The Man Who Spoke to Ashes

Dwarkanath figured he must have been evil in his previous life to get such a lousy deal in this present one.

Brought up in an orphanage he never knew his parents. In appearance he was dark skinned scrawny and bug eyed. At least he had thick black hair and a straight long sharp nose.

The other kids always teased him ...called him Darkee or Dracula and what not. He almost wished he was Dracula the undead, living for centuries on the blood of other human beings.

Without funds to put him through college, Dwarka learned to live by his wits. He had realized there was a segment of population longing to connect with their dead family members either from guilt, insecurity or simply love. They preserved the ashes of their departed ones in glass vases

Dwarka became the self proclaimed authority on connecting with the departed by contacting their ashes.

There was both cunning and logic in his approach. Since most men died before their wives he always targeted widows especially rich old widows

He would first Google the dead man obtaining whatever information he could then call up friends and neighbors of the deceased pretending to be a reporter.

A week ago he was at the house of Jeroo Bamji whose husband Firdaus after one too many Scotches had tried to balance on the terrace edge on one leg. The crowd below had said that Firdaus' dive to the concrete below was Olympic class.

Dwarka kept rubbing the glass urn with Firdaus' ashes his eyes closed while Jeroo waited anxiously for the spirit to respond.

“Aah he just loved the grey suit you gave him," murmured Dwarka.
"But he never wore it except once," protested Jeroo.
"That’s because it was tight at the crotch"
"If only he had told me that," cried Jeroo, "what else? What else?"
"He never liked the number 7 he wants you to know"
"If only he had told me," said Jeroo as she got up, took the broom and smashed the number 7 in all three clocks in the room, then ran to the calendar and scratched out the number 7 on every page.
"That applied to money too," reminded Dwarka," after every six hundred you know what comes next."

Saying so he pocketed the suit and the money. And so he made his living but he was not proud of it.

It was October end, Halloween according to the Westerners.

Dwarka received a call from the countryside. Three brothers and their sister had lost their father before he could tell them where he had hidden his life's earnings.

They were hoping Dwarka could talk to the spirit of their father through his ashes and locate the fortune.

It was dark. The old mansion was rather foreboding and on top of that this family of four looked as wicked as could be.

Dwarka entered their dining room with utmost reluctance. He had no information on this family except that their grandfather Sharad Pande had dealt in witchcraft or something evil.

He saw several urns on the mantle.

"It's a Pande tradition," explained Ulhas the eldest, “even the old bastard Sharad's ashes are around here somewhere. For some reason they had to be saved in that old earthenware jar instead of glass jars like the rest. Here are my father's ashes Start talking to him. We must know where he kept his khajana."

Dwarka stated rubbing the jar while four pairs of eyes stared at him. For the first time in his life he was lost. He should never have accepted but the money offer was too tempting.

He tried guesswork pretending he had established communication with the dead father and sent the family looking at several bookcases, attics, floorboards until it was obvious that he was bullshitting the four.

Every moment their impatience and rage was escalating.

Finally they looked at each other. Ulhas approached Dwarka saying, "We need to discuss something amongst ourselves in the next room."

Dwarka was alone, afraid and began looking for a way to escape.

As he stepped back he stumbled over the earthenware pot and broke it.

He was mortified. He looked down to see the ashes of Sharad Pande spilling on the floor. Funny though! The color of the ashes was unusually black, almost purple. He rubbed his eyes to clear them and knelt down with a morbid curiosity.

To his amazement the ashes began to slowly move in a counterclockwise circle faster and faster until they reared up in the air like a mini cyclone and Dwarka unconsciously inhaled the particles.

His body immediately felt charged like a thousand volts of electricity going through him. His senses became ultra acute. He could see clearly in the dark outside.
Looking in the mirror his eyes were red and blood shot.

He felt a trickle of wetness in his mouth. He touched his lips to find that his two incisor teeth had become at least an inch long sharp and pointed.

Dwarka's hearing became so acute that he could hear the wings of the moth outside the glass window.
Above all he could hear the four discuss how they planned to kill him, steal his wallet, watch and car which they could sell in the next town.

He smiled an evil dreadful smile. He realized he had turned into a vampire. and began feeling a tremendous hunger for blood.

The door opened and the four entered the room with a gleam in their eyes and confident expression.
One look at the changed Dwarka and their expressions turned to horror but it was too late.

In a split second the vampire Dwarka was upon them tearing limbs and throwing the three brothers like rag dolls against the walls and furniture.

The stunned sister could only stare for the last second of her life as Dwarka's teeth tore into her neck sucking her blood with awful smacking sounds.

His feast was just starting. There was plenty of blood to be sucked from her brothers.

Dwarka's childhood dream had been realized. From now on his life was endless, his victims were legion and his frontier had no boundaries.

Behold the Indian Dracula. 


More by :  Jai Jui

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