comedy

Flash Fiction: Sunday At Sea

The weather was perfect for a nice day at the sea.

It was Sunday, their Sea-day. Every week for the last four years, the couple had gone sunbathing in the sea. This Sunday was no different. The two had booked their regular floating double-chair, waddled their way to it, and plopped themselves on it. It was their recharge zone. The swaying waves, delightful breeze and the mild sun helped them relax their bodies and minds after slogging hard at work. The two slept back, listening to the jazz on their waterproof i-pods. They painted a picture of sheer serenity with the sunlight being reflected off the suntan gloss on their resting bodies.

The picture remained serene only for a couple of hours. The oblivious couple failed to notice the crowd rushing out of the sea.

They also failed to notice the approaching giant shark fin.


Word Count: 145

Prompts:

Sunday Photo Fiction – Sept 16 2018

Word of the Day Challenge – Gloss

Flash Fiction: Smoke

It was a cold winter’s night, and the smoky apparition craved dearly for a smoke.

Her gorgeous lifeless eyes fell upon a red neon sign reading: Tobacco Shop

Passing through the doors, she made her way right to the counter and placed her ruby earring on it.

“My good man, I would like a large packet of phantom cigarettes please and I am willing to exchange my earing for it.”

“We only serve the real deal here, my dear belated ma’am,” The old manager said.

“That is such a rude thing to say, spirits are the real deal too, you know,” Said the offended blue-eyed ghost.

“You can find those in the wine shop next to the apple orchard, ma’am,” The old man said conclusively.

(Phantom cigarettes are an Indian brand of candy cigarettes)

 

harnik+phantom+cigarettes.jpg


Word Count: 125

Prompts:

Six Sentence Story Word Prompt #15 

3 Things Challenge 6th August

Your Daily Word Prompt – Belated – August 6th, 2018

August Flash Fiction Draw

Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt: Forlorn

 

Death in the Classroom

It was a regular day at St. Overpriced High School. At 9am, the students of class 3-A shuffled into their class and settled into their desks. They went about their morning activities, enjoying their few minutes of unsupervised freedom. They knew that once Prof. Holme Rume came in, they would have no chance to do incredible things like running around in the class, making out, tossing paper at each other, and other such highly intellectual activities. The students were pleasantly surprised when those few minutes turned into a good twenty minutes and then into a whole hour. However, at 10 am they had to stop their rambunctious ventures. A middle-aged man wearing a red tweed sweater and brown pants entered the class. He introduced himself as Prof. Jay June and informed the class that he was a substitute for Prof. Rume, who had some sort of an emergency. He asked the class to settle, fetch their history books and pay attention.

Jen had been listening to music on her phone, when the substitute professor had walked in. She dutifully kept her phone and earphones inside her bag, and took out her history book. To her, the subject did not really matter. None of them interested her. However, she did not want to get into any more trouble. She already had two strikes on her record. For the first ten minutes, she tried paying attention. After another five minutes, she was back to wondering whether Zayn quitting One Direction was a good decision. She realized it was going to be an ordeal and let out a yawn. Rubbing her eyes, she rested her head on the desk. Just a short nap, she thought to herself.

The ringing bell at noon signaled lunchtime. Prof. June left the classroom. As soon as he was out, the bustle returned. Buddy rushed up to Jen’s desk. He was hungry and he needed lunch money. She was his only friend in school and he knew he could turn only to her. Buddy tapped her on the shoulder.

“Hey! Wake up sleepy head. Time for lunch.”

Jen did not move an inch.

Buddy shook her by the shoulders.

“Wake up, Jen! Class is over.”

She gave no response and remained in her position.

Buddy was worried now. He called out to his classmates and asked them for help. No one could succeed in waking Jen up. The school nurse was informed and Jen was carried to the infirmary. The nurse checked Jen and quickly dialed a number on her phone. An ambulance arrived within ten minutes and the doctor rushed in to the infirmary. He checked Jen’s wrist and used the stethoscope to confirm. Jen was no more.

