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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Many in the town later said that Charlie's death would have remained a mystery if Charlie had not, in such a supernatural way, given his father the whereabouts of the culprit.

Dead people talk too!

That morning, in a town in Pennsylvania, Charlie Hayden, aged 19 years, came to his college after withdrawing a large sum of cash {dollars} from the bank as instructed by his father. He kept the money in a bag in his safe locker and went to attend his classes.

Sitting in the classroom, he realized that he had forgotten to bring a vital study note. He also noticed that he had failed to get his mobile phone from home.

Later in the afternoon, after the college was over, when Charlie came out, the sky was overcast, the daylight was so low that it seemed to be evening, and the rain was imminent. He looked at the sky and got a little annoyed. He had to drive a long way to get home. The road was hilly, dangerous, and car hijackings were common; robberies were often committed.

His father, Stephen Hayden, had explicitly told that particular morning that he should come back early, during daylight. Even for a typical day, Dad told Charlie that he should never take that hazardous road in the dark after college but stay at a friend's house. Unsafe environment indeed!

That was not possible during the late afternoon. Firstly, Charlie had substantial cash, which he knew his Dad wanted that night itself, and secondly, three of his close friends were out of town with whom he could have stayed the night.

After thinking for a while, Charlie decided that it would be possible to get home before the rain and storm came if he left early. It was not as if there would be a danger on the road constantly. It was true that Charlie, on that day, was not very worried. He thought his Dad was too cautious.

With this decision in mind, Charlie went inside the college, picked up the bag with dollars in it from the locker, went to the parking lot and drove out with his expensive Ford car. It was the first time he had brought his new car to the college.

The mountain road had barely started when he drove out of the town. The afternoon grew darker, the smell of rain was apparent in the air, bolts of lightning flashed in the corners of the clouds, and light drops of water appeared on the windscreen of his car.

At that moment, Charlie saw another car parked on the side of the road. He saw a medium-height man wearing a cap from a distance, waving at Charlie's car. Perhaps he was in some trouble in this bad weather on the treacherous mountainous road. Charlie had a helpful nature, and he thought he should at least find out what the problem was.

Coming near that man, Charlie stopped his Ford car.


That night, Stephen Hayden had finished his meal and stood in front of the open door of their bungalow. His wife, Mary, was at his side. Both were worried. Charlie, their son, had not returned, although it was about ten o'clock at night. Usually, Charlie never came so late after his college hours. In the past, once or twice before this happened, he had sent information through his friend or talked on the phone. But, this day, it seemed to Stephen that his son might be in some danger! He had a lot of cash with him, and the car he was driving was their new Ford car. It was also impossible to contact Charlie on the phone as he had left his mobile phone at home.

When Mary called Charlie's three friends and did not get any information, their worries increased manifolds; they did not know what they should do.

After some deliberation, Stephen called Peter Branson, a neighbour and also a friend.

"Peter, Charlie hasn't come back from college yet. What could have happened? Is it a car accident on the mountain roads on this rainy night ... or has he fallen in the clutches of some criminal ...? I am not able to think, I am miserable ...!"

Peter realized that Stephen was crying; he assured him that he was coming to his house soon with his wife, Sophia.


After a while, Stephen and Peter set off in two separate cars. Stephen went to find Charlie on the road he usually took while returning from the college, and Peter went to the local police station. Police in charge there was Peter's acquaintance.


The night was almost over; Stephen had reached Charlie's college area and was waiting inside his 'Morris Major' car with an anxious mood. He had a cigarette in his hand and was smoking incessantly for the last few hours.

Throughout the night, at many places, especially on the mountain road, Stephen stopped his car and searched for Charlie using the torch's light. He searched the valley as far as he could see and tried to enter the forest, with a fond hope if he could find his son and the car. But despair dogged him at every step.

Meanwhile, Peter had already spoken to him and stated that the police had started investigating the matter.

For many minutes Stephen's mind was occupied with what he should do next. The light of the dawn had come, the sky was clear and chirping birds were seen all around him when suddenly it seemed that something was happening in his head ...!

Someone was talking, awfully slowly but clearly.

Somewhat surprised, he peered out of the windows,  got out of the car and looked around the road, then closed his eyes and pressed his head tightly with both hands, finally blocked his ears with his fingers, without understanding what was happening.

Soon he started sweating in panic. What was going on? What should he do?

