The faceless man

It is the most exciting and fun holiday of the year, Christmas.The grandkids were pestering grandpa for stories after the hearty Christmas meal.
The mother of the children said not to trouble grandpa, but they needed a story to finish the holiday night. Grandpa who is in his seventies finally agreed to tell them a story. Upon hearing this, the children calm down around the fireplace with bright sparkling eyes. They looked like angels from heaven. Grandfather took a long slurp of black tea from a cup given by the mother and clicked his tongue above his mouth. He smiled and the children giggled.
“Okay, now, just one story for tonight.”
“No!” said the seven-year-old son “I want two.”
“Ghost story!” yelled the five-year-old girl.
“Let’s make a deal, guys. I’ll tell a ghost story; a real one this time.” They all agreed and nodded.
“This happened before the four-lane road was constructed between Dimapur and Kohima. The road was small and twisty with many right and left turns. The trees were standing tall on both side of the road covering the mountains where people didn’t inhabit. It was in late December a man was on a journey from Dimapur to Kohima for he had to get to his family for New Year’s Eve. He decided to take his journey at night, to surprise his wife and his two children before the clock strikes twelve. He was on his bike, a Royal Enfield classic.
“In those days this bike was very popular in the army but hard to get. Even now it is but not as tasking and difficult as it was.”
“I know! I know!” said the twelve year old son who is holding his new car toy. “Ummmm! but I don’t like it. It makes such a loud noise.”
The five year old girl shushed him giving a reprimand look not to disturb.
“Well it was a luxury for those who had it back then.”
“Continue… story, Grandpa.” nagged the five year old girl.
“It was around nine when he started the journey. After two hour or so, on one of the turns where one side of the mountain can be seen from the other he saw a person standing on the side of the road. As he drove closer, he saw that it was a female wearing yellow oversize t-shirt and white half pant and she was not standing, she was walking taking small steps like she is afraid to fall over the hill. Surely, she was walking too close to the edge of the road. He slowed down and drove closer to her. When he was behind her like ten to fifteen feet away, she seemed to be crying. It was not an audible but more like whining or as if like she didn’t want people to hear her cry or as if like she didn’t want to open her mouth. Her face was covered with her hair and was looking down like teenagers standing on bus stop waiting and scrolling on the phone.
““Hey! Lady” he called out and asked “Are you okay?” wondering why anyone could be out here in the middle of the night and away from villages. She didn’t seem to hear or gave any attention. He was still on his bike. His mind wanted to let her be and continue with his journey, but his heart was worried because it was nowhere near human habitation and he felt concern. So, he stopped his bike, but he didn’t turn off the engine. She was still walking slowly and briskly ahead of him. He put down the side stand and adjusted his head lamp so to beam the light on her and got off.
“Miss, wait!” he called out and walked behind her and tapped on her shoulder. She suddenly turns back, startling him, revealing her faceless face with no eyes, no nose and no mouth. He screamed feeling his heart skipping beats and fell on his back. She tried to grab him by his neck, and he fainted.
“As far as he felt he knew, he was on the side of the road the whole night, but it was still dark. His bike engine was still running making low thud sound. He soon realized he had to get back to his family. He tried to open his eyes. He couldn’t. He tried to talk. He couldn’t. and when he touched his face, he couldn’t feel his eyes, nose or his mouth. All he could do was whine like the lady. And it is said that still now he is, to this day the faceless man walking up and down the old highway searching for his face.”
“Coooool!” said his first grandson who was eleven years old.
The seven-year-old started crying “Mummy!”. Their mother came and took them away saying that it’s time to sleep. The five year old girl hugged her grandfather and wished him goodnight.
After the kids were settled, mother came to the fire place where grandfather was still sipping his black tea.
“Why do you have to tell such scary stories? Father.” She asked.
“It will not be scary if it is not true, you know.”
“Is it?”
“Yes.” With a straight serious face grandfather replied. And suddenly there was chills running down her spine.
“This is the most honest story I have ever told…. Do you remember once when you were still a small girl one of my friend went missing? We heard the news next day when I came back from Dimapur? And I told you I came by night bus.”
“Yes, but what does it have to do with your friend.”
“I lied.” He paused and they stared at each other with silence. “Actually,your mom and I lied. There was no night bus between Kohima and Dimapur. Even now there is no such service. I was travelling with him. He was my friend that went missing.”
“No, I don’t believe it. I am not a child anymore to believe in your nonsense.” She smiled.
“I can proof it to you.” She realized he was serious all this time while telling the story and even now.
“Okay proof it.”
Grandfather had a long grey hair and wears loose ponytail hairstyle, loose enough to cover his ear. He pulls his hair back with both his hands revealing his daughter he had no ears.
“That night she took my ear.”

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