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Aparna Subramanian

Drama Crime


Aparna Subramanian

Drama Crime

Imagination Or Reality

Imagination Or Reality

10 mins 465 10 mins 465

Saloni was a weird girl. She was unusually quiet for a girl of thirteen. Saloni never went out to play with other kids of her age. Her parents, Manoj and Deepa Shastri were worried about her. 

Saloni's character underwent a complete change more than six months ago. 

Her problems started when she joined a music class near her house. She wanted to learn Carnatic music. Her parents gladly enrolled her at a music academy recommended by their close friend, Mr.Verma. 

She attended the music class every weekend at 6 PM. Her class would get over by 8. Her father picked her up on the way while returning from his office. A couple of months passed peacefully. 

Fate had something else in store for little Saloni. One day Saloni's music class got extended by an hour. Her father went home directly with an idea of returning by 9 to fetch her. Unfortunately, he forgot to pick up his daughter due to being engrossed in a cricket match. Had his wife Deepa been at home, she would have reminded him to bring their daughter home. She had gone to visit her sick friend in the hospital. 

Deepa called Manoj and asked him to have dinner with Saloni. She informed him that she would come within an hour. Manoj realized his mistake. He immediately locked the house and started his bike towards the music class. Saloni was nowhere in sight. Manoj panicked after not finding her in her usual waiting place.

After searching the entire area for half an hour, he returned home. The time was 10.30 PM. Deepa had not yet arrived. 

A pleasant surprise awaited him. Saloni was sitting on the doorstep with a frown in her face. She ran into his arms, and they hugged each other. Manoj unlocked the door. Both father and daughter entered the house. He looked at her and said, "I hope you will forgive me for my carelessness. How did you come home?" 

Saloni answered, "I was waiting outside for quite some time before I fainted on the road. Our neighbor Prashant dropped me home after I recovered from my unconsciousness." 

Manoj called Prashant to express his gratitude. The latter said that it was his duty to help the poor girl. Manoj and Saloni finished their dinner before Deepa arrived. Saloni went to her bedroom while the couple watched TV. They went to their bedroom and started making love to each other. They were unaware that someone else was watching their act. Deepa forgot to close the window in her enthusiasm to please her husband. Saloni was unable to sleep because of the weird sounds of moaning and mumbling in her parents' room. When she saw them in a compromising position, she became furious. She went straight into the kitchen and took out a butcher's knife. She ran back to her parents'room and pounded on the door. They were so shocked that they could not move at all.

Saloni kicked the door open. "How dare you disturb my sleep?" she asked them menacingly. She raised her arm with the knife in her hand as if ready to strike them. She went near Manoj and was about to stab him. He caught hold of her wrists and quickly seized the knife. He gave her a tight slap before questioning her, "How dare you barge into our room? What happened to you? You could have killed us." Saloni appeared to wake up from a trance. "What happened to me?" she asked her father quizzically, "What am I doing here? Why have you kept a knife on the table?"Manoj was puzzled. He looked at Deepa, who was herself confused. 

He did not want to scare Saloni by revealing the truth. He told her that she must have started sleepwalking and came here. Deepa asked her to turn around while she wore her nighty. Deepa said, "Come with me, my dear child! Let me tuck you safely into your bed." Deepa led Saloni into her bedroom and put her to sleep. 

Saloni got ready for school the following day. She joined her parents at the breakfast table. She saw her parents looking at her with an expression that she could not decipher. 

Manoj hesitated a bit before starting his conversation. He asked her, "Good morning, Saloni. How are you today? What happened to you last night? You almost stabbed us to death. Why did you do it?"Saloni replied, "I am sorry, dad. I have absolutely no idea about what happened last night. I only remember being escorted by mom to my bedroom."Deepa and Manoj smiled at her and quickly changed the topic. The doorbell rang shortly.

Deepa was stunned to find a cop standing outside her house. She let him inside the house.

"What can I do for you, Sir?" asked Deepa with a quivering voice. The inspector said, "I am sorry to barge into your home like this. I have come here in connection with a murder case that took place last night. We recovered four dead bodies of men in their early thirties outside Ankita Music Academy. I believe your daughter also attends the academy. I need to ask her some questions."Deepa looked thoroughly alarmed. However, she added with a firm conviction, "Please be assured, Inspector. My daughter has nothing to do with their murder." She asked Manoj and Saloni to join her in the living room. 

"Please try to understand, madam," said the inspector, "I am not accusing your daughter. I know that she is only a child and cannot commit a heinous crime. I just want to ask her whether she saw the victims lurking near the crime scene."The inspector showed the photos to Saloni. He asked her, "Did you see these people anywhere near your class?"

Saloni burst into tears and said, "These rogues troubled me a lot. I was waiting outside the gate for my father after my class got over. They approached me and started molesting me. They touched me inappropriately. I tried to push them away to save myself. One of these men forced chocolate into my mouth. I blacked out immediately. I don't remember anything that took place after I lost my consciousness. My neighbor dropped me home."Manoj and Deepa were speechless

Saloni apologized to them for not telling them about her harrowing experience.

