Well, from the blog of one of my author friends in Haiku Horizon I discovered this fun spot, “I write like” the site allows you to add some of your writing and then tells what they think of it, of course I thoroughly enjoyed one hour there, and though I double checked (suspicious kind) they gave the same results for my writing. I will be sharing them with you, if you don’t mind my gloating!
The maximum votes went for Stephen King and Leo Tolstoy, 4+4 out of 22 went for these two writers. I felt like flying by the way I was done.
this piece, well, they think that it is like Margaret Mitchell, its a story from my book Black Mist and other Stories
Mitesh was standing at the window. A gloomy winter morning was about to dawn, tearing the veil of dark fog, so likely for this time of year.
He turned to face the speaker. “Yes Mohan?”
“Ramprasad uncle is waiting in the drawing room.” He checked the watch it was five thirty in the morning. Most probably the village temple is in fire he thought to himself before heading for the stairs. Ramprasad Sharma, locally known as Ramuchacha was the village head of his ancestral village where he loved to spend long months writing his novels. His mingling with modern world was absolutely economical activity, sale and publicity of his novels and other petty affairs made him drive to Delhi or fly to other places.
Mother Goddess Laxmi the bestower of wealth and prosperity has blessed him through Mother Goddess Saraswati the giver of knowledge and arts.
Ramprasad was sitting in the drawing room with a gloomy expression on his heavily bearded face; he was in such a dark mood that the unruly forest of his beard and moustache was not able to hide it.
He folded his hands, “Namaste Ramuchacha.”
“God bless you son.” The old man mumbled. He noticed that the tray with tea and snacks was left untouched by him, the cute old man loved “City snacks” so that added another point to his miserable state of mind.
“Something wrong?” he sat down. “Please have the tea, or will I order for another one?” he pressed the bell as he said the words. A man appeared in the door instantly, “Rajkumar bring another cup of tea and some snacks, and remove these.”
“No ….no… son!” the old man vehemently protested, “Remove this but don’t bring anything else .Please.”
Now Mitesh was worried. “Is everything alright at home uncle, auntie, Suresh, Jivesh?”
The old man nodded in agreement.
“Is something wrong in the village?”
The man fidgeted uneasily in his seat; then cleared his throat. “The problem with you city bred kids is you don’t believe in traditions or old beliefs.”
“Why uncle?” he feebly protested, knowing he was speaking the truth and remembered he promised but did not showed up for some village puja last noon.
But that was not the case…. The old man fidgeted a bit in his chair and coughed a little, before starting to speak again “Do you remember the story of black witch Krishnamayee?”
“The witch that brings black mist and death with her?” he asked.
“Yes. She is back after centuries!” the old man was visibly agitated now, like a child after admitting that he has seen a ghost. He shifted uneasily and defiantly in his chair.
“Oh!” he took a long breath of relief and stopped it halfway when he saw the furious expression on the old man’s face. He quickly added to appease the old man, “How did you know?”
“The shepherds told me, the ones that graze their cattle near the marsh temple.” The man said.
He grew up hearing the story of black witch, there was a temple in a marsh, a little distance away from the village, it took four or five hours by foot to reach there. That temple was built by the king of this village that is, the king who ruled over this village too… he owned quite a substantial amount of property nearby areas back then, the prosperous lands turned to graveyard by the witch as per the folklores, Mitesh was related to him.
It was certainly not surrounded by marsh then, five hundred or so years ago. It was built inside a village, a prosperous village, surrounded by a garden and right beside a lake.
It was king’s dedication to mother goddess kali, thanking her for a son.
A few years after the temple was built a witch occupied it. She practiced black magic. Small children of the village started to disappear, but such was her power that no one could enter the temple. Every time someone dared to step on its thresh-hold something bad happened to his family.
The villagers were so convinced about her dark powers that dozens of stories started to circulate in and around the village. Some vowed they have seen her flying, her black cascade of hair and sari flying around her like darkness, others said they have seen demons serving her.
But that fear was not enough scary for grieving parents; when the next child disappeared they surrounded the temple and set fire to it. They could hear monstrous roars coming from inside.
The strange thing was no one or nothing tried to escape.
Then things took a scary turn.
The black fume turned into a black mist, it started to condense like darkness itself. The terrified villagers heard roaring and hissing inside that mist as it lurched towards them in slow but menacing way; they ran, with their families, leaving everything behind.
