Suddenly it started to pour. Within moments, the entire place came into the grasp of darkness and the black clouds began to roar. Even the sun seemed too scared to wait for the moon to appear and the hid itself before its time. As for Ellen, she decided to walk home as it was quite impossible to locate any means of transport, especially bus, in this terrible weather. It was getting even darker and she began to feel so alone.
It’s not that she didn’t have friends, but none of her friends lived near her house. No one even used her route. She always felt quite unfortunate to return home all alone especially whenever it rained. Yet somehow she would manage to grab a cab or a bus on her way despite the heavy rain. Today however, things seemed quite different.
The moment she stepped out of her college, the dark place was lit up with lightning followed by the crackling sound, terrifying her. She realized it was not going to be easy for her to return home like any other rainy day. She felt that her umbrella wasn’t a fine protective device to defend herself from the wrath of the thunder god.
She began to walk and after sometime she found herself the only person walking along the lonely wet streets. But she wasn’t alone. She was always accompanied by the stormy winds, bright lightning and the continuous rain. As a child, she used to welcome rain and even waited for the thunderstorm. She would intentionally make herself wet and used to enjoy the wet breeze passing her by. But today, neither was she enjoying nor did she have any wish to get herself wet.
The heavy raindrops appeared like sharp spears dropping down from the sky and would penetrate anything on their way towards the earth. Ellen wasn’t an exception as it seemed like her umbrella would be torn down by those sharp spears. The furious wind on the other hand, seemed to blow the umbrella away from her. She felt helpless and trapped in the middle of a catastrophe. If only she could learn how to forecast the weather, she wouldn’t have come out her house.
Just when she was trying to fight the unfavourable situation, she noticed something which she considered her only hope. It wasn’t Noah’s Arc to her rescue, but it was something more than such miracle. It was a bus which would help her to reach home safely. All of a sudden she began to feel fortunate again.
“Hey wait”, she shouted and ran to stop it. “Please wait”, she screamed to the top of her voice waving one hand while running after the bus. She ran as fast as she could, but all went in vein. The bus drifted away splashing water on either side of the road. To her surprise the driver seemed to see her, but didn’t stop the bus. ‘He ignored me’, thought Ellen while catching her breathe. She couldn’t believe what she saw. ‘This has never happened before’, she murmured and she began to feel misfortune again.
“The driver didn’t see you”, came the gentle voice of a girl from behind Ellen. Deserted on the streets in the rain wouldn’t complete a horror story but the sudden appearance of an unexpected guest from nowhere would not only complete it but definitely make it a perfect one. But Ellen didn’t want to add flavor to her series of unfortunate events by introducing herself to any unknown mysterious thing.
Ellen grasped her umbrella tightly and began to walk briskly. She even didn’t feel turning back to see who it was, fearing she might glance upon a horrible looking creature or even a spirit without a proper figure. She once heard a story of a young woman who was struck by the lightning on her way back home one night and her head got separated from her body. She died the very moment but her spirit kept on roaming and whenever her spirit came across a similar woman stuck in the rain all alone, she would make herself appear before the woman, holding her head in her hands. Then she would attack the woman and would tear her head out of revenge.
Ellen felt that it might be the same headless woman who was eager to add another head to her collection. But Ellen was not ready to part with her precious head at any cost and as such she to walk as quick as possible and somehow reach home. “The driver couldn’t see you, Elli”, shouted the voice.
Out of fear, Ellen wouldn’t stop for anything. But the moment the voice called her by her special name she stopped. Only one person used to call her by that name and that was her childhood best friend Susan. They used to be always together yet one day everything changed when Susan’s father got transferred and they shifted to another city. Susan went quite far from Ellen but they remembered each other. They were too young to exchange letters with each other and as time went by new friends stared to enter their lives.
Yet at some point Ellen felt the amazing company of Susan and her wonderfully spent days with her. Sometimes she would remember the beautiful games they used to play and also their mischievous acts. Ellen even wondered whether Susan might have felt the same but never got the opportunity to ask her for she didn’t have her home address. But today might be the perfect day when she could get all her answers.
Ellen turned back only to see a beautiful young woman of her age standing wet in the rain. Her hairs were brown and were all wet along with the clothes. She was wearing a black top and grey trouser and it seemed like she was on her way to any formal appointment with someone. Ellen felt so excited seeing her that she almost ran towards her. She asked Susan to come under the umbrella. “I am already wet Elli and I don’t need an umbrella”, said Susan in a low voice.
Ellen didn’t know where to start. She was so overwhelmed with joy that she could speak. “What are you doing here Susan? When did u return?” asked Ellen. Susan looked at Ellen and smiled.
“The bus driver can’t see you Elli. In fact no one can”, claimed Susan. Ellen was very surprised to hear this. She didn’t expect Susan to ignore her questions.
The rain seemed to stop suddenly. Ellen folded the umbrella and asked again. “When did you return Susy?” Susan stopped. She turned to Ellen and smiled again. “It has been sometime since I have returned” Said Susan.
“Why didn’t you come and meet me?” asked Ellen in a very excited tone. Susan looked right towards the narrow lane. “I have a new home now. You must come and pay me a visit someday” Said Susan. She took out a piece of newspaper and handed it to Ellen. “Read it please. I hope it will be helpful.” She said.
Ellen didn’t understand any of this. She felt very weird and finally asked Susan of her new home address. “It’s the North-western Cemetery and mine is the fifth grave to the right. Don’t forget to come. I will be waiting” said Susan with a smile and faded into thin air. Suddenly Ellen began to feel senseless. She seemed unable to breathe the air and all body seemed to stop functioning. She thought it must be a nightmare but then she saw her house. She was finally standing before her house. She has made it through all the adversities. But something was terribly wrong.
Before Ellen, stood the charred remains of a beautiful small cottage where she grew up. This cottage, which once was the home of Ellen Carter, has now turned into the mass of burnt ruins containing pieces of wood, furniture and other materials. Ellen felt very depressed and confused. She held the newspaper piece and read the headline, “Cater Mansion burnt down killing the youngest member – Ellen Carter”.