The Whispering Mysteries
The Whispering Mysteries6 mins 164 6 mins 164
I was wishing that I had never left my house to search for the hidden ruins on the outskirts of his town. It was believed to be a haunt for ghosts and spirits which had fascinated me since I was a wee little kid. For now, my current position was in the middle of nowhere, in between a raging thunderstorm with rain pouring down my cheeks and leeches clinging to my skin. The wind was making a woo-woo sound. Most people would be spooked out, but I was determined to find the ruins.
My plan was to find the ruins, explore it, and return by sundown at the most. Not that I was a fool, but who knew that my journey would be interrupted by torrents of rain and occasional flashes of lightning!? Eventually, I decided that I would find shelter first and wait for the storm to finish.
A bright flash of lightning suddenly illuminated the silhouette of a small hut in the distance. My feet started to cross each other faster than before. I was planning to ask for shelter in the house. As I approached the hut, I noticed that it was elegant and was made out of concrete, a rare occurrence in the village. I supposed that it was the house of a well- to- do person. I knocked at the door and waited for some time. Nobody answered. So, I tried to push through the door, but it was bolted from the inside. I peeked in through the rickety window into the house, but it was too dark to make out anything.
I was feeling desperate and my teeth were chattering from the cold, so I took a rock and tried to prise it open. The window, melded by a hundred monsoons, resisted at first, but after a harder attempt, yielded. I clumsily made my way into the house, scattering a few pieces of paper and knocking some undefinable objects to the floor.
As I made my way into the mustiness of the house, I was struck by the strong smell of deodar. I immediately started fumbling around for a light switch or a torch. My hand brushed upon something long and sticky on the mantel. I picked it up and realized that it was a candle. There were matchsticks in my pocket. I stuck two before the flame flared to life. The light revealed that the candle was an antique one and had delicate glass carvings on the sides. As the light fell upon the room, I saw an elaborate sitting room with rich furniture and an ornate deodar floor with spotless walls. There was no dust around. But no one had answered my call or my hesitant knocking. It was as though the occupants of the house were in hiding, watching me obliquely from the dark corners and the chimneys.
I held my candle higher to survey the room. The ornate wall was covered with many canvases and oil paintings. As I entered the bedroom, I saw myself facing a full- size mirror. My reflection stared at me as if only my reflection belonged to the house, while I was an outsider. As I turned around from the mirror, I saw someone, something, move behind me in the mirror. I saw a glimpse of whiteness, an oval face, burning eyes, and a long dress, golden in the candlelight. When I looked again at the mirror I saw nothing except for the reflection of my old pallid face.
I took off my soggy socks and shoes. I took off my clothes too and laid them on the chair. I couldn’t wear my old clothes as they were soggy and wet. I scoured the room for clothes when suddenly, I found bedclothes lying on the chair. How weird? I was sure that the chair was empty when I had entered the room. Nevertheless, I got under the bedclothes- they smelt slightly of lavender, and crawled onto the bed to find that there was no pillow. How odd? A perfectly made bed but no pillow. I was too tired to think any more, so I blew off the candle and closed my eyes. That’s when the whispering began.
“He’s mine, all mine….”
“No dear’ He’s ours, ours….”
“Do you think he might have any money”
“We could tie both his legs and hands to the bed and pour boiling lead down his throat....”
“Yes….that could work”
Most of the comments had seemed impersonal, but that last one had been horribly near. I was too terrified to speak, too scared to make the slightest movement.
I finally got up with a start and prowled the bedroom. Again, I found myself in front of the mirror, staring at my reflection and the other person. The girl with golden hair and shining eyes. She was clutching a pillow in her hands. She was standing right behind me. When I turned around to look at her, there was no one. I looked in the mirror again. She was gone!
Suddenly I remembered the legend that ran wild among the villagers of two spinster girls- one beautiful, one pale, who used to lure in men who had lost their way, and then they later used to kill them in mysterious ways and rob them of everything.
Cursing my wild imagination, I blew off the half-melted candle and the darkness enveloped me again. I slept and dreamt (or was I still awake and it did really happen) the woman that I had seen in the mirror was standing beside me her eyes flecked with orange flames. I saw people in those orange flames along with me. Suddenly, a shudder ran through my body.
And her face slowly became faceless, until only the eyes remained. Something pressed down my face. I was barely able to breathe as I clutched feebly on the thing above me. I raised it and realized, to my horror, it was the pillow!
I flung my blanket aside. I had enough of ownerless voices and reflections. I quickly got dressed and picked up the guttering candle. I would rather brave the storm outside than spend a moment more in this tortured house. Carefully avoiding the grotesque antique mirror, I made my way into the sitting room. The pictures sprang to life. Suddenly, one of the paintings caught my eye. It was of a young girl, probably in her twenties. She had eyes flecked with orange and had golden-hair………
Was it my imagination, or was the girl identical to the woman that had appeared in my dream? The one with pale eyes and long hair. Had I gone back in time, or had time caught up with me? Is that time passing by, or is it just you and I?
The candle sputtered one last time and guttered out. I shivered in the darkness in anticipation of what was to come next. Suddenly I heard knocking on the door. It was urgent. The person outside said, “Please let me in, please….”
I called out “Who is it”
The rapping continued “Let me in, please….”
I steeled my nerves, unbolted the door, and threw it open.
It was a pale girl with a bloodless face and flaring nostrils and- where were the eyes?! No eyes, no eyes!
The girl rushed in and taking advantage of the open door, I ran gratefully outside into the storm, to be lost for hours among the dripping trees and leeches clinging to my flesh.
Now, today if you ask me, where the old house is, I won’t be able to tell you that, as I don’t have the slightest desire to go looking for it.