Monday, August 24, 2009

Stranger Of The Night


I was standing in the middle of nowhere.My car had broken down all of a sudden on this desolate stretch of highway for no apparent reason.Ten minutes back when it had abruptly stopped in mid-motion with a groan I'd gotten out of the car and examined every part of it minutely-I had checked the tires,the gasoline tank,the engine and what not.And I found nothing wrong with her.Yet she had refused to budge when I attempted to restart engine.

So here I was...forced out of the warm interiors of my car into the chilly December surroundings.It was already past evening and even though I wasn't even closely related to anyone from the Weather Forecast department I could sense the steady decline in temperature.
Shivering uncomfortably I zipped up my jacket right up to my collar-bone and rubbed my gloved hands together.The cell-phone in my left jacket pocket was of no use right now.'Cause first of all the network in here was really weak and I knew it well enough that none of my contacts were anywhere within a 10 mile radius around this place.
Everything was deathly silent all around me-absolutely no sign of life anywhere.Only this never-ending road,a few gigantic trees on either side of it and the dim streetlights were my grim company.
Having no better alternative I started walking and kept my fingers crossed for any passing cars.But sadly enough there didn't seem to be too many of them plying this road at this hour.And the ones who were still outside this evening where evidently in a hurry to get back home or reach their destinations without delay.
Already two cars had whooshed past me without a second glance at my raised hand gesture.
Why did it not surprise me?
Just when I was about to give up all hope I caught a faint glimmer of a headlight in the distance.
Yes it was definitely a car.But it seemed to be moving at a comparatively slower pace than the other ones that had just passed me and this suited me just fine.
As it came into clearer view I waved my arms frantically in a desperate attempt to make it stop.And thankfully enough it slowed down and ultimately came to a halt right beside me.Phew!
In the faint light of the nearest streetlamp I could only make out a woman driver.She had about shoulder length hair and appeared to be wearing a thin cotton shirt though I couldn't say for sure.
I mean you had to be absolutely insane to be venturing outside without a jacket in this weather.
About her face I cannot say anything since it was shrouded in complete darkness.
Relieved at finally getting a car to stop I stated my purpose.
'Uh hi there.My car seemed to have broken down over there..'-I pointed at it which was still visible a little distance away-'and I can't figure out what's wrong with it.. and I dunno much about this place either..could you gimme a ride to the nearest gas-station or garage or an inn maybe where I could spend the night?'
I blurted all this out at top speed.
Complete silence prevailed for a few moments after this and somehow during these brief seconds I felt like it was a big mistake to have stopped this car in the first place.Something within me urged me to get away from the spot as fast as I could and get to some place safe.
Then very slowly the woman nodded her head without even looking at me and wordlessly gestured me to get in the backseat.

Shaking off the uneasy feelings that were brewing somewhere inside the pit of my stomach I climbed inside.
Hey I should consider myself lucky to have gotten a lift in the first place.
The woman started the engine again and before long we were far from the place where my car stood listlessly.


Already 5 minutes had passed and she still hadn't uttered a single word.In the hazy glow of the streetlamps the woman appeared to be someone from a different world altogether-a lone figure whose sole purpose was to drive this car against this sinister landscape....It was as if she had been driving this car all eternity.
Gosh my mind was drifting away again.
In order to drive away the disturbing thoughts from my head I made a second attempt at conversation with the woman.
'Um you seem to be familiar with the road..I guess you live somewhere close?'I mumbled pathetically.
After several seconds she nodded her head twice-again without looking at me.
'This place is spooky don't ya think?...I mean I have hardly spotted a soul ever since I left my car..oh by the way before I forget I'm Jason...Jason Slater.'
Again no reply.Just a nod of the head in acknowledgement.
This was starting to get monotonous.
Refusing to be discouraged I tried again-
'Uh by the way thanks a lot.I mean if you had just driven past me like the others did I woulda still been stranded in that Godforsaken place...thanks a bunch for the lift.'

'My pleasure.'
Her voice came in a hoarse whisper that startled me more than anything else that evening.

'Besides you're the one keeping me company this lonely evening....aren't you?I should be the grateful one here.'
Hoarse as it already was,this time her voice sounded both seductive and dangerous.
Even in the biting chill of that eerie December night beads of sweat had started to form at my forehead.
This was way too creepy.Something wasn't right about this night and this place and this woman.What the heck was I doing inside this car?

'H-How much further t-to that gas-station?' I stammered.
'Oh not much further.You'll see...' This time there was a hint of a smile in her voice.

The car had sped up to about a 60 by this time.And a monstrous truck loaded with sacks had appeared in the road ahead.How come I hadn't noticed earlier?
But instead of slowing down the woman shoved hard on the accelerator and the car raced forward dangerously.

'Hey slow down....what the hell are you doing?' I shouted out in a panic-stricken voice clutching the door-handle.

