Category: Short Stories


The Lost Highway (part 2 of 2)

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The Lost Highway

They found people were coming to them running. It was clear that they were Sarpanch’s men. Mohini caught Karan’s hand and run to one side. Rohit and Ramesh followed them. Mohini was from same village so she knew all streets and shortcuts. She was changing the streets quickly. Rohit got his leg struck on a stone. He falls down. Ramesh stopped to help him as he was after him. But Karan and Mohini were ahead so they didn’t know about that.

Now there were two pairs of them Mohini-Karan and Rohit-Ramesh. Rohit was angry not only because they were separated. His main anger was because Mohini was separated.

Karan and Mohini saw back but there was no Rohit and Ramesh.

“Oh My God, we need to go back. We must find Rohit. If Sarpanch’s men will catch him what I will tell to mom.”

“But how can we find them now. We don’t know where we lost them.”

“He is my brother. I can’t leave him here and run away.” Karan was really worried now.

“I am not saying that we will leave them. I am just saying that we can’t go back on same way. Perhaps they will come to us. Let’s hide somewhere and wait for them.” Mohini was still holding Karan’s hand. She took him to a vacant hut.

The hut was not big and they both were afraid. So they both were sitting very close to support each other. Mohini’s face was really close to Karan. He was watching her very closely now. There were sweat on her forehead and it was shining like glittering stars. Her breath was fast and heavy. He was feeling her heart beats. After sometime Mohini felt his breath really near to her cheek. She saw to him and both faces were so close that their noses were touching each other. A shiver ran in her spine. Karan lips forwarded and touched her lips. She allowed his lips in to her lips. Soon they were kissing passionately each other.

“Look, they can’t go very far.” A hard and loud voice came and broke their romance.

Sarpanch’s men came near to their hut. They waited till they go.

“This is not safe now. Come.” Mohini took his hand and came out. Sarpanch’s men were not gone. They were in nearby hut. So they ran again. They found Rohit in the mid way.

“Where is Ramesh?” Karan asked. He was happy that Rohit was safe.

“I don’t know. He was with me but on a turn I lost him.” Rohit said breathlessly.

“Let’s go, they are chasing us. We can’t talk in open.” Mohini took both of them to one side.

Rohit was really tired. He didn’t chance to rest. He was running continuously.

“This village is like a maze. I turned many times and came to same place every time.” Rohit said

“Don’t worry, we have Mohini. She know the way and she will take us out of this village.” Karan assured him.

“But we need to find Ramesh. Do one thing you and Rohit stay here and I will go and find Ramesh.” Mohit stood up to go. But Karan stopped her. He didn’t want to let her go alone in this situation. They were outsider. Sarpanch’s men don’t know them and they don’t have any problem with them. So it was much chance that if they found him without Mohini they will not touch him.

So he went in search of Ramesh. Rohit was really tired and there was blood on his hand. He got wound while running. Mohini teared here dupatta and bound the wound to stop blood.

“That’s really nice. Thank you.” Rohit told her.

“Oh no, it’s nothing. You saved me. You and your friends are in danger only because of me. I thank you.” Mohini was really grateful for them.

Rohit took it as love or first invitation. This teen age always prove foolish it in these situations. He came forward and embraces Mohini and kissed on her cheek.

“What are you doing?” Mohini pushed him aside.

“Sorry, I am really sorry. But you are so beautiful that I lost my control on me. I had never seen so beautiful girl like you in my whole life.”

Mohini was angry but she was a girl also. She knew that Rohit is a good person. Her anger came down. She told him that she is only grateful to him. Don’t take it otherwise.

Soon Karan came with Ramesh. Now they decided to go from the village. Ramesh told something about his car. But nobody was listening. He didn’t argue much because first thing was ‘keep them alive’.

Mohini took them to that way which was going outside the village to the main highway. When they came to the end of village a axe came flowing and thrust into Ramesh back.

All shouted. They were found by the Sarpanch’s men and they didn’t want to catch them alive. Soon every person was running to the trees.  Karan ran in one direction, Mohini and Rohit went in other direction. Sarpanch’s men were chasing Mohini. So they went for Mohini and Rohit.

