He was out in the woods since daybreak and as he aimlessly wandered among the thickets, he sensed a lethal hush slowly descend from the dense canopy.
This was not the first time that he had ventured into the forest. Ever since his wife was found dead hanging inside their home, the only place where he got solace was in the dark jungles.
He was poor, he had no kids, he wore tattered clothes, he hardly ate, none of the relatives cared for him and the only friends that he considered he was the trees in the forest. On many occasions, people had seen him standing close to the trunk, looking high up through the branches and mumbling in strange words as if having a serious conversation with the trees.
Today as he stepped deeper into the jungle to meet his best friend, a large peepal tree that grew next to a creek, he could sense that something was not alright around him. Since midday the birds had stopped chirping, winds had died and many herds of deer that he usually saw hanging about in the shades were missing.
Surrounded by such strange silence, for the first time, his mind started to feel uneasy among the trees. With every step he took, he gradually started to hear strange noises float through the bushes and when he waved through the knee-deep stream, he could feel something following close behind him, something he dared not to turn back and look.
Slowly as the dread overtook his senses, he started to move faster. Rushing past each tree, he looked at them with imploring eyes, as if begging for help and when he got closer to the creek, he began to run towards his best friend, the large peepal tree.
No one has heard or seen him since that strange afternoon and people believe that he is still living happily among his friends, the trees with which he could converse.