This story is of those days when I was graduating from the Indiana University in Bloomington. We had our group selected for a camping in a forest far away. It was February and thus, the atmosphere was cool and the blowing wind produced shiver in the spines. So, we all made a plan to dance and sing in the sparking fire the whole night. I along with my five friends were given to collect dry woods for the campfire.
We decided to go in different directions to collect the adequate amount of fuel in less time. Well, with every steps, I was going far from the centre, slowly losing in the natural beauty of the forest. Suddenly, it started raining cats and dogs. Due to continuous thunder, I felt not to stand beneath a tree and therefore, I started running for a shelter. Within few hundred meters, I saw a magnificent building made of red bricks. It was well lit up and seemed crowded.
I rushed in that building and in that hurry, I survived anyhow from striking to the nurse coming from opposite direction. She stared me and said, “you are totally wet, you may experience cold. Go to the left and change your clothes in the store room.” I was awestruck and was continuously looking at her. Experiencing this situation, she giggled and said, “Go there, whosoever you find in the store room, tell them that sister Raina has told to provide me fresh clothes.”
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I nodded and started walking towards the store room. As I walked few steps, I felt a hand over my shoulder. I looked back with surprise and found a young in a military dress. “Hello, I am captain Maxwell and this is our army hospital.” - He introduced himself. I was far more relaxed and told him about my meeting with sister Raina.
“Oh, so you already met sister Raina ?” Captain said in a mysterious way.
“What do you mean?” I was curious.
“Nothing. Let me provide you wet clothes. Change it before you experience cold” He pointed towards the store room.
And we both entered in a long room. The curtains were green and on one side, there was a king size bed. There was a sofa in front of bed and the centre of the room was occupied with a table where there were two glasses, a bottle of brandy and few magazines. In a corner, there was a wardrobe from which Mr. Maxwell fetch out a full shirt and a casual pant. He handed it to me and pointed towards the bathroom attached to the store room.
I changed my clothes and was about to leave when I looked towards the back wall of that bathroom. It was full of blood stains. I felt upset and turned around to get out of that place. As I turned, I was shuttered to see myself in the mirror. I could see my body but not head. Now I started shivering out of fear and got out of the bathroom. When the captain said me coming out in that condition, he started laughing and asked, “what happened ? Oh yes, you have not introduced yourself to me yet.”
“Oh, I am Joseph. But I won’t stop here for a moment. I will get off this very place.”
“Where would you go? It is raining outside. I don’t understand why you want to go suddenly.” Captain said.
“Captain Maxwell, one of your bathroom’s wall is shaded of blood and moreover the mirror equipped in there is kind of weird. I saw my headless body in that. I can’t stop here for a moment. I will go back to my camp in this rain. That is certain.” I walked towards the exit gate speaking my words.
“Stop there.” It was captain’s thundering voice. “So, finally you have seen everything.”
“Whoa ! what do you mean?” My voice trembled with some unknown fear.
“whatever it mean. You can not leave this place until I tell you something.” He ordered.
“I don’t want to know anything Please let me go.” I was about to cry.
“No. absolutely not. And, you do not need to fear. Soldiers are to protect everyone and so am I, protecting you.” captain’s smooth voice consoled me.
“come. sit with me on this sofa. I tell you a story. With its end, I will drop you to your camp in my jeep. As of now, you are too far from your mates. You can’t reach to them by foot.”
I sat beside the captain who had started his tale.
The opponents targeted our hospital with deception. Two enemy soldiers came to us with one of our missing companions. He was wounded and our soldiers could not trace him. May be, the enemies had hid them somewhere. All of us were extremely happy when we founded our mate in the hospital and thus, without proper investigation, we allowed those two pseudo dressed soldiers in our guest house. When our wounded friend was treated, suddenly there was a big blast and the hospital turned into ruins.
“But the hospital is well stood up” I interrupted.
He ignored my sentence and kept on narrating his part.
No one survived that fierce blast. The blood stains you saw is of the hospital staff.
“Alright. But this hospital does not look ramshackle”
To my answer, captain had that mysterious smile and his face was filled up with weird expressions. I became frightened seeing his face. Still, I collected all my courage and asked him, “how did you survive that blast?”
Listening to me, captain Maxwell laughed out loud and answered, “This story is about 10 years ago while I died some five decades ago.”
I felt like the person of the Horror Story in spooky theatre in Indiana and I don’t remember what he said next.
I woke up slowly after I felt water poured on my face. I saw my mates and teacher had surrounded me. As I opened my eyes, the guide said, “Thank God that you are conscious.”
“Was I unconscious?”
“Yes, you were lost in the forest. When your mates returned, we altogether decided to look after you. After searching you for hours, we saw an incoming jeep driven by an army man. You were on his back seat. He gave us a lift to our camp. We tried to stop him but he went away from a necessary work.”
When we asked him about how you went unconscious and how did he find you, he said. “Joseph will tell you the truth. Believe him.”
I saw everyone amazingly looking at me while I confirmed whether the driver was captain maxwell or not. The guide replied in affirmation.
I asked everyone to come with me towards that construction. In the start, the guide did not agree but after my prolonged request, he decided to come with me. In the morning, we went over there. What we saw was completely mysterious. There was semi burnt remains of a construction with few words painted on a broken stone.
That said - “ARMY HOSPITAL” in bold.