That Time of the Night

The clock is alleged to move swiftly at night. But at that peculiar hour, at that time of the night, it stopped..

… …

Warning: This post contains sickening and vomitous material. This post should be read only if you are 18+ and have an appetite for vile horror stories.

In the peaceful bliss of the winter night, when the breeze fleeted sneakily in the dark chilled air, his snores were the only disturbance in the otherwise solemn environment.

Jack had fallen asleep as soon as he lied on his favorite bed after a long, tiring week. He had been out roaming different cities and places since a month now, adverting his new idea, and seeking investors. But he hadn’t been in luck so far. His last visit to a desolated area outside the big city of Gregstone was … eerie.

The place was nothing like he had seen before. There were old, dirt-filled houses with broken windows and extended yards in the front, all houses in one single row. And opposite to the lane of these houses, across the road, were three stores for necessary items, two of which were degraded and closed. And that was it. That was all of the town. (Can’t even call it a town, can we?)

But one of those houses was in perfectly good condition. The lawn was evenly mowed, windows were clean and curtains stretched, and the gate had a big, steel name-plate, reading “Raecherr House”. The owner had personally invited Jack to come present him his idea. And so Jack had been there for this whole week, trying to convince the man about his idea. The deal didn’t go so well he thought, as the man hadn’t given a final answer. So, Jack was holding on to that last bit of hope.

He couldn’t remember much from his visit to that place, but only glimpses and pieces. But he could never forget that man, and his scarred face. The scar went down from his left eye all the way to his neck. Jack had been too frightened about his project that he never brought this topic to discussion about how the man got the scar.

Jack was watching a nightmare. It was about the man, his scar, the man hitting Jack hard on his head, then tying him up to the doctor’s table and putting various scars on Jack’s naked body, scars similar to that the man had on his face, and then finally pushing the sharp knife down on his heart with both his hands’ might… He woke up with a big cry and he felt a staggering, but slowly disappearing, pain in his chest. He held his heart with his hand and felt the racing heartbeats, pounding against his ribs.

He got up and moved towards the Kitchen to drink some water. He washed his face and moved back to his bedroom. His body ached and he felt a dire need to fall asleep again, but there on his bed… in the same clothes that he was wearing, looking just like him, it was him… He saw himself sleeping on the bed at that time. He rubbed his eyes, as if wanting that image to be erased from his mind and in reality also, but it didn’t. As soon as he opened his eyes, there it was… Himself right in front of him.

He looked around the house. It was normal. It wasn’t a dream, that was for sure. But then, what was it? How can he see himself sleeping in front of him?

At the bedside table, the clock had stopped exactly at 3:07 AM with the second’s hand quivering and juddering, back and forth. He felt lightheaded and weak, and his legs seemed to give away. He fell, the room spinning in his eyes, his vision turned blurry and he passed out.

His head was throbbing. He felt a sharp pain on the front of his head. He had fallen on his forehead last night. He woke up to see the bright sunlight, filtering inside from the tinged blue window glasses. He immediately got up and saw the bed. It was empty. He exhaled a big breath of relief. All that he saw in the night was probably just a bad dream.

He turned to go to the bathroom, when the door to the bathroom opened and he came out of the bathroom in towel, all cheered up and excited.

Jack immediately moved out of the way of the other Jack. The other Jack couldn’t see him probably, as he just went past him without giving out any bewildered expressions as he was giving out that time.

The other Jack went on to get ready. He pulled out a bag from below the bed and started loading it with different pairs. He was packing as if he had to go somewhere, probably for more than a few days.

Jack was totally lost. He didn’t know how to react, what to do or whether to do anything at all in the first place. He shouted to see if the other Jack could here him out. He couldn’t. The other Jack was busy packing and seemed excited. He then brought out a file and put that in the bag too. On this side, Jack knew exactly what that file was. It was the file he had prepared for presenting his idea to that man in that odd town. But he had already been there. Now he remembered, this all had already happened. And he was watching the whole episode again!

He hesitated a little, and then gathered all his might, and went on to see if he could touch him. But as soon as he touched him, he felt a sharp pain in his head and he fell on the ground. Darkness started to spread before his vision, slowly it all disappeared.

When he woke up, he was in the basement of a house he didn’t know. He walked around the basement. There was no blub or any source of man-made light. Only a tiny crevice on the outer wall brought some daylight into the basement. His leg hit a large table in the almost darkness. He strained his eyes to see what it was. It was a body of a man lying before him.

He gasped and fell back, while tripping on some equipments scattered on the floor. He fell on his behind and got himself hurt a little. But that didn’t matter to him. What took all his interest, or all his fright, was the man lying on the table.

The door to the basement hurled open. A shadow of the man was visible, and it grew into a more humanly form as the man climbed down the stairs and let the light spread evenly in the basement. Jack saw him and instantly felt a sense of danger. It was that Raecherr man again. He moved towards the table while Jack sat on the floor, stunned, watching the man. The man lifted the damp cloth covering the body and Jack saw to his bewilderment that it was his body, all tied up in tapes and plastic. The man opened the tape covering Jack’s body’s face and Jack screamed loudly that his scream continued to ring in that basement even after he had stopped, or was stopped by the man’s knife against his cheek.

