It was a mid-july afternoon & Mr Kent was on his way back home. The weather was really hot but the car’s AC made it look like a chilly autumn’s noon. Mr Kent parked his car near the old book store. As he stepped out he realized that it was still summer outside.
He reached for his favorite magazine, The Author’s Blog, and walked towards the counter. Money was exchanged between Mr Kent & the shopkeeper. He drove off again towards his destination.
Moving towards his house Mr Kent observed a strange thing. There was a stranger standing near his garden with a blank face. He wasn’t really doing anything; he just stood there in the scorching sunlight. Mr Kent chuckled at encountering such a strange fellow and moved on. He encountered yet another thing as he moved inside the house, a bad news. Their beloved pet, roofy, was dead. Mr Kent’s little angel camela was crying madly & her mother was trying to console her. Mr Kent felt really disturbed to hear the sudden demise of his lovely pet. He sat near his wife & daughter & passed those moments silently. They buried roofy the next day.
6 months later…
Mr Kent was returning from a business trip. It was a late evening hour & he was all wrapped up in thick clothes. The chilly winter’s wind was entering the car through the half-open window but Mr Kent was too tired to realize anything. He parked his car near the front porch & stepped out with his suitcase. The weather was really cold, so he decided to light a cigarette before entering the house.
Taking a deep drag he closed his eyes to let the moment settle in. Enjoying the cigarette his eyes fell on a strange figure standing near his garden boundary. Mr Kent moved a little closer to take a better look. For a moment he thought he recognized the face. It was that weird stranger! Mr Kent shook his head, dropped his cigarette & crushed it with his right foot.
“It must be the cigarette…. Now I am seeing familiar strangers!” he whispered to himself.
He moved towards the front door & placed the key inside the keyhole. As he entered the house he heard a loud scream. It was his daughter camela. He rushed towards the kitchen. Mrs Kent entered from the other side. There was blood on the floor & camela laid motionless on the floor. Blood was coming out from camela’s forehead. Mr Kent covered her forehead with his hand & in a grunge voice asked his wife, “What happened?”
By now Mrs Kent was all covered in tears. In a crumbling voice she replied, “I……I don’t know…”
“She was looking for her chocolate cookies & I……I …told her to look in the kitchen cupboards.”
“Hurry! Call the ambulance. She’s loosing blood.” shouted Mr Kent.
The ambulance arrived in ten minutes. The doctor & the nurse checked camela & frowned.
“I am sorry sir but she’s dead”
2 years later…
“We miss you very much”. Tears rolled down Mr Kent’s eyes as he placed the flowers on camela’s grave. He stood there for the next 15 minutes reliving every happy moment spent with his daughter.
Mr Kent moved out of the graveyard & started walking towards his house. It was a nice spring morning accompanied by a cool breeze. Mr Kent used to regularly visit his daughter’s grave, sometimes alone & sometimes with his wife. Reaching the front gate Mr Kent saw him standing past the garden. That was him, the stranger! Mr Kent remembered the face & this time he was sure about it. He started walking towards the stranger. After 3-4 steps Mr Kent stopped & his face turned pale as he realized something. He rushed towards the front door screaming, “Sophia……No……Sophia!!”
He entered the house furiously screaming his wife’s name. But there was no one there., Sophia wasn’t there. Mr Kent looked out of the window, the stranger was still there. Mr Kent took out his phone & called Sophia.
“Where the hell are you?”
“Calm down. I am at the shopping center…”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. Is everything’s alright there? Why are you so furious?”
“Nothing I just entered the house & you were not there, so…”
“But I told you I will be out for shopping after 10.30… before you left… remember?”
“Sorry I forgot. You continue shopping I will meet you at lunch”
Mr Kent felt very relaxed after talking to Sophia. He pulled out a cigarette & placed it between his lips. His right thumb rugged against the lighter but it didn’t lit. He looked up & his eyes rested again on the stranger through the window. The stranger had a sly smile on his face. Mr Kent’s thumb rugged again against the lighter. This time the flame lit up…… and… … BOOM!
The Evening News:
A House on Network Street burned to ashes due to heavy gas leakage. The owner, Mr Paul Kent, burned with the house.