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Horror Story: The Fire Goblin

 (This story is based on true events)
1. My story begins…

Even though by mistake, now you have already come under this tree in this shattered fort! So, please sit down under this tree! That side! Yes. Sit there! Good! Now relax! And listen to me! I will tell you a story! 

Do you want to know how a small unintentional mistake can make you suffer for a lifetime? 
Now I am sitting on this tree guarding this hive. It is my permanent responsibility to check if someone is stealing honey from the hive. All the time I sit on the tree. I am fed up of this life but I am helpless.

Listen carefully to my story! Don't go away in the middle of the story! It may cost you your life! While I tell you the story, full moon will come out in the sky! I bet, you will like it and its cool white light! Now listen to me carefully! Don’t get scared! I am your friend, now or soon after! Let me come near your ear!

2. DAY 1: Trouble invited!

So, it was the year 1960 in India. At that time we were living in a small village in Maharashtra called Dhamner. All those incomprehensible events happened with us in this village.

At that time, my father was working as a primary school teacher in a Taluka Place (town) called Shinkpur, which was near to Dhamner. He had got transferred to that school recently. We both the not-same-looking twins were of age 14 at that time. My brother Raaj who was two minutes small of my age. We would go to the school in Dhamner because travelling daily to Shinkpur for both of us was expensive and not affordable. Shinkpur was expensive and hence we were all living in Dhamner.

“Jay, haven’t finished your bathe yet? Hurry up! Raaj is waiting. Come out of the bathroom!” my mother (whom we would call Maai) shouted at me. It was 9 am. She was making Bhakri on an earthen stove.

“Hey! Finish early! You go inside the bathroom ahead of me and take a lot of time! That’s not done ha!” Raaj shouted on me.

I came out of the bathroom hurriedly by moving the curtain aside and wiping my body with towel. Raaj entered into bathroom teasing me.

“Maai, see! Daily he gets up late and goes to bathroom first!” Raaj told Maai.

Tatya, my father was listening to the radio while getting ready for his school. Hearing us fight, he switched off radio and came out with his usual attire of white kurta, Gandhi topi and dhoti. He yelled on us, “Shut up you two! Why you daily quarrel at bathing time?” and hit me on my head with his hand. I started crying.

Tatya started cleaning his cycle with a towel.

“Your tiffin is ready. Crushed baked green chili mixed with onion and bhakri is today’s menu! Also, I have given your favorite crushed salty Papad with chutney!” Maai said while giving Tatya the tiffin made of a cloth (viaticum).

“Children! Go to school and study! Don’t bother your Maai while I am away!” He sat on his cycle saying this.

Crying I said, “But, I get the beating even if we both quarrel equally!”

Tatya said, “Ok then, I will decide alternative days for you to get the beating!” and went away!

Raaj was teasing me from inside the bathroom calling me fire goblin, “See, how our coward fire goblin is crying!” 

In the village, little children funnily call each other as fire goblin. They were not aware who it was but I would always become aghast at the mention of the name – fire goblin. On that day, while going to school, I was thinking only of the fire goblin.

Raaj would go to school in his group which was different from mine.

Me and my friend Bhanu were walking to school. It was a raw earthen pathway. No concrete roads. School was 4 kms away. We were passing by a rivulet. Bhanu asked me why I was so gloomy. I didn’t tell him the silly reason that I was scary of the fire goblin’s mention by my brother Raaj.

While discussing casually, a strange looking honey-bee started hovering over my head. I shoved her away but it started coming to me again and again and was about to bite me but again I shoved her away more strongly this time. Suddenly on the left side I noticed a hive. With a will to revenge, I picked a pebble from ground and threw it towards the hive. However, the pebble went near the hive, stopped in air and came back towards me with the same speed. I moved away in lightning speed otherwise one of my eyes would have cracked. Bhanu was watching all this in surprise.

While nothing happened to the honey-bees in the hive, they came together in air forming a big hollow sphere, as if they were whispering something in each other’s ears. This was not something usual.

Bhanu said, “Why are you troubling those small creatures? Leave it!”

 “No. I did it just like that!” I said embarrassingly and avoided to discuss further on that and said, “Let’s get out of here!” 