The man forced a piece of white cloth into the mouth of Jack and started removing skin from his face. It left several, dirty scars on his face. On the other side, Jack got up to see his full body and saw that some parts of his body – a part of his hand, a portion on his left thigh and some flesh from his shoulder were removed. The wounds were all cleaned clumsily, he could see, but were not bandaged. He felt disgusted! Who keeps the wounds open like that. But he knew what was happening to him on that table. He was gonna die. The man was gonna cut him into pieces for his dark experiments and he could do nothing.

When the man finally popped out the right eye of Jack on the table, it slipped from his hand and rolled, bouncing like a tomato, spitting some liquid on to the floor and came wheeling towards Jack’s feet on the other side. The man turned from the table and looked at the eye at the feet of Jack. He came towards it, took it from the ground and pierced his sharp knife into the eye, popping it open directly from the cornea. Pulpy stuff came out of the eye and some of it splattered on the face of Jack. The man couldn’t see him and he felt like vomiting. His head began to spin and he fell on the ground, his mouth on the splattered pulp of his eye on the floor.

He woke up again but didn’t open his eyes. He knew what was happening to him now. He understood why these images were visible to him. The man had killed him. And now, somehow, he went back in time when he was leaving from his house for his trip to the house of that man. He couldn’t stop him at that time. He understood that the dream he saw on the first time, where the man had thrust a knife in his heart. It wasn’t a dream, but a memory from his visit.

His incision and images of him being operated by the man, his eye, they weren’t all bad dreams. They were his memories from the time he was alive. Those images just came to him to remind him how he died. And that was why he saw himself in third person.

He thought of opening his eyes, but then feared what he might see next. He wasn’t strong enough to see any of his butchery. And yet, he knew he was being slaughter, slowly, painfully. He repelled at the idea of it. All the images of that massacre in the basement started filling up his mind. He could see the limbs scattered on the floor in blood, his parts cut and forged into something loathsome. And his mutilated, dismembered body on that table, lying in the open. Flies and insects having a feast at his flesh. That rotting smell and the yucky, disgusting pulpy substance spread everywhere on the floor.

He stood up shouting on his bed. He had wetted his bed and was soaked in his sudor. He wiped his face off the sweat and took several deep breaths, and could only lower his dread by a negligible bit. He saw around the room. It was a shabby bedroom, which had not been used since a long time. The curtains were dusty, and were withdrawn out. The fan was noisy and the furniture was the only good thing in the whole room. It might have been recently replaced. There were traces of hauling on the floor. And the wall were painted with a cheap brand. He saw the bedside table. His phone and wallet were there. He saw his luggage stacked in the far corner of the room near the cupboard. And the wall clock ticked loudly, showing current time as 3:06, oh 3:07.

Just when he wondered whether all he saw was a disgusting dream or what, a shadow appeared outside his door. It moved back and forth, and then stopped right outside his door. There was a sound of something being dragged, some metal, something heavy. The door knob turned and clicked, and the door opened slowly. It was the Raecherr man. He was holding a heavy wrench. He came into the light of the moon and Jack could see the horror on his scarred face…

The Perfect Fall

A man was admiring the beauty of nature while standing in the balcony of his house, thinking about his life, the world and the end of everything. Just when he is fully enliven, kinda, by various topics, he gets ready to do something, this time perfectly.

… …

He was in his balcony, watching the rain make spiral shapes on the water flowing on the ground, and the rain water again breaking them with more drops. He watched the water move, glide over the concrete floor, washing the impurities which there were lying since ages. At least this time, there would be a clean spot around him, he thought.

He saw some people gathered near the gate, talking in a peculiar loud tone, but unclear. He had never liked them. And after how they had handled him the last time, it made him hate them more. They weren’t even careful with the spatter that had spoiled his shirt.

He thought about the world and about the life and all that heavy stuff. He always would think about all this before trying on another attempt. He thought about how people are different in every way and how he could never understand them! In all of his interactions with other people, he always had behaved how they had expected him to behave. And when he thought about it, he always wanted to behave in the opposite manner. That explained it to him that he was totally unlike anyone else. Humanly feelings and care for others were a bit different in him. He would care for people but would never let them know. He would feel for others but would never express it to them. He thought that was the pure way of doing that. Because telling it to others what he feels or cares just corrodes the whole point of it.

How that turned out for you? He smiled a smirk. And then started laughing. He admired his minds sarcasm. He himself had to think a bit before he could get it. And his life probably loved it too. It gave him all the reasons that he didn’t have any second thoughts before doing it, even when he did it the first time. And since then, he had been doing this every year on the same date, and sometimes randomly just when he felt like doing it. And each time, he tried to do it better, more towards perfection.

He was obsessed with perfection. So much that he chose this life, attempting his imperfection, over a perfect rest. He stood there analyzing the wind direction, the altitude and the law of gravity, combining with other physics laws and the biological facts. It all made sense and his calculations were perfect, but then why could he never achieve a perfect fall so far!?

But this time, he was so confident that this time his fall will be perfect. He will fall exactly how he had anticipated, exactly where he envisions, within that white border of foam forming in the polluted rain.

The main door opened and the owner to the house entered. The new owner. He watched the new owner throw his things on the sofa and loosen up like a child returning from school that never enjoyed going to the school. The owner turned on the TV and kept it loud. He hated the loud noise. But the new owner kept it and he couldn’t impose his wants on him, yet. It was only for sound. It made the new owner think that he wasn’t alone after-all. But he didn’t care. It was still time to get into his mind. He wasn’t miserable enough to influence. And till that time, he could just wait. And attempt his grand free-fall.

