THE DENSE CLOUDS lowered their stocks washing out the surface of the earth. Midnight. Rain. The darkness went into every drop of the water. Hopp spurred his horses to run high. The chariot was not good to run at its best. It was un-oiled since the ages. But it was valuable for him, made by the great grand farther of his great grand father.

Right-side wheel of the chariot tumbled on a stone. He saw his body flying in the air. Dhaddada… dhaddam… dhad, and he was thrashed again on his seat. Reigns still in his hands, but limbs trembled on seeing the death so near. On a crack, he shifted his gaze on back seat of chariot. Shudders took hold of his body and mind. Soul, too, shaken.

He saw a woman, sitting in the back seat.

Hopp was a pundit, an owner of a temple, only temple in the kingdom. King visited the temple on occasions. People revered Hopp. They looked at his chariot with devotion. They believed his words as the translation of God’s will.

“Who… who are you?”

“Carry on. I am not your enemy.” The woman spread her lips wide and showed her teeth. The teeth were bigger than a wolf’s teeth and sharper than a lion’s. Design of her face made his navel pulsating with horror. He was a man of courage and the holder of faith in God. But the flood of darkness, his flying in the air just before a moment, and the sharp-teethed woman squeezed out every drop of his courage.



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