Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A queer tale

Siddarth (we will call him Siddhu) had nothing with him when he was thrown out of his room except for a spare set of clothes, a tooth brush,a razor,a cake of soap and odd personal things in a worn out cloth bag. He had not paid the room rent for six months. It was not that he wanted to deceive the landlord but he had no income when his company folded up one day without notice and he was left jobless. His immediate concern was to find a roof over his head for the night. He had luckily a few hundreds hidden in his undergarment that will see him through for a few days.

He walked the whole day long on the streets of the small town looking for a place to stay. In a few places they had a room to let out but needed a downright advance of a few thousands of rupees. As he was losing hope with only the town bus stand as the possible alternative, he saw a tolet board hanging on the gate of an old house. He was virtually on the outskirts of the town that was thinly populated.He opened the creaking gate to find the front lawn in total neglect with weeds all over and dead leaves from the overhead trees strewn all over. There was little evidence of habitation. Nevertheless he went in and pressed the bell. When there was no response he knocked on the door hard. He peeped through a window to find the interior also unclean with no evidence of inmates. When he was about to give up and turn back, he heard the sound of the door being opened.

An old man with a long white robe that almost covered his legs appeared. He had a pale face, a long white beard that looked as having never seen a brush and whose age could not be guessed.His eyes, though sunk deep seemed sharp of seeing through one’s body, sent shivers to Siddhu. He was not invited inside.

”What do you want, young man’ the old man asked in a squeaky tone that was almost a whisper.

“I saw the tolet sign. I need a room immediately” Siddhu said

“Have a look at the outhouse but tell me beforehand whether you are single.The place is not available for those who bring girls for the night”

“That is ok. I am single and have no girl friend though I don’t see any reason for this condition.Can we see the place?” Siddhu asked

The old man gave him the key for the out house.”You go and have a look. It may be dark because of many trees hiding sunlight.You can switch on the light” He added with a laugh that was scary from his toothless mouth “Remember no girls.”

The outhouse consisting of a big room kitchenette and toilet looked as dirty as the main house. It was dark and he switched on the only light that was not bright. He found a broom in the corner and cleaned feverishly the place. The cot had a mattress but no sheets. It didn’t matter to him. He decided to take it although he was not comfortable with the spooky ambience. May be in day time things may appear different, he thought to himself.

When he went to the main house the old man was not seen .The door was closed. All lights were switched off. He knocked several times but there was no response. He was tired by the walk all day long and his limbs begged him for rest. He went back and hit the bed. He was dead tired that he fell asleep soon.

Some where there was the distant chime of 12’O clock. Siddhu woke up with a start. He could not sleep. He felt he heard some sound from the kitchenette. The door was locked and there was no chance of anyone entering, he thought. Suddenly he felt that someone was walking past him brushing him. There was the smell of fresh jasmine flowers. He stood up in fright and reached for the switch.He was sweating with goosebumps. But the light strangely did not burn. He turned the switch up and down many times to no avail. As he felt two hands clasp his neck, he tried to scream but there was no sound emanating from his voice. He could feel the breath and the fragrance of flowers closeby as the pressure on the neck increased. He could remember no more as he fainted.
The day had broken. There was a small cluster of people outside the old house with men and women standing at a safe distance from the gate. Two policemen were seen near the outhouse. An ambulance and a police vehicle stood outside. Someone with a squint was telling his eager listeners “This is the second instance of unnatural death in this vacant house. One happened about six months back”

“What could be the reason? Was it a murder? Is there anyone living in the main house? How did the young man gain entrance to out house?”asked one bystander

“I cannot answer all your queries. But this much I know. An old man and his young daughter were living here. I have heard that the daughter had fallen in love in with a young man to whom the out house was let out. It appeared he promised to marry her soon and they were on very intimate terms. When she came back from a trip to outstation earlier than scheduled, she found to her consternation and shock the young man with another woman in compromising position. She turned bitter against all men and committed suicide within a fortnight unable to bear the treachery especially when she was carrying his child. The young lover strangely was found dead after a month of the suicide with no external injuries.there was no evidence of murder.” explained the squint eyed man.

“Where is the old man?” asked another.

“God knows.People say that he became soft in his head after his daughter’s demise and was seen asking young men who came to him for the room whether they had girl friends evidenly unhappy with such men whom he thought betrayed the girls. I haven’t seen him here for long. May be he is also dead.”

19 comments:

  1. Spooky oooooooooooooo
    You had my heart beating at a rapid pace :)

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  2. Hmm...sent shivers down my spine...:)

    What a sad tale...the spirit of the old man's daughter must have been the one who strangled this poor man to death...clues...the scent of jasmine!

    How vindictive!

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  3. Dear Partha,
    Good Evening!
    Interesting n well narrated.The suspense and curiosity were maintained till the end.
    Wonderful narration.Keep writing!
    Wishing you a lovely evening,
    Sasneham,
    Anu

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  4. Excellent Beautiful Write Up :) :) Very Well Done :) :)

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  5. Get goosebumps from it....... LOL
    (Its a "saying" in The Netherlands")
    I hope you can the meaning ?!?!

    Poor..poor..poor..old man :(
    I read a lot of vengeance .....

    (But its only a story and not the reality.... :-)
    Keep writing you are good !!!

    Have a wonderful evening
    greetings
    Anya :-)

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  6. Poor guy...where did he land...straight into fire:(
    The old man is so mischiveous...
    So many people pay fpr a single mans fault..not fair...
    The story is great Gp!!:) A new tale with a brand new twist!!

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  7. Another engrossing read, full of suspense - loved it:)

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  8. wow... Means the young man was found dead the next morning??? He was looking at his own funeral... Opps... But interesting.. Sir, you really have a knack to hold your readers till the end beyond the end...

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  9. Hey Dost,

    Good One...I lovee horror stories...but urs was really short...do write in long horror stories...haha!!! Poor, Sidhu...now he doesnt need a roof at all ...he can have his space up there...uhmm...Thats walking straight into the Pit of Death...

    jzt4me.blogspot.com

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  10. dear uncle..
    nicely narrated..i held my breath while reading...
    will u kindly change the title colour?the yellow heading is difficult to make out...
    love
    joe

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  11. Wow. That sent shivers down my spine.. that's creepy and so very creative!

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  12. Hello Sir,
    It's good to be back. Just started blogging and it will take me some time to check out everyones posts. Just thought will go about saying hi to everyone first.
    Happy new year (belated though)

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  13. hi pa'

    I have not seen any of ur new post for a week...'trust all is fine!

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  14. Hi KP

    We are missing a new post !!!!
    We are missing a fantastic story..
    :-)

    greetings
    Kareltje =^.^=
    Anya :-)

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  15. Everything is perfect... except for the time i read it :( its midnight here too :( and in the middle of the story where u mentioned about the smell of jasmines, i had to rush to Mathew and make sure he is awake, to continue with the story, luckily he was awake watching tv, else i would have been inside the blanket covered head to toe like a scared cat. so yes i came back and read the rest of it. I love horror stories :) thanks for giving us one. but reading it at midnight is not what i like very much.. so here i leave..!! goodnight!!

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