The last one was much much weaker and entertaining than this one. This one is just bored of his life. The last one loathed his life. He never cared for his life and felt miserable for everything that happened in his life. It was easy to get into his head. It was easy to play with him.

He reverted to his calculations and speculations about the jump. It was his 17th try at jumping off from his balcony, and 5th after he did it with the previous owner. He got himself ready, took some deep breaths and got on to the fence. But he slipped and fell off in the balcony itself.

The new owner heard a thud behind him. He got up to check what it was. He slid open the french door and went outside. The balcony was empty. But there was something peculiar about it. There was a different feeling in the balcony altogether, a saddening kind of feeling. The new owner never liked to go in the balcony. He avoided as much as he could. One more reason was that the previous owner had jumped off the same balcony a few years ago. And the new owner had also heard some weird stories about this house that many of its previous owners died in some strange way. But he stayed nevertheless. Better a weird home than none, he had thought.

The new owner went back inside and he took a great deep breath. He didn’t want them to meet that way, when he was lying there on the floor like a dead pigeon. He stood up and looked down from the balcony. The foam was gone. The rain had stopped. And the time for his jump had passed. He will have to wait for the next time now. Probably, by that time the new owner will be miserable enough to give him company in his suicide, he thought.

He climbed up on the ceiling of the balcony and slept there on the ceiling wall, upside down. He thought why he had failed at falling every time at the perfect spot. May be because he always wanted to go back while he was falling. May be because he did have second thoughts, but not quick enough before jumping off. Or may be he needed it done one more time. Probably this time, it will be better. This time it will be perfect.

The new owner went to his bed and thought about his life. How much more of it was still left? He immediately opened his eyes and shook off that thought from his head. He shouldn’t be thinking about such things! It was just a phase. It will go. Things will turn better for him. Definitely. This was no reason for taking such extreme steps! He shouldn’t be thinking about this…

In the balcony, he smiled in his sleep. It has finally started. Soon…. A few more months now.

After a long time since the new owner came in, he had a peaceful sleep that night. He dreamt of a perfect fall, finally he did it.

You’re Unwelcome.

A man, who stays alone in his house, finds himself with a guest, who’s rather unwelcome.

… …

Word Art

The fan was whistling out a song in the gloomy night. Outside, in the dark, the moon was half covered by the dark, almost black clouds. The wind was humid. And the overall feeling about the weather was spooky.

He had lost his (yet another) best friend from his life and he was thinking about all the best times they had spent together. It all came to him, one after the other, making a series of episodes, a movie without a happy ending.

He closed his eyes and waited for sleep to cover his mind, while he watched the slide-show of his treasured moments with his best friend. He never knew when the sleep came over and got him mellow in its heady guise.

The cool breeze and his boredom-filled day gave him a sound sleep and he was too deep in it, but he still couldn’t ignore that sinister giggle, which accompanied a mild echo with it.. His eyes opened instantly, and he wanted to get up, check who it was. A possible burglary in his presence? Anyone outside his house? Someone not welcomed?

He got up to check who it was, but he couldn’t get down from his bed. He was stupefied, unable to move. But it wasn’t the fear of unknown. It was something else that wasn’t allowing him to move. He made a big shout and his eyes opened again. He was sleeping, and dreaming about all that. But still, he wanted to get up, he wanted to check on that laugh anyway. But he couldn’t get up this time. He was again torpefied. He was maddened due to this numbness he felt in his body. None of his body organs were listening to his commands! What was wrong with him?! He made another grunting sound and made a big push to move sideways on the bed. And he opened his eyes again. Yet another dream, inside a dream. He was sweating like a pig now on his bed. He was worn-out, panting frantically. He heard that sinister giggle again. His heart froze… This time it was clearer. It was a girl’s giggle. Was this another dream or was this real? He got up from his bed and moved to the sidelines of the bed. He turned back to saw himself still sleeping on the bed, while he was up! Bewildered at the unsettling images, these beyond weird dreams, he made a big, heart-reaping cry which finally woke him up, in real.

His heart beats were racing with each other, one beat overtaking another one. His bed was wet with the perspiration and he was clenching the bedsheets so tightly that they were untucked from all sides. His cry was still echoing in his ears and he understood that even the cry was in his dream and he had not uttered a word in real world. His throat was dry. His mouth was filled with saliva. He felt as if he had been in a drought filled area for years. He wiped the sweat off his face using the sleeves of his shirt and got up from his bed. He walked towards the kitchen. He washed his face at the sink, and drank some water from the tap. He gulped the whole glass without opening his eyes. He took a deep breath, told himself that it was okay… Just a nightmare. Everything was fine now.

The wind outside was fast. The swift bash of the wind against the sliding doors to the balcony made a creaking sound. One of the door was unlatched, which caused the freaking creaking sound every few seconds. He opened the door and went outside to check the surroundings from his balcony. It was dark, the moon was fully covered with clouds and the streetlights were the only alive thing on the street.

He moved back in and slowly closed the door. The darkness and the blue film on the door window covered the vision of outside and started mirroring the insides of the house. As the door slid past his face, he saw another figure standing right behind him of his height, shadowed in the dark room mixing with the blackness of the room, but then more blacker than the rest of it. And then there was that creepy giggle again…

Well, Come In!

On a weekend night, Ana was dozing in front of her computer screen while watching another long, high-rated television series. When a guest visit turned her boring lonely night into a everlasting memory, probably more appropriate to call it a nightmare.

