The Mansion9 mins 36 9 mins 36
I was on my way home from office. The boss had refused to give me promotion, just because the ‘language’ in my files was inappropriate. And here I was. Some angry employee in a packed Mumbai Local train.
As usual, I went with the flow of Mumbaikars to the exit of the station. The train, the platform, the buses, everything was crowded. I took an auto-rickshaw and travelled home. Big mistake. Something happened and the stupid vehicle left me waiting.
I took a quick nap. When I woke up, 15 minutes had elapsed, so I decided to walk my way home. After paying the driver, I turned on my phone’s flashlight and started walking. It was a moonless night, and a little spooky than usual. I was dreaming about ordering noodles up to my house. I could imagine the slimy strings of spice run down my neck, when I suddenly stopped. I don’t know how, but I thought that I had been walking down that route for an hour, when I was supposed to reach home in 10 minutes.
I turned on the Google Maps. ‘NO INTERNET’ it said. “Perfect!”, I said to myself. “I am lost inside a spooky forest at night, and my GPS ain’t working.” I desperately started searching around for help. Nothing here, nothing there… wait, there is something there! I went closer to take a look. It was a young woman, crying on the forest floor. I couldn’t see her face, as it was covered by her shaking hands. I…I know I was totally creeped out, but all that nonsense only happens in movies. So taking a deep breath, with my legs all wobbly, I asked her gently, “Is everything… alright?” No response.
At this point, I was just like ‘RUN’. But her sorrow and continuous weeping was like a strong, invisible force, holding me there. I asked her again. This time, she looked at me. I felt a weird, sort of feeling. Her eyes resembled the sky, but were bluer. Her nose looked as if it belonged to any goddess. And her lips were redder than the reddest of tomatoes. “Nice… lipstick, m.m.mam.” The sobbing continued. She took my hands and touched them to her surprisingly cold cheeks. Some time later, when I got really scared, I decided to pull my hands off… but they refused. They were stuck to her extremely cold skin. I applied a lot of force, when… her head came out.
I yelled and fell back, her sticky head still attached to my trembling palms. I used up half of my energy, shaking my hands wildly. Finally, the head fell off and before I could run, started changing. The blue eyes turned red. That goddess nose became a beak-like structure. Her lips, well, they stayed as they were. The rest of her body stood up, grabbed the head, put it back on, and started changing too. It grew tiny pores and green slime started oozing out.
I finally felt my legs, got up, and started running. She, or rather, ‘it’, started after me, did a Spiderman-type move, and wrapped some slimy strings around me. I was pulled towards its mouth. But I didn’t want to die, not in such a remote and inglorious way. So I fought like mad, broke free, threw a stone at its face, and ran like hell.
I didn’t care about the slippery, mossy ground that I was walking on. All I could think at that time was reaching a safe place, far from there. Five to ten minutes later, I reached a huge haveli(mansion). It looked secure, and don’t forget, I was far away from where the horrific incident had taken place.
I quietly stepped through the main gates. A cold chill ran down my spine. I felt a kind of pull towards the place. Twenty seconds later after ringing the bell, it was pulled from the inside by a skinny guy. “And how may I help you, sir?” he asked. This was a servant, I thought just by looking at his apparel. “Uh, well… you see, I was, uh, well my GPS is not working, and I am lost in this…” “Who is it?” A deep voice, boomed from inside and echoed on the walls.
A breath-takingly fat old man emerged from behind one of the walls. “Who are you?” he asked. I quickly told him that I was lost. He must have sensed what I meant, because he asked me to come in and invited me to spend the night there. I quietly stepped in. The mansion was bigger than it seemed from the outside. The doors closed slowly and loudly; the hinges hadn’t been oiled.
The man escorted me to a huge room that resembled a single storey Mughal dining court. The dining room, I guessed. “Well, you are just in time,” he said. “I am just about to have my dinner, and you look hungry as well.” He asked me to sit down and asked his servants to bring us hot soup and rice. About a minute later, we were both sitting alone in a huge, antique room. “So, you live in this huge place all alone?” I asked in order to start a conversation. He said “Well, I was not always alone. I had a daughter at a time. I lost her in an accident. My wife couldn’t make it after her death. So I live with my servants now, after losing everyone.” I had to reply “Oh, I’m sorry for you.” I wanted to blurt out all that had happened to me, but then that wasn’t urgent.
