Phantom of the Himalayas

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A homage to a magical creature that resides in one of the most hostile environments on our beautiful planet.

Eyes so bright with infectious blue – a pool of art not in the form of the naked transparency staring through the revealing, flirtatious face of pure glass, but the kind of translucence that shot through the beaming arm of a torch; but this creature’s gaze, this soul of light casting little sapphire rosettes of reflections on everything it touched, wasn’t as unwelcome and intrusive as a torch’s glare – it was as gentle and as fleeting as the autumn wind caressing the soft, cleft cheek; as profound as those stiletto-headed peaks which enveloped the creature in a confetti of falling white.

The creature lived a life of obsessive secrecy beneath those pregnant grey clouds, around the deep gorges lacerated by thick tongues of ice, those great killers which reduced hard rock and solid earth to bitter residue; imperialistic armies obsessed with slithering down freezing valleys, crushing and overwhelming everything that stood in their way. These soldiers of the mountains were glaciers; great slabs of creaking, groaning ice that were artists in their own right. They created a networked series of highways in a mass of vertically inclined rock man claimed to have dominated. Man thought that by planting a flag on the pinnacle of the mountains, he’d somehow conquered them, when it all honesty, man could only be a guest in this stark, cold and perpetually jagged world.

Humans were unable to accept that this world was indomitable. Unable to accept the monstrous balls of white powder gushing down ravaged slopes on a constant basis, unable to comprehend the true callousness of the endless, snarling spires of peaks clawing to the skies, their external edifices coated in a glistening white which camouflaged their unfeeling, granite-black bodies moulded from the very recesses of the earth’s core; a womb that was no less tumultuous than the offspring it thrust into the dry air above. Similar to a child with a sprawl of toys dispersed before him, man thought this world was a playground; he thought he could skirt through snaking forms of rivers writing scars across the land beleaguered in canine-tooth roofs, through the endless curtain of falling snowflakes, through the thin, arid air that yearned for the tangible power to asphyxiate those that didn't belong.

This wasn't the world where the radiant raindrops couched in cool flowers, where the latter swayed through sunny hours, dreaming of the moths that drank them under the sheen of a billion stars.This was the world where the rain solidified shortly before hitting the ground--where snow and ice were the endless carpet of an endless season, where rocky cliff buffs glared down into chasms that nurtured drops of a thousand feet; the abrupt intersections of an environment that neither cared nor bothered with human convenience.

Only the human natives of this land, crouched miles below the mercy of peaks like Everest, K2 and their dominants sisters, were aware of man’s limitations. On the eve of cultural celebrations, they dispatched a screaming squad of fireworks, lighting up the black night with bouquets of multi-coloured showers. Far higher than the echoing crackle of explosions, far higher than the artificial components that had been created to appease the vanity of human entertainment, lay the snow leopard; the clandestine goddess of the Himalayas, the elusive apex predator of the slopes, the white furred creature littered with tiny black rosettes that deceptively melted into the environment, the mythical spirit that kissed and caressed the imagination.

The snow leopard.

The true phantom and conqueror of the Himalayas.

Submitted: October 02, 2011

© Copyright 2022 Nik89. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Nacre Aura

Good one. Awesome writing. Id suggest that u change the word 'horrible' to hostile, in the introduction.

Sun, October 2nd, 2011 12:34pm


Thanks for reading. Though you must have misread the introduction. The word 'hostile' was never 'horrible.' Thanks for reading anyhow. Glad you enjoyed it :)

Sun, October 2nd, 2011 6:05am


pure beauty, your writing and the cat. i know the snow leopard is teetering on the edge of extiction, but, according to a nature tv show i recently watched, the jungle leopard is doing amazingly well. apparantly it's resourseful, obsesively avoids contact with humans, but is able to adapt when man destroys his naturaly habitat and just shifts over and utilizes the habitat man is creating (farms, suburbs, even the outskirts of cities, and all the while we are blissfully unaware) thank god there's one great cat that may survive our stupidity. sorry, i get off on tangents from time to time. i really did enjoy your writing. maybe getting people riled up is a testiment to the quality of your piece.