… …

The computer was turned on and she had her ears covered with the headphones with volume up to the notch. Although it was a high-rated television series, but she couldn’t take it anymore and probably felt a small nap to be a better place than her boring and lonely real world.

The episode had completed since more than half an hour now and the silence in her house was only affected by the constant rumbling of her old computer’s cooling fan.

*Buzzzzzz*

The doorbell rang and Ana got up with a jolt and hit her leg with the table. She hopped on one leg to the door and watched through the peephole to see who was it. She saw the opposite door and the empty hallway otherwise.

The doorbell rang again. She startled and immediately withdrew from the peephole. Little hesitant at first, she then opened the door to check on the prankster.

“Hello beta! It seems that my son has gone out and isn’t picking up my call right now. Can I wait at your place till he returns home again? He lives in that apartment… That one, with a laundry bag outside the door.” the old lady said pointing at the door at the end of the hallway.

Ana had never seen anyone go towards that flat and thought may be the guy must be having a different work shift was the reason for them never meeting.

She smiled and invited the old lady saying “Well, Come in…!”

The lady came in and looked around Ana’s house in amusement. “You’re pretty neat for your generation.”

Ana smiled and went on to bring some water for the lady.

“What does your son do? I haven’t actually seen him or anyone go towards that flat since I’ve been here. Does he work unusual shifts?” Ana enquired.

“I don’t know actually. We haven’t talked since a while. I live at our family house in suburbs and couldn’t visit him due to family commitments. This is my first time here in the city. He used to call everyday earlier, but then since a few months, he doesn’t call us that regularly. So I thought to surprise him with a visit.” Lady went on. “Work environment these days! Eats out your time like a leech and doesn’t allow you to spend time with the people you love. Isn’t it?”

Ana nodded in agreement, although she had ample time to spend with someone, just she didn’t have anyone to spend her time with.

The lady and Ana talked about varied topics and time flied soon. Ana talked with someone this long after a long time. She last talked for these many hours last time when she had visited her parents. But that was a long time ago.

After a while, the dearth of topics was understandable in their conversation. And the portion of silence went increasing between two conversations.

“So, you’re here to stay a while? As I had a really nice time with you Aunty, and would want to meet you again.” Ana said up brightly.

She saw the otherwise grim look on the lady’s face turn pleasant and happy to hear that. Probably she was lonely in her life too. Void of love and attention from her son, care from her other family members. Her wrinkled face seemed sore and tired of years of dedicated care-taking of her family, where her own wishes and needs had dried up like the moisture in her skin.

“So sweet of you beta. We will surely meet again if you want. Just come over to our house next time you feel like talking to anyone. You’re like my daughter, beta. I’d love to chit-chat with you.” Lady said smiling, the only time her folded face still looked beautiful.

Ana smiled and stood up “Excuse me for a second.” and went towards the washroom. She was happy to find someone with whom she could spend some time now that she wasn’t around her own family and friends. And an elder company is better once you grow up enough to get bored of the usual partying and wasting time at all crazy activities with your friends.

She came back, beaming “Aunty… I am terrible cook and you’ll have to teach me some dishes, so that I…”

The room was empty and the front door was open.

She went to the door and looked outside in the hallway. It was empty. Probably the lady’s son had come and took her home. But that was weird that she left without saying goodbye.

She went back to her couch, closing the door behind her. She looked at her computer and the boredom was returning, little faster than she had expected.

*Buzzzzzz*

The doorbell rang again. Ana went to answer the door and opened it without looking through the peephole. Probably it was the lady, come to explain her sudden exit.

It was the uncle next door. “Do you have today’s newspaper. There’s an ad that I have to check out.” the uncle continued in his usual withered tone.

“Yes uncle. One second…” and Ana went to bring the newspaper.

She handed him the newspaper and hesitantly asked him “Uncle do you know who lives in that last house, right at the end of the hallways.” Ana asked pointing towards the end house.

The uncle looked at the end of the hallway and looked back at her, his face paler than usual.

“That house is empty. No one lives there. The last tenant died in a car crash and the house has been empty since then.” the uncle answered her question, and asked with confusion on his face “Why?”

Ana was setback. “When did that happen? The accident?” She asked in a worried tone.

“Just a few months back. I don’t remember, but recently though.” the uncle said while scratching his bald head. “Okay thanks for the newspaper. Goodnight.” And he went on towards his house.

Ana nodded in reply of that farewell, but her head was filled with questions and worry. That lady must be unaware of the unfortunate accident with her son and was waiting for her son to call her since last few months. It wasn’t a surprise visit, it was  to calm down her anxiously worried heart. But it wasn’t going to calm down, not now.

Ana was staring at the opposite wall and her face was filled with worry. The uncle next door looked at her while opening his house door, and saw that expression.

“What’s up with you child? Any problem?” He asked as a friendly neighbor.

Ana let go of the staring-at-the-wall position and looked at him. “Does his family know about his death? Had anyone informed his family about the mishap?” she asked the obvious questions.

“Well of course. The story gets more sad here. The police had tracked down his family and had informed them about the incident. The body was delivered to them too for final rituals. I heard from others that everyone in their family was setback with the bad news. After all, the only son, only child to the parents died an unfortunate death. God bless!” he said while looking up, praying. “The boy was a good person. Never did we hear any complain about that section of our hallway. None from residents or visitors. Poor mother of his. They said that her mother was the most affected with the news. She wouldn’t believe that her son was no more in this world and would urge on to come visit her son here.”

Ana’s face was now all white with all these information. It was hard to digest all these facts at once.

