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THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 4

Dear Readers and Listeners,


It is always a delight to welcome you to the realm of OBSCURUS. In part 4 of THE PHANTOM TRAIN, Prabhu's ordeal continues. I am sure you are waiting to know what Prabhu witnessed at the Pahari Phatak in the preceding episode of the story. Well, this edition will reveal some of the secrets and probably spin some new mysteries for you to ponder.


You may be aware that we will soon be on Patreon and other forums where you can support us for all our creative endeavors. We do not just produce delightful paranormal fiction but are deeply engaged in music composition, AI documentary filmmaking, imparting training in spoken English for non-native speakers, and a dozen other creative activities. Please support us so that we can bring you packages of infotainment endlessly. Do not forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, which is a huge resource of fun tutorials, documentary films, enlightening talks, behind-the-screen activities, goof-up videos, and tons of other interesting content.


Let's now plunge into part 4 of THE PHANTOM TRAIN. Happy reading and listening!


With love and warm regards,


Biswajit Banerjee


OBSCURUS ARTWORK represent the spirit of scientific inquiry. A rational study of the mysterious and the unexplained can tell us a lot about who we are and what are we meant for!
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, where each story peels back a layer of the supernatural. I'm Biswajit Banerjee, ready to guide you through Part 4 of "The Phantom Train." As the mystery intensifies, check out our SPOKEN ENGLISH FOR NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS training program and visit biswajitbanerjee.com and obscurus.buzzsprout.com. There, you can also find episode transcripts and deeper insights into our creative journey. I would be glad if you could subscribe to my YouTube channel for more content. Now, let's plunge back into the dark heart of Shyamalpur.


THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 4 00:01:59


Written and Performed by Biswajit Banerjee



Prabhu's ordeal continues. The front wheel of his bike strikes a rock and he is thrown in midair. The signs of a train are clear. Is it a ghost train or a real train?
Prabhu's bike strikes a rock and he finds himself along with the bike in midair.

00:02:23


The voice from the other side of the telephone was loud. I heard the entire conversation between Mr. Kumar and his friend Kishan, who worked in the Indian Railways.


"Hey, Kishan, sorry about calling you at this time."


"Hello, Adarsh, what's the matter?"


"I need some information. Can you tell me if an express train crossed the Pahari Phatak somewhere between 10.20 pm and 10.30 pm?"


"The 'Himgiri Superfast Express' was diverted from its usual tracks due to heavy traffic. It must have crossed Pahari Phatak somewhere between 10.20 pm and 10.25 pm." Kishan replied.


Mr. Kumar smiled and said, "Thanks, Kishan. That's all I needed to know. Good night."

"Good night."


After hanging up the phone, Mr. Kumar looked at me and said, "I am sure you heard the entire conversation?"


"Yes, I did."


"So, now you know that truth."


"You mean I witnessed a real train cross the junction, not the phantom train?"


"Indeed, that's exactly what happened. The train you watched passing through the Pahari Phatak was the 'Himgiri Superfast Express.'"


The truth calmed my nerves. I don't remember being so relieved before. After a long time, I had a good sleep that night.


***


00:04:04


The next three weeks were peaceful. During that period, I made sure to leave the office around 10.00 pm. That meant crossing the junction around 10.10 pm. The cushion of 21 minutes between my crossing and the possible appearance of the phantom train was quite reassuring. Though I felt a chill every time I crossed those tracks, I didn't sense any signs of the train or its signal.


One evening, when I took a coffee break, Mr. Prasun Roy joined me at the office's little canteen. We sat across from each other, chatting about work and life at Shyamalpur. While talking about our colleagues, when I mentioned Mr. Kumar and Mr. Singh, I spotted discomfort on Mr. Roy's face.


"Is something wrong, Mr. Roy?"


"Well, I have never found it easy dealing with these guys."


"Why?"


"They seem to have no better thing to talk about other than the ghost train. Mr. Kumar behaves like a paranormal investigator, and Mr. Singh looks like a tight-lipped movie character with tons of secrets buried deep in his heart. Every time you start a conversation with these guys, they invariably bring up the issue of Pahari Phatak. I don't enjoy talking to them. Well, Mr. Shekharan, I know they are your friends, but I have nothing better to tell you about Mr. Kumar and Mr. Singh."


"Is that why you have stopped attending the weekend gatherings?"


"Yes."


"I understand their words can be unsettling at times."


"They talk rubbish."


"So, you do not believe in the ghost train?"


"Of course not. It is not uncommon for the inhabitants of small townships such as Shyamalpur to make up all sorts of ghost stories to entertain themselves."


"What you are saying could be true, Mr. Roy."


"Do you believe in all this paranormal stuff?"


"To tell the truth, I am unsure if it is logical to dismiss all the claims of the train sightings. Even I had a strange experience at the Pahari Phatak."


"I know, you heard a train signal."


