The Mystery of the Midnight Wedding

An entire wedding band goes missing while performing at a wedding, leaving only one survivor. The police detective and his officers try to solve this mystery. A short horror tale based on actual events.
Reading time: 22 minutes.

This tale was penned by my father decades ago. I remember reading it when I was just a kid. Recently, I asked him to look for the original manuscript, so I could translate and present it to you guys.

The Mystery of the Midnight Wedding

xtalesnet beastboysuraj suraj singh sisodia shyamveer singh

The world is familiar with the Taj Mahal and the city of Agra. It's an infamous city whose history is filled with tragic events. The many under-developed towns all around the city are part of this history. There are many ruins of several settlements scattered on this land. They had been a witness to some significant events and catastrophes throughout history. Take the town of Shikohabaad, for example, not very far from Agra, settled by Darashikoh. It was when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb rebelled against his father Shahzahan, imprisoned him, and became thirsty for Darashikoh's blood, his own brother.

Firozabad is another example. It is also called the city of bangles. The city was settled by Firozshah Tughlaq, but in contemporary times, the city became the centre of faith for Jainism and the people of the Jain community. There stands a prominent Jain temple and a lodge for the Jain sages and saints.

And just like that, there are numerous small settlements, towns, and villages across this land. Their history is buried with them. The locals know more about this history, which they have heard from their ancestors. Baah is a town like that, whose history we are diving into today.

This was a day like any other in the town of Baah, and people were shopping. Arshad Ali owned an orchestra named 'The Mughal Band'. He had a shop in Baah, and he used to play at weddings. Today, he was practising with his mates, just like every day, when a man arrived in his shop. Arshad dropped everything and went to talk to this man, potentially a customer.

"Accept my greetings, brother," said Ali.

"Greetings in the Lord Rama's name, brother," the man replied.

"In the lord Rama's name indeed. Come on in. Please take a seat."

"That's alright," the man said. He chose not to sit down. "I'm good. I am here to book your band."

"Yeah, for sure, why not! On which date?"

"On the night of the full moon."

"But what's the date?"

"That—you check," the man said rather coldly.

"Nothing to sweat about. I'll check it." Ali then hollered at someone, "Munna, bring the calendar, will you?"

Munna, Ali's apprentice, who was practising his instrument, a rattle, brought the calendar and handed it to Ali. "There you go," he said.

"Yeah." Ali looked up the date on the night of the full moon. "Full moon...full moon...where did the full moo—ah! Here it is. So, the date on the night of the full moon is the twenty-sixth, Monday." He looked up at the man and said, "Yeah, we are available for booking on the twenty-sixth. So, gentleman, what's your name?"

"Not me; the procession will arrive at Ram Singh's place," the man answered.

"Alright, brother, do tell the address of whose place it'll arrive at."

"Ram Singh, village Devpur, Baah."

Ali repeated the address as he wrote it down. "Ram...Singh...village...Devpu—Devpur? This is the first time I am hearing of this village, brother mine. Where is this Devpur? In my entire career, I've never been to this village to play the band."

"It's at a reasonably small distance from here. Nothing to worry about; we'll fetch you ourselves."

"Pray tell the time, so we can be ready to leave when you do."

"At midnight," the man announced.

"Oh dear lord!" Ali exclaimed. He was shocked. "At midnight?"

"No procession leaves our village before that," the man said with no visible expression. He had been this expressionless ever since he had arrived.

"But why not?" Ali asked.

"I will not be bothered to tell you all that."

"No issues there," Ali said. "You can tell me on the way or over there, but let me inform you about one thing here. The band will arrive with twenty-six people, who you will have to feed and drop back here after the work is done. One more thing, we'll charge six thousand and two hundred rupees. If it's all acceptable to you, proceed with some incentive to confirm the booking."

"Everything is acceptable, but I can not pay you anything in advance because I don't have anything right now," the man replied. He did not hesitate to add, "Even this carcase has been lent to me."