'Aww stop being such a spoilsport...this is fun isn't it?' said the woman and for the first time since the whole evening,turned her head to look at me.

And I got the shock of my entire life.
'Cause her whole face was spattered with blood-blood that was trickling down her eyebrows,chin and hair most of which covered her grotesque face.And in place of her eyes there were two gaping holes.

I wanted to scream.But all the air seemed to have left my lungs.

The truck was only a couple of meters away from us now and still the car showed no signs of moving out of its way or slowing its pace.

'You'd always keep me company won't you?...I won't be lonely anymore.'

And then I felt the impact of collision.

The last things that I heard in my mortal life were the screeching of tyres,the shattering of glass and high-pitched female laughter.

P.S.:Okay this is the story that I was looking for the other day.It was set as a class assignment more than a year back.Thing is ma'am had only provided us with the beginning and we were supposed to develop the idea into a story.The storyline is nothing new but hey I wrote this down in 45 minutes flat.Let me know how you liked(or disliked -_-) it.
And by the way suggestions for a better title are also welcome. ^^

Sig 2


Nightwing said...

now i know why you were searching for this story so hard....a really fine piece of writing.....although blood and gore arent exactly your style....

animita said...

Well written.Everything you write seems so perfect(to me atleast) :).You wrote all this down in just 45 minutes? That's amazing. Keep up the good work :).

wisewit said...

Pretty good for 45 minutes (even though horror stories aren't quit my thing). It really kept me reading even though I had a headache and didn't feel much like reading! There are a few awkward sentences and some issues with grammar and word choice in a few places, but nothing you couldn't fix pretty easily and nothing the really hurts the story. (By the way, I don't usually see those kinds of problems in anything you've written recently. Did one year really make that much difference?) Anyway the story itself is good. :)


Samadrita said...

@Nightwing,Animita:Yea I finished this one in 45 minutes.Had to.It was supposed to be finished during the class itself.
I'm glad both of you liked it :)

@wisewit:That's what I think too.Some sentences sound kind of odd.Btw can you point out some of them?It'll help me correct my mistakes! :)
And hey thanks for taking time out to read this.

Quintessence Of Illusion said...

Well.......this is unbelievable.........coz didnt expect you to experiment with this genre...goth........
so hats off;;;;;;

wisewit said...

I'll try to help, but it might take a little while. That kind of work can be tedious. It might be kind of hard fitting that kind of thing into a comment box, though. Is it OK to contact you by email? Is the email address on your profile ( OK?

By the way, did you notice that there's a mistake in my last comment ("quit" for "quite"), and in my most recent post in the Japan Image Series ("the" for "that"). Kind of ironic! :)


Soumya said...

Really enjoyed the story. The blend of emotions and events is just perfect.

Keep sharing.

Samadrita said...

@wisewit:Ah I thought it was a typing error('quit' for 'quite').
And as for the last post in your blog I was too busy looking at the pictures didn't read the typed out part that well.
And yea do mail me your suggestions about this story and the possible errors.That will be great! :)

@Writu:Well I never thought I'd end up writing a horror story.But I kept writing whatever that came to mind and in the end this is how it turned out.Anyway thanks :)

@Soumya da:Thank you!Glad you liked it.

Atindriya said...

Hmmm.... Reading much Poe lately, I guess?

Samadrita said...

@Atindriyo:Lol I have..but in the distant past. :)

Sayandeep Kundu said...

well written...brilliant for a 45 mins stuff..keep it up..

Dhiman said...

Hey That was creepy story predictable but very well narrated with vivid imagery and must a great one given that you wrote it in 45 mins flat....good job...

Samadrita said...

@Sayandeep:Thanks re :)

@Dhiman:Yea I know.Predictable.But you can't expect more from a class assignment right? :P
Anyway thank you :)

Saim said...

Bhaago bhoot:D

Samadrita said...

@Saim: :P

workhard said...

That was good work.. kinda spooky.. but nice imagination...

Domain registration india

Samadrita said...

@workhard:Why thank you!

Karthik said...

"The last things that I heard in my mortal life were the screeching of tyres,the shattering of glass and high-pitched female laughter."
Gosh! Who wrote this story then? This one's more scary than the story itself..
Ok, fine. That was a PJ. :P
To be honest, half way through the story and I knew. But your narrative style made it one hell of a fun ride. Thoroughly enjoyed it. It was really worth reading. :-)
As far as the suggestion for a title is concerned, how about 'A Stranger in the Mirror?'
Hell, no. Sidney Sheldon's ghost will come and haunt me. Better you think about it.. :D

Samadrita said...

@Karthik:Whoa you commented on such an old story of mine?Thank ya.
About your question as to who wrote the story.....that's quite valid(and not at all a pj :P)But for convenience let's just assume that ghosts can think logically and are capable of typing using keyboards to recount their death experiences. :P

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