Sunday, January 9, 2022
IGMC Boys’ Hostel Road
With the can of ‘Calsburg’ in left hand and the cigarette in other, simultaneously inhaling the puff of ‘Marlboro’ followed by quaff of beer on IGMC hostel road, he moved slowly and clumsily, reducing the distance of his destination. The desolated road with the last street light that was in its blinking mood, the clinking of crickets and dry whispers of the chilly breeze ploughed the ensued eerie silence. The silhouette of the trees, Deodar and Rhododendron, was obscuring in the moonless night. The reminiscence of ‘Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills’ and recollecting a haunted story about IGMC road, he had heard freshly, brought the chills in spine. He smoked heavily and gulped a large amount of beer to curb the developing trepidation. He could easily appreciate heart’s quick and sturdy beats and to swerve away from the circumstances, he gave an unsuccessful attempt to rekindle his dead phone.
His steps moved quicker than his so called inebriated brain and he crossed the blinking street light with a pace. Still he needed to cover about half a mile. Suddenly, he found his steps had slowed down despite all his vigor, as if they were grabbed by someone. He peered at them only to find them free without any grasp. The streaks of sweat trickeled down from his forehead on the frosty night of mid January, wetting his face. The can of beer was empty and he was now only left with a cigarette and a matchstick!
He tossed himself forward for few feet and ensconced on the concrete bench along the roadside. He carefully lit up the matchstick and before he could light up the cigarette, a sudden zephyr quenched it.
‘What the….’ He shrieked.
He was about to leave the spot when someone sitting beside him offered him a fully loaded matchbox. He stood riveted in fear. ‘I was alone here all the times. Then who is…?’ He said to himself. He slowly looked at the person.
She was sitting beside him draped with old-fashioned white dress, as worn by British Women in 19th century, over her deteriorated body with unkept hair waving along the breeze. Her wrinkled pale face with the twinkling bluish eyes glared in the darkness. He was perplexed to notice such bizarre aurora all over her body in midst of dark night that was scientifically impossible. She smiled wittily and quivered her feet making sure the sounds of anklets were easily audible. His eyes shifted from her face to her feet and got froze. Her feet were backwards! She laughed eerily as she looked up in the sky and then suddenly stared at him. ‘You are not alone here!!!’, she said in her hoarse voice that shivered him further. Her eyes riveted on his scared ones, staring him hard.
‘You are not alone here’, kept on resonating in his ears and her face whirling around his eyes, he fainted on the spot.