Voice was going on ...! Several minutes later, when this weird experience did not stop, Stephen began to take control himself. Fear seemed to subside a little, and he tried to decipher the voice ...!

It was then Stephen got another shock!

He understood that this was Charlie's voice !! How was that possible? Where was his son now? Was he alive?

All these questions came to mind with lightning speed! No answer manifested!

After swallowing a little, Stephen drank water from the bottle kept in the car.

What was Charlie saying? The voice was continuing without any break.

"Dad, do not be afraid; listen to me! I was attacked yesterday afternoon when I was returning home. The attacker is a criminal and has hijacked our car. He also looted your dollar bag. The scoundrel will take the car to Highway no. 25 soon .... please follow him now ... catch him.... do not delay. You will get my whereabouts  later!"

Hearing these repeated words made Stephen's body tremble for a few moments, but he took hold of himself and called Peter.

Peter listened quietly; he understood everything but was not surprised. "I have faith in such a strange thing! Maybe there will be a solution to this situation, the culprit will be caught; God bless! You will find your stolen car. Move fast and keep me informed ... I am bringing the police. I hope we are not late."


Stephen Hayden did not see his stolen Ford car when he arrived on Highway no. 25 in his 'Morris Major'. A little frustrated, he waited at the side of the road for some time when he saw his Ford car speeding off on the other side of the road.

Stephen ran and got into his car and started following the vehicle, albeit from a distance. Meanwhile, Peter had called, and Stephen got the news that he was bringing the police where Highway no. 25 will connect to the next city.

They arrived there about 45 minutes later when the Ford car pulled up in front of a supermarket. A man of medium height, broad-shouldered, wearing a cap, hurried into the market.

A little farther on, Stephen stopped his car, sat inside, and began to watch. He reported the status to Peter and came to know that he would be reaching there with the police very soon.

By that time, Stephen had overcome his despondency, and he was ready to do anything for Charlie!

When that man came out from the supermarket, about ten minutes later, Stephen had already made his plan.

He came forward and stood in front of the Ford car and then asked for a cigarette fire. The man,  who had an ugly and wicked appearance, with a show of annoyance, took a lighter out of his pocket and gave it to Stephen.

At that time, Stephen slowly pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his trouser pocket and, noticing the last broken cigarette, shook his head in mock annoyance. He has to buy time and detain this man as long as possible. The police had not yet arrived ...

Then, on the pretext of a sudden bout of cough, he went to his car parked next to the Ford car, drank water from his bottle, took out a pack of new cigarettes from the dashboard, came back, and asked that man, "Looking at your Ford car, it seems you are not from this town. Where are you coming from?"

Meanwhile, Stephen again stood in front of the stolen Ford.

Whereafter he slowly took out a cigarette from the new packet, lit it but did not return the lighter.

He kept looking at that man for a reply.

During this entire confrontation, seeing slow movements and delaying tactics of Stephen, the man suddenly became furious, snatched his lighter back and said with a gritty voice, " What does it matter? Move away, let me go ... you ... !" He then uttered profanities.

Stephen, however, did not move,  stubbornly standing in the way. Seeing that, the man came forward aggressively and pushed Stephen violently, but he steadied himself. As the man was about to slap Stephen, few people around, watching, came forward and stopped the man. "Hey ... hey, what's going on? Why are you angry for no reason? Leave him ...!"

The matter was getting serious. Many people had gathered. The man would not be able to leave quickly.  That was precisely what Stephen wanted.

Then the much-awaited police siren was heard ...!


The man, identified as Dick Normandy, a known criminal, was out on bail and was caught red-handed with the stolen Ford car and the cash!

Subsequently, after intense police interrogation, he reluctantly confessed to his crime! Two of the bank's witnesses also identified Dick Normandy. On the morning of the incident of the murder, when Charlie went to the bank to pick up the dollars, Dick, unknown to Charlie, had behaved suspiciously. Many did notice that.

Earlier, Dick Normandy took the police, Stephen and Peter, to Charlie's body. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to find him in the mountainous forest!

He was brutally killed with a knife!

Many in the town later said that Charlie's death would have remained a mystery if Charlie had not, in such a supernatural way, given his father the whereabouts of the culprit.

After that incident, Stephen Hayden never heard the boy's voice! But he said that the boy's soul had found peace.



Author Comments: Inspired by an actual incident!



Submitted: June 01, 2021

© Copyright 2021 AMITAV GANGULY. All rights reserved.

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