INTRO 00:00:00 Welcome to OBSCURUS, your weekly dose of paranormal fiction. Every Wednesday OBSCURUS features new short stories and serialized novels written by novelist, screenwriter, and voice-over artist Biswajit Banerjee. The realm of the paranormal stretches far beyond the usual horror story. So, while you will get to listen to lots of ghost stories on this podcast, there will also be many tales of lesser known paranormal themes. To get us started, here's your host Biswajit Banerjee. HOST TALK 00:00:42
Hello, and welcome to the inaugural episode of OBSCURUS. I am Biswajit Banerjee, and I’m so excited and honored to be presenting this podcast to you. My friends and colleagues often ask me why I love reading and writing paranormal fiction so much. Many feel the genre of paranormal fiction can potentially spread false ideas and convictions by openly talking about spirits, reincarnation, UFOs, poltergeist activities, demonic possessions, and other such events. Well, not quite, dear listeners. The paranormal is surely all that I just mentioned, but it also delves deeper than ghosts, re-births, alien visitations, and the like. To me, the paranormal is the unknown, the dimensions that are yet to be explored by science and philosophy. Quantum physics has opened up new vistas of knowledge and we now are able to explore possibilities that traditional science would have us believe as false and irrational. While there will be the traditional paranormal stories of phantoms and reincarnations, there will also be stories on themes such as simultaneous existence, spontaneous combustion, Zeno’s paradox of motion, the paradox of infinity, and inanimate consciousness.
Today, to make the maiden episode special, let me present to you one of my favorite tales. Before I start, I would like to invite you to visit my website, biswajitbanerjee.com, for more information on my books, movies, voice-over projects, and this podcast itself. And now, let’s dive into the story of …
STORY - WHITE FAIRY 00:02:49
Written and performed by Biswajit Banerjee
Only two shots of vodka -- I was by no means out of balance. Rains pounced on the forest bungalow. The large windows rattled whenever the loud cracks of thunder filled the air. Passing shadows caused by the lightning flashes raised childhood memories of my father's countless ghost stories. The little cabin of the security guards close to the gate was hardly visible in the torrential downpour. Vigil of the two dutiful guards, I knew, would not slacken, notwithstanding the inclement weather.
Wintry waves brushed past me ... I needed a smoke. After pulling out a cigarette from a new packet, I grabbed the lighter and slipped into the bed. Cupping a hand around the flame, I lit the cigarette and delighted in the flow of warmth inside me. Ugh ... urh -- a muffled groan crossed my ears; it sounded human. A bed lamp stood firmly next to the bed; I put it on. In the dim light it offered, I saw nothing more than the sameness of the room. When I switched off the light, I leaned against the soft headboard and closed my eyes.
Enveloped by the burbles and murmurs of nature as I let the warmth flow through me again, a meditative stupor descended. Those who say smoking is wrong must be crazy. Then another grunt followed, shorter but more distinct. No, I didn't spot anyone who might have sourced the mumble as I peered through the semi-dark conditions. Maybe some creature in the trees of the bungalow lawns -- I thought, puffing at the cigarette. When the strange sound happened for the third time, I had little doubts it came from inside the room. I glanced nervously around the room after switching on the bedside lamp again. The same things, the same arrangements, but hold on -- there has been a change now. A thin column of diffused light cut across the floor like a diagonal with its width continually changing. Some anxious seconds passed before I realized that the door leading to the lawn was ajar, letting the dim light in. Tender movements caused by the drafts of cold air gave the door a dreadful look -- some sort of portal for demons.
It was strange for the door to be open. There wasn't the slightest doubt in my mind that I had latched it. Someone inside the room? The one making the grunts? The thought froze my spine. Without any delay, I picked up the intercom's receiver -- the guards should be able to help. No luck for me -- the connection was dead. Must I run out to their cabin? Such action would be foolhardy -- what if a wild animal was around? O my goodness, were the security guards dead? My brain quickly processed through the fog of ideas. What should I do next? Animal or human -- whatever I had to confront could be anywhere.
The light of the cigarette might catch the intruder's attention, so I decided to put it out on the glass ashtray on the bedside table. Minutes ticked by. I realized there were no wet footprints or pug marks on the floor. No one entered the house through that door! The realization slightly cooled my nerves. There were no answers to how the door opened by itself, but pondering such questions could wait. Shutting the door was an immediate necessity. The thought of being back in a space largely disconnected from the frightening externals relieved me no end.
I was up on my feet the next minute, rushing toward the door. It closed with a thud as I pushed it back into its frame. The latch's clang would touch record decibels! For a moment, I sensed logic in banishing the disturbing questions and seeking warmth in the apparently secure space. Hey, hang on ... more warmth was at my disposal! Time to light another cigarette.
