He had established his reputation with his first story itself. It was a scary story but the readers loved it. With every new story his fame increased; so did his fan following.
Every story was a terrifying ghost story; every story sent shivers down the spine of a reader; every story reaffirmed his status as the best ghost story writer of all times.
Interestingly, the author, who liked to call himself Jeez, had kept himself shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy. No one had met him; no one had even seen him. He was, in a manner of speaking, a mystery personified.
After relentlessly refusing to give interviews for about five years, Jeez agreed to meet Fraenk, the literary critic of prestigious quarterly ‘Literature for All’. It was a pleasant surprise for Fraenk; he was the only critic who had mercilessly trashed Jeez’s stories. But, like everyone else, he too was curious about Jeez and was eager to talk to him.
“I don’t believe in ghosts? Ghosts don’t exist,” Fraenk blurted and immediately regretted his statement.
He felt he should not have started the interview in this manner. What surprised him was the fact that he had prepared a long questionnaire and this was not the first question on his list. But perhaps he had been unnerved by Jeez’s appearance; Jeez had completely shrouded himself, and was even wearing a pair of gloves, a cap and unusually dark sunglasses.
‘But, Mr Fraenk, I believe in ghosts, ghosts exist; how else I could have written such great ghosts stories? You don’t think my stories are great?’
‘No, I have a different……’ Fraenk felt he was losing his self-confidence.
‘To tell you the truth every story that I have written is a true story and all stories have been narrated to me.’ He did not seem interested in Fraenk’s reply.
‘Narrated by whom?’ Fraenk asked with a bit of apprehension.
‘By the ghosts.’
Fraenk was dumbfounded.
‘You think I am pulling a faster one on you? You wonder why would ghosts talk to me; why would they tell me their stories. No?’
Fraenk felt there was something chilling about Jeez. He was unable to utter even a word.
‘The ghosts talk to me because they trust me. Yes, they totally trust me…….for I am one of them…….Mr Fraenk, I too am a ghost,’ said Jeez, almost casually. And, to quell Fraenk’s doubt, he removed his sunglasses.
Jeez then began to slowly unwrap himself. Fraenk looked at him and screamed.
Fraenk’s body was later found in his own bed. Strangely, there was not even a trace of blood in his body.
You can read my earlier posts here