Things, people left behind were never seen again. When some dare devil villagers dared to return next morning with a hope of saving the things left behind they noted that a black liquid has oozed out of ground and there was no sign, none at all of their huts, houses , men, animals or anything else- only miles of marsh surrounded the absolutely intact temple.
They could hear the sound of bells and chanting of krishnamayee coming out of the temple.
They ran as fast they could to never return.
This village came up centuries later, when the fear of the myth ebbed away. But the mist returned, once in a while, cowering under its darkness they could hear the clanging of the bells of the temple, as if it too was alive and moving inside the mist. They could hear the loud chanting of Krishanmayee, the witch. The hissing and growling of her companions, it never returned empty handed. It devoured one village after the other that fell in the path to this village. Last time it surfaced hundred years ago, and devoured the last village that lay between the temple and Maheshpura.
“Villagers are deserting the village.” The old man mumbled. “I will leave by noon. I will suggest you the same. Don’t try to stay back.”
“How far is the mist from here?” he was curious. He was thinking about calling up his friend in Delhi to come down with his shooting equipment to capture the village frenzy.
“It has just started to rise from the marsh that means, it will be here by tomorrow noon. It travels in darkness, in night.” The man muttered. Then he looked at his face, “Don’t go there son. Don’t play with things beyond your control.”
“I won’t uncle.” He tried to soothe the man but he was too experienced to be fooled.
“Don’t do it son. I will have to take my leave; we are leaving by the eleven a.m. bus.” The old man took his leave.
Mitesh pressed the button for a cup of tea. No one showed up. He went out; all his household helps have vanished in thin air.
They must have overheard the old man, or one must have heard him and ignited the rumor haystack. The entire house was deserted but him.
He picked up his camera and left for the marsh. He stopped his car a few meters away from the marsh and stared at the black mist.
A shudder ran down his spine.
It really looked like darkness itself. It was rolling, churning and pulsating like a living piece of darkness.
He was more curious than afraid. His Delhi schooling and UK college days prevented him from believing the witch myth, he thought someone must have heard the stories and have created this thing to scare the superstitious villagers off the village to rob. The villagers were quite prosperous, they will be able to plunder more than a lakh worth furniture from his home only.
A sharp shriek pierced the morning sky. He shouted, “Anyone there?”
A monstrous roar of laughter replied him.
Neither the shriek nor the laughter sounded emitting from human throat. A tinge of uneasiness started to seep in.
He quickly captured a few shots and returned to the village. The village was on move; it looked like a gypsy caravan, everyone was packing or was already on their way to their destinations.
He called up his friend in Delhi, a freelance journalist.
“I will be there by evening with my team and equipments.” Rajan said.
“Bring food too, all my servants are gone.” He reminded.
He emailed him the shots he has taken and left for the kitchen, the servants were gracious enough to leave him his lunch, which will serve as his dinner too if refrigerated properly. He quickly did the necessary and returned to his room with a teapot filled with tea.
He sat on the balcony that gave him a full view to the direction of the temple. From his end it was blocked by some hills after a long stretch of trees, groves and bushes scattered on a wavy piece of land.
It was eleven in the morning. He was sitting there reading news on internet when someone coughed, he turned, it was Ramprasad, dressed up to boots, “You are not leaving?” his face was dark.
“I will leave tomorrow morning. I promise!” he answered.
“You never keep your promises son.” The old man was morose now. He liked Mitesh a lot, and he seemed confident that Mitesh was inviting a ghastly death by staying back. “Come with us! You can come back after a week to see if I was true or not!”
“I will pack up the things I can’t leave behind and leave tomorrow uncle.” He repeated gently.
The old man left when he realized that Mitesh is hell-bent to stay.
“God save you my son.” His eyes were moist. Mitesh felt a little sad but he knew they will be sitting together again, very soon. Listening to his folklores over cups of teas and plates of snacks!
A car pulled in a few minutes later in his courtyard. “Hey!” it was Rajan. “Get down here, lazy guy, lend us a hand!”
They quickly emptied the car and brought the equipments and food upstairs.
“Can we go out for a look at the ominous black mist?” Rajan asked.
“Who will stop us?” he laughed.
They left for the marsh with the equipments. The second team left for the village to talk with the villagers that were yet to leave.
The car stopped at a reasonable distance from the pulsating mist made of darkness. The sound coming from inside were louder and clearer now.
They started to walk towards it- it was almost noon now; the sun was planning to tilt to the western sky after completing his jobs in eastern half.
“It’s buzzing with electrical energy!” Rajan stared at his equipment. “I think if someone touches it he will get electrocuted.” On impulse he stooped and picked up a small stone and threw it at the mist.