Mohini and Rohit were surrounded. Sarpanch came to them. He had a axe in his hand. Without saying a word in wave the axe to Rohit. The axe caught Rohit by throat. He fell down on the ground. Sarpanch caught Mohini’s hand and pulled her to village.

When they reach to edge of trees, Karan came from the back of a tree. He was holding the axe which was stuck in Ramesh’s back. He threw the axe to Sarpanch. This happened so fast neither Sarpanch nor Sarpanch’s men could do anything to Stop Karan.

The axe hit Sarpanch on forehead. But Sarpanch didn’t fall. He stood still. He caught the axe and pulled out from his forehead.

It was impossible. He was still alive. He laughed and came to Karan. Karan was motionless. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Sarpanch can and put the axe on his throat and said “Brave man. You won you and yours friends lives.” Saying this word he hit Karan with the axe.

Darkness falls on Karan’s eye. He felt cold and fresh air on his face. He opened his eyes. He was in his car. Rohit was sleeping near him on back seat. Ramesh was sleeping on driver’s seat. They were in their car and car was on the highway. It was the same place where they turned to that strange way. But now there was no such road. He woke Rohit and Ramesh. They were also surprised because each of them saw the same dream. But that was a dream, all of them were alive. So they were there whole night sleeping? Nobody was able to tell what really happened or not happened that night.

 

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The Lost Highway

Karan and Rohit were going to their grandfather. It was May and their college was closed for summer vacation. Both were in college Karan was elder and Rohit was 2 years younger. Their parents also wanted to come with them but their father got a urgent work at office so he didn’t make it so their mother also didn’t come. They were in a cab driven by Ramesh a 40 year’s old experienced driver.

They were young and happy. There are a hundred ways to be happy in that young age. One of the best and commonly known as talking about girls.

“It will be better if Kavita would be here.” Karan said. Kavita was the girl of his class. He had a crush on her.

“if Kavita would be here then Rakesh would also be here” Rohit teased him. Rakesh was Kavita’s boyfriend.

“Oh shut up, he is just her friend. Have you seen his face? A pretty girl like Kavita would not even see an idiot like him. They are in same class that’s why Kavita talk to him and he only boasts about Kavita as his girlfriend.”  Karan’s voice was full of irritation.

But Rohit always enjoy teasing him. “But my friend saw him purpose her last week and she said yes.”

“Don’t make a fool of me. That’s why Shalini doesn’t talk to you. Who wants to talk to a fool? Atleast Kavita talks to me.” Karan counter attacked. Shalini was the dream girl of Rohit.

Driver Ramesh was enjoying their talk. He was very old and giving his services to their family from a long time. Anytime they need a cab they call to Ramesh.

This is not the first time they were going to their grandparents with Ramesh. But this time their car broke in the mid way. It took 3 hours to go to nearest city and get a mechanic. They were late now. It was November, about 6 pm it was getting dark. They were in speed because they wanted to reach their destination early and Ramesh was also in hurry because next day his cab was booked by other client. So he also wanted to come back early.

Car was at more than 120 kmph speed. There was something on the road. Ramesh applied brakes but car didn’t stop immediately. Due to speed it swings. They stopped and immediately came out from the car. All of them saw that black shadow which was on the way but now there was nothing.

“Perhaps that was a reflection of lights.” Karan suggested.

“Yes, I think you are right.” Ramesh’s voice was clearly said that he was not agreed but there was no other explanation.

They looked all sides.

“Hey, what is that? Where is this way go?” Rohit pointed to a road which was going right side.

“This road…. Strange.. I saw this first time.” Ramesh was surprised to see. Sometime a small road which was going to any village appears to the road was common. In India there are so many villages even prime minister can’t tell the exact number.

But this road was strange because it was fully made and it was like a highway not a small road to any village.

“See the board, this shows that Kaithal is only 50 KM but the way we are taking is 90 KM. So it is a shortcut by half.”

“Why didn’t I know this? I have never heard of this highway before.” Ramesh was suspicious.

“ohhoo Ramesh, perhaps government had given contract to a private company, they can built a road in one day only. I think we should take this road. To the worst, we need to pay toll tax only. But it will save half the way.” Karan told. He wanted to reach home quickly.

“I don’t know whether we should take this road or not.” Ramesh was still suspicious.

“Ask that villager.” Karan pointed to a villager who appeared like nowhere.

