Heyy guys! 😃
I’ve not written a post this week, cause-
- Times of India writing competition
If you didnt know about this competition, and feel you’d have done well ,don’t fear!
Season 3 of the competition should be rolling in again next year !
For those of my friends, who’ve never really tried story writing,I have a good as well as a bad bit of news..
The good news is that the toi competition makes it easy by giving you a prompt,and also you only need to write a story of about 1500 words, which is simply put a short story.
The bad news is- unless you can collect ideas like a pro,story writing is a tedious process, and you’ll probably struggle to write even 1500 words 😅
My prompt was , at least according to me a bit weird,and I almost didn’t participate, but……then I did😎
So I’ll be sharing the story with you now. I’ve made 3 of my family members read it till now, and none of them understood it…oh well 😚
Consider this a challenge. If you understand my story like a pro, then ….
You’re a great understander I guess 😅
So sit back and read! Here goes…
I’ll tell you a story now..better now than never.
It is a dark and stormy night, no less darker or stormier than the classic – dark and stormy night. Such nights are not uncommon for the people living in the Agora district of Haryana. Other things that are common here are – rape, childbirth and suicide, more often in the same order.
There is a man,a tall,well-built man,with a slight hunchback,and long hair that cover the better part of his face. For this reason, his half closed needlessly tired eyes are not visible to the average passer-by. He is wearing the typical professional combo of a shirt, pant and tie, and perhaps the only distinctly out-of-place thing about him, is that he has no shoes.
He is looking for a girl,who does not know he exists,or the story that has brought him here. He has no reasons to be discreet but still he has to be careful. He is standing near the doorway and surveying the golden banquet hall,which is filled with refined bodies in saris and jackets,and beautiful young women with straight hair who never make facial expressions. But they will ,soon. Any moment now.
Laughter fills the hall, as a Bollywood item number starts to play . He would have gone in , but he doubts it’d help, especially now, when he is so close..
People begin to stare at him now.
“Another one to meet the missus” , someone whispers
“Pervert”.. says another voice
If the man is at all affected by these hushed voices,he does not show it, and for another 20 minutes he stands outside the banquet hall, not moving a muscle. Then, at 9:02 pm,he takes out his old-fashioned watch, looks at it and mutters to himself – it’s almost time.
At exactly 9:05 pm, the music stops, and the man disappears into the crowd,leaving behind only traces of his feet on the cemented floor.
The woman, is asleep on her bed, and what her vivid imagination shows her is anyone’s guess. She’s awoken,by a sound of feet,moving on wood. She opens her eyes,pulls herself up,and listens for another sound.
For a few minutes, everything is quite,and she begins to blame the disturbance on a rodent.
Just as she is about to get back into bed, she hears a loud sound of footsteps from above.
The sound seemingly comes from the attic,and gets louder every second. It’s almost like someone or.. something..is running around in circles,while increasing their speed each time.
The time is 1:02 am
With cautious footsteps, the woman begins to climb the attic stairs. She is scared,which is only normal in her situation.
As she reaches the attic door, she slows her pace,to prepare herself for whoever or whatever is inside
The sound of footsteps has now stopped, and the only sound to be heard is of the woman’s elevated heartbeat.
She holds the door with shaky hands,and pulls it open slowly . It creaks like an old aged man,long due to die.
As a small opening is formed, a most unusual odour of mosquito repellent greets her nose. She did not spray this afternoon. In fact, she had not sprayed for 1 year.
The suspense is now too much to bear, and she chants the name of the Lord, before jerking the door wide open.
What is now in front of her, almost gives her a heart attack, and she let’s out a loud scream.
Barely, an inch away from her terrified face, is a man’s face. He is staring right at her with tired eyes,as if he has been watching her the entire time.
His face is a ghoulish white,almost as if he’d had it painted,and his eyes bulge out from their sockets. His lips are a straight line on his unnatural face, and his tall structure does nothing but intimidate.
It’s his long straight, hair however that act as his defining feature. They make him look horrifying. There’s something about well maintained hair,on top of a nearly lifeless body that’s seriously creepy, and the woman had now seen it.
She starts to run down the stairs. The man does not move from his position.
She reaches the end of the stairs,and shuts the attic door,as hard as she can. When she looks back for assurance, she finds 2 bloody fingers sticking out of the attic door.
It is now,when she realises that the man’s fingers were barely an inch away from her head,when the door was shut.
The thought sends a chilling sensation throughout her body, and she begins to feel weak. She sits down,on the floor and covers her face with her hands.
The man can be heard, moaning in pain from behind the door. He then begins to speak ,” what did you do to me..”
“WHAT DID YOU DO ? ”
His voice is weak, and his scream is almost comical, but the woman squeezes her face even tighter.
The woman, knew this man.
He had come to her mistresses brothel, a year ago. He had chosen her,even when there were far better faces available. The mistress had warned him, that she was …. different.
