Excerpt from The Taxi Ride:
Tharunika walked down the dimly-lit road, pulling her overcoat closer to shield her from the cold. She hoped she could spot a cab soon to get out of the street. She had a feeling that she was being followed. However, every time she turned back, there was no one there. She convinced herself that whoever was following her was facing the same problem as her — poor visibility due to the fog. Sweat dripped down her back sending a chill down her spine. Oh god, I need a taxi. Now! she thought.
As if in answer to her prayers, a car screeched to a halt next to her. The driver slammed the brakes, kicking up a lot of dust. Startled, she jumped back a few paces. Tharunika realized she was overreacting. She opened the door and was about to get in, when she heard a thwack behind her. She turned around. Once again, there was no one there. She frowned and got into the car. “Where, madaaaam?” asked the driver turning back. She saw his face.
Tharunika pushed herself back into her seat and tried not to panic. The driver had dark circles around his deep-set eyes, bushy eyebrows and an unusually large forehead. His face was covered in small, circular scars, how menacing!
As the driver pulled away, Tharunika rummaged through her handbag, trying to find her cell phone. “You said something, madaaaam?” the driver asked, flashing his tobacco-stained teeth. She looked up, the disgust obvious on her face. “No . . . just looking for something.” “You don’t like my face, madaaam?” he asked, all of a sudden. His eyes glinted at her through the rear-view mirror. “Huh? What? No, nothing like that, sir,” she replied timidly.
“My brother loved to burn holes,” the driver said. “I was sleeping one afternoon when he was playing with a thin stick. He put it in the fire and waited for it to become hot. Then he looked around the house to see what he could burn.” “Please, just stop. I don’t want to hear any more,” said Tharunika.
The driver did not listen to her. “He saw me sleeping on the sofa and gave me these scars.” Encouraged by the look of utter horror and fear on Tharunika’s face, he continued. “Don’t worry. I took my revenge. He will never light a match again.” He guffawed in a manner that terrified Tharunika. His face, his words and his evil smile repulsed her. “Please let me out here!” she said, panicking. The driver didn’t stop the car. He carried on as if he hadn’t heard her.
How much more sinister does this story become? Does Tharunika reach her destination safe or is there a twist in the tale?
Read the rest of this story from the collection, The Taxi Ride and Other Spooky Stories, to find out. This is a group of spine-chilling short stories about murderous spirits, chopped fingers, a teacher with a terrifying secret, a deadly shadowy mist in a room, a mysterious wall, a chain email’s evil powers, and a little boy talking to his dead grandmother, that have the ability to unnerve you.
If you don’t believe in ghosts, think again. Read this collection late at night, tucked under your blanket with only a torch to light the pages. Or read the stories with your friends, holding each other’s hands for comfort.
These stories are written by the Compass Fellows, or the travelling storytellers of the Book Lovers’ Program for Schools. After the lessons for the day were over, the children would ask for spooky stories, and the storytellers would oblige. If the class said a story was not scary enough, the storytellers would make it scarier.
Once, a child fainted while listening to a scary story in class.
You’ve been warned. Muhahaha.