It was five past ten now and I just finished my dinner and was planning to retire to bed soon, but my plans came to a halt when Steve just came from behind and said, "Albert, I was just wondering how the skies look at night."
"I am just proposing that we should go for a walk and see the beauties of the night."
"Oh. Why didn't you say that earlier? Sure I'll come. One minute please." And like this, Steve ruined my plan, but I agreed because I wanted to see how Bennington looks at night. I was already thinking to go for a walk tomorrow night, but when I have a chance right now, why should I let it go.
"Ok, I'm ready to let's go."
We strolled around Bennington for around one hour before Steve pointed towards a nearby lake and suggested that we should go and see it also. As for the lake, it was called 'Petreson's Glare Lake', named after Petreson, who found it for the first time. The lake had a specialty of its own. A rare alga grows there, which has fluorescent properties, which makes it glow in dark and this was the reason why 'Glare' was added to its name.
To reach there, we have to cross a little patch of trees. The path was old and stone-paved. Well, it was just my imagination that we have to cross just a patch. It took us forty minutes to reach there and it was a whole forest that we crossed. I'll never trust my imagination again.
While we were on our way to the lake, Steve completely surprised me.
"Hey Albert, I was just wondering, do you want to know what happened next to Nis and her friends?"
"I have a bad feeling about it because you are asking me, but sure why not."
"Then, the next day while we were on our way to meet Nis, Cathrine came up with a brilliant idea. She wanted to make Nis feel more comfortable and relieved, so she suggested that we should take her for a walk while interviewing her. We all agreed to her idea and then consulting with her doctor, we took her to a nearby park and our interview on the fourth day went like this.........."
"I feel much better today. Its been a while since I came for a walk with someone."
"I'm happy to hear that you are liking it."
"Thank you, my child."
Cathrine replied with a smile, "You don't have to thank me for everything. You're like my grandmother, age-wise, so in one or the other way my grandmother. I can at least do this much for you."
"Ok, my child."
"So, I was just wondering that what did you all do on the second day?"
"Our second day in the forest was not in any way miserable, it was just full of surprises."
"Yes, surprises. We slept for the night peacefully in the hut. The next day, when we came outside, our eyes and mouth were wide open. We were not able to understand what was in front of our eyes."
"Was it this odd?"
"Yes, everywhere, till the farthest end, which our eyes were able to see, we just saw the forest."
"How is it that odd? You all were in the middle of a forest only."
"My child. We were indeed in the middle of a forest, but by no possible means, it was supposed to be that vast. The path which we took was just two miles long and on its either side, there were settlements."
"This indeed is surprising. So what did you do next?"
"We all decided to walk in one fixed direction once again, in the hope to get out of it. Hill after hill, we just kept on walking for hours without any success. For an instance, we came across a water source and filled our bottles, but it was the first and last time. After that, we didn't find any water source. In all this, there was one peculiar thing about each hill."
"And what was it?"
"There was exactly one hut on each hill. It indicated to us that there were people around and kept our hopes alive. Then came the night of the second day. We all stayed in one of the huts for the night. The next day, Nadia was up early and roaming around the hut. When we came out, we saw her face, pale white. We asked her what happened to her and as a reply, she pointed out towards the hills one after another, marking out some features. After ten minutes, when she stopped, our faces also turned like her's."
"They were all the same."
"All the hills were the same, with no difference. It was like someone was holding mirrors around us, but it was real, it was all real."
"But you also found a water source once, so they might not be the same."
"This same thought came to our minds also. Then Samantha came up with a solution. Her solution was that each one of us will go to each hill individually to find what is different, which surrounded the hill, on which we were, and so we did. Once again, you might not believe my words, but they are true."
"And what is it that I won't believe it?"
"We all went to different hills, but we met at the same place, the same hut, upon reaching the hill, towards which we started walking. It was a loop, in which we were lost. With this, we lost all hopes, but one thing still struck our minds, it was that water source. For a moment, we concluded, that we are stuck in a loop, but there is one end in it, which is open, and its that water source. With this last hope, we set towards finding it, but it was not a short day, it was going to be a very long and deadly one."
Nis's voice started trembling, so we decided to end our interview for today. "You can stop now Nis, that's enough for today, lets go feed some birds."
"Sure my child."
"And this is how our fourth day ended. Do you have any queries, Albert?"
"Yes I have one.", with full force I yelled at Steve, "You planned this didn't you."
"You are really attentive. Oh, we are here. Enjoy."
After some time we went back, but I was unable to sleep that night.