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The Replacement

Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by ILoveTulips, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    The Replacement

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    Chapter 1

    8pm is the rule! If you want to live, get into the house before then,” Mr. Ayushman’s words never rested from drumming in my ears. Ayushman – I snorted at the irony considering his name and his present state.

    “Thank you,” I said to the driver who didn’t care about my sense of gratitude. I stepped down the bus and watched it closing the doors, lifting itself up and move slowly away from me. The daylight is losing its vigour indicating my last few golden minutes before I have to go to the house. I strolled to the park, sat on a wooden bench and kept my office bag next to me. Stretching my legs, I relaxed my shoulders and watched a boy playing throw-catch with his dog.

    Every now and then a cyclist or a runner went past me. Eventually the man announced that it was late and the boy carefully tied the dog on leash. I watched them leaving the park deserted. ‘Good night,’ the boy shouted to me. The unexpected greeting startled me and I yearned for them to stay for some more time.

    There was 20 minutes to 8pm. “8pm is the rule! If you want to live…”. I picked up my bag and started to walk. Night was still young to some people, I envy them.

    I walked on the high street, through the glass windows glanced at the people having dinner in nice restaurants. My stomach grumbled at the smell of the spices. ‘Tomorrow I had to come few minutes early to get some food from here,’ I said to myself as the angry-looking sandwich from a local gas station tried hard to move from my throat.

    I took a left, and walked into a quiet side street that’s tucked away from the happenings of the high street. The number of buildings reduced, rarely one or two local shops that were closed.

    “Would you mind?” a voice startled me as there were hardly any human being seen around this place at this hour of the evening. I turned to look a medium-built man trying to pull down the shutter of his petty store. Putting the bag down, I held the shutter the other side and followed his instructions shaking to release it from whatever it was stuck on, and with heavy grunt we pulled the shutter down, and with a thud it closed shut.

    “Thanks man, “he said.

    I replied, “Thank you…. Thank you…. “and looked at his face expecting for more appreciation.

    “I haven’t seen you before, have I?”, he asked.

    “I don’t think so”

    “You live around? Do you need a ride?”

    My heart fluttered on the opportunity to get someone into the house, and running away a free man. The idea of getting someone to the street the house was in, itself was a huge task then.

    “That would be really helpful”, I said not thinking of the consequences.

    “Where do you live?”

    I hesitated a bit before saying, “Nomoonday drive”

    “You serious?”, his face darkened and under the street light I could see lots of fine wrinkles appear as he thought deeply.

    I didn’t answer but my hope faded as quickly as it bloomed seeing his blank stare.

    “No human in his right mind goes to that street! How long were you living there?”, he got the key, glanced quickly at the white van near him, ready and moved a tiny step backwards.

    “It is ok,” I rushed my words before giving them a thought, “It is getting cold, why don’t you come home, I will make nice cup of hot chocolate”, the desperation in my voice thickened the tension in the air.

    “Don’t know who or what you are. Look after yourself Dude”, he was already on the road.

    “Please”, I shouted behind him.

    But he jumped in his white van and waved at me before driving into the traffic. I stood there watching the van until it disappears from my sight.

    A well-dressed lady smiled at me when she walked past me. “Hello,” I called after her, but she either didn’t hear me, or decided to do better things than starting a chat with a stranger on the street. I kept my palm on the shutter and felt the strong metal that I moved. The proudness tied me to the moment and it lasted deliciously until my eyes fell on my bag reminding me that my time is running out.

    Looking back at the shutter a few times, I kept on walking. After couple of turns I reached the street that’s dimly lit and deadly silent. A half-eroded street sign board read “*** drive”. The letters of the road name eroded fully, so nobody knew what road it was. But people call it as “Nomoonday drive” as it’s always dark. Google maps doesn’t have this street marked either, my repeated failed attempts on ordering take-aways were due to that. But not with Lauren. I can feel the smile on my face on thinking about the one soul that helps to go through my ordeal looking forward to the next day.

    Lauren brings food, and hope.

    The night life creatures chose to be quiet but one or two screamed their complain. The street has no houses, except the one I spend my nights in. Rest are empty lands on either side of the road with fully grown weeds as tall as a house would be. Nobody dared to enter this road to dump their electronic goods or garden wastes. There was no garbage like plastic wrappers, takeaway boxes or pizza boxes in sight.

    As I reached the small wooden fence of the house , I closed my eyes and prayed for the strength to survive the night. The entrance door is almost hidden behind the weeds in the front yard, but I have been here long enough to find the door, which was never locked.

    The moment I pushed the door open, I already missed the smell of the fresh air that has the promise of freedom and peace. The stench of the musty old carpet, and the rotten food waste hit my face hard when I entered the house.

    I closed the door behind me.


    (to be continued...)


    Hello Readers,

    Thank you for reading this chapter. This is my first attempt in writing horror story. Hoping to receive your love and support.

    See you soon.
     
    hermitcrab, Laks09, Rampuri9 and 11 others like this.
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  2. Deepika23

    Deepika23 Silver IL'ite

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    Wow a very good start. All the best
     
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  3. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Finest Post Winner

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    As Deepika has said, this is indeed a very promising start for a horror story!
     
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  4. Sofea

    Sofea IL Hall of Fame

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    Tuls, thanks for bringing me back to IL with your wonderful story! It's an amazing start and I can't wait to read the rest ! :hearteyes::hearteyes::hearteyes::hearteyes:
     
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  5. puni88

    puni88 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Wow ILT!! What a wonderful start of the story!! Can’t wait for the rest of it.
     
