It was a still night inside the compound. For an abandoned location, it had some well trimmed lawns. There were no sounds at all, in itself it was creepy. No insect sounds, no cries of the night birds. It was like a void in this normal world. Fear gripped our hearts but it was too late to turn back now. The slow progress till the main entrance was uneventful. The door was old, but it opened up without a sound. It was strange that such a place has not been locked up. The dark interiors conveyed the image of being very spacious but at the same time, strangely empty. Flashlights came out and we started our exploring. The place was clean, a little too clean with no signs of abandonment anywhere. There were no furniture, no pictures on the wall. The only item left which showed that the place was once inhabited was a worn out rug in the main hall. We decided to stop running around aimlessly and camp out there on the rug.
Night came without an incident. The fluttering fear that we had began ebbing down. Slowly we made a circle and broke open our picnic basket. Although conversation was slow to start, it soon picked up pace. From trying to calm each other and convince them that there was nothing to fear, we came to the situation where each one of us was trying our best to scare their mates with the most horrifying stories they know. Being the newest member of the group, I was being targeted by the others. We were down to survival tactics in case of a ghost attack & I was given the role of the bait. Being the little fat guy that I am, I was perfect. Hungry ghosts can have a feast on my flesh & blood and still have some leftovers for the next day. Good case since it would allow others to escape safely while they are feeding on me. I did not care to disagree; they had a point after all. Time dragged on, stories became mumblings, and one by one we started falling asleep.
The first one to go missing that night was Terry. Not used to sleeping on the floor, he had decided to stretch his legs a bit before trying to sleep again. The moment he left our circle, it felt as if a huge shadow had descended on us. All the lamps and flashlights went out. This sudden development threw us into frenzy, we panicked. Before we could react, an inhuman scream echoed across the house. And the lamps came on as suddenly as they had vanished. I could feel the cold sweat pouring down my back, the dryness in my throat. With shaking hands, partly with fear and partly with excitement, I drank my drink. But even after this, I was unable to find my voice to call out to others. The lights went out again and this time chaos erupted. There were cries from all around me. I was unable to react, unable to cry. In the middle there were hands grabbing my feet, my arms only to be violently ripped away. The screams continued and with it there was something new, a bitter-sweet coppery smell permeated the air. I knew what it was, the smell of blood. I did not want to be a part of this, it was all a bad dream. I need to get out and fast, all I could do was to drink and drink again and hope I would pass out before I felt any pain. Dizziness came over me but I drank and drank till nothing was left. The hands have begun to brush against my body again. Unable to move, I collapsed on the floor, waiting for the fate to deliver what she had planned for me
It had been a long time since he had taken his original form. The shadow of the smile on his face suggested that he was genuinely pleased. He walked without a sound, more floating than actually walking. There was a strange grace to his movements. The sun was just rising and Old man Wilbur has just opened his coffee shop when the man came in. He went to the seat nearest to the counter and sat down. Wilbur wanted to tell him the shop was not yet open but somehow he did not feel like denying this young man. He had such amazing eyes, childish yet weight of ages danced around in them. Shuffling to the table, he passed the menu to the young one.
The night was very long but finally the sun was up. I left my fat frame behind and walked back to the town. Wilbur was just opening his cafe and I went in. For a moment I thought he would throw me out but he didn’t. I needed to be as far away from the door as possible so I went to the seat nearest to the counter. Wilbur gave me the menu but I wasn’t hungry. Coffee was the only thing I needed, busy nights always left me with a little bit of a headache. Wilbur shuffled away to get my coffee. Staring at the town’s populace moving through the glass doors I knew it was time. The kids were pretty popular in this place and their absence would be noted. A detailed investigation would be inconvenient at this point in time. Another change of location was required. It needs to be far away from my usual hunting grounds. I looked at the crumpled brochure in my jacket pocket. A little sunny but sun do not bother me anymore. The place was far, sunny and quiet, just like home. I need to get there before the thirst rose again. In the morning rays the dirty golden letters on the brochure glinted -“Goa Institute of Management”. Yes, this would be a good place for me. The hunt has begun.