Silver Town


Iffath Khanam

Volume 1, Issue 1, Pg 26-29

The weather was crisp and wintry around me, but Chris had reported that it was fall in Silver Town.

50A, Dodge City


United Kingdom.

19 January, 1995.

Dear Dave,

It has been a while since I heard from you. How have you been? I was thrilled to see your request to visit Silver Town. I'm writing to you with some good news – I have been sorting out my old room for you to stay for about two weeks.

I would be glad to introduce you to ‘Silver Town' as soon as you pay a visit. It's fall here, so I hope you will enjoy the trip.

Here’s my address:

170c, Silver Town,


Lots of love,


I stuffed my wardrobe in an old briefcase, which lay under my closet for several weeks. Finally, it was time for me to go on a journey to a place I had always found intriguing. I had visited many locations all across the country, and I proudly called myself a born traveller. Not long back, I had visited the south of Norfolk and several other places along the city. The old and very ancient monuments had caught my fancy. Easily dazzled by classic architecture, more than any other style in the world, the trip to Chris’ place was something I was eagerly looking forward to.

My train to Silver Town was leaving at 6.45 p.m. I had booked a first-class ticket, because I preferred solitude.

The weather was crisp and wintry around me, but Chris had reported that it was fall in Silver Town.


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The train stopped at the station at 9.30 p.m. I got off as quickly as possible as it was already very late.

I noticed an old man at the end of the platform, seated comfortably before his office, half asleep. I assumed he was the station master. I walked towards him, putting my jacket over my broad shoulders. My footsteps seemed louder than usual. The station looked deserted and there were hardly five to seven people waiting for their trains to arrive. The station master peeked at me through his spectacles and asked what I was seeking. I showed him the address that Chris had given me.

“You will find this if you go by Winchester Block and cross the woods,” he said, warily.

“The woods?” I asked, with an eager face.

“Yes, the woods. But it is not as deep as you think. You can cross if you have a torch with you. Or you will have to wait until morning if you are frightened,” he smirked.

“No, I don’t have any hesitation in crossing the woods. But I'm a stranger to this place, and in fact, I don't have a torch with me,” I replied.

“So, are you a tourist, then?” he asked, eagerly. I nodded. He stood up and walked into his office.

He offered me a torch, and wished me a safe journey ahead. I thanked the old man and departed from the station.

“I have to cross Winchester block before it gets too murky,” I told myself.

There were strange sounds coming from all over the place. The station appeared to be like an abandoned place from the outside. The bricks were too old to even stay in place for a few more years. The façade of the building badly wanted a coat of paint. It was quite old—ancient, in fact.

I found a phone booth outside the station and thought of calling Chris to get directions to his place, but his phone was switched off.

The trees on either side of the road were evidently spooky. I observed that there were barely any leaves on the trees. I walked for a while along the road, dragging my briefcase with me. Silence was my only companion.

I had to walk two miles before I noticed a wooden sign, which said, ‘Winchester Block’. Finally, I was close to my destination I thought, relieved.

The landscape at that time of the evening was fascinating.

There were orange leaves on the sidewalk, indicating it was autumn. The street lights were dim, but enough to light up their yellow reflection on the silvery road. The pavement before me was bright enough for me to walk on.

I saw a very strange cat pass me by, and I noticed it only had one eye. A long scar ran down its right eye. Its ears were upright, and its paws shone. There was something sinister about it.

Was it just a stray? I wondered.

A few steps further ahead was a supremely built cottage. The plaque on the door said ‘The Martins’, which meant there surely was a family living inside. The house looked unusually striking, and it was the only one in which the lights were glowing.

I knocked on the door slightly, and it opened. There sat a middle-aged man with a perfectly curved moustache, blowing his pipe, with a book in his hand. I guessed he was going to bed after reading, because he appeared to be in his pyjamas and sleeping cloak.

“Who are you, young man?” he spoke in his coarse voice.

“Hello, Sir. Could you please tell me where Silver Town is?” I asked him, curiously.

“Uh oh! You need to pass through the woods, to get to that place,” he chuckled.

“I can do it, Sir. I do have a torch with me,” I replied.

“But you can definitely not hit a wild bear with a torch, I suppose?” he asked .

“Wild bears? But the station master told me that the woods aren't deep,” I said, confused .

“Of course, they are not that deep. But you get to have a cup of fresh honey with Mr Bear, occasionally, during the nights. It might ditch you while you finish that cup of yours. I mean, it might kill you. Think of it,” he said, dropping his hands .

“But I'm sure the station master was not lying about what he told me. How do you know so much about everything in the woods?” I snapped.

“I'm a forest inspector. I hold a licensed rifle and I suppose I know a lot more than the station master does,” he replied, blowing on his pipe.

“Oh! My apologies, Sir! I do not know where to go at this hour. I've been calling a friend of mine for a very long time, and he doesn't seem to answer any of my calls. I'm a tourist and I am apparently very unskilled to be at a place such as this,” I said in disappointment.

“Well, then. You can surely stay at my place, if you are willing to. I'm afraid you have to stay here because wild beasts sometimes are caught outside the woods, as well. We undeniably have a room for one more in the house. You can come in without trashing any time,” he said, with a pleasing smile on his lips.

The man seemed kind and pure hearted. I had to accept the offer to stay–it seemed the safer option. I entered the house and sat patiently on the couch. He called for someone and asked the person to make a mug of hot chocolate.

