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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Strangest Night - Chris Evans

Strangest Night - Chris Evans

20 mins 828 20 mins 828

Chris had a busy schedule last week. He was too tired with all those shooting for his movie. Signing autographs and getting pictures clicked with fans were stressing the already tired Chris but refusing his precious fans is not something Chris would ever do. All these work load had started messing with his mind. His friends had noticed it and they all knew he needed some days off but they didn't have much time. They were already running out of time and shooting needed to be completed soon. Chris knew this too but he didn't complain about it. The film crew had to go to a different country, XYZ (country name) for the last part of the shoot. The shoot had to take place in a country side near forest. Chris decided to go there separately.

It was 24th of December. Chris departed from New York and reached the city at 4pm. On the airport he called his director. "Hey, I'm on the airport. When are you guys arriving." "What? Why would you go there today. We'll be arriving tomorrow. That was the plan." "What? But I remember it was today. That's why I booked my ticket for today." "That's why I was telling you to come with us. That's okay. Atleast you can rest for a day. I will send you the address for the hotel. Our booking is from tomorrow but I think you can get a room."

"Okay." Chris sighed. After receiving the address Chris hired a cab. He went to the hotel and tried explaining the receptionist his problem.

"I can understand sir but I'm really sorry. All our rooms are booked till tomorrow."

"Okay. Never mind." Steve checked in some other hotels as well but because of the festival, all rooms were booked. He then decided to book a hotel room near the shooting place. He got the address from his team and told the driver to take him to the nearest hotel to the set.

"We'll not find any hotel in the countryside, sir. That area is not much developed. You shouldn't go there, especially on this time of the year. There are so many lores about supernatural things."

"The best thing about these lores are they are never true. I don't believe those craps. But I will definitely like to hear some from you to kill some time unless we get there."

"But it's the longest night. Most residents avoid staying there on this time of the year."

"You mean others also have to leave their place on Christmas. Glad I'm not alone."

The driver was indeed right. They had checked 3-4 hotels but none was available for stay. In search of the hotel, they had come too deep in the forest. The ground and tree tops were covered in white. The mist was making the forest look beautiful but scary at the same time. The view was so mesmerizing. Chris put the window down to enjoy the fragrance of the nature. Hardly any sign of civilization could be seen. It was getting dark. At last, they found a hotel. Surprisingly it was too grand for the place. It was like a palace, so beautiful that nobody could take their eyes off. It was made up of white marble. The entrance gate was really big. Four beautiful, carved pillar was supporting a shade that was dome shaped. Windows were big and had glasses cut in crystal shape. It looked like a thousand of diamonds are embedded in window panel. Outside the window. The top was hidden in the clouds of fog.

"Wow", said Chris.

"Don't you think it's a little suspicious? A hotel this grand in a place like this... Let me drive you back."

"Hey! We have been searching for the hotel for ages. Finally we got one. Now don't worry. Thanks for all the help buddy."

He paid the driver and got out of the cab. One person, wearing a green and red uniform with a cap, came to take Chris' luggage.

Chris went inside the hotel and the staff followed him.

Inside of the hotel looked more enchanting than outside. It looked like the architecture of middle 1900s. A big, beautiful chandelier was hung up on the ceiling. The wall, the windows, the paintings, everything was just magnificent. For some reason, there was so much commotion. Everybody was busy arranging the hall. The reception counter was near the main entrance. Chris went to the reception.

"Good evening sir. How can I help you?"

"Can I get a room?"

"Sure sir. You're at the right place. Our hotel is the best hotel of XYZ (country name) and one of the best hotels in the world. It took 27 billion dollars and three years to build it. To celebrate the first Christmas of this hotel, we're giving you 20% discount on room booking. Chris smiled to this. He thought he might not be recognising him. But that way it was better. He could actually take some long needed break there. The receptionist continued-"Tonight, there's going to be a grand party. This hotel is filled with so many celebrities who are going to attend it. Your name Sir?"

"Christopher Robert Evans"

"You know Elena is also here."

"Who?"

"Elena Zach. Don't tell me you don't know her!."

" Actually I'm sorry, I'm not from here."

"You're a foreigner. I should have guessed from your look and your attire. Can I see your passport sir?"