I put that pebble in my pant pocket and we headed towards school. 

At 4 pm in the afternoon, I came back home from school. There was a farm nearer to our house. A hamlet was seen close to the field. Two bulls were tied to a wooden pillar near the hamlet. 

The asynchronous ringing sound of the bells tied around their neck of the bulls would always feel very melodious to my ears. In addition to such a natural music, a cool breeze would come on my face. I would always stare for hours to them listening to music and enjoying the breeze by sitting on a wooden bed kept in yard.

I hailed at Maai to inform her about my coming back from school. I took water from the big earthen water pot using an aluminum vessel and drank it. Yesterday night we brothers had helped Maai to make laddoos and had slept late. Hence I was feeling sleepy in this afternoon. Hence, I lied down on the wooden bed woven by ropes. Meanwhile Maai was cleaning the yard and went inside.

While lying on the bed, I noticed that the pebble in my pocket suddenly started becoming hot. Not being able to bear the hotness, I hurled the pebble high in the backside of our house. I wondered how it happened suddenly?

After some time when I was looking at the blue sky and the white random shaped clouds, a honey bee came to my ears and started humming. But the humming was unusual as if she was talking something into my ears. It was humming “gurr gunn gurr gunn”. I shoved her away but it adamantly kept coming to me. I was feeling too lazy to apply my full force on her as I was feeling dizzy and sleepy. All of a sudden the size of the honey bee started growing. It grew bigger and bigger and started going up in the clouds. With her growing size, her humming sound got more and more amplified and became deafening. 

The size now was so big that it occupied most of the sky above me and hence darkness started falling. She reached the big cloud finally and caught fire suddenly. And hence the cloud also started burning. And it started raining. Rain of flames! Rain of sparks! Big drops of flames started coming down from the cloud towards me. 

The flames were coming to me. Closer and closer…

The brown-black indecent, detestable, tacky and glorified bee was beyond bearable to my senses and eyes. The deafening sound was equally unbearable to my ears…

The hundreds and thousands of flame droplets were coming towards me…

I screamed from the bottom of my heart and throat…

And got up and sat on the wooden bed with the wetness of sweating...

And the honey bees and the fire of droplets now didn’t seem to exist…

Even the clouds and the blue sky were serene… Still I had goosebumps. For a longer time.
Then I realized that I had a bad dream in day’s sleep. It was a nightmare in broad daylight. Was the dream a result of my fear out of hurling the pebble to the hive and its consequences or it was indicative of something else? A bad omen? I chose not to tell about this to mother as I knew she wouldn’t have bothered about it.

Tatya came home in the evening. After homework and playing, we all gathered in courtyard and had dinner of Khichadi and pickle. There was also cucumber salad included.

Yet we didn’t have electricity in our house. We couldn’t afford it. We would pass the days and nights with lantern only. Post dinner, we put wooden bed in courtyard and spread our beds over it. Blowing off the lantern, we all got asleep.

It must be around 10 pm in night but I hadn’t slept yet. Looking at sky while lying on my wooden bed, I recalled the afternoon’s dream and I shivered with fear. And because of that, the usual melodious sound of the bells tied around the bullocks’ neck felt mysterious to me. And slowly sleep took me over…

Two honey bees started coming out from the cloud in the sky. They started coming down towards me. Two more and 4 more and so on... They became uncountable and were coming towards me. The cloud looked as if it was a hive. Like rain drops, they were pouring downwards…

I scared so much that I felt like going for urine…

And suddenly there was nothing in the clouds. Was it again a hallucination or dream? Like in the afternoon?

It must be midnight when I woke up. The dream was not real but urine feeling was real. I couldn’t gather courage to go inside home and see what the time was. I got up and went towards bathroom.

While peeing, I could see from bathroom window a big old banyan tree. Its dangling branches were looking in the moonlight to me as if they are hands of people climbed upside down on the tree.

While such scary thoughts were taking control of my mind, a white man-like figure came from behind the tree. It was looking very scary in the white moonlight. Was it a fair skinned man or a Satan? He directly started looking at me. Directly into my eyes! Through the window!

