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The Railway Slipper

My husband suggested using used railway slippers for the construction of a platform for our bed. I got online and found a source selling at a very good rate.

When the platform was ready, it was beautiful, rustic and full of the old world charm. We decided to repaint the room as well to create ambience. Laying the mattress on the platform meant having to stoop down to get into bed but it made the view of the ceiling a little more awesome when I lie down. The ceiling looked so high, it almost felt as if I am sleeping under a white sky.

The 1st night, I slept right through till morning. I had been so exhausted from cleaning up after the carpenters left. But on the 2nd night, I lay awake reading. Then, I heard it.

At first, it was very faint. I could not figure out where it was coming from. It was a woman crying. I sat up, trying to see if I can find out where it was coming from. At first, I thought it may be from the television downstairs but it was all dark, which meant everybody is asleep. Maybe it was the neighbour's television, I thought. But it sound a lot nearer than that. After a while, it stopped and I fell asleep.

The next morning, I asked my husband if he heard anything but being a heavy sleeper, he did not. "Perhaps, it WAS the neighbour's TV. Sometimes, when everything is quiet, sound can travel" he suggested.

That night, I heard it again. It was about 2.45AM. Again, it was very faint but this time, I could hear the woman saying something. It sounded like, Ah Roo. It was repeated over and over again, in between sobs. I woke my husband up. But he was too sleepy to comprehend what I was trying to tell him. By that time, which was about 3AM, it had stopped.

Right the very next night, I begged my husband to stay awake with me till 2.45AM and so he did. But we did not hear anything so by then, husband thought it may be my imagination. "Don't read stimulating books in bed anymore. That's perhaps why you are imagining stuff. Books by Stephen King should be read in the day". Needless to say, I was a little upset.

But I did do as suggested, no stimulating books or movies before bedtime. I decided to even give coffee and tea a miss. But I heard it AGAIN! This time it was louder. This time I could make out that the woman was saying something in the Indian language. But as always, it stopped at 3AM.

The next morning, I decided to do a little investigation. I called up the railway slippers supplier. I asked him where these slippers came from. He told me it was from a small town in the south. The slippers I bought were the ones near the station.

I drove to the town and spoke to the station master. He is a young man, only promoted to the position a year ago after the old station master retired. And by then, the slippers have already been replaced. But I managed to get the address of the old station master and I went to see him.

When I saw the old station master, I asked him if he knew of any strange incidents at the station. He was reluctant to say anything at the beginning. "No, no. What you mean? What strange things?"

"Have you heard anything?"


"Have you heard anything late at night? Like 2 something?"

He was very quiet.

He took a cigarette from the box and lit it. "Why you ask?"

"Because I kept hearing a woman crying and saying Ah Roo"

He dropped his cigarette.

"Aunty, I don't understand how come you hear it but let me tell you the story"

This happened many, many years ago. I think 1960 something. There was a woman who's husband was working with the railway. In those days, the family of railway workers lived on railway land, which is right next to the line. This couple had a son, Arul. One night, the husband came home, drunk and began to beat his wife. The neighbours heard him say that he was going to leave his wife and child and that he had found another woman. The neighbours did not interfere as in those days, it was felt that domestic violence was nobody's business but the family's. Then there was silence. The husband must have fallen asleep in a drunken stupor. Then, a neighbour heard the door latch click and saw a shadowy figure of the woman quietly creeping into the darkness. Then he heard a child's voice saying, Ah Ma, Ah Ma. The child was in her arms. The neighbour watched them from his window. She was moving towards the railway line. He thought that she may be trying to escape her husband. Then from a distance, he could see the headlights of the night train. He realised what she was trying to do! He ran out of the house, shouting But she was either too far to hear, or perhaps, she refused to heed. She kept on going till she reach the line and stood firmly to face the oncoming train. On the very last minute, she tried to get her son out of the way by throwing him onto the grass. But he ran back toward his mother and they both died.

That happened in the month of November. I remembered the month because it was Deepavali. So, people have, over the years, heard her sobbing and her crying out to her son, Arul. The crying is usually heard around November.  She could see no way out except death for herself but she regretted taking her son with her.

I went home, called the carpenters to come and immediately dismantle the platform. I asked them to throw everything into the sea.

Reader Comments (4)

Oh My God~!! That is so creepy!! @.@
October 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPei Wun
Hope you liked it :D
October 26, 2008 | Registered CommenterKaty
OMG!! that's like out of a storybook or something!!
but gosh! so scary!
October 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCindy
o.O real or not? or bluff story?
October 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteryc

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