Although it was a full moon night but it was pitch dark. What to talk of cold winter night moon when sun-rays of the long summer days could seldom penetrate the thick roof of trees. As midnight approached, the fog got denser. The only sounds were those from the barking dogs on the outskirts of the village. It was the oldest graveyard in the country and legend has it that nobody has ever crossed it even in broad day light. And those who had ever attempted, generations ago, never returned. But it seemed like those 3 men would live there. Wanted by police, these outlaws did not have much choice but to live amongst the dead.
At night, they would go to the village to bring food and other necessary stuff while in daylight they would remain in their abode. As usual, they were returning from the village. As the sounds of dogs got distant, they could hear the rustling of dry leaves crushing under their feet. They had just entered the graveyard when they heard something. A humming sound was coming from the area where a man was buried that day. Could it be someone praying for him at the grave? They thought of ignoring it and move forward. But one of them said that what if it was some treasure hunter? After all, there had been stories of treasures discovered there in the past. And they planned to have their share of it.
As they approached the sound, it got clearer. But they could not understand it. It was some other language. Their heartbeat got faster as they got nearer. Even though they had been living there for a while, nothing of this sort had ever occurred. Even though all of them wanted to go back in their hearts, but none of them could speak for the fear that the others would think of him is a coward. In the silence of the night, they finally reached there. And they had guessed it correctly. It was the newest grave. And it was opened. There was some light inside it. They approached cautiously. They caught a glimpse of it. From the backside it looked like a woman, with long open hair, sitting there. The night was turning out to be the most grotesque experience of their lives.
It could be a ghost, they thought. Or could it be anthropophagus or cannibal? But now it was too late. They could not go back or else she would kill them. Slowly, they moved to the other side to get a good view of what was going on there. First they saw an oil lamp, kept just below the neck, on the chest of the corpse. And a little down, there was something muddy. The woman was sitting on just above the knees and buzzing her words and pushing the muddy substance with both her hands. This could not be an ordinary woman. Far stronger men would think a hundred times before venturing into the graveyard alone, even in daylight. And there she was, all by herself, not only alone but actually opened the grave by herself and sitting there down with the dead body. The men were in shock and fear. They wanted to run away but their feet refused to move. In confusion, they shrieked. And with that, the head under the long hair tilted and moved upward, and the 3 men saw her face.
It was an innocent looking face of a middle-aged woman. And when she realized where she was, she fainted from fear. They moved her out and closed the grave. In the meantime, she came back in her senses and was shivering with fear. They asked about who she was and what she was doing there. She was living in the nearby village and came there to complete the 40-day course of black magic. That night was the last night but now everything was ruined. She was supposed to knead wheat flour on the chest of a fresh corpse and then make bread of it for her husband. That way he would be obedient and loyal to her forever. Under the strength of magic, she had no fear but now that the spell was broken, she was fear personified. The long winter night was about to end and the men accompanied her into her home and promised her that they would not tell about the events of that night to anybody. They return to their “home”, thinking about that new façade of female. She moves in mysterious ways.
(This is based on real life events as narrated by a band of outlaws some 50 years ago.)
P.S. I am stuck here in my research and also I would not be having Internet so my apologies for not reading and commenting on your blogs. See you soon. Advance Eid Mubarak then.