The Midnight Companion
Based on a real-life incident
The year is 1944. My grandfather was in his early 20s and he was a hardcore movie buff and so, he was used to watching movies multiple times a week.
Back in those days, there exist only single-screen theatres and the number of them was sparse. Surat (in India) used to have an array of theatres in this area called “Cinema Line” in the middle of the city.
So, one fine day, he booked a ticket for a midnight show of a movie in one of these theatres which happened to get curtained at around 2 AM.
The movie ended and now everyone was on their way home. Back then, the majority of people used to commute on bicycles and so is my grandfather.
He was driving his bicycle just behind a group of men who were on their way home because although he was brave enough to commute towards the home alone, it was still very risky. And so, he continued following them even though they were on a different route than my grandfather was used to.
Everything was going smoothly and steadily and then the tragedy struck. The bicycle got punctured and he was left behind by all those men quickly and now he has started finding himself all alone on this less-traveled, deserted road in the middle of the night at 2:30 AM.
He had only one option left now and that is to drag the bicycle by walking on his feet and reach home. But there’s a catch. He was on the route which was roughly 5–6 Kilometers longer than the regular one and that has added to his misery manyfold.
As he had no option left, he started walking, dragging his bicycle along with him. The night was looking frightening. But it becomes intense when you don’t have anyone to walk by your side. That was the exact case with him. Even though it was a matter of just 4–5 kilometers, for him, it looked like the journey of a lifetime.
Just when everything got settled down, a pack of 9–10 dogs rushed towards him barking from one of the streets. He tried to hurl them with his umbrella but the dogs were in no mood to let him go and my grandfather looked like an easy prey to them.
All of the dogs barricaded him like lions would barricade a stag. And that’s when a dog of double the size of these dogs manifested from nowhere and started protecting my grandfather by hurling away the rest of the dogs.
That dog was unlike any other dog. It had a height of around 3 to 3.5 feet. It had threatening eyes, and long and pointed teeth that can pop out the flesh rather easily. In a nutshell, you wouldn’t see kind of a dog in real life. It was a godsend.
The dog started walking by my grandfather’s side and the rest of the dogs didn’t dare to come even in their radius. My grandfather breathed a great sigh of relief, finally. He finally had someone with him whom he could rely upon and would try to make it home.
But deep inside, many questions were popping into his mind.
“Why on earth would a dog of this demeanor have come to my rescue out of nowhere? What if this dog would backfire on me? For how long would it be me?” And many others.
Slowly he was approaching home, the dog still walking by his side. They were now in the vicinity where my grandfather wouldn’t have to worry much and the home is now in sight from the distance.
He was in his familiar territory at last. He glanced over his side where the dog was walking only to find the dog was no longer walking with him. It sort of disappeared… just like that!
Where did it go away? No one knows.
What was it? A guardian spirit? Probably.
A lost soul? Probably not.
But whatever it was, it had saved my grandfather from falling prey to those hungry dogs and it had become an example of a perfect “midnight companion”.