While looking at me, he sat down making strange gestures and again got up. Again sat down. Then he started smiling intriguingly and got up. He then leaned on the tree, looked up at the moon in the sky. While looking at the moon, he smiled as if someone was waving hands towards him from the surface of the moon.

Then he captured few branches of the tree and started swinging. However while doing so, he was continuously looking at me without moving his eyelids. The other branches also started moving automatically as he was swinging. He was also uttering something beyond my understanding. 

It was end of my tolerance of scariness and immediately I started running out of the bathroom and the curtain of bathroom fell on my head.

I went to Tatya and said, “Ta... Ta… Tatya, A white demon is there! A white spook!”

Hearing this Maai woke up but Tatya didn’t. I removed the curtain from my head. Then Tatya woke up. I told him in short what I saw under the tree.

Tatya told me to first relax and keep calm. 

Tatya gave me a glassful of water, ignited the lantern and said, “Let’s go! Show me where your white Satan is?” 

Raaj was insisting on coming with us but Tatya denied saying, “I will call u if we need you. Someone needs to be with Maai” Maai and Raaj went inside the house.

Our earthen house was little bit away from main locality. The people in nearby locality might have fallen fast asleep and our voices may not have reached them because no one seemed to have woke up. Tatya took me to the tree. I was still scared in my mind though I was not showing it from outside. The branches were still waving but the white Satan wasn’t there!!
“But he was here! Right here! He was swinging!” I said to Tatya by recalling in mind the Satan’s scary and eye locking swings.

“Ok. Let us see from the other side of the tree from where it appeared as you had said,” said Tatya giving me some courage.

We both came to the backside of the tree. The chirping sound of crickets was very irritating. The sounds of bells tied in bullocks neck was coming. Our walking on the dry leaves of trees on ground was making big sound in the night silence. 

The nearby farm in darkness! And those many scarecrows standing spreading their hands! So scary! 

"Vhyom...Vhyom", making this sound the white Satan suddenly appeared hanging upside down by thrashing his face in front of our faces, swinging and laughing. His eyes were lit with redness which was making him look scarier. Tatya also got scared for a while with such strange white creature in human form but he got recovered very soon from the fear. It was seen from his calm face.

I screamed a lot and said, “This is the Satan I was talking about!"

Unexpectedly next moment, Tatya pulled him down by holding his chin with strong grip. The Satan fell down on his head. I was so admiring Tatya at the moment that I can't explain it in words. The Satan whom I got scared too much was now pulled down on ground by Tatya! Vaah!

When Tatya pulled him down, the whole huge tree shivered for a while and all the dangling branches started swinging together.

The dried leaves were making sounds. The Satan after falling down got bewildered. When all this was happening, I was watching it by standing bit away and resting against the tree trunk. Tatya put the lantern in a hollow space inside the tree and started searching for any stick nearby. And he hot one!

He started picking up the stick and said, "So you are Satan? What the hell Satan are you! I can easily beat you with this thick stick! You are an idiot and not a Satan, understand?"

Suddenly in a lightning speed, the white Satan got up from ground...

And started running towards the village locality. There was no point in running behind him with stick because he ran through thorny bushes. After going ahead till a safe distance, he stopped and turned back towards us. He watched us with furious sparks in his eyes in such a way that we both trembled with fear for a while. And in the dark bushes he disappeared...
Tatya took back the lantern and the thick stick and said, "Let’s go back to our house Jay!"

"Tatya you are a very courageous person. I am proud of you!” I couldn't stop admiring him.
After this incident, we all spent whole night without sleeping. At 5 am, we all slept little with an anonymous fear on face…. 

3. DAY 2: Evening

The new day rose. The usual morning Sun was mysterious and gloomy.

In sleepy mood, all of us did our daily morning tasks.

Tatya might have discussed with his colleagues in Dhamner village about our experience definitely because when he returned home from school that day, without even stopping for drinking sip of water, he asked me hurriedly and angrily, “Did you trouble a hive yesterday?"
This sudden question of his caused me tremble with fear. I was looking at Raaj and Maai one by one. What will happen next?

Tatya almost thunderstrormed on me and said, "Tell me! I asked you something, right?"

I said while trembling, "Me... me... on aft... Aft... afternoon!"

