The Missing Story
A Short Story
It was Saturday evening 7.15 PM at Café Coffee Day. Five mugs of hot coffee were kept on the table.
‘How are the stories?’ Moksha asked leafing through the pages of the book. It was an anthology of horror stories by Vishal Varma. Moksha was seated along with her friends: Sahana, Tarika, Anuj and Gokul .
‘They are creepy and manage to give readers chills!’ Tarika replied, ‘The last story is missing from the books,’
‘Missing?’ asked Sahana
‘Yes, someone seems to have deliberately ripped it off from the book,’ Tarika replied
‘What’s the title of the missing story?’ asked Gokul
‘Don’t read the story!’ Tarika replied
‘That’s a strange title for a story,’ Anuj said
‘You bought the book from Sunday book bazaar, right? Let’s go tomorrow morning and see if we can find another copy of this book which might have this story.’ Moksha said
Next morning, all the five friends went to the Sunday book bazaar, started looking for this particular book. They did find many copies of the book. However, the last story was missing from most of these copies. Finally, Gokul found a copy in which the story was still there! They all headed to Anuj’s place, seated on his bed Moksha took the book to read the story aloud:
‘The story title has a warning!’ Moksha said
‘And what does the warning say?’ Sahana asked
‘It says, ‘Don’t read the story for you may end up becoming part of this story!’’
‘Really?’ Gokul asked.
‘So, what do you guys want me to do? Shall I proceed?’ Moksha asked
‘Yes, please go ahead..’ Anuj said
‘Alright, here I go…’ Moksha said, looking at all of them one by one. They all sat looking at her, giving her complete attention.
‘I am Vishal Varma, a writer and by the time I was completing this collection of short stories, my friend Varun had an argument with my other friend Aman. The thing was that Varun believed in the existence of ghosts, whereas Aman didn’t! He wanted to see them with his own eyes to believe it.
‘Ghosts are some writer’s imagination,’ Aman said, ‘They exist only in movies and story books.’
‘They’re real and I can as well show them to you!’ Varun said
‘Well, there is an old deserted bungalow in the jungle which is most haunted place in this city! Many people who have traveled by this road which passes through the jungle have reported to have witnessed ghosts…some who have dared to visit this deserted bungalow haven’t returned so far..if you are ready then we visit this bungalow sometime..’ Varun added
‘Why not we leave tonight? I have nothing to do tomorrow as it is Sunday.’ Aman said, ‘Vishal, you’re coming too right?’
‘No, I have some work to do…you guys carry on! You can call me and let me know,’ I said, ‘Isn’t it the same road where many accidents have taken place and people have died?’
‘Yes, it’s the same!’ Aman said
‘Then isn’t it risky to go there?’ I asked.
‘Well, I think the risk would be worth it!’ Varun said, smiling at his friends.
So, that night Varun and Aman left the city and reached the road that lead into the dense jungle. The road was lit by moon light, it was silent but for the sound made by crickets in the nearby bushes.
‘Do you have the direction to this so called haunted bungalow?’ asked Aman
‘Well, we need to take a right turn into a small road immediately after a peepal tree…we need to drive till the dead of that muddy road. Then walk about some distance to find the bungalow.’
‘Sounds interesting! Let’s find the peepal tree first then.’
It was the lonely car traveling in the isolated road that passed through the middle of the jungle. The moonlight lit up the up the eerie path, and they heard occasional hooting of owl, which was followed by sound of crickets. Varun started playing haunted music on the deck. Aman switched it off.
‘Are you scared, Aman?’ Varun asked, teasing him, turning and looking him.
‘Watch out!’ Aman cried, holding the steering and turning to his side. Suddenly, the car went sideways missing someone walking in the middle of the road.
‘Who the hell..?’ Varun asked, looking at the side mirror of his car, and he found a headless figure of a man walking in the middle of the road behind them. He applied sudden brakes and the car came to a halt in the middle of the road.
‘What the hell are you doing?’ Aman asked, rather shocked, as he watched the headless figure approaching nearer to their car.
‘Just wait and see!’ Varun said, smiling.
The ghostly headless figure reached their car, started shaking the car violently for few seconds and then disappeared. Then turned and saw the figure walking in front of the car. Varun slammed his feet on the accelerator and went ahead trying to hit the figure with the car, but the car passed through the figure which seemed to be transparent, leaving it behind.
‘Are you crazy?’ Aman cried, annoyed.
‘Yes, I’m!’ Varun cried, smiling wickedly.
‘Let’s go back home now! We have seen enough!’ Aman said, wiping the sweat on his face with the handkerchief.
‘The fun has just begun and we still have to visit the deserted bungalow..’ Varun said.
Soon, they both reached the peepal tree and Varun took a left turn immediately and he was about to hit someone, who was in the middle of the road. He applied sudden brakes, and in the headlights of the car, appeared from the dust, a sadu who glared at them rather annoyed.
‘What the hell…?’ Aman cried.
He started saying something which was inaudible in the engine noise.
‘What is he saying?’ Varun asked.
‘Go back! Go back! Go back from wherever you came from! This is not a safe place for you guys!’ The Sadhu cried at the top of his voice.
‘But we have come to see the deserted building..’ Varun replied.
For which the Sadhu just glared at him, still annoyed, then he walked away and only dust remained.
‘Where the hell did he go?’ Varun asked , turning and looking around.
‘Don’t know? Shall we continue?’ Aman asked.
They heard the banging on the rear window of the car, they turned and saw just a head without a body, starring at them with a wicked smile on his face.
‘It should be the head of that headless body we had come across sometime back…’ Aman said
It started writing something with its tongue on the rear view mirror and it read –“You’ll die!” and it was followed by creepy laughter.
Varun slammed his feet on the accelerator and the car raced ahead in the dust… Aman called me and told me everything that had happened as promised.
‘Aman, you guys please turn back now..!’ I cried on the mobile, but the call got disconnected at that point.
To be continued….