Giggle

I curse when the doorbell rings early in the morning. The older I’ve grown the more I feel the distance between the living room and front door has also grown.

When I finally reach the front door and open it there is no one there. But I hear a childish giggle. For the past one week some kid has been ringing my doorbell and running away. If I were younger I’d chase that brat down and teach him some manners.

But maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. I wasn’t any better when I was a kid. I’d throw my brother’s shoe out the window and when he ran out to get it, I’d throw the other shoe right at him.

My doorbell rings again. I open the door and see a child running away. It’s the brat next door. Hm, I haven’t seen him in a while because I’ve been travelling for many years but shouldn’t he be a little… taller?

I remember when his parents threw a big birthday party for him a few years ago — he still looks the same as he did back then.

In the evening I go out for a stroll. Walking is painful but if I don’t do at least that much then I’ll age even faster. I bump into the brat’s parents. I ask them how their son is doing. They tearfully tell me that their son died while crossing the street.

Poor kid was hit by a careless driver. If that driver had just called paramedics then the kid could’ve been saved. But the driver drove off and by the time an ambulance arrived the kid died.

But then who was the kid that rung my doorbell? Must’ve been another brat.

Later that night when I’m in bed I decide to travel some more. I fall asleep fairly quickly but I wake up when my doorbell rings. I check the time. It’s almost 1 in the morning.

Who’s at the door at this hour? Surely not that brat? I decide to ignore it. But the bell rings again. And again. It keeps ringing.

I get out of bed and take a gun out of my drawer. My hands are shaking so much I doubt I’ll even be able to aim the weapon. I slowly make my way to the front door and open it. There is no one there. Nobody has ever rung my bell so late at night.

I step out of my house and take a look up and down the street. All the other houses have their lights off. Only the streetlights are on and there are very few of those.

I return to my house and turn off the bell. Of course that might not stop anybody from knocking on my door but I’m tired of hearing that goddamn bell.

I go to bed and try to fall asleep again. As soon as I shut my eyes I hear something. No. It can’t be. It must be my imagination. But then I hear it again. I hear a child giggling.

I switch on the lights and see a kid standing in front of my bed.

His face is pale and his hair dirty. His clothes are tattered and bloody.

He smiles when I scream.

99 Summerbank Drive

“Can I have a bigger allowance?” Matt asks.

“No. Your brother needs an allowance too.” Matt’s dad replies.

Matt grumbles all the way up to his bedroom. His hates his brother Jack. They always have to share everything from their allowance to the TV remote. Matt is 9-years-old and Jack is two years older. The worst part is that all the clothes Jack’s outgrown are passed onto Matt. They even share the same bedroom but thankfully they have separate beds.

But then Matt gets an idea. He goes downstairs and finds Jack studying in the living room.

Jack wants to study hard, get a good job, and buy his dad a better car and a bigger house. Ever since mom left dad for a richer man, Jack has buried himself in his books. Jack tries not to miss his mom too much, after all why should he? She abandoned her family!

“Hey, let’s go to that abandoned house.” Matt says.

“Number 99? It’s supposed to be haunted.” Jack says.

“Not anymore.” Matt replies. “Whatever haunted that house is long gone. The previous owners left in such a hurry that they forgot to take their jewelry. Let’s go get it!”

Jack agrees. Matt knew he would. For an older brother Jack is quite gullible.

The brothers make their way to 99 Summerbank Drive and stand in front of the dark red-bricked house.

“Maybe this isn’t a good idea.” Matt says. “What if there’s something in there?”

“I’m going in.” Jack says. “I want those jewels.”

“Go around the back. The window is unlocked.”

“Wait for me here. I’ll be back soon.”

Jack makes his way to the house.

Matt smiles. He knew Jack wouldn’t be able to resist. Ever since mom left the family, Jack has been on a mission to get rich. What Jack doesn’t know is that there is still a great evil in 99 Summerbank Drive.

After Jack gets into the house through the window, he searches everywhere for the jewelry. After an hour of searching he gives up. The house is mostly empty. There’s nothing here except dust. Jack is about to leave when he hears a low growl. He feels goosebumps all over his body. He slowly turns around and comes face to face with something so horrifying that he starts screaming.

Matt hears Jack screaming and smiles widely. Jack’s never going to be heard from again.

Matt walks home victoriously. His allowance is about to go way up!

Second Chance

“No! I won’t do it!” My dad screams.

