THE BLACK MIST PART 4 OF 10
A car pulled in a little later in his courtyard. “Hey!” it was Rajan. “Get down here, lazy guy, lend us a hand!”
They quickly emptied the car and brought the equipments and food upstairs.
“Can we go out for a look at the ominous black mist?” Rajan asked.
“Who will stop us?” Mitesh laughed.
They left for the marsh with the equipments. The second team left for the village to talk with the villagers that were yet to leave.
The car stopped at a reasonable distance from the border of the marsh, they had to walk the rest of the way to meet it. It was a pulsating mist made of darkness. The sounds coming from inside were louder and clearer now. Strange, bizarre unearthly sounds, grunting and shrieking from that swirling mass of darkest fume, it seemed more like fume than mist.
They both shuddered involuntarily. It really was menacing. Unknown to the other they both were wondering about the creatures making those sounds.
They stood staring at it, on the narrow path devoid of grass and weeds, the black liquid must have turned the soil barren otherwise it was supposed to be covered with grass and maybe a tree or two after centuries of freedom from man and his destructive activities- it was almost noon now. The sun was planning to tilt to the western sky after completing his jobs in eastern half.
“It’s buzzing with electricity!” Rajan stared at his equipment. “I think if someone touches it he will get electrocuted.” Then on impulse he stooped and picked up a small stone and threw it at the mist.
It was sucked by the mist after a loud crackle. They could see the ripple it formed. As if a black spark of electricity formed in the place it struck the mist.
Then it came back in a terrible speed and struck Rajan straight on his arm.
He screamed in pain and slumped down grabbing his arm. Blood started trickling down from his arms.
Mitesh rushed to him, it was a deep wound.
“Thank God I picked up a pebble not a rock!” he grimaced, trying to smile through pain.
A loud mixture of howling and laughter came out of the mist, as if the entire thing was a conscious gesture of a living thing. They both shuddered and stared at the darkness.
“If I am not wrong it will need stitches!” Mitesh muttered. He tightly bandaged it with his muffler and they both rushed back to the house to get it stitched by their team doctor.
Four of Rajan’s men were sent there to shoot the mist.
“Don’t venture too close and be careful.” Rajan instructed them. “We will be back there ASAP.”
Mitesh was right. It required four stitches to sew the gash up. They were about to get up and head back to the mist when they heard a loud commotion in the courtyard below.
Two of the men from the team they have left behind were standing in the middle of it, terrified and shaking like leaves.
They rushed below. The men were terrified beyond words. After a few gulps of whisky they regained their senses.
The sense they could make out of their babbles was they prepared for the shooting. The cameraman Chandan was standing on the camera, Vijay the sound technician and narrator Mohan were nearer to the mist. Director Prabhat was instructing them. Mohan stood too close to the mist and started talking. They wanted the best shot of the mist. All of a sudden a hairy hand shot out of the mist and pulled him in.
“He was screaming and screaming….” Prabhat shuddered as he recounted, his face white with horror.
Vijay ran after him without thinking. They both vanished. Chandan and Prabhat started screaming their names. Then one by one their heads were tossed at them still dripping with fresh blood.
They ran as hard they could. Leaving all their equipments behind! The loud laughter of a woman followed them for a very long distance.
“We will have to recover the equipments ASAP before the mist gobbles them up.” Rajan got up. “They are worth millions of rupees.” He was still grimacing from pain.
“Are you sure?” Mitesh asked. “I will go and pick them up!”
“No. I won’t let you go there alone!” Rajan firmly said.
They left for the mist on foot because it was not possible for Rajan to go there by car on the bumpy road.
They left and to their horror noted that the mist was moving in daylight now. In blood curdling contradiction to the words of the old man! It was barely a couple of miles away from his home now. The speed at which it was moving it will reach there before dusk.
“Let’s get out of here.” Rajan has turned back the moment he has seen the mist blackening the horizon. Mitesh has followed him without a single word. The equipments were gone. It has crossed at-least two miles in one hour after devouring the men.
They quickly climbed the cars and picked up the men from the village. The villagers were long gone.
“Can’t we have a single glimpse of the mist? Or take a few shots from distance?” the village team grumbled a little but fell silent after noting the grave expression on Rajan’s face.
BLACK MIST AND OTHER STORIES
This book is for people like me who enjoy a good spook and chill like a daily cup of tea, coffee. The title story is the only story that is common with the previous edition of this book, others are new. This year the book will contain stories of various spooky/fantasy tastes. This year the stories are not much dark though. A mixed platter of fantasy and eerie stories for you! Don’t forget to share your views after reading.
WORDS LEFT BY READERS (For the previous version):
This is a collection of stories of distinctly Indian flavor, dealing with often dire
supernatural beings of a spiritual nature. Below I briefly note each story:
The Black Mist:
Mitesh has a new real estate purchase in an abandoned village, and a dire legend
surrounding the locale, of a witch out for blood and souls. It doesn’t end well for Mitesh at all . . . I liked this one, a nice start for a collection of this sort.
Ritwik and his family have moved into a new home . . . one with a dire history, and a mysterious intruder who enters the home even with the strictest security measures. They soon discover said dire history, ending on a terrifying note.
Sima is seeing ghosts while incarcerated under a life sentence in prison. Jailed for
serious criminal offenses, only she can see her ghosts, the ghosts of her victims,
though her jailers think her mad. The ghosts, though, have a purpose of their own!
Chinmayee and Pradyumna witness slaves and their drivers in Mughal dress. They soon discover the secret of the town’s history, reenacted by the ghosts of the past!
Don’t Waste Our Time:
Death’s deputies are going nuts. Induced near death experiences in recreational test subjects are causing problems with the reaping of souls. So the Reapers have a clever plan, one that puts a damper in these would-be tourists of the afterlife…
Jewels of Madhulipi:
Bidisha comes to live in a haunted house, with a persistent ancestor spirit who has something important to show her. This one has a more pleasant ending than the previous, but fits the theme of the book well.
The College Trip:
Prema brings home a souvenir from an outing with fellow students, an evil souvenir, a passenger of sorts that makes her very, very ill. This one too ends on a happier note, concluding this collection with the defeat of evil and the triumph of life.
4.0 out of 5 starsPerfect for Halloween
ByKevin Cooperon 24 October 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
If you want a fresh read for Halloween, but don’t have the time to get into reading a full novel, I would definitely recommend this book of short dark fiction.
Sharmishtha Basu has a unique approach to dark fiction and things tend to begin, en media res in a very masterful way. I particularly liked Black Mist and found myself fully engaged with it. As with most short stories, there isn’t a lot of room for character development, But Sharmishtha’s storytelling technique more than makes up for this problem.
Now the grammar is not perfect, (Seriously, with the constant changes to it, whose is?) but I also have to take into account in this case that English is not this author’s first language, hence the four stars.