“That was a great news, what a pleasant surprise!”
“But what has happened to Kevin?” I wondered. “After five years of our marriage he is planning a trip, And strangely enough to my favourite destination, Smoky Hills.!”
Kevin was an extrovert. He loved bustling cities, loud music,dance and parties.
I was thrilled ,yet a flicker of doubt crossed my mind. Of late he had been ignoring me and I had reasons to doubt that there was somebody else in his life.
“Don’t behave like a suspicious wife.” I told myself.
Living for a long time in the industrial town of Harrison, where mornings and evenings were marked with the sound of construction work.
And both of us having gruelling jobs that took us to New York every morning and back home almost at night, we were perhaps getting tired of each other.
I gathered necessary equipment for a jungle expedition ,added my paints and brushes.
I knew that even at that place,there would be a clash of interests. I would like to explore the flora ; whereas he would be listening to loud music.
“ Why are you picking up all these things? We will be living in a well-equipped cabin. It has a proper Kitchen too. “ Kevin informed me.
“ I am not going to cook, better book a hotel room in a town nearby,” I retorted.
“ I know you love exploring plants and trees . It is just for you that I am hiring a cabin right in the middle of the forest “Kevin sounded as sweet as honey.
I thought it better to keep quiet as I wasn’t in a mood to spoil my once in a lifetime holiday.
We started early . It was almost midnight when we reached our destination.A cabin at the end of a serpentine hill road. It seemed to have an eerie feeling. Situated in the middle of thick forest , it appeared like an abode of witches.
Morning opened up a panorama of attractions. Colourful birds , beetles, butterflies wild flowers ,there was no end to the beauties all around.I forgot all my worries and tensions.. I collected flowers and leaves for making sketches .
Kevin decided to visit the city of Gatlinburg in the evening. “ Emily,Why don’t you accompany me? You will enjoy there.”
“ But I want to complete the sketches of the plants and flowers that I have collected before they wilt . We will go there together after I have finished my drawings.”
I remained engrossed in my favourite pastime for a long time.
A loud thud disturbed me. Something had fallen down the nearby tree.
An eerie feeling crossed my mind .Night had already fallen and there was no trace of Kevin. I peeped through the window. There was no light except that of fireflies.
I shuddered . My mind was a whirlwind of emotions ,mostly dark .“Is he lost ? Has his GPS stopped working or he has eft me alone on purpose ?”
I kept praying for his well-being but I didn’t stop doubting him.
I stood there listening to each sound, scared and undecided.Hours passed like this.
What to do and where to go ? I shuddered as a bat screeched. That picturesque forest of the morning appeared like a pandemonium at night.I could feel the animals closing on at me .I had a feeling that a snake or a tarantula was near.
But more than any other thing I thought of Kevin. I cursed myself for letting him go alone. I strained my ears to hear the sound of a car.
Helpless and scared, I sank down in a chair.My mind was a torrent of emotions. Worried about Kevin. Doubting Kevin and worried about my own safety.
I don’t know how much time had elapsed. I might have dozed off for sometime.
I heard a low growling sound somewhere near. I froze for a moment. Taking courage I moved towards the window. Two blood eyes were shining in the dark .A huge animal was trying to enter , pawing the glass forcefully.
I must close the window.. As I moved slowly towards it ,I saw it waging its tail feverishly. “Do foxes wag their tales? “ I thought for a moment,” Oh! It must be a dog.” I realised.
I decided to let it in. It was a large shaggy dog and wouldn’t stop wagging it’s tale. Strangely enough I felt much better and secure having canine company. Found something to eat for him. I was still worried to death .
Next morning was still more awful. A blizzard had started and now it seemed that even during the day I wouldn’t be able to go out of the cabin .
There was no electricity. My phone battery had died down.
It appeared that wooden cabin might come down any minute. That was the end. My whole body shivered because of cold and fear. Who would’ve thought that my dream holiday would be the last one.
Blizzard was getting stronger . I was too stunned to start a fire in the fire place. I was cold and numb.
.I was feeling hungry but was too confused to move from that place. Slowly my vision blurred and I was unable to sense anything.
As I opened my eyes,I found myself in a hospital bed. Still feeling groggy and unstable.
“How did you reach that dilapidated cabin so far away? That was in a prohibited area .”
“Your husband filed your missing report and we were able to find you .You could’ve died of hypothermia had it not been for this dog .He kept barking and alerted the rescue team.”
Now I knew that Kevin had left me there intentionally.