He’s having another nightmare. I rush into his bedroom and wake him up.

“It’s okay, Dad.” I hand him a glass of water.

He sips it slowly.

“Mom again?”

“Yeah.” He says groggily.

I thought dad’s nightmares would stop once we moved to a cottage in the mountains, but he still wakes up screaming. Lately he’s been seeing Mom in his dreams. He says she’s trying to convince him to do something but he doesn’t want to do it.

Mom died when I was young. I’m still young, not old enough to get a driver’s license. But I was too young when mom died so I don’t remember her very well.

After tending to dad I go to the balcony and look at the stars. What a view.

Dad wanted to live in the mountains because he thought it would inspire him to write another book. But he hasn’t written much so far, he’s too exhausted from the nightmares.

Dad joins me on the balcony. Sometimes he can’t sleep after a nightmare. I can never sleep after he has a nightmare.

“I miss her.” He says.

He’s talking about mom.

“What was she like?”

I’ve asked him this question many times and each time he gives me a different answer.

“She became very good at chess. She was worse than me at first but she practiced so much that she eventually became the best in our college, she even managed to beat our math professor and that professor rarely lost to students.”

Interesting. I know something new about mom.

Dad leaves the balcony and goes to the study room.

I go to the living room to watch TV. From the sofa I can see dad writing page after page — it’s been a while since I’ve seen him write.

After dad goes to bed I decide to go into his study room.

I’ve never intruded on my dad’s privacy before but I’m wondering what he wrote just now.

I open his notebook and start reading. What I read is pretty disturbing. He’s written about his latest nightmare.

In his nightmare mom is trying to convince him that she is alive and is waiting for him at a McDonald’s near college — that was where they had their first date, that’s all they could afford as college students. But first he has to do something before he sees her: He has to kill me. But apparently I’ll only be ‘temporarily’ dead.

Once he reunites with her they will have kids and I will apparently be reborn — This way she will be able to watch me grow up. She died in a car accident when I was just a baby and she feels guilty that she never got the chance to watch me grow up.

I shut the notebook and go to the bathroom. I feel sick. I need to calm down. First of all my dad would never hurt me. It’s just a nightmare. And if he decides to write a story based on his nightmare then good for him. Writing is how he earns a living so it’s totally fine.

I try to leave the bathroom but the door won’t open. I try to push open the door but it won’t budge.

And then the lights go out. I try switching on the lights but it looks like the power is out. Just great.

“Dad!” I call out. “Dad! I’m stuck in the bathroom!”

Just then I hear a woman’s voice, “Shh, this won’t take long.”

Who the fuck was that? Then I feel something grab my neck. I’m being choked… can’t breathe. I try to fight back but it’s no use.

Before I die I decide to look on the bright side — maybe I will be reborn.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Loki Goes To Midgard

The Allfather kicked me out of Asgard for turning Thor’s weapon into a snake in the heat of battle. It was boring watching Thor plow through hordes of ogres so easily so I decided to even the odds.

My interference distracted Thor but he recovered soon enough and summoned a lightning blast to annihilate the remaining ogres.

“I sent you with Thor to save lives but your trickery caused further bloodshed.” The Allfather had said. “Do not return to Asgard until you’ve made it up to the people of Midgard.”

The invading ogres were wreaking havoc in a small town on Earth and my prank on Thor delayed our victory and led to more humans dying than necessary.

So that’s why I’ll be spending some time on Earth. To make amends. As I fly over a busy city in the form of a crow, I notice how traffic lights dictate when cars stop and go.

I cast a little spell to change all the traffic lights to green. Complete pandemonium ensues. Multiple accidents occur.

I barely have any time to enjoy my prank when I feel a sharp pain in my left thigh.

I cannot fly any longer, I revert to my original form after landing on a rooftop.

A moment later Thor appears before me holding a tiny doll that looks like… me.

“My dear Loki.” He says sympathetically. “When will you learn?”

“What’s that?” I point at the doll.

“Oh this?” Thor pokes the doll’s arm with a needle and I cry out in pain.

I try to snatch the doll but Thor moves out of the way.

“The Allfather has instructed me to punish you whenever you cause trouble.” Thor smiles.

“You’ll regret this.” I reply.

Thor flicks the doll’s nose hard — which ends up breaking my own nose.

“Hurry up and finish your good deeds, the people of Asgard miss you terribly.” Thor smirks and disappears.

