Take Me Into The Dark

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Horror House
Rahul is boy who loves reading horror short stories, particularly the one in which a young boy like him summons Charlie the ghost for help. Rahul's parents are not talking to each other and their fight is causing him distress. He hopes that their argument will end because they both love him and try best for him. But one night his father leaves and he slowly goes into depression. He has too many question but no answers to them. Read the story to know what happens when Rahul summons Charlie the ghost to find his father.

Submitted: March 27, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 27, 2019



Take Me Into The Dark



Pochinki was a small village in outskirts of Panchgani Jungle. Days were dry and hot, nights were cold and quite. Most of the old people and adults didn’t have higher education, mostly because the nearest college was in the city and travelling daily was too expensive. To an extent, lack of education was also because it wasn’t considered necessary. Men worked in the old wood factory that turned trees into raw material. Some men and women worked in the general stores, hotels and the sewing shop. No one was unemployed. The economy had deteriorated to the point that having enough money to put food in the plate was hard. My mom worked in the sewing shop while dad worked in the factory. They wanted me to go to college and get a good job which would pull us out of the slums.


Dreams and hopes, however, are dumb bells without luck and money. Dad was hoping get promoted as a supervisor in his division of the factory, given that he worked for so many years, but unfortunately he wasn’t appointed. Someone well educated travelled from the city for the interview and bagged the job. Dad was upset and angry, his take-home salary wasn’t enough and he was taking too much stress working overtime. Mom’s pay wasn’t really helping either. Whatever little she earned was drained to pay the electricity bill, gas bill and repayment of dad’s loan. He considered quitting the job, which would have paid him his saved provident fund, but then he would have to look for a new job, probably in city, which wasn’t feasible. Mom suggested to sell the house and move to the city and she got worse from dad. We were among the few families who still owned the house they lived in. I never saw him so angry before, as if he was a different person. The argument stretched on and they stopped talking.


I was upset and sad, looking for a way to get things back together. It was during these days that I started reading Terrible Tiny Tales. It was a collection of horror short stories by C. Charlie. All the shorts had one thing in common, there was a boy name Rahul and he played a game with a compass that summoned a ghost named Charlie. Charlie the ghost helped Rahul and he had answers to all his questions. I connected with the story because my name was Rahul as well. I believed that the stories were the writer’s real experiences. Reading the book was also helping me improve my English and it seemed that I was lost between the pages.


One night, around nine, mom and I were at the dining table having our dinner. She was eating her fried rice while my rice was waiting in the plate in front of me. I was taken by the short story I was reading.


“Rahul, eat you rice. Don’t make the food wait.” My mom said.


“Yes amma.” I said but continued reading.


“What are you reading? You can study later, put the book away.”


“Just two minutes, amma. Anyway appa didn’t come yet.” I said.


Someone knocked on the door. I opened it and dad stood outside leaning on the wall. He was clumsy, his eyes were red and he smelled of liquor. He stood there staring at me, either thinking or trying to figure out who I was.


“Appa?” I said.


He grunted and walked in pushing me. Mom looked at him angrily. He wobbled his way to a chair and fell in the seat.


“You are drinking again?!” Mom yelled at him.


“Ay! Lower your voice!” He said. His voice startled me.


“Don’t you tell me what to do. You said you will do overtime again but instead you partied with your friends.” Mom stopped eating and stood up hastily. Dad gestured with a finger telling her to sit down.


“Do you have any brain? Or you sold it to buy your liquor?!” She said walking to him.


“Cha! You don’t have brain.” He grunted. He loosened his gold ring, which he got from his father, and put it back on as if playing with it. The red stone embedded in it shone sharply.


“Liquor is so expensive here. You know that yet you flush our income to buy that poison. Why are you like this?” She said.


I just stood at the door, scared that they would fight again and things would only get worse.


“MY income!” He shouted. “Our income? Our loan? Our school fees? Our bills? I am the one grinding my ass all day in the factory and still I don’t get what I want?! Who are you, you bitch?” He looked at me and then turned at her. “Is that my son?” He said.


I gasped.


“Yes!” Mom’s voice was shaky, she couldn’t believe what we were listening. “And his future is OUR responsibility!”


“Amma?” I murmured. My voice barely touched them.


“Get out!” She screamed at top of her lungs. “Get out of my house and don’t come back till you have…” Dad rushed to her and slapped her in the face. She crashed on the floor. He was breathing hard and staring down at her. I rushed to her and picked her. She sat up, her eyes welled with tears and her left cheek was reddened.


“MY HOUSE!” Dad screamed.


Mom stood up and tried to push him, he grabbed her forearms and tried to push her down. I watched them in horror.


“Stop it!” I yelled, but it didn’t work.


“STOP!” I pushed myself between them, screaming like a mad child. They stopped and mom held me close to her. I started crying.


