Its half past 10 p.m when I got to the bus stop. I knew I would be late for home. The roads were dark and empty and my house is a five minutes’ walk from the stop. Dark clouds smeared the sky, such that it could rain any minute. I started walking faster. Suddenly I became strikingly aware of everything around me – every rustle of the leaves, every creak from the surrounding houses, and the sounds of the wind signaled  I may be in danger.



I briskly moved past the neighborhood high school, a closed tea shop and a few other buildings, and entered the by lane.  As I reached close to the children’s park, very close our apartment, my eyes fell on something – quite unexpected, the dubious house, which we thought was a bit haunted – the half done villa that stood for decades on the disputed plot no 90. I quickly averted my eyes and tried moving ahead… Just then I heard a howl! “Stoppp!!!” it was a male voice.

My ears perked up. Was it to me? Who could he be? But then I consoled myself, “it must be somebody saying to someone… whatever!” and I started walking.

But then I heard it again…

“Stoppp!!!” the same voice – a little louder and clearer this time. It was no ordinary one! An uncanny voice, so full of expressions!

The voice sent a chill down my spine… but I did not Stop!

As I was hurriedly crossing the park gate, I saw a man, pacing back and forth, cleaning his shoes with a brush. He turned and faced me! Even in that pitch darkness I could make out he looked a little creepy or maybe that’s the impression I got. I couldn’t tell if he was looking straight at me!

I didn’t want to look back… I began walking much, much faster, expecting to have to run soon but not wanting to attract more attention to myself. And then… I heard again “Stop!” This time it was almost inaudible.

I didn’t want to find out more. I began to run home…

As I reached my apartment, trying hard to take out the duplicate key to open the main gate, our gatekeeper appeared from nowhere. “Stop mam, let me do it for you!”

“Stop??? Is that the word he said too?” I asked myself.

A grey owl flew over my head… “Stop! Stop! Stop!” It screeched and vanished…

I stood there like a pillar. I could sense goose bumps all over me!


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