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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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    Thanks Puni.. :)
     
  2. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    Hey Stayblessed, thank you for your lovely words. Hope this story will live up to your expectation. Keep reading. :)
     
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  3. peddadas

    peddadas Platinum IL'ite

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    ILT,

    First of all thanks for giving us a story. Good Luck with your future writings.

    :rolleye::scream: .. That guy is living with 2 ghosts ? But whom is he waiting for ? Why is he living in such a nasty place? I cannot imagine a person living with ghosts ... good going IL..will wait for the secret to get uncovered!

    --Saritha
     
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  4. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    Chapter 3


    How I managed to doze off amidst of this mayhem I didn’t know. But usually, once Lizzy and Hannah go quiet, I do manage to get some sleep.

    It’s not 11pm yet. My shirt collar was damp with the tears and the drooling from the sleep. I got up from the floor, sat on the chair and watching the dark French window I stretched my body.

    The sudden chill in the air brushed my face and woke me up totally. Around me I felt the air particles were twisted as my vision was blurred a little and my body felt a buzz as if it underwent a mild electric shock.

    A glorious stream of bright golden yellow light lit the entire backyard, and they started appear one by one. Everybody had a bright glow around them. The entire living room which was dull and gloomy before, drank the dazzling glow greedily and glared. Every boring bit of the living room was highlighted, but I concentrated on the elements outside the French window.

    The backyard. It was how a park would be in a hot summer day.

    As my eyes get used to the light, I see them. All of them. Their soulless eyes stared at me for a second, then moved away. I don’t interest them anymore. I found their presence to be unsettling when I initially came in, but they don’t bother me nowadays.

    It is not a massive group, about a dozen of them. There is an old lady who looks strict and disciplined, few young men, a pretty young girl, couple of middle-aged women, a little boy of 10 years or younger always with a cricket ball and the man I look forward to see every day – Mr. Ayushman.

    The group split either side as he walks forward facing me. Others wander around the backyard aimlessly, yet keenly listening to our conversations.

    “Good to see you today,” greeted Mr. Ayushman.

    His grey suit and blazer shined in the moonlight, that it looked almost black. The black coolers he was wearing sat comfortably on his head. His grey hair of wisdom glistened in the light. As others’, I considered his cold stare to be repulsive too initially. As days passed, I realised they are gauging my situation calculatedly. His eyes have seen too much more than he says. They carry so much more knowledge but only little portion has been revealed to me from time to time. This kind of distance I had to his wisdom, at the same time experiencing his care and concern for me grown a strong feeling within me that I can trust this man, that I can rely on his words, that there might not be possibly any hidden pleasures that he secretly willing to enjoy.

    “Wish I could come inside and shake hands with you, or a consoling pat on the back perhaps,” he said. The conversations with him in the backyard and me in the house, through the French window helps to retain my sanity.


    I sighed without response.

    “That was a nasty scene”

    “Did you see? Did you?”

    “Yes, I did. Looks like Hannah is getting out of control?”

    I remembered Hannah’s threat, “You are never leaving the house!” and said, “Yes, it’s getting more intense nowadays.”

    “I also noticed you not reacting. That’s wise move to keep them away from you”

    “It is less of being wise, but more of being helpless”

    “I know, we all had been there,” said Mr. Ayushman and I noticed the old lady stopping from her stroll and nod her head at me, her eyes thoughtful.

    “I don’t know how long I can go on like this Mr. Ayushman? I want to be free,” my voice broke and I felt my face burning with emotions.

    “And you will be, if you play carefully. Act haste without thinking, you will have to join us here,” he showed others.

    Nobody except Mr. Ayushman talks to me, but they all have an ambitious look in their eyes. The young boy mostly seems to enjoy being in the backyard playing with his cricket ball, but sometimes he leans on the glass window just staring at me.