“Please don’t fight. I will not go to school, I don’t want to go to college. You don’t have to pay any fees. Just don’t fight.” My words sounded like vowels.


Dad stared at us for a moment. He said, “Fine, take this house, take this boy, take everything I have. I will torch you if you sell this house and I don’t care! I am leaving you and this little bastard!” And just like that, he left the house. Mom didn’t try to stop him. My cries weren’t loud enough, he couldn’t hear me through the mist of anger that clouded his mind.


“Amma, stop him.” I whispered.


She knelt and said, “He will come back.” I believed her.



Two days went by and dad didn’t come. I couldn’t sleep in nights, I couldn’t concentrate in class and neither did I read any short stories. Second night I went to mom’s room and slowly peeked in to check. She was constantly turning in her bed trying to fall asleep. I went inside.


“Amma?” I said.


She sat up and looked at me with troubled eyes, anticipating the question.


“When is appa coming back?” I asked.


She forced a smile and said, “How many times I have told you? His boss has send him to city to get some work done. He will come back tomorrow.” The smile dropped and she looked sad.


“Have you talked to him? I want to talk to him.” I said.


“Yes, yes I have. He cannot talk now, he must be asleep. I will call him tomorrow.” She said.


“But you said…” She interrupted me.


“Enough!” She screamed. “Now go to your room or you will also get it from me!”


I got scared by the way she said it and how agitated she sounded. I rushed out of the room. I heard her say sorry in the emptiness. Back in my room, I was seated on my bed, my eyes were wet and I had many questions but no answers. Wind blew from the window and the book by C. Charlie fluttered open. The idea lit up in my mind. I quickly took a notebook and opened its pinned page, laid it flat on the bed and placed a small compass in middle of it. I wrote ‘YES’ in top of the left page then I wrote ‘NO’ in the bottom. In right page I wrote ‘NO’ in top and ‘YES’ in bottom. I stared at the compass pointer which was pointing upwards to the North. I had no idea if what I was about to do would really work. I believed it would.


I closed my eyes and said, “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” A cold breeze brushed my face and my bedroom door creaked open. I turned my head and gazed down the darkness in the opening. I looked back at the compass, it was still pointing at North. I closed my eyes and thinking about my dad I said, “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” I didn’t feel different.


I snapped my eyes open and saw that the compass was pointing at ‘YES’ in the left page. I started breathing hard and looked around. The room was darker than before and the door was shut. I felt little scared but at the same time I was excited. I closed my eyes and started thinking about dad again.


“Charlie, Charlie, will my appa come back?” I asked.


To my disbelief the compass pointed at ‘NO’ in left page. I was terrified first, then checked if the compass was working. I picked it up and it changed its direction to North, I put it back down and it showed ‘NO’ again. I doubted if the game was really working.


“Charlie, Charlie, do you lie?” I asked.


The compass pointed at ‘NO’ in right page. According to the short stories, Charlie always answered in either yes or no and he is referred to as the Spirit of Truth who never lied. I started wondering why, why dad didn’t want to come back.


“Charlie, Charlie, does amma hate appa?” I asked. At that point I didn’t even need to close my eyes.


The compass pointed at ‘YES’ in left page. “It was because of my mom,” I said to myself, “appa didn’t want to come back because amma doesn’t love him.”


“Charlie, Charlie, do you know where he is?” I asked.


The compass pointed at ‘YES’ in left page.


“Charlie, Charlie, can you take me to him?”


The compass pointed at ‘YES’ in right page. I grew curious to what was the difference between the answer from the left page and the one from the right page.


“Charlie, Charlie, can you speak?”


The compass pointed at ‘NO’ in left page.


“Charlie, Charlie, are you a good ghost?”


The compass pointed at ‘YES’ in right page. Again, Charlie could have rotated the pointer to the ‘YES’ in left page but instead he rotated it to the right page. What did it mean?


My bedroom door, which was shut, made a loud creaking noise as it turned slowly. Fear rushed through me and for the moment I doubted Charlie’s intentions. I presumed it was Charlie’s ghost and fell on the bed covering myself under the bedsheet. The room was filled with awkward silence. When the door started making noise again, I slowly peeked out. I saw mom was closing the door. She shut it and her footsteps droned away towards her bedroom. I let out a sigh. I removed my bedsheet and beneath me was the open book and the compass, the pen was broken. I closed the book and when I was going to put the compass away I noticed that the compass was pointing towards South West. I thought that the compass broke under my weight. I put it away and tried to sleep all night. I fell asleep around six in the morning.


An hour later I woke up to go to school. I brushed my teeth and had bath. With a red sketch I circled the 25th date on the calendar, marking the day dad left us forever and in my heart I blamed mom.


Before dad left mom used to prepare breakfast early, but later she was always easily irritated and seemed absentminded. I put my school uniform on and got my school bag ready. After waiting half an hour for the breakfast I went in the kitchen. The chapati was charred and smoking on the flat-pan while mom stood at cooking-top, staring at a golden ring.


