Friday, October 14, 2011

Ghost at a crossroad


The following is a story that I had written for an English assignment. Hope you have as much fun reading as I had in writing it :)



“Just one more turn” I urged Steve. He hesitated but nevertheless followed me. 

It was almost 6 o’ clock. The clouds began dotting the sky and covering it entirely. The sun was on the verge of disappearing into the horizon. I knew that in a few minutes, all that would be guiding us would be streetlights which dotted almost every single street in the city.

   We were going to a friend’s house for his 16th birthday. The road to his house was pretty straight-forward and all we had to do was follow the main-road and then take a single left turn. But, today, I didn’t feel like my ears could take in the noises that the automobiles made.  So, I talked Steve into taking a different route. We had never even set eyes on that path before but we knew that it had to lead somewhere.

I wanted us to get lost. That’s the truth. So, I went on telling him ‘left here’ and ‘let’s take right’ at random intervals. Foolishly, Steve decided to trust me and followed.

25 minutes later, we realized that something had gone terribly wrong. I looked around and in the glare of the street-lamps, I could see nothing that reminded me of familiar territory. We were officially lost now. “Dude, do you know where we are?” Steve asked me. “Umm..” I replied. “This is not the place or time for “umm’s”. Tell the truth.”

“I think we’re lost.” I admitted. He glared at me for a second but then, asked me “So, how do we get out?” I replied “I don’t know.” I could see the anger raging inside him but he kept his cool. “Now what?”

“Now, we try to find the way.” I replied.

We both stopped walking so that we didn’t get more lost. We glanced around, all we could see was deserted roads with pieces of plastic moving around due to wind. Everything seemed eerily calm. Not a soul in sight. That gave me creeps. In a city with a population of over 30 million, we couldn’t see anyone. Just vehicles that zoomed past us.

We were scared. I for one had this nagging feeling that a quails would stop and a few armed people would get down and kidnap us.

“Take out your cell-phone” I told him. He dutifully took it out of his pockets and handed it to me. I looked at its screen, no signal. Great, I thought. I gave it back.

We started walking again hoping that if we walked enough, we would come across the main-road and could find our way from there.

We came upon a cross-road. We stood there pondering over what lane should we choose. He said “Right. Let’s go right, it’s got to be the right road.” I said “Nah. Left sounds better.” We soon decided to go straight.

Bad choice.

We walked around 300 paces when we saw something just swoosh by. For a second, I thought that the kidnappers were here but it wasn’t a Qualis. Instead, I saw some white fumes. “Look there” I pointed to Steve. He turned his head and then, a second later, turned it back to me and didn’t speak a word but his eyes said it all “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?”

Those fumes had taken the shape of a man. It was exactly what a ghost looked like in Ghost Busters or the other gazillion horror movies that I had seen.

Our legs failed us, we stood there, petrified with fear.

The ghost started advancing at us. We couldn’t move, it was as though someone had soldered our legs to the ground.

“Do you know what I am?” the ghost asked to our surprised.

We both looked at each and other and thought “Did he just say that?”

“Ghhhoostt…” I stammered.

“NO!” he thundered “I am a spirit! Don’t you guys know the difference between a ghost and a spirit?”

“No…To be honest, we haven’t had much practical experience” Steve replied.

“Are you trying to be cheeky with me young man?” The ghost stared at our eyes, into our very soul.

“No..No..Sir.” we replied.

“Who told you that I was knighted?”

“Sir?”

“See. There again. Stop addressing me as ‘sir’. I wasn’t knighted!”

“oh I see.”

“No. It’s ICICI”

“Umm..?”

“Sorry about that, I was watching too much television. I’m a fan of Amitabh Bacchan and well, I liked that advertisement of his.”

“oh.”

A few seconds of silence.

“So, you’re the quiet type eh? Tell me.”

“tell what?”

“Where art thou going?”

“ We aren’t really that familiar with old English.” We both chimed.

“You aren’t familiar with old English! Where is the education today headed to. Sigh.”

A few seconds of more silence.

“Mr. Ghost…” Before I could finish my sentence, the ghost interrupted me.

“How dare you address as mister? I’m not living!”

“What should we address you as then?”

“Nothing.”

“Cool.”

“So, I was saying, Can we go? We’re getting kind of late. Our friend won’t be too happy you know.”

“It’s my first interaction with humans in the last one decade and you think I’ll let you go, just like that?”

Amazing I thought sarcastically. We’re the ‘lucky’ ones I guess.

“What do you want from us then?”

“I want you to answer three questions. Answer them and you’ll be free, I’ll even show you the way.”

“Cool. Fire them away.”

“Who won the 2011 ICC cricket world cup?”

Steve and me stared at each other’s faces for some time. This was really happening.
“India” we both chimed.

The ghost then takes out a gadget from his pocket and clicks some buttons and then looks at us and says “Correct answer.”

My face lit up but Steve wasn’t even listening. His eyes were transfixed to the gadget that the ghost was holding. He asked him “Can I know what that gadget is?”

“This?” The ghost holds it in his hands and replies “It’s an iPhone 8.”

“Are you kidding me?” I ask as Steve’s jaws drop open.

“Do I look like somebody who fools around?”

“So, do you know that Steve Jobs died?”

The ghost’s expressionless face turns violet for a second. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN!” he catches me by my collar and lifts me up.
“…Steevee..Jobs..he’s dead.” I stammer.
The ghost drops me and I fall with a thud to the floor.

He then types out something on his iPhone. Steve later tells me that he was using google.
The next second, the ghost falls down on the road and starts crying. I didn’t know ghosts could cry but apparently, they can.

We both just stand there unsure what to do. The ghost then tells us “I’m going to god right now. Is there anything you want me to tell him?” I jokingly reply what I’d seen as a status on facebook “Could you tell god that he could take Justin Bieber and give us Steve Jobs back?”

The ghost doesn’t say anything. He just points in a direction and says “That’s the way, just follow the road.” With that, he disappears.

For a good two minutes, Steve and I are left dumbfounded by what just happened. It was just too surreal. We didn’t speak a word to each other, instead, we followed the road and the ghost was right. Our friends house was right there.

We climbed the elevator and pressed ‘1’. As it went up, thoughts clogged my head. I couldn’t focus on anything. Soon, the elevator stopped. We got down and went directly to our friend’s place and knocked on the doorbell. We were soon ushered in by the guests and we found the birthday boy, our friend busy on the computer.

We went over to see what he was looking at. I looked at the address bar, it read “Newsonline.com”. I asked him what he was looking at. He didn’t talk, just pointed towards two things. They were –

“Justin Bieber Missing.” And “Steve Jobs grave found broken. Body missing”

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