STUCK

Lalita was walking alone on the narrow road. The road was bordered by thickets and the sky bore an eerie night shade. The yellowish, round moon looked upon her with a kind of haughtiness. It silently watched her as she made her way through the darkness filled with occasional damps. It was a cloudless night.
The thicket seemed to narrow the road with every step she took, but surprisingly, it never closed upon her. She tried to recall what had brought her to this situation.
She had been having a peaceful talk with her ex-husband Ajit- well, apparently peaceful. He had been negotiating an amount- the amount he was planning to take from her. Why? Because she had been his bank. He was just about plotting to kill his goose that gave golden eggs- the reason why she had to leave him. They didn’t have children, so there were no liabilities binding the two. And now he wanted to fill his pocket to spend the rest of his life peacefully.
Her only fault was that she lowered her defences when the deal was finalized and agreed to have a drink of the champagne he had brought with him. Half a glass, and she knew that something was in her drink. She had fainted dreading the consequences.
When she woke up, she was in the back seat of his car. He had probably parked in some dark place, she couldn’t understand his strategy. A light pain played through her temples as she sat up pressing them. Her eyes gradually adjusted to the darkness. Someone was sitting on the driver’s seat. But something wasn’t right, he was perfectly still, his head placed awkwardly on his left shoulder. “Ajit…?” She whispered to him. When he didn’t respond, her heart started racing. She addressed him a few more times. Then she tried to shake him. One violent shake and he dropped onto the adjacent seat facing up. His mouth was open in an ‘O’ and his eyes were open in horror, watching blankly at the ceiling of the car. Blood trails were drawn on the sides of his forehead, coming down from the hair.
Lalita screamed in horror as she tried backing more into the seat she was sitting on. She struggled a few times to open the door, and when it did, she dashed out, not really noticing where she was going. She had already run a long way from the car when she paused to catch her breath. It was then that she actually saw where she was standing- in the middle of a dark, deserted road, bordered with a thicket of trees on either side. She turned around to look at the place from where she had started, but the darkness had engulfed it. It was cold, very cold out here… Too cold for a mid summer night. What was this place anyway? Not a peck of it seemed any familiar to her. This was probably where Ajit was planning to kill and bury her, make her vanish from the face of earth. Now he was dead himself. The circumstances of his death were mysterious. Moreover, she didn’t want to think of the haunting face while surrounded by such a creepy atmosphere.
There was too much silence around her- neither the chirping of crickets, nor the hoots of owls, not even the screeches of bats. The only sounds ringing were that of her slippers on the tar road and her tense breathing.
She wrapped her arms around herself and shook a little at the chill. Her only hope was the morning, which now seemed a long way.
The silence closed upon her ears, but she never stopped walking. It had to lead somewhere… And then there was this scream, a long drawn scream that rent the air, giving her goose bumps. She stopped. The scream lasted a few seconds. Even as its sound faded away, the echo rang. It seemed to have come from a long way behind her, but she also wasn’t sure if it was coming from ahead of her, probably because of the echo disrupting her senses. She felt like running, but now she was too exhausted.
The scream died away as soon as it had come. She was surrounded by silence once more.
She was terribly sleepy by now. Her eyelids started drooping and she stumbled, but balanced herself and walked normally for few distance, only to repeat the process. She finally gave up. She desperately needed her sleep. She sat down on the road facing the road ahead. No one was going to come her way.
She tried lying down flat on her back. Her back felt uncomfortable without a pillow. So she turned to her side, facing the road again. It wasn’t long before she drifted into sleep.
The sound of someone rushing towards her woke her up. She looked for a while, but there was no one. The sound had died away with no sign of the source. She could have closed her eyes and gone back to sleep- that was probably her mind playing games. But she sat up. She had to walk. The sun and its rays were still absent.
She started walking ahead and did so for quite a distance. Suddenly, bright lights blinded her. The car was rushing towards her. Even upto five meters from her, the car hadn’t slowed down. She frantically tried to move away from the path, but her legs had fixated to the ground. She waved her hands in front of her while she screamed, “No! Wait!”
The driver maybe noticed her just then, and probably panicked, because the car started swaying. It didn’t hit her, but went like that to a length past her until it finally crashed into a tree.
If the driver lived, he could help her. And so, when finally her legs started moving, she turned around to walk towards the car in a fast pace. Not very long after that, a familiar scream pierced through the air. Lalita had started running by now. As she neared the crashed car, she noticed that the back door of the car on the other side was open.
She went over to the driver’s seat. The driver had fallen onto the adjacent seat. She went to the other side of the car ignoring the open door and peeked into window of the seat beside the driver’s. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she stared in shock at the familiar face. It was Ajit.
Someone was sitting on the back seat that she hadn’t noticed earlier. Her heart shuddered but she walked over to the open door of the back seat.
Her mind went blank as she stared at the familiar face, her own face, her eyes and mouth open in horror. And what awed her most was the fact that it was she who had caused her own death.

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2 thoughts on “STUCK

  1. its awesome…
    lalita either saved herself from her husband
    OR
    killed her husband..
    this story on time loop…has a pre defined value in form of lalita…
    the loop will continue in alternate alter-egos.

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