Tatya said, "Explain everything what you did! Otherwise we will be gone! I will not scold you. Tell me what happened on yesterday afternoon?"

I got assurance that Tatya was concerned about security of all of us. 

Then I started talking without any fear, “Yes yes! Yesterday I hurled a pebble at a hive near the rivulet but but..."

Tatya shacked my shoulders and said, "But what? Tell me!"

I said, “The pebble returned back to me and I avoided my face otherwise..."

Tatya: "Oh no! The mistake is committed! A big big mistake!"

Me: “What mistake?"

Tatya said, "Discussions with my colleagues made me learn that no one in this village ever dare to trouble honey bees. Especially when full moon is near. Also, no one ever collects honey from any hive here! If done, the "Fire Goblin" who is protector of all honey bees takes revenge!"

Slowly in my mind I started realizing why I got the scary honey bee dreams!

Tatya kept saying further, "While on the way to your school, a small rivulet passes by. Near to that is a mountain. There are many trees on it. If you climb up more, you could notice a fort. But it's not a fort but a fort-like structure from historical era. It's been derogated now. But people of this village call it a fort. Many people see a burning fire emerging from the fort going towards the trees. It floats in the air while moving towards trees. So people call it a goblin which looks like a fire because the fire's shape looks like a goblin!"

Gulping, the breathless me asked, "So, the white Satan we saw yesterday is the fire goblin?"

By now we all had gathered in yard sitting on a big mat...the lantern kept nearby... and the white moonlight illuminating our faces!

Tayta: "No! The white Satan is none other than a mad man in this village!"

Me: "What? A mad man?"

Cutting our conversation Maai said, "What foolish deeds you do Jay thoughtlessly! Disgusting!"

Raaj: "Maai, first let us listen to what both are talking!"

Tatya: "So listen! That yesterday's white Satan is a mad man. He once got caught by Fire Goblin and from that day he became full mad. He lives in the fort and for last few days he was not seen in this village!"

Maai again sarcastically said, "See! Our Jay brings mad men back to their hometown!"

Raaj: "Maai, let's first listen the full story. Don't comment in between!"

Tatya: "When I dictated our experience to my colleagues and few other people, they were sure that it was that mad man. Merely throwing pebble at the hive made the fire goblin rise and mad man some back!"

I asked further, "But why the fire goblin had caught this mad man?"

4. Flashback: Mad man and Honey-thirsty horde!

Tatya: "Listen carefully! Veterans in the village told me that once a strange looking horde had come to this village who were honey collectors and also ample honey drinkers. For money, this mad man (who wasn't mad at that time) helped the horde with the ways to collect honey and kill the honey bees brutally. On one full moon night they killed lakhs of honey bees and collected huge amount of honey!"

Raaj asked: "But I don't understand why they were drinking so much honey? From where did the horde come?"

Tatya said, "No one knows from where the horde came from!? But people say they were from Aghori cult which is a rebel section of black demons. They always drink honey very much. On a full moon night, they do a yagna in which they offer tons of honey and honey bees. It was their belief that, it would give them some special power. But on a full moon night, when the mad man suggested them the hundreds of brutal ways to capture, burn, torch and kill honey bees and when they started the yagna and drank tons of honey, immediately they died due to multiple injuries on all of their body from which a black honey mixed with blood came out. The injuries were so painful that their screams were heard for next 6 days even after they died! This happened because of the brutal killings of honey bees which returned back after death in the form of fire goblin. No insect died such a painful death like those mass deaths of honey bees on the full moon night. On full moon night, special Satanic forces fly in the air more strongly and help the bees’ spirits to take revenge! "
All of us were listening breathlessly!

I asked, “Then what happened next?"

Tatya said, "When the man saw the horrible shape of fire goblin, he started running but the goblin injured him all over the body. That full moon midnight, he ran away directionless!"
Raaj said, "So scary! What next. Where did he go?"

