The fierce afternoon sun scorched the parched earth, leaving cracks and dead plants in its wake. The couple labored along the road towards their destination – anywhere away from their doomed village. Their clothes were tattered and their bare feet were covered with blisters. Their earthly possessions were inside a basket that was being carried by the heavily pregnant woman.
‘We are doomed,’ fumed her husband and slowed down, frustration and defeat written on his sunburnt face.
‘Keep faith, husband. Our God will not desert us.’ She muttered as she reduced her pace of walking to match his.
‘Pah!’ he spat and said, ‘Your God has done nothing for us. He has taken away the water from our well, the plants from our soil, even the cows and goats. Now we are running away from our own place like a couple of rats.’
‘You should work hard, human, instead of blaming your Gods!’ A booming voice reverberated, making them jump. The woman tracked the direction and spotted a pipal tree in the distance. Unlike the dead vegetation in the land, this particular tree was green and thriving. The man ran towards the tree.
‘Who is speaking?’ He asked with trepidation.
‘How does it matter?’ the voice answered before continuing, ‘The Gods desire him who offers worship and works hard. Haven’t you heard of the story of Yavakrita who became a scholar through hard work?’
‘This must be a deva or yaksha,’ the man thought to himself. ‘He is testing me.’ Coming to a quick decision, the man prostrated on the ground before the tree. ‘Bless me, O! Celestial being,’ He chanted.
‘What do you want, human?’
‘Lady luck has deserted me, Sire! Please bless me with all the luck in the world.’
‘What do you have to offer me?’
‘I have nothing to offer you except my obeisance,’ the man mumbled.
‘I’m hungry,’ boomed the voice. ‘I will grant your wish if you offer me what your wife is carrying.’
The woman’s eyes went round with shock and fear. She started mumbling No, but her husband said yes.
‘No!’ She gasped. ‘What have you done?’
‘Huh!’ The man looked confused. ‘I offered the contents of your basket.’
‘You fool! You fool!’ She started shrieking, holding her stomach as the hideous form of the Brahmarakshasa materialized before them.
Note: Brahmins are a class in Hinduism. They are traditionally well-learned scholars, teachers, priests, and the protectors of the sacred learnings across generations. According to Hindu mythology when a Brahmin does evil or misuses his knowledge when he’s alive, he’s cursed to exist as the demonic Brahmarakshasa until he attains salvation. Brahmarakshasas, while being carnivorous ogres, retain the knowledge of the brahmin when he was alive as well. They grant wishes to those who please them and prey on innocent people and children.
- Brahmarakshasa – the demonic spirit of a brahmin (a scholar)
- Deva – Gods/ Angels
- Yaksha – benevolent spirits
My books are available on Amazon: Please click the links to buy them and support a fellow writer. Thank You.
1. Tales With A Twist – A collection of my short stories.
2. Route 13 : Highway to Hell– An anthology of horror short stories.