before him could decipher… he did! It lead to heaven… I mean immense wealth!”
“There is a temple in one of these islands…” he gestured to the direction of Andaman, the direction at which the boat was going now, with the second man on wheel. “It was said that it’s impossible to find that island. If you do then under the idol of goddess of wealth there is a diamond lotus!”
“There is another catch and that ruined us… we were sliced down to two from nine!”
“To open the door of the temple you have to sacrifice human to another Indian Goddess, they call Kali! That sacrifice will have to be a young woman…So we kidnapped a tribal girl from the village we stopped last to get our supply.”
“That one wisp of a girl killed seven of our comrades and destroyed the boat!”
“We were waiting for death… then you came by… what else can be called divine sign?”
She did not bother to answer him. The boat headed back for the cluster of islands, in full throttle.
She was fed like a deadly animal- the leash was always on, even when she was to relieve herself. They were not ready to repeat their folly it seemed, or give her any chance to escape because that girl must have made back to her village and the story must have spread of her kidnapping.
She sat there watching them, enjoying her things- the food, the beverage and for the first time regretted that she must have kept a stun gun with her all the time! She had one but that was in the drawer along with the gun.
They seemed more enterprising than her she could see one of them had the stun gun the other had the gun.
“We will reach there by evening girlie!” it was Henry, grinning with his almost decayed tooth. There was something evil about this person. “I hope we will be able to find the temple!”
“Do you think there is any truth in the myths… that there is a powerful demon that guards that lotus? The reason why the temple vanished and they had to place a Kali idol to stop that demon from coming out…?” She heard Tom mumbling to Henry thinking she could not hear them.
“Even then it’s worth the try!” was Henry’s pat reply. “Just imagine how big that diamond must be… or if they are talking about a diamond studded lotus then how many diamonds there must be…we won’t have to think about money ever again!”
author : Sharmishtha Basu
Angelique lay on the cabin floor with her hands tied behind her back and felt the boat slow. They must have reached the island. Now the two kidnappers would take her ashore, and if they had been telling the truth, they would kill her.
She thought of what her father had said before she had left, when he had pulled her aside during the farewell celebration. “You’re a strong girl,” he said. “You can do this. But know that at some point, you will get into trouble. It’s inevitable on a voyage this long. At some point, your engine will break, or you will be robbed or you might get lost. I hope and pray that when it comes, it will be minor. Still, be expecting trouble, be resourceful, and most of all, don’t be afraid to call for help.”
He had given her an emergency distress beacon. It was in the drawer by her bed—five meters away at most, but could she get there without them noticing? Slowly, she crept across the floor and opened the drawer. The drawer was packed with small items, but her probing hands soon found the plastic rectangle that was the transmitter.
“What are you doing?” Tom was standing in the doorway, frowning at her.
“Just . . . water . . .” she said. He strode across and put his hand into the drawer. A second later, he pulled out a jackknife with a triumphant look.
“Nice try, but we’re here now. Come on, get up.” Angelique forced herself to her feet, the small emergency transmitter clenched in her fist.
The light was fading as they came out on deck. The boat was anchored in a small inlet. Henry was already lowered her small dingy into the water.
When they got onshore, Henry led the way into the jungle, shining a flashlight ahead of them. Bats were flying in the trees above them and bird cries echoed through the dusky foliage.
“It’s gotta be around here somewhere,” Henry said. He was cutting through the underbrush with a machete, leading them further and further in. Mosquitoes whined and bit Angelique, delighting in her inability to fight back.
A few times, Tom and Henry stopped and stood close together, talking quietly and shining the light on an old scrap of paper that Tom carried. Hours went by and the forest descended into pitch blackness. Weird sounds came from the darkness.
Henry was chopping at vines over his head when there was a loud ting! of metal hitting stone and sparks flew from the machete blade.
“We got it,” Henry said, his voice trembling with excitement. “Here’s the southern arch.” He shone the light up and Angelique saw an ivy-covered arch of carved stone. Just above her, the face of a fierce Hindu goddess glared down at her.
