By Razia Hashim

First of all, I would like to share a happy note with you. My claim as a creative writer in the literary world is these unforgettable and happy moments that I am now passing through with AurumWriters. I am very ambitious in my writing goals and I want to be loved for my writing more than being admired. It is because admiration passes but love endures..

I would like to like to take a trip down memory lane, and recall a chilly winter December night when things took a turn for the worse. That unforgettable night and those scary moments still send shivers down my spine.

The place was a small remote village in Kerala. It had a picture postcard beauty and soothing greenery all around. The swaying palm trees, Mango trees and Jackfruit trees added to the rustic charm of the place. My husband’s house is a beautiful old family house situated on a hill top. There was a small river or to be more exact a tributary running besides the hill. At night, the boats with their illuminated lanterns were like little diamonds sparkling in the river. The downslide was that there were no houses in the vicinity and it was quite lonesome especially for a new bride.

Being in a new house, a home away from home, after long years of staying in a joined family was a harrowing experience. As loneliness killed me and broke my bonhomie and I was always caught up in a reverie.

I was like a wilting leaf thirsting for those few droplets of water in a barren desert. At last, the desert saw some heavy rainfall! One evening my husband came home early and said he was going to take me out for a movie in the nearby town. I clutched at this idea like a drowning man catching hold of the last fragile floating straw in the river to save his life!

And true to his word, he gifted me with a beautiful evening which we spend in a movie hall and a cozy dinner at one of the affluent hotels in town. All my desperation and sorrows vanished like the genie in the Arabian folklore and I became very happy. Little did I know that fate had something else in store for me at home…

When we came home, it was very late and we retired to the bedroom getting ready to sleep. Since it was an old family mansion, it was huge and fit enough for many people to reside. The bathrooms were fitted with huge cupboards where we usually put in the dirty clothes. I just freshened up myself and came and fell into a deep slumber, being tired from the long journey to and fro to the town.

After a short deep sleep, I was suddenly awakened by a small sound beneath my bed. Since it was dark, I could just see something dark, looking like a wild beast crawling on all fours. I slowly turned to my husband and whispered to him in a muffled voice, “there is someone else in the room”.

At first, he just said that I must have dreamt something and told me to sleep. Then, as he himself felt a slight movement, he reached for the bedside switch to turn on the lights. And lo and behold! A dark man, who wore just his shorts and who had the color of coal with oil smothered all over the body sprang up like a spring. He actually looked like a dark wild creature just out of the jungles of Africa!

With a fraction of a second, he opened the bolts of the door and ran out to the balcony through the French doors and made his escape. Though my husband ran behind him, he was not even able to touch him because the thief had coal and oil smothered all over him. And therefore was slippery like an eel! Later, we learned this was the trick of the clever thieves to slip out, if and when they are trapped.

In a short while, we knew we were robbed of many precious jewels and a beautiful golden watch which was my first present to my husband. All along, the robber had been inside the cupboards in the bathroom and just the thought of it scared me out of my wits! I was actually in a trance like situation for many days!

For days on end, every shadow on the wall took on a sinister tone. Sleep didn’t come easily for me for several nights after this spooky incident. Whenever I was alone, and wherever I saw, I could feel ghostly apparitions lurking in every corner of the room!

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