‘That Child In the Park’ – A Short Story

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I was getting distracted by the way he was staring at me. The irritation of being stared was clearly visible on my face but the boy still kept on staring. Finally, I lost it and looked back at him. The boy smiled and said, “Aunty, can you please help me swing?” His voice was innocent but I found it very cunning and that was because I was feeling frustrated of myself. There was no fault of the boy. He just wanted to have fun in the empty park in which we both were apparently the only visitors.

I reacted nothing after hearing his plead but then I heard someone calling from inside of me, “Come on Savita. You just can’t ignore that sweet wish of his.” Well, that was my inner voice and I had a great relationship with her. I was a loner. I never wanted to talk to anyone and that’s why my inner voice became my friend, my only friend.

I woke up of the bench and that made child jump up in the air and then run towards the swinger. He sat on the swinger and holds the iron chain firmly.

“Get ready lad, this will be scary.” I said to the child.

He smiled on my warning and said, “Let’s see that, old lady.”

I pushed him hard and the child started to have fun. He laughed, cheered for me, shouted and finally requested me to stop. Suddenly something struck me, “where’s your parents?”

“I don’t know.”

“Don’t know?” I stopped in between as I had no words to say, my head was itching a lot. I ignored the itching and said, “They must be wondering about your presence?”

“I don’t think so. It’s been a long time.” Child was still playing with some paper that he found on the field. Sun was long gone and darkness was taking on. I wondered I had crossed the closing time of the park. My head started itching once again.

“But someone must have accompanied you here, right?” I was getting irritated now.

Child nodded on my question.

“Who?” The itching increased and finally I tried scratching it. It was wet.

“You.” Child said while staring at my eyes. He had blank face. No expression. His eyes were more black than white. Lips were torn and now his face had a big visible scar as well. I felt scared. I decided to run. I kept on running but felt as if I have covered no ground. I looked back and the child was still there. I ran again.

I kept on running but whenever I looked back, the child was still there. In the mean time itching got severe and I couldn’t control myself from touching it. It was wet. I looked at my hand and found it full of blood. My head was bleeding. I looked at child for some answers. Nothing came. The only thing that came from his side was his hand. I decided to believe him and took his hand into mine.

“Do you remember how you came in this park?” He asked and I had no answer. Within few seconds we were transported out of the park. it was like a magic. A good number of people have gathered just outside the park, sirens of all type were buzzing. I had an eerie feeling and to confirm it, I rushed forward by pushing all the crowd aside. What I saw, was the most horrifying thing. Child was lying dead. A car had hit the child. My eyes rushed inside the car and then everything was clear. I was lying inside the car. Dead.

 

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