Tatya said, “He ran over many dead bodies in cemetery that midnight in full moonlight. Few dead bodies started moving their hands, tried to open their eyes inside the grave wishing that the goblin would give them power and take them out. Some dead bodies came out of the grave. Seeing that the man became full mad. The horde was found dead next morning and the mad man started wandering in the village telling people about fire goblin and the horde. Later, people threw him away from the village. Still people see him in the fort sometimes but he doesn't come in village. But yesterday he came because you invoked the fire goblin unintentionally! He gets possessed by goblin around full moon days!"

Hearing all this, we all got horrified very much.

Raaj asked, "But then, where did the mad man go yesterday?"

Tatya: "Today morning at 5 am, some people saw him crying and beating his chest on the top of the fort! News has spread in the village that the mad man is back and fire goblin will follow!"

5. Plans to escape!

I asked, "So, what should we do now?"

Tatya firmly said, "Only one thing we can do now. As suggested by some of my well-wishers, we have to pack our bags and baggage and go permanently to the Shinkpur village where I work as a teacher. This will save us and the villagers here from the fire goblin. In fact people in this village will start troubling us because we have become responsible for invoking the fire goblin. I will check a rental room tomorrow in Shinkpur village!"

Irritatingly Maai said, "What a trouble our irresponsible Jay has created for us!"

Me, "Maai, I didn't do anything intentionally. In fact, no honey bee was even injured with my pebble. On the contrary, the pebble came back to me in speed which could have damaged my eyes!"

Maai shouted, "But idiot boy! Even though unintentionally, why to trouble and hurl pebbles at harmless insects?"

Me, "But, I didn't know all this history behind it Maai. Even I had taken that pebble with me carrying in my pocket!"

Maai, "What?? You carried that pebble with you at home? Why? Throw it away, right away!"
Me, “Actually, on the same day afternoon, I threw it towards the banyan tree!"

Maai, "Oh no! Why did you do such things? I am illiterate but I have common sense to sense that the pebble had become possessed and you brought bad powers with you at home, Jay! Disgusting!"

Tatya, "Whatever happened is happened. We can't reverse it. The only thing we have to do is to stay safe till we move out from this village! I will do the needful tasks tomorrow and will make immediate plans to leave this village! While I will be away, you all need to be very very careful and vigilant! Understand?"

Raaj always liked science. He said, “I don't believe all your theory dad! Merely hurling pebbles at some harmless flying creatures can't invoke spooks. It's ridiculous!"

Before Tatya could answer him, Maai shouted at him, "Oh! Now our new age smart scientist boy will invoke something by teaching us science and will add to our trouble, right?"

Though Maai was illiterate, she was famous for making harsh sarcastic comments.

Tatya said, "Raaj. We need to believe some mysterious things in the world sometimes. Are you planning to do some litmus tests or any laboratory experiment to detect what was the real matter in yesterday's case?"

Maai said, "No science! No litmus! Only listen us!"

Raaj, "You all are making fun of science!"

Tatya, “See Raaj. I only understand one thing. When our life is under stake and threat, we shouldn't start arguments on science versus spirituality or science versus Satanism. Instead we should implement ways to get away from life the threatening situation. No matter, who is taking us out of the trouble: science or superstition! After all, if we died, then the science vs superstitious arguments will become useless for our dead bodies!"

I admired Tatya for handling the situation in mature way. He is an ideal example of a person who can save his family in such emergency situations.

We ended our discussion and went to sleep. That night after we slept, nothing happened! Nothing at all. Night was calm. Cool. The ringing bells tied around Bullock's neck were making melodious sound. No one experienced anything sinister. Clouds were calmly moving in the moony sky. The tree leaves were slowly and very slowly moving, making melodious rustling sound. All were sleeping a deep sleep. Vaguely I remember to hear sound of Tatya waking up for drinking water (or doing something else?) twice or thrice during night. Not even a single honey bee troubled me in night. Neither in dream nor in reality!

6. DAY 3 starts!

Serene and deep sleep was over and a beautiful morning took over the sky. With a very tranquil mentality, we all woke up. The Sun was looking bright in the sky. While I was cleaning my teeth in the yard, I looked at the banyan tree. It was looking brightest ever till date. Then I suddenly remembered the horrible events of yesterday.

Tatya were gone in early morning. While leaving home he assured us that he will be back with all the plan to leave this village permanently. But, while leaving home Tatya was looking very different and uneasy. 