Yet ,the man had seen something in her face,that only he could see. .perhaps,it would have suited him better,if he had known exactly what.
The woman musters up enough courage to scream
“Who are you?”
” I am going to call the police now ”
The voice on the other side responds
” You’ll call the police huh?..
She’ll call the police…”
And then he begins laughing , a maniacal sort of laughter.
The woman,is stunned. The police had before this always had an effect on people. It had been her Trump card till this date, but for some reason did not show results this time.
She picks up the phone, and begins to dial, but then stops. She puts the phone down,and climbs up the stairs to reach the attic door.
“For the last time, who are you?”
There is no response
” TELL ME WHO YOU ARE ”
The voice gives a chuckle.. and whispers-
” I am who you see in the mirror every night. I am the one who lives inside of you,the inhuman side of you ,who you won’t accept. You have turned me into you…
“You ask who I am, but who are you? ”
“Who are you “
” Who are you”
The man’s scream shakes the room, and the woman begins to cry.
Then….she appears . Her eyes are red,and her face is twisted into a maniacal smile. She’s injured, but her injuries look self-inflicted. She looks insane, purely and utterly insane.
She picks up a knife from the cutlery stand,and begins to climb up the attic stairs. The doors are locked from inside, which is strange.
She takes a few steps backwards, builds momentum and flings herself onto the door,which cracks immediately.
A fresh gash appears on her forehead and blood begins to trickle. She repeats the manoeuvre a few times,until the door has completely shattered,and so has her nose.
She pushes herself through the opening and scans the room for the man. The man is nowhere to be seen. The moment she turns to her left, a heavy-duty metal cooker is flung on her head by the man, who then pushes her forward, and runs out of the opening that she created. He runs down the stairs, and reaches the main door. He tries to open it, but it is locked with 3 different industrial grade locks . He pushes against the door,with all his might even though he knows his efforts are futile. He screams in agony.
His body falls to the ground, as finally gives up. He knows his fate is near, as no one could possibly win against that monster who had been living in the house.
The sound of something dripping, reaches his ears, and he turns around ,with his back now against the obstacle that wouldn’t let him through.
The source of the sound was blood. Drops of blood, are falling from her now unrecognisable face. Blood covers her entire body, yet she managed to bring a spare table twice her weight, from the attic that had been kept on the attic. She puts the table down, and sits on it in a masculine fashion with one leg going over another.
Her eyes are fixated on the man,or whatever she can make of him, with the blood covering her eyes.
When she speaks, the voice is a deep ,but articulate rumble.
“Do you want to play a game ?”
The man replies- ” Please, let me go..I beg of you. ”
” Which game would you like to play ?”
” Haven’t you got what you wanted.. how long will you keep this up?”
” I’ll choose for you, let’s play the game in which I cut off your remaining fingers.”
Her eyes turn big, as if she’s excited by the thought, and she gets up to get another knife.
” I promise to play with you, if you don’t cut of my fingers. Please…”
The woman immediately turns around, her face twisted into a cold smile.
Okayy, she says clapping her hands in delight.
” Let’s play the game, in which you open up this door for me.” He points backwards to the door.
” M.r dimwit thinks he’s so smart… aww. You can do better than that, can’t you ?”
That’s what he had said to the woman,a year ago.
They had all told him, that she was different, but no one had told him exactly how different.. .
After bringing her to his place, he had said to her – ” You can do better ,cant you?”
The woman,goes to her bedroom and comes back a minute later with a shot-gun. licence was tough in the town, but she had somehow got it after reporting on multiple occasions that people were trying to attack her.
What an irony.
She now stood pointing the gun at the man who had long since accepted his fate. He had been fed enough to be kept alive. Mosquito repellent was sprayed regularly, so that he would not succumb to malaria. Everything he needed had been provided along with a daily dose of games.
One of the games had resulted in him being castrated, and another involved being stabbed with a knife, but nothing was ever done in excess. She had not wanted him to die, at least not then.
” I am bored of you..you have stopped screaming these days .”
“ If you don’t start screaming soon, I’ll kill you.”
The man looked at her with teary eyes and whispers,” Why did I choose you,that day..”
The woman looks briefly puzzled, before the maniacal smile returns
” I guess you’re about to find out”
A gunshot is heard.
The woman is found 2 days later,lying in a pool of blood,near the dead man . The place where they were both found was once the man’s house. She is saved by an experienced doctor who calls it a miraculous recovery . She reports to the police, that the man had imprisoned her in his house since an year, and when he tried to kill her she’d had no other option but to shoot him with her gun, which she managed to get hold of . The police readily believe her, after all…why would such an innocent face lie?
A few weeks later after her injuries have subsided ,she decides to rejoin her mistress as she feels…bored.
A man stands outside the banquet hall, as a Bollywood item number starts to play..
It’s almost time..