The Shadow in the House by Tanishq Mittal


This story is written by Tanishq Mittal under the mentorship of Sneha Goel, the best English teacher in Guwahati.


Robbin was a tall boy with messy hair who loved to wear baggy clothes. He wanted to become a police officer after finishing high school. Though he was brave, he behaved like a new teenager when it came to his video chats with his brother. He would sulk when his older brother Derek would say that he did not get time to call. Derek was studying in an M.B.B.S college, AFMC Pune. Both were inspired by their busy parents, their mother was a surgeon and their father was an IPS officer. Derek lived 2 hours away from Robbin, so he could not visit him frequently. But he made sure that he daily talked to Robbin in video chats. If Derek did not have time for Robbin, he at least gave his 10 minutes to him for video calls. One day they were talking in video chats, then something unusual happened, a random person joined their video chat. They both were very confused.

“Who are you?” questioned Derek seriously.

“Can you please turn your video on?” Derek asked again.

Suddenly the camera turned on, and they both were very confused. Derek could see himself from the top corner of the room. Derek turned behind to see who it was. Derek’s video crashed. Robbin saw a sketchy shadow taking his brother. He panicked and took his father’s car and went to Derek’s house. When he reached his house, he saw the doors were open, blood was on the floor then he saw a girl of his age in Derek’s house.

Image Credit: The New York Times

“Where is my brother?’’ Robbin asked her.

“The shadow took him,’’ the girl replied.

“What shadow and who are you?”

“My name is Jaz and there is a shadow who has been kidnapping people for the last 3 weeks.”

“So, what are you doing in my brother’s house?”

“The shadow has taken my father and I have been investigating that shadow for 2 weeks.”

“What you got to know about the shadow?”

“Well, there is a house that people say is haunted. I am not that brave to go alone in the house. Will you help me to find your brother, my father, and many more people that have been kidnapped?”

“Yes, for sure,” Robbin agreed.

That night they slept in Derek’s house because the haunted house was not too far from there. Robbin could not sleep that night remembering his brother when they were young and were mostly alone in the house because their parents went to work. He remembered when Derek used to cook a simple pulao and called it a biryani. He saw a picture in Derek’s room in which they both were smiling. Tears started coming out of his eyes, the pillow was almost soaked. The sun rose and the chirping of the birds started.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaa,” screamed Jaz.

Robbin came out running.

“What happened?” asked Robbin

“Look at the news!”

“Can you just tell me what happened?”

“It is saying that ten more people got kidnapped at night.”

“What? H-H-How? It happened too fast.”

“We should go to the house now. Right?’’

“No, I think shadow comes at night only. It kidnapped ten people without somebody knowing. I think we should go at night,’’ Robbin suggested.

Jaz agreed to Robbin and they both were ready for the night.  As the night fell, they drove to the house. As they went inside, Robbin felt something paranormal. They heard the screeching of bats. Jaz grabbed Robbin’s shoulder. They found nothing on the ground floor, they went upstairs to a room. There was a scratched shelf, an old TV and a messy bed.

“It looks like someone slept on this bed,” said Jaz.

Suddenly a shadow attacked Robbin and started grabbing his neck. Jaz got frightened.

“Do something Jaz…” screamed Robbin in pain.

Jaz threw a pot with cold water in it toward the shadow. The shadow ran away.

“I came to know his weakness! Cold things!” Robbin murmured to himself while caressing his just-strangulated throat.

They hurried out of there in distress, they sat in the car and started driving.  They saw a ten-foot-tall shadow following them. They drove as fast as they could. Instantly they crashed into an ice cream shop. The shadow was coming closer, Jaz took a stick near her and jumped to attack. The shadow grabbed her. Robbin remembered the shadow’s weakness and threw a big ice cream box at him. The shadow melted slowly. Seeing that the shadow had disappeared, they went to the so-called haunted house, they saw all the kidnapped people taped up. They both removed their tapes as quickly as they could.

“DEREK!” screamed Robbin. “DEREK!” again he screamed with all his strength.

A voice answered, “Over here.”

Image Credit: iStock

Robbin saw Derek. His nose was bleeding, Robbin ripped his shirt’s sleeve and put it on Derek’s nose. They saw that some people died from starvation in the room where Derek was kept. They both called the police and an ambulance. The police immediately got the injured people admitted to a nearby hospital.

Robbin took Derek to his house, nursed his wounds, and gave him a painkiller. After that, he slept beside him on a chair. The next morning, Robbin narrated the whole story to Derek and said that it was a great relief that the terror of that shadow had come to an end.

“You said that you crashed into an ice cream parlor. Right!” Derek asked inquisitively.

“Yes.” Robbin looked into Derek’s eyes.

“But is there an ice cream shop in our area? I have never seen it before,” Derek chuckled. “Can you turn on the news? It seems like I have been a prisoner in that house for years and please get me a large breakfast or I will eat anything I set my eyes on.” Robbin turned on the TV.

“Yesterday midnight, eight people reportedly got kidnapped from various parts of the city by a mysterious shadow…” the news flashed.

“What???” Derek was in shock.

“Wait! Brother, what did you say before?” Robbin looked worried.

“I said turn on the TV and bring me a large breakfast.”

“No, before that.”

“There is no ice cream shop in that area.”

“God, we got tricked by the shadow. It’s not over yet.” Robbin could not believe what happened last night.

Ring Ring’ Robbin’s phone rang, it was his mother.

“Hello!” said Robbin.

“Your father is missing!”

Meet the young writer here:

My name is Tanishq which means ‘Jewel’. I was named by my grandpa. I was born on 24th October 2011. My hobbies are to play all sorts of outdoor games but my heart lies in the game of football. My ambition is to become a footballer and I am inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo. People say I am funny and kind but what my close ones know about me is that I forget things and am often clumsy.

Know more about the mentor, Sneha Goel:

Sneha Goel is a British Council–certified IELTS trainer and Scholastic India–mentored short story writer. She is a published author, poet and diarist. Her reviews, blogs, poems, stories and thoughts are appreciated by writers of international repute. Apart from writing, she is passionate about teaching English to children. She teaches English grammar, literature, creative writing, academic writing, story writing, poetry writing and Spoken English to students from class 1 up to grown-ups. To know more about the best English teacher in Guwahati and the services provided by her institute, Young Story Weavers, click here.

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