Tell me a story of your dreams

Based on a true story

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1. Tell me a story of your dreams

 

It was a rainy day. The old man sat on his rocking chair and looked out through the windows as the raindrops trickled down the window panes. He was a retired doctor, a very good one they say. A life well spent, a life full of stories and adventures. His grand-daughter brought him coffee and sat beside him. They were the best of friends. They spent hours and hours, he telling her stories of his life which she would listen with utmost attention and excitement. She not only loved his stories for the adventure in it, but also more because of the way he got into every detail with precision. As he took the first sip, he looked at her. And he knew what was coming. She was looking at him with expectant eyes, a story. “Tell me a story of your dreams”she said.

So, he began. “It was somewhere around May in 1975. I was a resident Surgeon then. We used to stay in our hostel in the Old Hospital compound. It was a very hot and humid day, as I remember. After my night shift at the emergency, I came to my room and fell fast asleep.” He paused, lost in thought. She poked at him and said.” Please don’t stop”. He smiled at her and started again.” In my sleep I saw a strange dream. I saw myself walking up a steep hill. A hill of tea gardens. And on top of that hill, I could see a small Bungalow. The road up the hill was like a circle. I walked on towards the Bungalow. It looked deserted and in ruins. My curiosity for mystery drew me towards it, as if like a magnet.” He stopped again and took a sip. The rains had started pouring heavily now, the skies had darkened into an ugly wickedness. He told her “Please switch on the lights dear.”She replied“Please, no. Please don’t spoil the mystery.” And she poked him again to continue.

He looked out, his gaze was fixed at the dark skies, as if he was walking up the hills to that bungalow again, trying to remember each tiny detail. He said “Yes, where was I? Oh yes, the bungalow. I kept on walking towards it, and little by little it started growing bigger& bigger. And I could make out that it was completely in ruins, deserted. It looked like a haunted mansion. I walked up to the door and knocked, though I was sure no one was at home. After several knocks when no one answered, I pushed the door open. And a gush of pungent smell hit me. It was a smell of decay, of uncared for walls and furniture. It was dark inside and I could see big spider webs all around.

It gave me the creeps. Dear, do you still want to hear the rest of it? “. He was teasing her. She retorted.” No, I never get scared, you know that. And ghosts would be the last thing on earth that would scare me.” And she slowly came closer to him. He smiled and patted her and continued.”So, I went inside and was looking around when I heard the rumbling of the clouds. The skies had darkened like it has now and a storm was coming. It made visibility more difficult inside. So, I took out my matchbox and lit a match. I went from room to room and finally came to what looked like the master bedroom. My match went out, so I lighted another. In the darkness, I could see a big bed, a big table and a dressing table by the side. There was a huge window, with broken glasses. I went towards the window. It had started raining by then.”He took another sip and there was a tremendous roar of the clouds. The window panes were trembling with the sound and the rain pounding on them.

He looked at her. Her eyes had gone wide in excitement. He continued.” As I walked to the window and looked outside, I saw a couple walking up the hill. There was this man holding an umbrella in one hand and a lady held his other hand. They looked like they were having an evening stroll in the garden, least bothered about the coming storm. I watched them coming towards the bungalow. But they did not enter. Instead they walked past it. As they passed me, I got a glimpse of the couple. They were in their late Forties or so it seemed, the man in his Dark Black Suit and a Hat and the Lady was in a long dress. They walked past the bungalow, engrossed in each other. I saw them vanish down the winding roads downhill. And suddenly, I felt of pinch in my fingers. The match had gone out as I was busy peeping out. I lighted another one. As I turned back and shone the light in the room, I saw that there was a huge portrait on the wall near the table. I slowly walked towards it and drew the light towards the picture. It was hanging on one side at an awkward angle, as if it would fall any moment now. There was something written on the lower side of the picture. As I moved closer to it and brought the light closer, I saw that it was the picture of the man who had just walked by!”

 

He paused for a moment and looked at her. Her eyes were gaping at him with horror and excitement. He could feel her hands trembling as he clutched his elbow. She was only 10. As she realized he was looking at her, she let go of the elbow and said “Why are you giving me that look? I am not at all scared.” He laughed out loud and said.”I know dear, you are my brave girl.””So, what next?” she said.

“The next thing I remember is a scream, a heart wrenching scream of a woman in pain. It was loud and helpless. I jumped awoke on my bed. I found that my bed was wet with my sweat and it had formed the shape of my body on the bed sheet. I heard the scream again and ran towards the door. Then I realized that the door was locked and I didn’t have the key. I never bothered to replace the lock or break open the door. One of the windows in my room had two broken grills and I used to go out and come in through that gap. Maybe I was so lazy that I never managed to fix the door problem.” He smiled sheepishly. After a long breathe, he started again.” As I went out, I found that the scream was coming from the Hospital building just opposite our Hostel. I ran towards it. Many others by now had come out and there was a gathering near one of the ground floor balconies just outside the male ward. I pushed through the crowd and as I went to the front, what I saw was a horrific scene. Dear, I don’t think I should be telling you all this. If your Grandma hears this, I will be in trouble.””Oh, please. Can we move ahead with the story? Don’t worry, I am a big girl now.” She said.”Okay, as you say dear. There I saw a man hanging with a rope around his neck, with his feet just centimeters above the ground. There was a nurse standing nearby, whose hysteric screams had awoken me. It was 6.30 am and the nurse was on duty. She had found one of the patients missing from bed and came looking. She saw him standing in the balcony. From a distance, he looked as if he was standing. She came closer and gave him a little push on the shoulder. And the limp body started dangling.”

She quickly got on his lap and hugged him tight, her face inside his chest. He could hear her heartbeat. “It’s okay my child, it’s just a story. “he said. After a few seconds she looked up and asked him.” Did you know that man whom you saw in your dreams?”. He replied” No. I never saw or heard of that man in my life. It was just a dream”.

“What was written on that picture?” she asked again. He said,” In loving memory of Dr. Frank Huey, June, 1941.”

Present Day, many years later from old Grandpa’s story. The little girl has grown big and became a doctor like her Grandpa. She is still fond of stories and loves reading. She was today in a library looking for some mystery novel. Her thirst for mystery was still so alive.

As she looked around from one book to another, she found an old stack of newspaper from ancient times, May, 1941 it was dated. On the front page was the picture of a man in dark Black suit with an umbrella and a lady in a long dress, holding his hand. The picture was taken outside a beautiful Bungalow on top of a small hill.

The headlines read “Mystery surrounds the demise of Dr. Frank Huey and his wife. They were both found dead today morning in their home. Cause of death is unknown. Investigators are still looking into the matter.”

 

A cold shiver ran through her.

 

 

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