“Her mother… She knows! Still… Where… How’s she now?” Ana asked in a uneasy voice.

The uncle replied with an even sad face “Oh she died, I hear. Couldn’t bear the pain I guess. Better that way. Than living in a pretense of his alive son. Anyway, why you ask about that family? You knew them?” the uncle asked, rather suspiciously.

But Ana was not in a position to answer that. She wasn’t in a position to answer any question for that matter. Last few hours were flashing before her eyes. That doorbell, that touch of her hand on her head when she had bent to touch her feet to ask her blessings. That whithered skin on her face. That beautiful smile, while the ever longing worry for her son. That desire to see her son in her eyes, that merriness and love in her voice when she talked about her son… What was that?

Ana closed the door without answering the uncle’s question. She didn’t bother to lock the door or to turn off the lights or to do anything for that sake, but went to her bed and lay there, her eyes closed. Her heart beating fast and with each beat, she felt that excruciating pain for that lady that couldn’t meet her son for the last time.

Her smiling face came to her thoughts and she remembered telling her that she wants to meet her again, that she liked to spend time with that lady…

She saved me! Again…

A real fiction, when someone or something saved me from a mishap… Or that way it seemed.

… …

After a tiresome day, I was going back to my home riding my bike in solitude.

It was a winter night, and the frigidity in the air was making me a little nervous. Winter chills are not just about the cold, but it also about hidden mysteries. I was unaware that one such mystery was already around me.

The iciness had also made my bike a little jolty. It seemed to resist against my command of acceleration and defy my want for speed. The engine seemed to give up against the cold resistance and then suddenly used to pump up its efforts to fight. It moved, almost dragged, as if it carried a lot of weight.

I loved to ride my bike alone, especially at night. I feel that the road sings at night. There aren’t much vehicles to disturb it. Silence is the most melodious song, it seems.

The highway was lifeless and I had to go a long way, half an hour more. So, I started to listen to the music that nature makes itself. Tires, while running naked upon the rough-textured, scurfy road, produced a melodious friction which in turn tuning in with the jumpers made a rumble-like traditional beats. And the air, making its way through and around my helmet, played flute-like soothing tunes inside my ears. The keychain was holding on to the key pierced in to my bike, but danced to the tune of this music, while making music on its own, as if it was dancing with anklets having little bells attached to it.

So, I started to sing along the sounds those winds were making. It is hardly audible on the bike when you sing, but that’s the beauty of it. We can actually sing without hearing what we are singing or shouting for that sake.

The usual city roads slowly disappeared and the surroundings were stripped of buildings and other man-made structures. Trees started to run along the road and the streetlights died. The cold air got converted into mists and the gelidity was almost intolerable. And the smell in the air turned addictive.

The darkness seemed to be following me, running along with me. The music that the nature was making turned its genre to a more sensual and serious form.

I suddenly felt a warm sensation behind my ear, as if a warm breath. Instincts made me turn and see, but it was obvious— there was nothing behind me. This long tiring cold ride was giving out such false sensations to me, I consoled myself.

Further down the road, I felt that sudden warm air behind my neck again. And then again. And again. It continued in a pattern, and would repeat every seven-eight breaths of my own.

It wasn’t normal. I had looked behind several times and was constantly looking out for something, a pest or an insect or a thing stuck on my neck maybe. But my hands returned all empty, everytime.

I started ignoring it. At least, I wanted to. Probably man had messed up the environment so bad that it changed every few meters, I thought.

Apart from that, my bike’s dragging ride was annoying me. Was it just the chill in the engine or the windage, I wasn’t sure.

The cold air dropped and the road stopped singing. There was no sound at all on the way. No windage, no buzzing sound and no resistance blowing my hair, nothing. As if I had walked right into a vacuum!

I had never felt such a sensation ever. It was almost horrific. It felt as if I was the only living person in that vicinity.

Suddenly, I saw a pothole in my way, I shifted my weight and expected my bike to move around it. But another weight shift happened and I went right through the pothole. The bump gave a painful ache in my back. I would usually swear in such situations. But this the other weight shift had scared me. It wasn’t me that was for sure. But who it was?

I was eagerly waiting for the familiar city roads, which were still 15 minutes away. I had lowered the speed due to past few weird occurences.

My bike ride wasn’t pleasant anymore. I was constantly looking for something— infront of me, around me, behind me… The drag in the bike was noticeable. And the weird fall in the windage – this all was making me uncomfortable, if not dreadfully scared.

A sudden rustle ahead of me would shake me up all to my pants and I would look around in the dark trees, wondering what terrorising creature might be preying for me there.

There was a weird smell in the air, and it wasn’t of dew filled grass or soil. Although, the shiver was probably more relatable to the cold, my mind mixed it up with pall and panic. My cautious (read terrified) self was almost at the brink of losing self-control and crying out loud.

A warm hand moved around my waist and grabbed me tightly. It was pulling me back from my abdomen area and I instantly applied brakes. My bike came to a stop, almost skidding and the back wheel lifted up for a second before falling back with a bang.

As soon as I stopped, the sensation went away and everything was normal again. But I wasn’t normal at all now. My eyes were wide open and I was unable to move at all. Just a few seconds, and my expression turned from being beaming to dreaded, more of being dead.

Nervously, I moved my shivering hand towards the rearview mirror. I wanted to see behind my back, but turning it myself didn’t seem to be a good option to my guts.

