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The Root

The Root

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Old man got stuck in a blizzard

The Root” is a gripping short story depicting the harrowing journey of an old man caught in a blizzard on a desolate mountain road. Facing imminent death, he clings to a tree root for survival, grappling with memories and the whispering voice of his deceased mother. This tale explores themes of mortality, reminiscence, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of nature’s wrath.

And then one day the blizzard came!

Sky turned grey and then dark. The horizon seemed lost. Wind on the mountain top shook the trees ,made them bent as if punishing them for being long and trying to scrape the sky! The blinding rain from the snow cloud hung a pall of mist around the corner of the road. The old man covered himself with the tattered fur coat which was deep brown once upon of a time. With time both of them withered… one on his skin other by its colour. His heavy boots got stuck in the snow drift all of a sudden. He could barely see it was there once he turned the corner and stepped on it in the dark.

All was black around him. He could feel his feet losing the ground with a jerk and he fell into the air and in a moment, falling at a great speed.

He knew he was dying! A death awaited him in the dark abyss of the gorge under the snow. Suddenly he touched a rope. With all his might he clasped. The numb fingers could sense the hanging root of a tree. He clings onto the root, as the root was his lifeline, and in desperation managed to coil around his frail body.

The old man wanted to give a last try; and shouted “Oh God save me”!

By this time the blizzard had stopped and the old man could hear his mother’s whispering voice “Jose, leave the tree son… you have ended your journey..” !

– “you want me to die mother “…?

– “no I want you to live and be safe..”

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Like snapshot glimpses, Jose could see the good times of his life, his mother, siblings, the hut with thatched roof where they lived. Tears rolled down his numb cheeks. Under the open sky, on the snowy mountain he continued to hang himself while his mother’s voice kept whispering “you have ended your journey Jose …. leave the tree”…

And then the morning came. Another new day.

When people from the village gathered below they found the old man dead… all blue by frost bites… and hanging just five feet above the ground below.

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