Thursday, July 11, 2013

Short Story: The Short-cut

"Do not take the short-cut."

Dance to the death was the mood of the night. To celebrate the end of an era was mantra of the evening. Under the twinkling disco lights and booming speakers, the tipsy crowd foot-tapped to glory. 
Totally head-over-heels after the late night college farewell party, Malhar cared less about the caution given to him by Alimah. After the ecstatic night, eagerness about the new beginning and amalgamated feelings of leaving the college and his friends escalated him to a new energy level. He was ready to take all the risks.

The sounds of the disco beats faded and were replaced with the sounds of whistling winds and cricket chirps as he rode his bike away from the populated party zone towards the woods that were en route to his hostel. He kept following the 'pucca' road till he reached the diversion for the short-cut route about which he had heard a few spooky stories in the past.

"People say, a woman in white apparel asks anybody who goes by that road to drop her to till the town."

He remembered, one of his friend, Alimah had once narrated this legend to him which she said had a cult status in the locale. People preferred not to travel through it, specially at nights.

"And you believe in that crap?"

Malhar checked the fuel indicator which was almost diverted towards the empty point. He scoffed the treacherous stories and decided to take the route which would reduce his distance of travelling.

With dense trees on both sides, the road was a little turbulent and totally deserted. He kept riding without a crumb of fear. There was no other light except his bike's headlight, throwing long beam to reveal through the darkness. more trees and an unruly road. He looked into the rear view mirror only to find more darkness that he had left behind.

He almost reached the midway when the headlight beams discovered something unexpected in a nearby distance. When he saw it, he could not believe his eyes. "Alimah was right", he thought. There was a woman in white before him, untied long hair covering her face, gesturing him to stop and take her with him. His heartbeats raced with the speed of the bike. He closed his eyes, swallowed and accelerated as quick as he could, without looking at her, passed by her. He kept his eye lids closed tight till he reached a distance where he could take a sigh. His heart was still beating like never before. He opened his eyes and assured himself
"It was just an illusion."
"Phew! I am alive..."

To take a reality check, he looked back into the rear view mirror. The image shook him in and out. A white strip of cloth was swinging with the wind.
Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. 

The woman was sitting right behind him. She put a palm on his shoulder and whispered in his ears,
"I told you not to take the short-cut."



  1. We are hardwired to take the short cut.. nice post!

    1. thanks Prachie. And loved your post You & I

  2. Shortcut in Life never leads to Heaven only to Hell..
    Very Nice writeup..Feeling it while reading.. :-)

  3. Can such things be true?
    Good suspense built through out.

  4. scary !! a nice lesson.. sort cuts never help .. even in life .wonderful work!!

  5. oohhh...horror..Ashish m having goosebumps now :) very nice built up..i almost felt i was travelling through the woods with malhar.

    Good one!

  6. Nicely written!
    But it really seems hard sometimes to ignore the short cuts when we are surrounded by supporting facts!!:)

  7. Well written :) Scary one. Shortcuts won't help always in life.