The doctors could not determine the cause of death of Miss Jen Eric. In their opinion, she was perfectly healthy. The case was labeled: a once-in-a-blue-moon medical anomaly. This label stuck only until the next day. Another such anomaly had occurred in class 3-A of St. Overpriced High School. And then another the very next day. The doctors had no explanation for the three deaths. The mayor decided that an expert needed to be called in. The mayor called in the very best – Detective Solvet Al. As luck would have it, he was only a few hours away from Overpriced Town, and instantaneously accepted the mayor’s request.

Solvet was famed for his hundred percent success rate and was infamous for his unconventional methods. He requested the classes to continue as they were and assured the parents and children that no more deaths would take place on his watch. The next day, Solvet was in class 3-A at 9 am. He asked Prof. June to carry on teaching while he observed the class. The students were scared, but the detective’s presence gave them some confidence. Solvet moved around in the classroom through the day. He peered at students, ran his fingers over the walls, sniffed here and there. The students’ attention was focused on the detective’s antics, rather than the chapter being taught. The day passed and the final bell rang. Everyone looked at each other. No slumped body. Everyone was alive and kicking. Solvet had stayed true to his word. All eyes turned to him. The detective knew the question on everyone’s mind and he had figured the answer to it.

“I have solved it. I know the cause of death. It is not a what, it is a who. It was murder, alright. And I know who the murderer is.”

A wave of murmuring went around the class. The detective raised an accusing finger and began moving it around casually. The finger finally stopped, pointing at one particular person. Prof. Jay June. The detective walked up to the professor.

“Oh yes, sir. I attended your class for one day. And I concur that you are the murderer.”

Professor June appeared shocked.

“Me? I did nothing. I am innocent.”

“Don’t lie to me professor. You killed three kids.”

“I did not kill anyone.”

The detective looked sternly at the professor and announced to everyone present.

 

“You are the murderer Professor Jay June…

You bored them to death!”

 

 

This is my attempt at writing a comedic story that does not really take itself seriously.

If you like the comedy genre, you may want to check out: Brouhaha and Dinner

Do share your thoughts and opinions on my stories, I do love reading them! 🙂

 

(Image courtesy: https://daily.jstor.org/how-blackboards-transformed-american-education/)

Whodunit? Part-1

My interest in whodunits was developed after reading Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. This interest developed into admiration after watching films on the genre. But, it was the parody movie Murder by Death that got me into wanting to write something of that sorts. The Whodunit Short Story Series is what my mind churned out. Readers, I hope you like it. Please let me know your thoughts about it. Happy Reading! 

Note: It may be possible that characters here might be unfamiliar to you. In that case it is recommended you read about the characters( I have provided the links to their wikis) in order to get a better understanding of this series. Thanks!

 

The Wayne Manor was well lit for a change this night. Instead of the dead silence of the night, jazz music reverberated through the dining room. The air was filled with the aromas of the various treats Alfred had prepared for the guests. Guests were another rare occurrence in the manor and Alfred was pleased at their presence. He was of the opinion that his Master Bruce needed to spend some time in the company of normal folk. Well, these people were almost normal. All of them were detectives, but not the kind Master Bruce was used to. These were the kind of criminal-catchers who investigated crimes. Not the kind of people who beat up criminals and risked their lives every day (or night in Master Bruce’s case). No super human kind either, just simple humans. Alfred thought this was a shade better than hosting The Justice League, in fact, many shades better.

“Alfred, could you serve the Hors d’oeuvres?”

Alfred picked up the plate of baked mushrooms and walked towards the dining room.

“Coming, master Bruce.”

Bruce Wayne, billionaire-playboy by day and vicious crime-fighter by night, had donned a tuxedo instead of a bat-suit this night. He was seated at the head of the dining table. Also seated at the table were his guests for the night – Sherlock Holmes, L Lawliet, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, and Scooby and Shaggy. All of them were detectives of great repute. Sherlock Holmes was the indisputable best ‘consulting detective’ in the world. L Lawliet or L as he was known around the world had cracked many-a-case that had befuddled police departments all over. Inspector Clouseau, The Hero of France, was credited with solving the robbery cases of the exquisite Pink Panther. Scooby and Shaggy were the foremost authorities around cases revolving around the paranormal. The guests were uncomfortably eyeing each other. Bruce decided to bring the dinner to order.