    “You,” continued Mr. Ayushman, “at least have a chance that none of us here have. You are still alive, and have a chance to continue be so. “

    “…”

    “Mrs. Griffiths over here,” he pointed to the old lady, “warned me and I trusted her. Likewise, I warned all these people who came after. But they didn’t have the patience to wait for their replacement. They went out, didn’t return by the time the day ended, got themselves killed – either ran over by a car or got hit by a truck or struck by lightning, and so without resting in peace they are trapped here in this backyard for their whole after-life.”

    I have heard this many times before, and every time I look at all of them pitifully – their wish to live free costed them their life.

    Seeing me quiet, Mr. Ayushman reinstated, “Get back here every day until you find your replacement.”

    “I don’t want to do this to someone. I see and talk to few people in a day, like co-workers – they are not like me, they all have family. I do see some mailmen, or garbage collectors rarely, I never get the heart to bring them in” I tried to keep my voice as low as possible, lest I would wake the beasts upstairs. Lizzy or Hannah’s presence would make Mr. Ayushman and others disappear from the backyard, then I had to wait until the next night to talk to him. Like many things in the house, I learned this the hard way too.

    “Think how did you got inside? How did we all come? There was one person before us who thought just about himself or herself. Their selfishness got them their life back.”

    Mr. Ayushman made it sound like an ordinary statement that ordinary people would use in their day-to-day life.

    “I don’t think I can be that selfish.”

    “Nobody knows what they are capable of doing until the circumstance arises and fastens them to it shutting all other possible doors.” He paused and the pause gained momentum, “Who knows what you would do if one day the door was knocked? Who can say that you won’t let the stranger in and run for your life?”

    At the very moment, there was a knock on the door. We both looked at each other, the charge in the air gave me goose bumps. I felt all others looking at me with frantic intensity, even the boy dropped his cricket ball and watched me with his mouth open.

    The knock continued and it suddenly occurred to me. It is not a stranger waiting outside.

    It’s Lauren.

    I said aloud, “It’s Lauren”

    Mr. Ayushman slightly raised his eyebrow as if to say, “So?”

    “No”

    “…”

    “I can’t do this to Lauren. No way. I won’t live the life peacefully outside, knowing that I trapped a young girl who trusted me”

    “Your life, your call,” said Mr. Ayushman sarcastically. Though it lasted for only a split second, I clearly saw Mrs. Griffiths rolling her eyes.

    I ignored them and turned to walk to the door to open it but stopped abruptly.

    It occurred to me then, that instant when I saw Mr. Ayushman and Mrs. Griffiths together. Recalling Mr. Ayushman’s statements, I realised he had let slip something, a fact that he hadn’t shared before. I wondered what else I didn’t know about this man.

    “Mr. Ayushman”

    He looked at me.

    “You said Mrs. Griffiths warned you? That means she came in before you? So, you know you can’t leave without getting a replacement in?”

    “…”

    “Then how are you trapped in the backyard?”

    His answer would tell me if I was a fool to believe in his theory ‘Find a replacement, or return before 8pm” and returned back to this house day after day.

    Mr. Ayushman smiled. It was hard for me to concentrate on him and the knocks on the door at the same time.

    “You must like this girl a lot,” he sighed and confused me. “Till this day you have believed everything I said about this house. But the minute I hinted something against the girl, your mind started questioning what you believed about me.”

    That statement though felt like a dent on the rapport we shared, I knew I still require his answer to rebuild the trust.

    The distance between us grew as his silence prolonged, and the knock on the door disturbed it.

    “Golden Bricks Estate Agents. Go there and find the answers for yourself. Nothing I say now will be convincing enough for you,” said Mr. Ayushman and continued, “And, there is another interesting person you would want to see. Liam. Most of what I said today would make sense when you meet him. “

    “Who is Liam?”

    “He is one of those who listened to me and now living a free life.”

    “Where can I find him?”

    “I hope he still works in the steel factory that’s around…”

    “I know the place”

    “Good, hope you find your answers”

    I nodded, came out of the living room and mindful of the beasts upstairs, opened the door.