Tom unscrewed the cap of a water bottle and tipped it up for her to drink. “Your part’s almost here, but I figured you’d be thirsty anyway. Call me soft-hearted.” He laughed.
Angelique looked into the eyes of the man who was planning on sacrificing her soon—ending her young life, all for the sake of a treasure. She spat the water back in his face.
The goddess looked down upon them with merciless eyes. She was carved in black stone; there was a garland in her neck, which certainly was made of human skulls.
She was riding a strange beast, it looked like a huge squid of jet black color, every pore of its tentacles was visible- such was the craftsmanship.
Her companions were busy chopping away the remaining bushes and branches obscuring the altar. There was a specific spot through which her blood was to spill.
A stormy wind was rising, as if to subdue her screams. She could feel the salt of angry tears on her lips.
If only her hands were not tied so perfectly with plastic cords, she has been trying to lose them since they tied her up but that only resulted in thunderous pain and raw skin.
A terrible gust of wind ripped through the forest and she heard a thunderous crack. Lightning struck the tree under which those two ghouls were busy and before they could move a branch fell, hitting Henry right on his head.
He slumped on the floor, holding his head.
Tom helped him up. Blood was jetting out of the wound, Tom ran for his rucksack. The blood found its way to the altar in front of the goddess.
Angelique heard a sharp swishing sound and a muted scream, she sharply turned toward Henry and just stared… speechless…
The beast that the goddess was riding was no longer under her; it was free, standing on its full height, about ten feet tall with writhing tentacles as wide as elephant trunks. One of them was wrapped around Henry.
Now it was her turn to scream…
Tom came rushing towards it with his machete and chopped off the tentacle that was holding Henry. A purple fluid came out gushing… Tom madly attacked the thing… he noticed it too late but Angelique saw that its limbs were growing back within minutes.
Angelique knew that she has been given a lease of life by some mysterious power. Tom and the beast were fully occupied with each other she will have to run… now… hoping none will find them!
The last thing she saw before stumbling away from the spot thanking God that her legs were free was the motionless body of Henry lying on the floor, Tom running at his full speed towards the beach and the hideous beast slithering right behind him.
Unseen branches and leaves stretched across her path, slapping her and entangling her arms. She forced her way through, just trying to get as far away as she could from the dark temple behind her and the screams that still echoed through her mind.
There was a sudden splash and she plunged up to her knees in cool wetness. She was standing in a stream and along its course, she could see a narrow slit of sky and a full moon rising over the trees.
She had totally lost her bearings in the dark jungle, but a stream had to lead down to the coast and that was where her boat was. She set out, splashing through the water, and feeling with her sneakers for large rocks on the bottom.
If it wasn’t for the glimmer of the moon on the water, Angelique would never have seen the edge of the small waterfall that plunged into darkness. She stopped and listened, trying to determine how far the water fell. The jungle seemed to have gone silent and only the faint tinkle of the stream could be heard.
As she was hesitating, trying to decide the best course to take, a strange, melancholy whistle came from the water below her. It came again and she looked over, trying to see if it was an animal. She saw a point of pale luminescence in the water, by the base of the falls and as she watched, it grew and spread out over the water. A bubble formed on top and expanded and stretched into the grotesque form of a slimy homunculus. It continued to grow and then slowly began to move up the waterfall towards her.
Angelique was gripped with terror and turned and ran back up the stream. She was vaguely aware that she was running back towards the temple, but at that moment, the only thing that mattered to her was to get away from that luminous goblin that was slowly climbing up the waterfall.
Time lost all meaning as she splashed through the water, tripping and stumbling on stones and trying not to fall.
Suddenly she ran into something wide and yielding that was stretched across the stream. For a moment, she thought it was a huge spiderweb and it was all she could do to keep from screaming. It wasn’t sticky though and she realized that it was a net.
A voice came out of the darkness near her, speaking an unknown language.
“Hello?” she said after a moment.
