Mist, the thick fog which makes the atmosphere heavier, with an interesting thriller in every part of it which you can’t ignore. The voice of someone beckoning you through the deep, calling out your name, bringing you closer with every chant. It’s a feeling, that doesn’t exist, yet it’s still present.
Work was really stressing me out. The pressure that I was going through was too much for me too handle. I barely had time to breathe in this circumstance. But I didn’t complain. I kept quiet and let my office play around with my life.
But I was very obedient and followed all orders with dedication. Due to this work-flow, the office had put upon me another responsibility of an assignment in Shimla. Even though this trip was very unforeseen, I didn’t complain.
So, I decided to set off the very day the matter presented itself.
I was also permitted an early leave for the same matter.
I reached home and immediately began to pack up. By the time I set off for Shimla, it was already past 8
It was a short 50-minute ride as our office was located in Jubbarhatti which lies not very far from Shimla.
Throughout the ride though, I remembered an old friend of mine. He was known as Devdoot. He had a charismatic personality with glasses hanging on his ear. I remember him being send to Shimla as well. The day before his departure, he had told me that he would return, the most successful man in all of India. But little did I know, that would be my last meeting with him. He had not been heard of ever since.
By the time I reached Shimla, it was 9. Since I hadn’t booked a hotel beforehand, I found it difficult to come across an unreserved hotel. But all my struggle didn’t go in vain. Finally, I had come across an unreserved lodge.
I opened the door and stepped outside. The vicious, cold wind struck my face like an ice blade. It was sharp. The mist covered the pine trees in the area leaving everything barely visible. Because of this effect, the name of the lodge was also unknown to my eyes.
I went up to the entrance and knocked on the door. An old lady immediately opened the door as she welcomed me inside, “Come in dear. Also, what’s your name?
“It’s Sunil ma’am, S-U-N-I-L and yours?” I asked.
“Oh, its Mary, M-A-R-Y.” She replied enthusiastically.
I entered the lodge and went to the reception table. There, Mary handed me the registry book, where I would sign my name.
Suddenly, a Labrador who was not seated very far away came to me and began sniffing my feet. But there was something about his expression that was off. It was as if he wanted me not to stay there. I just stroked the dog and looked back at the registry book.
After I had officially signed my name in, my curiosity drove me to look back at the previous names. There what I found gave me an unbearable shock! I saw my friend’s name right before mine!
“Oh, Devdoot Chakrabarty. That’s my lost friend. He stayed here for a year. Do you know where he is now? I said in an overly-excited manner.
“Do I?” This was the reply that Mary gave me, that too in the most sinister tone ever.
I didn’t know what to say, so I closed the registry book and headed up to my room in the second floor. I saw that Mary was following me with a cup of hot chocolate.
On entering my room Mary presented me with the cup, “You must be tired, drink this and you will feel refreshed in no time. She said.
I did as she said. The hot chocolate was fairly sweet. I felt drowsy and couldn’t stand so I went to sleep.
I heard Devdoot call out to me, “Forgive me for my words, I was stupid.”
I felt extremely uncomfortable. Suddenly, I saw Devdoot standing in front of me. We were in midst of a rocky terrain; the sky was the color of pure blood. The entire place was filled with screaming voices. They were making me crazy. The voices dug deeper and deeper inside my ear until I started bleeding. I guess this is what they call ‘Hell’. Dev had a sharp blade in his hand. He pointed it towards me before he-
I woke up, panting heavily. I opened the door and headed downstairs; I was about to confront Mary. There, I saw the dog which had sniffed my feet, it was completely still, no motion at all. Mary was stroking the still dog. I felt very peculiar and began to stutter, but I forced my words out of my mouth, “He is here. Isn’t he? My friend. Where is he?” I screamed aggressively.
Mary laughed before she said, “Right beside me of-course.”
“I…I.” I stuttered as I spoke.
“Just call out his name.” She said in a demonic tone.
“De-Devdoot!” I said.
The motionless dog abruptly morphed into a creature no-less than the devil himself. His finger-nails, the length that would reach his face… The filthy hair he possessed ran down to his knees. He looked up at me before he slammed his head on the table and fainted. His blood made the leather wet as it achieved motion.
The lady laughed even harder before she said, “Welcome, To Lodge Lunatic.”
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