Room No. 31
Room No. 31
My life would have been easy if my left knee was fine. It had been troubling me for one long year when I decided to check it up with a doctor. I am not a doctor or treatment-seeking person, but after lots of suffering and terrible pain, I had to see a doctor.
I had gone through several types of pains and troubles and I faced them all, but I couldn’t tolerate this one. This seemed to take my life away. It used to pain terribly. It felt like thousands of needles are pierced through my skin and then through bones. It was a type of pain I had never gone through.
In early days, I managed it anyhow but as time passed, it went on going severe each day. I consulted some people, used some home remedies, but it was all temporary. The pain ceased for a couple of days, then again used to start. It was unbearable for me. That was the time I thought of consulting a good doctor, which I never did before.
Then after some research, I found out that the best orthopaedist in the town was Dr Arijit Sawal. He had a good reputation and good past records. I decided to meet him. I fixed an appointment and went to his clinic to meet him.
`Hello, doctor,’ I wished as I entered his cabin.
`Hello, hello,’ he wished back extending his arm for a handshake. I shook hands with him.
We sat down.
`Yes, tell me what your problems are.’
`This is the very first time I am experiencing this type of pain. My left knee is paining severely.’
`Does it pain regularly?’
`No, it doesn’t have fixed time. It pains whenever it wants.’
`Now I am beginning to think that your knee has it’s own brain, as it is doing things when it wants.’
I too laughed.
`Okay, now serious. Tell me since when did it start?’ He said.
`Oh I see, long time though.’
He took a few tests and prescribed some medicines. I took the medicines and left. Dr. Arijit said to consult him again if the medicines didn’t work.
I tried the medicines on for a few days, but it didn’t work. I continued for more few days, still, then it didn’t have any effect on the pain. As per his advice, I went back to his clinic for further checkups.
`Doctor, the medicines didn’t work,’ I claimed.
He scratched his chin and said, `I checked your reports, it could have been cured by medicines only. But as it’s not working I would consult you to get admitted.’
`What! Admit? In hospital? No, doctor please find some other way! I have never admitted myself in hospital ever before.’
`So what? Just for a couple of days. I have looked into your reports. Getting admitted is necessary now.’
After a lot of thinking and re-thinking, I agreed. He took the responsibility of everything, from getting an appointment to the tests and checkups during the admitted time. He was a trustworthy person, so I agreed.
After a day, he gave me the details of a hospital. The name of it being, `SMYS city hospital’. He had managed all and on the next day, I was on my special, separate room, in the hospital. ROOM NO. 31
The room was exquisite. It was beautiful and hygienic. It looked nothing less than a very well furnished hotel room, but having bluish-green bed sheets, curtains, medical equipment and saline of course. This separate room had good service and the best thing - it was way distanced from the other rooms. This was because of Dr Arijit, he knew I didn’t like to be in the crowd. I appreciate secrecy and privacy.
It was around 10 AM in the morning when I first entered the hospital room. The nurse allocated for my room showed me the room and provided me with the necessities, and in regular intervals, either nurses or doctors used to come and check me up. I was now getting comfortable there.
Soon, the day approached to its end and dusk began to take over. I could sense it when the external noises became silent. The only thing audible was the tip-tap sound of the people walking down the aisle, which was quite scary because of the echoes it was producing. And especially if you are alone in an isolated room, you are bound to feel a bit creepy. But I wasn’t so tensed, as I was courageous and I felt the hospital was a safe place. Who knew I would be proved wrong.
It was 6 PM when I was last checked by the doctor. I was given an injection and a few medicines and was told to rest. Since the time I was admitted, I felt the pain was not as severe as before. I could feel the slow relief the medications were giving me. I was by now considering my decision of getting admitted to be good, but actually it wasn’t.
The night was growing dark. I was given dinner at 8 PM. I had my dinner and prepared myself for sleep. I was not habituated to go to bed early but in hospitals, you have to sleep and wake up early.
I tried to get into sleep but I couldn’t. I twisted myself a few times, covered myself up in a blanket but nothing worked. But after cuddling in bed for one complete hour, I fell asleep.
I was in deep sleep when I heard a knock at the door. I woke up all of sudden. I got up to sit on the bed. I scratched my eyes.
`Who’s there?’ I shouted.
I got no answer. I began to think I saw some dream but at the same time, the sound seemed real. I glanced at the clock - it showed 2:30 AM. I confirmed myself that I heard the knock in my dream, as it was too late for someone to knock the door. So, I again put myself under my blanket and tried to sleep. I fell in sleep after some time but it was soon broken. I woke up after a strong smell hit my nose. It was a very… very strange smell, smell of something rotten, something dead. The smell was growing stronger with every passing second. I covered my nose. I felt that the source of the choking smell was under the bed. I crawled to the other side of the bed. I bowed myself down slowly, as my injured knee didn’t allow me free movements. I was about to look down when I heard a knock at the door. The same I had heard before some time. This time I was sure it was a real knock.
I was startled. I stopped. I looked at the door. I still couldn’t believe I heard a knock.
`Who… who… who’s ther… there?’
No one answered.
I got off the bed and moved towards the door. I stood against it. I lifted my hand up to open the lock, it was shivering. I held the knob and twisted it open. The door opened with an eerie sound. I moved out.
