That Damned Shortcut: Part 2

This post is the second chapter in the story of how a shortcut affected the peace of mind of five college kids. In case you haven't read the first part, Click Here. Cheers...


While Siddharth got busy making sure she was not hurt, Ira, Amit and Parul looked around to see what had caused her to faint.

Amit was the first one to notice what was a bobbing lantern coming at them through the banana trees. Scared to death, he merely pointed his finger towards it.

From among the banana trees, out came the bobbing lantern. It was held by the most ancient arm that anyone from that group had seen in all their lives. The five of them sat petrified in the car, while the figure moved slowly towards them. Although they couldn’t see the face, they could feel the unseen eyes of the black figure on them. A few feet away, the figure stopped, and they got a glimpse. It looked like a man, wrapped in a black blanket, a hood hiding his head from view. The lantern, swinging from his hand, cast deep shadows on whatever bit of face they could see of him. His face was wrinkled to the extent that it seemed pieces of it would be falling off. All this however was left unnoticed, once they spotted the moon shaped scar on his left cheek, and the two sunken circles where they knew the watchful eyes rested.

“Do all of you see a man there, who’s easily 200 years old?” whispered Amit into the silence. Ira shushed him without looking at him. Parul, who was trying to revive Minisha, left her on the floor of the car and sat petrified at the appearance of this man.

“We have to get out of here. Amit, start the damn car!” said Siddharth in the palpable silence.

“Sid, the car’s not starting. You think I’d be here if I could help it?” said Amit in the bravest voice he could summon.

“Be quiet you two, no need to attract attention,” whispered Ira.

“Ira, look around!  There’s no one else here, I think we’ve got all the attention possible,” said Amit.

“What if he wants to harm us?” asked Ira, a strangled whisper being all that she could come up with.

“Ghosts don’t want to hurt anyone, unless they’ve done the ghosts some harm. I read it somewhere,” Sid spoke from the backseat.

“Shut Up!” said Ira and Amit together, turning back at Siddharth, half angry, half scared witless.

They never thought that there would come a day when they would start believing in ghosts.

The man moved forward. Slowly, he came towards the car, the lantern still bobbing eerily in his hand. They waited with bated breath, wondering what would happen. He stopped right in front of Amit’s window, his cold breath fogging the window, even though the weather outside hadn’t been that cold. The man stood there for a full minute, then a long bony finger emerged from beneath the depths of the black blanket. He rapped the window thrice, and pointed back along the road. Again, he rapped the window, and again he pointed back the way they had come.

 The moon decided to show up for the night, and threw light upon the true terror that had spread in that little car. Amit turned the ignition, and this time there was a feeble lurch in the car, and a faint gurgling sound came from the engine. One more time the blanketed man rapped the window, and pointed.

“Come on, don’t give up on me now. I don’t wanna die here, not tonight, not in a stupid Banana Plantation!” Amit almost screamed at the car.

And voila! The engine suddenly throbbed to life. Sweet relief shone on Amit’s face, as he put the car in reverse to get out of there. The figure, seeing that they were fleeing the scene, followed them with outstretched arms.

“Get the hell outta here Amit! Pedal to the metal!” screamed Siddharth from the back seat.  The tyres screamed, but Amit relentlessly pushed the car to its limit, till the road from where they had started was visible again. They turned on to the busy street, stopped the car under one of the many burning streetlamps, the wonderful light washing over their white, scared faces.

“What. Was. That?” Asked Ira in the stunned silence.

“What the heck was that dark thing moving towards us in the darkness? Was I dreaming?” asked Minisha, having finally come back to her senses. Parul still couldn’t talk, while Amit had beads of sweat sticking to his head.

“Never again, am I going to take that sort of a shortcut. I’ve had enough of Ghosts for this lifetime!” vowed Amit, and they headed down the well lit road back home.


The man on the road finally removed the blanket that he had put on to scare the kids. He had a smile on his face, as he remembered how as kids, his gang of friends used to scare innocent travelers back at home.