"Oh brother mine, it's okay if you don't have anything right now, but don't speak such things," Ali said with a helpful and kind tone. "I understand that one does bear all sorts of expenses in a wedding. It's alright, you come on the twenty-sixth. We'll be all waiting."

"Certainly, goodbye in the lord Rama's name."

"In the lord Rama's name indeed."

The man left, and Arshad Ali went on with his practice.

The days went by, and eventually came the day, the twenty-sixth, the night of the full moon.

Arshad Ali sat prepared with his band, waiting. As the clock hit midnight, a bus appeared out of nowhere and came to a halt in front of Ali's shop. The driver stepped out and called Ali.

"Brother Arshad!"

"Yes, here I come," Ali replied.

"Make it quick, brother."

"Ram Singh of Devpur sent this bus, right?" Ali asked.

"Yes, they are all his guests," the driver replied. "You all take a seat too."

Ali called out to Munna, "Munna, go get our stuff." Then, he looked at the bus. The windows were all shut, but Ali could hear the gabbing. It seemed to him as though the bus was packed full. He turned to the driver with confusion. "Driver-sir, this bus is choke-full. Where will all twenty-six of us sit?" he asked.

"Brother Arshad, pray, you take your stuff and get in."

Munna and his mates brought their stuff. Arshad was taken by surprise when he stepped onto the bus. It seemed packed, but there was no one inside. He stepped out again and asked the driver, "driver-sir, the bus seemed full a second ago. I've just come out from the inside. Where did everyone go?"

"You'd be uncomfortable, so they all climbed on the roof."

"The roof?" Arshad looked at the roof. He couldn't see anyone, but he heard them laugh. A little embarrassed, Arshad quickly got into the bus and began wondering, 'How did they all manage to get on the roof so quick?' He then asked, "Munna, is everything on board?"

"Yes, master. We are all set."

"Driver-sir, let's go."

Driver shifts into drive with no jerk. Everyone began wondering why the driver didn't even start the bus. How did he get it moving?

Soon enough, the bus cleared out of the city and began galloping on the Fatehabad Road. The band members curiously got into questioning each other.

"Listen up, brother!"

"Yes, what happened, brother mine?"

"I've never been on a bus like this one. There's no noise at all, no bouncing in this bus. It feels like I'm on an aeroplane."

"You are talking about being on it? I've never even seen one."

After running on the Fatehabad road for a while, the bus turned towards an unconstructed road. Meanwhile, Munna kept rehearsing his rattle with his hand hanging out the bus. He hit his hand on a tree, and the rattle fell out of his hand.

"Boss," he shouted. "Boss!"

"Why are you shouting, Munna?" Arshad asked.

"Master, one of my rattles fell out the window. Please, make the driver stop the bus."

Arshad turned to the driver, "Driver-sir, stop the bus!"

"We are almost there. It will stop in a little while."

"My rattle fell out the bus," Munna explained.

"The bus won't stop in the middle no matter what."

"Some strange driver," Arshad whispered to himself.

The bus eventually came to a stop, arriving in a village. Band members got stunned upon seeing this beautifully decorated village.

"I've never seen such a beautiful village and decoration," exclaimed Arshad.

"Yes, master," Munna said, pointing at something. "Look over there. They are cooking some delicious-looking food."

"Sure, Munna," Arshad agreed. "And look, it seems like fairies are dancing over there."

The bandmaster whispered in Arshad's ear, "Master, it seems like a loaded client."

"Tell me about it."

Munna suddenly remembered about his fallen rattle. "Boss," he said to Arshad. "What will I play? I dropped one of my rattles on the way."

"Munna, these guys are filthy rich. If they find out one rattle is missing, they might take offence."

"Boss, it wasn't too far away, just a little walk from here. If you say, I'll fetch it right away."

"Yeah," replied Arshad, handing him a flashlight. "Here, take this torch. It will be dark out there. Be quick about it."