“My guests, you are the top detectives in the world, today. I decided to invite you all to dinner in order to have a discussion among detectives – Insights into crimes and certain interesting cases. Please enjoy the delicious dinner my butler Alfred has prepared, and I hope it compliments our conversation.”

Alfred walked into the room and served everyone a portion of the baked mushrooms.

“Baked mushrooms, sirs.”

No sooner had Alfred served Shaggy and Scooby than they had gobbled up the contents of their plates. Alfred looked at the duo in distaste.

“I shall get more. Enjoy!”

Alfred left the room to set the next course in order.

Sherlock Holmes had been eyeing the room the entire team.

“I must say this room is quite not what it used to be. It has been hurriedly cleaned, most probably to prepare for this party. However, that haste has left much dust and grit in certain locations it takes ages for such dust and grit to build up. I suspect this room does not see much use, Mr. Wayne. “

Bruce smiled.

“Perfectly deduced, Mr. Holmes. I see the legends are quite true.”

Homes acknowledged with a nod and proceeded to smell the glass of wine held in his hand.

L, who was sitting on his chair in the most peculiar manner – in the ‘Indian Style’, left his glass untouched. He cocked his head towards Bruce.

“Mr. Wayne, I don’t see why you would want to play host to us detectives. We cannot share the details of criminals with an aristocrat such as you. I cannot see what you seek to gain. Unless you want to buy information of some kind from us, you would not have hosted us. Am I correct?”

Bruce narrowed his eyes.

“Come now Mr. L, you don’t really think everyone is quite as nefarious as your Kira now, do you? Besides, I’m sure you jested when you said you cannot share information with a fellow detective. ”

L smiled.

“I never said I would not share it with fellow detectives. I said I cannot share it with you, as you are no detective.”

Bruce laughed hard.

“Do you mean to say you can only speak if my alter-ego is present?”

All guests looked quizzically at their host. Bruce stopped laughing.

“Do you really want me to get into my batman costume and then join dinner?”

Inspector Clouseau’s eyes widened.

“Meezter Wayne, does eet mean you are ze Batman. “

Bruce stood up from his chair.

“Of course, I’m batman. I’m sure all of you knew that.”

Bruce’s guests looked at each other and then at Bruce and nodded their heads to their sides. Bruce dropped in his chair.

“So, none of you had figured this out. I can’t believe you do not keep tabs on the World’s Greatest Detective. I had expected you all to have uncovered my secret and kept it that way because of detective’s code of honor and of course, because you all are afraid of me.”

Scooby Doo howled.

“Scooby roooo!”

Shaggy petted him on his head.

“There there Scoobs. I like..agree with you. Scooby and I are afraid of the Batman. Bats are so scary.”

L put his right thumb on his lower lip. He tended to do that when he began thinking. Sherlock kept his wine glass down.

“First, Mr. Wayne, I did not know about your secret because I do not think you are as important a person to keep tabs on. Second, I believe you wrongly used the title of the Greatest Detective for yourself. It belongs to me.”

He sat down and began picking on his mushrooms, smelling them before putting them in his mouth. Inspector Clouseau drained his glass of wine and stood up.

“Eet eez an hhonour to meet ze Batman. I waz too beezee with ze Pink Panzther caze, so did not inveztigate you.”

Bruce poured himself another drink and drained it instantaneously.

“I think we need something stronger than wine to get through this night. Alfred, get me a bottle of scotch from the cellar.”

At that moment the lights went out. The entirety of Wayne Manor was swept over by darkness. The silence was abruptly ended by a siren going off and the windows and doors being shut.

