Stranger in the night


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 31; the thirty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is ‘Strangers in the Night’

*Ding* *Dong*

Pooja(suddenly awake)– Who the hell is it at this time of the night? (It was 2:35 AM)

*DING**DONG* *DING*DONG* *DING* *DONG*

Pooja: Stop it, I am coming baba.

Walking towards her door,mumbling furiously she opened the door.

Pooja: Yes, what do you want at this time of the night?

Stranger: Ma’am sorry to disturb you, but its raining incessantly and  my car broke down, and this was the only house for 50 blocks, can I just stay here the night? I assure you that I will leave the moment sun comes up.

It was 25th June 2012, and the monsoon season was full on. Pooja was totally caught off-guard. She was confused, scared and flustered.  She took a complete look at the stranger. He was not scary though. He wore decent clothes, and she could see his car in the distance, sitting there as a ghost. THe man was completely drenched in water. Her moral instincts told her to help the man, but her brain told her to close the door for he could be a criminal or something else and harm her, or loot her and kill her. She was a modern girl, she had read papers, watched news channels about how innocent girls like her were treated by scoundrel men. After a lot of fighting between her mind and her conscience she decided to trust her moral instincts and allowed him to spend the night. Drenched in water, and body shivering the man walked inside and stood there. Pooja gave him towels and blankets, ordering him to dry himself off while she made some hot coffee for him

The stranger could not thank Pooja enough for her kind gesture. Sipping the hot coffee, Pooja asked him what was he doing  in the middle of nowhere at this time of the night?

Stranger: I was just driving towards my home. I had a tour at a neighbouring city and was just returning from, when the rain hit my car and the stupid old broke down leaving me stranded. My wife and children would be waiting for me. Do you have a phone? My cell phone got damaged in the rain.

Pooja: Yeah. here (Handing him the phone)

Stranger: Thank you very much.

After talking to his family and assuring them of not worrying, Pooja and Stranger kept talking for a few time and then each went to sleep.

*few hours passed*

*Morning arrived*

Pooja woke up and was confused whether whatever happened was a dream or a reality. To check herself out, she went to the room where the stranger was sleeping. The room was bereft of any living person. Though the towels and blankets used by the stranger lay there accompanying the cup of coffee, the person was nowhere to be seen. Going to the door, she looked for the old car that broke down, but the car also vanished from the scene. Completely confused, she walked in with the day’s newspaper scratching her head and wondering what had happened last night. Just then her eyes fell on the front page of the newspaper. completely shocked, she saw the stranger’s photo in the photo with the headline: “The Stranger in the Night.”

Pooja could not believe her eyes. The same person was here last night, talking to her. She decided to read on the full news.

The photograph here is of Rahul Sharma. Once a successful person in his field, he was passing by this road one night on 25th June 1992 when he was stranded due to rain. At that time he suffered a heart attack and was denied any kind of help from any of the residents here. And yesterday night, a car was seen standing on the same spot earlier where Rahul was dead, and some neighbors reported they saw someone looking exactly like Rahul. Was this a hoax or not, it cannot be confirmed. Since the time of his death it is believed that Rahul haunts the road and visits people’s house as a stranger and punishes those who do not help people in need. Maybe yesterday night was one of his outings. Or was it a special walk for Rahul on his 10th Death Anniversary? Only time will tell “

The paper suddenly dropped from her hands and she just stood there utterly shocked with the visit of the: “STRANGER IN THE NIGHT”

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 3

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54 thoughts on “Stranger in the night

  1. Short and sweet. You managed to keep the surprise well till the end. But the newspaper seems a bit dicey as Apala pointed out. You should have brought the surprise some other way. Also you could have made the narrative a bit more intense.

    • Thank you TF. I am finding it dicey now. Yes, I could have also used what Marshall Grover used in his mist voted indivine post or maybe some other way. I shall try harder next time for the storyline to be more intense. Thank you for your words. 🙂

  2. I agree, the suspense could be a little more intense. Initially I thought it would go the ‘Kaun’ movie way – the setting was somewhat similar – but you had a whole different story! 🙂 Strangers in the night do get associated with ghosts a lot 🙂 Don’t they!
    PS: Just do confirm with SIS if the phrase needs to be exactly strangers in the night or if stranger in the night is OK! 🙂

    • Deepa- Haven’t seen ‘Kaun’ yet. Will surely see it now. 😛 I agree that I could have extended the story a wee bit more. Next time, will surely improve. 🙂 Thank you. 🙂

      PS-Thank you, I will check it with SiS. 🙂

  3. Haha – I had a different ending in mind when I wrote it.nvm ,you have certainly weaved a good suspense and it comes out strong. He punishes those who don’t offer help to others in need. Wow.

  4. A fabulous piece of writing….kept me hooked till the end. And the ending was just the kind I was looking for…superlike!

  5. Harshal – though I may sound rude and you may choose to not publish this comment..but I wanted to point of some errors (minor ones), which matter a lot when others read it.

    for a few time – for some time
    double use of conjunction – Though the towels and blankets used by the stranger lay there accompanying the cup of coffee, but the person was nowhere to be seen.

    And a few others.

    The story was nicely written and I enjoyed reading it. The suspense was till the end but the news article may have been more prefessional so as to look like a real one!

    • Diwakar- Thank you for the errors. And any type of comments are allowed on my blog, after all I also commit some grave errors. Thank you for pointing them out. 🙂 Btw, I did not get your second error.

      Thank you. 🙂

      • Though and But are both conjunctions. We use either one or the other. ‘Though the towels and blankets used by the stranger lay there accompanying the cup of coffee, the person was nowhere to be seen’ OR ‘The towels and blankets used by the stranger lay there accompanying the cup of coffee, but the person was nowhere to be seen.’

        Boy, Diwakar, that is some fine editing! You make a good critic!

      • ok..use of double conjuction. Both ‘though’ and ‘but’ are conjuctions. To combine two sentences, one conjuction is enough. In your case, you could have written the sentence like this:

        Though the towels and blankets used by the stranger lay there accompanying the cup of coffee, the person was nowhere to be seen.

        “but” is not needed here 🙂

  6. What I liked was the concept of a ghost visiting people and punishing those who didn’t help others in need. Kinda like the ghostrider hunting down the devil! Very cool and full marks for that. A little more detailing and intensity would have helped this post rock. Also, maybe the heroine could have picked up the newspaper, wondering about where the stranger disappeared, and then when reading the newspaper while drinking her coffee, somewhere on the second page she found an article buried about the ghost that upon reading scared the heebeejeebies out of her! Haha, delightful little story!

  7. Ha! Very simple writing… extremely easy to follow. I liked your imagination.

    However, I will disagree with the message of the post. I feel more people get killed by helping others in such situations. But, to each one his own 🙂

    Thanks.

    • Thank you Kshitij.

      What I meant was, Rahul had a sad demise because he was not helped by others. Therefore he haunts and punishes the people who do not help the needy. Here Pooja was saved because she allowed Rahul to stay for the night, thus helping him when he required it the most.

      • Yes buddy, I did get your point exactly like that in the first place. All I meant was that Rahul’s mission was a wrong one. Many people get killed in such circumstances. Rahul should have understood 🙂

  8. great one Harshal! your simple way of writing gave the story a different touch , then the monotonous suspense !!
    good going .
    All the best! 🙂

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