Munna left to find his rattle. Arshad kept waiting for him, but he didn't return. After some time, the procession began, and Arshad's band danced along by playing their music pieces. The members of the family and their guests threw an insane amount of money while dancing to the tunes. All the band members, family members, and guests were happy. Arshad would worry about Munna every now and then. He calmed himself down, thinking that Munna might have returned home.

After the procession, they all sat down to eat, tired and starving. Band members got bewildered upon seeing gold and silver utensils. The food was delicious too. They all ate to their limits, yet they didn't seem to be bellyful. When it was too late, the same man arrived.

"So how was it, gentlemen?" he asked. "If there was anything unpleasant, I apologise for it. Now, we take your leave. It's our time to go." He handed them their payment, full in cash. "Here's your six thousand and two hundred rupees."

"Oh brother, why are you embarrassing us?" Arshad replied kindly. "We have never seen anything like it in our career of twenty years."

"Alright then," the man said, pointing at the bus. "There's your ride. It will drop you all back home."

"Very well, sir."

Soon, they all took a seat on the bus with their stuff, and the bus drove away. Everyone was weary and sleepy. Suddenly, light from an oncoming vehicle's headlights fell into the bus, and Arshad's heart gave up for a second.

The driver's seat was empty.

Munna woke up the following morning, and after taking a shower, he went to the shop just like every day. Upon seeing the lock, he concluded that his boss might have arrived late at night. That's why he had not come to the shop yet. So Munna went to his house to get the keys. He knocked on Arshad's door.

"Who is it?" Arshad's wife asked. Since Munna considered Arshad his big brother. His wife was like a sister-in-law to Munna. He always called her sister.

"Sister, it's me, Munna."

Arshad's wife came outside. "Hey, Munna! Did your master sleep at the shop last night?"

"No, why? Didn't he come home last night?"

"No, he didn't. I thought he was with you?"

"I have come here to look for him?"

"So, he's not at the shop?" she asked.

"No. I think boss must have stayed there," Munna concluded. "He must've thought one doesn't get to see that grand celebration every day. It's alright, sister. I'll go home then. If I had the keys, I'd go to the shop. Just let me know when the boss comes back."

It was only a matter of time before Munna knocked on the door again.

"Sister! Isn't he back yet?"

"No, Munna. Will you go and check where he went off to?" Arshad's wife was concerned.

"He went to Devpur, sister," Munna replied. "I was with him, but I returned as soon as I had gotten there. Anyway, I'll take a friend with me to go there and check."

"Here," she tried to hand him some cash. "Hire a cart to there."

"No worries, sister. My friend has a motorcycle. We'll take that."

"Be quick about it."

Munna left on the motorcycle with his friend to find this Devpur. He asked everyone on the way, people from the neighbouring villages, but nothing. He could neither find Devpur nor the band. He returned with no news about his boss Arshad. Munna and Arshad's wife stayed awake all night, waiting for Arshad and the band members to return. When the morning broke out, Munna had only one idea.

"Sister, I think we should file a report to the police," he suggested.

"Yes, Munna. Something terrible must have happened. Otherwise, he would have returned by now. Let's go to the police."

They both went to the station to file a missing person's report.

"So Munna, how many people were in this band?" asked the inspector, writing the FIR.

"Twenty-six, including me."

"But why did you return?"

"Inspector-sir, one of my rattles had fallen out of the bus," Munna explained. "I had gone back to retrieve it. When I returned, I couldn't find the village, no matter how hard I tried. So I went back home."

"And you couldn't find it either, yesterday when you went there with your friend?"

"That's right, sir."

"Can you take us to the spot where you had lost your rattle?"

"Yes, sir."

"Alright, let's go then."

The inspector took the police jeep with Munna and one other officer towards the Fatehabad road. They were speeding on their way while Munna gave directions.

"This is the turn, sir," Munna said.

The jeep stopped, and everyone stepped off.

"This is the tree I hit my arm on and lost my rattle."

