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I have recounted this story many times before. Each time I add bits and pieces to the story to tweak it and spice it up, making it sound unbelievable, yet captivating. Without fail, my audience devoured the unbelievable story marveling at my storytelling abilities. 

But, I never dared to tell a soul the truth. How will tell anyone that it wasn’t a story? Will anyone believe me that in fact, it was not a story, but an incident that I experienced in reality?

Being a follower of my heart, I hardly listened to my parents or anyone else. So during that camping trip in the fall, when I wandered off from where we camped, I did that knowing that I was expected to do so. The path I followed took me to an unexpected turn of events. 

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

Was it smoke or fog, I didn’t care. I was swallowed by the haze and could hardly see what lay ahead. The 14-year-old I was almost certain that this was a mistake. Maybe I shouldn’t have explored the uncharted territory all by myself. But it was too late to have a change of heart. I knew my eyes were welling up, but strangely tears didn’t touch my cheeks. To be honest, I had a feeling I was not visible in that weird place. I couldn’t touch my hands or body. I couldn’t see my own hands or legs. Even if my family came looking for me, how would have they spotted me if I was invisible? My heart let out a gasp and I screamed my lungs out. Did my terrifying voice cut through that thick haze of fog? I was not sure. 

Then, it appeared – a tiny flicker of light moved toward me as if it was held by someone. But there was no one carrying the lantern. I could see the lantern hanging in front of me nothing holding it or even touching it, but staying there supported by nothing but the haze. It moved slightly to my right and I took it as an indication to follow the lamp. The lantern moved again to my right and I followed the light, hoping that I would get out of that scary place. 

After walking for what seemed like hours, I saw familiar trees standing tall and leaves on the ground. At a distance, I could hear my elder brother calling out my name. I called back with great joy, tears rolling down my cheeks. I ran toward Steve calling out his name. Then I stopped to say thanks to the person carrying the lantern. But to my disappointment there was no person or lamp. 

Was it magic? Was it something evil? Who will believe my story? Unbelievable, isn’t it? 

© Vinitha Dileep


Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

This “fictional” piece is written in response to the one hundred and third edition of Fiction Monday for the word prompt ‘MAGIC’ and the above picture prompt hosted at Reflections by yours truly. Do join in if you have a tale to tell.

Fiction Monday