It was dark and stormy night. Tejal and Salina emerged from the cinema hall after the late night show.
“Let’s wait till the rain stops”, said Salina.
Tejal looked at her watch, “Its 10:30pm, it is getting late. Hubby will be home by 11pm, listen, I have an umbrella, we both can share. If we wait longer it might get too late. We shouldn't have come for this late night show.” She said.
“Oh! Never mind; it was fun na?” said Salina as she squeezed closer to her friend under the umbrella.
The strong wind blew against their faces and it was getting difficult to hold the umbrella. They walked slowly on the side of the road. Both of them clung tightly to umbrella but were drenched from waist downwards. Luckily there were many more people returning home after a late night show.
“Only one more lane and we will reach home.” said Salina as they entered the lonely lane.
“Yeah! Not a good idea to go out on these rainy nights, the street lights have gone off too, it’s so dark. I am afraid, you know…” said Tejal
“Hahaaha! You are just being a coward.” Said Salina
Suddenly a huge, black car whizzed past them splashing the muddy water from the puddle wetting them head to toe.
“Hello, You idiot! What the hell!!” both of them shouted together.
The car screeched to a halt, reversed and stood next to them. A dark, fat man dressed in dark green cloak emerged from car.
“Get into the car.” he whispered, puffing the bad breath into their faces.
“Eeeww! Cough! Cough! Who are you? We don’t know you, why should we get into your car? Said Salina
“I said don’t argue with me, understand? Just get into the car or I shall slice you into small bitty bits.” he said extracting a shiny knife from his butt pocket.
“Take Salina with you, she is a single woman and has nobody waiting for her at home. I cannot go with you; my hubby will be home any minute now. Salina, go my dear, go with him, Who cares whether you reach home early or late? Try to understand, go” said Tejal
“Nopes! I am not going without you.” Protested Salina
“I said get into the car, both of you, or I shall kill you both” he said talking through his clenched teeth.
“But you have only one knife, and let me see if it is sharp enough to chop two women” said Salina trying to grab his hand.
“Being funny, huh?” he said, and poked her with the pointed tip just below her navel.
“Ouch! It hurts! Okay, you win. Come on Tejal, let’s go with him, maybe it's a short ride.”
As soon as they stepped into the car, there was a click of doors locking and the car picked up speed.
“He looks like our Sallu Baba na, look at his muscles.” whispered Tejal
“Yeah, maybe his cloak will tear and fly off his body if he shows some anger, like in the movie” laughed Salina.
"Uff! Oh!, his cloak is so loose, let me see if he is wearing a khadi shirt within"
"Shush, Shush!!" giggled Salina
Tejal fidgeted with the handles, turned them clockwise to lower the window pane.
“Al la loo ya! Aieya! Look Salina! Look, we are in the mid-air” screamed Tejal
“We are in the car, we are not in the airplane, silly”
“Arrey! Look! I am not joking. See that? There is water below, we are flying over the sea’”
“Hello, bhai saab, Sallu, can we call you Sallu? By the way, where are you taking us?”
“Shut up and sit quietly and let me concentrate on my driving” said the man
“But you are not driving, you are flying”
“Grrrrh! I said let me concentrate, my boss is expecting you.”
“Boss? You have a boss? Who is he?”
“You ask too many questions, why don’t you just relax and you will know it soon.” He said as he steered towards a small hill in the middle of water.
“Is this an island? Your boss lives here?” said Tejal as the car came to a halt in front of a huge castle.
“Get off the car” he roared.
Carefully they got off the car, it was still raining heavily and they were wet and cold. They walked towards the castle and knock on the huge iron door.
A bald old man in dhoti and cap, with a shawl draped over his shoulders opened the door.
“Wah! Wah! You brought two pretty young women for me today? Shahbaz putther, Welcome! Welcome” said the old man inviting them to walk in.
“Why are we brought here?” said Salina, stepping forward and resting her palms on her hips.
“Well! I am hungry, I asked him to get me one woman who will cook for me, but he has brought two women, that’s good! That’s very, very good!”
“But we will not cook for you” said Salina.
“You can just order food from Mc Donalds or from KFC. We normally order food from take-a-away outlet when we are tired and hungry and too lazy to cook” said Tejal.
“Hello! Can’t you see that this is an island and there are no restaurants here?”
“And what makes you think that we will cook for you?”
“Look ladies, you have no choice, either you cook for me or else I will chop you up and eat you raw.”
“You are not serious, are you? You can’t possibly eat a human, that too two pretty women, would you? They do something else to pretty women, we read in papers all the time and its never chopping them to eat. Nah! It's not appropriate, me thinks” said Salina
“Yes I do, when I am hungry I don’t care what I eat.”
Tejal started to shiver and held on to Salina’s hand
“Okay, we will cook for you” said Salina, “but first we need to wash ourselves, we are feeling very filthy, can we change our clothes before we cook for you?”
“Yeah, that’s like a good girl, there are fresh set of clothes in the bathroom, go wash and change while I defrost some fresh meat,”
Salina and Tejal held each other’s hands and slowly walked towards the bathroom, then turned to the other room, hastened their footsteps, walked towards the main door and started to run.
They ran faster, looked behind them and saw Shallu following them. They ran faster and faster, running on the soft grass, running towards the beach and were about to jump into the water when they both tripped and fell down on their knees.
“Mamma, what are you doing on the floor?”
“Ooooh! Phew! Just a bad dream, thank goodness!” said Tejal as she held her daughter closer to her and wept.