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THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 2

Dear Readers and Listeners,


Greetings to all our curious minds and paranormal aficionados! We are thrilled to invite you to the latest episode of OBSCURUS, your favorite haunt for spine-tingling tales and mysteries that lurk in the shadowy corners of the world. Every week, we delve deep into narratives that beckon you to the fringes of reality, where the inexplicable meets the profound.


This week, we continue with Part 2 of "The Phantom Train," where our protagonist, Prabhu, confronts eerie whistles and spectral sights that challenge the bounds of his understanding. Join us as we traverse the ghostly rails and uncover the chilling secrets of Shyamalpur's legendary locomotive.


For a more immersive experience and additional content, visit our websites at biswajitbanerjee.com and obscurus.buzzsprout.com. Enhance your language skills through our courses, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest updates.


We're excited to announce that we will soon launch on Patreon and other forums where you can support us and become a part of our growing community. Your support helps us keep the mystery alive and bring you more captivating stories.


Stay tuned for the unfolding of Prabhu's journey and more enigmatic tales in upcoming episodes. Prepare to be haunted and enchanted, and remember—our curiosity is as boundless as the night is dark.


Until next time, take care and keep the spirit of adventure alive!


With love and warm regards,


Biswajit Banerjee


The OBSCURUS ARTWORK represents the spirit of inquiry - exploring the unknown!
OBSCURUS ARTWORK

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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 00:00:47


Welcome back to OBSCURUS, your portal to the enigmatic and unexplained. I'm Biswajit Banerjee, your guide on this journey into the shadows. Today, in Part 2 of "The Phantom Train," Prabhu's chilling experiences deepen as he seeks answers about the spectral whistle that haunts his nightly commute. As you settle in, check out our training program SPOKEN ENGLISH FOR NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS, and visit my websites biswajitbanerjee.com and obscurus.buzzsprout.com for a clearer peak into my creative pursuits. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for additional content, and consider supporting us on Patreon. Now, let's continue unraveling the mysteries of Shyamalpur's ghostly locomotive.


THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 2 00:02:05


Written and Performed by Biswajit Banerjee


In this story, a phantom train passes through an unmanned crossing capable of ramming into material objects!
Some locals believe a ghost driver drives the phantom train!

00:02:29


The event had disturbed me so much, that I deemed it fit to go to the office in the morning itself and discuss the issue with Mr. Kumar. I believed Mr. Kumar would be able to throw more light on the causes behind what I experienced last night.


Soon enough, I was in the office, sitting in the chair across from Mr. Kumar's desk.


"I didn't expect to see you in the office now. The sweat on your face says something is severely wrong."


Mr. Kumar poured cold water into a glass and pushed it towards me.


"Drink," he said.


After I drank the water, Mr. Kumar asked, "Do you want more, Mr. Shekharan?"


I moved my head.


"Okay, now tell me, what brings you here?" Mr. Kumar said after settling in his chair.


After I told him about the last night's experience, he sat quietly for a long time and then said, "That sounds spooky. Probably, the train was on its way. Thankfully, you crossed the junction before it arrived."


"But the time was 10.22 pm or thereabouts. The train is known to make appearances around 10.31 pm."


"You just heard the whistle. The train didn't make an appearance, isn't it?"


"That's right."


00:04:15


"Usually, in a quiet place such as Shyamalpur, a train's whistle can be heard within a radius of twelve kilometers. If we assume the train was around twelve kilometers away from you, it would take another nine or ten minutes or thereabouts to reach the junction. That means the train would arrive at the crossing around 10.31 p.m. or 10.32 p.m. So, what you heard was indeed the whistle of the train. At least, that's what sounds logical. We know no real train passes through Shyamalpur around that time."


"Are you sure what I heard was the whistle of the phantom train?"


"Look, Mr Shekharan, I cannot be one hundred percent sure, but it does look like a strong possibility."


"That's... that's..."


"I know how disturbing that idea is, Mr. Shekharan.


00:05:27


Before I could say anything more, Mr. Abhishek Singh joined us. He pulled a chair and sat.


"Sorry for intervening; I overheard your talks and couldn't help but offer my thoughts."


"No problem, Mr. Singh; tell us what you think about Mr. Shekharan's experience."


"I have spent close to twenty years in this unit office. I joined as a substitute for a senior data collector called Amarjeet Kakkar, who retired about a week after I joined. During that one week when we worked together, his duties included training me on the job and explaining the various data collection methods. I was a sharp young man and picked up the collection skills in just about a day. So, the two of us had a lot of time to discuss things other than the official work."


"Are you talking about the old gentleman who now serves as a guest faculty member at the data collection training institute at Shyamalpur?" Mr. Kumar queried.


"Yes, indeed, he is the man. Mr. Kakkar has crossed eighty years and is still an active man."


"I know, he took a couple of our sessions at the mid-career training program at the institute last year." Mr. Kumar said.


"Mr. Kakkar also had a strange experience at the crossing, Mr. Shekharan."


"You mean he also heard the whistle of the phantom train?" I asked.