"Yeah sure. Here."

"Oh my god! Don't put that table here. It will take too much space. I'm sorry sir."

He gave the key to Chris.

"Here sir, room no. 507. Pardon me, I'll check your passport later. You seem like a nice guy. Please sign here sir and then you can go to your room. U/C(unnamed character)(the luggage boy) will show you the way. And please come to the party tonight. No not there you idiot. Party will be starting in few hours not next year. Don't mess with the chandelier." The receptionist left.

"But.... What kind of security they have. What if I was a terrorist! He didn't even check my passport."

Chris signed the register and followed UC.

"Sir are you an actor too?" UC asked

"Uh, yes. How did you guess."

"You look like one. You must be really famous in your country. Women must be crazy."

"I hope so." Chris laughed.

"Your room sir."

Chris unlocked the door and went inside. UC put the luggage in one corner of the room.

"Your tip."

"Thank you sir."

"Can you please bring a cup of coffee for me?"

"Sure sir. I'll be right back with your coffee."

Chris was exhausted from all this traveling.

"Shit! There's no network."

He takes out his clothes and covered his lower body with a towel. He then went to take a hot shower. He started humming his favourite song - 'Kiss the girl'. Slowly his humming turned into singing. He was so lost in the song.

Knock knock.

A sound of knuckles banging the wooden door broke the trans of Chris. "Coming."

Chris turned off the shower and went to the door, thinking that it must be U/C. When he opened the door, he froze. A beautiful woman in her late 20s, with a formal gown with printed small flowers, was standing there in an awe.

She had brown hairs, milk white skin, long, black eyelashes, perfectly pointed noise, lips as red as a rose petal. Her eyes had two amber pearls. She was gracefully slim. Everything about her was just perfect. Chris was admiring her divine beauty. The woman got lost in admiring Chris. His wet, messed light brown hair was so attractive. Water drops dripping from his hair on his forehead, his enchanting, blue eyes, that nose anybody could die for, those lips you can't resist kissing. "Is this guy really a human." Water dripping from his hair to his shoulder, rolling down his nipples and then on the best abs in the world and then being absorbed by the towel... As she noticed the towel, she came back to her senses. She realised what she was actually looking at. She closed her eyes with her hand and turned back.

"I'm sorry." The woman said.

This made Chris come back to senses too.

"No, I'm sorry. Just give me two seconds." Chris ran to the bed where his clothes were kept. He wore the pants in a hurry and then pulled out the towel. He put on the t-shirt and went back to the door.

"Hi". Chris said.

"Hello. Can I turn back now?"

"Yeah ofcourse."

The woman turned back and gave a embarrassed smile and that made Chris blush. That was the prettiest smile he had ever seen.

"I'm Chris. Chris Evans."

"Elena Zach."

"Oh! You're Elena Zach!!"

"Yeah. You didn't recognise me?" She smiled and looked straight in Chris' eyes.

Chris whispered-"I should have If I had seen you earlier. You're not someone one can forget about."

"What did you say?"

"Uh, nothing. I was saying that I'm not from here. I just came here for a shoot."

"You're an actor too?"

"Sir, I'm sorry. There are so many guest that the cooks took forever to make a coffee. Here sir, your coffee." U/C said, holding a serving trolley that had a beautiful clay kettle, a cup and a plate, a covered pot that must have contained sugar cubes.

"Oh, pardon me. I was just passing by and then... I think I should go now. Enjoy your coffee."

"No please don't go... I mean come inside and have some coffee."

"No its okay, actually...."

"Please, I insist."

How could Elena say no to those puppy eyes.

"Okay."

Chris moved away from the door and let U/C and Elena inside. U/C was going to serve the coffee.

Chris stopped him and said -"It's okay, I will do that. Remember the party? You must have a lot of work."

"But sir it's okay."

"It's not okay. You're not understanding." Chris said in a low voice to U/C."

"Oh, okay sir."

U/C left. Chris poured coffee in the cup and handed it over to Elena. Elena looked at Chris, gave that million dollars smile and took the cup.

"You know you have the best smile in the world." Chris said.

"Thanks." Elena blushed.

"Where's your cup?" Elena asked.

