Hospitality Of A Rainy Night
Hospitality Of A Rainy Night6 mins 8.2K 6 mins 8.2K
It was raining and Rohan was driving alone in his car that night. He saw a sign - the highway was closed for repairs, so he had to take the inside road through a dense forest. Hardly anyone used that road anymore, though he remembered it was used frequently in his childhood days 30 odd years ago.
His car started acting up and just wheezed to a stop.
"Oh God! What a time to have car trouble!!" he muttered. His phone battery had died some time ago.
Then he saw a house with the lights on with an old car by its side. He found it strange to see a house all alone on this unused lonely stretch of road, but nevertheless he was grateful that maybe he might be able to get help. They might have a phone he could use or jumper cables to start up his car.
The rain storm howled on, it was a terrible night to be stuck on the road.
He went up and knocked on the door.
There was silence, then after what seemed forever, the door opened.
An old man and a woman who seemed to be his wife stood there.
They were strangely dressed, as if they were in some movie of 30 years ago.
"Hello, I'm Rohan" he said, "I'm really sorry to bother you but my car stopped down the road and my phone battery is dead. If I could use a phone to call for help, I would be grateful."
The couple looked at each other worriedly. Then as they didn't say anything for a whole minute, he said a bit coldly, " Oh, then perhaps I better be on my way, as I see you do not want to help me."
Then the old man spoke, "Oh no. Do come in. You see it's not that we don't want to help you. It's just that this - this is a very inconvenient time."
"Sure it is", said Rohan sarcastically.
"Don't get me wrong, son. We just weren't expecting anyone else tonight." said the old man.
"Anyone else??" Rohan asked puzzled.
The woman looked warningly at her husband, "Peter!!" she whispered.
Then Rohan pulled out a packet of cigarettes. He was beginning to feel a bit edgy about the strange manner of the couple. "Do you mind if I smoke? I'm feeling a bit on edge." He paused. "Would you like one?" He offered to the old man, trying to be friendly. After all they did let him come in their house away from the rain.
"Don't mind if I do." The old man smiled as he took one cigarette, "this is an unexpected pleasure."
Rohan took a puff and watched as the old man lit the cigarette and took a deep puff.
"Peter!" His wife again whispered more urgently.
Peter spoke softly to his wife, "Maria, there is not much we can do. The poor boy needs a dry place in this miserable weather. It's just our bad luck that he came here tonight."
Rohan got a tad upset. They were calling him bad luck.
"Better I be leaving then" he muttered close lipped.
"Oh no no! Not you." explained Peter, "Well, I might as well tell you. You see, things here are not what they seem. This house has been abandoned for nearly 30 years now. No one has lived here since my wife and I died. We are ghosts." The old man took another deep puff of the cigarette.
"What??" Rohan was surprised" You must be joking!"
"Trust me, it's no joke. I was sentenced to death for a crime I did not commit. Poor Mary couldn't live too long without me and she died in a few months after my death. I was framed by a young gang leader of 30 years ago. Now he has become a big shot politician. We've been waiting for vengeance for a long time. We are strongest in this house - we are not sure why...perhaps because we've lived here for almost our whole lives. If we try to haunt him in his house or in the city, we are weak and there is no effect. Tonight....tonight..." He paused.
Rohan thought, "What an absolute nut-job!" Although he could sense the genuineness in the old man's voice.
Peter continued, "Tonight, we knew he would be crossing this road, and we made it so that he would have car trouble just as you did. He came for help just as you did. When he recognised us, he fainted. He is in the next room."
Rohan thought, "Oh my God! This is serious. Some poor man might actually be unconscious in the next room!"
Peter continued, "You don't believe us. But look at our clothes, it's style is of 30 years ago, as ghosts we can only appear in the clothes we were wearing when we died...." Rohan didn't know what to think. The old man really believed that he and his wife were dead. If that was considered to be true, then the ghost made perfect sense.
They showed him the unconscious man in the next room too.
"When he came to, we tried beating him with the chairs you see here but he fainted again. We can't do anything if he loses consciousness. You see, he won't have any physical bruises or marks on him. These chairs, this furniture, the light, it's really not there. He fainted out of fright."
"Better get out of here. These two seem to be a couple of loons!" He thought, but then he sensed that the couple were just seeking justice.
Maria said quietly but firmly, "We will never get a chance like this again."
Peter finished the cigarette and stepped on it to extinguish the butt.
"But this is the wrong way. You shouldn't take the law in your hands. Let fate deal out what he deserves. Why should nice people like you aspire for vengeance now? He will get his just dues sooner or later, but why should you dirty your hands?" Rohan argued. He realised, strange though the couple might be, but he liked them.
Mary smiled at Rohan's earnestness and relented, "You are right, son. If I may call you son. Even though we might never get a chance like this again. Let's not have this terrible man's blood on our hands Peter." she pleaded with her husband.
After a bit of persuasion, he agreed. "So you will let him go?" Rohan wanted to confirm it.
"We will" said Peter reluctantly. "Essentially because if anything happens to this man, and anyone comes to know that you were here too, then you will be in unnecessary trouble, he being in politics will just make the matter worse. A nice boy like you doesn't deserve that." He paused, "it stopped raining for a while now and your car has had a chance to dry. It will start. You will be able to go now."
"Promise me that you will let him go." insisted Rohan.
"Promise" said the old man.
With that, he went to his car, and just as the old man said the car roared to life and he reached safely home.
After just three days, he saw the headlines in the daily newspaper, "Politician dies of a heart attack. Cause of sudden attack unknown."
It was the same man he saw unconscious that night. He wondered if it really happened.
He deliberately went to the same road again, this time in broad daylight. What he saw shocked him.
There was a house alright, but it was abandoned. Just as the old man had said. He went in the house. The door was ajar, the windows were broken, there was dirt everywhere except where he had been standing that night. Then he saw his cigarette butt was fallen on the floor but the other one hadn't even been lit.
He went back home knowing that he could now only wonder if his considerate hosts had kept their promise of not seeking revenge as a form of justice leaving it to fate or did they take their justice forcefully with their own ghostly hands.....