The Haunted Street

Mr. Orwell sat on the back of the carriage, with his friend Rick. They were late, as their meet at the club had lasted too long.  

Rick lived far off, in the city, so Orwell had offered him to stay at his place, to which he had readily agreed.

Both of them worked under the British East India Company, and were posted in the interior of India.

Since they were already late, Orwell had instructed the carriage driver to take the shortest possible route back home, via Mulberry Street. The driver had been reluctant, but Orwell had insisted.

Suddenly, the horse pulled to a halt. Orwell looked around. There was no blockage on the road ahead and to his right stood a small Hindu temple. To his left was the forest.

“Why did you stop?” Rick asked, irritated.

“Saabh, Chetak will go no further.” He replied, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“What is this nonsense? This stallion eats more than my household combined, and still he acts so lethargic! Whip him if he won’t continue!” Rick commented.

“No Saabh, Chetak is not lazy. Don’t you know that there are ghosts on the road ahead? The hanuman temple on your right protects people up to this point, but if you venture beyond, then no one can save you! I suggest you sleep in the temple tonight.”

They both started laughing. “If you believe in these stupid tales, why did you come this way?”

“Because you told me to. I never meant to bring you here otherwise. I could turn the carriage around, but it is midnight. The road is dangerous, and animals are hunting. You must stay here.”

Rick sighed. “How much farther is the house?”

“About half a mile, but please don’t continue this way! Anyone who dares to mess with spirits never returns…” He warned, but the men didn’t mind. They laughed and started walking ahead.

“Hmm… I wonder what will come of them. These white men never do believe us. I hope God saves them,” Saying that, he tied the horse to a pole of the temple, and walked in.

                                                                         ***

Orwell and Rick had walked almost half the distance, and were still giggling at the Driver’s random talks. “Oh look Orwell! Do you see that woman staring at us?!” Rick said, with a serious face.

Orwell turned to look, and they again burst into peals of laughter.

“Enough ghost jokes today. I am too tired to talk, let’s get home quick and go to sleep.”

But as they walked, they got a strange feeling.

“Is it possible the driver is making a fool of us? There have been reports of late night burglaries lately. We must be on our watch.” Orwell said.

They could hear owls hooting from the trees above them. Even though they both found the very idea of ghosts funny, they felt goose bumps forming on their neck.

Then all of a sudden, they heard the sound of a horse galloping, and the wheels of a carriage screeching behind them. Feeling hopeful of finding a ride, they both turned, and found a deserted road behind them.

***

The postman walked up to the door of the mansion and knocked. “Is Mr. Orwell here? I have a letter from Mr. Johnson for you!”

No one answered his call. He knocked harder this time, and the door opened.

“Hmm…Strange.” The postman said, and walked in. He left the letter on the table and was about to walk out, when he noticed a note lying there. It said:

To whomsoever it may concern,

Mr. Orwell has had a permanent change of address. He can now be found at:

Mulberry street (only between 11 pm and 3 am)

.

.

.

Hope you liked it! Will bring you more soon.

-Ishaan

Published by Ishaan Sharma

Hello There! My name is Ishaan, and I am a poet with a wandering imagination. I travel my wide thoughts and pen them down. I look forward to hearing from you!

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