We both didn't go to school that day. But we met all our friends. Maai also met her acquaintances in the village. Only few in the village were fully aware of the events happened with us and they had sympathy towards us. Had I known about the history of goblin, I would never have touched any insect at all in this village, not even an ant. Most of the villages have such stories but we never bother to listen to them considering them myths and then it may put us in trouble sometimes. 

Tatya came home in the evening. He had paid all the pending bills. He also had removed our names from our schools. He had avoided to tell everyone the reason for our migration. He declared that tomorrow we all would leave this village in two bullock carts. First state transport but was at 7 am in the morning. But with all luggage and us we couldn't afford its fare. So we decided to go by the carts. The last bus of the day was at 6 pm in the evening. A rental home was found by Tatya in the new village. It was costly in that village but there was no other alternative available. Maai put all clothes, utensils and some other important stuff in a gunnysack.

We brothers filled all put stuff inside another gunnysack. So totally there were 5 sacks. And there were few small bags also. Tomorrow there would be one more sack for on time stuff.
That night, in yard we sat and ate dinner in lantern light. The dinner was masala khichadi (spicy hotchpotch) with pickle and Papad. So without blaming each other we were silently eating dinner with usual chatting.

A radio was kept beside the mat. Binaka Geetmala (Super hit Hindi songs countdown program) was playing. Mr Amin Sayani was anchoring the program and playing hit after hit songs. Later news came.

When we slept after dinner in yard, nothing happened. The night started very calm. The moon was enjoying hide and seek with naughty clouds. What a great moonlight was spread everywhere!

The Bullock's bells felt melodious than ever to the ears. Till midnight no one got any trouble. Clouds were cool. Winds were flowing slowly. Tree leaves were moving in a harmony. I had a feeling that why at all are we leaving such a great home and village?!!

7. The long Midnight

It must be 12 at midnight. I heard that the radio kept on table inside our house started making a strange sound. The sound was like thousands of green insects are hovering over our head!

"Am I in my dream?” I asked myself. I was on wooden bed in the yard. I was really confused whether I was in dream or in reality! One moment I felt I am in dream and another moment I felt I am hearing the sound in real. I tried to open my eyes! But... Oh no! What was this happening?

I was unable to open my eyes. I felt as if some invisible force has tied me to the wooden bed. And the volume of the sound was increasing with every minute!

Suddenly I heard the familiar voice, "Vhyom. Vhyom!" What was that sound?

Yes! The voice of the white Satan? No! The mad man! Is he back?

And the chirpy sound in the radio? Oh! It seems like the sound of angry honey bees. But why the sound feels to be coming from radio? I wished to put my hands on my ear but couldn't because I was unable to move my hands. How come?

I tried to get up on bed but alas! I was not able to move my body!

Frightened due to this I wanted to scream but oh no! I was unable to open my mouth to utter any letter from it! Something sinister invisible thing started pressing something on my mouth!

Suddenly the radio sound stopped. Vhyom sound stopped. And the pebble which I had thrown to the hive on that day came towards my chest from nowhere and rested on my chest. But its weight was felt as if it is 100 KG. 

I sensed that time has suddenly moved forward. In fact, I was unable to figure out the time around me. Had I moved to some another time zone?

I noticed Tatya, Maai, Raaj and few unknown people in my village around my wooden bed. They all were trying me to detach me from the bed. Oh No! Was I dead?

Some also tried to detach my bed from ground but in vain!

Fortunately, I was not dead! Slowly I was able to move my hands, legs, mouth and body. But I was in no position to speak anything to anyone and explain what I was going through! I felt unconscious!

When I gained my consciousness back, I saw a large honey bee troop had attacked our house. Yes! That was fire goblin. How horrible looking it was! I do not want to explain its shape to you otherwise you will not be able to sleep your lifetime. The white mad man was sitting under the banyan tree and looking at the moon. And laughing! Endlessly!

I guessed that Tatya might have decided to leave the village in the night itself due to return of the white mad Satan and the goblin. I could see myself on a bullock cart with a dead looking driver along with Maai and Raaj, some stuff and the radio. No one was speaking! Another bullock cart with another deadly looking driver contained gunnysacks, buckets and other stuff. We all were injured due to honey bee bites. And Tatya was coming behind the two bullock carts on his cycle! 

