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The Haunted Lake

2006-07-13 23:50

  To Rajesh, visiting a village was a novel experience. He wrote to Akash about his plan. Akash invited him to his village. Soon, Rajesh was on his way to Akash's village.

  Akash's house was small but airy. It was a far cry from Rajesh's flat in the city. Rajesh enjoyed walking across the fields. He was amazed by the variety of birds he came across.

  Akash took Rajesh to the river to bathe. Rajesh also met Akash's friends. That afternoon the boys formed two teams and played football. The playground abutted a lake. Akash warned Rajesh that the lake was haunted.

  “Haunted?” Rajesh scoffed. “We will see what haunts the lake.”

  As the game progressed no one noticed how close the boys were to the lake. One of the boys kicked the ball and it fell right into the lake.

  None of the boys would enter the lake. Even Rajesh was surprised when the ball began to sink. He did not believe in ghosts and ghouls. Without giving it a second thought Rajesh jumped into the lake.

  At the center of the lake he held his breath and dived. The ball was nowhere in sight. When he could no longer hold his breath he decided to surface. Something held him back as he tried to rise to the surface.

  His heart almost skipped a beat. He turned around and found that his shirt was caught in a thorny bush.

  The boys on the shore of the lake were panicstricken. Rajesh had been gone for more than three minutes. The ghost of the lake had swallowed Rajesh, they knew! Akash was close to tears.

  Rajesh tugged his shirt and the thorny bush gave in. he had been too long underwater. He swam up much to the relief of the boys. Rajesh's eyes were bloodshot and he couldn't swim ashore. Akash shouted in joy when he noticed in Rajesh.

  One of the boys threw a log. Another boy threw a tyre into the lake. Rajesh grabbed the tyre and floated to the shore.

  “Thank God you are safe” said Akash, tears streaming down his cheeks.

  Rajesh laughed. “The lake bed is full of thorny bushes. Our ball is caught in the thorns. We must get another ball. There is no ghost in the lake.”

  The boys refused to believe him. They concluded that a friendly ghost lived in the lake.

  Rajesh explained why his eyes were bloodshot and why he couldn't swim ashore. A few days later the boys found the deflated ball floating on the water. Rajesh had after all been right.

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