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The Cold Hands

 

It was 2 in the morning when Mr. Ford found himself driving on the roads of Mystic, a small beautiful town in Connecticut. A sudden, unexpected call from home about his brother’s accident made him start his 4 hour long journey from New York at once.

He used to live all alone in a small 2bhk apartment that he bought with his hard earned money just before he got married to the ‘most beautiful lady in the world’ as he used to call her. After one year of marriage, he lost her in the anniversary week in a road accident. The accident was so major that even her body could not be recovered.

Living alone for 2 years had taken its toll on him. He stayed up late, drinking himself to sleep. He lost the promotion that he had received due to his hard work and once called as the ‘brainy guy’ in the office, he was now referred to as the ‘ drunkard’. All his money was spent in the bars and all his friends avoided him because he was apparently now a bad influence on them. The only one who he felt cared about him was his brother and his sister in law who always welcomed him and made him feel like home.

The call really startled him and all he could do was pray to god to keep his brother safe and sound. He didn’t want to lose his loved ones anymore.

With thoughts about his wife and the times he spent with his brother, he revved the engine, took a sip from the bottle of alcohol and hit the accelerator. An hour passed and he was still roaming around in the city, taking random turns , driving around on the empty roads of the unfamiliar streets because apparently he read the map wrong.

He reached the other end of the town and spotted a café, the only lit up place on the whole street. He stopped the car at the side of the road and decided to get a cup of coffee. As he walked inside, he was greeted with a defeaning silence and noticed that he was the only customer at the time. He walked up to the reception but there was no one behind the counter.

“hello, anybody there?” he called out.

All he received was a silence in response.

“hellooo…are you open?” he hollered

He did not get any response and so he decided to leave. As soon as he turned around, he heard a commotion on the top floor. His eyes darted to the white staircase beside the counter. It seemed like a lot of furniture was being moved at the same time.

He saw a beautiful young lady walking down the stairs elegantly, wearing a black apron on white dress which reached just above her knees. Her smile was so bewitching that even Mr. Ford couldn’t help but stare at her. Her lavender perfume hit his nostrils and he literally had to close his eyes while taking deep breadths taking her scent in.

“Sorry for the inconvenience sir. What would you like to have?” she asked, now standing behind the counter working on the screen kept infront of her.

With every word that she spoke, his ears felt relaxed. He felt like he was slowly drifting off into another world. All he knew in that instant was that he could listen to that voice every passing second of his life.

“um..one medium latte please” he said

“anything else sir?”

“no thankyou”

“your order will be ready in a bit sir.”

She walked inside the room to prepare his order while he waited at the counter just taking in the surroundings and thinking about her beautiful voice.

In a while she returned with his order wearing the same smile that took Mr. ford’ breadth away. She held the tray forward with both hands for Mr. Ford to hold. He imitated her actions , this time wearing the widest smile his lips could muster.

When he held the tray his hands brushed against hers and he almost immediately dropped the tray. He realized that her hands were cold. They were as cold as ice.

The girl didn’t seem to notice the shock on Mr. Fords face and her smile remained unchanged, her black eyes captivating Mr. ford’s. He could not break the eye contact.

The tray fell down spilling the contents of the cup onto the floor and that is when he looked down only to see red liquid spilled onto the floor

It was BLOOD

He stood there in shock staring at the liquid for what felt like eternity.

He wanted to run away. He wanted to leave that place as soon as he could but his mind had become so numb with the shock that he could not decide if whatever was happening was a hallucination or just a dream or worse, reality!?

His eyes met hers and the charm worked again making it difficult for him to break the contact or think rationally. He could feel the liquid touching his feet from the porous material of his shoes which made him shudder in fear as the spilled blood was nowhere near his feet. The blood left its stains on his brown shoes.

Where the hell is happening here , he thought.

The cringy feeling of blood on his feet helped him break the eye contact and he turned around to leave that crazy place. As soon as he started to walk towards the exit, the lights started to flicker and the lamps hanging from the ceiling fell on the floor one by one. He ducked protecting his head with his hands hoping for it all to be just a nightmare. The girl was standing just standing there watching him with a smile. He dashed towards the exit and pushed the door handle but it was locked.

Mr. Ford didn’t know what to do. He was mentally cursing the moment he entered the café. What had he done to deserve this? Why was the girl trying to hurt him, he didn’t even know her. Why was all of this happening to him? Whatever it was he just wanted to get over with it as soon as possible. Having witnessed such an unexpected thing in real life had shook his nerves up and numbed his senses.

He picked up the chair resting on the nearest table he could find and threw it on the glass door with all the strength he could gather but it could not even create as much as a single scratch. He tried again but all in vain. The street was empty too, there was no one in sight he could call for help.

