Little Anju and Anuj were excited. They clapped when Ranjit, their Baba, who worked as the security guard at a mall, got down from the ladder after hanging the swing in the front room of their house in the chawl. While Ranjit took the ladder away, Sangeeta, his wife stood absorbing the happy moments with much satisfaction.

Anju and Anuj rushed to the swing and were fighting to climb on to it.

“Both of you can sit together. Don’t fight lest the swing will come down”, advised Ranjit.

“Wish Aai was here to witness this joy”, he said with his eyes turning moist.

“Yes. She would have loved to sit and relax in it”, said Sangeeta.

“I couldn’t fulfill her desire to have one when she was alive”, regretted Ranjit.

“She knew that your hands were tied. With you as the only earning member and 5 mouths to feed, buying a swing was a luxury”, said Sangeeta in order to fetch some solace for her husband’s troubled soul.

Watching the children enjoy the swing, Ranjit’s eyes twinkled as an idea dawned to him, the brightness of which turned the gloom away from his heart.

Before going to bed, he placed his Aai’s photo on the swing.

“Aai, I couldn’t buy the swing when you were with us. But now that the swing is here, I want you to enjoy it”, he muttered.

“Watching us from up above, she sure will be happy to see the swing in the house”, assured Sangeeta who had followed him when she saw him going towards the front room.

As the night cast its long shadow, Ranjit went to bed in the kitchen as-usual, for he had morning shift to attend.  He soon was snoring deeply. He was awakened by the sound of a lullaby that his mother used to sing for him. He got up from the bed and tried to make sense of it. The sweet sound came from the front room. He thought it to be Sangeeta as Anuj had the habit of getting up in the middle of the night and she then had to put him to sleep singing the lullaby. He turned to his side and saw Sangeeta sleeping peacefully.

He decided to check it out. He walked towards the front room. Adjusting his vision to the darkness of the room, Ranjit found Anju and Anuj sleeping quietly on the sofa cum bed. Swing in the corner, however froze him instantly…

… it was gliding gently, back and forth, not ever once gaining or losing the momentum  …cutting through the eternity of time and space around. The slanting rays from the street light, seeping through the window were stroking the photo placed on the swing.

Shell shocked that he was, he couldn’t believe what he witnessed. Beads of cold sweat gathered on his forehead. Regaining compos mentis, in a matter of seconds, he turned the light on. His gaze at the swing was met with another shock.

Swing stood steady, so did it’s twisted shadow on the wall and the floor, as if it had never moved. The lullaby too dissolved in the thin air. The silence of the dead of the night filled the room making him question whether he heard the lullaby or it was just the figment of his imagination. Failing to get an upper hand over the emotions, a faint scream escaped Ranjit’s lips.

“Aai…”, said he with a shaky voice, “Come back …only once…once again… please” as he knelt down with tears cascading his eyes.


Picture courtesy Pixabay
Explore previous stories at Stack of Stories
Categories: FictionShort Story

30 Comments

Durga Prasad Dash · April 17, 2020 at 7:13 am

It is a poignant story depicting family attachments in an Indian family.

Matheikal · April 17, 2020 at 8:53 am

Some relationships never die.

Tina Acharya · April 17, 2020 at 9:44 am

Beautiful Narration!! Such a touching story. ,❤️

Simon · April 17, 2020 at 10:42 am

Another touching story, I got goosebumps imagining the whole scene. Brilliant writing! Have a beautiful day ✨💐 Anagha.

Jyoti Jha · April 17, 2020 at 1:04 pm

Very touching story and beautifully narrated.

Vidhi Jadeja · April 17, 2020 at 1:42 pm

So touchy 🙂

soniadogra · April 17, 2020 at 2:44 pm

I identified at two places. One the inescapable guilt at not having done something for someone when they were around.
Two this feeling when you think you saw someone who left long ago but you are not sure.
That’s how relationships go on even after death.

Vaishali Khot · April 17, 2020 at 2:53 pm

True relations and emotions never die

Dr. Jyoti Arora · April 17, 2020 at 4:34 pm

The way you portray your stories in exceptional. Heart felt story !!

Shubhra Rastogi · April 17, 2020 at 5:10 pm

Wow such a nice story

alpanadeo · April 17, 2020 at 5:20 pm

Sometimes, when we are not able to fulfill a wish of our dear one’s then the thought resides within us. And it replays later. Somewhere it gives the person a relief that yes,’ I have done what I always to.”

Srivalli · April 17, 2020 at 5:44 pm

A bittersweet story about true family bonds. Lucky are those how find and cherish them.

Meena · April 17, 2020 at 6:25 pm

Ayyo! very emotional

Swarnali Nath · April 17, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Goosebumps!! Anagha, I am speechless. Lost my words. The story touched a chord, and I had goosebumps. Brilliant.

jaya1966 · April 17, 2020 at 7:28 pm

Our departed ones are dear to us and sometimes we see them in our dreams or even in our waking moments. Touching tale…

Shweta Suresh · April 17, 2020 at 7:53 pm

The guilt that can consume you is hard to let go of. It’s hard to find closure. I hope he did!

purbajune · April 17, 2020 at 8:48 pm

Poignant and touching!
Enjoyed the read.

Shreyas Joshi · April 17, 2020 at 9:08 pm

A tragic end to a such a chilling plot. It is delight to experience such skill! You strike again a home run setting the bar higher than before, smashing all your records!! I hope his mother might have graced him another visit however a bit less scary. Well done and hope to see more stories even after the completion of the challenge!

Nisha · April 18, 2020 at 2:25 am

Engaging, chilling and full of emotions – loved this tale.

Ira Mishra · April 18, 2020 at 3:53 am

Your stories are all so beautiful Anagha…. Just love each one of them more than the other :)!!Somehow this story reminded me of the dreams I keep having of my grandparents sometimes… And every time I wake up from the dream… I wish the same if only they could come back once again!!

Dr. Surbhi Prapanna · April 18, 2020 at 5:00 am

Yes there are circumstances in lives of many people when they have to wait a long even for full filling the small desires or wishes of their loved ones. again a heart felt story Anagha. brilliant write-up.

msjadeli · April 18, 2020 at 7:58 am

I’m glad she was able to see the swing. What a lovely story <3

Pradeep · April 18, 2020 at 1:22 pm

An absolutely poignant story. Relationships don’t die, do they?

Archana (@yenforblue) · April 18, 2020 at 4:20 pm

That is eerie and touching all at the same time! The mother-son bond was strong indeed!

TheDreamGirlWrites · April 19, 2020 at 12:41 am

Very touching..
But if I was in his place I would definitely run..

Ruchie · April 19, 2020 at 1:42 am

This is really touching feel like calling once again papa …made me in tears!!

Shilpa Garg · April 19, 2020 at 7:52 am

A beautiful story that touched my heart!! ♥

amina · April 19, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Beautiful story… You have narrated it so well 🙂

bloggeray · April 19, 2020 at 7:20 pm

Beautiful. So very poignant.

I didn’t think he’d turn on the light, and when he did, I was actually expecting his mother to turn up, somehow.

Lovely story. 🙂

Unishta · April 22, 2020 at 9:59 am

A ghost story that warmed the heart. Sometimes when you want something badly, I believe your dreams give life to it…

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