Have you missed the first part? Read HERE!
The security person at the cemetery looked quizzically at them.
“You want to take photos of those graves? Abhi toh andhera honewaala hai. There’s not much to do and, it is not allowed to roam around after dark.
“Aare, bhaiyaa, we will be right here in a jiffy…just 30 minutes or so, keep this and have some tea till we come back”. Sanjay squeezed a hundred-rupee-note in his willing hand. He didn’t look much happy, though, still, nodded his head in approval.
“Make it fast…it’s not a good place after sundown”, he winked.
As soon as the five entered the graveyard, a gust of cold wind rushed towards them. Mid-November in this quaint, hilly town meant winter had settled in with all its paws out. The sun at the distant was trying hard to keep its rays alive, but with the cardinal sky already poked vehemently with black blots…darkness was approaching, surreptitiously.
Payal shivered even under her pullover.
– Hey, guys, let’s go to the right side, there are several old stones there, standing from ages, get them clicked and close this. She said.
– Why? Are you still afraid of the dark? Darkness has a charm of its own, my fair lady, let it unfold the mystery underneath, Aryan commented, almost philosophically.
Payal made a grumpy face and was about to shoot something, but Sangeeta intervened.
– Did you people observe the eyes of the security guard? The scars on his face deepened by the wrinkles has given it a bizarre look, moreover, he has such repulsive eyes, it seems he is seeing through! She said with an aghast.
– Now, stop all this nonsensical blabbering and please proceed. The guard might have thought that we are here for some other purpose. Sanjay chuckled, maybe to fulfill some prurient curiosity…that’s why he was staring at the girls.
He started laughing. Everybody joined but one. She grimaced.
– Well, I think we should get divided into two groups so that we can cover the whole area. We can share the pictures with each other later. I’m going with Payal and Arpita, right side is ours…. you and Sangeeta take the left. Aryan said.
– I think Arpita needs a lot of assistance as she is operating the DSLR for the first time. Don’t you think it’s better she comes with us? Both of us, Sangeeta and I, are quite experienced. Sanjay said in a casual tone.
– Well, of course, Arpita said, don’t mind Aryan, I prefer to go with the other gang.
– I think in that case, I should join Aryan and Payal. It will be even better then …. you can show her all the basics and tricks…
Sangeeta started walking towards the right, where the derelict gravestones stood to welcome some uninvited guests.
The four stood still for a moment. A thin air of uneasiness was hovering over, somewhere. Then Aryan said,“okay then, we will meet right here in thirty minutes, good luck everyone”.
Aryan was busy looking at the marble stones placed in the front of the tombstones. He was searching for some interesting epitaph. The dying daylight formed big shadows, darkness was extending its clasp. Crickets were buzzing from somewhere behind the dark distant corners. Their monotonous hum being the only perturbance in the silence. The big trees began to cast bigger shadows devouring the last light of the day.
Twenty minutes had passed and, Aryan had already clicked some 50 shots. Payal was standing just behind him. She was not feeling comfortable at all in that eerie ambience. Something was disturbing her from inside. She was cursing herself for joining this silly shenanigan. Aryan was just laughing seeing her watching her back every now and then as if she was being followed by some invisible, intangible creature and, was about to aim his camera to catch her doing that, then, just at that moment, the silence was broken by an eerie, blood-curdling scream.
The camera dropped.
With an ashen face, Payal was shivering like a dry, scattered leaf. Gathering the last drop of her courage, in a hoarse voice, she could only say,” where is Sangeeta?” and, fainted.
Sangeeta was nowhere around.
(To be continued….)