So Ramesh went there to ask and the villager confirmed that this is shortcut and made only 2 days before. Now they took this new road.

After going about 20 KM a girl came running on the road. Ramesh applied brake so fast that Karan and Rohit hit the front seats hard.

“What the hell….”

Car stopped with a halt but the girl wasn’t able to apply brake on her speed. It took her some seconds to apply brakes on her speed but it was too late. She crashed on the car. But fortunately their car was not in speed. So the crash was not harmful.

But girl fell down. All three of them came out from the car at once.  They came to girl. She was unconscious.

“Ramesh, bring some water.” Karan told Ramesh

Ramesh brought water. Karan took some water in his palm and splashed that on girl’s face. She shivered when the cold water touched her face. She was exceptional beautiful. Karan was worried before by this accident. But now he was happy to see such beautiful girl. He was young and young people don’t care about situation when their heart speaks to them. Same situation was happening to Rohit’s heart. He was also enchanted by girl’s beauty.

The girl opened her eyes. They asked why she was running. She told that her name was Mohini. She was living near village.

“My father is a farmer. We are really poor. My father took some loan from Sarpanch (Head of village). Now he was not able to pay the loan. So Sarpanch asked him to give me to him. My father refused that. Today Sarpanch’s men tried to kidnap me while I was coming from village fair. But somehow I ran from them. They are following me.”

“But there is nobody out there.” Karan saw in every direction to confirm.

“Perhaps they hide to see you.” Mohini was still afraid.

“Ok, we do one thing. We will take you to your father.” Rohit told.

“No, I can’t go this time. Perhaps they will be watching my home for my return. It is not good for me to go home tonight.”

“No problem, you can come with us.” Karan said quickly. He was trying to hide his happiness but a glimpse of his heart was surely seen. He was happy that Mohini don’t want to go her home. So she will come with them.

“Yes, this is the best option. We can call for police tomorrow. Then Sarpanch will not be able to touch you again.” Rohit agreed with Karan.

There was no other option. So it was decided. Mohini came into the car.

She was wearing a Red and green suit with Red dupatta. On suit there were white prints. She was looking gorgeous in that suit. Her lips were really red without any lipstick. Her eyes were black and so deep, nobody can ignore them. She was thin. Her height was about 5 feet 1 inch, dark black hair were increasing her beauty. Karan immediately took the other seat with her. Rohit saw him angrily but without saying other word he sat with driver.

Karan start talking to Mohini but Rohit was also keen to join talk. They went about 2 KM only. There was a tree trunk on the road. That was on put so no vehicle could be able to go further.

“This is a trap” Mohini told

“I think so. But how they got information about us here? We didn’t waste time near your village.” Karan asked.

“Bro, this is modern times.  Mobiles are available in villages also.” Rohit proved his knowledge.

“Ohk, Mr. Intelligent, now tell what to do?” Karan was in irritation cum worried mood.

“Hurry; back to the village, they are coming.” Mohini pointed to the people who were coming to the car.

Ramesh didn’t waste time and put Car in reverse gear. Car moved fast. People chased them but Ramesh was an expert driver.

Soon they were out of reach of them. But danger was not over because in that village Sarpanch was waiting for them.

“We can cross this road and can go to home. We will call grandpa that we will come after 2-3 days.” Rohit suggested.

“Phone!! Where is my mobile, I can call to police now.” Karan checked his phone but there was no signal. All three had mobile and all three were useless.

They started back and crossed the village again but after 2 KM there was another road block. They were stuck in that 5 KM road.

“There is another way, but it goes from inside village.” Mohini told.

“No problem, whole village is not our enemy. We can go through village.” Ramesh suggested to take that route.

So they entered into the village and the whole situation changed when their one front tyre burst.

But that was true

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But that was true

I am a small city guy. My name is Varun. I am doing my graduation from City college, which is about 5 K.M. from my home. Normally I go to my college on my bike. But that day my bike didn’t start. So I went to road to get an Auto. I forgot to tell that my home is in distance from main road. That’s why I always give lift to my father also to the road, because he doesn’t know to drive. I was talking about that incident.

