Prologue

(#triggeralert)

Ten years ago

The car raced ahead on the dark road. They called it a national highway, but the street lights were mainly nonfunctional, while some blinked…probably. At least he thought they did… he was stoned on the back seat with that girl in the shimmering red dress that had directed all his blood down south the moment he had seen her.

He hadn’t bothered to see her face in the nightclub where he had gone celebrating his coming of age… yes! Today was his 18th birthday. His friends Gyan and Ruhaan had insisted on partying, and Gyan had got out his father’s Audi stealthily. God bless the guy; the car was no less than the breeze.

He didn’t know the speed limits, and nothing mattered as his hand felt the woman next to him, as she slimily moved on top of him, her tongue frolicking in his softness while his hands took a detour to her secret space.

When did she join them in the car? She was just meant to be dancing. His ajoba (grandfather) would kill him if the old man found out about his rendezvous.

The car sped and began to swerve. He was filling giddy with the stomach filled with booze and drugs. He knew it was a lethal combination, but he needed it more than anything else. He had to forget and that he did.

He had an occasional respite from the fudge state and saw Gyan was dozing at the wheel even as he saw they were approaching a crossroad. The signals didn’t work here, he knew.  

Everything happened in seconds. The shimmery gal pushed him on the seat to spread herself more comfortably as she clumsied away with his Gucci buckle. Ruhaan was snoring, and right as his head hit the leather, there was a loud sound and sparks above him even as warm fluid spilled on him along with something he couldn’t figure out. Was it Diwali already?

The car moved zigzag, crashed into something, and halted, throwing him down his seat into something messy. There was no more weight on him… did she sleep off? Was she stoned too?

He heard some murmurs as he tried to move, and with great effort, he sat up. His head pounded, and the world around him spun as the breeze hit his wet face. What the hell… and it was then he realized the car no longer had a roof.

Wait… what was happening? The effect of drugs started to wane with the increasing sounds of the sirens, and a vehicle facing them flashed its headlights on him.

He covered his eyes at the sensory overload, and as he removed his wet hands with a strange odour, he saw his friends were missing… no wait… they were right there… without heads.

What the fuck? What drug did Gyan procure today? Was he seeing ghosts?

And what was that in the right corner… a trailer? Of course, they had just crossed the highway intersection.

It was then his eyes fell on the headless body of the shimmery gal lying beside him, and it was then he saw his hands wet with blood and gore.

The roof of the car had gone severing the occupant’s heads along its way; he had miraculously escaped? Oh God, Oh God, Oh God….

He looked up to see horrified pairs of eyes as came in the eye of the storm of their reactions, all muffled to his doped head.

They swam before his eyes, and the world spun again violently as he surrendered to darkness.

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