The Survivor By Tanushree Nag

The Survivor

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     Dive into 'The Survivor', a tale of resilience and mystery. A survivor's battle with lost memories, vengeful spirits, and a sinister plot unfolds. With loyal companions, they untangle secrets, seeking justice in a world of intrigue and danger.


What The Hell??!!

It was pitch dark!

My eyes were wide open, yet I could see nothing. All I could hear was my own deafening screech.

I tried to ensure that I was in control of my senses.

My senses! They made me realise that I was falling into nothingness! Fast! I had no memory of where I fell and where I was going to land, or even if I was going to survive the fall. All I tried was to grapple my hands in the vast emptiness, in an attempt to find something to hold on to; something to prevent, or even break that fall. I found nothing. And suddenly realised that my deafening shriek had faded away somewhere. Though I knew I was still screaming, petrified. But my own voice refused to leave my being. I was still descending with muzzle velocity. Amidst the fall I wondered the depth of the pit where I was finally going to land, or rather, crash. “There’s no way I’m surviving this fall,” I knew I was doomed and those were the last few moments of me being alive- somewhere between the ether and the earth!

Slicing through the emptiness, I crashed on a rough, rocky, hot surface. At first, all I felt was the jerk of the fall. Then, nothing! As I tried to move my limbs, every iota of my body screamed in agony. I wondered if at all I was alive.

Suddenly, I felt a sharp burning sensation under my feet. I jumped to notice that I had no shoes on, and the surface underneath was changing colour. It was turning amber from black. The heat was becoming unbearable as the surface further transformed from amber to orange. I realised it’ll turn red hot in no time. I panicked and kept scurrying here and there, as I had no idea where I was going. Apart from the hot, glowing surface, everything else was still pitch dark!

I could feel different levels and kinds of agony; there was excruciating pain within and on the outside, my skin was searing. I could feel my soul burning and the charred smell of my own flesh made me pukish.

“Am I dead? What is this place? Is it the afterlife? Am I in heaven?” It felt like my body was crushed in an industrial mortar, yet my mind was flooded with questions. Then, the realisation dawned, “I’m damned! Is this HELL?

“Of course! No wonder I’m feeling like hell! Heavens don’t treat their habitants like this,” I reasoned.

“But how am I here? How did I die?” I remembered nothing!

After walking into nothingness, for what felt like an eternity, I finally saw something. From a distance, it appeared like a crack in a black wall, and light slicing through the crack. As I approached the source of that light, I realised it was a door.

I reached a little further and my senses again alerted, as I heard some muffled voices.

Soon I realised they were of cries- not one or two, but many voices, crying out for help in unison. Yet, they sounded so different, each drowned in its own share of agony.

THE SHRIEKS, WAILS AND MOURNS grew louder and pierced through my eardrums, as I reached the door. Hoping to find some answers to my addled, chaotic consciousness, that was suspended on a fragile thread of my sanity, I pushed the door and flung it open!

I couldn’t believe my eyes!


The Survivor

I couldn’t believe my eyes! And my ears, as I entered the door. I wish I hadn’t entered there. I turned around to leave but the door had disappeared. There was only vast darkness instead. The Shrieks, the mourns, the prayers, they were everywhere, all around. There were no people, no faces. All I could see were silhouettes, human frames being consumed in fiery flames, crying, pleading and praying.

It was the Inferno!

I knew it was too late! There was no way out. Even before I could blink, I was engulfed by that huge ball of fire. This was my end.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, surrendering to fate. It took longer than I thought, as I remember the fire burning me layer-by-layer, roasting my flesh, charring my bone. I could feel my flesh and bone, my being melting away in that infernal heat. The initial fear, the dread, the tormenting pain, the wallows for help and mercy gradually subsided, and all I felt was nothing! Every particle of my being was evaporating into nothingness!


A sprinkle of water. Then another. Then a splash! I tried to open my eyes, but the sunlight pricked my eyes. I blinked a few times before my vision adjusted to the light and I could see a hazy structure, gradually taking shape. It was a man leaning too close for comfort over me.

“You’re alive!” He exclaimed.

I could still feel the burning. Before I could comprehend, I again slipped into darkness.

I regained consciousness again to the familiar smell of antiseptics, with an undertone of fragrant disinfectant floor cleaners. My entire body, right from within, still felt that agonizing burning sensation. Even before I opened my eyes, unlike earlier, this time I knew where I was. I gradually opened my eyes, and I saw myself tucked in a hospital bed, several wires attached to my body, with their other ends connected to various machines. The machines, continuously beeping at different intervals, display a host of information, almost impossible for a layman like me to decipher. I further probed my body to check for the damages of the fire that had engulfed me but instead found a drip attached to my hand, infusing saline into my body. No scratch, no burn at all!

“‘Am I still alive! Was it a dream? It all looked so real, it felt so real!” I wondered.

“Welcome back, buddy! We thought we’d lost you!” Mayank, my best friend and colleague’s voice brought me back from my thoughts. He hugged me tightly. It still took me a moment to accept that I was not dead and not anymore in Hell.

I greeted him with a feeble smile, as my mind was still befuddled with what I had experienced; which now appeared to be a mere dream.

“So, I MADE IT FROM HELL, ALIVE!” I thought, with a victorious smile on my face.

“Hey, from nowhere you look like someone who has survived such a fatal plane crash. You are one lucky bastard!” Remarked Mayank, in utter disbelief.

Plane crash… The memory started jogging back. I was on a plane, travelling from Vizag to Bangalore. It was a short flight; about an hour and a half long. But something happened just before landing. From what I remember, the tail of the aircraft had caught fire. There was heavy turbulence, chaos, violent Shrieks of passengers, and fervent prayers everywhere. Then there was a blast… I guess. I can’t remember for sure… That’s the last thing I remembered.

“Sandhya!” I suddenly remembered her. We were travelling together. We were sitting on adjacent seats, holding hands, when suddenly everything changed.

“Where’s Sandhya? How is she?” I enquired.

“Hey, you must rest now. Don’t stress about other things. Everything will be alright,” Mayank responded, totally ignoring my question. But I could sense hesitation in his voice. I’d known him for a long time. I could decode his every gesture way too well.

I held his hand and probed again, “Don’t dodge my question. Where is Sandhya?” “Nobody survived,” Mayank replied in an almost inaudible tone, avoiding eye contact.
“What? How? We were sitting together! If I survived without any injuries, how could she…” My voice choked.

“There were no survivors except you,” Mayank responded. “What? How? How did I survive then?” I was puzzled.

“Everyone is puzzled. And amazed. The doctors, the media, everyone! There was not a single survivor apart from you. The bodies were all mangled and difficult to recognise. But somehow, you managed to survive that too without even a scratch on your body! At least, externally! Isn’t it amazing? This must be a result of some divine intervention,” he reasoned. While Mayank kept on sharing his thoughts on divinity, my head was spinning. I couldn’t fathom why and how I survived while every other soul on board was gone. Even my Sandhya! I was about to propose to her that night. Everything was set and planned to the T.

But now, she’s gone. Everyone is gone! I’m a lone survivor!
Why was I Alive?

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