Hesitant at even moving the mirror, I gradually saw through it. From the rearview, I saw the empty road behind me. Gathering a little more courage, I moved the mirror and the area around my vicinity came into view. A little further, and the fabric of my shirt was just visible. With a deep breath, I moved it a little further and there… There it was, my back and nothing else. Nothing as I had expected. Empty backseat.

*THUD*

A loud noise came ahead of me. I turned and saw that a tree had just uprooted a few meters ahead of me. It had fallen on the road and its branches had covered almost whole part of the road. Its big trunk was covering the left lane, the lane which I was on. Had it been that I was driving, the tree would’ve fallen right on me.

I wasn’t sure whether to thank God for saving me from this near-hit, or whether to continue feeling this frisson as somewhere I felt that it wasn’t God who saved me.

I got off my bike, moved around it and after a few checks and calls, I finally felt relaxed. I could move the last few branches of the tree who gave out enough space for my bike to go through the right lane.

I jump-started my bike, as I was willing to just rush away from that scene. After crossing the tree, the engine again gave up and stopped in the middle of the road. I tried starting it several times, but it just wouldn’t start.

I got tired of kicking and so I took a while to regain my breath. I turned and saw that mischanced tree, and imagined what would have happen, if I had not felt that weird sensation which made me stop my bike.

In my mind, I felt that I should thank that sensation too, apart from being thankful to just God. Mentally, I thanked that entity or whatever it was for saving me from that hazard.

As soon as I did that, I felt the weight shift on my bike, and suddenly, the bike was much lighter than before. The weight shift felt as if someone just got down from my bike… But how is that even possible!

My mind was getting dizzy with these events and I wanted to get to bed as soon as it was possible. So I started the bike (which started without any problem now), and drove as fast as I could (the lag in the engine was gone too). When I got home, all the events kept flashing in my mind, and I couldn’t sleep for the whole night…

I can still remember that warm sensation around my stomach and that weight shift on my bike. Was it her, who had saved me the previous time? Did she just save me, again?

… …

Link to previous experience:

She saved me!

The Unusual Driver

A lady returning from office, late at night on a desolated street, trying to find a cab but finds goons instead. Read on to find out how she manages to run away.
… …

The telephone rang after ages and its ring seemed extra loud, as if it was screaming for proving its existence.

Riya got surprised on hearing that unfamiliar sound. The call was from her home, they were tired of trying to reach her on her ever-silent cellphone.

It was half-past twelve, mid-night. By this time, the helper staff would have left the building and security personnel would have slept in their cabins. And Riya knew about this. She forgot to look at the clock in making the presentation more appealing. After all, it was her first big prospective order from a reputed client and she had to give her best.

She left the building after closing her office, rather reluctantly. She never liked to lock this building as she had grown a special attachment to this place. It was from here that she had started her own business, that was all hers – no dependence on anyone. But her business was growing and so was the need for a bigger office.

It was a business street and was covered with offices all the way to several intersections ahead. So, at night it seemed deserted and a little scary to people not familiar with this road.

Riya wasn’t afraid of this road, the darkness. She had walked on this street for all her life. She took the second exit from the first crossway. It was very easy to find a cab on that street, had it been a normal office leaving time. At this time, the street looked more deserted than the desert.

She went on walking while trying different apps to find a cab. But she couldn’t find anyone operating in that area at that time. And she could call for cab only if the cab is operating in the nearby vicinity. Technology has its limitations after-all.

She was desperately trying to get some service online when a gang of vagabonds appeared out of nowhere on the next carrefour. It seemed through their behavior that they were probably drunk. And it still wasn’t very safe for a lone girl pass by a group of men in this country.

She was wondering what to do, whether to take another road or to walk through that situation strongly, thinking positive or to walk while calling someone or pretending to do so… when a car horn startled her.

At once, her mind started shooting different thoughts – whether it’s another mob of trash people who have come to kidnap her or whether it’s just another patrol van, which will be more grievous for anyone at night as they will hypothesize a filmy situation of crime and adultery and will demand proof for one’s righteousness without having evidence of any offense.

When she turned she was happy to see the yellow colored number plate on the car. Finally, a cab had arrived on that forsaken street.

The cab stopped ahead of her and the driver looked directly at her without saying anything. She looked at him, saw the green light saying ‘Available’, was about to hop in the car, when thoughts started pouring in her mind again. Riya found it hard even to trust the cabbie.

The cab blew a squeaky horn that got her attention. She stopped again, and considered taking the cab. She saw those drunk strangers up ahead the crossway and found somehow more safer to go with a single stranger instead of a bunch of ’em.

She sat inside the cab and told him her destination. The cab driver started driving without a word. He didn’t even look back at her. However, Riya was constantly looking directly at him and then at the navigation in her cellphone. She kept an eye out for any wrong turn the cab might take.

He wore a normal sweatshirt and rugged pants with a not-matching cabbie hat. His dashboard was unacceptably clean for a taxi. And there was a small family picture pasted on the only empty space on the dashboard. The backdrop looked ancient, and the driver was weirdly young comparing his picture and his current face, Riya thought. The cab had a distinguishing smell, as if the upholstery was polished recently. The dashboard design was also very old compared to the cab nowadays.

“How come you don’t show up in the taxi app? I tried searching for cabs, but there weren’t any on the app.” Riya’s suspicion was still on.

“I haven’t connected my services with those apps. I still believe in the old ways. Streets were more safer back then.” driver replied without looking at her.

