Fiction

The Dark Shadow

by Anuradha S. Bannore

It was past midnight Devyanti was sitting on a couch talking to her friend, Sargam.

Both of them were enjoying chatting about their life with all its ups & downs harping on the wonderful trips they had been to. They would usually chat till the early hours of the morning because both lived all by themself hence there was no one to check them. This was their weekly routine & this weekend was no different.

They were laughing, talking about their childhood pranks when suddenly a cold shiver went through Devyanti as she felt a dark shadow hovering over her head. She almost screamed but stifled it saying to herself, ‘ It was nothing. Maybe I just imagined it.’ She continued talking when the dark shadow once again appeared but this time it was as if sitting on her head. Devyanti started perspiring & said, ‘ Ok, Sargam, bye we will continue our chat later. I just remembered something that I had to do. Sorry. See you.’

She quickly switched off the phone & charged into her bedroom shaking like a leaf. She wondered what on earth it was! She started praying to God but she couldn’t take her mind away from ‘the dark shadow.’ She decided to go off to sleep but sleep ditched her. It seemed as if that night her only true companion was ‘The Dark Shadow’. The harder she tried to get it off her mind the more it clung to her as if her mind was fettered by it. No matter what she did it wouldn’t leave her. She begged & prayed to God, ‘ Dear God whatever it is please make it go away.’ For a few moments, she was relieved that finally, God had heard her prayers & now she was safe.

She settled down in her cosy bed but had hardly closed her eyes when out of the blue it suddenly reappeared & this time it was right in front of her. She screamed as loud as she could but no one came to help her as the houses were quite far apart & no one could hear her. She decided to switch on all the lights but as she actually started doing so the lights kept switching off. This was the last straw & she froze with fright when a voice very calmly said, ‘Fear not, my child I mean no harm to you & I’m sorry to have scared you in this way. You see I lived here with my wife (who is with me) & daughter many years before & now I’m looking for my dearest child. My wife & I were killed in a terrible accident leaving her all by herself. I somehow felt that you were my child so I was trying to find out if it was really so.’

Devyanti said, ‘B..bu..but who are you? What’s your name? Maybe I could help you in finding your daughter.’

It replied,’ You can call me ‘The Dark Shadow’ as that’s what you have been referring to me in your mind.’

This frightened Devyanti all the more as it could read her mind. Now she was in a real fix not knowing what to do as whatever she thought of, the dark shadow would definitely know. So after giving it a thought she decided to overcome her fear & talk to it as a friend.

This worked very well & they became real good friends. Every night ‘The Dark Shadow’ would sit by her side talking of the wonderful time it had on earth with his loving beautiful wife & daughter who he doted on. He would sing a lullaby for her whenever she couldn’t sleep which seemed to ring a bell in her mind. This continued for quite a few days. Then finally one-day Devyanti said, ‘ How come you know this lullaby? Some of the things that you say remind me of my father. He used to sing that lullaby to me & talk to me in the same way as…..’ She suddenly stopped & stared at ‘The Dark Shadow’ which had started appearing as an angel before her with a sweet smile. With wide-open eyes & mouth, she stared at it in an unbelievable manner. He gently stroked her head & said, ‘Yes my loving beautiful dearest child I’m your father. I’ve been guarding you so that no harm comes to you. By the way, dear child take care & be cautious of who you deal with or befriend because the world has changed a lot & the thing is that just as there are good kind-hearted people in this world in the same way there are evil-minded selfish people too who wouldn’t hesitate to hurt not only others but their own people too. Outwardly they behave very sweetly & show how kind & loving they are but their heart & mind is filled with devilish plans. Just because they think that no one suspects them they soar to great heights not realising that their secret is quite often ‘an open secret.’ They forget or overlook the fact that God is watching each & every one of us & moreover ‘Karm’ spares no one. They may consider themself to be a superpower in harassing, harming & even killing by/with some of the other means but the Omnipotent Power will never ever spare them. They will definitely have to pay a very heavy price for all the wrong they have done on earth. In fact, each one of us will be rewarded in our next life based on our ‘Karm’ in this life. Ok, my dearest child knowing that you are doing great on your own I’ll return to my new abode. Please be discreet in choosing your friends & in trusting people. I neither mean to scare you or say that everyone is unreliable but just be very careful in your life. Your Ma too is doing well & loves you a lot. She’ll visit you soon. At present, she’s very busy trying to help innocent victims in the hands of selfish sadists/ tormentors. You take care & whenever you need help or have problems just remember me in your prayers & everything will get sorted out. Bless you, my child. Though physically we are gone but remember we are always by your side as your guardian angels,’ saying so he disappeared in the thin air right in front of her eyes leaving her absolutely perplexed.

She kept crying out to him & she felt a hand stroking her head gently & soon Devyanti was fast asleep. She was too confused for words when she woke up in the morning. She was fighting & arguing with herself about what she had experienced. She couldn’t decide whether it was a fantasy or she did see her father. She didn’t want to talk about it with anyone as no one would understand it & would probably think her to be out of her mind. So she kept her secret under the hatchet but never failed to talk to her Dad every night before going to bed. She told him one day,’ Papa, people might think me to be crazy but my experience says it’s reality. The dear departed loving souls definitely come down to earth to take care of their dearest ones. I too didn’t believe much in this but now I know it’s a fact. Thank you Papa & Mama for taking care of me. Now I’ll never ever be scared of anything as I know that my Guardian Angels & not ‘The Dark Shadow’ (she added this with a smile & a twinkle in her eyes) are & will always be watching over me & taking care of me. Thank you, God for everything & especially for giving me, such wonderful parents.’

About the Author:

Anuradha S. Bannore is a prolific writer and an alumni of Jabalpur University with M.A in English. She retired as a teacher and currently lives in Vadodara India.

2 Comments

  1. the opening of the story ms bannore strikes as a mysterious one and does make the reader wide eyed with curiosity. As the story meanders and takes shape the reader is taken into the mysterious land of the departed who do watch over their families and protect them from all harm as guardian angels.The girl’s initial fright at the dark shadow is very naturally portrayed and the twist brings out the denouement with sparkling beauty
    kudos for the positive structure of the story

  2. Thanks Ms Diwakar for your beautiful comments.

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