Neil’s Shoe

Warning: This story has a paranormal plot. Reader’s discretion is advised. This is purely a work of fiction. 

neil's shoe

 

Neha stepped into the storeroom. The room was dark, dingy and dusty. It didn’t seem to belong to her house, which was always neat and clean. She turned on the light, the bulb flickered ominously. She wanted to change the bulb, she wanted to dust the objects but it was too painful to be in this room. The broken objects waited there for her patiently. Every object had a story, every object held an intangible memory.

She picked up a withered rose. Rose was one of the happy memory she was proud of. The rose belonged to Vasu who finally found a happier place. Rose was always the first object she touched whenever she came here, it gave her hope and motivated her to go on.

Neha picked up a pink scarf and wrapped it around her neck. Suddenly she found herself in a different place. The place was green with flowers all around. Zina was waiting for her. “What took you so long?”, she asked.

Neha didn’t have the answer. She just smiled weakly. Zina hugged her and said, “Look, mother, I planted some flowers. Aren’t they beautiful?”

Neha held onto Zina and cried profusely, “why did I let you go that day?”.

Zina looked into Neha’s eyes “Because it was time, mother. And it wasn’t your fault”.

They stayed talking about the things that mattered and that didn’t. Zina was the most precious child. The mother cried for days when she left for heavenly abode. Zina’s eyes always had longed for her mother. Neha always felt Zina’s pain in her own heart. Probably, that’s why she was the mother. Neha considered Zina as her own child, a child she never had.

As Zina fell asleep, it was time for Neha to leave. She didn’t want to go, but she knew others were waiting too. She gave Zina an affectionate kiss and gently wrapped the scarf around her neck again. She was back to the storeroom. She felt lonely without Zina. Tears rolled from her eyes.

Neha looked at the box of chocolates. She took the box in her hand and caressed it. Ranu loved to eat chocolates.  Neha had got a chocolate box for him and asked him to eat when he would get fine. He never got fine. The chocolates were all that was left. She reached Ranu’s space. It was quiet and warm. Ranu was delighted to see her. And happier to see the chocolates. He grabbed the unfinished chocolate box and munched on the chocolates.

“Get me a different type next time”, he spoke with chocolate stuffed in his mouth. “Yum, still so yum mother”. They all called her mother. Ranu had the most innocent eyes. She blessed Ranu and came back to the storeroom. The loneliness was still too much to bear.

Every week she would go to meet the kids whom she could not save at the hospital. She couldn’t save them as a doctor, but she could be with them as their mother till they finally left for a happier place. It was her bizarre destiny- to cure those kids till their final relief.

Next, Neha picked up a torn brown shoe- time-beaten, the aglet broken, originally white but appeared yellowish brown. It belonged to Neil. She hesitated for a moment, it was the first meeting. The first meetings were always difficult. Sometimes they didn’t know that they had departed, sometimes they still wanted to hang on to the mortal world and wanted to return. She didn’t know how he would react. She picked the shoes and some candies too. Most of the times candies helped.

The place was too dark for her to see anything. It was cold, Neha decided to get a warm blanket next time. She heard the rustling of the leaves and followed the sound. She spotted him under a tree, holding his face in his hand. He looked up sensing her presence. She could see that Neil has some questions in his eyes.

He didn’t recognize her. She reminded, “I was your doctor”.

Suddenly the sorrow in eyes gave way to anger. “You could have saved me”, he roared.

“Why didn’t you save me? Because I was poor, an orphan? I didn’t have money to pay for the operation. Is that why?” he accused her.

“No, Neil…”, she tried to explain.

“Yes, that’s exactly what it was. My parents left me to die in the orphanage. You also let me die. And I saw you as my mother.” Angrily he said and disappeared.

Neha waited for him to apparate. But he didn’t. She found some candles around. She lit the candles. Perhaps he needed more time, she thought. She picked the shoes to leave. The wind blew the candles as she left.

She returned to the storeroom, without realizing she wasn’t alone this time.


(c) 2018 PRIYA BAJPAI ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Picture courtesy: Pixabay


Read my previous posts for #BlogchatterA2Z

 An Archaic worldBlueprintCrush, DazzledEyesFalling Teardrop…Geisha,

Horrific HolocaustI’m IIJigsaw PuzzleKiller , LoveMia of Maya

52 thoughts on “Neil’s Shoe

  1. Lovely concept Priya. Can’t imagine what it is like to be a doctor, haunted by the patients she couldn’t save. And the perfect eerie ending you are so good at.

    Like

  2. What a marvelous story! And you had me hooked at the word, paranormal for I am sucker for all things ghosts, haunted and paranormal. I was so moved by the story, until I reached the end when I shivered, I actually did! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t know why there was a warning at the beginning! It wasn’t scary till the last minute. Talk about a twist! Wonderful writing! Really! I felt like I was Neha. I felt sad and worried too. It’s so awesome that you introduce the titular character only towards the end of the story. Impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course, children are irrational. But when their spirits start being irrational too, it cranks up the spookiness big time. Well written, Priya. One of your very best in this series.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a wonderful story, Priya.

    I was hooked till the very end. It starts slow and the layers peel off little by little.

    The concept of children being in a place after death and before moving on is called a ‘Bardo’. I least expected to find it in this story that started off as motherly love to children.

    Such an excellent piece of writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, man, you’ve got me so hooked! I’m coming by on the #AtoZChallenge Road Trip, and really enjoying this stop immensely. What a great #Blogchatter story you’ve got woven… with some polish it will be print-worthy for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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