THE MONEY MONSTER : A HORROR SHORT STORY BY ME.
Vedprakash Sahu, was a 55-year-old rich landlord who lived in a bungalow in Andheri (Mumbai) and also owned a building in Borivali. He and his wife, Gauri, were greedy beyond words. Their only daughter, Renuka, attended Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai.
Vedprakash had a nasty habit of raising his rent every year. He would cite rising inflation as the reason to justify his actions. Most of his tenants managed to pay the rent with great difficulty. Vedprakash and his wife were ruthless, when it came to money.
It was a Sunday evening. Vedprakash finished his tea and told his wife that he was going to collect the monthly rent and inform the tenants about another hike due to Covid cases. His wife had money flashing before her eyes and forced him to leave as soon as possible.When Vedprakash reached the apartment complex, he collected hefty cheques from most of the tenants. They groaned over his decision to raise the rent. Some pleaded with him to reconsider his decision because it was hardly a year since he last raised it. He refused to budge from his stance. Then he knocked on Apartment 14 B on the second floor. Mr.and Mrs. Anand Kumar lived in this 1 BHK apartment. They had recently shifted here after Anand got a promotion with transfer, as a Senior Marketing Manager, in a private company at Nagpur. His wife, Priya, was eight months pregnant. Anand opened the door and welcomed him. He handed over the cheque but Vedprakash stopped him. He said, ” I came here to inform you that instead of 8,000₹ , you will now be required to pay 12,000₹. You can either pay or vacate the house as soon as possible.”
Anand pleaded, ” Sir, please don’t raise the rent so much. My wife is expecting a child and we have so many expenditure.” Vedprakash lashed out at him and his wife. He gave him a week’s time to pay the rent or leave. His wife, Purnima, fell at his feet to give a couple of months time before raising the rent but he, a ruthless fellow, kicked her on the swollen abdomen. She screamed in pain as Anand panicked and called for an ambulance. Vedprakash was horrified but silently went away without even apologizing for his deed.
Purnima gave birth to a still born baby and subsequently died in the hospital. Anand lost his self control and ended his life after cremating his wife and dead son. Vedprakash and his wife had no remorse over their misdeeds. They pretended to mourn for the couple in front of the police, a facade that they had effortlessly, pulled off for so many years. The investigations were closed shortly.
One day, he received a call from a mysterious man, who offered him an year’s rent in advance along with a deposit of 1,00, 000₹. Blinded by their greed for money, they invited him to come in person and check out the apartment. When the mystery caller came to visit them, he was wearing expensive clothes with sunglasses. The man introduced himself as, ” I am Ketan Kumar. I will pay you the rent for the whole year. But I have two conditions. You will never bother to visit my apartment. You will also not poke your nose into my affairs. I am a bachelor and occasionally my friends will be coming to stay with me.” Vedprakash agreed and he drew up the house rental agreement papers. Ketan gave him 10,000₹ cash in advance.
Vedprakash showed him Anand’s apartment. He handed over the keys of the vacant house and went away happily. Little did he know, what fate had in store for them. Ketan would leave the apartment quite early in the morning and would return home late with a bunch of gangsters and kidnapped women, whom they would gang rape and kill. The other members of the building were too scared to open their mouths.
As Vedprakash promised, he ignored Apartment 14 B. Nearly eight months had passed since Purnima and Anand died. Ketan had kidnapped another girl with his two men. She was none other than Renuka, the daughter of Vedprakash. She begged, ” Please have mercy on me. I am the only daughter of my parents.” They laughed at her and forced themselves on her. They continued to rape her until she died. Vedprakash was worried because Renuka didn’t return home. The husband and wife filed a police complaint after bribing the Inspector to ignore the regular protocol. They had no idea that their child was killed by the very monster to whom they had rented the house. Ketan and gang dismembered her body into several parts and dumped it in a garbage yard. They finished dinner to return home with drinks.
Suddenly, a storm brew up with the wind forcing the doors and windows to open and close. The lights flickered and went out. One of the men lit the candle. The villainous trio had a shock of their lives when they saw the LED TV turning on despite the power failure. They saw themselves raping women and killing them. The scene suddenly changed as the murdered women including Renuka grinned at them with their blood smeared faces. Ketan and Gang had killed ten women so far. All of them stepped out of the TV one by one. Ketan was so scared that he had almost peed in his pants. Renuka said, ” I don’t think your lust will ever be satisfied as long as you and your friends live. Why don’t you join us on the other side of the world? This time we are hungry for men.” Ketan and his friends cried for help but no one responded. The zombie ladies feasted upon Ketan and his friends, leaving the skeletons behind.
A couple of months had passed since Renuka’s disappearance. The couple had given up any hope of finding their daughter alive.
Vedaprakash was unable to sleep that night. He heard a wailing sound. He got up and was shocked to hear Renuka’s voice. She cried, ” Why didn’t you save me, dad? Why did you give me up? You never bothered to search Apartment 14 B. Why? Because that monster Ketan said so. You and mom are cold blooded murderers. I will never forgive you.”
Vedaprakash tried to awaken his wife but she was snoring away. The next day, he decided to check on his tenant at 14 B much against his promise. He and Gauri knocked on the door but it was open. They screamed after seeing a bunch of skeletons . They cried for help but no one came to their rescue. Suddenly, the doors closed and Anand and Purnima emerged as the spirits. They laughed at him and his wife, who were now sweating profusely. Anand said, ” What a pity! It took you so long to check upon your tenants. Since money is so important to you than your own daughter, you offered her as a scapegoat to the monsters. You didn’t check the background of the person renting your apartment.” Renuka emerged with her severed head in her hand. She said, ” Both of you are responsible for so many murders. The skeletons belong to your psycho tenant. Be prepared to face your fate.” Suddenly, the money lying in the briefcase, assumed the shape of a dog. The dog bared it’s canine teeth and said, ” Our master, the demon, is waiting for you down under. Let me fetch your black souls.” Vedaprakash and Gauri under the spell of hypnotism strangled each other to death.
The dog turned into a demon and sucked their souls from their bodies to send them back to hell where the punishment for their sins awaited them. Later that evening, a foul stench of rotting flesh and death emanated from the apartment. Mr. Kapil Kapoor from Apartment 15 A called the police. When they opened the door, they were shocked to find two corpses, Vedaprakash and his wife, Gauri, lying on a floor covered in blood, besides two skeletons.
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