The Night Duty
It was early in the evening. Winter had not yet knocked on the doors of Delhi. The weather was pleasant and there was a hint of romance in the air. The sun was gradually setting, collecting its golden light to let the moon spread her charm with her cool moonlight. It was going to be the naughty, full moon night that evening.
A young man was waiting for a bus at NSCI Club bus stop near Pragati Maidan’s foot-over bridge. He considered himself to be smart enough to have the lady luck on his side at a young age. And rightly so, for he had succeeded to be the Club’s Chief Manager at just 28. Rahul had finished his day’s work and was headed home.
Suddenly, his eyes fell on a young girl, standing at the bus stop across the road. She was alone. As their eyes met, he noticed she had smiled … with some shyness … hesitatingly. He found her beautiful. Her smile set his heart aflutter. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed a bus menacingly approaching her bus stop. He didn’t want to lose this opportunity, so he waived her not to take the oncoming bus, and wait for him to take the foot-over bridge to cross over and reach her. This time also, luck was on his side. The girl smiled and consented.
Rahul lost no time and reached the bus stop across the road. He took her extended hand like a thorough gentleman, though squeezing a little with a naughty smile. Her hand was delicate and soft. She was indeed a very pretty girl, tall, slim, royal … with a mesmerizing hold. Her reverse pastel peach colour sari and virgin white lace blouse enhanced her feminine attributes of a generously endowed woman. Her dark black, long hair tied in a smart bun with a red rose added to her sensuousness. He found himself totally surrendered to her captivating charm.
‘Hi, I am Rahul. You are so beautiful … thanks for waiting …’
‘Thank you. My name is Sonia.’ Her voice was mellifluous. Music to his ears.
Her eyes were like a magnet … maddening beauty – he passed a judgment.
‘Are you going home, Sonia?’
‘No, I am on night duty tonight.’
‘Where do you work? I mean, is it far?’
‘Not really … just two stops from here …’
‘Wow … great … it is a pleasant evening … would you like if we walk to your place of work?’
‘Yeah ... sure … my pleasure,’ said Sonia with a small, sexy laugh. Rahul was smitten.
Taking advantage of this short walk, he tried to impress her by describing his job at the club and his large, disposable monthly income … sharing with her the best of his young life’s achievements … top swimmer at University, consistently a topper since school days, living alone in a studio apartment in one of South Delhi’s posh localities … being studious, a sworn bookworm, never had a girlfriend … and so on.
Time flew … soon he realized they had reached the gate of a cemetery … as Sonia took a step to enter the gate of the cemetery, Rahul froze …
‘What happened? Come inside. This is where I work …’
Rahul could only mutter: ‘But there are graves all over the place … ‘
‘Are you scared … you, a man?’
‘No, no, no … I am not scared … but …’.
By now, Rahul was shaken to the bones. He was frightened.
‘Don’t worry … follow me …’ Sonia reassured him.
Rahul was under her spell. Her challenge to his being a man had touched his fragile ego. He found himself entering the cemetery, following her steps along the well laden, but eerie, on this full moon night, graves on both sides of the tiled path. Rahul was totally terrified … trembling like an autumn leaf … ready to fall … his face was as white as a sheet.
Suddenly, Sonia stopped next to a creepy grave. She pushed the grave’s top slab with her foot making a scary sound, and revealed a dark outline of a dead body. She stepped down into the grave and asked Rahul to follow her … down the steps into a cellar next to the spooky dead body …
Like a lifeless lamb, Rahul obeyed her.
The cellar was spine-chilling … dark but for a tall, white candle throwing flickering light on a dining table in the middle of a bloodcurdling empty room.
Sonia stepped up to the head of the dining table, and asked him to sit down on the couch opposite to her … along the wall … at the other end of the table.
‘This is where I work,’ she declared.
‘But what is your job?’ Somehow, the words came out of his dry mouth seemingly flowing out of fear.
‘My job is to bring food,’ explained Sonia.
‘For whom?’ he was horrified in this unnerving setting.
‘For her,’ Sonia pointed her hand towards a vampire on her left … ‘and for her’ – she pointed out to another vampire on her right.
‘But where is the food?’
In a flash, Sonia turned into a wicked vampire. Rahul fainted and fell down on the couch.
All the three evil vampires were now scrounging with a loud, horrendous cackling … eeeheheehe … eeeheheehe … eeeheheehe …