"Yes, he did, but it was much more than just hearing the train's whistle. And it happened decades ago when Mr. Kakkar was still a youngster. The Department had sent him to collect local data from a village along the northern periphery of Shyamalpur. Since he was required to assist a group of scientists to work around midnight, he started from home around ten in the evening. Like you, he, too, was riding a motorcycle through the junction. And then ..."


Mr. Singh looked at me.


"Then what happened?" I said as my mouth and throat felt dry.


"Somehow, he lost control of the motorcycle as he was about to cross the last of the five tracks at the crossing. He fell, and the motorcycle fell over him. A faint whistle of a train flowed through the air. Mr. Kakkar wasn't sure if he heard a whistle. The fall had hurt his knees and toes. He couldn't get up immediately as the pain was bad. A minute or two later, as he made an effort to get up, he heard the whistle again. Now, the whistle was loud and clear. Alarmed, he scrambled to his feet and tried pulling the bike out of the tracks. It was too heavy for his injured limbs. When the train became visible, he left the bike and moved to a safe position. The speeding train soon rammed into the motorcycle and sent it flying into pieces."


"The locals told me the phantom train can ram into physical objects like a real train. Mr. Kakkar's experience proves their point. Please continue, Mr. Singh," Mr. Kumar observed.


"After the train passed, Mr. Kakkar quickly moved over to where the fragments of the motorcycle lay scattered. Sadly, the expensive gadgets for data collection and the registers with old data he was carrying were also destroyed. He stood in the midst of the scattered pieces of metal for a long time to absorb the shock. For the next half an hour or so, Mr. Kakkar told me, his mind didn't work. Finally, when some coherence returned to his thoughts, Mr. Kakkar decided to travel the remaining distance on foot. For sure, he wouldn't reach the village before midnight. But now his timely presence would be of little use since the gadgets he was required to use to help the scientists were ruined."


"Did he walk all the way to the village?" Mr. Kumar asked.


"Yes, he did. When he told the scientists and other administrators about the train and what it did to the motorcycle, many of them didn't believe him. Some scientists said that no train passed through Pahari Phatak after daytime. Mr. Kakkar tried his best to convince the scientists that he was telling the truth, but they weren't ready to believe his story. Quite understandably, the data collection didn't go well that night. Although the twisted wreck was discovered close to the junction the next day, many of Mr. Kakkar's colleagues refused to believe that a train had rammed into the motorcycle. The officials of the administration section inquired from the railway authorities if any train passed through the Pahari Phatak the night before. The railway authorities answered in the negative."


"I guessed so." A faint smile appeared on Mr. Kumar's lips.


Mr. Singh continued the story. "Poor Mr. Kakkar, I can imagine how difficult it must have been for him to talk about the phantom train before the scientists. The scientists who rejected his story were from outside Shyamalpur and had little respect for the tales of the natives. Since they couldn't conduct the midnight data collection exercise and believed Mr. Kakkar was responsible for the failure, they wanted disciplinary proceedings to be initiated against him."


"Did they conduct vigilance proceedings against Mr. Kakkar?"


"Yes, Mr. Kumar, they did start disciplinary proceedings against him. The charges leveled against him included dereliction of duties and causing material losses to the government. However, Mr. Kakkar was exonerated of the charges after about a year due to a lack of evidence. I am sure you understand that the authorities would dismiss Mr. Kakkar from the Department if there were enough evidence to substantiate the charges."


"So, the phantom train almost led to Mr. Kakkar's dismissal."


"Indeed, Mr. Kumar."


00:13:12


As fear strengthened its grip around my spine, I had no words to say. Mr. Kumar poured another glass of water, and I took a sip, hoping to calm my nerves.


"I can see you are terror-stricken, Mr. Shekharan." Mr. Singh said.


I nodded and said, "Yes, Mr. Singh. I am indeed terrified. The phantom train's whistle is still hovering in my head."


"Although I am ninety-nine percent sure you heard the phantom train's whistle, I would still like to confirm no real train passed over those tracks last night. Sometimes, technical reasons force the railway authorities to divert some goods trains to the Pahari Phatak tracks. Such occurrences are rare, but I would still like to be sure that no real train passed over those tracks last night." Mr. Kumar said and called up one of his friends working in the railway department.


"Hello, Kishan. Can you tell me if any train passed through the Pahari Phatak last night? Okay, yes, please check and tell me. I will hold."


CONCLUDING REMARKS 00:14:50


Thank you for joining us for another episode of "The Phantom Train." The story of Mr. Kakkar adds another layer to our ghostly tale, blending the past with Prabhu's present fears. What truth lies behind the phantom's whistle? Will Prabhu find peace or further peril? For more enthralling narratives, visit us at obscurus.buzzsprout.com. Don't forget to enhance your language skills through my courses, subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates, and support our journey on Patreon and other forums. Until next time, may your curiosity be as boundless as the night is dark.


THEMATIC MUSIC - INEXPLICABLE, AN AI MUSIC COMPOSITION BY BISWAJIT BANERJEE 00:15:45


OUTRO 00:18:33

 

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!

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