Headless Ghost

Once in the chilly night of December I was returning back from a late night movie show to my residence near railway station of "Bathinda" in a north Indian city. My bodybuilder room partner Harry was also with me. We were discussing about the movie, extraordinarily chilly nights of the season and our foolishness of missing last vehicle because of that we were forced to walk a long distance to our dwelling. Road was crossing through a vast uninhabited area.

Suddenly we noticed that at about two furlongs distance from the road a man was moving in a circle and yelling at regular intervals "Be awoke and be alert". We were little confused that why this man is doing a watchman duty in that deserted area.

Because of cold it was a smoggy night. A lantern in that man’s hand was making it little possible to guess that man was carrying a stick in his other hand and he was covering his face with a blanket.

We both discussed and concluded with two possibilities. Either he is a mad person or he is fully drunk, otherwise there is no logic in guarding a desolate piece of land. We decided to take him with us to the railway station where we will be able to offer him hot tea or coffee else because of tremendous cold he would definitely be dead during the night. We shouted very loud to call him to the road but he did not give any heed to our calls. He continued with his work of guard duty.

Then Harry told me that we should go to him and persuade him to come along, we shouldn’t mind taking little pain of walking that distance to save a life. I agreed and we both proceeded towards that man. When we reached quite close to him Harry shouted to him "Who are you and what you are doing here?" In a swift action he put his lantern and stick on the ground and sat facing that stick and lantern.

I also shouted to him"Why you are not replying? Please come with us we will take you to the railway station and offer you hot drinks and some eatables too." But he did not reply. Then Harry told me that we should take him forcefully else because of his own foolishness he may lose his life. I was in indecisive state of mind about that man. I told harry to leave him if he is not willing to come with us.

Harry thought for a moment then he said at least we should see his face who this foolish man is. And he went near to that man and tried to remove blanket from his face. But that man held that blanket very tightly on this face. A tussle started between Harry and that man. Although Harry was a strong man but other fellow was trying hard to keep his face covered with the blanket.

Suddenly Harry started running towards the road. He shouted, "Dalip run!"

I was stunned and unable to understand anything. Within no time Harry eloped from the sight. After a moment I came back into my senses and started running towards that road. Harry was nowhere traceable. I was too scared and do not remember how I reached my room. Harry was lying in the bed with 103 degree fever. I scolded him to have left me in that deserted area without telling anything properly. He replied you do not know what I saw, that man had no head; there was only his neck on his shoulders and I got so scared and frightened that I ran away. I could only warn you to run that was not a mad or drunk man that was a ghost without head.

Submitted by Dalip Vermam, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.