“Hey! You old witch!”,Sahir greeted the old woman who was dressed as a witch, with a triangular witch cap which was clearly too big for her. The rim of her old spectacles was at the tip of her nose. She had lost most of her teeth and was a bit crooked by posture.

“Hey everyone. Trick or Treat?”,she asked again in her low shivering voice.

“Didn’t expect myself to bump into an old evil witch at this party!”,Gaurav mocked the old lady.

“You didn’t answer young man. Trick or Treat?”

“See..this place already cost us many bucks. Hence, we’re in no mood to gift you candies, you old woman. We prefer you to show us a trick instead! ”, Gaurav answered at the behalf of his friends.

“Yeah! Let’s see what this witch has in her kitty!”, Tanmay backed Gaurav’s decision.

“So it’s trick time! Right? ”,the old lady flashed her evil grin.

“Yes!”,Gaurav banged the table with his fist in excitement.

“So..I have these necklaces made of stones. At the centre, you’ll find a small case. You should keep your most valuable asset inside it, after which I’ll say a mantra. After which, you can take back your assets.”,the old lady explained the trick as she gave each one of them a necklace.

“Cool stuff! Where did you get this from? Amazon? or Flipkart?”, Tanmay teased her.

“It doesn’t matter young man.”,the old lady smiled.

“If you don’t wanna reveal, it’s okay. Anyways we have a better fashion sense than you old witch. We don’t plan on copying your Stone Age fashion.”, Tanmay replied.

The old lady didn’t reply to his provoking statement.

“So, I’m keeping this platinum ring which was gifted to me by you on our seventh date,where you proposed to me Gaurav”,Navneet removed the ring from her finger.

“This is a tinier version of the holy Quran which I always carry. It keeps me sane and alive.”,Farida took out the book from her pocket.

“Wait wait,I suggest you guys put this in to the case instead. Our most valuable asset today,which can make our future bright!”, Gaurav said as handed them the lucky tickets.

“Who the hell brings such stuff to a party?”, Navneet was amused.

“You clearly know how close this is to my heart Navneet. This had been my ambition since the past three months! ”,Gaurav explained.

“Fine, I get your point.”, Navneet hugged him before keeping the ticket inside the case.

The others followed suit.

“We’re ready! Now do your trick ”,Gaurav told the old lady.

“This is gonna be real interesting! ”,Akshar felt the goosebumps.

The old witch closed her eyes and started humming some words in a low tone. After a few seconds, she opened her eyes and raised her hands and screamed “Now!”.

Her eyes started shining intensely.
The evil smile on her face grew more wide. It seemed as if she was getting younger.

“Who..who are you?”,Gaurav rubbed his eyes,astonished.

“Ever heard of Princess Ratnavati?”,her old cracking voice was now replaced with a ghastly scary voice.

“What the actual fuck!”,Navneet stood up in disbelief.

Farida was on the verge of crying whereas the boys were equally terrified.

“Someone please help us! There’s a ghost here!”, Tanmay started yelling but no one even batted an eyelid. It seemed as if they didn’t hear what he tried saying.

“Never underestimate an old witch Tanmay. That too with a relatively bad fashion sense.”,she guffawed.

Tanmay was expressionless after hearing that.

“I knew you brats would choose trick over treat. Even though if you had chosen the other option, I would have still cursed you for trying to enter the fort yesterday! ”, she started laughing.

Gaurav instantly connected with the voice. The same voice he had heard yesterday.

“The most valuable asset of your lives that you have kept inside the case, is now cursed. Forever!”

“What do you mean? ”,a puzzled yet scared Sahir asked Ratnavati.

“Each ticket has a period. Period of death. The person who has the ticket at that particular time can die. The funny thing being that the ‘period of death’ can be anything. It can be 30days, a year or even…NOW! The lucky ones survive even though they have the ticket. The unlucky one’s give the Almighty a visit! ”,the princess’s soul mocked at their helplessness.

“And no point if you throw away the ticket. You may not die, but your fate will be gifted with something more awful! Have a great evening! I hope you enjoyed the trick! Especially you, Gaurav; the black magician! We’re even now! ”,she said before she slowly vanished in the crowd.

“What the crap was she saying? This was all a stupid well planned prank on us! And I’m not a black magician! I guess she didn’t do her research too well!”, Gaurav started laughing.

“Remember the black magician who fell for her according to the legend? It was you,my friend. You were that black magician in your previous life.
”,Navneet applied her logic.

Gaurav was dumbstruck on hearing this. He was totally confused.

There was an eery silence between the six of them. They still couldn’t believe that this actually happened to them. Farida broke down.

“I had already warned you guys not to go there,but you turned a deaf ear to me Gaurav!”,she held her tears blaming Gaurav.

“ put the blame on me. Hold me responsible for this! ”,he said in a low tone.

“I’m done for today! ”,she stood up and tore the ticket in anger.

The next moment, she fell down. Or dragged down to be precise.

“I’m.. I’m not able to breathe..Navneeet! I’m not..!”,she choked in pain.

Everyone in the club surrounded her in an instant. Navneet and others tried their best to save her,but they realised that they can’t do anything.

A few seconds later, Farida breathed her last.

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