It all started with a vacation in a creepy bungalow and a new friend Jack. And then Jack told the author the tale of a boy and his father….
An enjoyable ghost story by Devangana Aneesh for the LnC Special Edition of Ghost Stories by Children that came out of Ramendra Kumar’s sessions at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) 2019.
It all started with a vacation. Well, I was not very interested in this vacation with my family. I wanted to just hang out with my friends.
I was the only one who was not interested in this vacation, and there are two reasons for this. First, I had planned an outing with my friend and so I didn’t want to go. Second, I was grounded. If I were on vacation I would feel bored, as I would have nothing to play with and my sister Nancy would have her phone and iPad. I would feel so jealous.
A boy named Jack
Now, we had finally reached this place in Dubai, in a desert and we were living in a creepy bungalow. The moment I reached the bungalow, I picked my room ahead of my sister and was lucky to find a room suitable for me. I set my things, took a bath and ate my lunch. I decided to roam around the bungalow first and I finished by next day morning and then I decided to roam the area around my bungalow. As I was roaming, I found a boy standing behind the fence. I called him and decided to talk for a few minutes. But I found that this boy was quite interesting and I talked to him for hours.
I came to know that this boy’s name was Jack and when I asked where he lived he pointed towards the sand dunes. The next day I saw him again and we played a lot.
As time went by, we started to become closer and closer and became best friends. I shared all my secrets with him and he shared his with me. One day, the housekeeper of the bungalow came to visit us and he started to tell the tales of this house and the surrounding areas, it was really boring, frankly, but one particular tale made my ears open up.
A Tale Retold
It was the tale of a boy and father, the boy was very bright and used to study a lot, his mother having died long back. Soon after his mother died, his father started to behave badly and began to drink a lot. He also used to cheat the village people a lot. Due to the cheating habit, the villagers got really angry with him and one day burned their house down. But later the villagers realised that when they had burned the house, the boy was alone in it while his father had escaped.
I got a bit scared after listening to this story and the next day I narrated the whole story to Jack. After hearing me out, he got very angry and mad at me and said that he was no longer going to talk to me.
That night I couldn’t sleep. At one point, when I turned in the direction of the window I almost died out of fear. At the window, I saw Jack staring at me but, this time, he had burns and scars on him, and his hands and legs were completely black due to the burns.
I decided to be brave and went outside and tried to talk to him. He started to talk in a strange manner and I asked what had happened to him. Then he said that he was the boy in that story that I narrated and he had been trapped in the house and got burnt, and was buried under the sand dunes. Since then he had been staying here waiting for his father who had betrayed him and decided to take revenge. Only then would his soul be free.
I was very scared and I left the place as soon as possible. But I feel pity and curious when I think about it now. I feel pity because of his condition and curious to know whether his soul will be free. I am still waiting.
The stories in this edition have been curated by Ramendra Kumar.
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