Karthik clasped Naira’s hand who was seated beside him in Volkswagen polo. It’s been five years since Karthik proposed her on their convocation day to which Naira happily resented. They were on their way back home after having a sumptuous brunch at a restaurant.
‘Shut up! You were so coy, you never dared to talk to me’, Naira said punching his shoulder playfully with the other hand.
‘So, you are telling me that I have flattered you even without talking to you?’ Karthik wondered.
‘Sort of, you had been a great secret admirer. You never confronted me with your feelings though we are in the same class until I caught you’.
‘Yeah, you made me so nervous that day when you asked all our classmates to write the same lines I had written to you’.
‘That was the only way to get you. Your face when you were caught, that was very funny. Nevertheless, your letters literally swept me off my feet. Even then it took eight days for you to propose me directly’.
Karthik looked away, blushing. They passed thirteenth milestone from Udaipur. When Naira was fishing for her phone in her hand bag, their engine stuttered and ceased to a halt.
‘What happened?’ Naira asked.
‘How would I know? Wait here, I’ll go and check’.
Karthik stepped out of the car, opened the bonnet and started working on it. After a substantial time of thirty minutes he gave up.
‘Naira, I couldn’t fix it, I think we need a mechanic ‘.
‘Now don’t tell me that you are going to fetch a mechanic leaving me here’
‘No baby, we are very far from Udaipur. You wait here, I’ll go get him’
‘Let’s not go to Udaipur then. Come we’ll go this way, we are very far from the outskirts now. There must be some village nearby.’ said Naira, pointing to other direction.
‘And also walking hand in hand with boyfriend on an empty road at this time, trust me it’ll be pretty romantic.’
After some hesitation, Karthik eventually agreed. After walking for half a mile, they crossed a board reading “Kuldhara”.
‘Just like I said, we have reached a village’ said Naira.
‘Thank god, I wish we could get a mechanic soon’
As he looked ahead, he could see a girl wobbling exactly on the middle of the road. He wondered where she could be going back from, for he could not find even a single general store anywhere nearby. They both jogged to the girl. The girl stopped on hearing them. Her hair was pitch black, looked like probably many days since it was properly combed and it covered half of her face. She was looking at her bare feet. Her clothes are patched at many places.
‘Excuse me, is there a mechanic here?’ Karthik asked after hesitating for a brief moment.
The girl looked at him over her shoulder from the corner of her eye and pointed towards the way she was walking.
Naira pulled him around her arm and dragged him towards her, thanked her with an overwhelming urgency to go away from her and they hurried off.
‘Yew! She was so strange. Did you notice how she smelt? She was stinking of…’ Naira trailed off unable to put her finger on what exactly she smelt like. ‘No, there is no bad odor. She might be mentally challenged’ Karthik said and looked back. The girl was nowhere seen. She is indeed strange! Karthik thought.
They walked until they reached an ancient, heavy pillared arch with different idols of men and animals carved on them. There was a big wooden gate just after a few meters from the arch. There were idols of two heavily built men draped in dhotis and mighty spears and shields in their hands. They looked like the protectors of the village behind that gate.
They walked to the gate. It was midday and his watch showed forty degrees Celsius. They opened the heavy gate with great effort and entered into the village. They could sense the temperature drop substantially. Karthik checked his watch again, thirty one degrees Celsius.’ This village is so scary’ said Naira holding Karthik.
‘Don’t worry baby, we’ll be out of this place as soon as we get a mechanic. Staying here a minute longer is the last thing I ever want’.
There was no sign of a single creature. The village seemed almost two hundred and fifty years old with buildings made of stone leaving them think that they were built at the time of India ruled by kings. There was a giant statue of a man on a horse with a hefty body and enormous jewelry with a sword in his hand pointing forward. Karthik, to reach it, jumped over a ditch, stumbled upon a rock and hit the ground. His hand was badly cut oozing blood out of it. Naira immediately tied her scarf to stop the blood.
‘You were always careless’, you’ll never learn walking’ chided Naira.
‘I am okay’, said Karthik as they reached the statue. “Sangram”, etched on a glittering marble stone below the statue.
‘He might have ruled this place’, guessed Karthik.
They sensed the rise in temperature again. This time his watch showed forty three.
‘What do we get by its history; all we need is a mechanic and get out of this place. Also this place is full of games exuding something awful.’ said an apprehensive Naira. They reached a house and knocked the door. Once…Twice…Thrice… No response. Considering the house was empty, they moved to another house. No response even here. Bewildered, they stood on the road thinking. Meanwhile, the cut on Karthik’s hand stopped oozing blood. Naira untied her scarf from Karthik’s hand to check the wound. Blood! It was then struck Naira.
‘The girl on the road was reeking of blood!’ exclaimed Naira.
‘Shut up Naira, don’t be stupid. I think this scary village is making you think so, I have already said there was no bad odor’.
Naira couldn’t understand a thing. She remained thoughtful, trying to remember if she had seen any wound or blood on the girl’s body to which her mind stubbornly said that she didn’t. This realization made her feel more uncomfortable.
As they were moving to the other house, they heard someone laughs loudly from a distance. They turned to that side to find no one. Naira’s face reddened with horror. Beads of sweat started to perspire making her under arms instantly wet. Her hands were cold and pale.
‘Let’s get out of here’, Naira hurried and they both turned towards the gate.
They heard the loud laugh once again, combined with more laughter this time which turned into a constant character. Long shadows of men and women started to form on the ground running everywhere. They were feeling as if they were made immobile with a force for a moment and started running towards the gate without turning back despite any obstacle in their way. They could hear the bleat coming near to them. As they were about to cross the gate, they felt someone holding their hands, legs and waist dragging them inside.
The distant character was dominated and the strange silence of that mysterious village echoed by their shrill cries for help as those gates in front of them closed, burying them behind those gates forever.
Hey guys! Tried something like this! How is it? Did you like it?
Is that scary? No or yes?
Hope you liked it!
This is lasya!
Storyline credits to my Brother and Sister!