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A House That Never Was


My name is Alok, and I was working as a freelance writer. 

A few days ago I got a mail to write an article about Heerapur jungle.

The locals say this is one of the mysterious and haunted places of India.

I took that project because they were paying me $10,000 for a single article.

The place was nearly 200 km from my house, so I took my laptop, some necessary gear and drove to that place in my car.

I decided to stay in that jungle because I wanted to complete the work as soon as possible. 

It was around 10 pm when I reached Heerapur jungle and looking for a place to stay. Finally, I got a house in the middle of the jungle.

The house was dusty and old, but I hadn't any other option, so I went to that house.

I rang the bell, and an old man responded, " Who is there?"

I told him that I wanted to stay there for two-three days so I could complete my work. But he didn't want any stranger to live in their house.

Somehow, I managed to convince him, and he allowed me to stay for two days.

The house was a mess.

Dusty and broken pieces of furniture laid down in the gloomy hall. 

The paint on the walls was peeling off. It looked like the house wasn't painted for a decade.

Burning smell and smoke were coming out from the kitchen and covering the entire hall.

An old lady was sitting in a wheelchair, looking at me with a confused face. The man introduced me to his wife.

As I moved towards my room, I heard the creaking sound of the stairs.

The room was dark and dusty. There was a table covered with dust, a sofa which reminds me of my grandfather. You could instantly feel itchy if you sit on that. But the bed was soft and comfortable.

Half of my wall was cover by portraits of mysterious-looking people and, the other half was by spiders. You could see the cockroaches from the cracked wall. 

After cleaning my room, I took a break. I lit up my cigarette and started enjoying the view.

It was a cold full-moon night. The cold breeze coming from my broken window was touching my face. 

For the first time, I felt the beauty of nature. It looked like a painting to me.

I switched on my cell phone to call my wife, but there was no network.

I was tired, so I finished my dinner which I brought from my home and slept.

At midnight I felt the puff of breath on the earlobe, a sensation of being pushed against my bed. I woke up and looked around me. It was dark, so I lit up a candle, but I could not see anyone in my room.

Suddenly, I heard a strange voice coming from the hall. I slowly went downstairs.

I saw a giant symbol on the floor covered by candles. The old couple was sitting on the floor and chanting some names.

There was a human skull placed in the middle of the symbol. Bloodstains were everywhere on the floor.

I was horrified. And when I turned, I saw the old lady standing in front of me. Her eyes were red, and her nails looked like blades. Fresh blood was dripping from her mouth.

I tried to run, and they chased me like a wild wolf. The doors and windows were closed. There was no way I could escape.

Suddenly, the lady grabbed my arm. I used all my strength but, I could not even move my arms. 

The man pulled a dagger from the skull and put it straight to my chest.

I woke up from my sleep, breathing heavily. My whole body covered by sweat, dust floating in the air, and coating the tongue. My mouth felt dry. 

I went to the kitchen to drink some water. The lights are flickering, and the couple was sleeping peacefully.

I drank some water and came back to my room. I sat on the chair and started smoking a cigarette. It was a dream, a nasty horrifying dream, but just a dream. 

The next day when I woke up, I saw the couple was making breakfast. They called me, and I joined them. 

They asked me about my work and family and shared their story as well.

They had been living in that house for almost ten years. The man told me that he had Asthama and her wife was unable to walk. I just thought about my dream and laughed. They had a beautiful soul.

The man showed me some mysterious areas of the jungle and told the myths and stories behind them.

He told me there was nothing scary or haunted in that place. The locals made stories to prevent the smuggling of woods.

I finished my article, and it was time to went back to my home. I was very grateful to the couple. 

I thank them for their kindness and help, and I left. 

While crossing the jungle, I felt a strange sensation in my body. I did not know what it was. I never felt like that before.

When I reached home, I saw a signboard was written: for sale

I went inside. The house was filled with dust and spider nets. I called my wife and children, but there was no one to answer. I looked here and there for an answer. I found my picture hanging on the wall with a garland.

I was shocked and went outside to called someone. 

I  called my neighbors, but they did not respond. There was nobody who could see or hear me. 

There was only one place where I could find my answer, I started looking for my car, but it was not there. I started running toward that jungle. I did not feel tired, hungry, or trusty anymore.

When I reached the jungle, I started looking for the house. But it was not there. It was gone.

I was crying. I did not know what happened to me. That dream was a dream, or it was something else.

But in this jungle, I am not alone. There are hundreds of people trying to find the same answer. What happened to them and where is that house.

The house that never was.


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