Good deeds. Hmm. Where to begin?

Perhaps by answering prayers. Mortals pray to their gods and goddesses every day. Come to think of it, I’ve never a met a deity from another religion — now that would be interesting.

Well, right now there are plenty of people praying for better weather. It just won’t stop raining and the city is getting flooded. A few people have already drowned.

But nobody could possibly drown if they were fishes. So that’s exactly what I do — I turn all the people stuck outside in this bad weather into fishes!

And when the weather improves they’ll become human again.

Well, that was rather exhausting. I think I need a drink. I disguise myself as an ordinary citizen and head to the nearest pub.

When I get there I see a man slip a pill into a woman’s drink. His intentions seem less than honourable.

The woman finishes her drink and unintentionally swallows the pill. The man leads her out of the bar and into his car. I follow stealthily by turning into a fly.

Eventually the man and woman are in a dingy motel room and he is on top of her.

I cast my first spell.

He takes off her pants he gasps in horror. She has a giant penis between her legs. All that work, the man thinks, for this!

I cast my second spell.

The giant penis turns into a poisonous snake and wraps itself around the man’s neck. Then the snake forces its way into the man’s mouth and down his throat. He will now experience a very slow and painful death.

I can’t be bothered to watch the whole thing — seen it too many times. Instead I take the woman home and erase her recent memories.

Hmm, Earth isn’t such a dull place after all.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Balcony

Tanya’s mother is yelling again so she puts on her headphones and listens to her favourite song. She goes to the balcony, Mother follows and continues to yell.

When Tanya reaches the balcony she feasts her eyes on one of the greenest views in the city.

“Why can’t you be more like your sisters?” Mother yells. “They want to go into law and medicine! Not something ridiculous like singing!”

After Mother finishes yelling, Tanya sings a new song that she wrote last night. She’s been singing on the balcony her whole life.

She frowns when Mother returns to the balcony.

“You’re getting married.” Mother says.

“Excuse me?”

“The wedding is next month.”

“Is this a joke? I’m the youngest!”

“Your sisters will get married after they finish their studies. But since you’re not planning on studying, you may as well get married.”

Tanya can’t believe what she’s hearing. Mother has always given her a hard time but this is going too far.

“Fuck no.” Tanya says. “I’m not marrying anyone. In fact, I’m leaving home.”

Mother grabs her before she can move and slaps her.

“You’re not going anywhere.” Mother says.

Tanya slaps Mother back and they both start fighting.

Tanya is getting thrashed so she pushes Mother a little too hard. Mother stumbles backwards and falls off the balcony.

Tanya gasps, unable to believe what she has done.

But deep down she has to admit that Mother’s screams are music to her ears.

Tanya continues singing on the balcony.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Break

Every night the boy next door climbs up Ashley’s long hair to reach her balcony. They share soft kisses under the stars. His sweet words and dashing good looks make her fall in love with him.

She pours her heart out to him. She tells him how wishes her parents would let her out of the house and how she wants to explore the world. He promises that one day he will marry her and take her on grand adventures.

But one night her lover doesn’t show up. As Ashley waits on her balcony, she wonders where he could be. But then she sees him climbing up another woman’s hair! When he gets to the top he starts kissing this other woman. Ashley is heartbroken.

The next night her lover calls for her, “My dear Ashley! Let down your hair so I may see you!”

Ashley lets down her hair. He starts climbing up her hair. When he’s close to the top, she cuts off her hair with a large knife.

He screams as he falls all the way down. He breaks every bone when he hits the ground.

“A fair price.” Ashley whispers to herself. “For breaking my heart.”

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Six Star Service

My wife and I are checking into a quiet little motel surrounded by nature. We can’t see much because the sun set an hour ago and it’s already quite dark.

“Let me be honest.” The motel manager says. “Our guests have seen ghosts wandering about.”

“Oh my.” My wife says. “Should we leave?”

“But nothing dangerous has happened.” The manager quickly says. “Nobody has gotten hurt.”

“It’ll be fine.” I say. “Just give us the room key.”

I really need this break from the city. I’m sick of the traffic, the pollution, and sitting in a goddamn office for 13 hours a day. I can’t remember the last time I was home on the weekend.

The manager gives us the room key. My wife and I take the elevator to the 5th floor.

After entering the room — which has an incredible view — I collapse in bed, not bothering to even glance at the bright stars. There is also a full moon tonight but my eyes are already shut.

