SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (11)

GRACE’S WITCHY ADVENTURES: A PARANORMAL THRILLER BY ME.

Photo by Gabriela Cheloni on Pexels.com

The story so far:

Grace Royce accompanies her best friend and colleague, Sharmila Gupta’s wedding in Balrampur, Uttar Pradesh, India. When Sharmila shows her fiance’s photo, Grace is shocked because she has frequently seen him in her dreams forcing an innocent girl to suicide.

She saves Sharmila from marrying a criminal after nabbing him and his friends in a shameful act of trying to hang an innocent girl.

Grace has recurring dreams of Sharmila attempting suicide when the friends are holidaying in Dehradun. Her fear is about to materialize after their trip. Grace skilfully revisits the past and alters everybody’s memories to stop the wagging tongues of people from hurting Sharmila. She thwarts the attempt of a mad scientist X, in Australia, who is watching the proceedings, to kill Sharmila.

He stages small accidents which Grace is unable to prevent. Finally, he is able to cause a hit and run accident leading to Sharmila’s death. Grace is mourning the loss of her good friend while blaming herself for failing to protect her. She has a strange dream at night, where she finds herself in her bedroom in Australia. Her dead parents appear before her and they take her into the alternative future time zone, had Sharmila lived. Whatever she witnesses is awfully shocking to her.

She sees the evil side of Sharmila abusing her friendship and taking advantage of her. She is horrified to see her best friend kidnapping and sacrificing her with the help of a mysterious stranger. She comes back to her room with her parents and Sharmila’s soul pays her a visit. She explains how she was cursed by her grandma after she accidentally killed her grandfather who was bedridden with cancer. When she clarified that it was just an accident, her grandma realized her folly and offered a choice to die young before the curse could materialize or live a long cursed life. She had chosen the former. Sharmila warns her to be careful.

Grace decides to investigate Sharmila’s death and views the CCTV footage that shows the car which ran her over. She finds that it belonged to Vinod Mohan, Vivek’s ( Sharmila’s former fiance) younger brother. She approaches the police and hands them the evidence. Vinod claims of innocence and says that he had lent his vehicle to a friend who reported it missing. Grace is frustrated and prays to Sharmila for guidance.
Grace sees identical bracelets on the wrists of Vivek and Sharmila in her dreams. She requests Sharmila’s mother for the bracelet and discovers the hidden microchip which alerts X in Australia because both the bracelets were connected to his destiny machine. He orders Vivek’s death which leaves Grace completely stumped.

X is surprised to find his mentor Edward Fox’s son Stewart on his doorstep. Stewart is shocked to hear about Sharmila’s death. He takes X to task for acting in a haste and tells him about Sharmila’s past. Both of them are planning to bring her back from the land of death to wreak havoc on earth which Grace sees in her dream. And now.

Chapter 8

A friend or a fiend.

Grace thought of going through the engagement photos of Sharmila to see if she could spot someone suspicious. She started checking Sharmila’s photo gallery on her smartphone. She kept on scrolling but couldn’t find anything. Grace felt highly frustrated. She made herself a cup of coffee. She thought of summoning Sharmila’s soul. Sharmila appeared before her. ” Good morning, Gracie, “she said with a smile, ” What can I do for you?” Grace grinned at her and replied, ” Thanking you for coming here, Sharmi. Did you notice anyone acting suspiciously during your engagement with Vivek?” Sharmila thought for a while before replying, ” I remember Vivek introducing me to a bearded guy dressed in black as his friend. I can’t recall his name, but he forced us to wear the identical bracelets that he gifted for our protection. I found it very strange and thought, what kind of danger are we facing?” Grace felt excited. She continued her questions. She asked, ” Can you describe him so that I could draw his rough sketch?”