Riya looked at the antiquated taximeter, which was working surprisingly. She was comfortable to be sitting in an unregistered cab. But, she hadn’t enough options. She didn’t ask any further questions to the cabbie, and hoped to reach some active street, if not crowded at this hour.

All the things were causing her to be suspicious but then…

“Don’t worry madam. You’re safe now. Those drunk people, or anyone for that sake, won’t be a problem to you anymore.” Cabbie said.

Finally she trusted the cab driver enough to sit without suspicion. The cool breeze and the calm ride took Riya into a quick nap, unknowingly.

After a while, when she woke up, the engine sound was off. The car had stopped. She abruptly got up to see where she was. But then calmed down to see the familiar neighbourhood. She had reached her destination.

She turned to talk to the driver but stopped when she saw the driver was sitting without any movement or any motion whatsoever. She saw the meter for the fare and shuffled through her purse to get the money out. She dropped the amount in driver’s box without looking at the driver, where something caught her eye. The box was almost empty, but had a few old, outdated currency in it. That currency wasn’t in circulation since years.

“Thank you madam. You’ve paid generously.” the driver spoke in a weird voice.

Riya almost got a heart attack when she heard his husky, changed, broken voice. She dropped the currency notes that she was examining from the driver’s box at his abrupt break, and looked up to find that the driver had turned to look at her – for the first time all this while.

His face was deadened and a large, slant cut on his face that ran through his eyes agitated Riya. She stopped ajar at the sight of him, but she didn’t ask anything to him. She just smiled and hurriedly left the car. On her way out, she saw the rear-view mirror just for an instance but she couldn’t see the driver.

She panicked and ran a few steps. But then, she must have seen from a different angle, the driver must have shifted while she saw that mirror, or she might have just imagined that in her mind. She just wanted to take another look at that scarred face, to see that vintage cab again and feel that smell of new polish, she wanted to ask the cabbie how he got that scar, she wanted to take another look inside that mirror… she wanted to thank him from dropping her at the right place.

Having walked just a few steps from the car, she gathered all her courage and turned back towards the cab. Out of all the things that she could imagine, she wouldn’t have imagined this.

The car had turned from a vintage car to a scrap, and was broken into trash as if a truck had hit it. The windows were broken and sparks were flaring up the car. There was once a moment that she could see the driver burning inside the cab. The driver’s head turned back in his seat and saw directly towards Riya through the rear window.

Riya was terrified deep down to her every nerve that she couldn’t even move an inch at that horrific sight.

Just a blink and everything in front of her disappeared. As if the car was never there, the cabbie was her imagination and all these events were just pen downed by some horror-stricken writer; the street ahead of Riya was as clean and as empty as ever. The night was calm and silent again.

But then, she had come all this way from her office to her home. It just cannot be an imagery all inside her head. Can it?

There are many streets untraveled by people at night. And this cab lurks around those roads, not to harm anyone, but to prevent a harm.

But would you trust it? …If you find one that is, or if it finds you…

The Thing

A taradiddle about a girl, traveling in a bus, who gets a weird dream while sleeping in her compartment, and a series of bizarre events after that.

… …

The constant brushing of the curtains over her face was annoying her. The whisking of wind from a tiny creak in the window was to be blamed; along with the poor locking system which let window to slide open with inertia of bus movements. It was an overnight journey and she had to have a sound sleep, for the next day was gonna be hectic, she knew it.

Initially, she had woken up frequently to fold those curtains up or to shut that window tight, but then she just let it be. It was better that way that she stopped bothering about that. It almost felt as if the wind had stopped gusting through the gap; as if the bus had stopped and she was at peace… Wait, why was it feeling like the bus had stopped?

She woke up with a sudden suspicion.

The bus was, indeed, at rest. She peaked out through the half open window. There was darkness ahead as far as she could see. She let out her head from the window a little further to see behind the bus and ahead. The roadside was covered with dark, huge trees and the road had no lamps or streetlights. There must be some problem ahead at the road and she had expected there to be a long line of vehicles standing on the road resulting in a jam. But, no. The road was empty and only her bus stood there.

She immediately opened her compartment to talk to other fellow passengers, but to her bewilderment, there was no one else in the bus. All the sitting seats were empty, and the other sleeping compartment doors were open. There was no movement or sound inside the bus. She looked towards the driver compartment, where she could not see any movement either.

She stepped down from her compartment and moved towards the exit. On her way, she saw that all the compartments were normal, showed no sign of hurried evacuation. Personal effects and baggage were kept as is as they were supposedly kept by the owner.

When she reached the driver seat, she saw that the engine was off, but the head lamps were on. Even the key was hanging near the ignition switch.

She stepped down from the bus. She could see a few meters ahead on the road due to the bus headlights pointing ahead. It was pitch dark all around except that.

The bus passage lights were not on, which was weird as they were supposed to be switched on every time the bus stopped.

The bus was parked in a weird fashion, as if it was hurriedly stopped, without properly parking it at the edge of the road.

One after other, she could see weirdness around her and her mind seemed to be quite conversant at finding such spooky things.

She moved around the bus for some clues. She even called out in the open for someone to come, but all she got back was her echo. She couldn’t find anything around the bus which could explain the stoppage of bus in the middle of nowhere and the disappearance of other passengers and crew.

She continued walking away from the bus with anticipation to find some help. She kept on looking back at the bus. She didn’t want to go farther than the point where bus tail lights would not be visible.