Even though we’re in a beautiful place that looks breathtaking in the day, what I am most looking forward to is sleep. Tonight I want a good night’s sleep and tomorrow a good day’s sleep would be perfectly fine too.

My wife comes to bed after freshening up in the bathroom. She slides her hand down my pyjamas. After a few minutes she gives up because I can’t get it up. She switches off the light and kisses me goodnight.

She doesn’t say anything but I know she’s disappointed. I feel guilty because we haven’t had sex in a really long time. But we’re here for a week so there is plenty of time for sex.

Work has been so stressful this year. I just need some rest before I can think about anything else.

I shut my eyes and feel grateful that the pillow and bed are so comfortable.

But then my wife starts moaning. I have never heard her sound so sexually aroused.

“Oh god!” She says. “I didn’t know you could do that!”

That’s strange… I’m not doing anything. But my wife thinks I’m doing something to her.

That means there is a ghost in bed.

But I don’t want to ruin the moment for my wife. Let her enjoy herself.

I fall asleep while my wife is moans in ecstasy.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Reincarnate

After her 10th lap in the swimming pool a small boy gets in water. The little boy looks exactly like her college boyfriend did when he was a child. The boy’s diving attempts are such adorable fails. Her college boyfriend died in a motorcycle accident.

An hour later she is feeding the boy in her kitchen. The boy is wearing her college boyfriend’s old biker jacket. The jacket is too big for the boy but one day he’ll grow into it.

“When will my parents get here?” The boy asks.

“Soon.” She gives the boy more cake.

She has no plans to let go of him any time soon.

Many years later she and the boy are shopping in the mall. Well he isn’t a boy anymore, he’s almost a man. He looks exactly like her old college boyfriend.

They run into one of her work friends.

“How your son has grown!” Says her work friend.

Her ‘son’ smiles nervously. She smiles. She’s trained him well.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

Father Like Son

Dad was fired from work. That’s his reward for taking care of three kids all by himself.

Dad’s boss always treated him badly – making him work overtime without extra pay, promoting newer employees over him.

There was that one year when dad worked so hard that he wasn’t home for all three of kids’ birthdays.

There was that day when his daughter was so ill that her brothers had to take her to a hospital, but dad wasn’t there because his boss wouldn’t let him go.

The oldest son vows to get revenge. He feels heartbroken over how his dad has been exploited. His dad’s boss is filthy rich. The filthy swine has an abundance of gold bars in a safe.

He sneaks into the Swine’s house. Only the most expensive interior designer could’ve built such a palace.

Before cracking the safe open, he decides to murder the swine. He goes to the bedroom which is pitch black and puts a pillow over the swine’s face. He starts suffocating the swine but stops when a bullet enters his head.

Dad had also broken into the house with thoughts of revenge and because it was dark, he accidentally shot his son.

 

Writer: Rohan

Birthday Surprise

Part 1

It’s her birthday and he’s at work. He’s never ever done anything for her birthday. No flowers, cards, or presents.

But on his birthday, she spends weeks planning for his party. She plays the role of Santa on his birthday, giving him enough presents to fill a large sack. Last year she organized a Christmas themed birthday party since his birthday is two weeks before Christmas. She had arranged for a special ‘Birthday Tree’ in the living room and all his presents were put under the tree.

He calls to tell her that he won’t be coming home tonight, too much work. She cries herself to sleep.

 

Final Part

It’s been four months since her birthday, but she hasn’t gotten over it. They’ve had a lot of fights lately. His birthday is today and this time she hasn’t planned anything. When he comes home early from work, he starts yelling at her.

“Seriously? This is what I come home to on my birthday?”

“I’m treating you just like you’ve treated me.”

“But birthdays are your thing! You’ve always done something for my birthday.”

“And you’ve never done anything for mine.”

They continue arguing and then he tells her he never wants to see her again. He storms out of the house.

She is numb from pain. She doesn’t react at all. She just sits there for hours.

After some time, he comes home carrying a big box. He places it in front of her.

“Open it.” He says.

She opens it and sees hundreds of little gifts. Clothes, make-up, but mainly books. Lots and lots of books.

“I’m sorry for not taking your birthday seriously. I know this doesn’t make up for it, but I hope it’s a start.”

She can’t believe it. She’s completely overwhelmed. Her eyes are moist.

He picks a book from the box and starts reading to her.

 

Writer: Rohan