The Caravan

The caravan was on its journey. Just in front of her in cages were wolves, jackals, hyenas.

Thilda was petrified. With sizes so big, they would devour her in one whole if set out from their confinement. She continues to observe them. They were restless.

The desert was long and dry. The oasis few. By noon, the caravan breaks its journey. The cages touch the earth. Sitting on her haunches turning to look behind her shoulders Thilda continued to keep watch on those animals and think about him. ‘Where is he? How shall I identify him? Hope he did join in. Hope he didn’t change his mind. He always makes me curious!’ Amidst all these ruminations she scans her gaze all the way among men, especially the one wearing that distasteful brighter than bright orange Kaftan and then the women. ‘how would I know if he is behind those meters of hijab?’ and then those animals. They were still very restless.

A cage opens, and two Hyenas come out fast. They were smelling out all around them. Thilda rises, retracts and withdraws against a wall. They approach her. They are so fast, moving in circles.

The other men of the caravan are alarmed. “Hold the children back!” a cry is heard. Their curiosities replaced. Now they were afraid. “What are those?” a young man asks.

“They are the Hyenas” Thilda wants to shout out but hides her voice to a squeak. “Beware! they are blind, they are carnivorous. Blind carnivores.” she mutters.

They were smelling the ground. They were nearing her. She could smell that putrid smell of lingering dead. Her nerves sensed that feral restless air. Nearing her, their noses touch her feet. Her skin screamed at the wet, virile saliva. And as soon as they had tasted her, they lose interest in her.

***

Did they come to drop this off? Thilda wondered picking up the broken tooth the Hyenas had left by her feet. The animals were back into the cage.

‘So, these are not so wild after all’. The high wiccan Thilda was relieved. On a mission to research and experiment the wild dog’s vibrations and frequencies in discreet, she had risked herself by joining this caravan. Lest they discover, she would be lynched. What business does a wicca have in a trader’s caravan after all?

The broken tooth was opened inside the safe confines of her huge fabric. The small note carefully folded into a cylinder appeared bearing the handwriting she knew so well!

Hello! is it me you’re looking for? If yes, yours truly you will find with basket of fruits and bread just as you turn about. No need to greet me.

As she turned, her accomplice and best friend was standing behind. Wearing that orange Kaftan, she had been disliking all the while.
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Shweta Agarwal

Shweta Agarwal is a trained and experienced science teacher. During her teaching days she experienced a brief stint as an editor of a reputed Publishing house. The enigma of words has since captured her, and she now freelances as a blogger and writer. She has authored a mystery novella ‘Why should I be Good?’

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