The Lantern

A cold draft blew onto his face as he walked away from the bridge. It was December and the temperature had began to plummet. The dreaded Chillai Kalan would begin in a day or two. But he didn’t care about that right now. His sister was in labour at the hospital. So he quickened the pace of his feet and started walking faster forwards.
The night was dark and he could not see very clearly. The moon hid behind the clouds tonight and the stars were obscured from sight. But as he approached the Eidgah, he observed a faint farway light. He couldn’t quite see clearly, but it seemed as if there was a man standing on top of the roof of the porch. The man who looked like a wastrel, had a wizened face and a scruff bushy beard that reached the top of his stomach. He held in his hands a lantern and was staring continually towards him. He walked further towards the man and his wits nearly failed him.
The man had completely black irises and his eyes looked as if they were burning with hellfire. It was a tasrufdar. There was no doubt about it. He had heard of the tales as a child, of course. Cowered in his nightclothes as his grandfather narrated the tale of the Boogeyman in an ominous an d forewarning tone. Unlike the others, he had always thought them to be true and now the proof was before his very eyes.
Just as his senses returned to him and he began an earnest prayer, the tasrufdar vanished. In the blink of an eye, he was gone like the wind that had began to billow once more.
The lantern that still lay resting on the roof blew out.He was alone once more. But the question remained, was he truly?
(Based on true events.)
Ihaab Hamza
Class VIII

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