Spooky Tales Children

A midnight stroll

The tourist season in the little hill town had its pros and cons. For Moorthy and his ilk, it meant more business, as the restaurant he worked in was always full. But, on the downside, it also meant a lot of work.

This Friday did not seem any different. Except that more people were coming in and the small lobby was filled with people waiting to be seated. Lunch was over only by 4.00 p.m. and then preparations began for dinner. The people, tired and irascible, came in after a long hard day of sightseeing and walking. The climate in the Nilgiris was unpredictable and so most of the visitors were either wet or cold.

Heading home

When the last customer had left, Moorthy and the other waiters heaved a sigh of relief. It was close to midnight when they finished up and cleaned the restaurant, set the tables for the next day, and wound up their work. They came out, exchanged funny anecdotes about the day and got on their motorcycles eager to get into their warm beds.

As Moorthy started up, he felt the cold breeze against his face. He shivered as he zipped up his jacket and put on his woollen cap before he put on his helmet. A grey mist was swirling up from the valley.

“I must get home before the mist gets thicker and obscures visibility,” he thought.

He zoomed through the dark, quiet streets. There was not a soul in sight. The moon stayed hidden behind a cloud and the cold wind whipped his face and he shivered. As he approached the park, he saw a figure of a man clothed in white walking ahead.

“Poor man, I suppose his vehicle broke down and he has to walk home,” thought Moorthy. “Let me offer him a lift.”

He came closer and when he was alongside he asked, “Sir, would you like a lift?” The man however did not answer, instead looked steadily ahead and walked on giving the impression he had not heard. The man’s face seemed obscured in the luminescent grey of the mist. Not wishing to hang around Moorthy accelerated and zoomed off.

All he could think of was the warmth of his house and the comfort of his bed. He turned a corner and, to his surprise, up ahead he saw the same man. A chill went down his spine. He slowed his bike and looked fully into the man’s face.

To his utter surprise, he found that the face was ill-defined and hazy. His eyes alone glowed…a fiery red, like live coals. He had no feet, instead glided forward barely touching the ground

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 2:59:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/a-story-of-a-strange-encounter-from-the-hills-by-nimi-kurian/article37764585.ece

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