She thought of informing her family and friends about the situation. She got out the phone, turned it on and checked for reception. However, there was no network. Even the emergency numbers did not work. She couldn’t connect to the operator or anyone for that sake, and her phone was useless at that point with respect to communication.

She left a message in her outbox saying “URGENT” for testing purpose, sent to her own number. She thought that when the reception will be back, she would know it and will call someone for help; as it was late and no one would be awake to see her message at this hour.

^BAAAM^

She was startled by that sound. It was the sound of the horn of the bus. She turned back to see the bus. It stood there without any motion. She waited for some time looking at the bus. Was that horn real or just her imagination? If it was real, who was that?

She started moving towards the bus, but then slowed her pace as she approached the bus. Still there was no sign of movement around the bus. And who could have blown that horn!

She stopped for a while before glancing inside the bus through the entry door. Then gave a quick glance at the driver seat.

It was empty.

She climbed up the bus and checked all the compartments, and all the seats. There was no one. She moved outside the bus again, and moved around the bus to see who it was, while screaming out loud “Who’s there?”.

No one answered her call, neither did she find anything peculiar.

Exhausted with fright, she moved back inside the bus, went towards her compartment. But then she suddenly realized that the key to start the bus was there in the jack. She ran towards the driver’s seat, saw that the key was still there. She managed to get on the driver seat.

She saw the surroundings of the bus through the side mirrors. There was no sign of anyone. She took a deep breath and turned the key to start the ignition. The engine made a few desperate sounds of starting and then stopped. She tried again, and again, but the engine didn’t start.

She hit on the driving wheel hard with her hands and put her head on the wheel. She started crying. After a while, she gathered hope again and decided to try one more time. She pulled herself upright again and moved her hand towards the key, when suddenly the lights of the bus, those which were on, went out with a snap.

It was complete darkness now. She couldn’t see anything. She tried her luck with the key, but it did not work. Probably the power was out. She started crying again while desperately trying to turn the lights on by switching random switches on and off on the dashboard. But nothing worked.

She slowly got up from the driver’s seat and turned on the phone’s flashlight. She could see a few metres ahead, but not so much. Sobbing, and frightened at the same time, she moved towards her compartment, taking each step carefully, looking around her while moving her flashlight in different directions.

When she had reached her compartment, she turned back to see towards the exit door, and as soon as she turned, her flashlight fell on that dark thing standing right behind her all this while.

Her heart stopped beating, she was aghast till the core and she dropped the phone on the floor. The flashlight revealed several parts of that thing but not fully, while the phone was falling, rotating on the way, towards the floor.

As soon as the phone hit the floor, the flashlight turned off and it was dark again.

She raised her hand to see if the thing was there still. She couldn’t feel anything. So she tried hitting hard infront of her with her fist, thinking to hit the thing hard on its chest, but her hand hit only the air. There was nothing in front of her.

She thought she must have been dreaming all this due to fright and tension. She bent down to pick her mobile phone, just when she felt a push from behind and came collapsing on the floor.

She yelled in horror and struggled to get up from the floor. While she was scrambling on the floor, she felt that something touched her stomach on the floor. Probably an insect, she quickly crawled ahead in alarm.

But it wasn’t any insect. Something grabbed her feet and pulled her back. She turned over to see what it was, when suddenly a hand-like thing came out of the floor and grabbed her by her waist. She struggled to move out of it, but the thorns-like things in the hand-like thing pierced her and gave her terrible pain.

She pulled hard to get out of that thing, but the pointy things were stuck in her T-shirt. She torn apart her T-shirt and came out of that thing. She had gotten hurt at several places on her chest and blood had started rushing out of those wounds.

She felt terrible pain at those wounds, but ignoring that she ran towards the bus exit. She slipped on the steps at the exit door and fell on the steps and hit her head on assisting poles near the steps. She gathered herself on the floor, while gasping difficult breaths, she pulled herself up using the poles and turned towards the door. But the door was closed.

She tried pushing the door and hit it with her hands several times, but it just won’t bulge. She felt miserable. With blood rushing out of the wounds on her bare chest and with new cuts and bruises on her bare thighs, she had a hard time staying up on her legs.

She shouted at that thing to show itself and asked her in desparation as to what it wants from her and why is it hurting her. Nothing happened. No reply came from the darkness inside the bus. She started crying again and asked the same questions to darkness.

She decided to break the glass and move out of this damn bus. She looked around for some object to use to break the plastic glass. Just then, she felt a strong sensation of heat over various parts of her body – her legs, her shoulder and her waist. She couldn’t move at all, as if something was having a tight grip upon her.

The plastic glass in front of her started cracking. It started bulging and came out of the hooks of the frame. And then it turned into a shape of a cone, with the pointed thing pointing towards her. She shouted with all her might, whatever was left of it, for help. But that wasn’t gonna help her much. The pointed cone glass moved towards her fast and went straight into her stomach…

She woke up clenching her chest and yelling. She was panting and sweating while in her compartment. She pulled her T-shirt upside to see if there were any cuts on her front. But there was no sign of any injury. She quickly glanced outside the bus window. The bus was moving.

Relieved that it was just a dream, she cleared perspiration off her face and drank some water. She was still traumatized due to the disgusting dream and felt as if the pain was real. This time, the wind, the moving curtain or the smell inside the compartment didn’t bother her. She went back to sleep while praying to God.

Just then, the bus slowed suddenly and stopped with a light jerk.

Immediately, she sat upright and was about to look outside her window, when a notification popped up on her phone’s screen: “URGENT”.