"Alright, Munna," the inspector started asking questions. "Tell me, were you on foot when you came back?"

"Yes, sir, I was on foot."

"How long would you say it took to get back here?"

"Around fifteen minutes, sir," Munna replied.

"Fifteen minutes of walking isn't that far," the inspector began thinking while he spoke. "At most, you would've been one or one and a half kilometres. Then you must've been able to see the lights from here." Then he turned towards Munna again, "Didn't you see any lights from here, Munna?"

"Sir, I have been watching the lights all my way here to keep a sense of the direction. But as soon as I turned back after picking up my rattle, I couldn't see them. I still headed back, thinking they must've had a power cut or something." Munna seemed as confused as everyone else. "I looked everywhere but couldn't find my way back to the village. So I went back home."

"Alright, how long did it take for the bus to get there from here?" asked the inspector.

"Sir, the bus only took about five minutes from here," said Munna. "That's why I decided to come back, thinking it wasn't that far away."

The inspector turned to the officer.

"Officer, let's go and stop the jeep after five minutes."

The confusion kept eating away at them while they all waited five minutes quietly. They had arrived at what looked like the ruins of a centuries-old village, the jeep stopped again, and they all stepped out.

The inspector blurted out, "Munna! You said you had arrived at a sumptuous village after five minutes. But it is nothing but ruins here."

Munna was not listening. He picked something up from the ground. "Sir, look," he cried. "The same packs of tobacco my boss chews."

"A lot of people must chew the same brand. What does it prove?" said the officer. But he had spotted some people. "Sir, look at those boys over there."

"Call them over here."

The officer hollered at the boys. They all wore the same kind of peaked caps. Munna recognised that they were a part of their band's uniform.

"Sir, this is our band's cap."

"Alright, kids, where did you find those caps?" the inspector asked them politely.

"Sir, we went for a swim in the Yamuna river. That's where we found them floating."

"Come with me and show me the spot, will you?"

They all left for the river. The kids showed them the exact spot.

"That's where we found them, sir."

"And did you guys find anything else?"

"No, sir."

"Tell me, is there any village Devpur nearby?"

"No, we have never heard of such a village."

"Alright, kids, you can go. Thank you for your help." The inspector said while kindly handing out some cash to them. "Go get yourself something to eat." He then turned towards the officer, whose name was Saeed. "Officer, you go and fetch a few sea-divers, will you?"

Saeed left with the jeep to get some divers while the inspector and Munna asked around the ruins for any information they could get but to no luck. Neither did they find a witness of the wedding nor the village Devpur. The whole thing had started to piss the inspector off.

Finally, Saeed returned with the divers.

The inspector instructed them. "Listen up, guys," he said. "You need to dive and search for anything you can find."

The divers all began searching. One of them found a clarinet.

"Sir, I found this clarinet."

Munna took one look at it and started crying. "This is my master's clarinet," he said, wailing.

One of the divers re-surfaced. "Inspector-sir, there's something else. You better throw me a rope.

The inspector threw a rope, and the diver tied it around something heavy. The inspector and Saeed pulled together the dead body of Arshad.

"This is my master!" Munna cried. "NO! How did this happen?"

Munna kept crying while the divers pulled out all the dead bodies of the band members. The police had no choice but to arrest Munna.

"Munna," the inspector said to him. "Now, you better drop this act and tell us why did you murder these people and with whom?"

"Inspector-sir, you kill me now and here, but don't blame it on me. He was my teacher and like a big brother to me. How could have I killed him?"

The police kept Munna in lock-up until the post-mortem report of the dead bodies arrived at the station.

Saeed dropped the files on the inspector's desk. "Sir, here are the post-mortem reports of the band members," he said.

"Finally," the inspector replied with some relief. He looked at the reports. "This is strange," he said. "Saeed, the report says that they all died by drowning."

"The doctor said that every year, he goes to bathe in the Yamuna river on the full moon of Kartik (8th month of Hindi Calender; coincides with October-November). After returning, he has to investigate bodies with the same cause of death, drowning."