Chris brought the glass kept on the table near bed. "Here." He poured some coffee for himself.

"So you were saying something. You were passing by and then?" Chris asked.

"And then I heard your song. It was amazing I have never heard it before. What was that song?"

Chris smiled.

"It was 'Kiss the girl'. It's my favourite."

"Will you sing that for me?" There was a child like shine in her eyes.

"Sure, if you promise to go on a date with me."

Elena blushed and looked down. She couldn't meet his eyes.

"Chris. Are you coming to the party tonight. Aanchu!" Elena sneezed.

"God bless you. Will you be there?"

"Ofcourse, I'm here to attend that party."

"Then without a doubt, I'll be there."

"I think I should go. I have to get ready for the party."

"I'll be waiting for you."

"What if I get there first?"

"I won't make you wait for long."

Elena left.

Chris had tried every single shirt he brought and then it was time for the suits. He was frustrated as there was so less time left. Finally he was in a black shirt, a royal blue suit and his favourite blue tie and perfectly set hair. Before leaving, he took a last look in the mirror for a millionth time. When he reached the hall, he observed the light was dim yellow. Everyone was in 50's fashion. Coat, undercoat, shirt, trouser and a hat for men. Women were dressed up in 50s gown or dress, curled hair mostly knot in a bun. Most women were wearing fancy hats. It was a masquerade party and someone offered Chris a mask. He took it but didn't wear it. His eyes were eagerly searching for Elena. Someone took the mask from Chris' hand from back, put it on his face and tied ribbon on the back of his head.

"Someone told me he wouldn't make me wait for long." Elena said.

Chris smiled. "I'm sorry." He held Elena's hand and brought her in front of him. Elena was wearing a red, velvet dress. Her hair was perfectly curled and hanging loose. Her red heels were open in the front that showed her beautiful toes with painted red toe nails. The point of her nose was a bit red and so was her cheek, showing natural blush. She was wearing a golden mask that had a peacock on one side. Though she was wearing a mask, her shiny, amber orbs were clearly visible.

"Oh my god you look ravishing. But nobody told me it's a theme party. Well it's not like if someone had told me, I could prepare for it. God, I'm feeling awkward." Chris said.

"What are you saying? You're looking handsome."

"I'm looking odd."

"Shut up, let's dance."

Elena took Chris by hand in the ball room. Slow music was being played. Couples were dancing. Few people were standing at the corner, enjoying drinks. Elena put her hands on Chris' shoulder, Chris put his hands on Elena's waist and they began to wave with the rhythm of the music. She brought one hand to her mouth as she sneezed.

"I'm sorry." Said Elena.

"You okay? Your nose are red. It's seems like you caught an allergy."

"Actually, I'm allergic to caffeine."

"What? Then why did you drink coffee?"

"It's hard to say no to you, you know?"

His concerned face changed into a smiling one.

"Tell me you will be okay soon or I'll die of guilt."

"I'm better than I've ever been. There are so many people. Let's go somewhere quieter."

Elena took Chris on the top floor. The place where stairs ended was a room that had one of its windows facing the main entrance, one facing the side woods and one facing the terrace. Beside that window was a door that led to it. Elena opened the window facing terrace. It was snowing and the terrace was covered with snow.

"Oh, it's snowing. That's why it's so cold here," said Elena as she rubbed her hand. Chris unbuttoned his suit and put it on Elena.

"I thought this suit was only made for me but it looks better on you," said Chris.

Elena blushed and started looking down. The night was not only the longest but the darkest too. There was no moon. Chris untied Elena's mask. He couldn't take his eyes of Elena. Her already beautiful eyes were outlined gracefully with black eyeliner that ended in wings in the corner of her eyes. Her eyelashes were curled. Her cheeks got redder, as did her nose. Chris put his index finger below her chin and gently raised her face up. He checked his watch.

"1 minute left for Christmas. Do you want me to sing that song now?"

"Please", said Elena, looking in Chris' blue eyes.

