"This story is inspired from a short film seen on the internet. I loved the script and direction of the film and thought of penning it down."

I was driving my Sab on the deserted roads of State Highway 44. The radio was playing 'Wild world' by 'Cat Stevens'. The song was so apt, I thought, taking a sip of the decaf I had picked up from Starbucks in Robstown.

The radio flickered. The radio display ran into a frenzy. My head started hurting as the screechy sound was getting amplified. I gulped few more pills that I had been taking to keep me off the mood swings. I gave a hard wack on the radio panel to shut the damn thing off. The sudden quietness felt so relieving. With every sip of decaf my mind started intoxicating slowly.

As I approached the Richmond county, I started looking out for a refill. My body was taking a toll from the two sleepless nights. My nervous system was shutting down and the brain signalling the eyes to pull their shutter down. I saw my car enter a dark tunnel. The loud thud gave me a jerk as I woke up realising where I was. There wasnt a tunnel anywhere. My car had hit something. I pulled my car over and was shocked to find a female mannequin lying just behind the rear tyres. How is this possible? How can an inanimate object be standing in the middle of the road?

I looked around to find Ricky's Boutique just around the corner. I assumed it must have been left back by a worker carrying many of them across the road. From the wrinkles on her face, I could make out she was in her late 50's. Not spending much time thinking, I left her as it is on the road and started looking out for a restaurant. It was weird to find the street absolutely deprived of human activities. All I could see were mannequins sitting on benches and posing for a stroll. Ignoring the scenerio, I barged into Larry's Cafe and was again taken aback to find just mannequins over the counter and around the place. What's happening here?? Am I on a different planet??

Suddenly I heard the siren of an ambulance. I looked out of the glass door and found another lady mannequin next to the one lying down as if she was trying to provide some kind of help. I turned around to find all the mannequins staring at me. I got scared by their looks and ran out to reach for my car. I sat down on the drivers seat and tried to start the car. In the rear view mirror I saw the ambulance and 3 mannequins dressed up like the ER folks. I could even hear the rolling of the wheelchair but when I turned back, everything was still. The car engine refused to start as I pushed harder with trembling hands.

Suddenly the siren from police's car could be heard at a distance. I left the car and started running. I didnt know where I was heading to, but I wanted to get out of that site. I bumped into a couple of mannequines on the way. As I ran through the neighbourhoods of the county, the siren started sounding louder with every footstep. I saw a house on my left. I heard the screeching of brakes of a car a block away, but couldn't see anyone.

May be I could hide in here for sometime till the cops go away, I thought. I forced myself into the house. The house was light with dim lamp shades. I saw a male mannequin wearing light blue shirt and a navy blue trouser near the window in the drawing room. There was a mannequin of a boy sitting on the dinning table. I heard somebody using a knife in the kitchen. As I turned around, the big guy was standing two yards from me with a baseball stick in his hands. Even the boy had got up hastily from his chair which made it roll on the floor to the face. I snatched the baseball stick from the mannequin's hands and gave him a whack on the head. It blew off his head from the body. Then with another smack, I took down the little fellow. I ran inside the kitchen and hit the lady mannequin who was holding a knife in her hand. She bounced off the kitchen platform and fell down.

As I gasped heavily, I heard a baby cry on the upper level of the house. I took the dark stairs up and tried searching for the room from where I heard the cry. A police car braked outside the house. I plunged towards the window to see what was going on. Somebody opened the front door and shouted "Police!!!" My heart started pounding as the voices seemed to come up. That is when I saw my reflection in the mirror hanging in the room. My face was mucked with blood. Blood was dropping from the stick in my hand. I dropped it down taken aback with fear. I went towards the passage way. Two cops pointing their pistols shouted "Get down on the floor. Put your hands behind your back!!!" One of them pulled me down and hand cuffed me. The other cop helped him lifting me up.

They pushed me down the stairs when I saw a man with light blue shirt and navy blue trouser lying in a pool of blood. His head had been smashed very badly. A small kid was lying dormant next to him with face all messed up. I could see a lady with a broken neck and twisted body resting next to kitchen platform as the cops dragged me out in the bright.


really gripping !!! .... remembered the shyamalan stlye of story telling... ;)

Terrifying!! and Moral of the story for me .. "Avoid sleepless nights" ;)