Nearing the end of our day trip to Mahapalipuram- a coastal town near Chennai; my friends Victor, Nick, Steve, Joel and I decided to stop at a roadside stall for a cup of steaming hot coffee.
The trip had been amazing. We enjoyed to the fullest and were tired to the bones, now just wanting to get back to our college hostel and crash on our beds. So, before we reached our hostel, we decided to stop for coffee in order to refresh ourselves a bit. I had been driving for long and was quite tired. I really needed that cuppa.
Soon, we restarted our journey back. The sky was getting heavily laden with clouds. This being the monsoon season, rains were a common occurrence in the evenings, so the dark clouds hardly bothered any of us.
It started raining heavily at the time of dusk. Just then, the car engine started making weird noises and I found out that we were low on fuel. Now, this was something unexpected and worrisome.
It stopped right near a broken down building in the middle of no-where. All our efforts to restart it and at least drag it to the nearby repair shop proved futile.
We looked around to find some shelter and save ourselves from the heavy down pour. At some distance we found a building which looked like a warehouse. We decided to take rest and spend our night there before we went in search of a mechanic to repair our car, the next morning.
We took our belongings out of the car and hurried towards the warehouse. The lights inside the spacious hall were on, but no one responded when we rang the door bell. Just then, Joel gave a little push to the door and it sprang wide open.
Victor and Joel barged inside immediately without waiting for anyone’s permission, in order to escape from the heavy rain, that was now hurting on our skin like stones.They thought it was the perfect place to take shelter and spend the night. I was too tired to retaliate and dropped down like a dead mice on a near by mattress which lay spread on the floor .
I don’t remember when I dozed off to sleep, but I woke with a start. I was sweating profusely. The atmosphere in the warehouse felt miserably cold. When i looked around i found i was all alone in the big hall.
“Where are the others?” I wondered. “Might be searching around for something to eat, hungry fools” I chuckled to myself.
The eerie silence was broken by a deafening scream from the far end of the warehouse. Victor came rushing towards me and switched on his powerful emergency flashlight. It was enough to flood most of the parts of the warehouse with light.
“What happened? Are you okay?” Victor asked. “Yeah I’m okay” I said, rising up.
“Then why did you scream?”
“No, it wasn’t me. Must have been someone else.” Victor’s face turned pale.
“Where are the others?” I asked
“Long story. It was Joel who saw” a weird shadow” peeking through the window first. Joel thought that the person might be the owner of this place and could help us in getting some thing for dinner. So, he went in search of the person but didn’t return after a long time. That got us worried.
Tensed, we decided to go and search for Joel. We split into two groups. We thought one would stay here and one would go in search of Joel. It has been a long time since Nick and Steve have gone in search of Joel. While they were gone, I saw that shadow again. I switched the light on and saw nothing. That’s when I noticed Joel’s shoe near the entrance……” Victor stopped for a break.
“And as i moved towards the shoe, I saw bright lights on the far side in the direction where Steve and Nick went. Just to snuff out the chances of grabbing someone’s unwanted attention, I switched the light off.”
Victor stood up at this point. “I decided to stand guard…. That’s when I heard the deafening scream.”
Suddenly, the mighty flashlight started flickering and went out. “But I wasn’t the one who screamed”
“Then who on earth screamed?”
We didn’t move at all. We didn’t even make a single sound. Then slowly we saw Nick and Steve get closer to the warehouse hall. Slowly, Victor’s flashlight came back to life. Victor explained everything to Nick and Steve while I scanned the warehouse with his flashlight.
“You know what? I think we should check that little hut where you saw those bright lights.” Nick said.
Victor was not pleased with the idea “Are you out of your mind?”
“Do you have a better idea?” I interrupted.
We slowly crept towards the hut and opened the door. We were in for a surprise. The hut only had a door, it didn’t have a roof or other walls. Something gigantic which looked like a big machine was safely kept there, hidden under empty boxes and barrels. It had all sorts of weird machinery and lights in it.
“Hands up Homo sapiens” a voice said behind us.” Oh! so these folks were the origins of the mysterious shadows”, i wondered aloud. The aliens had been occupying the desolated abandoned warehouse. That gigantic machine was their spaceship.
“Help us get out of here. Do not dare to stop us. We don’t mean any harm to you.” The two aliens said.
“What do you want?” I asked, both astonished and worried.
“We need your help, we have run out of fuel. Can we take it from your car? said one of the aliens.
“But how can such a small amount of fuel as available in our car be useful for your big spaceship to fly you back to your planet” I inquired.
“Oh! no worries there! our spaceship is based on an advanced mechanism and is thus very fuel efficient” answered both the aliens in unison.
One of the aliens charged his gun and aimed at us. Due to some force, we were not able to move at all. He fired. It was something like a camera flash. All others dropped down and started snoring.
Just then, I noticed Joel in the same condition, lying on a bench nearby. So, that must have Joel who had screamed earlier, probably when he was shot at by alien’s sleep inducing gun.
On seeing me standing, the other alien muttered something to his buddy. They discussed something for a while and then collected the fuel from our car, gathered their supplies and loaded the spaceship.
“Your friends will be fine. Trust us. Don’t tell about us to anyone and YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE.” saying this he sat on the other seat and THREW A BOX AT ME.
“SOURCE OF UNLIMITED MENTAL ENERGY, Pretty outdated for us, but really novel for you Homo sapiens”, said that alien.
The other alien again muttered something “Alas! My friend not trusting you.” saying this the other alien fired the same gun at me, but surprisingly, I didn’t get knocked out like others.
The spaceship’s huge engines revved up and I saw them take off for the return journey to their planet.
Image courtesy: pixabay.com