The guests at the table were taken aback. Shaggy and Scooby grabbed on to each other. Sherlock shouted over the siren’s sound.

“Mr. Wayne! What is going on?”

At that moment, the siren stopped blaring.

“Mr. Holmes, my house seems to be on lockdown. I’m sure the lockdown will be lifted as soon as the power kicks in. It won’t be long.”

Alfred dashed into the room, candlestick in hand.

“Master Bruce, I’m afraid there is some bad news. Our power grid is out and the backup power is not kicking in. We have no electricity as of now. All our systems are offline and the lockdown will stay put.”

“Don’t worry, Alfred. I’ll check it out and fix it. Till then I would want you to show our guests to their rooms. I request all of you to retire to your rooms for a while. I will have the power up and running in no time. Dinner will be delayed though, I do apologize.”

All of Bruce’s guests grumbled about the situation and that they understood the delay, but followed Alfred to their rooms. Bruce made his way to the generator room through the secret passage activated by his grandfather clock. He began fixing the problem. Alfred arrived there after a while.

“Ah! Alfred, were all the guests shown to their rooms?”

“Of course, sir. I trust the power will be up in no time?”

“Yes, Alfred. It won’t be long.”

“Very good, sir. I’ll head back to the kitchen and fix up what I can for dinner. I don’t think our guests would be too happy if dinner isn’t ready by the time the lights are back on.”

“Right you are, Alfred. I am confident your cooking will not be affected much by the lack of electricity.”

Alfred headed back.

“Don’t count on that, sir.”

A good half an hour had passed before Bruce had finally got the power up and running. He decided to check up on Alfred first. Bruce headed up the stairs and made his way to the kitchen. By this time, all the guests had also made their way to the kitchen, probably led by their stomachs. As they reached the dining room a foul sight met their eyes. Alfred was lying on the kitchen floor. Bruce rushed up to Alfred and removed his Bat-scanner from the pocket. He detected no vitals on Alfred.

All the detectives shouted together in shock.

“HE’S DEAD!”

 

 

To be continued……

Brouhaha Part III

Karan and Darsh stealthily made their way across to the backdoor, thanking their stars that they did not run into anymore zombies.

As they reached the door, Karan whispered to Darsh,

“Darsh, check the door. I’ll cover you. “

Darsh nodded. Keeping one hand on the doorknob, he held up three fingers. Karan waited for the three-count. Three, Karan readied the bat. Two, Darsh tightened his hold on the knob. One, Darsh swung open the door. The duo held their breaths as the door slowly creaked and opened fully. They tiptoed their way inside and checked out the narrow corridor they were in. Karan flashed the torch on the floor. They followed the beam of light, not making any noise, like to two burglars on a job. Suddenly, they heard the shuffling of feet coming from behind them. The duo stopped in their tracks. Slowly turning around, they shone their beam of light on the floor behind them. The beam revealed a pair of two rotting feet, moving towards them. Soon, the legs attached to the feet revealed themselves, quickly followed by the torso attached to them.

“Karan, you know what’s coming, right?”

“Yes, I do. I think this one should be your debut kill.”

“That’s real gracious of you.”

“I know I’m a nice guy.”

Darsh smirked as he readied the rod. In the next second, the zombie revealed its face. This one had spectacles dangling from its left ear. Darsh did not delay. He swung heard right on the zombie’s face knocking the spectacles and the eyeballs it used to assist, right off the zombie’s face. Darsh followed his first strike, with a couple more strikes to the head, bashing the zombie’s head in. The zombie collapsed in the hallway at the Duo’s feet.

“Good show, Darsh. Your first kill. You made me so proud, you zombie-killer you.”

“Knock it off Karan.” Darsh said, trying hard to suppress a smile of relief. “That was Kevin, no doubt about it.”

“Yep, you are right there. No one else would be caught dead in those ugly frames. Get it, caught dead?”

“It’s a bad time for puns, bro.”

“There is no bad time for puns. Anyway, let’s get back to saving your ladylove. I reckon the master bedroom should be just a few steps ahead.”