    (To be continued...)

    Hello Readers,

    Thank you for your interest in reading my story. If you could take a moment to leave a comment/feedback, it would really help me. Cheers. :)
     
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  5. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you for your comments Saritha. Keep reading and let me know what you think. :)
     
  6. jillcastle

    jillcastle Gold IL'ite

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    I am a silent reader ILT. But your last line prompted me to write a feedback. Love your narration. Keep going! :)
     
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  7. stayblessed

    stayblessed Gold IL'ite

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    Oh god ILT fantastic writing. So the title makes sense. A human living with two ghosts one of which is having a liking towards him. Terrific. How is he going to come out of this. How is he going to save the girl outside the door. Whatever it's nice to see a guy getting threatened by 2 girls even if they are ghosts. :laughing: superb superb writing. The scenes unfold in front of us seamlessly. Great going.please give regular updates. Have you written any other story dear? If yes would love to read them as well. Nice imagination you have. Best wishes.
     
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  8. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Finest Post Winner

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  9. peddadas

    peddadas Platinum IL'ite

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    Oh boy! Find a replacement or return by 8 .. :shocked:.. that sounds like a Halloween party .. :facepalm:
    In any case.. he is being warned about ghosts by ghosts itself how terrific the idea is ..great going ILT.

    I really love to read stories with "Georgia " font thanks for that too :)

    Such a awesome narration I would say ..the way that you present stuff in there you wont it reveal it till end of the paragraph or sentence, it is definitely sounding scary and your writing style makes it more scarier.
    Very Good going!
     
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  10. ILoveTulips

    ILoveTulips Finest Post Winner

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    Chapter 4

    “I was just about to give up and leave,” Lauren said with a surprised smile.

    “Oh so sorry about that, I was caught up with something,” I quickly try to sort out the words before saying anything that would invite suspicious questions from Lauren.

    “Where you running inside? God, you are sweating bad. Look at your eyes, hey, where you crying? Are you alright?” her anxiety over me was pleasing.

    “No… no… it’s nothing. It’s… it’s just too much work.”

    “They are still in there?”

    The question sprang like a shock. How did she know?

    “They? Who?”

    “Them! Your contractors! Isn’t it too late? Are they still working?” the innocence of the question was touching. I remembered that’s what she is believing as my purpose of being inside the house. That I am an engineer who is trying to remodel this old, worn out building, and working with lots of men inside the house stripping the walls, measuring the doors etc. That gave me a good reason for not able to let her in.

    “No, no they have left. I am just sorting the mess after a long day so we could start afresh tomorrow.”

    “Oh yeah?” she smiled.

    “…”

    “So… can I come in today?”

    The twinkling of desperation I felt in her was flattering. However, the long moment of hesitation veiled the delight I had because a girl took a notice of me. The urge I had in searching for an appropriate answer that would keep her away from witnessing the misery I am facing in the house, conveyed her the wrong message that her interest was expressed too soon. She tried to shake away the embarrassment, the more she tried, her face flushed red and the moment grew heavier with awkwardness.

    “It is really not a place that I would want you to see,” I tried to be honest.

    “…”

    “It is the dirtiest place ever, and I don’t want this place to influence the impression you make of me”

    “…”

    “And I hope you realise that, in this stage of my life, what you think of me, matters to me the most.”

    There was an obvious shift in her expression, I knew I will see the girl again. She smiled and I felt relieved.

    “Hey it’s Ok. Seriously. Anyway, it’s not your home, it’s just somewhere you work,” She chuckled.

    “So, today I get to eat the pizza?” I asked her glancing at the box she was carrying.

    She laughed her usual reply, “No, this was some left over from 5’O clock. Some customer ordered and never collected it. I just carried it so my dad won’t look for me when I am gone for few minutes.”

    “Same story every day,” I teased her, she blushed. After few seconds of exchanging glances, she announced, “Ok, it’s late already.”

    “You have more deliveries?”

