Catching Up With Old Friends (Horror-Comedy Short Story)

It was a usual vacation afternoon in the sweltering Indian heat for Sanu, Shardul, Ankur and Kris. Their mothers wanted to take peaceful naps every afternoon and had therefore engineered a few hours of peace by sending out their kids to play. So it was by fate and fatigue that the four became friends. They were as normal as kids can be, except for Kris who seemed to have descended from Cuckcoo Land. The other three often picked on him for his lack of interest in running behind balls (“sports”, as the others called it) and for having the appearance and size of a baby gorilla. Kris always deflected their insults and harsh jokes with quick wit, but deep within him there was resentment accumulating.

As it usually happens, the four drifted apart as they grew and were now reduced to mere acquaintances connected only through social media. One day, while virtually stalking a girl from his college, a chat window popped up in front of Sanu’s face. It was from his long-lost friend Kris, whose birthday Sanu had once memorized, but now struggled to recall even the month. Kris skipped the pleasantries and jumped to the point- he wanted to get together over drinks with his childhood buds. Memories of a happy childhood appeared to Sanu through rose-tinted nostalgia goggles and he agreed immediately. Ankur was also contacted and the three of them decided on a time and place. Shardul, unfortunately, couldn’t be there as he had died tragically in a drunken pillow fight.

The three met each other in their old neighbourhood where Sanu and Ankur still lived. Kris had moved to the USA during his high school years and was now almost unrecognizable having lost half-a-person in body weight.
“Sheetal, Preeti or Shweta?”, Sanu asked casually.
“I think you guys have the wrong idea…I just wanted to get some drinks”, Kris replied with a tinge of shock and embarrassment.
Sanu and Ankur burst into laughter. “Chill…they’re bars, not call girls”, Ankur clarified while still laughing.
They had a serious discussion about which place would be best- Sheetal was the shadiest, Preeti was the cheapest and Shweta was in between. They felt their wallets and decided on Preeti.

The group caught up with each others’ mundane lives, the details of which seemed interesting thanks to alcohol. They discussed the vastly different experiences they’ve had since they were last friends. Within a couple of hours, Sanu and Ankur were sloshed on Old Monk and Kris was buzzing on beer. They were the last customers left and the waiter was politely urging them to pack up. However it was Saturday night and none of them was in a mood to wind up the party. Kris suggested that they pick up some more alcohol and go to his parents’ farmhouse which was barely an hour’s drive away. The idea seemed perfect.

All of them were drunk, but Kris took the wheel as he was in a relatively better state to drive.
“So how long are you gonna stay in India? We should catch up again next week”, Sanu slurred.
“I’ve already been here a month, been working on a special project. If all goes well I’ll be leaving in a couple of days”, Kris revealed.
Sanu only had enough consciousness to nod, while Ankur was unsuccessfully trying to upload a selfie.

Upon reaching the farmhouse, Kris offered them a tour of the humongous plot of land. They walked in the dark through tomato fields and reached an animal shed with empty cages. Unbeknownst to Sanu and Ankur, they were the livestock that would be stuffed in.

The childhood bullying had left scars in Kris’ mind which had never healed. He had carried around their insults in his head for nearly twenty years, all the while plotting sweet revenge. After spending a month to make sure it’s foolproof, Kris was now executing his vitriolic plan.

Drunk and confused, Sanu and Ankur were pleading to be let out of their cages.
“You guys had a good laugh back then, didn’t you? Ganging up on me, calling me names, making me feel small. Tell me, who’s feeling small now?" Kris asked with spine-chilling coldness.
Ankur tried to reason, “Dude you’re crazy, we were kids! What the fuck, you can’t get away with this. People know where me and Sanu are, they’ll find-“
“SHUT UP!”, Kris screamed knowing very well that there was no one around who could hear him. “How dare you still talk to me like I’m a fool? How dare you? You can’t IMAGINE how much thought I’ve put into this. All this is a month’s work, A MONTH! I’m not an idiot; I would never kill you at my farmhouse.”
Sanu and Ankur felt some bleak relief at this statement.
“This isn’t my farmhouse.”
Their relief left.
“The owners never show up and I already killed the caretaker. You’re trapped with me alone, in the middle of nowhere. And by the time anyone realizes you’re missing, I would have already left the country”, Kris explained while calmly pacing across the room. “Have a good night.”

The next day was the second worst day of the lives of Sanu and Ankur. They were trapped, cramped, scared and hungover. Kris arrived once around afternoon to give them both two tomatoes each and left without saying a word. Both the victims spent the day silently, too tired and mentally broken to talk.

The day after that was the worst day of their lives. It was after sunset; as rain poured outside, Kris showed up with the extra bottles of alcohol they had picked up and forced his victims to drink. He then let them out of the cages and tied their hands up. He walked them to one of the perimeters of the farm where a large barb-wire fence stood before untying their hands.

“Only one of you can leave, the other has to die. If you team up or give up, I will gladly kill you myself”, Kris announced while holding a cartoonishly large axe. The two of them made a blind dash for the fence, neglecting to notice that the path was lined with banana peels and glass shards. They slipped, fell and cut themselves but a chance at freedom was too important to pay attention to petty things like pain. Sanu was almost at the fence when he felt something impale deep into the side of his neck. Ankur had stabbed him with a shard of glass in a last ditch effort to reach the fence first. In an adrenaline rush, Sanu pulled out the shard from his neck and took a wild swing at Ankur, somehow puncturing his testicles. An impressive comeback, but it was in vain as Sanu collapsed on the spot from blood loss and exhaustion. Ankur soldiered on and finally reached the fence- hurting, bleeding and drenched in rain- tightly gripping it for the final climb. As soon as he did that, he started convulsing as if affected by a seizure. Kris had ignored to mention that the fence was electrified. Ankur’s skin melted and stuck to the fence as innumerable volts of electricity surged through his body, frying him from the inside.

Kris threw the axe aside and wiped his palms together to gesture a job well done. He took five minutes to savour the moment. But he couldn’t stay for long as he had a flight to board. Besides, there were others who had wronged him too.


Comments

  1. Oh god, This is what happens with when you name a guy after a dud superhero... i love sanu's character though! you shud have kept him alive and then continud the story further :D :D

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