“I see you have jelly on your backpack.” He said. Ok, now I couldn’t control myself. I quickly told him everything. The look on his face suddenly changed. “Sir, it’s your bedtime” a voice said from inside one of the rooms. Miraculously, it was the same time, when both of us ate our last morsel. I asked “Do… you, by chance, know anything…” he shot an icy look at me, which actually penetrated through our conversation. “Time to sleep.” He said and disappeared down a corridor. This guy was hiding something, and I didn’t even realise that we didn’t tell each other our names. Pretty strange.
A maid led me to my room which was very far away from the living room. When I entered, I just stood there. The ceiling and the walls were eye-blindingly white. The floor was covered with a large, expensive-looking carpet. At the centre of this stood a huge king-sized bed. “Where is the bathroom?” I turned around to ask, but only to find that the maid had left.
I couldn’t sleep that night. The super-freaky woman kept haunting my dreams. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to get home. So I grabbed my bag and went for it. But as soon as I opened the door, I fell back. The fat man was there. “Why are you awake at this time?” “The question is, why are you awake at this time?” I challenged him. His villainous eyes glared down at me. “I thought it was time I told you all that happened to you.” And he led me down a dark corridor.
“What is this, where are we going?” I mean, come on, I will obviously hesitate. “I have to show you something.” He said. Trusting my gut, I went with him, my penknife clutched tightly in my hand. “One day,” he started. “I and my daughter were taking a stroll down this forest. It was beautiful, my favourite place to wander. We were having a pretty good time, when we spotted something sludgy on the ground. Now we stopped to see what it was. We went too close. Because it literally jumped at us. It was going to devour me, but my girl came and pulled it off, and it absorbed her. At that moment, I thought that she gave her life to save mine. What I didn’t know, was that she is possessed. I just walked home, mourning.”
“Now, the thing has infected her. She isn’t coming back. So you need to kill her, I see you have a penknife.” “What did you just say?” I couldn’t make out what was going on with me that night. He started protesting. “Look, the government is dealing with this problem, but the media doesn’t know about it, and thus, even not the public. If you are successful in executing the task, you may be rewarded. Look, I have a secret that I can call her here. But the thing is, that I can’t kill her, because even if the soul isn’t, the body is of my own daughter. So you have to do it.”
“Ok”, I agreed. “But how do I kill it?” “Pierce any sharp object through its heart, and you are done.” This was the response I got. We reached a huge door. “Alright. I am ready. Call her.” I finally was going to get home. He stepped forward, opened the door, took me in the room’s centre, and babbled words without meaning for a minute and finally, a girl appeared, sitting on a chair right in front of us. The man asked me to step forward, which I did, after which… he ran away! I started running after him too, but soon was entangled in slimy strings. “Aaa not again!” The girl pulled me towards herself. That’s when I went unconscious.
When I woke up, I was in the rickshaw. It was all a dream! The vehicle had been fixed and continued its journey while I was asleep. Phew! My face was sweating rivers. Oh, it was so realistic, I didn’t notice it was all fake. Just like the visual effects in M.C.U. movies. Which reminded me that I had my earphones. So I decided to watch some action cuts on my way home. But while removing my phone, I noticed that there was someone besides me.
It was a woman, but the most beautiful form I had ever seen. Her eyes resembled the sky, but were bluer. Her nose looked as if it belonged to any goddess. And her lips were redder than the reddest of tomatoes. Whoa, wait. I have mentioned this earlier, right? Oh boy. Still, I asked her… “Who are you, when did you come?” She looked at me and I got the same, strange feeling I got before. Then I noticed something. Her eyes were changing colour. And I was just like “Stop the rickshaw! Stop the rickshaw!” But the driver wouldn’t listen. And the woman’s eyes just grew redder and redder every second. “ARE YOU DEAF?! STOP THE DAMN RICKSHAW!” I grabbed the driver’s hair when… his head came off. At that moment, I didn’t know or care what was going on with me, or what was going to be. I just threw his head out of the randomly-running-anywhere vehicle, closed my eyes tight, and waited for death’s arrival.
But when I opened my eyes, I found myself in my own bedroom. I quickly turned on the lights. My room was as usual. The wall colour had faded away. A thousand newspapers were scattered on the floor. My eyes fell on the headline of one. I picked it up. It said, ‘Office employee found dead, body covered in slime, in the middle of dark forest.’ But before I could read further, I felt something behind me. I turned back, just to look right into two ferocious, red eyes.