Today's Short Story: The Homecoming background img
February 19, 2016

Short Story: The Homecoming

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Short Story: The Homecoming

Are you looking for something that won’t let you sleep tonight? This short story will definitely creep you out.

Dusk had fallen and the wind was getting colder. It was time for them to come back. They will be home any moment now. She stops reading “The Monkey’s Paw”, a short story by Saki and looks at the vast stretches of nothingness which surround the house.

It will complete 4 years this coming fall and every single day, Jasmine waits for them, sitting by the window. The wait has provided a welcome respite; to cherish beautiful memories, before her children started to grow up and everything changed. They were a happy family, also rich and regal. Her children Chris, 15 and Ben, 12 were exceptionally affectionate, sensitive and humble.

It is getting dark by now and Jasmine goes to the store to take out some candles. She is short of them, she realizes and lights up the last one she has in store. The short story she was reading was about a mother waiting for her child to come back, too.

The divorce, which happened a year and a half after Ben, their second child was born, made her excessively protective of her family. Though she had never had any problems with her children before, a few inevitable changes in Chris were visible lately. Owing to his sensitive teenage years, she tried her best to be understanding and friendly. Yet she had been outraged on discovering a pack or cigarette in his backpack one day. She grounded him for a week which metamorphosed him into a completely different person. Grim, arrogant, impulsive and angry. Very angry!

The little arguments kept increasing, as did the rift in the family. It felt as if an invisible wall had been built up between them, a wall which increased the distance with each passing minute, till it happened. The day is still clearly etched in her mind. She had been home early and it was unusually quiet. On receiving no answer to her incessant calling, she barged into her sons’ room the sight made her feel weak in the knees. The room was pervaded by thick smoke which unmistakably reeked of marijuana. Her boys along with another friend, whom she had never seen or heard of, had turned around in horror. There, that was the exact moment when she had lost control and leashed out her anger like never before. Things got out of hand and the infuriated boys left in Chris’s car. It was exactly fifty one minutes later that she had received the call about their accident. That one call irrevocably changed her life forever.

A cold sweat breaks off at the back of her neck. She abruptly realizes something is different. The Ouija board, the candles and their favorite dinner are set up perfectly. The only change is a slight cold breeze flowing through the window. It caresses her neck and sends a shiver down her spine. She suddenly relaxes and smiles widely, with tears in her eyes.

A wind blows off the candles. Jasmine cries out, “My boys! Oh, my boys. They are home.”

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