by Preeti Singh
‘Horror is not a word but a feeling, being lonely and helpless in a haunted house, waking up in an empty apartment that looks familiar, as if, you know the the place. You were born here, lived here and then died. Think again, Think hard, were you not buried here.’ These were not just words but repeated messages. Rachael used to get up, hearing the words since she was five. She was living with her grandmother, who was suffering from amnesia. The poor old lady did not recall who she was, the only strong memory that she had was of an empty apartment with a lot of voices.
A broken house, made up of wood; the walls were cracked-up and filled with termites all over the place and gave the impression that it could fall down anytime. The tap in the bathroom was running with muddy water which had a strong pungent smell. There was a black kitten that was searching for her mother, she was hungry, it was her feeding time; but her mother was missing. Furthermore, there was something at the door which was knocking too hard to be let in. No one was seen either at the outside or inside the house besides the small kitten moving restlessly.
The place was in a complete chaos with disturbances everywhere. It seemed like the house was trying to communicate something and wanted to give a sign.
This was the only faded memory which the old lady recollected from her past. She was living alone in a big house with her granddaughter. They did not have any friends or relatives. They lived alone and their only companion was a kitten, who was now grown up into a fierce black cat. Time past gradually, but they never stepped out of the house, nor did anyone ever step in. They have not seen the sun or a single ray of light all these years. The door was always shut and the windows remained closed all the time. Five years passed by with no movement in the locked out house.
Rachael, was now ten years old, since the last five years she has been living with her grand mother, she had no memory of her life before five, she did not remember who brought her here, she had not seen a human figure all these years. She only had a grandmother, who did not wake up from sleep. Rachael, did not understand what has happened, all she could hear was a voice, “Living here is not a child’s play, horror is not a word but a feeling.”
Rachael always wanted to know, who this lady was, she heard this voice very often, but did not see anyone. She wondered if this was her mother, or might be her sister who she never saw. She was still living with her grandmother who did not wake-up in the past few days. Rachael did not hear the chanting anymore, she was left alone in silence beside her grandmother who did not wake-up.
The little girl was left alone, only to realize she was not alone in the empty apartment. For the first time, she just not heard a voice, but even saw a face. Her grandmother woke up and was chanting ‘Horror is not a word but a feeling; do not cry my little girl, death can never take me away’
The girl embraced her grandmother and smiled magically; the locks broke down, the door slammed fiercely and the windows were banging hard; the night was enchanting. Dogs were barking at the open door while the black cat screamed in wilderness.
Rachel took a baby step outside the bewitched house and looked at the world with dreamy eyes.
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Preeti Singh, French Interpreter, writer, artist is based in Mumbai-India. Some of her work has been published by: Ashvamegh Literary Journal, Scars Publication, Entropy Squad, Splickety Publishing Group, A story in 100 words, Fiftyword Stories and others. Preeti is a multi-linguist who communicates in English, French, Hindi and other regional languages with adequate fluency. In her free time she loves to play challenging characters for television series. You can get in touch with her at: http://languages-consult.com Twitter:@PreetiWrites