Cold waves swept around my face when I turned around. The limbs froze -- not because of the cold but by the sight of the woman standing on the edge of the bed, a few inches away from me. A shriek escaped my mouth as I stepped back and almost lost my balance.
"Careful, please," she said in a tone of concern.
The friendly words came just in time to prevent a sure heart attack.
"Please calm down, I am not here to harm you." Her amiable disposition helped me regain my poise.
"Who are you? How did you get in?"
"I will tell you, but please don't throw me out of the house at this hour, I have nowhere else to go. I promise to leave as early as possible in the morning."
The fear dissipated from my nerves as she pleaded for help. Soon enough, I quickly regained control of myself and had a closer look at the woman. By now, she had come down and was standing a little away from me on the floor. Her white gown was practically transparent. If I had to describe her in one word, it would be 'ethereal.' Such supernal beauty went unparalleled on earth! The milky white complexion compared to the pristine whiteness of the classical sculptures. Even in the dim light conditions, her deep blue eyes were unmistakable. Shadow of the tip of the sharp nose fell over the Cupid's bow over her full lips. The carelessly kept hair fell over her bare shoulders, and the gown did little to hide her voluptuous breasts and their tender movements. She walked forward with perfect gait on her beautiful legs.
"Will you drive me out, Sir?"
"No," I said, "never."
"Never!" The woman looked at me with puzzled eyes.
"I mean ... you can spend the night in this bungalow."
"Oh, thank you, Sir, I really appreciate it." A pleasant smile played on her lips.
"Would you like to have some food?"
"No, I'm okay."
"Okay, how did you ..."
"I just slipped in, Sir, your guards didn't see me."
"But what have you been doing in the wild so late in the night?"
"My life is quite meaningless; I don't know how to answer that question."
I didn't have any idea what she meant. Somehow, I, too, didn't feel the need to press for a clear answer. The woman's beauty had weighed down on my wisdom -- I didn't for once consider the possibility that she could be in the bungalow with malicious intent, perhaps with some accomplices around. Usually, I never act in so indolent a way, but her charm, I again admit, had enslaved my reason.
"You might be feeling sleepy," she said.
"Well ... no ... yes."
The smile returned to the woman's lips. "You are not sure if you want to sleep?"
"I will sleep, but ..."
"Don't worry about me, Sir. I will sleep on the floor."
"Why on the floor? It is cold. You may sleep in the next room; it has a nice cozy bed with a quilt. The room also has an attached bath, just in case you need to freshen up."
"Sir, I don't want to go to that room."
"You might think I am crazy, but I have always been afraid of ghosts and don't like being alone. And in a night like this ..."
"But sleeping on the floor is not a good idea."
"Sir," the woman said, stepping forward, "can I sleep next to you on this bed? Please."
Words ceased to escape my mouth as her proximity stirred up all my carnal senses.
"You don't seem to be happy with that idea, Sir."
"But ... I never said that."
The woman took another step closer—her body smelt like menthol. O from which heavenly dimension have you come -- I thought of asking her.
"Do I take that as 'yes?'"
In just over a minute, we were lying next to each other under the same quilt. Never did I ride on my luck like this. I gladly gave up all reason to give in to the sweetness of the hour.
"Are you the Chief Forest Conservator?" She asked.
"So, you are a big man!"
"What about you? You haven't spoken much about yourself, not even your name."
"People call me 'White Fairy,' Sir, I don't know why. My job is to give pleasure."
What was she? A slut? Her conduct certainly pointed in that direction, but her divine appearance defied such an inference.
"Sir, you have been kind to me," she said, "in return, can I give you some pleasure?"
Streams of excitement coursed through my veins as she moved close to me. I tenderly ran my fingers over her spotless skin tracing her face, shoulders, and breasts. Then I pressed my lips against hers, and moments later, we had become one in body, mind, and soul.
"Sir, are you okay?"
The voice of one of the security guards pulled me out of my slumber.
"So many cigarettes aren't good for you, Sir. You are lying on a bed of cigarettes," the other security guard said.
"Where's that girl?" I said, getting up with a head heavy with hang-over.
"Which girl, Sir? There was no girl here," the one who woke me up said.
"There was a girl, she had slipped in here."
"That's not possible, Sir, we never relaxed our vigil," the other one said.
A flurry of thoughts crossed my mind as they tidy up the bed. Who was she? The beautiful woman was too real to be unreal. Perhaps she was too real even to be real! Before I could dismiss her as some dream or hallucination, my eyes fell on the brand name printed on one of the cigarette packets the guards carried away from the room. 'White Fairy' is what I read.
Thanks for listening to OBSCURUS. If you like what you heard, please subscribe and visit biswajitbanerjee.com for more information about Biswajit's books, movies, documentaries, and other creative pursuits. We shall see you next Wednesday with another episode of OBSCURUS. Till then, take care!