An Encounter with a Ghost by Indu Balakrishnan

SCENE ONE – THE BEDROOM 

(Soft music is playing in the background. Sounds of crickets chirping. Hooting owls can also be heard from time to time. Doors are being shut and locked. The jangling of the keys is loud). 

Narrator: It is ten in the night. Rani is getting ready to sleep. She is all alone in her big mansion that she inherited from her uncle. She had just moved in. Everyone told her that it was haunted. 

Rani (mumbling to herself): It is so cold. Thank God for moisturizing creams. Else, my skin would have just dried up and died. 

(Noise of hands clapping and rubbing of skin as the cream is being applied. Bottle closed and kept on the table with a thud. Bed creaks. Soon, soft snoring can be heard).

Narrator: Rani falls asleep. It looks like she is dreaming. Let’s go into her head and see what the dream is about.

SCENE TWO – THE DREAM

(Radio is playing soft instrumental music. The Veena. Fan is whirring in the background). 

Narrator: Rani is reading a book. ( sound of the pages turning. A clap of thunder. A short noise similar to the bursting of a small paper bag is heard. Sudden silence. The whirring of the fan stops. The radio is also silent.) 

Rani: Oh no!! Power cut. But what’s wrong with the radio? It runs on battery. Why has it stopped playing? 

(sound of matches being used. A candle is lit).

Narrator (a sudden gust of air blows and the candle is blown. As Rani lights it up again, she sees a shadow moving behind the curtain). 

Rani (gasping): Who’s there? Who is moving behind the curtain? Oh my God! It is true. This house is haunted. 

Narrator: Rani sees the shadow moving towards her. She pauses and tries to calm herself down. 

Rani: I am dreaming. I am dreaming. This is a dream. Oh. He looks familiar. Uncle? Is that you? Ramu Mama? Is it really you? 

Uncle: Yes my darling niece. It is really me. How are you my dear? I am glad you have finally come home. Why did you take so long? 

Rani (sobbing uncontrollably): I am fine Mama. I cannot believe you are here to see me. This house is not the same without you. Besides, your brother refused to let me in until last month. We just found your will. 

Uncle: Yes I have been watching everything. I was waiting for you to come and live here. I need to talk to you. 

Rani: I still cannot believe that you are here. I wish you had not gone to the terrace so late in the night. I wish you had waited for daylight. 

Uncle: I miss you very much my dear. You need to listen to me carefully. What I am about to tell you now … I did not sit on the parapet wall of the terrace. I was not alone. I was pushed. I was enjoying the cold breeze when this happened. 

Rani: Oh my God Uncle. Please tell me who did this? I need to ensure that they are punished by the law. 

Uncle: No my dear. You will not do anything of that sort. I will not tell you who did this. Your life could be in danger. I need you to be healthy and happy. But I need you to do something for me.

Rani: Anything for you uncle. 

Uncle: I was killed for a reason. The reason is hidden in a secret location. I will tell you where it is now. I need you to go get it and take care of it. The key and the map to the location is hidden in the head of the laughing Buddha statue that is in the verandah. Be careful. You are being watched. 

Rani: Yes uncle. I shall. Where are you going now? Why are you walking away? 

Scene 3 ( The bedroom)

Rani: Uncle? Uncle? 

Narrator: Rani wakes up in a fright. She has just realised that this was all a dream. 

Rani: Oh silly me. Wow. I cannot believe this is all a dream. Hmm… I wonder if … 

Narrator: Rani walks to the statue of the Laughing Buddha and lifts the head. 

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