"There you see her

Sitting there across the way

She don't got a lot to say

But there's something about her

And you don't know why

But you're dying to try

You wanna kiss girl

Yes, you want her

Look at her, you know you do

It's possible she wants you too

There's one way to ask her

It don't take a word, not a single word

Go on and kiss the girl, kiss the girl"

He stopped. Elena's face was making it hard to concentrate. The prettiest woman in the world was sitting in front of him. Those large eyes, that smile, they made him forget the lyrics, they made him forget everything. He was lost looking in her eyes and so was she. He leaned forward, cupped her face and kissed her. Their lips were dancing together. Dancing to the unsung rhythm of the song. None of them wanted to break it. But alas! Only if it could go on forever. They broke the kiss.

"Merry Christmas Elena. It is the best Christmas of my life."

"Merry Christmas Chris. It is the best Christmas of my life too."

They started kissing again.

Bang!!! A sound of bullet shot broke their kiss."

"What was that?" A shocked Elena asked.

Bang! Bang! Two more bullet shots were heard.

"What the hell is going on?" Chris asked.

He took out his mobile from his trouser. He dialled 911.

"What is this?"

"Wait."

"HELLO, 911. State your emergency"

"Hello, this is an emergency. Bullets are being fired."

"Hello?"

"We're in hotel grand, in....

"Hello, are you there?"

The sounds of firing and screaming could be heard even on the top floor.

"We need help... Hello, hello. Shit the network's gone."

"You were asking for help with that thing."

"Yes. Guess it didn't work. Why are they doing this?" Chris banged his hand on the wall.

"Oh my god! Our president. They're after him."

"What? Your president! He's in the hotel! Then why the fuck security is so weak in this hotel?"

"He has his own security, one of the best security in the world."

"They are attacking, you see?" He shouted. "I'm sorry. We're going down."

"What? They're firing there."

"We don't have any other choice. It's one way. If they come here, we're dead."

Chris held Elena's hand and started going down the stairs. They had only made their way to the top second floor, they heard some foot steps approaching. Chris took out Elena's heels from her feets and handed it over to her in a hurry. Then he rushed to the nearest door and Elena followed him. He twisted the knob in order to open the door but it was locked. He then rushed to the other making as much less sound as possible. He tried opening that but it was locked too. The footsteps could be heard more clearly. He tried every door but failed. Luckily, the last door on the end of the alley was open. He held Elena's hand and pulled her in the room and then shut the door. The room was a store room. It had many broken furnitures, a ladder, paint boxes and many other things, all covered with dusts.

"I'm telling you, we're only wasting our time. No one was there on the floor beneath. All doors were closed ..." Clicking sound. "And this floor is no different."

"Keep your mouth shut and focus. We have to check every single place so that no one's left alive."

"Why does it even matter? Our brothers are having fun down there, killing people, enjoying the screams and we're on a stupid task playing detective.

Elena's eyes were filled with tears. She was breathing heavy and her breath could easily be heard. Chris put his hand on her mouth. Elena looked at Chris with those large, moist eyes.

"Everything's gonna be fine." Chris whispered.

Elena leaned on Chris and closed her eyes. Chris peeked out from the key hole. There were two men, both wearing black masks. They were carrying rifles. Both were checking the knobs of the door. One of them was continuously talking and the second one looked not so talkative.

" Why are we even doing this? We are going to blast this place anyway. All the rats who must be hiding will be roasted altogether. Hahaha!! that's going to be fun." The talkative one said.

With each door, he was coming close to them. The next was the room in which Chris and Elena were hiding. Chris moved away from the door so that the man wouldn't notice him. He hugged Elena tightly, losing all hopes and accepting that their time is over. The man was going to open the door.

"Hey, all doors are locked. Doesn't seems like here's someone. What about your side?" The serious one asked.

"Same here. I told you we're wasting our time."

"Let's go, check the rooftop."

"Sure. More time to waste."

Chris and Elena heard the sound of the footsteps going upstairs. After sometimes the sound of the footsteps was nearer again and then it started fading. But the noise of the bullet shots and screams, coming from the downstairs, could still be heard very clearly.

Chris cupped Elena's face in his palms.

"Hey, I told you everything will be alright." He smiled and that gave a freaked Elena little hope. She smiled back and nodded. Chris gently wiped her tears from her cheek.

"Nothing is going to happen to you until I'm alive." Chris said and kissed Elena's forehead.