I saw a girl climbing down the stairs, seemingly about eighteen years old who had skin that bloomed like the cherry blossoms. She was very fair, with a tint of healthy pink colour flushing her cheeks. Her dark hair with a wavy texture framed her face.

“Meet Mavis. She's my daughter. I have a son named Charlie. He's probably asleep in his room right now,” the old man said, delightfully.

“I'm Dave Jones. I'm just a lost traveller,” I said, locking my arms together.

The girl glanced at me shyly and grabbed a few marshmallows from the mason jar above the fireplace. I sipped my hot chocolate, while my bed got ready.

The room was a fancy one with a medium-sized bed for me to comfortably doze for the night.


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That was when it all began. I heard Mavis scream from the living room. Mr. Martin's voice was ear-piercing.

The next morning, I woke up very early. It was a calm morning, and I quickly nourished my growling tummy with the breakfast set on the table next to my bed.

Mr Martin was going through the morning newspaper in the living room. Mavis was engaged in making postcards. Charlie had been playing with a ball of yarn with their gorgeous, golden coloured cat named Felix. Mr. Martin noticed me standing with my briefcase and stood up, stepping towards me.

“We're going fishing after lunch. Why don't you depart after dinner tonight? Don't you want me to show you the lake in the backyard?” he requested.

“Oh sure, Mr. Martin. I would love to,” I replied, with a smile.

The lake in the backyard was appealing and admirable, and I shared my excitement with his little family. The boy, Charlie, was a companion full of fun and charm. I felt attracted to Mavis, even though I had known her for just a day, but I never thought of expressing my feelings to her family. At the end of the day, I felt contented. I packed my briefcase myself, and soon, I was ready to leave the cottage.

That was when it all began. I heard Mavis scream from the living room. Mr. Martin's voice was ear-piercing.

“Over my dead body, Mavis! You cannot marry that man. I dislike him,” he said .

“But father, I'm pregnant.” Mavis’s voice sounded weak.

I was appalled. I had no clue of what was going on.

I heard something like a gunshot. Awfully shaken, I felt as if the room around me was falling apart.

The roof darkened and the walls started cracking. I was witnessing an eerie phenomenon. The bed was beginning to mess itself. There were spider webs forming in all the corners of the walls. All I wanted to do was to escape from that room.

I walked downstairs.

There were human bones in the living room! I guessed they belonged to Mavis, because there was her dusty, shattered apron lying under it.

I found Mr Martin’s rifle lying opposite Mavis’ skull. It was covered by ravenous termites. There were dirty and torn postcards lying above the fireplace.

Desperate and speechless, I ran out of the cottage. The sight that met my eyes was horrendous.Bats and crows were flying all over the place, against the dark and haunting sky. I couldn’t spot a single other house next to the cottage. The road was greasy and muddy. I heard a loud cry from the backyard of the house. It sounded like Charlie. I was terrified, but I couldn’t ignore the pitiful cries, and I found myself hurrying towards the backyard.

The lake was not exactly the beautiful lake I had seen earlier. It looked ugly. The boat on the bank was ripped in the centre. There stood a weeping Charlie, looking at my shocked self.

“I saw my father killing my sister in front of my eyes. My father killed himself too,” he said, bursting into tears.

“But Charlie what is all this? What is going on with this place? I need answers!” I scoffed at him.

“What do you think you are doing here?” he asked with a plain expression on his face.

My phone immediately rang. I took it in my hands quickly to see who was calling. To my surprise, it was Chris.

“Hello?” .

“Hello, Chris? I've been calling you for a very long time. Where are you? I need you to pick me up right now from Winchester Block. Please come soon. This place is strange and I'm very frightened,” I said, rapidly.

“Winchester Block? Oh my goodness!” he spoke, roughly.

“What is it?” I asked in fear.

“I've heard stories about the family. A man shot his daughter and committed suicide immediately after her death. I suppose it was honour killing because the daughter had an affair with a poor man she loved. The man had a son too. The young boy is said to have been so traumatised by what he witnessed that he killed himself a day later, just like his father. It happened five years ago,” he narrated.

I was dumbstruck. I did not know how to react to what he had said. Charlie had disappeared already.

“I think the family had a cat named Felix. It was the only soul alive in the incident that had happened,” he exposed.

I felt something nudging my feet, compelling me to pull away my legs in fear. It was the one-eyed cat I had seen before entering the cottage; probably Felix.

I realised that I had forgotten my bag inside the cottage in all the rush and commotion. Abandoning it, I ran to the train station and sat there, trying to regain my composure. The station master kept me company while I waited for Chris, who came an hour later.

The experience made me fall sick, and I took a week to recover.

That was surely the most dreadful and haunting incident of my life. I had never told anyone about it except Chris.

It was then that I decided that I wouldn’t go to any stranger's house, even if I were invited.

I have never travelled, or even stayed alone ever since my visit to Silver Town!

About the Author:

Iffath Khanam has an undergraduate degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies. She is currently doing her Bachelor's degree in English Literature at Anna Adarsh College For Women, Chennai. Her novel "The Forgotten Past" is available on Amazon Kindle Store. Her other interests include learning new languages, sketching, and travelling. She aspires to become an English professor, an Accu Pressure therapist, a novelist, and a preacher in religion. You can write to her at [email protected].


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