The ghost in red and other spooky tales



‘We have now been fooled. There are not any buses from right here to Patna,’ Kanshi Ram informed his spouse. ‘We should discover a strategy to attain Patna. Let’s discover some place to sleep. We will take into consideration the subsequent step within the morning.’

Teams of individuals all around the floor had been discussing the identical factor.

A fruit vendor handed by and a few folks rushed to purchase the bananas he was promoting. ‘Bhai, are you able to inform us the best way to the railway station?’ requested Kanshi Ram. He deliberate to succeed in the station so they may take the primary practice that left for Patna.

‘Why do you need to go to the railway station?’ requested the seller.

‘We need to return to our village.’

‘Don’t you understand {that a} lockdown has been declared? Neither buses nor trains might be operating from immediately.’

The information despatched a ripple of uneasiness by way of the group. If there have been no trains and buses, how would they journey?

‘How lengthy is the lockdown?’ requested somebody.

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‘It’s for a fortnight,’ replied the seller, getting ready to go away the place.

‘A fortnight!’ It couldn’t be true. How had been they anticipated to fend for themselves? They’d been deserted with none preparations.

‘Are you able to recommend a spot the place we will spend the evening?’ somebody requested the seller.

‘What’s mistaken with the bottom? It’s enormous sufficient for all of you. All I can say is that that is a military space, so watch out. They gained’t permit anybody to loiter on this space,’ cautioned the seller.

‘What in regards to the bungalow throughout the highway?’ Kanshi Ram needed to know. ‘I used to be exploring the world and noticed a dilapidated, double-storied bungalow with an enormous compound. We might spend the evening there.’

‘Are you mad or do you’ve a loss of life want?’ laughed the seller. ‘That bungalow is haunted. The locals keep away from strolling on the highway within the entrance of home after darkish.’

‘How do they know it’s haunted?’ requested Kanshi Ram, who didn’t imagine in ghosts. ‘Has anybody seen the ghost?’

‘There are numerous tales in regards to the place, bhai. Some folks have claimed to have seen a girl in purple garments. She sits on the terrace, as if ready for somebody. Locals have seen 4 males sitting round a desk with a candle lighted within the centre. No matter be the story, one factor that is still unchanged is that there are ghosts in that bungalow. Why else would it not be mendacity vacant for thus a few years? Don’t neglect it’s situated in a chief location, with the Wheeler Membership subsequent door.’

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‘I’m from a village the place ghost tales might be discovered round each nook. Each outdated home and ruined construction is meant to be haunted,’ stated Kanshi Ram. ‘But, I’ve by no means come throughout a single ghost in all of the years I spent within the village.’


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‘Effectively, it’s as much as you. Whether or not you imagine in ghosts or not, it will likely be good so that you can stay away from that home.’

Kanshi Ram was not satisfied. All he needed was a secure and cozy place to spend the evening. The open floor with numerous folks, all stretched in varied levels of slumber, didn’t look inviting. The tales about ghosts had someway made him extra decided to discover the sprawling grounds round the home.

Instructing his spouse and Kallu to attend, he crossed the highway and halted earlier than the dilapidated bungalow.

The rusted iron gate was open. Cautiously, he walked into the sprawling compound fronting the double-storied bungalow. The grounds had been thickly wooded with mango and jackfruit timber on one facet of the bungalow. An enormous banyan tree stood on the opposite facet. The bungalow, with damaged doorways and home windows, stood forlornly on the centre of the grounds. With its plaster peeling, timber having taken root within the crumbling partitions and the wooden rotting, the home was now a dismal place. It seemed just like the set for a horror film.

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It will need to have been a formidable construction at one time, however spiders, rats and bats had been the one residents of the bungalow now.

Kanshi Ram walked into the room. Darkish and squalid, it had most likely been utilized by drunkards and the homeless. Damaged glass items, plaster and rat droppings had been scattered on the ground. The foul odor made it unattainable to stay within the room and he rushed out for a breath of recent air. Wouldn’t it be attainable to spend the evening on the damaged, rubble-covered veranda, he questioned. No, he determined, it was higher to be sleeping beneath a tree.

‘Did you discover a appropriate spot to spend the evening?’ requested his spouse when he returned.