“Yes, lead the way.”

The duo took a few silent steps ahead. They noticed a door to their right. Karan tried pushing it open, but stopped the next second, realizing it was locked. Darsh knocked.  There was no reply. Knocking again, Darsh said softly-

“Nisha, are you there? We have come to save you.”

Karan rolled his eyes.

They heard the sound of the door getting unlocked from the inside and it swung open. The flashlight revealed the relieved face of Nisha. She grabbed Darsh in an embrace.

“Thank you so much Darsh, you came to save me.”

“How could I leave you like this, Nisha?”

Karan coughed.

“We can do the Yash Raj dialogues later. Wasn’t Atman with you? Where is he?”

Nisha let Darsh go and pointed towards the bed. Karan shone the flashlight on the bed and there lay Atman – definitely not in a good condition. His body was trembling and his face had gone gaunt. His dilated pupils and heavy breathing only added to the horrible image he formed. Karan walked towards the bed.

“And this why kids, we do not do drugs.”

Darsh followed Karan and stood next to him.

“Karan, I told you this was no time to make jokes.”

“Jokes? No. I thought it was an opportune moment to give a good community message and set an example for our young impressionable readers out there.”

Nisha put her hands on her hips and hissed –

“Guys, we need to think about how to get out.”

“Yes, Nisha. Karan, what do we do about Atman?”

“What is there to do? We’ll leave him like this. Lock him in this room. After all he-”

Karan stopped midsentence as Atman stopped breathing heavily. His body relaxed and he slowly moved his head and turned to face them. His eyes were now fixed at Karan. Ex-Atman-now-zombie groaned as he made an attempt to get out of the bed.

“I suggest we do that now. Let’s go Darsh, Nisha, move out fast.”

Darsh and Nisha did not bother replying. They turned heel and ran out of the room. Karan followed suit. As Karan exited the room, he locked the door behind him. The next moment there was a thud on the door. It was soon followed by a series of thuds coming from the inside, which could only mean zombie-Atman was up from bed and seemed to be hungry.

Darsh turned towards the others- “That thing is causing a lot of noise. We must get out before-“

Darsh never got to complete his sentence as a series of grunts and moans came from their left. Zombie-Nilesh and zombie-Sana had announced their presence.

“Yep, to the back door. Darsh, go ahead with Nisha. I’ll bring up the rear.”

Darsh nodded. Grabbing Nisha’s hand, he bolted towards the backdoor. Karan followed them keeping an eye out for the two zombies hot on their tail. As they exited the backdoor, they heard the distinctive cracking of the master bedroom’s door. Zombie-Atman was out.

“Okay bro, we cannot take on three zombies. We need to hide. At least till we get our breaths back.”

“Agreed, but where are we going to go, Darsh?”

“Guys, we could go to the shed. I remember Vansh saying it is never locked. We could hide there for a while.”

Karan and Darsh nodded, too out of breath to verbally agree with Nisha’s suggestion.

They soon reached the shed. Just as Nisha had said, it wasn’t locked. They trio led themselves in and locked the door behind them.

“Karan, switch the flashlight off”, wheezed Nisha.

“Hey, no hanky-panky here. We are still running for our lives”

“Karan, shut up man.”

Karan sniggered and switched off the flashlight. The three sat in darkness, breathing heavily. After a couple of minutes the trio eased up. Having caught their breaths, they could focus on the situation.

“Okay, let’s review our situation here”, Darsh started.

“Sure, so we stand at three zombies trying to eat our fucking brains. And the only things that stand between them succeeding are our legs, my bat and your rod. Oh, and if things get to bad, we could always let them have this lady here.”

“Karan, I know you do not like me. But, let’s discuss that after we get out of here, alive. I suggest we look around in the shed. Look for things that can help us fight those creatures and escape.”

“Good idea, Nisha.”

“Since we have only one flashlight, Karan can do the searching. I and Darsh will wait here.”