The inspector asked Manoj about Saloni's class timings and her pick up from the class. The latter gave him a sheepish smile before answering all his questions. He admitted that he had forgotten to pick Saloni as he was engrossed in a cricket match. Deepa's phone call reminded him that he hadn't fetched his daughter from the music class. It was too late as Saloni had already left. The inspector and Deepa shot him a questioning look. The inspector said, "I am sorry to say that your negligence has cost four lives. Your daughter almost escaped from a possible gang-rape and certain death. You need not send your daughter to the music class. We have sealed it after taking Mr.Anil Gupta into police custody." 

Saloni lost her temper all of a sudden. She faced the inspector and screamed at the top of her voice. She yelled, "Don't drag my father into this mess. I am solely responsible for killing those four rascals. They were hardcore criminals. They gang-raped and murdered me outside my house last year. My father, Mr.Anil Gupta, ran from pillar to post for bringing those criminals to justice. He got disappointed after their acquittal. They stopped using the road passing through the music academy. My soul never left the earth. I was waiting for the day when I would get rid of their filthy bodies. Finally, God answered my prayers. They came back last night and found Saloni standing alone. They drugged her. I entered her body to save her from the demons." The inspector Manoj and Deepa stared at her without blinking their eyes. Their facial expressions clearly showed that they didn't believe her story. Saloni seemed to read their thoughts. She continued her speech, "Let me show you how those scumbags met their end."Saloni switched on the television. Incidents of previous night unraveled before them.

Everything happened as per Saloni's narration. The four men had started unzipping their pants. Everyone froze, after seeing a thin wisp of air assuming the shape of a girl. The soul entered the body of the unconscious Saloni. The latter woke up suddenly and glared at her tormentors. They were taken aback by her sudden consciousness. Her face had lost its original charm. She looked like a witch with many contortions in her face. She gave cackling laughter that scared these guys so much that they had urinated on the spot. She said, "Don't you recognize me, guys? I am Ankita Gupta. You played with my body before killing me."They begged for mercy. Ankita replied, "It's too late for you to repent. If I spare your lives, you will continue to devour innocent women."She hypnotized them to sodomize each other. They strangled each other to death. Manoj and Deepa closed their eyes after watching the horrible death scene.

The inspector had a sudden urge to throw up. He asked Saloni to switch off the TV. There was an eerie silence for ten minutes. No one could believe that they were dealing with the spirit of a dead girl in broad daylight. The inspector broke the silence by saying, "You have managed to seek revenge from your murderers. I kindly request you to leave this girl's body and go back to your world. I promise to release your father as soon as I can." Manoj now understood the reason behind Saloni's fury. The sight of a male organ angered Ankita. She had no intention of leaving Saloni. She pretended to listen to him. Saloni became normal again. "What happened to me?" she asked her mother, "I felt as if someone had possessed my body and did something wrong."They did not want to scare her. Hence, they quickly exchanged smiles and parted ways. The post mortem reports on the bodies confirmed that the four men had killed each other. Anil Gupta became a free bird again after the closure of the case.

A couple of days passed uneventfully. 

Saloni looked forward to attending her music class. Trouble started brewing when her parents refused to send her to the music class. She started throwing tantrums by skipping her meals and locking herself in her room. Initially, her parents ignored her. Finally, Ankita residing in Saloni's body showed her true Colours. Saloni skipped her classes in school. The school principal called her parents to complain about her misbehavior. She had hit her best friend Adil after having an altercation with him. The boy was in ICU. 

Her parents begged before the principal to give Saloni another chance. The latter agreed on the condition that Saloni should come to school after 15 days. Deepa never let Saloni out of her sight. Saloni vented out her frustration by breaking things. During dinner time, she asked her parents to permit her to attend the music class. They refused to give in to her demand. 

Saloni ran towards the terrace, followed by her parents. She climbed over the parapet and jumped to death. "Saloni!" screamed Deepa. Manoj woke up and stared at her. "Are you alright?" he asked her. She nodded with a weak smile. "I just had a nightmare," she replied, "I saw that our Saloni jumped from the terrace." 

She got up as it was dawn. She peeped into Saloni's bedroom. She was fast asleep, cuddling her cute teddy bear.  

Deepa went to the kitchen to prepare coffee. She switched on the TV with a coffee mug in her hand. She selected a news channel. The first breaking news nearly scared her to death. The newsreader spoke about the recovery of four bodies outside Ankita Music Academy. She also said that they had killed each other under the influence of alcohol. 

Meanwhile, Saloni got up from her bed. The family gathered together for breakfast. Deepa told them about the breaking news and her nightmare. Saloni and Manoj burst into laughter when they heard about Ankita's soul in her body. She said, "Mom, I think you are watching too many horror movies. How can another soul enter my body when I am still alive? Forget about the breaking news. It must be a coincidence."Manoj agreed with Saloni to alleviate Deepa's fear.

Deepa decided to spend more time with her dear daughter. Saloni finished her breakfast and went to her room. She picked up her school bag and winked at her teddy bear. "Bye, Ankita Didi," she said, "I have kept my promise. I will never tell her that I have you as my playmate. Thank you so much for saving my life." 

The teddy bear grinned at her. They were best friends forever. 

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