My scary friend

My child was in no sleep mode. After all, his exam were over and he was in mood for some fun. I told him to call it a night but you know how kids are. That night he asked me to tell him a short story.

I told him a couple of them but it failed to catch his interest. I then thought to tell him a horror story “My scary friend”. It was December 2019. Bone-chilling winters had grappled Delhi and people were trying to adjust to the cold weather conditions which the city had not witnessed in the last 100 years.

Photo by Nicolu00e1s Jaramillo on Pexels.com

I worked as a part of the maintenance unit in one of the high-rise edifice of Noida. It was a foggy morning. I went up to the 13th floor. My friend’s house was on that floor but he wasn’t in town. I returned to work after a 10-day break. As I reached the 13th floor to check the electrical wiring, I found the door of Rahul’s apartment half open. At first I thought there might be a burglar inside but, as I opened the door, I spotted Rahul confabulating with someone. He spotted me and came outside. He hugged me and we chatted for good 15-20 minutes.

Then I saw an identical Rahul. I was confused but he introduced me to his identical twin. He never told me about this. The two were sitting on the staircase and talking while I was doing my work. After my job was done I started walking downstairs. Right after taking the first step I heard the noise of a basketball. I turned back and there was no ball. Rahul also wasn’t there. I told my junior to fix the wiring and hand over the electricity bill to Rahul. He was shocked! “What happened?” I asked.

My junior- Don’t you know?
Me- Know what?

“Rahul committed suicide while you were away for a while”, my junior said. I initially thought he was joking but all told me the same thing and I just couldn’t believe it. I immediately took the lift to 13th floor. I reached there and found the door closed. I tried to open but couldn’t. I did everything to open the door but failed despite several attempts.

I turned towards the lift and heard the noise of basketball. I turned back and there was nothing. It all of a sudden became foggy at the 13th floor. I could see nothing, nothing at all except for the lift sign in red that was indicating the position of the lift. I stood there with my eyes closed and now I heard Rahul laughing. I again turned back and just saw Rahul’s eyes. He said: ” Won’t you come with me Sunny?”, and he disappeared. Somehow I entered the lift and as the gate was about to close a basketball hit me on the stomach.

Was my dead friend back? At least, it felt so
Photo by Martin Pu00e9chy on Pexels.com

I was hell scared. The next morning I went to 13th floor again. Today, I again saw the door half open and a shadow which kept getting smaller and smaller and vanished in few seconds. Now the sound of basketball was coming from inside the house and the door shut. I understood something was wrong here.

This was the end of the story, my son. Dhruv was a bit frightened. I told him its a real story but he was scared and turned his back towards me. I asked him to relax and went to the washroom. When I came back, I heard a laughing voice. The voice was of my friend Rahul. The voice was coming from my son. I held his hand and something hit me from behind. It was the basketball.

My son hugged me and I asked him why was he petrified. Without answering my question, he asked me to show him the photo of my friend. When I did that he told me I looked exactly like him when I finished narrating the story.

The Black Book

James is working on his book which will be completed in the next three days. He stays alone in a one bedroom apartment and after working daily for around eight hours, he gives time to himself and his thoughts. Now, James is done writing his book and he contacts publishers. After slogging for days, it is approved and the printing work begins. Thoughts of James are a bit old school. He did not release his venture on digital. Instead, he believes people still love to buy the hard cover. He waited for days but, not even one book was sold.

After three months, someone finally purchased the “Black book”. James was highly elated upon hearing this. Alone in life, he now believes his destiny is about to change. The next morning he gets up, picks up the newspaper and turns on radio news. He gets a shock of his life. The news on the radio was-

25-year-old Jessica died in her apartment. It is yet to be confirmed if it was a murder or suicide. On her chest was the Black book, say cops. They believe she must have been reading it before her death. What shocked James was that Jessica was the only one who purchased his book and she is no more. Innocent James was devastated with this news and felt connected to her in some way.  He had no friend to share his feelings with, no family but after three days, he moved on. 

It was a rainy morning. James decided to make himself a cup of coffee.

Raining outside

Again switches on the radio. James was enjoying his coffee and the rain.  He suddenly gets a phone call from a shopkeeper.

Hello, is it Mr James?

James: Yes, it’s me.

Shopkeeper: Sir, I am calling from Brooklyn Book Store.

James: Okay. Yes, tell me.

Shopkeeper: Sir, I called to say that in last two days we sold around 10 copies of your book.

James: Oh, thank you. Thanks a lot. I am glad to hear that. Request you to keep me notified.

James was on cloud 9. He thought success would knock his doors slowly and steadily. He decided to treat himself with pizza. While enjoying the homemade pizza, he was listening classical songs on radio. All of a sudden there is a breaking news.

Radio News

News on Radio: Good Afternoon! What looked like a good afternoon turned gloomy as ten people died in New York city just a while ago. The motive is not known yet but 10 in afternoon seems like crime is on the rise in this beautiful city. But, cops are drawing a conclusion. All the ten died under mysterious circumstances had one thing in common-“The Black Book” in their hand. Jessica, a 25-year-old girl, died few days ago and she also had Black Book in her hand. What is the story behind this book? Will the cops hunt for the author? News up next.  President Barrack…

James turns off the radio. He is taken aback. He has no clue about the next step, his future. He is staring at the door that cops can enter anytime. He is sitting in the same position on the floor, did not move even once. It is 8 pm and he is still staring at the door.  The clock now hits 9 pm and now, there is someone knocking on the door. He thinks cops are outside and he hides behind the couch. There are two cops standing outside.

NYPD

They are calling out- Mr James, Mr James please open the door. After getting no response, cops try to break the door. They hunt for the author but he is nowhere to be found. Cops search the entire house but there is no one. There was no phone in the house, just a radio. One of the cop turns on the radio while trying to unravel the mystery and spots a Black Book. He holds it and there is again breaking news on the radio.

Radio News: Remember the author of the black book, Mr James? About ten people died in a span of one week and all had the black book. Well, there is another twist to this. As per our sources, Mr James died when he was a 8 year-old-kid.

Cops are flabbergasted. One of them opened the book and the first page read: “I died when I was 8”

James Hartnett