"It could be a coincidence. Every year, on the full moon of Kartik, people go to bathe in the Yamuna river." Inspector added in frustration, "That Munna fella isn't telling us anything either."

"Sir, that Munna seems kind of an idiot to me," Saeed replied. "Just think about it. It needs just as many people to drown the other twenty-five of them. And that many being involved in murder seems a little far-fetched."

"You are right, Saeed. This case is getting more mysterious every second. If Munna is right, then there should be a Devpur. But if the doctor is right..." The inspector suddenly had a thought. "Saeed, find out how many people have died by drowning in the last five years on the same day. And find out under what circumstances did they disappear?"

It took Saeed a while to find out all the information. Meanwhile, the police had let go of Munna because of no conclusive evidence against him. When Saeed returned, the police station had fallen quiet.

"Sir," said Saeed as soon as he entered. "When I looked into the records of the last five years, an interesting thing came up."

"What is it, Saeed?" the inspector asked. "What did you find?"

"I think it's going to be very helpful in our case. Seventy people have gone missing on the same night in the last five years. Their bodies were found in the Yamuna river. They all died by drowning. Another thing they all have in common is they all used to provide services at weddings and all sorts of functions.

"What the..."

"Yeah, they all were booked for a wedding at one Devpur at some Ram Singh's place. Some were confectioners while others were dancers and things like that."

"Saeed, that means all these people were taken under the pretence of a wedding, and they were all murdered."

"But sir, the question arises what is the killer's motive?"

"That only the killer can tell us."

"Only thing we can do now is wait for another year."

"We have no other choice. You keep an eye on this. Otherwise, this case will turn cold too."

Time flew away like the wind, and almost a year passed away. The case had vacated the inspector's mind. Saeed had to remind him.

"Sir, do you remember something?"

"No, what is it?" the inspector asked curiously.

"Tomorrow is the night of the full moon of Kartik. It's been a whole year. The murder case of twenty-five band members is still open."

"Oh god! Yes! And Saeed, you are reminding me now? What can we do in one day?"

"Don't worry! I haven't been sitting idle. I have all the details of the booking for the wedding."

"Brilliant, Saeed! I knew I could trust you. What do you have?"

"Sir, the booking is again for a wedding at Ram Singh's place in the same village Devpur."

"Saeed, this time they won't get away with murder. Whom they have booked?"

"They are five pyro technicians. They have been booked to do fireworks."

"We must go meet them. Let's go, Saeed."

The inspector and the officer went to warn the technicians. Their leader's name was Annu.

"Tell me, Annu, when the man came to book your fireworks, were you alone?"

Annu had already been worried upon hearing about the previous victims. He was not out of the initial shock yet.

"No, sir, my four guys were here with me," Annu replied cautiously.

"So he said he needed five guys after looking at you all?"

"No, we just go together everywhere we perform. It's a whole setup."

"So when did he say you have to perform?"

"He said he'll come to pick us up. The thing is that we have never been to Devpur."

"Annu, I have to tell you this. Your life is in danger."

Annu's face fell. "What? What are you saying?"

"That's right," Saeed interfered. "You don't have to go. Just prepare your pyrotechnics for us, and we'll go instead of you."

"As you say, officer."

The inspector and the officer left a confused and scared Annu. Saeed had another idea.

"Sir, we better take Munna with us too. It's clear now that he is innocent."

"You're right, Saeed. He might recognise someone. You go fetch him."

The next day arrived, or rather the night. It was once again the night of the full moon of Kartik. The inspector, officer Saeed with two others, and Munna were ready, disguised as pyro workers. Around midnight, a bus came to a stop in front of them.

"Inspector-sir," Munna exclaimed. "This is the same bus that had taken us."

"And the driver?" the inspector asked.

"Yes, sir, he's the same guy too."

Their whispered conversation was cut short by the driver. "Oh, my brother Annu, your ride is here," he called out.

