— Reading Time – 10 Min Approx
Four friends enjoying dinner at home.
SFX: In background, sound of thunder and rain outside. Clutter of plates and glasses clinking.
Rai: I don’t think rain will stop in next two hours at least.
Shail: At least weather has turned for good. It reminds me for another round of tea.
Kumar: Yeah yeah!!
John: It’s so eerie, (more thundering).. Just like that day!
Shail: which day?
John: Hmm…forget it.
Kumar: Tell us, we have all the time and perfect mood.
Sound: (of teacups and plates)
Kumar: Lo tea has also arrived.
John: I know no one will believe me. You all will laugh afterwards.
Kumar: Enough of suspense now spill the story. (Sound of sipping the tea)
John: Have you ever seen a ghost?
Shail: Yes, in movies. (Laughing) Oh, we are grownups for god’s sake.
Others: yes, yes.
John: Yes, I also believed that…until…(pause)…that night, about a month back.
SFX: (thundering, raindrops, eerie wind)
John: I was coming back from a late-night movie when it started to rain suddenly.
(John going back into the memory lane, music indicating that)
(Theme music to indicate change of scene)
SFX: (thundering, motorbike stopping)
John: Shit! This is my worst day, now what has happened to this bike. (Sound of jammed accelerator). It had to fail in this jungle only. Now I will have to wait here till this wicked rain stops.
(Eerie wind blowing and rustle of tree leaves)
John: Wow, it looks so ghostly like those TV soaps…and no house or shop in sight.
(Thumping sound) Oh God! No signal in mobile also. My bad day.
Sound: female voice sobbing
John: (with mixture of fear and surprise) Who’s that, who is there, who is hiding behind that bush (sound of footsteps)? I think some child lost his way, I better go and look.
SFX: theme suspense
John: (talking to himself) Oh it’s a woman, why is she crying and sitting here alone.
(to the woman) hey, hey, who are you, are you okay? can I help?
Woman: (in a whisper) No one can help me, it’s too late. I am waiting here from so many years for someone to help me (sobbing again)
John: (talking to himself) I think she is hurt in head that is why talking all this nonsense.
(to the woman, in a consoling voice) Hey what happened, stop crying…. please tell me and I will help you. Where is your home, let me take you there when this rain stops?
Woman: (in sobbing, whispering voice) I have no home, no one. Will you help me, promise me, promise me?
John: First tell me what happened with you, why are you crying?
Woman: No…no.. first you promise me that you will help me, you won’t leave me here.
John: (with little irritation in voice).. Okay I promise!
Woman: Don’t forget that you promised…(pause)…. Have you seen milestone 32 on this road?
John: Near that petrol-pump?
Woman: Hmm, I was returning from a friend’s place when my car’s tyre punctured. I parked the car on the roadside and picked up the mobile to call someone. There was no signal, so I came out of the car.
John: Then? Then what?
Woman: Suddenly something had hit me…hard…as if my body had fallen from a fifteen storey building, bones crushing into powder…I saw blood, my blood on my hands, clothes and then everything started vanishing, a numbness spreading over me…as if a cold blanket was wrapped around me.
John: What!!!…But, you are perfectly fine, no scratch nothing….are you….are you…??
Woman: Listen to me first……
I have a faint memory of opening up of the car door and somebody dragging me to the back seat of the car. Maybe somebody was talking to me or I had heard my own voice moaning in pain. Then blackout…..
Do you see that spot there, behind those trees….
Woman: I found myself lying there when I gained consciousness. Blood dried on my face, clothes, my body cut in so many places. I tried to move, to scream for help…..but no sound came out, I could not move. That accident had paralyzed me and whoever did this panicked and threw me here…. (short mock laugh). Hit and Run.
I don’t remember for how long I kept lying there, fruitlessly waiting for someone to come…
John: I don’t believe you; I think you are in some kind of shock…there had been no accident at 32 milestones. I just drove past that.
Woman: Eight years back…..That accident was eight years back, but newspapers reported me missing not killed…..(pause). Because nobody knew (a sneered cackle)..except that killer…that I am bleeding to death in this jungle and my body was never discovered…except by hyenas and dogs.
John: (a loud gasp) So you mean…? (with a stammer) I don’t believe it!
Woman: (sneering laugh) and since then my spirit is wandering; I am waiting for someone to take me from this lonely place. (a spooky laughter)
And you promised, remember, you promised.
John: (with fear in voice) It cannot be true, you are lying, you are joking.
Woman: I know it is hard to believe. Okay. See…I will walk through this tree and nothing will happen to me.
John: My god…god I must be dreaming.
Woman: Take me from here, I am so lonely here, I will take good care of you (laugh).
John: Please let me go, I haven’t done any harm to you.
Sound: Of starting the bike.
Woman: (whimpering) Oh don’t run away, I am not scaring you, please come back, talk to me…you had promised you will take me along.
(John back from memory lane)
SFX: theme indicating end of scene
Sound: friends laughing and jeering.
Shail: Wow John, we never knew you were such a great storyteller.
Ray: (laughing) And for few seconds I actually believed him.
Kumar: (laughing) Good shot, but so bad that you left your ladylove alone in that forest.
John: (serious tone) I know, no one will ever believe me. But it is hundred percent true.
Sound: an eerie laugh from back.
Shail: Who……………who’s that (with stammer)
John: oh ..that….that must be the…, that must be the (pause) ..housekeeper.
Shail: Way she laughs, oh man… it pierced my bone.
Rai: Housekeeper? But you never liked having a housekeeper when did you get this one?
John: About a month back. I never wanted one, but she was good, does all the work, she needed work and, (small pause) And I had promised.
Sound: of thundering, whistling wind.