Sharmila described his features while Grace drew a rough sketch. She gave her the approval after Grace showed her final sketch. Grace continued questioning her friend. She queried, ” Do you remember anyone who hated you to get you killed? ” Sharmila shook her head. She said, ” I don’t remember having any enemies. But there was a guy who stalked me for six months. He kept asking me out and even proposed to me. I rejected him, and he didn’t take kindly to my decision.”Grace had a sudden brainstorm. What if the bearded guy was the spurned lover in disguise to seek his revenge? She explained her theory to Sharmila, who agreed that it was quite possible. She requested Sharmila to describe the spurned lover. Grace finished the sketch and compared it with the earlier one. There were striking similarities. She tried to erase the beard and the mustache.

Lo, behold! Both were the same guy. Grace thought that she had seen him somewhere. She had no idea that this was the dangerous Mr. X. Grace said, ” I think we have figured out your murderer, who also killed Vivek. His intention is not good. It’s time to go back to Australia and put him behind bars. If he manages to revive you, the result would be disastrous. I want you to find out his hideout and possess the body of one of his followers. You will spy on them and destroy the gadget to prevent you from getting resurrected.” Sharmila replied, ” Aye, aye, Captain! That’s an excellent idea. I feel like I am a part of a spy movie. I will keep reporting to you every weekend. ” “Grace, who are you talking to? ” asked Sharmila’s mother as she entered her room. Sharmila vanished as Grace answered, ” No one, aunty. I was just saying my prayers. I hope you have done your packing. We are leaving for Melbourne tomorrow.” Sharmila’s mother, Mrs.Gupta, smiled at her. They chatted for a while and went on to pack their luggage. Grace felt like she was leaving a part of her soul in India. She had come to India with Sharmila and was going back without her. She was determined to punish X by gathering evidence against him. She wanted to know how the accomplice of X knew about Sharmila’s curse. He might be possessing a gadget that could see someone’s past.

X and Stewart were working together to modify their respective projects in Australia. Sharmila’s soul followed Grace and her parents as they set off for their journey to the land of the Kangaroos. Grace took them to her Victorian Styled apartment in Melbourne. It was quite spacious with three bedrooms, including a guest room, a kitchen, a living room, and two bathrooms. Mr.and Mrs. Gupta watched in fascination as Grace showed them their bedroom. They had a built-in wardrobe near a magnificent dressing table. Grace took them out for lunch. They enjoyed their meals and retired to their respective rooms.

Grace closed her bedroom door and called Sharmila. Her friend appeared with a special glow that revealed her happiness. Grace said, ” I am trying my best to make your parents feel comfortable. I hope you are happy now.” Sharmila replied, ” You are doing a wonderful job, dear. Thank you for taking my place as their daughter. I am highly indebted to you. Just order me what to do.” Grace showed her the sketch of X and asked her to follow him, infiltrate his hideout, and possess the body of his employee.

Sharmila floated around happily and flew away. She spotted X in a cafe with another guy. Her demeanor changed completely. She wanted to seek revenge. Instead of choosing his follower, Sharmila’s soul entered X’s body. She wanted to have fun at his expense. X ( now Sharmila) whistled at a passing waiter who blinked at him. He pinched his butt and said, ” Hi, sexy! Are you free tonight? I want to spend some time with you.” He kissed him on the lips as the entire cafe watched in silence. The manager was so furious that he threatened to call the police. Stewart was highly embarrassed and apologized to everyone on X’s behalf. He dragged X outside and slapped him. Sharmila left his body and giggled at him. X appeared to be confused. He asked Stewart, ” What’s wrong with you? Why did you slap me?” Stewart yelled at him, ” Why didn’t you tell me that you are gay? Your behavior was ridiculous. You got us thrown out of the cafe after pinching the waiter on his behind. You also kissed him in front of everyone. I don’t mind your being homosexual, but I will never tolerate indecent behavior in public places, got it? ” X tried to reason with him, ” I am not gay. Please believe me. I don’t remember pinching or kissing a waiter. I don’t know what came over me. Please give me a chance, Stewart. I assure you that I won’t give you any reason to complain.” Stewart nodded as they went back to their car. Sharmila followed them towards their den.

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