Everyone gathered near the bus.

"Yeah, just give us a second," said the inspector. "But your bus is full. Where will we sit?"

"Pray, you take your stuff."

Everyone stepped on the bus. It was empty, naturally.

"Driver-sir, where's everyone?" asked the inspector.

"They all went on the roof."

"But when? We didn't even see anybody?"

As the inspector said that, they all heard laughter from the roof.

"You'll find out later. Shall we go now?" the driver suggested.

"Yeah, let's go." The inspector whispered to Saeed, "Stay on your guard, Saeed."

The bus started and sped up on the Fatehabad road. Soon, it took a similar turn towards the ruins. Eventually, it stopped at the same wedding it had a year ago. The village had the same decoration, and the same dancers were dancing. Everything was exactly like the previous year.

"Inspector-sir," Munna whispered with awe. "This is the same village I came to last year with my master."

"So you were telling the truth all along. But I still can't believe this. If I ever tell any of this in the station, they won't either."

Saeed interjected, "Sir, I am scared as hell. Whenever I came here during the day, there was nothing here but ruins."

Suddenly Munna saw something and shouted. It was his band, along with his former boss, Arshad. "INSPECTOR-SIR!" he cried out loud, pointing at the band members. "Look, that's my band. And there's my master, all of them."

The police stared with their eyes wide open while Munna ran towards them with teary eyes.

"Master! You are here!" he said. He tried to hug Arshad but couldn't. It was as if Arshad and the band members were composed of a less dense matter.

"Munna, my brother," Arshad replied with tears in his eyes too. "I am but an echo now, a mere spirit. I am unable to hug you—but you escaped. Why did you come back here?"

"Master, I came to look for you. The police are trying to find out what happened to you. They suspected me of your murder."

Meanwhile, a waiter came along, serving sherbet. Everyone except the band members picked up a glass quietly, trying not to draw too much attention. But as soon as Munna drew the glass to his lips, Arshad took it from his hands. Upon seeing this, everyone else stopped too.

"No, don't drink this. Don't drop it, either. Come on, hand these over to me." Arshad and his band members drank all the sherbet and handed the empty glasses back to a passing-by waiter. "Munna, you only escaped that day because you left without eating anything from here."

"What happens if you eat anything from here?" Saeed asked. He was terrified.

"If you eat anything, you will be bound to their charm. You will not be able to escape then. These spirits are only powerful till two in the morning. You just have to hold back until then. If they try to take you back, don't go with them. You have the means to light a fire with you, make a ring of fire around you, and you'll be protected. As it hits two in the morning, these spirits and this village will disappear. Then you can go home."

Munna had tears rolling down his face. He said, "Sister misses you so much, master. You will come with us, won't you?"

"How could I, Munna? I am dead now. It's you who will have to take care of her."

"But brother Arshad," the inspector asked with concern. "How long will these spirits keep killing people for?"

"Until they are set free."

"How will they be set free?" asked an officer.

"Inspector-sir, these spirits are haunting this world because they didn't get to bid farewell to a daughter of this village."

"Why? What had happened here?"

"Come here," Arshad said while taking them to a corner. "Inspector-sir, this goes back to when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was crowned the king of Agra. His army had butchered Hindus like vegetables in villages all around the city. During that time, Devpur was celebrating. The daughter of the Village-chief, Ram Singh, was to be married. Her procession had arrived with the groom, and the celebrations were at their extreme. It was the same night, the full moon of Kartik. The night when Aurangzeb's army invaded the village and burned everything down. The massacre was so brutal that it turned the sand red with blood. They killed the groom and abducted the bride. Everything was finished in a matter of minutes. There wasn't anyone left to even cry or mourn the dead.

"Slowly, over time, this village turned into ruins. These spirits began to haunt this place ever since. They gather here in celebration every year on the same night and kill everyone who they bring here with them."

There was nothing but silence for a few minutes. Finally, someone had to say something.

