Satish looked at the watch. It was 5:30 in the evening. The soft sound of rain drops on the roof had got milder. He adjusted the blinds on the window glass. Now he could see out onto the road.
The road was glittering as it was wet and was reflecting vehicles moving speedily with headlights on. Little wind was making the trees sway. The twilight made the atmosphere adorable. It occurred to Satish that he was in Toronto for more than a week now. He came here to meet his school friend, Ramesh, who had migrated to Canada soon after his Engineering some 10 years ago. After communication over the phone and the emails with Ramesh, Satish got into the Air India plane to Toronto. He was received by Ramesh and his wife and was driven down to Ramesh’s house. A nice cozy room in the bungalow, was allotted to Satish. Ramesh had met Natasha in his office in Toronto and after a prolonged courtship they had got married five years ago. The happily married couple took care of Satish and made him comfortable. Both used to go for work early in the morning separately in individual cars leaving Satish alone at home. In the evenings after their return, they used to drive Satish out to see Toronto. On Saturday & Sunday the whole day they spent together visiting Lake Ontario, C N Tower and other places. Satish became familiar with the area too soon.
When the drizzle stopped, Satish stepped out of the house to take a stroll in the near by area. The roads were wet. Temp. was around 6 degrees centigrade. The breeze blowing at 40 kph added extra chill to the atmosphere. With all the woolens given by Ramesh put on, Satish was enjoying his evening walk.
He was using the sidewalk. The speedily rushing vehicles were making Satish a little uncomfortable. He was watching every house as he was passing by. The amazing architecture of these small houses was astounding. But Satish noticed that every house had some weird thing kept in the window or at the door of the house. Satish realized that Halloween day was just at the week end. Some houses had kept some balloons with ghastly mouth and eyes painted on them. Other houses had put cobwebs on the walls or windows to give creepy looks. In front of some houses the cemetery was displayed with few tombs. Full size skeleton was made to sit on a chair in some houses. Small dolls dressed as ghosts were hung upside down in some houses spooking the surrounding.
The entire atmosphere was eerie.
Satish got little upset and had a terrifying feeling watching all these horrifying articles. He decided to take some rest in the nearby garden where he had visited during his evening walks earlier 3-4 times.
The garden had stretches of lawns and big maple trees. Some benches were kept for resting in the garden. Satish chose one bench under a tree and made himself comfortable. But the ghostly skeleton in the chair was not going out of his mind.
The light was fading fast. So Satish decided to go back home after a little rest. Meanwhile he saw a young lady approaching. She was tired and also scared. As she came close to Satish and said “It is very cold isn’t it. I am so tired. I wanted to take some rest before moving further. Is it okay if I sit on this bench please?” Satish moved himself saying “yes. Yes. Please. By all means”. The lady made herself comfortable next to Satish. He felt little awkward.
But before he could get up, the girl said “During the fall the trees change colors. It looks so beautiful. Yellow, red, orange leaves besides the green leaves.Very nice. But this festival of Halloween makes me very nervous. Every house keeps some ghastly looking things at the entrance. It is so horrifying.”
“Yes. It is really spooky. Some houses have even kept a full size skeleton near their door”
“Oh God! I am really horrified” the lady said.
“I saw a small baby size doll hung upside down with her hair flowing down” Satish added.
“My God. So horrible! Did it look like this?” saying this the lady got up and rapidly moved closer to the tree and hung herself upside down on the branch of the tree which was 8-10 feet above the ground.
Seeing this Satish’s throat turned dry. He could not utter a word. He got up and started running out of the garden on to the road and rushed towards his house.