“Felt good to do that after such a long time. I’ve still got it,” said the old man to himself, and walked back home, laughing as he thought about the scared faces of the poor kids.


This is a story that has been co-authored by Isha Chawla, and the first part of the story can be found on her blog... although I'm assuming that you came out here from her blog itself!

44 comments :: That Damned Shortcut: Part 2

  1. Uh huh... My Dashboard had your update ahead of Isha's. Anyway... Did enjoy reading this, no doubt.

    Good job, you two... Keep writing; spread the voice.


  2. hmm..a thrill that lasted for sometime 4 dose ppl...xpected some more of suspense etc..but i liked it ended on a good note :D

  3. Hi Arnab,

    You guys must be crazy man..
    just that i was away for long weekend and you guys posted so manythings that i was like "OMG" for a second..yaar kuch to time do hum logo ko padne ke liye :p

    Well as for this toy is concerned...
    Are u and isha friends? i mean i noticed that u both posted the story with an interval of just 13-14 minutes...
    I am quite jealous man.. :(

    Story was good...Not new but portrayed very fact eh ending was surprise to me..

    Likhte raho..:)

  4. I so love horror thrillers dude... and this one is amazing :)

    Beautifully done mate...

    have a nice evening... take care... cheers...

  5. Dude...
    can u let me know how to make links??
    i mean u guys generally link pages right with names or "click here " text..
    Can u just let me know how do u do it..?

    i would be thankful to you... :)


  6. suspense with the right dash of humour...nice work ppl!

  7. this is a nice read!

  8. old people do rely on some cheap thrills in life..:)


  9. @ Kartz... Glad to know you enjoyed the effort. We'll try writing more stuff together, was quite a fun experience. The only challenge we faced was, how to make the thing shorter??

    I really hope it wasn't too long :)

  10. @ Anwesa... Some thrill it was too! I hope the suspense somewhat lived up to it's expectations...

    It's your first time here I think. Welcome to Technicolor Collage. Cheers :)

  11. @ Mahesh... What can I say man, we just enjoy writing that much!! hehe...

    Me and Isha are friends, and classmates, and so we decided to co-write this story... that too, while our Productions Management class was going on! That was fun...

    Good to know you liked the ending man. Keep writing...

  12. @ Arv... Nice to know you liked it man. I hope the thriller bit lived up to it's expectations...

    Cheers man...

  13. @ Mahesh... There's a button in the New Post/Edit Posts section where you can enter the link. Click on that, put the link in the little dialog box that pops up, and you're done!

    Hope that works out... cheers.

  14. @ Ishi... Thanks a lot :)

  15. @ Phoenix... :D Good to hear that you liked it...


  16. @ Niti... sometimes, they really do! Hehe...

    Thanks a lot... cheers...

  17. never thought the end would be like this :) interesting read :)

  18. Ooh la la!! 17 comments already. :P

    People are liking it!!! YIPPEE!!! :) :) :)

    And oh yeah! That Operations class indeed was fun. :)


  19. @ Sawan... I hope by that, you mean that you liked the story...? :D

    Cheers, good to know it entertained.. hehehe

  20. @ bondgal... I told you people liked it! Good use we put to that Operations period honestly. Soumitra Sir would be sooo proud of us... hehehehehe

    *Clink* ;)

  21. yes yes yes, arnab, i luvd it :)

  22. OMG !! It's happening again !!

    "Soumitro sir would be sooooo proud of us." That was exactly what I was planning to write, but clicked on the publish comment button all too soon!!!

  23. @ Sawan... wonderful to hear that man! Keep liking the stuff posted here, I'll try my best to keep it entertaining :P


  24. @ bondgal... Whoa! That still is freaky!!

