The Ghostwriter and other short stories

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The Ghostwriter

“So, how was the food?” asked Alex to his father and mother in law and his wife, Kate.

“Awesome!” cried Alex’s mother in law.

“It was amazing!” said Kate.

“So you were talking about shifting to New Zealand...” said Alex’s father in law.

“Oh yeah! After I complete my new book I’ll have enough money to shift to New Zealand,” said Alex.

“So what about us?” asked Alex’s mother in law.

“Yeah, yesterday we decided that we will take you with us!” exclaimed Kate.

“It would be difficult for me to do so as I am very much connected to my country. I would not be able to leave it...” said Alex’s father in law.

“Oh father don’t worry, you will adapt to that surrounding as well!” said Kate.

“So how much time will it take you to complete the book?” asked Alex’s father in law.

“Maybe a week or probably two... I have already booked the tickets for the flight that is next month,” replied Alex.

Everyone remained silent for the rest of the journey. When they reached home, they were all tired so they went straight to bed.

Next morning Alex woke up, did his chores and called up Max, his friend with whom he is writing the book, and asked him to come over to his place. Alex then went to his room and began to read what he had written yesterday.

As he began to read, he discovered that the story which was typed on the computer was none of what he had written. The story was totally terrifying... It read –

[It was all dark in the room. Only a candle was placed on the table. The two could hardly see each other’s face and it was impossible to see anything else. The wax from the candle was steadily melting making the light dimmer and dimmer. Watson broke the silence saying -

“I’ll kill you just like I killed your father if you interrupt in my business...”

“I wonder about that! I hope you know how popular I am... If you kill me my fans will kill you...” said Antony.

“My son was also a renowned man, a singer. He found out about my business and when he tried to interrupt, I killed him in such a way that nobody knows about it even now after 4 years...”

“Okay I’ll not tell anyone about your business but please don’t kill me!!!”

“Now you are talking! Do you think I will spare you after you have heard such a big secret of mine?”

Then the candle went off and there was complete darkness, nothing could be seen but the only thing to be heard was the screams of Antony for help... Soon they also stopped. Watson went towards the exit of the room and as the door opened a little light came in and fell on Antony’s dead body.]

Under the story, it was written in big bold letters -

[THE SAME CAN HAPPEN TO YOU, BE CAREFUL...]

Alex was shocked for some time and then the doorbell rang, it was Max. Alex took him directly to his room and made him read the story. After he had read the story Alex said -

“You wrote this right?”

“Me...? But w... why would I write this?” said Max in hesitation.

“That you should know! Come on speak the truth now!”

“I am telling the truth! Besides I went home just as you went out for dinner... remember?”

“Then who could this be? Umm... Probably the maid? She was here all the time after we left for dinner!” cried Alex.

“Let’s go and ask her!”

They went up to the maid and Alex asked her -

“Sister, did you go to my room yesterday?”

“N... No... Not at all! I didn’t go there!” replied the maid.

Max went up to Alex and said in his ears -

“She how much she is hesitating, I think she is the one who did this...”

Alex went up to his room without saying a single word. Max went behind him.

Alex began to think that who could be this person... Max went up to him and sked -

“Hey, didn’t you see how the maid hesitated? I know that she is the one who did this.”

“No way! She does not even know how to read and write. But yes she lied about coming to my room. She came to my room and tried to read the books on my shelf as she is trying to learn how to read and write,” replied Alex.

“Anyways let’s get back to work now,” said Alex.

“Umm... Okay!”

They cleared the story written and started to write their own story.

Everything went well for a week but then after a week when Alex was reading the story, he again realized that there is one paragraph that he has not written.

The paragraph read –

[“Flight AD96 is ready to take off...”

Just before the flight took off Billy’s heartbeat rose. He had a nightmare last night in which the plane he is in right now, is going to be hijacked and crashed by some terrorists... He heard the announcement -

“Flight AD96 taking off from New York, USA and will reach Aukland, New Zealand in 1 day and 19 hours. We have one stop in between.”

The plane started to sore up higher and higher in the sky and Billy’s heartbeat also rose. After the plane had travelled 4 hours, suddenly a passenger stood up and pointed the gun towards the other passengers. Billy closed his eyes and prayed to God for his safety. But all in vain, the plane crashed and Billy died...]

Then again under the story is was written in bold big letters –

“THE SAME CAN HAPPEN TO YOU...”

Alex was stunned and speechless... He told Max -

“Only you, my family and the maid know about my trip to New Zealand and also I don’t think that I have interrupted in anybody’s business.”

“I think you should ask your family members,” suggested Max.

“Yes, I will do but not now...”

Alex works in an organization that catches people who export illegal items like drugs, weapons etc. out of the country

He comes back from office in the evening and asks his wife first who works in a transportation company.

“Kate, did you go to my room?” he asked.

“Nah, why would I go there? There is only a computer and a big pile of books,” replied Kate.

“By the way, of what time are you talking about?” asked Kate.

“Um... Last week...” said Alex.

“Last week? Don’t you know how busy I was last week? I exported more than 32 big containers out of the country...”

“Okay, okay calm down!”

Alex now went towards the room where his mother and father in law were. He asked them the same question. They said –

“Last week? Um... No, I didn’t go there. By the way at what time of the day? Morning or Evening?” asked Alex’s father in law.

“Um... Evening...” said Alex.

“Oh, Alex don’t you know that I have fear of darkness and so I cannot move around in the evening. Also, your mother in law stays with me all the time,” said Alex’s father in law.

Alex thanked them and came out of their room and thought -

“If none of them has done this then who can this be? Maybe a ghost, maybe a ghost of my long-dead parents or probably my father in law’s son who died long ago.”

As he was walking in the lobby and going towards his room, he took out a small diary and a pen. Just then the light went off and it became all dark...

Alex’s pen fell down and he bent down to search for it. After five minutes he heard his father and mother in law talking about something. He continued to look for his pen and also heard what they were talking.

“See he has started to get suspicious about you. I told you a week before itself not to do such a thing...” said Alex’s mother in law. “Why can’t you let them go to New Zealand?”

“I don’t care about him at all! I only need Kate. She is the one I use to export all those illegal items to faraway countries. And if she goes away then this transport will stop and my boss will kill me!” said Alex’s father in law.

“Use? Don’t you have any shame? Using your own daughter? And you call that fat man your boss?”

“He may be fat but he is very dangerous. He will surely kill me if he comes to know that the transport has stopped.”

“So why can’t you simply talk to Alex? Why do you need to kill him?”

“Because he and his organization have started to doubt me... They may catch me any day, and they even have the support form the army. Don’t worry, I’ll kill him like I killed his parents and my son.”

Alex heard it all and he was in tears. The next morning he had a battalion of army surrounding his house. He reported this incident to his organization. He also told his wife about it. Alex’s father in law was being arrested and he went up to him and said -

“You are getting the punishment for what you have done so don’t try to kill me now. By the way, the story you wrote was amazing! I loved it!”

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