“No, no. The sidekick will not do all the work while the hero enjoys the darkness with his lady. Not happening. Let’s see some of that feminism you support now, Nisha. You go and search. I and Darsh will wait here. We risked our lives for you, anyway.”

“Yea, yea. I’ll do it. You sit with your boyfriend here, Karan. Hold each other’s hands and complain about the situation. I’ll scout for objects.”

“Nisha, come on. You don’t have to do it. You rest, I’ll do it. Karan talks like an idiot all the time.”

“Darsh, I said I’ll do it.”

Darsh could not make out the expression on Nisha’s face in the darkness, but he was sure she did not say that out of concern. Nisha took the flashlight from a grinning Karan and went further inside the shed. Covering the flashlight with her hand, she managed to reduce the intensity of the light so as to not draw attention. Karan and Darsh sat in silence. They could hear constant shuffling and scraping coming from inside the shed. They heard the occasional moan coming from outside the tent, at which point they would grip their weapons tightly and sit alert. After what seemed like hours, but had only been a mere fifteen minutes, Nisha returned with what looked like two machetes, probably used to cut the tall grass and an oil lantern. She reached into her pocket and removed a matchbox.

“This is all I could find.”

Darsh grabbed one of the machetes.

“Nice job, Nisha. This is so much better than my stick.”

Karan tried to grab the other machete, but Nisha was too quick for him.

“Tsk, Tsk. Go find your own weapon.”

Karan shot her a disgusted look.

“No thanks. My trusted bat here is better than that rust-bucket any way.”

Darsh stepped in before Nisha could retort.

“Well, now that we are rested and armed, I think we should head for the main gate, before you both kill each other.”

Karan smirked.

“All right, lover boy. As you say. You lead the way. I’ll bring up the rear again. Nisha light up that lantern.”

Nisha did not acknowledge. But she proceeded to light the lantern, and with that done, they were ready to step out. The trio realized that with the lantern and the flashlight, there was a high chance of the zombies being attracted towards them. But, it was a risk they were willing to take.

They walked on towards the security booth in the formation Karan had suggested. The occasional moaning of the creatures had stopped. The only sounds they heard were the shuffling of their feet, the crunching of the dirt beneath them, and each other’s breaths. It was all good for some time. But, as soon as they reached the booth, they heard the unmistakable moaning of an undead creature.

Karan shone the flashlight in that direction. Sure enough, it revealed a zombie, with its rotting flesh and wide open mouth. This one had long hair that almost covered its eyes.

“Ah, here’s a pretty one. This one is Sana, no doubt. I can tell by her..”

“Yes, Karan we know about your observation skills. Pervert.”

“Darsh, why don’t you put a leash on your cat here and let me do the killing.”

Nisha snapped back.

“Stand back, Sissy. I’ll take care of this one.”

“Whoa, I finally get to see a cat fight. Lucky for me eh, Darsh?”

“Karan, shut up.”

 

Nisha stepped next to Darsh. Zombie-Sana started moving towards the trio, moaning and grunting as she approached. Nisha took her hand back, as she got ready to toss her machete.

Karan hissed – “Oi, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Nisha ignored him and threw the rusted blade at the approaching creature. It lodged itself inside the forehead of the zombie as it fell to the ground. Nisha dusted her shoulder.

Karan and Darsh stood with their mouths open. But, before they could say anything, they heard more moaning from behind them. Karan’s light revealed the two remaining zombies. They seemed to be moving slightly faster than before, spurred on by their increased hunger.

Karan took a few steps back.

“Guys, I think we should make a break for it. There is no one ahead of us. We’ll run towards the entrance gate and get out of here. These creatures look faster than before.”

Nisha grabbed Darsh’s arm.

“For the first time, I agree with Karan. Let’s get out of here Darsh.”

“We can’t. We might escape these creatures. But, other innocents might get targeted by them. We cannot let that happen. We should..”

“We should be the better person” said Karan and Nisha in unison.

Karan sighed.

