by Swarnasankha Acharjee
With the rolling wheels of factories, the use of the Post Office got limited to official letters and few other things. The post office of the village is situated at the corner of the road where it bends to join the road leading to the state capital. Mr. Ray, the old postmaster heads the office and has three sub-ordinate postmen under him, Rehman, Abhay, and Emanuel. Rehman had an orange-colored Hero cycle. He used to deliver mail with that. Abhay used a red-colored Captain Shakti cycle. He had pasted a sticker of a roaring lion on it. Emanuel had a green-colored cycle fitted with a carrying basket at the front.
The office is no different from typical damp, dark government offices piled up with files untouched for decades. The mail van comes in the morning and that is probably the only time Mr. Ray has some work to do. Once the mail van disperses and the postmen are out for delivery, he would turn to the local newspaper peeping through his thick glass. His grandson would accompany him on some days with his nursery rhymes books. Apart from the postmaster, there is one clerk who does the work of adding files to the pile. But, above all this, the postmaster is a respected man in the village. His opinions are of great importance when it comes to any decision taken for the village.
Their monotonous life continued until the villagers started receiving eerie letters. With emails and social media dominating society, receiving letters in the first place raised a few eyebrows. But, people are most reluctant to take action until the push comes to shove.
Aishwarya’s house is the nearest to the Post Office. She serves as a school teacher. One day, early in the morning she was running late for school when Abhay, the postman, arrived at her door with an envelope. She received the envelope. But, as she was running late, she left back the envelope and left for college.
She returned from school tired and exhausted and forgot about the letter. She had dinner and called the night off early. But it was far from an early night for her.
Minutes after she went to bed, a bang on the door woke her up. She got out of the bed and opened the door. No one was present there. Instead, a strong wind embraced her. She closed the door and was walking towards her bedroom when an eerie sound caught her attention. She looked around and quickly realized the sound was coming out of the envelope. She picked it up and opened it. There was nothing that could make a sound. But the contents were strange enough to catch her off guard. There was a knife with bloodstains and a picture of her lying dead in a pool of blood in the eastern corner of her own house. She got scared and screamed out loud. Her scream was loud enough for the neighbors to hear. A few of them went and knocked on her door. There was no response from inside. Pin drop silence gripped the people. They banged the door but their efforts were all in vain. Aishwarya didn’t respond. They broke open the door only to find her pale corpse lying in a pool of blood in the eastern corner. They immediately informed the local police. On arriving, the police retrieved the picture, the envelope, and the knife. Blood was found on the inside part of the envelope. Apart from these, police couldn’t find any other substantial evidence which could lead to the accusation of someone. The case remained confined to the old files.
Days passed by. That house was left to the company of the creepers and spider web. Normal life returned to the village. When everything began to settle in, the village was struck by another weird and scary incident.
Children talking to dolls are cute until the doll replies back to the child.
Vinay was the manager of the bank located on the outskirts of the village. He lived in the village with his wife Sheila and their little daughter Ramya.
Like every morning Vinay got ready to leave for the office when the doorbell rang. He opened the door to find Abhay standing there with a parcel and an envelope which were addressed to Vinay. He signed and received the parcel and the envelope.
A little while later Sheila opened the parcel and it had a very beautiful doll. Ramya was very excited to see the doll. It was a nice beautiful one. Ramya ran around the house with the doll and Sheila followed to ensure safety. Amidst all these, the envelope slipped off her attention.
In the evening when Vinay returned from the bank, he found Ramya playing with the doll. She literally had been glued to the doll the whole day. Sheila made food for Ramya and went to her room. As she entered the door, a bizarre sight caught her by surprise. Ramya was talking to the doll and the doll was replying to her. Sheila went forward towards Ramya and the doll. In the meantime, Vinay freshened up and took the seat in front of the TV. His eyes fell on the envelope kept there on the table. He picked it up and opened the envelope. There was a photograph. A photograph of Sheila lying dead and scratch marks was present as if someone had scratched her to death with the nails. The doll was there in the picture as well with large nails and blood dripping off the nails. Vinay ran to the room where Sheila and Ramya were there only to find Sheila lying dead in exactly the same position as was there in the photograph. There were scratch marks all over her body. The doll was present at the exact position depicted in the picture. Ramya was too traumatized to say anything. Vinay picked her up and went to the other room and called the police.
The police were convinced enough that the case of Aishwarya and Sheila are interlinked. However, even in this case, apart from the doll and the picture, no meaningful evidence was found. The fate of these cases was up in the air. The investigating officers were missing the Achilles’ heel of the cases, the postman.
Normal life returned back to the village in a few day’s time except for Vinay and Ramya. The local cops tried to interrogate Ramya, but the only thing she could manage to say was that the doll killed her mother.
Things were moving along quite well until he evil thought it was time for episode 3.
Suzan lived with her old widowed mother. She was unmarried and owned a boutique shop. It was the season of marriage and she often had to keep her shop late in the evening. She would cook food and keep it in a thermos container near her mother’s bed so as to ensure she had very little to do.
She was in her shop when Abhay came home with a letter and parcel. Abhay immediately realized she would be in her shop and decided to deliver the parcel to her there.
Suzan received the parcel and was left dumbstruck as soon as she opened the parcel. There was a bottle of poison in it and the letter was blank attached with a photograph. A photograph of her mother lying dead on her bed and froth flowing from her mouth.
Suzan left behind everything and ran home only to find the door locked from inside. Some of the neighbors rushed to her aid. They barged into the house. Suzan ran straight to her mother’s room only to find her in the exact same position as was there in the photograph.
The cops came in looking for evidence. But there was none, other than the photograph. And this time, the post office caught their attention. They reached the post office and found out the common missing link, Abhay.
They set out in search of Abhay. They searched his house, the lakes, the forests nearby, and even caves in the hills. But all their efforts were vain. As was the case with the previous two cases, this case too seemed as if it would remain confined to the case files.
Even three months after the third grave peril, normal life kept the villagers at arm’s length. Years passed by. Abhay could not be found anywhere. The Postmaster succumbed to illness. His grandson now studies in high school. One fine evening, Olly, the grandson of Mr.Ray came out of his house riding a red Captain Shakti cycle with a roaring lion’s sticker pasted on it, his grandfather’s last gift to him.
About the Author:
Swarnasankha Acharjee is a writer from Agartala, Tripura in India.