    “Nope, it’s nearly 12. Dad would have closed the kitchen by now.”

    It’s the same unpleasant parting every time. I could never offer to walk with her safely to her home, and though she says ‘I will be fine’, I can sense that she hadn’t overlooked the lack of courtesy from my part. I hoped one day I would be able to make her understand how much I hoped to see her again despite of not giving anything for her to look forward to.

    I just stood looking at her at the door steps, while she walked carefully in between the dense weeds so their rough edges don’t hurt her bare, smooth legs. Every time I miss her saying the last good bye for the day, as I intently look at her legs reflecting the ever so dim streetlight.

    After Lauren left, I thought back the first day I met her. It was during the second or third week in the house, I was still getting used to the mysteries around me. One evening I saw a flyer for Pizza delivery dropped inside the house. It read, “Pizza Treats. -homemade pizza, in pure Italian style, at your doorsteps”. When hardly anyone dare to walk to the street, learning someone walked to the house and dropped a flyer inside incredibly startled me. I wasted no time in dialling the number and a man picked up the phone.

    “Pizza treats”

    “Hey I saw the flyer from your shop”

    “Yeah”

    “You do home delivery?”

    “Yes shure, wat-u would.. yoo laik thu order?” his accent was thick.

    “You sure deliver to my address?”

    “We drop-pu the flaiyar near us. Not very far, too far… vv… very far. You leev in the adhrass?”

    “Yes, I found the flyer in the house I live”

    “Yes shure then, we can-nu dheleever”

    “oh, so you can deliver to… to… Nomoonday drive”

    “Numundhay dhrive? Where iseet?”

    My hope shot several levels higher, “You have never heard of this street? Are you new to the city?”

    “Not just to the city,” he giggled, “To the country.”

    I calmly explained him the directions from to the house. I even tempted him saying I would pay extra for the troubles.

    It was still initial days, so I hadn’t thought what was it to find a replacement, I wasn’t sure if it was something I could do. But all the same I had to be in the position to know I thought. And that evening was giving me an opportunity to help me make that decision.

    When I was expecting to see the man on my doorstep, I saw Lauren instead. Soon I learnt it was her father I talked to over phone. They moved in from Italy just few days ago. Her English was much better as she used to take English lessons back home. They were still trying to figure out their livelihood, so until then started to sell pizzas made from their home kitchen. They don’t have a car to go deliver far or a computer to check google maps, but just a basic phone to accept orders and a kitchen. That explained why the lonely scary house didn’t stop Lauren, every single customer they could get in the small area that she could cover on foot is a valuable one.

    “Just me and my dad. My dad makes Pizzas, I deliver” said Lauren when I asked her about her family.

    I forgot my predicament then. I only saw a poor dad and a terrified daughter, hoping to make a life in a new country with no money. I couldn’t see them as a replacement.

    About her instant liking towards me, Mr. Ayushman said, “Why not? You are a handsome young man.” But I think, I must be the only person who asked about her life, and shown any interest in it. This little kindness goes a long way for someone who is tired of being surrounded by strangers.

    About my liking towards her: from all the short conversations we had (that I cut short fearing for Hannah and Lizzy), I felt everything about her confidence, stood her out from everyone I had seen and talked to. It was pleasing to experience the regular human emotions despite of being in a strange situation, and I desperately want to cling on to that. I wouldn’t say Lauren is the prettiest girl I have seen, but there is something extraordinary about her. Everything she had seen and experienced had set her facial features in a way that attracts concentration. She talks less, but the messages her eyes convey are unable to interpret, and I am willing to get lost translating that. I cut short the meeting, but at the same time my heart yearns to see more of her. Her presence gives some meaning amidst of the entire absurdity.

    Someday, I look forward to be free and make her feel this country, her home.

    (To be continued...)

    Hello Readers,

    Sorry for the delay in posting this chapter, I will try to post regularly. Please keep reading, and leave your comments both positive/negative.

    Thank you.
     
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