It was sucked by the mist after a loud crackle. They could see the ripple it formed; as if a black spark of electric current was formed in the place it hit the cloud.
Then it came back in a terrible speed and hit rajan straight on his arm.
He shouted in pain and sat down right there.
Mitesh rushed to him, it was a deep wound.
They heard a roaring laughter coming from the mist; they both shivered and stared at the darkness.
“If I am not wrong it will need stitches!” Mitesh muttered. He tightly bandaged it with his muffler and they both rushed back to the house to get it stitched by their team doctor.
They left four of Rajan’s men there to shoot the mist.
“Don’t venture too close and be careful.” Rajan instructed them. “We will be back ASAP.”
Mitesh was right. It required four stitches to sew the gash up. They were about to get up when they heard a loud commotion in the courtyard below.
Two of the men from the team they have left behind were standing in the middle of it, terrified and shaking like leaves.
They rushed below. The men were terrified beyond words. After a few gulps of whisky they regained their senses.
The sense they could make out of their babbles was they prepared for the shooting- the cameraman Chandan was standing on the camera, Vijay the sound recorder and the narrator Mohan were nearer to the mist. The director Prabhat was instructing them. Mohan stood too close to the mist and started to talk, they wanted the best shot of the mist, all of a sudden a hairy hand shot out of the mist and sucked him in.
“He was screaming and screaming….” Prabhat shuddered as he recounted, his face twisted with horror.
Vijay ran after him without thinking. They both vanished. Chandan and Prabhat started to scream their names when one by one their heads were thrown at them still dripping with fresh blood. They ran as hard they could; leaving all their equipments behind, the loud laughter of a woman followed them for long.
“We will have to recover the equipments ASAP before the mist gobbles them up.” Rajan commented. “They are worth millions of rupees.”
He was still grimacing from pain.
“Are you sure?” Mitesh asked. “I will go and pick them up!”
“No. I won’t let you go there alone!” he firmly said.
They left for the mist on feet because it was not possible for Rajan to go there on car in the bumpy road.
They left and to their horror noted that the mist was moving in daylight now, in scary contradiction to the words of the old man. It was barely a few miles away from his home now, the speed in which it was moving it will be there before dusk.
“Let’s get out of here.” Rajan has turned back the moment he has seen the mist blackening the horizon. Mitesh has followed him without a single word. The equipments were gone. It has crossed at-least two miles after devouring the men in two hours.
They quickly climbed the cars and picked up the men from the village. The villagers were long gone.
“Can’t we have a single glimpse of the mist? Or take a few shots from distance?” the village team grumbled a little but fell silent after noting the deathly grave expression on Rajan’s face.
The car started to move forth.
The village team huddled together in the backseat talking in a hushed tone. Both Rajan and Mitesh could guess their disappointment but chose to pretend that they were not aware of it.
The team that went to shoot the mist were dozing in the second car after drinking one too many pegs.
They had to drive on a village road for half an hour to reach the highway.
They approached the small woodland that will take them to that village road.
The cars were running as fast as it was possible on that bumpy road.
Both froze when they reached the end of the woods, missing each other by the split of a hair.
Their road was blocked by the wall of darkness they were so familiar with…..
In a split of second both cars turned and drove through the woods, they knew that they will have to drive through a patch of rough land for a few hundred meters and they will be on the highway.
Then they saw her.
She was standing right in the middle of the woods, on their path, a pretty girl in her mid twenties, extremely seductive wearing a lehenga choli.
She waved them to stop.
They saw her too late, before they could apply the brakes the cars shot through her like bullets, both cars one after the other, the passengers turned back and saw her standing right where she was looking at the car.
A putrid smell filled up the cars. It was so nauseating and pungent that they had to open the windows to breathe.
They turned back again, the woman has vanished without traces.
The cars reached the highway, the spot where they scrambled on the highway was just a few meters away from the mist….
They drove at a break neck speed to reach the nearest town.
They kept checking in the back view mirror but the nightmare was left behind it seemed.
It was a small town. They stopped at the first garage to have the cars checked.
Then only they could ease their minds but only for a split of second. Rajan was the first one who noticed it, “What’s that mark on your forehead?”
He stooped towards the back view mirror. It was a black skull imprinted on his forehead.
It was not only him; every one of them was branded in the same fashion!
The owner of the garage stared at them in a bizarre way. As if they were something way too astray from normal.
“Hope that thing won’t catch up on us!” Mitesh shuddered.