The Black Mark
Maya could not believe her fate and failed to understand the reason of her family, marrying her to Rohilla. Under the disillusioning belief that her family had a good heart, many months passed.
Maya seemed happy and content with occasional troubled health which Rohilla convinced her to be due to the new environment. He had developed a clinging fondness for his prey and so he fed on Maya on alternate cycles to keep his precious prize for a longer time.
One day as healing Maya was sitting by a pond, gazing through the water with occasional glimpses of small fishes, an old woman came near and sat beside her.
Maya turned to her.
The woman took Maya’s hand and started looking at the black patch which formed on her right wrist, with curiosity. She closed her eyes and felt Maya’s life force and said:
“Beware of the devil’s alluring mind,
remind to look to your dark sign,
before the stormy eclipse night,
run away to the valley of Sinai…”
Maya snatched her hand from the woman and quickly rushed to her hut.
For many days, the woman’s words stuck Maya, deeply. The voices in her head, which she had stopped hearing after marrying Rohilla, returned. She could no more think clearly. On one side was Rohilla’s fog of beautiful and calming emotions and on the other, were her own distracting voices.
Maya realised that to the returning of her inner voices, the effect of Rohilla’s enchantment had declined. The voices which agonised her throughout, since that dreadful night, now became her saviour.
She recalled the stories of life eater from her childhood and how they bewitched the prey and took away their life force every full moon. Slowly, she started being more attentive to Rohilla. She often saw him spending days on hunting and that he actually did not eat human food or drink water much. She was drawn to his magnetic eyes but with a sense of helplessness.
Soon, Maya sensed that Rohilla will feed on her on the coming full moon.
The eclipse was nearing and the day to the fateful night came.
Maya became increasingly afraid. She knew that she will see Rohilla’s true nature, tonight.
The beautiful moon presented itself.
Maya, full of fear, laid on the floor pretending to be asleep when she heard Rohilla’s footsteps. He sat next to her quietly, looked at the full moon, his eyes shining wide with hunger, took her hand and pressed against his heart. Maya felt a rage of gravity in her hand, she felt her energy been taken away. Slowly, she felt drained in her legs, the weakness started spreading to her entire body and Maya collapsed to unconsciousness.
“Wake up, Wake up, Wake up…” Maya’s inner voices shouted continuously.
Maya came to her senses but with utter fragility.
All she could hear was her voices, she did not know why, she had lost her realisation of Rohilla’s true nature.
She tried getting up but repeatedly fell. Finally, she managed to crawl and drank water from a pot, nearby. Her husband was nowhere to be seen. The moon was still beaming in the night.
Maya was confused as to why she was awake in the middle of the night, feeling so lifeless, when again, she fell on her knees.
She agonised and moaned in fatigue.
It was then, when her eyes saw the black mark on her hand.
Maya looked and looked and looked deeply.
And there they were, the words of the old woman and her inner voices
yelling at her “Run, run… run to Sinai valley”.
In a few moments, Maya recollected everything.
Looking around her in exhaustion, Maya gathered all her courage, stood up and ran away under the guiding light of the calling valley.
——To be continued——