Sun, October 2nd, 2011 3:48pm


Hey. I'm really glad that you liked this piece :) I also feel the same in regards to the plight of the snow leopard. I can't get over is obsessive secretiveness. It really is amazing, and like you said, it's good that the cat can utilise and an can adapt to a new environment. Although it shouldn't really have to. And what's even worse is that other species of cats aren't so versatile when it comes to the destruction of their habitat. Thanks again. Your words are much appreciated :)

Sun, October 2nd, 2011 9:48am

Mike Stevens

Great piece! I get so mad when I hear about a wild animal being put down simply because it's doing what instinct is telling it to do, and their actions make things difficult for humans. Not enough room to build a 6,000 square foot house? Well then, cut down the trees, bulldoze the land, and problem solved! Never mind about all the animals it displaces; people are much more important! Okay, I'm climbing down off my soapbox now!

Mon, October 3rd, 2011 4:42pm


Thanks for reading and commenting Mike. It's a subject I'm pretty passionate about. I'm really glad that someone else feels the same. Even though it's a serious matter, you made me laugh with that comment, as always. Thanks yet again :)

Mon, October 3rd, 2011 12:06pm


Holy crap.
GREAT JOB!!! There was so much DETAIL!!! (None of my stories contain any, bwahaha)I got a clear image of everything that you described. The simile of the child and his toys was my favorite part...
Wow, just wow. Amazing job, as usual Nik!!! =] Keep it up!!!

Tue, October 4th, 2011 2:58am


Hey, Ali Cat :) I can't thank you enough for loyally reading my work on a constant basis. It truly is flattering and I'm real glad you liked it.

Mon, October 3rd, 2011 8:04pm


Your writing tends to leave the reader breathless beyond its bounds. Your words spin a tapestry, like an intricate lacework you somehow manage to weave a magical story.
I love the complexity. Gosh I could try to express my awe for hours, but it would sound like a desultory ramble.

I read this two times.
Once with an eye that eventually became versed in the behavior that defines a Snow Leopard in her territory. And the second time drinking up your expressiveness.

It seems as if I am a minute, empty atom in the enormous scope of the graphic world you paint through your ingeniousness.

Tue, October 4th, 2011 6:42pm


Wow, even your comments are a breathtaking works of art! Is there no end to YOUR ingeniousness? Thank you so much, Khano. It means a whole lot, especially coming from the words of a world class poet such as yourself. I've been in love with the leopard since I was a kid so it was nice to make a little homage. Thanks again. Much appreciated :)

Tue, October 4th, 2011 12:01pm


The way you marry the snow leopard with the snowy landscape is a simple yet powerful portrayal of beauty at its purest form: nature.

One thing that frustrates me is human egocentricity; humans are clearly animals themselves, yet they think every corner of the world is their territory to destroy and conquer. Ignorant people say evolution is progress, when in reality that misconception was the way Nazis justified their actions; evolution is NOT progress but adaptation.

If it were truly "progress," humanity would not be so cancerous to the world and would live harmoniously with fellow animals like the snow leopard without endangering them. No life is more valuable than another; all lives are equally precious and valuable.

Wonderful read! :)

Sun, October 16th, 2011 6:27am


Hey, friend :) I totally agree with every word you wrote. In fact, what you wrote was so eloquent and precise I may steal a quote or two from you. Every life is equally precious and valuable, I entirely agree. One of the real sad things about it is that the snow leopard is teetering on the edge of extinction, hence why I wrote this piece. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

Sun, October 16th, 2011 10:08am


...When it all honesty... - must be 'IN'.
Hmmm I find my voice close to 0 decibels before all these giant great critiques... I really don't know what to say.
I adore your detailing. I like the point about man conquering mountains, just by planting a flag, which, in reality, he's not. A higher complexity is always there in your writs, which to me is very difficult to comprehend. But somehow I'm trying, by reading the troublesome sentences thrice or 4 times until I understand that :(
I wish I have, at least, 1% of talent that you have.
I loved this.
Take care :)

Fri, October 21st, 2011 6:14pm


You grossly overestimate me, Arun. I'm nowhere near the pedestal you've built for me, but I'm nevertheless honoured that you feel this way about my work. I'm going to check out some of your stuff soon and I'm sure you have a great talent. Thank you yet again.

Fri, October 21st, 2011 4:48pm

April Pearl

What an awesome piece! I had to read it more than twice to get into the depth of each phrase.I agree with Khano.I felt the same when I read it.Totally lovely!You are an awesome writer.Please update me about your works.A like from me.

Tue, March 18th, 2014 7:03pm

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