“Amma?” I called her.


I startled her and she dropped the ring, it rolled and stopped at her feet. It was dad’s ring with the shiny red stone in it.


“That is appa’s ring.” I said.


She quickly picked it up and hid it in her fist. Her eyes were wide. “No its not. Its mine.” She said stuttering. I knew she was lying.


“I will give breakfast in a minute, go get ready for school.” She said as if commanding.


I didn’t ask much further. I knew something was wrong. I wondered, “Dad had his ring on his finger when he left. He came to give her the ring? Why would he giver her the ring that his father gave him? Whatever belonged to his father was precious for him, the house, the ring.”


As the time went in school I was getting desperate and wanted answers to my questions. In lunch break, when I was alone, I closed the doors and windows of my classroom. I opened a book and laid it flat on a desk. I put the compass in middle and wrote ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ as I did the other night. I closed my eyes and thinking about my dad I asked, “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?”


The compass pointed at ‘Yes’ in left page.


“Charlie, Charlie, did appa come back home?” I asked.


The compass pointed at ‘No’ in left page.


“Charlie, Charlie, can you take me to my appa now?” I asked.


The compass pointed at ‘Yes’ in right page. I realized that the room was dark as if it was night. The classroom door opened slowly, without making any noise, I watched the black mist rise beyond the door as it turned wide. I started to breath hard. A gush of cold breeze blew over my face and a grey fist appeared. Its long fingers cracked as they opened and it stayed in the air waiting for me to hold it. I walk to it hesitantly. I raised my arm and touched the hand floating in the darkness. It snapped and clutched my little hand. It didn’t hurt me but its skin was harsh and cold like ice. It pulled me inside. My scream echoed and faded away as I was dragged deep into the void. Last thing I heard was the door closing behind me.



I fainted and lost consciousness as I travelled through the void. When I woke up I was back in my home, lying on my bed. It was three in the night. I heard a loud thud from the kitchen, as if something heavy fell. The noise seemed strange. I was disarrayed when I checked the calendar. The 25th date wasn’t marked. Charlie took me back in time, the night when dad left.


I peeked through my bedroom door and in the darkness of the living room I saw mom going inside the kitchen with a saw in her bloody hands. Her hair were messed up and her dress was smeared with blood too. Horror ran through me like a thundering, I was shocked by the mere thought of the who’s blood it was. I tip toed to the kitchen door and as I peaked the saw cut through flesh and shriek at the bone. Mom, her back to me, put all her weight to break what she was cutting. The bone broke with a crack and mom turned, leaning on the kitchen table, holding dad’s severed forearm. She removed the golden ring from his stiff finger and stared at it. I gasped not believing what I saw. Tears welled in my eyes and I started whimpering. She spotted me and her face turned evil.


“What are you doing out of your bed?!” She screamed and ran towards me like a mad person.


I screamed and shut the kitchen door to slow her down. As I ran in my bedroom she came out holding a butcher’s knife. I locked my door and stood thinking she wouldn’t be able to come in but she started to push the door. She hit the door several times with all her strength and I was scared of her, my mother who killed my father and was after me. In my mind I was almost certain that the door would give up anytime and she would break in laughing out of her mind, rushing to kill me, and then something unexpected happened.


It is said that when one is faced by dark moment, a light of hope is all one needs. For me it was the dark that I needed, and it was the dark that helped me out.


I was just standing there in my room like a lamb for butcher, scared for my life, when my closet door creaked open and from the utter blackness and the black mist Charlie appeared. First a long leg, in black trouser, stretched out making cracking noise. The shiny black shoe stamped on the floor. Then two large grey hands held the closet doors and Charlie pulled himself into the room. The black mist surrounded him like and circled around his feet. As I looked up, he straightened his back and his head almost touched the roof. He wore a black suit and had a grey face with pitch black eyes. He had no hair, no eyebrows and strangely his lips were stitched.


“Charlie?” I said.


He nodded and held his hand to me. Behind me mom was still trying to break the door. She said, “I am coming inside, Rahul! And if you are not asleep you will also get it from me! Then you and your appa can go to hell!” She continued screaming and hitting the door. I said to myself, “What was this madness?”


“You hated appa! You killed him! I hate you!” I said.


“Oh you hate me, huh? Open this door and I will show what hate looks like!” She said.


I hated mom, I hated everything and I wanted go far away from her. She deserved punishment for what she did but all I was thinking about was to get out of there. I looked back at Charlie’s cold yet welcoming hand. I took it.


Charlie pulled me into the dark with him, into the void. Mom busted the door open but she was too late, I was already gone. As I travelled through the void leaving everything behind I looked at Charlie. I asked, “Where are we going?” He looked at me, his stitched lips reminded me that he can’t speak. I just closed my eyes and soon fell unconscious.

© Copyright 2019 Akshay Raj Chovhan. All rights reserved.

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