"How do you know?"


"Oh, come on, Mr. Shekharan; spicy stories travel fast in a small office in a small township." He smiled.


After a brief spell of silence, I asked, "Do you think I lied about the signal?"


"Of course not. You are not the kind of person who would look for cheap popularity by cooking up ghost stories. I am sure you heard something there."


"Mr. Roy, I heard a train signal."


"May I correct you there, Mr. Shekharan? You didn't hear a train signal; you heard something like a train signal."


"I don't think there was anything around that could sound like a signal."


"Please appreciate that the mind can play strange tricks. It is possible you heard something that your mind interpreted as a signal. The mind can often make one see and hear things one fears."


"But there have been other instances ..."


Mr. Roy smiled and cut me off. "I know what you are talking about - Mr. Amarjeet Kakkar's experience, isn't it?"


"That's right. How do you know about Mr. Kakkar and his experience?"


"Well, Mr. Shekharan, you are not the only one to whom Mr. Abhishek Singh has narrated the story. As I said before, these guys have nothing else to discuss. All they can think of is the train. The phantom train is their obsession. I don't blame them. In this little hilly township, there are not many sources of entertainment."


"Do you think they are making up these stories?"


"No, they are not manufacturing total lies. They probably hear things from people and then spice up those narratives to entertain themselves and others."


"I am not sure what to make of their stories. Had I not heard what sounded like a train's whistle, I might have thought like you. I don't rule out the possibility that what I heard was not the phantom train's whistle and some other sound that resembled a train's whistle, yet I often get into a state of unease when the thoughts of the phantom train come to my mind."


"Quite understandable, Mr. Shekharan. I do understand your position. Anyhow, take care of yourself."


"I will, thank you, Mr. Roy."


***


00:09:39


On the next new moon night, I again got late in the office as my boss insisted upon collecting the weather data between 10.04 and 10.09 pm. Immediately after finishing my work, I rushed to the parking lot and mounted my bike. I rode the bike much faster than usual because I wanted to cross the unmanned crossing by no later than 10:20 p.m. or so.

The only sounds that pierced the stillness of the dark night came from my heavy breathing and the bike's engine. Within minutes of starting from the office, Pahari Phatak came into view. I accelerated the bike further, confident that I would be able to cross it well before the possible appearance of the phantom train. In just over a few seconds, I found myself riding over the tracks through the unmanned crossing. As a sense of joy at the thought of crossing the ghastly place started settling over my mind, I accelerated the bike further. In my haste to leave the crossing behind me, I failed to see the large rock lying in the middle of the last pair of tracks. I have no idea who or what placed it there. When my bike's front wheel hit the rock, I found myself thrown into midair. I crashed onto the ground several feet away from where the bike had fallen. It took me more than a minute to come to terms with what had happened.


When some coherence returned to my spinning head, I realized I was in no position to move. The degree of injury was difficult to gauge, but even with my limited senses, it was easy to infer that my injuries were severe, to say the least. When I tried moving my legs, I screamed as a searing pain ran through my body. How many bones had gotten broken, I had no idea. But moving my body was out of the question.


Although it was foolhardy to expect locals to be around Pahari Phatak at that hour, I shouted at the top of my voice for help. My voice echoed all around, but there was no one to answer my call for help. As if my miseries weren't enough already, destiny now played its cruelest card. The whistle of a train flew right into my ears. It wasn't a faint whistle like the one I heard a few days back. The sound pierced through the stillness of the dark night, getting louder and harsher by the second.


A train was approaching me. Whether it was the ghost train or a real train didn't matter. Either way, I would die. Then, the light appeared. It grew brighter, casting shadows of death over my wretched body. The stare of death made me forget my pain for a while, and I made an effort to crawl away to a safer spot. But my limbs had become lifeless. I couldn't move more than an inch.


Then the monster appeared. An electric locomotive now approached me at full speed. It didn't look like a ghost train. Perhaps a real train had been diverted to these tracks for technical reasons. So, it was over for me - I cursed my luck. The wait for death was much more torturous than death itself. I wished the ordeal to be over now.


CONCLUDING REMARKS 00:14:12


Thank you for joining me on this harrowing journey through "The Phantom Train." Tonight, Mr. Shekharan's tale took a perilous turn, blurring the lines between reality and the spectral. As we leave him at a critical moment, the question remains: what fate awaits him? For further exploration and to support our storytelling, visit biswajitbanerjee.com and obscurus.buzzsprout.com. Subscribe to my infotainment-rich YouTube channel for updates, and consider supporting us on Patreon. Until next time, stay brave in the face of the unknown, and keep the spirit of curiosity alive.


THEMATIC MUSIC – TAKE ME TO THE FINISH LINE, AN AI MUSIC COMPOSITION BY BISWAJIT BANERJEE 00:15:04

 

OUTRO 00:17:50


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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