The aisle was completely vacant. No trace of any living thing there. I gathered courage and stepped out on the aisle. Complete emptiness. That is what I saw. It was a very strange feeling, an eerie silence. I looked to my left, then to my right. I was petrified, looking at the scene beyond me.
The aisle seemed to be endless on both sides. But at the right side of me, one of the ceiling lights was flickering. Just one light. Rest other lights were off.
I turned back to get to my room. The door was closed. I didn’t remember when I closed the door, or even whether I closed it or not. Anyway, I opened it and went inside, thinking and rethinking of the knock. Who was that? Was it someone’s prank? Or was the sound even legit? I didn’t know.
I just wanted to get inside my room and lock myself up as soon as possible. I could sense something was wrong. As I entered I noticed the smell was no more there in the room. I sniffed. It was strange. The smell that was choking me a few minutes back, had no trace now. It was very strange.
Having bolted the door from inside, I sat on my bed, thinking all the possibilities of the incident just happened.
I felt thirsty all of sudden. I stretched my hand out to get the water bottle kept at the table, near the bed. It was a rectangle-shaped bottle. I was about to reach the bottle when I heard a knock at the door! Again!
I stopped in the air, slowly turned towards the door with petrified eyes. My legs shivered, but I managed to walk to the door, held the knob and twisted it open.
No one was there, complete silence!
I moved out, looked at either side. It was as deserted as never. It brought chills down my spine. I was getting goosebumps. The single light was still flickering, making the corridor look more horrific.
I wanted to get to my room back!
I turned back and stepped ahead towards my room. I put my head down while walking so that could I not see the scary corridor.
As I stepped inside the room, I noticed the lightings inside the room had dimmed, making the room look glom and dark. Everything in the room became less visible.
I heard a gulping sound. I looked around the room to find the source of the sound. I noticed the bottle kept on the side table had fallen down, with its cap open and the water inside it was flowing out making its way towards the front legs of the bed.
The room was dark, only some light of the corridor reached inside. I bent down to lift the bottle and tighten its cap. But as I got closer, I noticed it was not water that was flowing out of the bottle! I touched it. It wasn’t water! It was a red fluid, dark red. Was it…blood?
I screamed. I felt a jar and fell down on the floor, and as I fell down, my eyes went to the point the blood was going. And as I saw it, I was shaken from top to bottom.
A man was lying under the bed lifelessly. His face was disfigured, as like it had been crushed under a giant rock a million times. His eyelids could not be seen, his mouth was slightly open, slightly pressed against the floor, and that is where the blood was going into, his mouth! He seemed to be….dead!
I was in complete shock. I couldn’t move. My eyes were fixed on his face. I could not take my eyes off his, despite being terribly scared.
Then all of a sudden, his eyes opened!
I screamed, stood up in an instant and ran out of the room, stumbling on every step. My heart was beating tremendously fast.
I came out of the room and leaned against the wall, opposite to my room, trying to get some air. I looked around again. Deserted!
I noticed the flickering light. It was flickering in every couple of seconds. I gazed at the flickering light. It was getting on and off, then again on and then off. But, out of nowhere, a human figure appeared under it – all of sudden. His face could not be seen, but the blood dripping down from his face, was. The drops of blood vanished as soon as they touched the floor.
I was in deep shock. I felt that I just lost control over my body. It couldn’t move. I was baffled, my eyes wide-opened and a few drops of sweat ran down my forehead.
After a few moments that man, or whatever it was, got down to his hands and slowly began walking four-legged towards me. Gradually he increased his speed and came running like a howling dog! The blood from his face and other body parts continued dropping on the floor, which suddenly vanished.
I stepped back. And as I was about to turn back and run, I fell on the ground. I couldn’t get up. I dragged myself but couldn’t go faster than him. He reached me. I lay on the floor and he was above me.
I saw his face! The most horrific thing I had ever seen! His face had nothing one can see in a ‘complete face’. It had no nose, it seemed that it had been cut off, nor his cheeks or chin could be seen. Only the flow of blood replaced them. His face was disfigured. Only his eyes were visible. The same as the man had who was lying under my bed.
He raised his hand and shouted,
`Yaaahhhhhhhhh,’ with his disfigured face.
He was about to pierce my chest with his long nails when…..when the remaining lights went off.
And when my eyes opened, I was on the bed, in my hospital room. I jerked off and sat on the bed. I saw a nurse was leaving the room. She had a tray on her hands, which contained the used things which were of no use now. I looked at the clock at the side table, 8 AM it showed.
I put both my hands on my head. `Oh gosh! Was it a dream? Such a horrible dream it was!’ I said to myself. My head was spinning.
After around five minutes, the doctor entered my room.
`How are you feeling, now?’
`Fine, doctor. Just had a bad dream.’
He laughed. `Now time to go. Have one more test to do, will do that after two days. Let’s go now.’
After a few minutes I got ready to leave, the doctor was still there.
My knee felt good, and I was able to walk a bit comfortably. I paved my way out of the room.
I crossed the closet of the room when I felt an urge to turn back, and as I did – it took my breath away.
A rectangle-shaped bottle was lying under the bed, with red stains on it!