Written in response to: Set your story at the boundary between two realms.... view prompt




Satish looked at the watch. It was 5:30 in the evening. The soft sound of raindrops on the roof had got milder. He adjusted the blinds on the window glass. Now he could see out onto the road.

The road was glittering as it was wet and was reflecting vehicles moving speedily with headlights on.  Little wind was making the trees sway. The twilight made the atmosphere adorable. It occurred to Satish that he was in Toronto for more than a week then. He came here to meet his school friend, Ramesh, who had migrated to Canada soon after his Engineering some ten years ago. After communication over the phone and the emails with Ramesh, Satish got into the Air India plane to Toronto. He was received by Ramesh and his wife and was driven down to their house. A nice cozy room in the bungalow was allotted to Satish.

Ramesh had met Natasha in his office in Toronto and after a prolonged courtship, they were married five years ago. The happily married couple took care of Satish and made him comfortable. Both used to go to work early in the morning separately in individual cars, leaving Satish alone at home. In the evenings after their return, they used to drive Satish out to see Toronto. On Saturday & Sunday, the whole day, they spent together visiting Lake Ontario, C N Tower, and other places. Satish became familiar with the area too soon.

When the drizzle stopped, Satish stepped out of the house for a stroll in the nearby area. The roads were wet. The temperature was around 6 degrees centigrade. The breeze blowing at 40kmph added extra chill to the atmosphere. With all the woolens, given by Ramesh put on, Satish was enjoying his saunter.

He was using the sidewalk. The speedily rushing vehicles were making Satish a little

 uncomfortable. He was watching every house as he was passing by. The amazing architecture of these small houses was astounding. But Satish noticed that every house had some weird thing kept in the window or at the door of the house. Satish realized that Halloween day was just at the weekend.

Some houses had kept some balloons with ghastly mouths and eyes painted on them. Few others had put cobwebs on the walls or windows to give creepy looks. In front of some residences, the cemetery was displayed with few tombs. A full-size skeleton was made to sit on a chair at some places. Small dolls dressed as ghosts were hung upside down in some houses spooking the surrounding. The entire atmosphere was eerie.           

Satish got a little upset and had a terrifying feeling watching all these horrifying articles. He decided to rest for a while in the nearby garden where he had visited earlier during his evening walks 3-4 times.

The garden had stretches of lawns and big maple trees. A few benches were kept for resting for the visitors to the garden. Satish chose one bench under a tree and made himself comfortable. But the ghostly skeleton in the chair was not going out of his mind.

 The light was fading fast. So Satish decided to go back home after a little rest. Meanwhile, he saw a young lady approaching. She was tired and also scared. She came close to Satish and said “It is very cold, isn't it?  I am so tired. I wanted to take some rest before moving further. Is it okay if I sit on this bench please?” Satish moved himself saying “yes. Please. By all means”. The lady made herself comfortable next to Satish. He felt a little awkward.

But before he could get up, the girl said “During the fall the trees change colors. It looks so beautiful. Yellow, red, orange leaves beside the green leaves look very nice. But this festival of Halloween makes me very nervous. Every house keeps some ghastly-looking things at the entrance. It is so horrifying.”

"Yes. It is spooky. Some houses have even kept a full-size skeleton near their door”

"Oh, God! I am horrified" the lady said.

“I saw a small baby size doll hung upside down with her hair flowing down” Satish added.

“My God. So horrible! Did it look like this?” saying this the lady got up and rapidly moved closer to the tree and hung herself upside down on the branch of the tree which was 8-10 feet above the ground.

Seeing this Satish’s throat turned dry. He could not utter a word. He got up and started running out of the garden. He came onto the road and rushed towards his house. After going a few hundred steps Satish had a sigh of relief. He started walking slowly.

At the crossroads, Satish took a left turn. He realized there was some movement of people. Appeared to be a bit busy area. He saw a stout man was standing leaning on the lamppost with one leg folded up. He had a cigar in his mouth. Satish just looked at him. He gave a smile. Satish thought he must have met him during his strolls in the evenings. He could not recollect when and where. Satish returned a forced smile.

“Walk is over?” the man asked.

“Yes. “ Satish replied and continued walking.

"Due to rain, there is a chill in the air." the man said.

“Yes.’ Satish muttered while passing by him.

After a few minutes, Satish saw the same person standing leaning on the next lamppost. Satish was surprised to see the same person smoking a similar cigar as earlier in the same position. He was shocked. The earlier episode with the lady flashed in his mind. He had a shiver. Satish looked down & increased his pace. Without looking anywhere else he was walking speedily.

“Don’t walk too fast. You may fall”, the person near the lamp post said in his hoarse voice.  

Satish raised his head. He looked at the person. Satish saw him dropping the lighter. Instead of bending down to pick up the lighter, the man stretched his arm some three meters and picked up the lighter. The next moment, Satish saw him walking on the other side of the road in the opposite direction.

Satish started sweating profusely out of fear.

He was wondering how come he had not reached his house yet. He was not sure whether he was walking or was stuck up at someplace.

All of a sudden, he saw a skeleton walking on the other side of the street.

Satish lost all his courage. He could not control himself. He closed his eyes and sat down.

“Satish, are you all right? Are you okay?” Ramesh patted Satish.

Satish was relieved to see Ramesh. He gathered courage and got up.

“Why did you come here? We were searching for you high and low. I had decided to report to the police if you were not traced now. Anyway. Come on. Get into the car."

“In the car? Where am I?”

“You are near the cemetery. At least six miles away from our house.”             

"Oh my God! How did I reach here?"

“That you only know. Now don’t worry. Let us go home.”

They reached home. Satish, tired, slept sound. He woke up the next day morning.

After breakfast, he narrated the entire story.

Ramesh said, “Satish, I forgot to warn you. Halloween Day was yesterday. The spirits are on the move that night.”

October 24, 2021 16:55

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Mohana Karkhanis
00:29 Oct 25, 2021

Well written 👍quite interesting story


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03:36 Nov 01, 2021

Usually, in fiction, we come across two types of ghosts. The first type consists of ghosts which are sadistic and malignant. They had died with unfulfilled urges or suffered a lot when alive. The other ghosts are benign and fun loving. They derive enjoyment by creating by fooling or inflicting mild tricks on their victims. Both the ghosts of this story are of the latter type. So, Satish should have enjoyed their company instead of running away from them. For example, he could have challenged the ghost in the garden to perform an additional,...


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