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Short stories

Chal

“Chal! See you tomorrow”, I tell my friend before leaving. We’re at Café D’Costa, the only place in town that runs 24/7. The clock says 12:27 am. There’s a belief amongst so many people that saying words like ‘chal’ and ‘chalo’ (meaning let’s go) at night in a deserted place, calls the free uninhabited spirits roaming around to come after you and possess you.

While driving, I check my back seat and turn down my rear view mirror to save myself from the horror just in case some ghost was following me. Luckily, there is no one. I reach my home safely, open the door, pamper Leo, and then go to sleep. For almost an hour, I try to sleep but I can’t. I can’t stop thinking about the stupid spirit thoughts. So I get up and go to the kitchen to have some ice cream. While going back to my room, I see a man sitting in the hall waving at me. At first it looks like the man is my father but then I realise that he has been out of the town for more than two weeks now. Has he come back to give me a surprise? That too like this?

As I move closer, it turns out that he isn’t my father. This man has a scarred (and a scary) face, shoulder length hair, most of which covers his face and lips sewn shut with copper wire. The ice cream bowl falls from my hand and I try to shout but I can’t. I pee in my pants before fainting.

When I open my eyes, I find myself standing inside Café D’Costa. There’s no one around me except three waiters and the manager. It looks like they can’t see me. There is shoulder length hair all over my face. I try to shout for help but I can’t. My mouth is sewn shut with copper wire. It seems that the spirit does not possess me but rather it has made me possess it.

I see a group of people approaching who seem to be the night shift workers. I stand there frozen until the group is about to leave. I haven’t understood what exactly is going to happen but to my guess, me and this spirit in unison are waiting for someone from that group to say ‘chal’.

-Written by Purvang Joshi

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