Neha Kulkarni was a regular commuter in the ladies’ compartment, on the 9.17 pm Ambarnath local from Dadar to Kalyan. She worked in the afternoon shift, which ended late evening. The slow train would stop at every station, and unsavory elements entered the train at some notorious places. The late evening ride made her nervous, and she had spoken to her boss, about changing the shift. He said it would take a couple of months to accommodate her request.
The tabloids were going berserk on a woman’s murder that took place on the same train, a couple of weeks ago. The alleged miscreants were reported to be a gang of four from Badlapur, including one Russian guy who had come here in search of work. The police had not succeeded in nabbing them, yet. Neha was relieved to see a lady in a navy blue sari and a mangalsutra, seated in the compartment, that evening. She could converse with her in Marathi.
“I am so relieved to see you here. I hate travelling alone in this coach, and the Manda Patankar murder case has only exacerbated the situation.”
“We have our journeys and our jobs defined. Can’t do much to escape fate….”
There was something strange about the lady. Her voice appeared to come from afar, and the crystals on the saree appeared to dance like stars on the night sky, even under the bright lights.
“Do you travel often at this time? Haven’t seen you before…..”, Neha probed further.
“I take either this or the 9.27 pm Karjat local. Have you seen any guys board the ladies’ compartment?”
“They do, sometimes, at Ghatkopar. And it terrifies me.”
“Don’t worry. Save this number, and call for help, if needed.”
The two women chatted away about their occupational hazards, till a group of three guys entered the compartment at Mulund. They were whistling and making obscene gestures at the women. Neha saw the other woman’s eyes acquire a strange red color, and her lips were quivering.
The train was on the Thane Creek bridge, where Manda Patankar was murdered and thrown out a few weeks ago. Neha was struck with terror, as the woman in the blue saree moved swiftly, and jumped out with one of the guys in tow. He was white-skinned, and could not speak the local language. Neha and the other two guys heard a Splash sound, and the guy’s scream. They had lost their voice in shock. Somehow, Neha managed to dial the helpline number, which the lady had given her.
The screen on the cell phone flashed a name in blue,
The other two guys had fainted. They had lost two of their friends on the same spot, on Thane Creek bridge.
search of skin,
color no matter,
brighter or darker,
tell no one,
I will take someone,
– ghost, me!
Inspired by Incredible Bloggers Marathon Challenge IBMC #6 The Mass Media Challenge