The lights stopped flickering all of a sudden. Only two lamps lit up creating a soft but dull yellow glow in the café. The only voice that could be heard was of Mr fords erratic breathing and the tick tok of the clock.

Mr ford was standing facing the glass door trying to grip the chair in his sweaty palms and sweat trickling down his forehead when he saw her reflection in the glass, he could see her now taking slow steps towards him with the same smile, the only difference was that now it looked creepy with her smeared lipstick.

His eyes widened and his heart began to pump so hard he felt like it would jump right into his hands. He cried for help continuously banging the chair on the glass hoping to get out of the place alive. When the glass didnt break after several attempts, he turned around without a second thought and threw the chair in her direction screaming “GO AWAY” and with that the tears fell freely from his eyes.

The chair fell on the floor with a thud but the girl was nowhere to be seen. He looked around with as much concentration as he could in the little light but the room was empty.

To the left of the counter he saw a door which had ‘emergency exit’ glow in the dark sign on it. He ran towards the door hoping that this would be unlocked and that now he would finally be able to leave this place before she comes back.

As soon as he touched the door knob , the glasses and the mugs from the counter area started to shake uncontrollably. The ceramic plates hung on the wall fell down and the chair, he earlier threw in her direction flew right back , this time in his direction, hitting him on his arm. He cried in pain but kept trying unlocking the knob but this door was locked too.

He felt hopeless, he felt like this café would be the place where he would take his last breadths. He could think of no other solution but to run. But run where? She could follow him anywhere she wanted. All the doors were locked and he didn’t want to risk going  upstairs where it was pitch dark.

He felt his knees go weak and he sat on the floor with his back resting on the door.

The girl was nowhere in sight. He put his head in his hands crying wishing for all of this to be a nightmare. He wished to wake up the next morning safe and sound right next to his brother and taking care of him. He wished for all of this to be the side effects of caffine or the alcohol in his body. He wished for all of this to just end.

While he was crying over his misery he felt something wet on his back which was resting on the wooden door. He reluctantly looked up and saw blood dripping from the edges of the ceiling flowing on the walls and reaching the floor at fast pace. On looking around he noticed the same happening on all the walls of the café. All the walls were slowly turning to red. He got up and rushed to the door of the entrance and tried unlocking the door vigorously.

He saw her reflection in the glass again. The girl was now standing behind the counter looking at him with eyes now smeared with mascara that she had oh so beautifully applied earlier on her beautiful black eyes. The yellow light was making her face look pale and lifeless.

“ Somebody please help, help me please” he cried banging on the door with his hands with all the strength he could muster.

He finally saw someone passing by the footpath on the opposite side of the road and called for help. The young boy had his ear plugs inserted in his ears and was not able to hear him.

“HELP ME . HELP ME PLEASE” He hit the glass repeatedly hoping to grab his attention. The boy couldn’t hear him.

Mr. Ford tried again and luckily this time the young boys attention turned towards him and with confusion all over his face he started to walk in the cafes direction.

Mr ford felt a little hope filling his heart. he could now see the possibility of getting out alive. He turned back to see the girl but she didn’t move, she kept staring at him with her creepy smile.

The boy pushed the door from the outside and it opened smoothly. As soon as the door opened he shut the door behind him and ran as far away as he could from the café.

The boy who helped him followed him with confusion written all over his face.

“ what happened to you back in there? Why were you running like some bull was after you?” the guy asked

Mr ford was panting “ there …there was someone…a ghost..scared…I was ..blood…”

The guy looked back at the café and it looked normal from the outside. The café was now lit up normally. Nothing seemed off about it to the boy.

“ what? Ghost? Blood? are you okay?” the boy asked

“yeah..yeah..i m fine..need to get away from this place.” He said panting looking over his shoulder over and over again to see if she was coming after him.

“ do you live here?  do you need a ride man?” the boy asked

“ no I got my car parked..wait…WHERE IS MY CAR?” Mr ford panicked and ran around the empty road looking for his car. It was nowhere in sight. The street was completely empty except for this one black car parked on the opposite side of the road where they were standing.

“ where is my car holy shit what the hell is happening” he cried pushing his hand through his hair in agitation.

“its okay man..ill drop you..my car is right here” he pointed to the only car parked in the empty street.

“ are you sure?”

The man nodded “ yeah no problem” and both of them started walking towards the car.

The boy locked the car as they took their seats and put his key in the ignition when  Mr ford introduced himself and put his hand forward

“Josh ford. Thanks for saving my life.”

“mark “ The boy held his hand forward to shake hands

Mr Ford jerked his hand away within seconds. His eyes widened.

Mark’s hands were cold…AS COLD AS ICE.

 


Komal is now going to stop shaking hands with people because well, you cant trust anyone these days, can you?  Mr Ford trusted that young boy and look what happened to him. Poor Mr. Ford. May his soul rest in peace. Hope his brother is okay now.

 

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