“Ah, you speak English,” the voice said. “Come out of the water; you will damage my nets.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see them,” she said.
“I wouldn’t think so, nor do the bats that get caught in them.” Angelique had the idea that the speaker was an old man. A moment later, he uncovered an oil lamp and she saw her guess was right.
“Now,” he said. “What are you doing here at this hour? A lost tourist, perhaps?”
“I was kidnapped,” Angelique said, “and taken to a temple by two men.” She told him about the tentacle monster in the temple and the luminous creature on the water.
She saw the man’s face become serious just before he covered the lamp again and they were plunged back into blackness. She felt him take her hand.
“Come,” he whispered. “This is no night for mortals like us to be outside. Great and dangerous forces have been awakened. We must hurry.”
author of this part, David @ greenwalledtower.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/alone-on-a-boat-part-5/
He led her through the bushes and trees to a small hill.
A barely visible trail that went uphill told her that someone climbs that hill.
“Come!” the man said and started climbing the hill, she on his heel, he already has cut off the ropes that tied her hands and she has signaled her father for rescuing her.
The man stopped in front of a huge bush and then gestured her to follow him as he stepped into it, she followed him and reached a cave.
“It took me five years to grow that bush in a natural way. The tribal of nearby islands often come here to offer human sacrifice to another deity they have here. Not that one which raised that demon from sleep… I did not have any intentions of ending up as their next sacrifice.”
“Why do you live here?” she asked.
“That’s a long story, first eat something then we will talk… we have a long night ahead of us.” The man started a very small fire to cook the fishes. “You won’t mind poorly roasted fishes, will you?”
She nodded so vehemently that the old man chuckled.
Her stomach was growling like a wild beast. She had the chance of drinking water from the river but not a single bite of food since leaving the boat.
“I am an Australian.” The man said, “My name is John. I have been living in this island for last thirty years. I landed here when I was forty, now I am seventy.”
“She was my High school sweetheart, after a few days of courting she became my wife, and then the mother of my two kids… Robin and Teresa.”
“it was Christmas, we were out to have fun with the kids, she asked me a hundred times to not drink so much but I did… the car went turtle when we were returning.”
“God can be so cruel sometimes… I survived without a single scratch and they all died in the spot.”
“I left Australia and started to wander around the world, I met a sage in Varanasi, India, he brought me here, he said me that the goddess Laxmi gives one immense peace.”
“But her temple is lost…right?” Angelique asked.
“Only to greedy eyes.” The old man chuckled. “I go there every day to offer my prayers.”
“The lotus made of diamonds? Is that legend true too?” she asked.
“Why do you want to know about that Angelique?” he asked, looking at her face, a deep crease formed on his forehead.
“Just curious…” she said.
“Let’s sleep now, I don’t want to leave the fire burning tonight…you hear that?” he asked her. There was no chance of missing that piercing howl that echoed somewhere near. It was not any living animal that much she could say…
He quickly showed her a pile of hay and smiled with naughty glint in his eyes, “That will be your bed my dear child.”
He poured some water on the fire and went to his bed. She could hear his confident footsteps across the cave, he knew his way around.
The only light in the pitch blackness was a tiny, blinking red LED on the emergency distress beacon. Nowhere near enough light to see by, even if she wanted to.
Angelique lay in the sticky darkness, the hay crackling under her whenever she moved. She tried to lie perfectly still.
She heard a faint rustling at the entrance of the cave, like the branches of the bush that hid the entrance being moved aside. She wondered if John, the old man, had gone outside. The sound came again and then a long, drawn-out scraping sound, like something being dragged across the dirt.
She wanted to say something, but she was too afraid to move or make a sound. If it was John, then there was no problem, but if it was something else… She heard it come closer. There was a long hiss, like air escaping from a tank.
Pop! The cave was lit with an explosion of smoky red light. In the sudden glare, Angelique saw a grotesque, multi-headed monster looming over her, fangs bared. She screamed and rolled to the side, shielding her head with her arms. There were sounds of struggle, but she did not dare to look up.
