Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Uneasy is the night

He woke up with a start. He didn't know what had waken him, but something definitely had. Wide awake he could feel his heart thump against his chest. There was a very faint smell of something very familiar, but he couldn't place it. He wondered if anyone else was in the apartment, but then dismissed the possibility. He tried to peer around the semi darkness and didn't seem to find anything unusual. The door that led out from the bedroom to sprawling balcony that overlooked the sea was slightly ajar. He tried to recollect if he had closed it, but then decided he might've forgotten to shut it firmly. He listened hard to see if he could hear anything unusual, but other than the steady humming of the AC and the very distant rumblings of a probable thunderstorm he couldn't hear anything else.

He reached out to his watch kept on the table beside the bed. It was only a quarter past 3 am. Something was bothering him. He looked around to where he usually kept his bottle of water and felt a trifle annoyed at not finding it there. He thought he remembered seeing it there before he slept. The uneasiness increased as he felt a trail of sweat on his forehead. His mouth was parched and he needed water desperately, but something about night made him hesitate and slightly scared to move out of the relative comforts of his bed.

Finally he couldn't control the dryness in his mouth and he got up and groped for the bedside switch. The room was awash in light and for a moment the eeriness he was feeling disappeared, until he noticed a trail of water leading from his bed to the dining hall, which wasn't there when he had come in to the bedroom. His heart beat faster and he found himself following the trail of water to the room beyond. He tried switching on the light, but inexplicably the light refused to turn on. Now he was positively scared. The bedroom light coming out through the door lit a path directly to the fridge. He found that the fridge door was slightly open and water was still dripping from inside it. For a moment his mind stopped thinking and he looked at the gray-black 350 liters fridge. He stood still for a seemingly long time before a trace of smile appeared on his smile.

He realized that a bottle of water kept in the fridge must have fallen and the water must have poured out. That explained the trail of water from the fridge to the bedroom. Intense relief surged through him as he realized how irrational fears can consume you until you almost become stricken with paranoia and let your imagination take over.

He silently let out a whoop of delight and realized how scared he had become for those few moments. Feeling slightly foolish, he walked back to the bedroom and taking a cigarette, lit it and walked to the balcony. The sky certainly looked dark and the heavens were waiting to open up. Looking out to the ocean, he took a long drag and exhaled slowly. Far down below, all of 34 floors below, he could see the waves turning into froth in ribbons of faint white against the inky blackness of the ocean waters. In all the excitement, he had forgotten how thirsty he was. As he turned towards the bedroom, he suddenly caught that whiff of familiarity again. He puzzled over it as he walked back and found it strange that it seemed to be coming from the dining hall. It was certainly strange, but unlike earlier, he was not that perturbed about it.

He realized that in the relief that enveloped him, he had forgotten to close the door of the fridge properly. He walked towards it and yanked the door open...

The sharp crack of thunder did not die out the screaming.


Blogger Scorpio said...

Inittu entha aayi...
Ithu oru mathri al's inde bashayill
KLPD aayi poyi.

July 23, 2007 6:58 AM  
Blogger Pritika Gupta said...

Nicely written..njoyed it :)

July 30, 2007 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm interesting

August 02, 2007 11:40 AM  

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