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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
To keep my mind active, at dusk I walk around the courtyards and when I get bored, I find a niche underneath the stairs to sleep till the cool of the morning. Often I hear thuds and footsteps over the stairs but I reckon it is the sound of my own footsteps reverberating from the distant past when I was alive in flesh and blood.

I have no sense of past or future and do not hope or dread for the future. I just exist in the stillness of days and nights forgetting time and its passing.

Submitted: September 11, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 11, 2013



My nostrils get assailed often by a pungent smell, like that of death and decay and yet I do not know whether it is due to my state of mind, which helps to produce these effects or perhaps this advent of smell is from some outside sources.


 Sometime I wish that a gust of fresh breeze would blow through eastern windows of the castle and sweep away the entire stench out of the western windows. That freshness will help to concentrate my mind better on my predicaments and struggles.


I know that this does not behoove a ghost to think about such things, matters like these are supposed to be the concerns of living only but who knows what is living and what is being dead? As a matter of fact I should not think about such things, as myself who after all does not exist in normal sense, should guard against such blasphemies against the ways of nature.


This castle used to be inhabited by great number of people but now only an occasional visitor comes just to examine the state of castle building usually at dusk the other day a lady

with a lamp came in to examine it and you know what happened? She came face to face with me but did not notice me except by a muted shiver which ran down her spine. She passed right through me and alas my effort to blow out her lamp was not successful.


 The old castle still stands in its ruinous glory and it is my only habitat at present. Once I used to be lord of this castle when I was alive in flesh and blood, as they say. I was conspired against and murdered in a cold blood while sleeping one night. It was a crowning glory for the conspirators but was heartbreak and a disaster for me. I was full of rage and revenge at first but with the passing of time the grudge against my conspirators had diminished and I do not worry about it at all now. You see time can be a healer.


I was appalled at the ignorance of people around me. They were dull lazy and only seeking pleasures and getting satisfied with physical creature comforts. Mouthfuls of food and drinks were sufficient for them to ward off all the grim realities of living. Deprived of life of any creative urges, they were incapable of finding any newness in living. Food chewing mouths and overblown bellies were their ideal state for being well.


  In time they became jealous of my ideals and me; and what does a simple foolish man do

as to counteract his inferiority, he just simple wanted to destroy the object, which has caused all that agony and trauma. In order to show their ineffectual intellectual prowess, they thronged to all the glittery shows put out by the established entertainers and whose presentations were as dumb intellectually as of their followers.


By associating with the fashions in vogue and with the popular culture, a naive person feels refined and sophisticated and finds himself attuned to the latest whims - mediocre arts, interior design or all such fads.


In order to distance myself from this mass mediocrity and suffocation, I became interested in books and began to furnish my shelves with the outstanding books

of literature, metaphysics and philosophy. True even the great books contain lot of trivia within its pages but one or two pages or sentences are sufficient to lift a book out of dreary

ordinariness to something above average.


 As the years passed I began to spend greater and greater time amidst my library as the knowledge began to open new pathways into my soul. Sometime I spent whole evening and nights studying. I neglected my affairs, my finances went to pieces and with it all the managements associated with the castle. I wanted to find something significant and true in my life.


Thus by exerting my independence, I created host of enemies among my associates whose finances were also tied to the castle estates. The loss of money and prestige was enough to group them together and hatch a plot against me.


 My faithful servants warned me about this but I could not be bothered by these trivia and in the end paid the price for it .At one of my grand parties, I was enjoying myself standing in the company of my friends when I saw a beautiful creature engaged in conversation at the other end of the room. She was glowing with charms and beauty and I could not take my eyes off her. I enquired about her from other people and came to know that the divine creature was an artist but a struggling one. It seemed that the lady was using the occasion to find money and prestige by finding the prospective clients for publicizing her works and which did not seem so farfetched. She was surrounded by throngs of men and with majority as having a good financial background.


Later I was warned by my loyal servants that the lady usually had cunning plans up her sleeves and she should not be trusted but I was blind to their warnings. Her aerial beauty had stung me deeply and I was bent upon getting closer to her, whatever personal cost happened to be. Now I realized how foolish I was but being fond of pretty women had already deranged my power of judgments


Slowly through an intermediary I got to know the lady and often invited her to dine and wine with me at the castle. I thought she responded to my advances and show of affection and we began to come closer  although I detected a certain aloofness and cruelty in her demaeanour towards me. As women have tremendous power over men and especially over a man who had fallen head over heels in love and some time I thought that she was like a cat that had caught a juicy rat and was playing with it until it ended as being her food. There is seldom a cure for a mad man or a lover.


