Anandamath (Dawn over India)/Part 1/Chapter 2

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In the gloomy and empty house Kalyani was alone with her daughter. She was afraid. There was no human soul nearby. She could hear only the cries of dogs and jackals and she felt she had made a grave mistake in allowing her husband to leave her. It would have been so much better, she thought, if she had only endured the pangs of hunger and thirst a little longer. She thought of closing the doors of the house, but discovered that the doors and the latches were all missing. Then as she was examining the doorway, she saw something like a shadow in front of it. It had human form, but did not look like a human being. This frightful shadow of a man that stood at the door was dark and emaciated, and all but naked.

In an instant the shadow lifted its hand, and with skeletons of long fingers signalled someone towards it. Kalyani was terror-stricken. Another shadow stood beside the first, then another and then yet another. In a few moments a crowd of countless shadows silently entered the room. The dark room was as terrifying as a graveyard at night as these ghosts of human beings surrounded Kalyani and her child — the mother almost fainting — and carried them out of the house, across a meadow and into the jungle.

Mahendra, returning to the house after a short while with a pitcher of milk, found no one there. Searching desperately for his wife and child, he found no trace of them. He called the names of his daughter and wife, but no one responded.