It had gone quite dark as he walked through the swamps. It was the shortest path to the other side, and he had to get there somehow. Getting a car and traveling through the road meant that he would have to waste an extra hour and a quarter on the journey. But he didn’t want to reach his destination late. He wished to be there as early as possible. His phone was dead, and so was his only option for some light.
“Welcome to my world” he heard a voice from behind.
He turned around to see two eyes shining in the darkness. There was no light around except for what moon was providing. There was a shadowy figure right in front of him. It was rather like a small person, but the shape resembled that of a tree.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“Does it matter who I am? Do you know where you are?” it asked him.
“I asked you a question, didn’t I?” he asked again.
“Okay. I am the keeper of these swamps. I know who you are. I believe that you are here to steal the music of the swamps” the voice replied.
“I don’t understand. I was only taking a shortcut because I have an urgent thing to do. Please make way before I go through you” he said.
“You don’t walk through the swamps on a full moon. These are the days on which the swamps produce a certain kind of music which you are not allowed to hear. Well, hearing is stealing, and then I will have to punish you” said the keeper.
“Well, I don’t care about your music, but I have to go through the swamps to reach the village on the other side. I don’t care who are, because this is an emergency. So, stand aside, little person” he shouted.
“This won’t do you any good. The music of the swamps is sacred. This action of yours will have terrible consequences” the keeper warned him.
“I don’t give a damn” he said as he walked around the keeper to keep moving.
“And here you walk towards your end. Whatever you are hoping to achieve will never happen” the keeper was heard yelling.
He didn’t care at all. He did feel that the someone was making some music though. He wondered if the swamps do make some music. But he didn’t care to return or stop to think further. He kept walking, but the swamps seemed to extend a lot more than his expectations. This path no longer seemed to be the shorter one for him, as he felt that he should have taken the longer route by road. The music was getting stronger and soon, it turned into some kind of chant supported by some primitive musical instrument. He stopped to see a tree carved into something which resembled an entrance. He walked right in through it, but nobody got out through the other side.
“So, it is done?” the keeper was seen asking a huge shadow which covered the moon.
The next day, the body of a young man was found at the end of the swamps. The villagers attributed the death to a little shadowy demon which was believed live in the swamps. But the post-mortem revealed the cause of death to be because of hitting the head on a hard substance, which was believed to a thousands of centuries old holy rock on which he slipped and fell.
On the very next day, clouds covered everything on the sky, and a few villagers reported at the police station that they had seen a young man walking on the swamps with a singing young lady, and their feet never touched the floor. They also told the police that there was the music of the dead going on at the same time, which was a variation to the praise of the dead, that was sung when people died and their soul never really left this world. It was recorded as “the music of the swamps”.
***The images used in this blog post were taken by me.