Someone had said that it was 3 am in night. But who said it? The voice didn't belong to Raaj.. Neither to Maai. Who said it? 

By now the honey bees' troop had started playing with the mad white Satan. The mad man was enjoying playing with them. In the moonlight we could see the mad man running with thousands of honey bees flying around him and him looking at the moon and laughing horribly! At least the bees were not after us! Thank God?

We felt a relief. Now the only aim of ours was to reach another village. Yet at least one hour was remaining! No one was really in position to talk.

Through the darker road with bushes and trees around, our bullock carts and Tatya's bicycle were moving forward. By now the mad man and honey bees were out of our sight. The only sound now was the movement of bullocks, their bells! The drivers were driving the carts without looking at us! Who were they? A lantern on each cart was tied to ahead to get light for driving. And lantern was kept near us. 

Calmly we were travelling. The honey bee bites were paining. 

Calm road. Calmer travel.

It was a wonder that without being tired, Tatya was cycling. Looking at us with a straight eye. No emotions on his face. Nothing!

Oh no! The lanterns were about to blow off. But the moonlight was to help us at least! It was reaching less to us due to bigger trees beside the roads but still it was okay. Raaj rested on Maai's lap and her hand on my shoulder. I was looking constantly backwards towards Tatya who was coming behind us. 

I couldn't believe my eyes! Tatya started looking at the moon and smiled in a bizarre manner. 

And to tell the same to Maai and Raaj when I turned at the front side, I found that the drivers on both carts were missing. 

The lanterns suddenly blew off! 

Dark! Total dark! Dark under the moon!

And the moon also suddenly got switched off. Literally like we switch off the light!

Darkness fell under the dark moon!

All sounds stopped. No sounds of bullocks! No sounds of bells.

For a moment, in the darkness I witnessed in a sudden light that the mad man was swinging on a tree over us with his legs tied to the tree and his laughing face downwards the ground. Exactly above my head. And in next second, no one was there! Again darkness. This time darker!!

And I lost all my fear! Don't know why? 

I shouted, "Tatya, Maai, and Raaj!!" No reply! Silence! I tried to touch them in the darkness. Maai and Raaj were there. But motionless!

And the moon got switched on! 

Now we all along with cycle and bullock carts were floating and flying in the air. I could see stars right near us. I could touch one of them! Many of them!

No... No!! They were not stars! No! They were honey bees. This time bigger in size!

The fire goblin had captured us!! All of us!! I lost the sense of time! We all were now inside the shattered fort ill-famous for the goblin. In a window of the fort, was sitting the mad man, this time more scary looking and waiting for us with fire in his eyes…

The radio suddenly switched on and a voice from inside it said in whispering mode, "Hey! Hey! No one can go back once came to this fort" 

And I also without my own control said in the same whispering voice, "But, we didn’t come here with our own will!"

The voice in the radio said, "That doesn't matter anyway!"

Who was he? I felt unconscious! 

When I woke up, I felt my body was very light and I was flying. Oh! I had become a honey bee. Maai and Tatya and Raaj! All had become honey bees and became an integral part of the fire goblin.

And the mad man!! He is now our best friend! We all dwell happily in the fort. We are part of fire goblin now. 

8. My story ends here but…

Now you are sitting under this tree and listened to my story. I am Jay in the form of honey bee! 

Raaj, Maai and Tatya are nearby! Flying! Enjoying!

I know you had come by mistake inside this fort. So, I invite you to become a part of fire goblin! You may wonder that you didn't trouble any honey bee then why should you suffer? 

Because, I purposely told you to sit down where a lot of honey bees were sleeping inside a shallow tunnel under ground. 

When you sat down, all of them died! 

Check your backside and you will find some bees stuck to you and dead! 

Now, you can't escape from here! 

No! No! Don't run! 

Our white Satan will easily catch you! Beware! 

He is our slave now! He is sitting on another branch of this tree! Smiling at the moon. Waiting for you!!

And hey! See up in the sky! 

Noticed the moon? Beautiful! Say him hello!