I started to go on foot to the road. I was late that day so it was about mid day and Sun was fast. I was sweating and cursing the bike. I was already late and definitely will be more late because I have to go on foot to a long distance. When I am on bike I can take a shortcut but on that way Autos are not available. So I had to choose the long way.

When I was walking to main road I saw a rickshaw (An Indian vehicle pulled by a person), which was coming from opposite side. The rickshaw puller stopped and asked me where I want to go. I knew he will not go so far or if he will go he will ask for much money. So I refused. But he was stubborn, he told me he can drop me wherever I am going. He started to pull his rickshaw besides me. I was irritated by this and told that I want to go City College. He was agreed and more surprisingly on very cheap rates. I was not sure because rickshaw would take more time but he told me that he will go by shortcut. So I agreed

He took a U-turn and start pulling. When the point came from where I always took shortcut he didn’t moved he was going straight.

“Where are you going pal? You missed the shortcut way.” I shouted

“No, I know a better shortcut. Your shortcut will take more time.”

“Tell me from where?”

“From near cemetery.” He told casually.

I frightened. This is not that I was a coward. But the way near cemetery was isolated. So people don’t go there even in day light and there were some rumors about a ghost were popular. So my parents had strictly prohibited me to go that way.

But today was different, I was late and with rickshaw puller I was also not alone. That way was really short. So I didn’t object much.

Now we start talking. I asked him to tell some incident as the road was lonely, so I was not lucky to see some cute girls or anything romantic.

He started to tell me a story, story about a murderer who was in our city. He killed many people near the same cemetery. That was the main reason people don’t go there alone.

So the story was about a rickshaw puller. Who used to pull rickshaw in our city. He was a drug addict. So he never had much money to purchase drugs. That’s why his wife left him with their only child. He didn’t care about that. The whole day and night he was in influence of drugs. So the only source of money pulling rickshaw was also stopped.

When he was not getting money, he started to pull rickshaw again but due to health and addiction he was not able to do full day. Money was short and his drug requirement was expensive.

So he found a new way, he started to take his passenger by the cemetery way. While talking he told them to wait while he is going in cemetery to meet the keeper. After a long time he didn’t come. So the passenger would go in the cemetery in his search. At that time he came from backside and hit the passenger on head with a rod. He didn’t only robbed them to kill all proofs he killed all passengers.

Police was shocked to get so many missing people complained. But they were not getting any clue. Because nobody can imagine that these murders were being held in broad day light by a rickshaw puller. Moreover no dead body was ever found, so police was clueless.

One day the rickshaw puller got a passenger on the edge of cemetery. He was surprised to see a person near cemetery, he was afraid also whether this person doesn’t belong to police. But the person was a passenger, who lost his way and came here.

He took the passenger. He didn’t know but it was like he knew that passenger, but where they met he didn’t remember. But he daily meets many people, perhaps it is one of them who took his rickshaw before. But this similarity was different. His face was sad.

After reaching the road that person asked him that he forgot something in one shop so they need to go back. Rickshaw puller told he will charge money three times as he need to go and come back again. Passenger was ready. So they started back.

When they reached cemetery, the passenger stopped the rickshaw puller and without another word went into the cemetery. Rickshaw puller waited a long and after half hour he went inside in search of passenger. When he went inside the gate of cemetery closed itself. Rickshaw puller frightened. Immediately the passenger appeared in front of him. This time his face was not same, it had a cruel grin. His hand’s nails were like talons. Now he remembered that was one of his passengers whom were killed by him.

Rickshaw puller stopped on this point.

“What happened then?” I asked him with anxiety.

“The rickshaw puller got his punishment. The soul of passenger didn’t kill him immediately. He took him alive with him in the dead world. Where the rickshaw puller suffered till death, his soul was not allowed to leave the world till eternity.”

We came to cemetery that was not far away from my college. The rickshaw puller stopped there and told me that he has some work with the keeper. I took this as a joke, I thought he is scaring me like his story. He went inside.

I waited a long but he didn’t come back. Now I was worried. I went inside the cemetery but I was cautious about my back. I searched the whole cemetery, there was no body. I came outside again and there was no rickshaw.

Now I was frightened. I ran to my college.

I didn’t see that rickshaw puller again. I don’t know who was he? Whether he was the same rickshaw puller who was punished till eternity? But who the hell was he, I never used that cemetery way again.