“Seconds later the doorbell rang and my brother started to pale out. “
The following story I am going to tell you was like a crazy urban legend in our town. There were many rumors about the locality outside the central park in the town. . People had seen a man with hands as that of a goat’s hooves making rounds there and whoever had encountered had went insane. Ever since the rumors began to spread, people had been keeping off limits to that area, especially at night.
My family consisted 4 of us, dad, mom, me and my brother. My brother was always a prankster in our house. He never used to believe the stories that my dad used to tell us about the park and was constantly making fun by mimicking the incidents. He had even rechristened the spirit as “GOAT HOOVES SPIRIT”.
We lived in the locality which was a few miles away from the park. Our home was accessible through the main road but there was also another road which connected our house. However, that road passed beside the the park and connected the locality. One day my brother and his friend were returning from the extra classes unaware of the danger that laid ahead. My brother had his regular classes that day and when the session was over it was around 7:45 PM. He and his friend were returning back when my brother suggested him to take the path along side of the park. His friend was very skeptical about this and even refused the idea but, had to eventually give in to my brother’s demand. As they started their journey nothing seemed to look unusual. They had made almost to the main gate of the park and were talking about the hoax which surrounded the locality, when his friend suddenly stopped in his tracks.
My brother asked “Hey are you OK. Why did you stop. Did you hit something?”
His friend was almost horrified and lifted his finger towards a man sitting at the footpath beside the park.
My brother looked back and indeed saw an old man who was sitting there motionless, under the dim lighting of the park’s gate light.
He remarked” He is just an old man, there is nothing to be scared off, let’s go and check this out”
His friend tried to stop him but he didn’t budge from his decision. They slowly took steps forward towards the man and with every step felt a growing uneasiness, which they both brushed aside. Finally they reached the man and my brother asked “Hello, what are you doing here all alone?”.
The man looked up and my brother could make out that he had pale and wrinkled skin was comfortably wrapped under a shawl. He smiled and replied ” My dear boy I always come here and sell peanuts , but why are you here, it is too late and you shouldn’t be here at night”. “The park is haunted” he slowly added the last line. My brother laughed it off and said “Thanks for the warning, but its OK, I am not scared from the goat hooves spirit”. The man also laughed back.
They had cycled a long way from their classes and were also hungry, so both of them decided to buy peanuts from him. He started packing the snacks for the boys when my brother all of a sudden asked him” Hey just wanted to ask you something out of curiosity, do you by any chance have seen that spirit?”
The man replied that he had also heard faint rumors and asked my brother to describe him. My brother started to describe the man that has been haunting the area and ended the explanation by adding that “He looks like any normal person, but has goat’s hooves instead of a palm”. No longer had he finished the sentence the man slowly slid his hand from beneath the shawl and asked” Is this the same hand you are talking about ?”
My brother and his friend took a look at the old man’s hands and saw they were goat hooves instead of a regular palm. They ran for their lives and towards the main road leaving their cycle behind. All they could hear was the footsteps of the man running behind them. They reached the main road after sometime and looked back, but could not see anybody. They took an auto rickshaw and boarded it without wasting a second. Seeing their horrified state the driver asked them to what had happened. They described everything about the encounter with the man and as soon as they had finished their description, the man stopped the rickshaw and said ” Is this the same hand you are talking about ?”
They saw that the driver also had the same hands as that of the old man they met earlier. Seeing no other way of escape both left the rickshaw and ran towards their respective home. It was already 9:00 PM and my mom was worried about my brother. My father worked at the local steel plant and usually arrived late at home. My brother also had classes till 7:30, which left me and my mother alone at the house. However that day it was far too late for my brother’s return. My mother’s worry had started to escalate with all bad thoughts just when she heard the door bell ring. She calmed herself and opened the door. Standing there was my brother, almost in a state of shock and his condition startled my mother as well as me. She took him inside and asked as to what had happened. My brother recited the whole incident to her and my mom hugged him tightly. She told him to calm down as reassured him he was safe here and that thing could do no harm. Seconds later the doorbell rang and my brother started to pale out. My mother was also shocked but calmed him down and said “Relax sweetie, it must be dad, he is back from work”. She slowly went towards the door, twisted the door knob and sprang it open. “It is the milkman” she said and my brother took a sigh of relief. She went to the kitchen and came back with a vessel. She turned towards my brother and said “Honey will you please take the milk, as I have to keep an eye on the curry”.
“Sure Mom” came in my brothers swift reply. He went towards the main door where the milkman was filling the vessel. He asked my brother “How are you son, you look disturbed” My brother narrated the whole incident to him about the man with goat hooves, when the milkman smiled and asked him ” Is this the same hand you are talking about ?”