‘I believe so.’ Kanshi Ram didn’t inform her in regards to the ghost tales informed by the seller.

‘Received’t it’s higher if Ramlal and his household include us?’ she whispered. ‘The place seems to be remoted.’

Ramlal agreed to accompany them to the bungalow. A couple of minutes later, each the households crossed the highway and walked into the bungalow. It was reassuring to have some firm, thought Kanshi Ram.

Ramlal was a heat and pleasant man, and so had been his spouse and mom. They fortunately shared the snacks they had been carrying. ‘Don’t hesitate,’ stated Ramlal’s mom, as she supplied the puffed rice and a bit of jaggery to Kanshi Ram’s spouse. ‘These are powerful occasions and the one manner we are going to survive is by serving to one another.’

Pointing on the tin of puffed rice, Ramlal stated, ‘My mom by no means travels with out meals. In actual fact, she has sufficient to feed a battalion.’

‘You understand the true worth of meals solely after you’ve survived floods and famines,’ snorted his mom.

They shared the frugal meal after which Kanshi Ram and his household moved to the rear portion of the grove. He needed to maintain a distance from the bungalow. His spouse cleared part of the bottom beneath a mango tree and unfold a sheet for them to lie on. Ramlal’s household made themselves comfy beneath one other tree at a little bit distance from the bungalow. There was not a lot site visitors on the roads and never a soul may very well be seen round. The one supply of sunshine was the road lights, however the thick foliage of the timber blocked out most of it.

The 2 households had been joined by some extra folks, who unfold themselves out at a discreet distance from one another. Everybody took care to make sure that they remained inside listening to distance and visible contact of one another. Exhausted, everybody settled down for the evening. With meals, water and cash briefly provide, nobody knew what the subsequent morning held for them.

It was previous midnight and everybody was quick asleep. Kanshi Ram’s spouse nudged him awake, saying she needed to alleviate herself. ‘I’m scared,’ she whispered. ‘Will you include me?’

‘With so many individuals camped within the premises, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Don’t enterprise out too far. Simply go across the damaged wall of the bungalow,’ he muttered sleepily. ‘I’ll control you.’

She received up and walked in direction of the bungalow. The place was in whole darkness. The eerie rustling of the wind made her shiver with fright. There was a flutter of wings as she walked to the opposite facet of the bungalow. ‘It’s most likely an owl or a bat,’ she thought. Shuddering, she rapidly relieved herself and commenced strolling again in direction of the mango tree the place her household was sleeping.

As she handed the veranda, she noticed some shadows. She gasped as she noticed 4 males seated round a desk, ingesting. The flame of a candle flickered round them. Terrified, she backed away. A twig crackled beneath her toes and the boys seemed in her path. A tingle of worry ran down her backbone and she or he stumbled. 4 pairs of hole eyes stared at her from skeletal faces, their mouths agape. She noticed them pointing their bony, luminous fingers at her earlier than beckoning her to come back nearer. She might now see that their eyes had been mere black sockets.

Within the rising mist that surrounded the bungalow, she noticed them advancing. The scream that rose as much as her throat died down with no sound and she or he stumbled backwards, falling over the roots of a lifeless tree. They continued to advance.

She panicked. Shouting and screaming, she started to run. Stumbling and falling, she made her manner in direction of the mango tree. Her hair dishevelled, her sari trailing behind her, she ran like a mad girl.

Kanshi Ram was quick asleep, however Ramlal was mendacity awake and heard the screams. He received up with a begin. Creeping to the closest group of males, he prodded them awake. Gesturing to them to stay silent, he pointed within the path of the rundown bungalow. They rubbed the sleep out of their eyes and stared on the girl in purple.

‘It should be the ghost,’ whispered Ramlal and the others nodded. They’d all heard the seller cautioning in regards to the ghost in purple. Breaking some branches from the mango timber, the boys walked cautiously in direction of the lady in purple, who was operating in direction of them. With out ready for any rationalization, they pounced on her with sticks and stones and no matter they may lay their arms on.

Excerpted from ‘Spooky Tales’ by Tanushree Podder, illustrated by Kaveri Gopalakrishnan printed by HarperCollins Kids’s Books



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