“I know this idiot and his idiotic ideologies. Fine, let’s just finish these suckers off. Nisha, when those bozos come close toss the lantern at the left one. As he burns, we’ll take the other one out. Cool?”

“Cool.”

As the zombies closed by, the trio readied themselves. A few nervous seconds later, Nisha heard Karan’s shout.

“Now.”

She aimed at the left zombie and tossed the lantern. It hit the mark and zombie-Nilesh looked like a walking bonfire. However, zombie-Atman continued moving towards the trio. He fixed his eyes on Karan, yet again. Karan charged at the walking corpse and gave him a hard knock with the bat. Unbalanced, the undead creature sank to his knees.

“Darsh, finish him.”

“I always wanted to do this.”

Darsh summoned all his contempt and swung hard with his machete at the neck of the zombie. The machete made a deep gash in the neck and blackish blood gushed out of it. Zombie-Atman’s head dangled for a bit, and then finally collapsed.

The trio made their way out of Greenwood Acres, just in time to catch the sun rising.

Karan whistled.

“Wow, what a night.”

“Bro, let’s not talk about it for now, shall we?”

“Yes, Darsh. I really wanna get home to a hot shower and a meal.”

“I agree with Nisha now, at least the food part.”

“Right, then. I have signal now. I could call for an Ola or Uber cab.”

“Bro, why? They do not pay this blog. Stop publicizing them.”

“Don’t worry guys.  I’ll call up my driver and he’ll pick us up in no time.”

 

That night, Darsh’s bedroom.

 

“Yes Nisha, tell me.”

“Hi Darsh, I just called to say thank you for coming back. If you had not come, I would probably have been dead or worse- undead.”

“It’s all right Nisha. There was no way I was going to not come.”

“Well, there is also another thing. Yesterday, in the bedroom, Atman and I were indeed making out. I’m so sorry.”

Darsh heard a series of coughs.

“Well, let that be now. Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am. I just have a bad throat case.”

 

Brouhaha Part I

 

“This looks like it” said Darsh looking at the sign on the gate.
“Yep, Greenwood Acres it is. Sure sounds posh”, remarked Karan.
“Yea bro! Vansh sure does have a lot of dough. How else would he have such a bloody huge farm-house? Anyway, let’s get going. The gang will be waiting. I sure hope there is stuff left for us.”
“Hahaha! Yea, they better have. Or else somebody is going to die by my hands. There is no blasted signal here either. Can’t even let them know we have arrived.”

“Well, I do have a bit of a signal on my mobile. But my call isn’t reaching anyone else.”

“Probably, no one has signal over there. For now, let’s start walking. It looks like a long road toward the house.”

Darsh nodded in agreement. The gate was closed but not locked. Vansh had said he would keep it that way so that the both of them could enter when they arrived. He had added that since the farmhouse was in such a remote location, there was no real risk in keeping the door open.
“There are no people in the vicinity to rob my house anyways.” He had said.
Darsh opened the gate partially, enough for the both of them to pass through and closed the gate behind them. The road to the house was a thin, dusty one. It was illuminated by lamps placed at uneven distances along it. Karan assumed that they would be switched on soon, owing to the fading light of the evening.

“Let’s hurry it up. I’m starving.” said Karan, rubbing his tummy. “This bad boy needs some nutrition.”

“Speaking of bad boys, I hope that ass Atman is keeping his greasy hands away from Nisha”, Darsh muttered.

“Good luck with that. We all know how much of a flirt your girlfriend is.”

“Shut it Karan. I know you don’t like her. You don’t need to pass snide remarks on her all the time.”

“Okay, okay. Pick up your pace now, slow poke.”

The walk to the house ended up taking a good fifteen minutes. The amount of time taken had more to do with the fitness level of the two boys, than the actual length of the path. Their eyes finally fell upon Vansh’s house. The sheer size of the homestead left them with their mouths hanging wide open. It was pretty dark now but they could make out the brickwork on the walls. The French windows added elegance to the already awe-inspiring structure. The homestead was surrounded by a low stone wall and had one entry gate with a security booth right next to it.

