After the alley ends, the road becomes verdant with mountainous tall trees on both the side—at first scattered and then dense. Ruby clutched the hand of Nayan and tried to stop her because the road leads to the graveyard. Ferdouse was also scared; holding hands of Dip he was stumbling then and now, and continuously looking around. The only one who was not scared or it seems was A. He was known for his story and telling them but not for his courage—even a small crackling sound in a silent classroom scared him a lot. But, now, that night he was walking as if he had been out for an evening walk.
The moon, meanwhile, had come out and the mistness of the midnight fog gets more than misty in the bluish light. The apparition couldn’t be seen anymore.
“I think we should leave it here…let’s go back…guy…let’s go back…” Dip says, his voice was shaking.
Ferdouse repeated his words of going back. Not only his voice but his whole body was shaking. Ruby was embracing Nayan; Nayan was also scared. They all had heard of this fog of the Town in the midnight. But, before that day, they had never imagined that could be so dense that it envelopes everything around them. Their dark clothes was blanketed making them smudge of kohl.
“But, where does she go away?” A could not be seen; his voice which was excited and clear—there were no sign of fear.
“Don’t be a foolish…where are you…Dip…Ferdouse…where are you all people…” Nayan asked.
“We are here…but we couldn’t see you…” Dip replied.
A gust from the mountain disturbed the fog making each of them to each other a hazed figure.
“I can see you guy…see I am waving my–” A was going to say something but he could not completed it.
A tall shadowy figure was approaching them. He was coming forward slowly; extra limb of it could be seen hanging from its waist. The mist around it was dense, and it was carrying the wave of the fog with its movement. There was no hurry or hastiness in this six-limb creature from the graveyard in its movement.
A was silent in the shock; other four shrieked out. They knew they should run away, but, they couldn’t. The extremeness of the shock had mimed them in their movement.
“What all are you doing here…” the creature asked.
They knew the voice but cannot remember the owner of it.
“Hey children…what all are you doing here…at this time of the night…”
Another voice they heard from their side. They recognized it at once. It was of Samuel DeCosta, their English teacher.
“Where have you been…something has to be done with this falling asleep suddenly…” the man with the extra limbs said.
“Apology Bakshi…they are scared…let them come with us…come on children…we will talk on this over hot chocolate…” DeCosta said.
“The extra limbs…” Ruby asked.
A replied in this response, “don’t you see…it was Bakshi Uncle carrying her…”
Everyone was surprised to see the spirit in the laps of Bakshi.
“She is asleep…let’s go now…I am going to explain you all…over hot chocolate…” Bakshi replied in a low voice.
DeCosta prod some woods into the fire. The room was warm. The children had been sitted in near to the fire on a small cushioned low bench. On the high back chair sits Pickle Granny. Her wrinkled face was grave and remorseful. Bakshi was sitting on the arm chair opposite her.
Bakshi after sipping on his hot chocolate a little clears his voice, then “I arrived Town this morning after solving a case in the city…my stock of pickle had finished so I decided to visit Granma as soon as her shop opens…
“She asked me to wait after my purchase…the counter was full then…after a few minutes when the counter was empty…she called me closer and holding my hand requested to me solve a case…then she told me how a spirit was haunting her for last one month…I was away from Town for two months…so I thought I had been missing something out…
“I agreed to solve the case…as I was returning I met Rakshit…on scolding him for scaring the Town specially old Granma…he screamed at me at first denying all my allegation…then he said, in riddle, mango comes out of jar in the mid-night and goes back after flying into jar…I asked him what he wants to say…he smiled wryly… it was his habit of teasing me like this…with riddle…he was the most jovial person the Town could have…
“I went up to the police station and meet up with Gauranga…he said there were few such reports of haunting spirits…he was ordered not to take any step until and unless a menace happen…in past there were such visits and they have not harm us…once…though it happened…from him I gather the spirits were roaming between the Town clock and the road to the graveyard…I am saying spirits because it was reported there were more than one spirit…from the lodged complaints I deduce that the visit was happening at every third or fourth night…the last report was a week old…
“I came back to this area and started asking others on the some suspicious visit…few admit the visit…the last visit I found out was three days ago…as I was returning from my investigation planning to be here in the mid-night I met DeCosta…his house as you all know is in the mid of the path to the graveyard…so I asked him…and he says he had watched it and that too every third night mostly…but being a believer in God he believes this ghosts and all so he never tried to follow it instead he chosen to pray…
“I am not teasing you DeCosta…but if you had followed it, the truth had been revealed so long ago…he on reluctant agreed to accompany me this night…
“I will not delve much into details or my views…but, I will skip to the portion when I was waiting behind a chinar tree hundred meters from the graveyard…the fog in the December mid-night in the Town sometimes become a dangerous scary thing…as we had all seen..I was not able to see anything like you all also couldn’t…but I could hear…at first it was a wild owl followed by imitation of that call in bad way…then I could heard the wail of a cat…then come some footsteps…and some voices…begging and to halt someone or just going back…I will not deny I was little bit of scared like the courageous Ferdouse when all your voice reached me…they just seems to coming from everywhere…
“At that moment there was a gust…and in the clearing I saw her coming in little steps…I was shocked to see her…it is what six or seven months to that train accident…she had dies there…then I realized it was not she…it was not Sunayana at forty but at eleven…it was her daughter whom Granma had mentioned in the noon…it was Nayanika…
“Looking her brings back an old memory when I was of your age, children…Sunayana had this habit of walking in sleep when she was of her daughter’s age…with time it had stopped…but we were scared by her…sometimes she would had walked up to the swamp…and next morning she could be found there in a cottage sleeping soundly as she would in her own room…that time my father was the police in-charge…he had solved that…Granma had to put a payal on her legs…so that the chime of it can alert her…”
Grandma was calm. DeCosta was surprised. The children looked at each other understanding the revelation. A was going to say something when Nayanika enter the room rubbing her eyes and yawning.