A blood curdling screech echoed through the onyx sky, making Hansraj cower in fear. Hansraj was the owner of Tiltop Guesthouse, and since a fortnight shrieks from the treehouse had been disturbing both his sleep and his business.
He whispered to the maître d’, “Did you hand the nimbu-mirchi at the main entrance?”
“Yes Sir and I already sprinkled mustard seeds at the forest boundary.”
“The guests have started asking about the nightly noises now and the locals have been vocal about the tree house ghost!”
The next day among the mass checkout, was a single check in – Vipul, a young adventurous travel blogger.
Hansraj went out of his way to welcome him with complimentary cocktails and a free meal upgrade. In the evening, after a few drinks, he opened up about the haunted tree house.
“I w-wanted to build a bar there to expand my business! And now am out of business because of that ghost!”
You believe in these hocus-pocus?
“Yes Vipul, I have seen monstrous shadows looming in the corridors along with weird screams from the treehouse every night.”
The treehouse lore piqued his curiosity and Vipul longed to visit the tree.
An ear-splitting scream reverberated around, Vipul crouched beneath the tree, waited then stealthily climbed up. When he peered inside, he was aghast!
Vipul remained in deep reflection after that night and no one dared approach him thinking he was ‘possessed’ by the treehouse spirit.
“Things are sinister, we have to call an exorcist.” He suggested, breaking out of his trance after the maitre d’ tapped his shoulders with a broom.
The next day Vipul, Hansraj and an exorcist headed to the tree house.
“A very evil spirit is in there, and if we cut the treehouse, she will be furious. So we have to lock this negative energy with a ring of positive energy.”
“Yes baba, gold ring, silver ring just name it, I will arrange for it.” exclaimed Hansraj.
“A ring of trees… sixteen saplings need to be planted in the perimeter of the tree, I will infuse each of them with strong protective shield.”
At the crack of dawn, after planting the sanctified saplings, Vipul and the priest went into the treehouse to ‘appease’ the ghost.
“Phew, it wasn’t an easy job to be posing as an exorcist,” he said removing his rosary beads and wig.
“Better be a priest for one day rather than screeching at nights in that treehouse, Bunty!”
“I just wanted to stop the deforestation!”
“I realized that Hansraj was deeply into superstitions. So I devised this plan fast before he hired lumberjacks from the city to cut down this last tree.” said Vipul.
“Atleast their blind faith was used for something fruitful. He will never dare cut these trees again!”
“But what about the weird shadows Hansraj was talking about?”
“That’s just his drunken mind playing tricks on him.”
Vipul chuckled, “Next time you need trees planted just give a shout, I mean a howl.”
Nimbumirchi – a combination of a lemon along with seven chillies tied together to ward off evil spirits.
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