THE BLACK MIST PART 1 OF 10
Mitesh was standing at the window. A gloomy winter morning was about to dawn, tearing the veil of dark fog, so likely for this time of year.
“Sir!” a voice brought him out of his reverie.
He turned to face the speaker, his servant. “Yes Mohan?”
“Ramprasad uncle is waiting in the drawing room.” Mohan said. Mitesh checked the watch it was five thirty in the morning.
Maheshpura was a small village but even then it was way too early to pay someone a visit, unless of course there is some emergency.
Most probably the village temple is on fire he thought to himself before heading for the stairs.
Ramprasad Sharma, locally known as Ramuchacha was the village head of his ancestral village where he loved spending long months writing his novels. His mingling with modern world was absolutely economic activity, sale and publicity of his novels and other petty affairs made him drive to Delhi or fly to other places. His muse came to being after stepping in here.
Mother Goddess Laxmi the bestower of wealth and prosperity has blessed him through Mother Goddess Saraswati the giver of knowledge and arts.
He came down the stairs and entered the drawing room, just like all old fashioned Indian houses sleeping quarters were upstairs and kitchen, drawing room, servant quarters, guest rooms were downstairs.
Ramprasad was sitting in the drawing room with a gloomy expression on his heavily bearded face; he was in such a dark mood that the unruly forest of his beard and moustache was not able to hide it.
Mitesh folded his hands, “Namaste Ramuchacha.”
“God bless you son.” The old man mumbled. He noticed that the tray with tea and snacks was left untouched by him, the cute old man loved “City snacks”, there were times when the servant for one reason or other missed them and showed up with biscuits only to be reminded by the old man that he will love to have some… so, that untouched tray further ensured Mitesh of his miserable state of mind.
“Something wrong?” he sat down.
He pressed the bell when he noticed that the tea was cold, at least appeared so. A man appeared instantly, “Rajkumar bring another cup of tea and some snacks, and remove these.”
“No ….no… son!” the old man vehemently protested, “Remove this but don’t bring anything else. Please.”
Now Mitesh was worried. “Is everything alright at home uncle, auntie, Suresh, Jivesh?”
The old man nodded in agreement.
“Is something wrong in the village?”
The man fidgeted uneasily in his seat cleared his throat and started talking, “The problem with you city bred kids is you don’t believe in traditions or old beliefs.”
“Why uncle?” Mitesh feebly protested, knowing Ramprasad was speaking the truth. Remembering that he promised but did not showed up for some village puja the previous noon.
But that was not the case! The old man fidgeted a bit in his chair and coughed a little, before resuming “Do you remember the story of black witch Krishnamayee?”
“The witch that brings black mist and death with her?” Mitesh asked.
“Yes. She is back after centuries!” the old man was visibly agitated now, like a child after admitting that he has seen a ghost. He shifted uneasily and defiantly in his chair. Eyes fixed sternly on Mitesh’s face.
“Oh!” Mitesh took a long breath of relief and stopped it halfway when he noticed the furious expression on the old man’s face. He quickly added to appease the really angry old man, “How did you know?”
“The shepherds told me, the ones that graze their cattle near the marsh temple.” Ramprasad said.
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.