“It’s okay. It’s over.” It was John’s voice and he sounded shaken. Angelique looked up to see him standing over a thick cylinder of flesh and holding a bloody machete. A flare sputtered and popped on the floor.
“What is it?” she asked, backing further into the side of the cave. John had cut the thing in half, but still a few of the heads twitched spasmodically.
“It’s a naga, or at least the thing the nagas of legend are based on,” John said. “I’ve only seen one before this, in much different circumstances. I keep a few flares here for emergencies and when I woke up and heard the sound, I thought I should use it. I’m glad I did.”
“Why was it coming after me?”
“That’s what troubles me. The situation is obviously much worse than I thought, if these monsters are able to find us here. There is only one place where we can be safe now. Quick, before the flare dies.”
He held out his hand to her and she took it and stood up. John crossed to the back of the cave and pushed away a large boulder that was resting against the back wall, revealing a small, dark opening. He picked up the flare and motioned for her to enter. He followed and pulled the rock over the entrance.
“This is both the safest and most dangerous place we could go,” he said as he took the lead and began to descend the tunnel. “It is safe because no monsters will ever find us here.”
“Why is it dangerous?” Angelique asked after a moment.
“Greed. Even I was taken by it once; it took years to let go the fantasies and dreams of luxury and power that could be.”
“I don’t have any dreams of wealth,” Angelique said. “I just want to sail around the world, then have a comfortable life. I don’t want to be rich.”
John gave a low laugh. “You say that now. Normally, I would never take you here, but we have no choice if we are to live through the night.”
They came to a large door and John pushed it open. “We are here, the temple of Laxmi, goddess of wealth.”
Gold glittered everywhere.
Angelique paused in her track. She has heard stories about discovering hidden chambers piled with treasure, she has seen movies but never even dreamt that such places exist or she would be standing in one of them!
There were pitchers filled with gold coins, small heaps scattered here and there. Statues of gold and silver that were studded stones, no one had to tell her that they were precious stones, she had her own collection of such stones.
“This is just the beginning Angelique” John chuckled. “Let’s see if the temple door will open for you.” He paused in front of wall.
“Touch it!” he said with a naughty wink.
Angelique reached out and touched the wall. It started to vibrate gently, small chunks started to fall and soon a door appeared.
“Its gold plated, all those stones are real.” John said.
Angelique’s jaw fell a little now. There were huge stones, diamonds, pearls, rubies, emeralds… Men and women in eastern attire were sitting on thrones and a woman was dancing.
“That’s a scene from Indian heaven; those are Hindu Gods and Goddesses, that woman is a apsara- a ethereal courtesan you can say…” John said. “Shall we enter the heaven now?”
She pushed the door, it did not budge. Her heart sank! She did not felt any lust for all that jewel and other things, she was mesmerized but she was a child with a dreamy heart and believed in jinxes and curses, after seeing that hideous beast and the naga there was no trace of doubt in her heart that the treasure was jinxed.
“Shove harder!” John joined his hands and they shoved the door hard. The door opened with a swing.
There she was, sitting right in the middle of the huge hall. The deity was at least thirty feet tall, made of gold. Her altar had a border of golden lotuses, well… that was not surprise the surprise was the center petal of all those lotuses was a huge diamond! One diamond for each lotus that is!
The light sparkling from those diamonds made the room glow, as if a fire was burning somewhere.
“That glow is coming from the diamond that is at her feet.” John said. “I have never seen a diamond like that in my whole life. I have seen quite a few of them in my life, I worked with a rich jeweler for a few years his customer base was rich and trendy so I have had my share of jewels viewing!”
They were walking towards the altar when she noticed them, every pillar had one entwined around it- one of them has paid her a visit last night, that was alive and these were of gold.
“The story that revolves around here is if anyone steals anything from here the Nagas go out to retrieve that or worse, if someone violates the sanctity of the Goddess or temple they go out to punish that person….” John said in a somber tone.