"We're going to blast this place"

This voice was repeating in Chris' mind again and again. He knew if they want to live, they have to leave this hotel and go as far as possible. But Elena was not in the condition to take that risk. He thought he should let Elena rest for sometimes. He hold Elena in his arms. He closed his eyes for few moments and then opened his eyes in a shock. Elena was not there. She just disappeared. "Elena, Elena where are you?" He opened the door and moved out of the room. He was so worried, it was so hard for him to think straight. He went upstairs to check the terrace but she was not there. He was scared. He started shouting her name. He didn't care anymore what would happen to him. All that mattered at that time was Elena.

"Elena! Elena!!" He went down the stairs, to the 4th floor and then to third, the floor where Chris' and Elena's rooms were. The floor was covered with the carpet of blood. Dead bodies were lying all along the alleys and inside the rooms. He rushed towards her room, room no. 512. He was going inside but then he heard something and turned back. Sound of bullet shot came from a room opposite to her's. From Elena's room, sound of heavy breathing and sobbing could be heard clearly. He wanted to rush to her but it was too late. A man with a mask and a rifle came out of the room from where the sound of firing just came. He pointed his gun towards Chris and started moving forward. Chris was afraid and he started taking his steps backward.Suddenly he found himself in her room. The door was in front of him. He got passed through the door. Elena's sobbing made him turn back. "Elena!" She was sitting on the floor leaning her back on the wall in front of the door and with her thighs near her chest. She was hugging her legs tightly. It was difficult for her to breathe. There was fear in her eyes. It was so red because of crying.

Creek!!

The sound of the door being opened made Chris turn back again. It was the same man. Chris gave up. He fell on his knees. He knew that it's the end for them. The only thing good about the situation was he was inbetween the man and Elena. He will die before Elena. He closed his eyes, smiled and shouted - "I love you Elena."

Bang! The bullet was shot!!!

Chris didn't feel anything and opened his eyes. He was not hurt. He looked back. The lifeless body of Elena was lying there. Bullet had hit her forehead. Blood was dripping down to her face. Her wide opened eyes had now lost its shine.

"Elena!!!" He shouted and rushed towards her. He hold her tightly continuously calling her name and crying. After about half an hour the whole place was filled with light and loud noise. Everything was frozen. The place became lifeless.

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Cooooo, coooo.

Chris woke up to the cooing of birds. After being in darkness for so much time, even the gentle sun rays of early morning were hurting his red, swollen eyes. He looked around. "Elena!" He called. There was no sign of Elena. There was no sign of anyone. He found himself sitting in the middle of ruins. His luggages were on the ground a few distance away from him. He could see his navy blue suit hung on a tall pillar of the ruins, far away from him. He went near the pillar, picked a pebble from the ground and threw it towards the suit. It fell down. Chris hugged his suit tightly, sat on the ground and started crying.

After few hours, some cars approach the place with some police cars among them.

"Chris!! What the hell. I must have called you a millionth time. Why didn't you pick it up. Are you alright? We had to track your mobile GPS to search you." The director said.

"Joe.. Elena... Elena..." He started weeping. "Elena..."

"Relax, just relax. We're delaying the shoot. Let's go home. We'll not talk about the shoot unless I feel you have taken a good amount of rest."

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There was so much questions in Chris' mind and like always the internet helped a lot. He found that Elena Zach was a XYZian actress. She ruled the industry in 1940s - 1950s. She died on 24/25 December, 1957 in a terrorist attack. The hotel she was staying in was bomb blasted. All 2000 people, including the president died in that terrorist attack. There were some stories about that place on the internet. Some people claimed to see a beautiful, white palace in the forest. People living near the forest claimed to hear screems, bullet shots and sound of explosives. The strangest thing was that, all these were felt on the longest night of the year.

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A YEAR LATER,

It was 24 December. Chris was holding a flight ticket to C/N( city name), XYZ. His trolley bag was full of clothes trending in 50s, with hats of different colours. His navy blue suit was also there. He had already contacted the driver who took him to the hotel a year ago. He couldn't wait to see Elena again. The driver would be picking him up from the hotel exactly 10 minutes before 12. He would not be able to see Elena dying again in front of his eyes.


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