"But Arshad," the inspector broke the silence. "How can these spirits be set to rest?"

"There is only one way," replied Arshad. "There should be a wedding celebration here. They must bid farewell to a daughter from this village. Then maybe, these spirits will set to rest and move on."

"But how will we make sure they are gone?"

"These ruins are tethering them here. If these spirits move on, the ruins will also be destroyed."

"Could this mean—?" an officer began to ask. "Could this mean there are spirits at every ruin in our country?"

"Could be," replied Arshad.

Munna had another concern. "Master, how will you set to rest?"

"I am a part of their curse now. We all are, and we will be set free with these spirits. You all go now. There's only one hour left. Go do your fireworks. Remember my words."

Everyone got busy with their jobs. The celebration concluded with dancing and fireworks. Then, it was time for the feast. When the police and Munna declined to eat, the village chief, Ram Singh, came to request them personally.

"You all are guests here," Ram Singh said. "If you won't eat, we can't eat either."

"We pyro workers have immense respect for you," the inspector replied. "It's out of respect and nothing else."

"Don't consider yourself inferior to us. Come and eat with us. I insist."

"Alright! Serve us here. We will all eat here."

"As you wish," Ram Singh said and left.

The police were served food, but they didn't touch it.

"Arshad's spirit had warned us not to eat anything," Saeed said with concern. "What do we do now?"

The inspector prays for Arshad, who appeared out of nowhere.

"What's the matter?" Arshad asked.

"They have served us food. You said not to eat anything. What if we just throw it?"

"No, don't do that. The food is jinxed. If you throw it, the spirits will be alerted. Hand it over, and my men and I will eat this."

After finishing the food, Arshad and his men left but not without giving a final warning.

"There's very little time left. Light a ring of fire around you. It will protect you."

The officers did as they were instructed. They lit a fire around them as a protective ring. Finally, the bus driver came to fetch them.

"All right, my pyro workers. Your ride has arrived."

"We have one last trick. We won't leave yet."

"You will get your full payment," the driver tried to persuade them. "Take the rest with you."

"Nah, we have already set it up. Now, we won't leave until this fire is lit."

The driver tried everything to get them to leave, but no one budged. Eventually, the driver took a gigantic form, resembling some sort of monster or demon. It tried to scare them to leave. Other spirits joined in too. Munna got terrified and tried to run. It was the inspector who held him tightly.


All the spirits Lunged at them with their gigantic mouths wide open, but nothing seemed to work against the fire. They couldn't touch them. An officer fell unconscious out of fear.

"SAEED! JUST A FEW SECONDS," the inspector shouted.

And soon, the clock struck two, and a tornado broke out. It engulfed everyone and everything in it. It was so intense that the inspector and Saeed passed out too. When they gained consciousness, the first thing they did was call for backup. Then, they looked all around them. Everything was back to how it was, ruins. Soon, the backup arrived too.

Inspector was relieved. "Ah, thank god Arshad told us a way to escape," he said to Saeed. "Otherwise, we'd be dead."

"Inspector-sir," said Munna. "Please take me back home."

"Don't worry, Munna. We are safe now."

The officers who arrived as backup were confused. One of them asked, "Inspector-sir, what are you doing in these ruins in the middle of the night?"

"Working on a case," the inspector replied.

"Find any clue?"

"Clue?" the inspector said with relief. "The entire case is solved now." He patted the officer's shoulder, laughing.

The inspector held his daughter's wedding ceremony in the ruins of Devpur. The groom arrived with his procession in that village. The spirits must have all gathered to give their blessings to the inspector's daughter. Soon after, it was followed by a violent storm and heavy downpour, and it cleared the ruins. There was nothing left but the plain ground. Munna built a memorial crypt in Arshad's memory. Every year on the day before the full moon of Kartik, people gather at this memorial. They say whoever prays at this tomb with a pure heart, success never leaves their side.

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  1. I absolutely adored this! It was very well written and it was impossible to put it down! Wonderful!😄


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