Angelique lay down to sleep surrounded by millions of dollars worth of gold and gems, not to mention the priceless diamonds that formed the lotus blossom in front of the goddess Lakshmi’s idol.
She was glad when the flare burned out and darkness hid the unobtainable wealth from her. She had meant what she had said to John about not wanting to be rich, but still, now that it was all here in front of her, images of what she could do with such riches kept creeping into her mind.
“There are only about four hours until dawn,” John said out of the darkness. “I’ll keep watch until then.”
“I thought you said this was the safest place we could be—that no monsters could get in here.”
“That’s true,” he said, “but still.”
He is watching because of me, Angelique thought. In case I try to steal something. It gave her an odd feeling.
She woke up to see a long sliver of daylight slicing across the temple floor. John’s figure was silhouetted against it.
Angelique got to her feet and went over to him. “The men who kidnapped me were trying to get in here,” she said. “They seemed to think that only human sacrifice would let them get through this door.”
“Perhaps they were right,” John said, still looking out. “I don’t know how to get in through these doors. However, if you come in the way we did, it is easy to come out this way. The doors push open from the inside. They will not stay open, though. I once came out and left them open. They were shut tight when I returned.”
“What do we do now?” Angelique asked. “Are we safe from monsters now?”
“I don’t know. Yesterday I would have said yes—that they do not come out in the daylight, but then again, I would have said nothing could have found us in my cave. I will try to lead you down to the shore and then you can get away in your boat. I think we can get there in a few hours by a path I know.”
At that moment, the sound of a helicopter broke the morning stillness. It came into view a minute later, a civilian model with Thai markings on it. It landed in the clearing of the temple courtyard, the rotor whipping at the overhanging branches. As soon as it on the ground, the door opened and a muscular, tanned man in his 50s jumped out.
“Dad!” Angelique shouted and ran towards him. He hugged her tightly.
“Are you okay?” he shouted over the noise of the rotor. “I got your distress signal and rented a helicopter as soon as I could. Then we followed the GPS signal. Where’s the boat?”
“Down in a cove. How did you get here so fast?”
“I was in Phuket,” her father said. “Just a few hours away.”
“Were you following me?” she asked.
“Not following, just staying close. Just in case. What happened anyway?”
Angelique led him a little ways from the helicopter and explained everything that had happened, about the two men who had kidnapped her and brought her to the temple.
“How did you get away?” he asked.
She hesitated. “Something attacked them. A creature. Then I ran into John and he helped me.” She introduced John to her father and the two men shook hands.
John had been standing with his back against the temple door while she had been talking to her father, and she suddenly realized that he had been trying to push it closed. Before she could say anything, her father looked up at the temple.
“What is this place, anyway?” He took a step towards the door.
“Dad, don’t. Let’s just go.” It was no good. Her father seemed to have forgotten she was there. He took another step, looking around in amazement. He hadn’t seen the gold and jewels inside yet, but it was only a matter of another few steps.
“Dad, please. Let’s just get out of here. Back to the boat.”
She knew it was useless. Her father’s greatest fantasy was to be the real-life Indiana Jones. He took another step forward and she saw his eyes suddenly widen.
“Mother of Mary,” he said softly, and she knew it was too late.
“Don’t dad!” she repeated her request but his father had his eyes glued to the wealth littered all around the outer part of the temple.
He moved forward and two things happened simultaneously, in a beat of a heart.
Something sucked her inside the temple and she saw John being thrown out of the temple premises along with her father.
A huge blanket of darkness enveloped the temple with her inside.
Her father, John and others saw the temple vanish in thin air with Angelique inside it.
Angelique turned towards the inner temple when she heard a sharp hissing voice, like a steam engine and her nightmare became her daylight reality- A naga was standing right in front of her, its hooded head almost reaching the temple ceiling.
“Return what you have taken!” it said in a human voice that sounded eerie, she felt her knees giving away under her and she slumped down on the floor.
“I have not taken anything I swear!” she sobbed.
