The Stranger on the Road

A Short Story

Rahul was driving in his car, listening to the music of A.R Rahman in an isolated road on a hill station. There were only trees and bushes on either side of that road and nothing else. He was driving through the middle of the forest. When the car turned a bend he saw a beautiful young girl standing by the side of the road.

As he approached her, he applied brakes of his car.

“Lift please!” She said, smiling at him.

“Sure, get in!” He said, opening the door to his side.

She got in and closed the door. He started driving again. “So how did you get here?” He asked, looking at her with a smile on his face.

“Actually my car broke down,” She said. “I was walking back when I saw you coming.”

He saw a car parked by the side of the road before them.

“That must be your car?” He said.

“Yes, I need your help to get something from my car.” She said.

“Sure.” He said, stopping the car by the side of the road, getting down and following her to the car. She opened the door of the driver’s side. He saw a body of a wounded man seated in the driver’s seat.

“Did you kill him?” Rahul asked shocked and bewildered.

“Actually, he is my husband and tried to kill me. I had to kill him in self-defence.” She explained, shrugging her shoulders.”Now, I want your help to dispose his body along with the car.” She added.

“W-what?” He cried. “No! I can’t do this!”

“Please help me out of this..” She pleaded looking at him earnestly.

“Alright, go and hold the steering. I will push the car from back. We will push the car to that side and down the hill. It will appear as an accident, ok?” Rahul said.

The showers of rain started coming down.

“Great! Thanks.” She said, smiling at him.

They both pushed the car to the side into the bushes. The car gained speed as it was slopping downwards to the edge of the hill. It was now rushing through the bushes and small rocks on the way. Suddenly, the person in the car cried for help.

“I think he is still alive! Let’s stop the car!” Rahul cried.

“No, it’s too late for that.” She said, holding his hand and pulling him back. The car went and leaped out of the hill, went down and down. Finally a big explosion was heard from below.

“You need to keep silent about this, for that even you have to jump down this hill and die.” She said, taking out a gun and pointing at him.

“No. I helped you and I don’t deserve this. I will keep silent and no one will know about this. I swear! Please don’t shoot!” Rahul cried shocked.

“He was not my husband. He offered lift like you and started to molest me and you know the rest of the story.” She said, moving forward and he started walking backwards towards the edge.

“But..I…I..” He said, walking backwards.

“I will give you count of three to jump down. If you don’t then I will have to shoot you.” She said, still walking forward.

“One!”

“Please!” He cried.

“Two!” She cried.

Suddenly, she slipped and fell forward pulling him along down the hill.

Fortunately, he held to a branch of a tree on the edge. She held to his left leg and her gun slipped and fell down.

“Please help me!” She cried.

“Alright, climb on me and reach for the branch above me.” He cried, looking down at her.

“I can’! I’m losing grip..” She cried.

It was becoming more slippery due to rain. She slipped and held on to his shoe..

“Please pull me up!” She cried.

“Give me your hand!” He cried, trying to bend and reach her hand.

But his shoe came off his feet and she went down with it. He heard her loud cry.

Somehow, he managed to climb that tree and walk back to his car.

He found some men waiting for him there.

“Did you see this lady?” One person asked, showing him her picture.

“No, what happened?” Rahul asked.

“She is dangerous. She escaped from the mental hospital last night. She is also armed. Please give me a ring if you find her by chance. Here is my card.” He said, handing him his visiting card.

“Sure.” He said, getting in and starting his car.

“By the way, what happened to your other shoe?” asked another person.

“I lost it when I went to pee in the woods.” Rahul replied, smiling nervously and driving away as fast as he could.

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