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  6. stayblessed

    stayblessed Gold IL'ite

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    Hi ILT wonderful narration. It has all the elements of an excellent first chapter of a horror story. Best wishes for the entire story to come out as good as the start. Building the intrigue enough to kindle the readers interest and not giving away too much is very nice. Eagerly waiting for the story to unfold. Having read your wonderful and unbiased analysis of big boss i can understand you will do full justice to a story.
     
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  7. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    Chapter 2

    First glance at the house, everything looked exactly how they were the previous day.

    “Will you remove your shoes at least today?” snapped Lizzy from upstairs. I nodded my head no without looking up.

    “How was your day today,” it must be Hannah, the concern in the tone said so.

    I remember looking up at them the first day I came to this house. Their faces were pale and plain with no jewels nor smile – their staring dead eyes, carrying a force of emotions behind, arrested mine and incapacitated from looking away. The rigidity in the stare conveyed their power, and without the needs for words to convey so, I assumed my submission. Their plain white clothes blended with the background of the wall, so a careful brave look was needed to confirm that I was not looking at just 2 heads hanging out of nowhere. That moment, which lasted as long as a click of a camera would, horrified me beyond words. I turned away as the initial shock gradually worn out, but the picture of them remained. Since then, till now, though I never gained the courage to look at their faces, the image that shook me to the core lasted in my memory.

    As the days went on, I started to forget their faces, but remembering their stern stare was enough to curb my curiosity. I named them by the characteristics I imagined from their voices. The harsh, angry, irritated voice is Lizzy’s and the concerned, affectionate, sometimes loving is of Hannah. Honestly, both of them possess the same skill to shift my world from under my feet.

    “But I am glad you are home”, must be Hannah again. I can feel both their eyes staring at me expectantly, so I said, “Me too”. Hannah let out a soft giggle and I imagine her holding the edge of her cloth and blushing. Hannah always cares too much about me, unlike Lizzy who just thinks me as an intruder.

    “Stop that! What are you blushing for?” barked Lizzy.

    “Don’t yell at me in front of him”, hushed and embarrassed Hannah. Then turning to me, she asked, “Hope you hadn’t eaten anything, I cooked something you would like…”.

    “I had dinner”, I blurted out urgently.

    Lizzy shouted at Hannan then, “I told you! Now all the food has gone waste”.

    “I thought he will at least eat today,” said Hannah pitifully.

    “When will you learn?”

    “Why are you shouting at me,” Hannah’s voice broke, “Is it so wrong to wish for him to eat the food I cooked for him?”

    “He never wishes, can’t you see that?”

    Hannah sobbed and I was unsure whether to move into the house or just stand there listening to them with my head down.

    “What are we going to do with all the food now?”, Lizzy questioned.

    “I don’t know,” cried Hannah.

    “You are not even going to console her, are you?” yelled Lizzy at me from upstairs.

    Hannah ran into the bedroom, her footsteps thudding and vibrating the roof downstairs. No amount of courage would have helped me then to look up to see Lizzy staring angrily at me.

    “I am sorry,” I muttered with my head down and walked into the house feeling Lizzy’s angry eyes expecting more than just an inadequate, empty apology.

    I moved away and into the house.

    Kitchen is the first room and the most uninviting. A mouse jumped out of a dented aluminium bowl, ran over the stove top covered with mucked up grease. Alarmed by my footsteps the mouse fidgeted around and jumped inside the hole where the gas burner supposed to be. Swarm of mice use these holes to enter and exit the house. God knows when this stove was last lit and when was the last meal prepared.

    “She cooked for 3 hours… selfish idiot…, “Lizzy is nowhere close in giving up.

    I am so used to these little shouts by now, it stopped registering anymore.

    I switched on the living room light, and an energy-saving light bulb lit up the room ever so feebly and doubtfully as if it’s going to die anytime soon. A worn-out wooden chair stood bored at the corner of the room, with my travel backpack leaning on its leg. I pushed my weight and fell on it like a sack.

    I looked expectantly at the full-size french window in my right and sighed heavily, “Guess it’s still not time yet”.

    Upstairs Lizzy and Hannah were still arguing and I can hear the words clearly.

    “I feel like a fool”, cried Hannah.

    “That’s because you are a fool”

    “Huh”

    “Yeah!”

    “Oh, don’t be so daft!”

    “Then stop going behind him. You weren’t like this with the other men? Why are you behaving like this to him?”

    “I don’t know, I do care for him. I think I love him”

    “Listen to yourself. Don’t be such an idiot! He will fly out of here the first chance he gets and you know that!”

    “Don’t say that. He will understand my love for him”

    “Oh! You brainless devil”

    A loud thud followed by the scream shook me vigorously. It’s not the usual day, I guessed. Sometimes they get furious, and this must be one of those days.

    My legs trembled as I stood up from the chair and ran to the corner of the room. The floor vibrated as the women ran down the stairs. I sat down burying my face between the knees scared to look at them both agitated.

    “Will you leave from here? She says you will leave, is it true,” demanded Hannah. The sounds of her sobs came closer and I twisted my body in fear and pushed myself towards the corner.

    “Look at you begging on your knees, you shameless fool”, hearing Lizzy’s angry voice I hugged my knees tighter.

    Hannah was even closer to me now shouting, “I will never let you leave the house! You are Mine!”.

    I buried my head even deeper between the knees, closing the ears.

    I can hear the sound of the carpet brushing, I can only imagine Lizzy dragging Hanna away from me, for I never dared to look up them in their most furious state.

    The voices continued to be loud as they went upstairs. Hannah’s screaming continued for a while which I tried to muffle by pressing my ears between the knees. After what looked like an eternity, the noises came to complete stop.

    The quietness in the house was too loud to believe.

    I looked back at the window, still no sign of them. “Please come soon”, I cried.

    (to be continued...)
     
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  8. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you Deepika.
     
  9. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you Tamrakshar :)
     
  10. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you dear Sof... :)
     

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