I was awakened from my deep slumber as the train came to a screeching halt. The time by my watch was ten minutes past five. I took a look out of the window but the evening mist made visibility almost impossible. I pulled my rucksack from below the bunk and got down from the train compartment. On enquiry, I learned that I had come ahead by two stations.
It was the month of December, my winter holidays had started. My parents had to travel abroad for some office work, so I decided to expend the winter vacation with my uncle.
Dusk had already descended by then and I did not have the slightest inkling as to what I was going to do next. I opened google maps on my phone and found a route through the village that connected this station to my destination. Being quite the adventurous person, I decided to make my way through the village. To cut a long story short, here I was plodding along the mud path of the village, with thick vegetation on one side and a road on the other side with hardly any vehicles plying. Soon it started to drizzle and I thought to myself,"What a way to start one's Christmas vacations." To make matters worse the drizzle transformed into a heavy downpour, drenched from head to toe I continued walking. I cursed myself because, with every passing second, it became evident to me that this so-called " adventure" of mine was not turning out to be a very good idea. There was not a soul in the vicinity, the only things that kept me company were the crickets and the chilly wind. Suddenly, on hearing the welcome purring of a car from behind I turned around. A Mercedes-Benz, jet black in colour, halted in front of me. The door opened and the gentlemen sitting inside ushered me in. I thanked my lucky stars as I seated myself beside the gentlemen. I thanked the gentleman but was greeted by an eerie silence. Soon the car stopped in front of a sprawling mansion. The gentleman got out of the car and proceeded towards the mansion, I followed suit. The prodigious door opened with a crepitating sound. I turned around to thank the gentleman for his munificent deed, but he had already disappeared by then. Before was a huge parlour, with a hearth in one corner. I was soaked in rainwater, so I had to change my clothes. I lay on the divan. The sound of the superabundant rain and the howling of the wind was soon forgotten as a sense of enervation prevailed over me and I drifted off to sleep. I was awakened around midnight, by the sound a playing piano, which seemed to be coming from upstairs. With a sensation of dubiousness predominating over me I made my way up the stairs. As I opened the door the playing of the piano stopped. I realized that I was not alone, I could feel the presence of many although I could not see or touch them. I did not pay much heed to my thoughts and walked down the stairs thinking that the episode which had recently transpired was nothing but a figment of my imagination. I tried to sleep again. In time, I could feel someone breathing down my neck. I gingerly opened my eyes and in front was the silhouette of that very gentlemen. I let out a piercing cry before losing consciousness. When I woke up the following morning I was at my wit's end. I left the mansion as fast as my legs could carry me. I don't think I stopped running for the next ten minutes. I spotted a police jeep at some distance and the police eventually took me to my uncle's place.
Even today this incident comes to haunt me in my dreams. I still don't know who that person was or if he was even human. But the question that still crops up in my mind is that "who was he?"
© 2017 Shiladitya Mukerji