“Whoa! The place really looks awesome.” Darsh said with his eyes gleaming.

“Yes it is. But, don’t you think it is a bit strange? There are no lights on. No music on either. It is a bit too quiet for our likes no? Knowing these guys, the music should have been loud enough to blast the glass off those windows.”

“True that. Maybe, they are all sleeping. You know, one of those hangovers. Or maybe the power is out. It is the countryside, after all. Let’s just go in and check.

The duo walked up to the security booth. Daily experience had taught them not to expect the watchman to be awake, but they had expected him to be present inside the booth at least. However, their expectation was not met. The booth was empty, save for a flashlight and a cricket bat lying on the stool.

“May be he went to relieve himself. It is a bit chilly over here.” Darsh said, offering an explanation. “Let’s just let ourselves in.”

Karan lifted the bat and flashlight.

“I know this bat. It belongs to Vansh. I have seen him play with it at cricket practice. I’ll return it to him. Hold on to this flashlight, Darsh. It’s getting dark and we might need it if they have lost power in there.”

Karan pushed the gate to check if it was locked. It wasn’t. It budged with a bit of an effort, making an eerie creaking sound as it opened. Both of them scuttled inside. Darsh switched on the flashlight. It helped them make their way across the unkempt lawn that lay between the gate and the front door, without stumbling or tripping on the uneven ground. They reached the front door and rang the doorbell. A series of gongs sounded inside the house.

“Well, at least we know that they have power.” Darsh smiled.

“But, that makes it weirder for them not to have even one light on.”

Five minutes and ten more rings later, the duo resorted to banging on the door.

“Just try the knob, will you?” Karan said, massaging his sore knuckles.

Darsh did exactly that, and to both of their surprise it turned and after a swift push at the door they were in. Darsh glided the beam of the flashlight around the door, looking for switches that operated the lights. He found them in a few seconds and motioned for Karan to switch the lights on. The lights to the main hall switched on, temporarily blinding the duo. As their eyes adjusted to the newfound light, they made their way into the hall. In the middle of the hall, they noticed the huge sofa and a person sitting on it with his back towards them.

“Yo Vansh! What’s on with the lights bro? You guys having a party in the dark?” Darsh said as he went towards their host.

Darsh placed his hand on Vansh’s shoulder.

“Yo! Are you listening? Or are you drunk?”

Vansh slowly turned towards Darsh. His skin facial skin gave the impression that the flesh was rotting. His mouth lay open. Crusted blood marked the area around it. With a glassy look in his eyes, he got up from the sofa. Darsh took a step back. With slow, jerking movements Vansh started moving towards Darsh.

“Bro, are you okay?” Darsh asked in a cracking voice.

Suddenly, Vansh lunged at Darsh. He managed to avoid Vansh in time and retreated towards where Karan was standing, clearly aghast. Vansh started moving towards the duo, making low moaning sounds as he approached. Karan did not wait for another lunge. He darted towards Vansh, or whatever that thing was, and whacked it with the bat he was holding. The duo heard the crunching of the skull as the creature fell down with a thud, blood spewing from its head.

“Let’s get the heck out of here.” Karan hissed with alarm in his voice.

Darsh needed no second telling. They dashed through the front door making their way across the lawns and finally arrived outside the creaking gate.

“What the hell was that? It sure resembled Vansh” Darsh said, gasping for air.

Karan was equally breathless.

“You know what it was – A zombie.”

“Now, how the heck would a zombie end up here?”

“I dunno. Why don’t you ask the writer of this frigging story? Anyway, we are getting out of here now.”

Darsh felt his breath returning to him.

“But, what if there are survivors inside. Our friends might need our help. Nisha might – “

“Zip it, Romeo. I have seen enough of zombie flicks to know that going back in never goes well. Besides, we have no guarantee that anyone is alive in there.”

Right at that moment, Darsh put his hand inside his pocket and removed his cellphone.

“Bro, Nisha’s calling.”

 

TO BE CONTINUED