  25. Gripping tale. You are getting better and better :).

  26. @ BrownPhantom... Thanks a lot, really glad you liked the tale. It was a joint effort, so I think one of those "better"s belongs to Isha :)


  27. Absolutely Unexpected ending to the story... and that's what I love abt ur stories... :)

    You simply rock!!

    The characters were so real and I almost imagined me and my friends there until the fun part came up...

  28. @ Harshita... How do u know that the characters for this story weren't real eh?? ;)

    Thanks a lot, glad you enjoyed this joint effort :) Cheers...

  29. the best part of ur stories is I started imagning....

    u have done suberb job...
    Infarngible sentences n narration was fantastic....

    keep it up..
    i find more reall then fiction...
    gr8 work....

  30. @ Pallav... well, if you start imagining the story, then I gotta say mission accomplished :D Thanks for that comment man. Maybe you found it more real than fiction, as it was based on a true incident :P


  31. Liked it. Keep writing more horror laced with some humour. It's difficult, but try.
    Long or short, it must be interesting. Dont bother.
    Some poems in between will make reading ur blog more entertaining.

  32. heyheyheye......i knew it..
    it is based on Real incident..
    waisey u r putting up inGrtr noida n i had completed my MBA frm GSBA,grtrnoida...last i knw all the ways....
    u live ur life wen u r in college.. those were mine golden days n hope urs tooo....

    hey i find u hv stopped visiting my blogs...i hv done somethng wrong...??
    i hope no..anyways ur comments always encourged me to write further n wud like ti see uu.....
    hv fun.. n cheers:-)

  33. @ Jayaram... Thanks a lot. This was a joint effort, so we'll try to write something along these lines again. Certainly was fun this one time, so maybe more would follow. Horror mingled with humour, would love to give it a shot... sounds interesting :) I used to write poems a long time back, would try it sometime again for sure, it's been a while since I've done that though, so it might take a little bit of time.

    Keep reading, and welcome to Technicolor Collage.


  34. @ Pallav... I haven't been able to keep track of the blogs recently, only been able to visit a few of them, and that too very sporadically. Had yet another exam today, because of that. I'll read your posts for sure man, don't worry...

    I am staying in Greater Noida right now, studying at IILM Greater Noida. I stay at the hostel, and quite honestly, I'm not really that fond of this place! Delhi is so much better anyday...

    Cheers man...

  35. ya delhi is not much... far better...
    wish u a luckk..
    i always call grtrnoida a village where u hv all prblms...

  36. I agree with that 100%. I love Delhi too much :) Greater Noida is still developing, give it two more years and it's gonna be a good place to live... but nothing like Delhi!! :D

  37. Nothing whatsoever... It was just fine. I assure you.


  38. @ Kartz... Thanks for the reassurance man. I've never written such long stories, it was a different kind of an experience for me altogether! Of course, when two brains work together, the results can be quite different from what you expected them to be...

  39. Hey.. true story this is kya? Is Sidd of the story actually u? hehe.. just got my imagination running err.. practical ;)
    And u know what? This is a good story to make ppl not believe in ghosts :D Thanks for this I'm soooo very scared of the dark o_O

  40. @ Shruti... This one was inspired by true events, although the names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved ;)
    Cheers, and thanks for the comments. I'll surely pass on the inspirational bit about the story to Isha, the co-author of this one... hehe.

  41. Hey can I please reveal your character ???? Plzzzzzzzzz ??? he he

  42. @ bondgal... :D You do realize that the moment my character's released, yours would automatically follow suit, right? hehe... :P

  43. @moon shaped scar on his left cheek, and the two sunken circles where they knew the watchful eyes rested.: Wicked!

    Hehe..AWESOME ENDING! *thumbs up to you*

    Totally unexpected..the ending and very apt! Great work you guys!


  44. @ Siya... I swear, there were chills running down my spine when we were writing that part, the whole description had become so vivid! It's good to know I wasn't the only one who felt that way... hehe.

    Thanks a lot, and welcome to Technicolor Collage. Keep reading...
    Cheers, take care...