Fiction

Ghost

By Ramprasath Rengasamy

A mysterious explosion occurred in the skies over Indian Ocean at 2PM on the 7th of May, 2022. Amidst white clouds, the spark of the explosion was so faint to be seen therefore no one noticed except Kevin, an independent space watcher and a close friend to Dr.Catherine, a biologist and a lead researcher.

It was caused by a meteorite, at an altitude roughly 5 miles in the atmosphere. The explosion broke the meteorite into several small pieces. The Indian Ocean Sea waters absorbed all of them and pretended as if one such event never happened.

Brian’s Honda took a break at the grocery store, en route to Colorado Springs. Priscilla jumped out and stretched her legs and hands. It was post noon on the 14th of May, 2022.

“Go get what you want while I fill the tank” Brian said as he opened the fuel knob at the rear.

Priscilla smiled at Brian as she slipped into the store.

After about ten minutes, when Brian was done filling gas,

“I got some coke, shrimp, and Tuna with Tilapia for us” Priscilla announced as she jumped into the car.

Brian’s Honda rushed to Colorado Springs where he was going to have his vacation at Priscilla’s home.

As Brian rolled his eyes through the interior of the home, he stood transfixed on what he saw through the window. It looked like a ghostly figure peeking at him from a hideout behind a tree.

“What are you staring at, Brian?” Priscilla asked as Brian stared through the window.

“Is there anyone living around this home?” he asked without taking his eyes off of what he stared at.

“Our nearest neighbor is at least 5 football grounds away. Why?” Priscilla said.

As Brian continued to stare, the ghostly figure slowly diminished.

Priscilla then prepared fish and tuna and prepared couple of omelets with bread for their dinner.

They quit the day cuddling each other in bed after dinner.

The next day, they took enough food, water and other supplies along with a tent in a backpack and set out on trekking.

As they walked, Brian suddenly stopped walking as he heard a very feeble hushing sound from the woods. Seeing Brian slowing down and getting curious on something, Priscilla too slowed down and watched over Brian.

He turned around in all directions, trying to spot someone but it was just bushes and woods.   

“I feel like someone is watching us, Priscilla” Brian said again.

“There is nothing in this forest, Brian.” Priscilla tried to convince Brian.

Reluctantly Brian followed Priscilla keeping an eye on the ‘sensed presence’ he was uncertain about.

At night, Priscilla neither took water nor food. Brian had chicken sandwich, banana and water for the night.

“Are you not feeling hungry or thirsty even now, Priscilla? It’s been almost 24 hours since you had food” Brian asked.

“Even I am wondering about it, Brian. I have never stayed a day like this before. Anyway, let me catch up some sleep. Good night” Priscilla said before tugging herself beneath her blanket inside the tent.

Brian switched off the torch light and slipped into deep sleep within seconds as he was already tired.

The next morning when he woke he didn’t find Priscilla next to him. Her blanket was left unfolded. Brian came out of the tent to see no one around.

Brian sought help from the forest rescue team. A search attempt by the rescue team was commissioned. News about Priscilla’s disappearance was aired in all local and international news channels showing Brian weeping in front of the camera briefing how it all happened from his point of view.

     While flipping through the channels, Catherine – biologist and lead researcher – was awestruck on spotting Brian – her adapted son – weeping on the TV.

     From Hong Kong, she immediately booked flight and rental car to Colorado Springs to meet Brian.

     When she reached the foot of Cheyenne Mountains, Priscilla’s missing case had attracted media and law enforcement attention.  

     “I saw you on the television. What happened, Brian?” Catherine asked as soon as she met Brian.

     Brian took time and briefed everything that happened ever since he and Priscilla entered the premise of the home and the ‘sensed presence’ he had.

     Catherine quickly guessed the grip of the situation.

     “I think you should come with me, Brian” she then said firmly to Brian.

     Brian accompanied Catherine to Hong Kong. While Catherine returned back to her pending work, Jet lag lulled Brian to deep sleep in Catherine’s apartment.

     Next day, Catherine’s friend Kevin visited Catherine at her home. Catherine shared with him the reasons for Brian’s sudden visit to Hong Kong.

     Kevin thought for a moment deeply. He then elaborated about the fall of the meteor that he witnessed the other day.

     Connecting the dots, Catherine smelled something fishy.

     That evening, Catherine took a rental yacht, took her microscope along with tackle, hooks, sinkers, floats, swivels and so on and went to the spot where the observatory was last held under water. She then began fishing.

     Strangely, even after spending more than an hour, she picked nothing on her tackle.

     She took her laptop, microscope and got into a small personal submarine pod. The pod had two mechanical arms, which can be controlled using a joystick from inside the pod. Moments later, the pod was dropped into the sea from the yacht using crane.

     She then used the mechanical arm to grab a Mesopelagic fish.

     Meanwhile, outside through the glass window Catherine noticed, her personal pod was being engulfed by seaweed. With the increases floral activity, it didn’t surprise Catherine.

     But what Catherine missed to notice was, slowly and steadily, those underwater algae brought the small pod in their tight grasp.

     Once Catherine got a fish, she took it and extracted its cells. She then used her microscope to analyze the extracts. Her brows furrowed.

     She recalled Brian telling about the tuna and tilapia, Priscilla had on the night they reached Priscilla’s inherited home. She knew that America mainly imported seafood from Hong Kong.

     She also recalled the ghostly figures and the ‘sensed presence’, she and Brian together experienced in the woods.

     She quickly made out what was going on.

     Immediately she pressed on the gear to reach out to the surface of the sea but the propellers of the pod were jammed by the tight grasp of the underwater algae. It was like the algae thought like an animal and hunted its prey.

     She quickly began composing a detailed email in her outlook to let the world know of her findings.

     ‘                                            14-May-2022

                                                    Hong Kong

     A week back one of my friend named Kevin spotted an explosion of a meteorite in the sky. The meteorite broke into small pieces and fell in the Indian Ocean Sea waters. After almost a week, moments ago, at the same spot where the observatory was lost forever, I picked a Mesopelagic fish using the personal pod. I extracted its cells, took samples and analyzed. Such fishes usually live in the bottom of the ocean. It could not have ended up in my pod’s mechanical arm.

     When I dissected the fish, I found no food in its stomach. It was like the fish had not eaten anything for weeks. I performed a cell analysis on the sample and found that the cells of the fish had chloroplast which can only exist in a plant cell. It’s clear that the fish survived making its own food from the light it got. All these force me to conclude that the pieces of the meteorite has created a shimmer that functions like a catalyst fusing animal cells with plant cells.

     I also suspect that the disappearance of Priscilla and Eric, in the woods of Cheyenne Mountains in Colorado Springs has a lot to do with these hybrid creatures. Priscilla and Eric both had consumed the tuna and tilapia exported from Hong Kong. The ghostly figures Brian saw, the night Brian and Priscilla reached Priscilla’s inherited home should be Eric in a human-tree hybrid form. I strongly believe, Priscilla is not missing, she is just not in human form because of the Tuna and Tilapia she consumed. We need to find the pieces of the meteorite from the ocean bed and isolate them. The export of fishes from Hong Kong should be stopped effective immediately.  ‘

     Catherine added email ids of her project mates, Kevin, Brian and key stake holders. She then pressed on the submit button and waited patiently as the outlook tried to send out the email. The laptop took longer than expected and threw an error message on the screen

‘Unable to connect to Internet. Please check your connection’.

     The submarine pod slowly descended to the depth of the ocean with Catherine screaming inside for help.

                         ~ END ~

Categories: Fiction

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