The naga looked at her with huge yellow eyes, glowing like fire and then he er she started to change, in a minute a gorgeous woman was standing in front of her, the only anomaly was her eyes remained the same.
Angelique watched her in absolute silence, without moving a single limb when she frisked her. “Here it is.” She fished out a diamond.
“I did not steal it I swear!” Angelique mumbled without least idea of the source from which that huge diamond landed in her pocket.
“Your kidnappers shoved it in your pocket, they had their stories mixed up; the demon does not require anything from the temple getting stolen to kill its prey. That’s why it chased them not you. We on the hand have to protect the temple’s wealth. So we ask the person to return the wealth or else…” The naga said.
“Will you please let me go?” she asked half hoping.
“We don’t have any reasons to punish you; actually we are really amazed at your greedless heart. Here is a small gift for you.” She handed her a strange stone, it looked just like one of her eyes. “This is called nagmani, you guessed right, we shed our third eyes with our skins, every thousand year and that eye becomes nagmani, it is bearer of good luck when it blesses its owner. Otherwise just a beautiful stone; if you ever want to visit the temple just hold the jewel in your hand and pray, if the goddess accepts your prayer you will be here. Goodbye for now.”
In a blink she noticed herself standing in middle of the group hollering her name. She would have thought that she was dreaming but her father’s question snapped her out of the reverie, “What is that?” he was pointing at the nagmani.
Right then she noted that the pendant of John’s chain had one embedded in it. John placed his finger on his lip, with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
Check out David’s blog greenwalledtower.wordpress.com for a fun-filled quiz on the story, and while you are there don’t miss the rest of his fantastic stories or else you will miss some great reads.
Along with that one of the boats and some special equipments like rope, a huge canvas bag and some other things were missing so she could guess where he was and she panicked.
She remembered the Squid like monster and the actual form of the Nagas, what if he is attacked by them both or one of them- it will mean sure death because like naïve he will try his gun and weapons on them, enraging them further.
She quickly started to row towards the beach. She dragged the boat beside the boat her father has taken; it was sitting on the beach, deserted.
Someone stepped out of the shadow of the woods for a second she gasped with relief then disappointment took over, it was John.
“Hurry!” he held her hand and they both rushed through the woods. She was relieved to see him there because she was not very sure that she will be able to make it to the temple during daytime forget about night.
“Talk with him… I tried but failed…” John stopped and gestured.
If she did not loved her father dearly she might have laughed at the scene, a grown man with silver streaks in his hair was fumbling in the air, muttering like insane, “This one is good, oh boy! Look at this diamond!” then he picked up air and placed it inside the canvas bag, empty, wide open beside him.
“Will I take this one or that one…” he scratched his chin.
She stepped forward.
“What are you doing dad?”
“I told you there are no monsters or goblin!” he laughed triumphantly, “Look at all this wealth!”
“There is nothing in your hand daddy…” she held his palm in both of her hands, “Look… its nothing… they are empty.”
“You don’t see them?” He asked incredulously and fished out invisible things from the bag, “This… this … how many more do you want to see my princess?” then he chuckled, “I want to see the look on the face of my friends when they see it… I will decorate an entire room with them.”
“Seek the goddess’s forgiveness… only she can help.” John picked up her nagmani from the ground beside the bag. He has stepped out of the woods after seeing that Angelique has failed.
She held the jewel in both of her palms and begged for mercy.
“Take him away from the island, he will forget about the island and the temple. Don’t remind him and don’t show him the jewel ever again. It’s a gift to you, you only, and remember child with every gift comes a responsibility, if you don’t want others to suffer or perish, guard it like John did.” A sweet voice rang out inside her head. She could see from the expression of John and her father that it was inside her head, because they were oblivious of any conversation.
“Help me to get him to the boat. Will you?” she asked John. “Will you be able to tie him up and drag him to the boat and help me get him to the ship?”
“Worth trying…” he chuckled.
TO BE CONTINUED, CHECK OUT DAVID’S BLOG ON MONDAY, MINE ON FRIDAY!