Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dolly - Short Story - A Horror Parody

Finally finding a spare moment, Sanjay quickly logged into his Facebook account.  A few seconds later, he found himself cursing and sharing a photo onto 5 of his friend's walls, failing which, the photo said, bad luck would befall him.  As he did this, little did he know that a pair of bloodshot eyes were staring at the back of his head.


These eyes belonged to a ghostly form which then began to slowly float towards Sanjay.  Getting a feeling that he was being watched, Sanjay turned around and cringed in fear at what he saw.  It was a girl, but her skin was that of a 100-year-old woman.  Wrinkled with hundreds of cuts on them.  Crusted dry blood everywhere.  As Sanjay sat there looking back at her in horror, she slowly grinned showing her rotten black teeth.


“Who are you?” Sanjay finally mustered the courage to ask her.

“I live here.” she said in a hoarse voice and tilted her head a bit as if she was amused by him.

“Well, in case you didn't know, we just bought this house!” Sanjay said after clearing his throat.

“I have been living here for more than 2 centuries, and I dont remember selling it!” she said sarcastically.

“Arre yaar!  Ok, I am calling up Shankar right now and giving him a piece of my mind!”  A furious Sanjay pulled out his phone and called up Shankar, the house broker who had found him the house.

“Arre yar, what is this?”

“What sir?”

“There's already someone living here, and you told me the house is empty.”

“Who sir? Nobody's living there, sir. You got the papers, na?”

“Ya, but I got this lady here who's telling me that she has been living here!”

“Probably some homeless person, sir, just send her away with some money, na?”


Sanjay put away the phone and sat fidgeting for a moment.  The white form watched every one of his movements.


“Ok, listen.  I am the owner of this house now, so you have no choice but to leave. Dont you have anybody else? Family?”

“I am a ghost.  I have been here since I died 200 years a...”

“Ya, ya! Listen, I am a reasonable guy, okay? I understand that you are a ghost and all!  But I just bought this place, and I got a wife and a daughter, and I don't think we have enough room for you, you understand me, na??” said Sanjay starting to get furious again.

“There are 4 bedrooms here, and I am taking one of them!” the white form said, turned around and started to float away.

“Will you be paying rent?” called out Sanjay hopefully.


***


Sanjay couldn't keep it to himself.  At dinner, he decided to tell his wife and his daughter.

“Ok, guys, listen, I need to tell you something.”

“Hmm, chalo.” his wife said.  His daughter nodded whilst making sure she didn't slow down on her messaging on her phone.

“Ok, listen, this house is haunted.”

His wife looked at him stunned.  The piece of allo paratha in her hand fell back on her plate.  His daughter nodded whilst making sure she didn't slow down on her messaging on her phone.

“What? Did you say haunted?” his daughter exclaimed a few seconds later.

Sanjay nodded in agreement.  “I.... I met her today morning.”

“Is she scary to look at?” his daughter asked excited.

“Wha.. Reshma! Listen, how many times have I told you not to judge someone by their looks, huh?!!” Sanjay sounded furious again.

Sanjay's wife turned around getting a feeling that they weren't alone.  They all followed suite and saw an apparition.  It was she.  Poking her face inside the door and staring right at them with a hideous grin on her face.

“Dad, she looks just like that possessed girl in The Exorcist!” Sanjay's daughter exclaimed unable to contain her excitement.

“Arre, chup!” Sanjay's wife quipped Reshma, then got up and pulled out a chair beside Reshma and said,

“Come, sit down, betaa.”

After a bit of hesitation, the apparition floated over and sat down on the chair, grinning all the while.

“Whats you name, betaa?” Sanjay's wife said forcing out a big smile.

“Dolly.” she said and Sanjay's wife noticed Dolly's cracked lips and thought how painful they must be.

“How old are you, Dolly?” Sanjay's wife asked, now trying not to look at her lips.

“Two hundred an..... ah.. about 250 years! Opps! I lost count!” she said and started to laugh crazily almost falling off the chair in the process.  Everybody waited in silence till she was done laughing.

“But how old were you  when  you  died?” Sanjay said the words slowly.

“I was 15!” she said excitedly.

“Oh good! I guess you will be good company for Reshma.  She just turned 14 last month.” Sanjay's wife said.

Reshma and Dolly looked at each other with huge smiles.

“You know what? You need some fixing up.  I got this new make-up kit in my room which I think will get the job done!” Reshma said excited.

“Ok, listen, guys, finish ur dinner first” ordered Sanjay after clearing his throat.


***


Thirty minutes after dinner and a lot of fixing up later, Reshma brought Dolly into the living room.  Sanjay and his wife were impressed with the work.  Dolly looked just like any other teenage girl now, except for her grey hair and the old shabby dress.


Reshma lend Dolly some of her clothes and Sanjay's wife dyed Dolly's hair.  After the transformation, Reshma secretly got a feeling that may be Dolly was now more attractive than her.  This tinge of jealousy made her realize that may be she had just found her new best friend.


Over the next few days, they got more comfortable with Dolly.  They got her into a routine of doing things instead of her just watching people do things.  At the top of the routines list was brushing her teeth.


Then one day, Sanjay decided to enroll her into Reshma's school.  Dolly had never been to a school, and Sanjay promised her that it would be a new experience.


Dolly and Reshma had the best of days.  When playing hide and seek, Dolly would turn herself invisible.  Or when playing tag, she would vaporize herself just before getting tagged.  She was the naughtiest student in the class too.  Teachers would send her out of the class, but a moment later, she would walk right in through the walls and start making trouble again.  Once a furious teacher had tried to hit her, but of course Dolly floated away with a taunting grin, and the poor teacher had to chase her down the corridor to no avail.  Oh the way the class erupted in laughter at these antics.


