A short story
|The kingdom of ghosts
Once upon a time, there was a king. who by the curse of a rishi became a ghost. He gathered the ghosts of his erstwhile kingdom and established a separate small kingdom of ghosts. He had a new name as Bhootraja. Although the ghosts did not require the living conditions and facilities like humans yet` the ghost king developed the kingdom like humans' kingdom. Nice roads, palaces, mansions, and gardens. Every house has a banyan, neem, or pipal tree. All the ghosts were welcome there. The cause behind this type of development was that Bhoot raja thought by chance his human friends or some children visit his state they ought not to face any inconvenience. Many ghost families had migrated from other places and settled there.
This kingdom was situated in the middle of seven hills and surrounded by forest. Nobody knew that place.
Once a King of a nearby state Rajendra happened to reach that kingdom along with his prime minister and a dozen soldiers while chasing a game. They were surprised to see this beautiful state and more surprised to find it deserted.
It looked deserted to them as they could not see the ghosts moving on the roads.
The king Rajendra immediately decided to make that place his Capital. They did not know the name of the place so they called it the strange land.
Since they had entered that state, two ghost spies had been following them.
King Rajendra said to his prime minister, " This is a strange but beautiful place. It looks as if some unknown calamity has caused its occupants to abandon this place and flee. Before any other king notices it we should annex it to our kingdom."
The prime minister replied, "We will follow your orders, Maharaj.”
According to the king's order, they left the soldiers there to guard the place and returned to their home state.
The two spies reported the matter to the kingBhoot Raja.
Bhoot Raja said, "Friends are welcome to my heart. The enemies will be kept outside the kingdom."
He called his army chief and told him about the intentions of the king Rajendra.
The army chief assured the ghost king of the security of the borders.
He deployed his army at the border.
The ghosts used their primary weapon of frightening on the soldiers, who were left there by King Rajendra.
At night it was dark all around.
The soldiers were standing and talking at the gateway of the strange land. All of a sudden fireballs rained on them and when they ran to save themselves those fireballs chased them. After a while, the rain of fireballs stopped. Then the soldiers lit a bonfire and sat around it. Now suddenly it started raining iceballs. Then strange frightening voices started coming from the gateway. Now the soldiers got terrified and ran away.
They came to Rajendra Nagar and narrated the incident in detail in the Darbar. All were surprised. King ordered the army to occupy the strange land and install his state flag on the top of the royal palace.
The army marched to the strange land and laid a seize around that place. The chief of the army wanted to finish the enemy besides occupying the state. He decided to wait until night when possibly the enemy would take some action as done previously.
He had asked the soldiers to carry lamps and matchboxes also. Thus they were equipped to fight in the night.
When it became dark, the ghosts applied the same trick. They showered the army with fireballs. The army soldiers were wearing helmets so they were saved. They immediately lighted the lamps and looked around. They did not see anybody. Now ghosts remaining invisible showered the soldiers with iceballs.
The army chief ordered to barge in the strange land. The soldiers tried to enter the place but they collided with an invisible wall and could not cross it. They were puzzled and thought whether the enemy was a great magician.
Thinking the enemy to be doing magic King called for the top magician Jadunath and told him the incidents taking place at the strange land. He ordered him to go to the strange land and help the army in capturing the enemy and occupy the strange land.
Jadunath the magician was given a faster running horse so he reached the strange land in a short time. It was evening when he reached there. He met Chandsingh the army chief and told him the purpose of his coming there. The army chief described the incidents of the previous nights. By the description, Jadunath inferred that there must be dozens of magicians on the enemy's side. It could not be a handiwork of one or two fellows.
He sent a message to the king to send a few more magicians immediately. He also suggested the names of the magicians. Before midnight`seven magicians more arrived there. There was no action from either side until then.
Jadunath suggested launching an attack similar to the attack they faced previous nights army chief asked, "Who will be our target, no enemy is visible."
Jadunath said, "They must be hiding. We will launch a blind attack on the strange land and force them to come out of their hideouts.
The army chief alerted the soldiers and permitted Jadunath to launch a magical attack on the strange land.
The magicians' team caused a rain of fireballs on the strange land. In return, a heavy shower of the fireballs fell on the Jadunath and other magicians.
Jadunath told the soldiers to shoot the arrows towards the strange land when they would send the fireballs. Now the magicians sent a volley of fireballs towards the strange land immediately followed by the clusters of arrows. However, they did not notice any kind of movement in or around the strange land.
Jadunath said, " People may not believe this but I strongly doubt that the enemy is using ghosts to fight us."
The army chief asked, "what do you suggest?"
Jadunath said, "First we have to free this place from the ghosts with the help of some exorcists."
The next morning they went to the royal Darbar and discussed the matter.
Bhootnath was sure the king's army would not be able to win the battle. But he did not like the battle.
He called an urgent meeting of the ministers and other learned ghosts of the strange land.
He addressed the gathering, "You must be knowing that for the last few days we have been fighting a battle with the humans.
Seeing the beauty and development of our place neighborly king Rajendra wanted to occupy it. I think development is creating a problem for us and in reality, we do not need it. I have seen most of the ghosts remain on the trees standing in front of their houses. We don't need any conveyance for our movements. We created all these facilities for humans only if they become our friends and like to visit us.
However, I feel people are turning greedy and having the idea of chasing us out and occupying this place.
So my idea is to remove all the buildings, roads, and other facilities, and create a forest here. that will provide us peaceful habitat and help humans also by reducing the pollution
Ghosts cast a spell on King Rajendra's army and made them sleep. When they woke up in the morning they did not find the strange land. In its place, there was a thick forest. On hearing about this miraculous occurrence king Rajendra came there along with the army chief. There was no trace of the kingdom.
He exclaimed, "Probably we had a mass hallucination. There was a forest only here.
He ordered his army to return.