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And Then We Grow Up

By Rishav Kumar All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Horror

Chapter 1

“Old people disappear all the time here.”
This made me uneasy. The first person I try to make an acquaintance with has already been successful in making me apprehensive of this new town.
New town. New people. A new life.
Same old dread.
All I ever wanted was some peace of mind. So I left my hectic, high-profile job for a quieter life. A nice, small place where I wouldn’t be bothered and would live my life happily forever. And now this.
Talk about irony.
Trying to comfort myself of being still in my mid-20s, I joked, “Well what about young people?”
The man opened one of his eyes and leered. He spat and looked at me again. Then he spoke in a low, grave voice. “Young people? What young people?”
I looked around. Most of the people either had a walking stick or trudged with great difficulty. Wrinkles, bald heads and saggy skin. This was definitely weird. No young people around. Not one. Except me.


I had moved into a small house with a kitchen and a room. Nothing fancy. Nothing that could remind me of the past. I had left it all behind—the expensive studio, the Vividus bed, the Rolex watch, the Lamborghini Aventador, the pregnant wife, the dying mum, the dead dog. I had deleted all my online accounts, thrown my cellphone into the river on the way here. I took out all the cash I had. I just wanted to disappear. I got up, undressed and went into the bathroom. I looked into the mirror and smiled at myself. Handsome face, decent jawline, a muscular Adonis in the prime of his youth. I looked closely at myself. A white hair! Shit. I snatched at it like it was some weed and sent it whirling down, slowly into the dustbin.

That night I couldn’t sleep. Each time I tried to close my eyes, something or the other woke me up. The slight scratching on the window, the probable knock on the door, the howling wind, the rustle of leaves. Hours passed. Somewhere around morning, silence ensued, and I fell asleep. I started dreaming.
I was relaxing myself on the beach. A sunny day. Boys playing volleyball. Women sunbathing in their skimpy outfits. Children building sand castles. Peace of mind, finally. The very next moment, it all turned dark. I stood up and looked around. There was nobody. The waves that seemed pleasant earlier had now started billowing. They seemed to get larger with every passing minute and then, they started chasing me as if they wanted to devour me.
I ran. I looked back. The vicious waves chased me like a beast pursuing its prey. I turned and ran for my life. I could see something far away. Some light, something. “A door!” I shouted, “The door!!”
I woke up in a frenzy. Unconsciously, I ran for the door but my knees began to buckle. My back was hurting. I felt impotent as I reached the door with great difficulty. I looked at my hands. Thin and weak and wrinkly. As I opened the door, I found the same man I’d met earlier leering at me. “It’s time,” he said and spat.He was wearing an old hoodie and had a rusty scythe in his hand. He kept looking at his watch. I tried to make out the time but couldn’t. I tried to speak but found my tongue lolling freely in a maw with no teeth. My head began to spin and I desperately clasped it with both hands. I was bald.


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Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

matrixmark: I thought that the introduction to this was relly well written and structurally sound in its presentation.The introduction to the cabin in the woods was good too. To me, it felt like a Blair Witch of yesteryear, but the things which you added in about the mutilated boys were certainly something n...

Emperor2000: I joined Inkitt and downloaded this book following a friend who has been on here sometime recommending it. After they spoke about it a bit, I thought why not give it a go. Initially I only expected to read a few chapters, as I have little time to spend reading (not as much as I like). However I c...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Gayle Gunderson Boyce: I loved the book. Couldn't stop reading it. The story was good with a strong build up of suspense and sense of urgency to catch the killer. All clues pointed to Talbot yet enough things didn't add up to keep us looking and thinking. Jack Creed is a likeable character with lots of gut experience. ...

Kiz16: After a truly shocking start to the story, I found the style and content slowed down as the author introduced a varied group of characters who I thought were fleshed out very well. After a slow couple of chapters, I found this story difficult to leave with the tension growing within the house. Yo...

Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...

Tony Lee: Read this during my 7-hour flight. You've done a great job describing each situation, but I believe there is room for improvement. Also, the ending was a bit abrupt and I think the last part where Terry Hunter was brought in again (slight spoiler) wasn't really necessary.. But overall the story k...

C.K. Bachman: Just read the first chapter. Love how the main character thinks and is conflicted over his wife and the trickery he uses on her.

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