Strange mysterious things began to happen too.  Like, one morning, a teacher walked into the staff room to find vomit sprayed all over the walls.


One day, Sanjay got an urgent call from the school.  He rushed over and ran into the classroom to find Dolly sitting at one of the corners of the roof.

“Mr. Sanjay, you daughter has been sitting there for 2 hours.  She wont come down,” a disgruntled old lady wearing gold framed glasses told Sanjay.

Sanjay walked to the corner, looked up at Dolly and pleaded,

“Dolly, listen, come down, na?”

Sanjay couldn't even see her face.  Her dyed jet black hair was all over her face and all he heard was her hissing.  She slowly lifted her hand and pointed at the window where a small kitten sat staring at her.

Sanjay shooed the kitten away, and Dolly came crawling down the wall and into his arms.

“Mr. Sanjay, she's too in-disciplined.  I can't teach her anymore.” said the disgruntled teacher and walked away.  As Sanjay and Dolly watched her walk away in slow motion, a dramatic music was heard from the music room close-by where students were having a rehearsal.


Sanjay took Dolly and Reshma home.  After a brief family discussion, it was decided that Dolly would be homeschooled.  By day 3 of homeschooling, Dolly had mastered the TV remote and could remember the names of up to 100 channels.


That day evening, Sanjay came home from work very excited.

“Listen, guys, guess what!” he said.

“Arre, what happened?” Sanjay's wife said sounding a bit irritated.

“Ok, listen, remember Sharath? My friend?” he said, but suddenly his face had a mixture of different emotions.

“Hmm...” Sanjay's wife said nodding.

“He's coming over tomorrow and will be staying over for a few days.  Can you believe it? After 20 years!” said Sanjay excited again.

Sanjay's wife smiled and said, “Accha, chalo, I will prepare one of the extra bedrooms for him.”


It was next day evening by the time Sharath had reached their place.  Sharath was a very thin guy of average height.  His growth had halted after the accident; the accident they never talked about.


It happened 20 years ago.  Sanjay, Sharath, Carlos, and Dhanush were college buddies and had gone on a trip.  Drunk and overspeeding, they had met with an accident that changed their lives.  Sanjay was in a coma for a few months.  Sharath was in the hospital for a long time undergoing surgeries.  Carlos and Dhanush got discharged sooner and went back to their hometowns.  After coming out of the coma and spending some time in the hospital, Sanjay went to stay with his grandparents.  Sanjay lost contact with the others.  And out of the blue, Sharath had called him.


As they sat in the dimly lit dinner room, Reshma walked in with Dolly, who had her makeup freshly put on.

“Ok, Sharath, listen, this is my beautiful daughter, Reshma.” Sanjay said.

“Hello.  And who is this?” said Sharath looking at Dolly.

“She's eh.. a family friend. Her name is Dolly.” Sanjay said.

“Dolly.... A beautiful name for a beautiful young lady.” Sharath said with a flirtatious smile.  Dolly blushed.

Reshma giggled.

“Listen guys, lets have dinner, na?” said Sanjay after clearing his throat.


During his stay, Sanjay noticed how Sharath and Dolly were getting along well.  He saw them sitting together in the living room sofa and chatting for hours together.  He heard Sharath say things like,

“Oh my god! You are soo good with history.  You know? History was my favorite subject in school!”


Sanjay wanted to tell Sharath that Dolly was different and that he might not like her if he knew the truth.  But before he could say anything, the day for Sharath to leave had come.


While Sharath was leaving, Dolly didn't come out of her room to say goodbye.  Sanjay realized that they had gotten pretty close, and he was secretly happy that Sharath was going away.


That day, at dinner, Dolly wasn't at the table too.  They all waited for sometime, then getting worried, went up to her room.  But the room was empty and Sanjay and his wife turned to Reshma for some kind of an explanation.

“I overheard them planning to run away together,” Reshma said finally.

“Oh God!” Sanjay exclaimed in horror.

Just then his phone began to ring,

“Hello, Sanjay?” said a vaguely familiar on the other side.

“Ha, who is this?”

“Are, Sanju, this is Carlos!!”

The conversation went on for sometime until Carlos suddenly sounded serious and said,

“Buddy, we are getting together on this 17 th.  You know why, na?”

“Ehh..,” Sanjay was scratching his head.

“Sharath's dead anniversary, buddy.  It has been 20 years.”

“What are you talking about??  Sharath was just here.”

There was a pause for a few minutes, then Carlos said,

“Are you feeling okay, buddy?”


Then it hit Sanjay.  The only time Sanjay had seen Sharath after the accident was 2 years later in a public library.  Sharath had told him he had been admitted for 6 months after the accident undergoing surgeries.  But he never said if he had survived the surgeries.


Sanjay found everything that happened quite amusing.  Later that night, he logged into his Facebook account and opened the only photo of Dolly they had.  It was a family picture with Dolly standing behind them.  The photo only had one comment which said,

“OMG dude! There's something standing behind you guys!!”

Sanjay smirked and then commented,

“LOL! It's just Dolly.  The lighting was bad!”

Just then, Sanjay heard his wife swearing and struggling with something in the kitchen.  He rushed to the kitchen to find his wife pulling at something inside the kitchen cupboard.

“Whats happening?” He exclaimed.

She didn't answer him, but kept pulling and a tiny arm came into appearance.  Then as she pulled harder, a young Chinese boy fell out.  The boy quickly got up and ran out of the kitchen screaming at the top of his lungs.


“Dont just stand there. Catch him!!” Sanjay's wife shouted running after the boy.


 ***


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