 We began to visit the surrounding countryside and one day she invited me to visit a friend’s country home in a remote valley and to which I readily agreed despite the misgivings of my servants and on an appointed day we set forth in a splendid horse driven carriage.


I noticed that the lady concerned was being extra warm and friendly and was showing or pretending to show affection towards me by holding my hand. I put my arm around her waist and pulled her towards me to feel her closeness and in that sort of embrace; we both were in heaven as I thought. There was a changing panorama of countryside rushing past the carriage and all those surroundings were very conducive to being in a universe of mine, full of intimacy and sweetness.


 Hours passed and when we were near the destination something happened, suddenly the horses refused to go forward and despite the coachman’s shouting and whipping, they would not budge. They felt some sort of alarm as approaching a danger, sniffed the air, stood upright and nearly brought the coach tumbling. We got out and decided to walk as there were only few hundred yards to the house, which was visible. As we went to front door there was no need to knock, as it was already open and as we entered the house and I felt a shudder and a cold wind ran across my spine. The mood suddenly changed from love and warmth to dread and shivers and which I could not account for.


The figure of three men with masks suddenly appeared and held me down, blindfolded me and dragged me across the hallway. There was a trap door at the end and which they opened and just pushed me down. I stumbled down a case of stairs in total darkness, hitting my body and head on stony surfaces till I was down on the floor of the cellar where I lay totally numb for considerable time, I know not for how long as under the impact of shock my mind became foggy and lost the passage of time. I felt the betrayal of the cruel lady acutely and the fact that she was pretending to love me was unbearable. Her love was a mask-only for me to be delivered into the hands of some assassins.


 On the second day, a masked figure came down to cellar with a number of papers and told me to sign those which I understood to be deeds of transfer of all my property to a certain person which I recognized to be an old acquaintance and a friend. When I refused to sign, two more men came and started beating me and when I tried to protect myself with raised  arms, they tied me hands behind my back and set upon me beating with sticks  and kicking me with fierce blows.


They warned me that if I did not sign, I would get the more doses of beatings and would be starved. I knew that there was no hope left for me and even if I signed, they would kill me either through poison or starving. Thirst was the first calamity I had to face and I realized that a man may survive for few days without solid food but could not do so without water. I begged from my captors for a mouthful of water to quench my thrust, which was parching my throat and setting my entrails on fire and slowly turning me into a state of lunatic. I began to howl like a wild animal. I thought that if there was such a thing like hell, it would be very much like my present state of being.


 My body shriveled and became emaciated and my tattered clothes were hanging over my skeleton. Out of that dreadful agony, I prayed for death and release and after that

I lost my consciousness and went into deep sleep without any dreams





I wanted my revenge then but with passing of time found it not the worth of any effort.

 My enemies were just names in a sea of mass humanity. These simple, naïve people without any spark of intellect or emotional brilliance were just the common lot of the day. Anybody of different persuasion or of life style was inimical to their minute perceptions.






Perhaps it is years or may be a century since my murder took place. It is hard to comprehend, as time does not exist as such in my world. I do not count in months and years.


When I was freshly dead, I used to frighten people with my tricks and angry howls. Even few people did feel the presence of a ghost among them and gradually abandoned the castle one by one and now I have the whole place to myself .At last I am its only resident ghost whatever it may be.


Things get bored by me just walking along the corridors and in order to create some adventure and novelty, I try to climb to the roof by squeezing myself through the chimney with its dark soot ridden passages so as to witness grand panorama of the surrounding countryside from the roof top.


Sometime I even try to climb the trees in usual way via trunks in order to experience physical sensations of my bygone days.


 To keep my mind active, at dusk I walk around the courtyards and when I get bored, I find a niche underneath the stairs to sleep till the cool of the morning. Often I hear thuds and footsteps over the stairs but I reckon it is the sound of my own footsteps reverberating from the distant past when I was alive in flesh and blood.


I have no sense of past or future and do not hope or dread for the future. I just exist in the stillness of days and nights forgetting time and its passing.






Copyright© 2013. Durlabh Singh

© Copyright 2020 Durlabh. All rights reserved.

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