It had all started when Deepa was a child of about nine or ten years of age. She could not remember exactly. She would wake up every night drenched in sweat, her heart racing with fear. As an adult, the episodes became more frequent, and the condition was eventually diagnosed as sleep paralysis. Every night as she drifted off to sleep, a heavy weight would settle on her chest, pinning her down and rendering her completely immobile. She would struggle to breathe, but her lungs refused to obey her commands. Her mind would race, but her body was paralyzed.
At first, Deepa had thought it was just a harmless quirk, a strange aspect of her brain chemistry. But as the years passed and her condition worsened, she began to suspect that something more sinister was at play. She would wake up every morning feeling exhausted, as though she had spent the entire night fighting against an invisible force.
Deepa tried everything to combat her sleep disorder. She consulted doctors, tried meditation, and even experimented with sleeping pills. But nothing seemed to work. The demon that haunted her nightmares refused to release its grip on her.
But one night, everything changed. As Deepa lay in bed, she felt the familiar weight descend upon her chest. She tried to move, but her limbs were frozen in place. She tried to scream, but her vocal cords refused to cooperate. As she lay there, helpless and terrified, for the first time she saw something move in the corner of her eye. It was a shadowy figure, looming over her bed. Deepa couldn't make out its features, but she could sense its malevolence. She tried to close her eyes and will it away, but when she opened them again, it was still there.
For the first time in her life, Deepa realized that the demon haunting her nightmares might not be a mere figment of her imagination. It was real, and it was here.
The figure crept closer, its movements fluid and sinuous. She tried to move, but her body was unresponsive. The figure reached out a hand, and Deepa felt its icy touch on her cheek. She shuddered, her body wracked with fear and revulsion. Then the hand started to move, tracing circles on her skin. Deepa tried to scream, but her throat was constricted.
As the hand moved lower down her body, Deepa surprisingly felt a surge of desire and arousal. She had never experienced anything like this before, this mix of fear and excitement. The hand traced her inner thigh, and Deepa couldn't help but moan.
The demon then spoke to her, its dark voice filling her mind "I can give you everything that you want”
Deepa’s mind was a blur of conflicting emotions as the demon continued to touch her in ways she never thought possible. She knew it was wrong, she knew it was evil, but she couldn't resist the overwhelming desire that was consuming her.
As the demon's touch became more intimate, Deepa’s body throbbed with trepidation and anticipation- an uncanny conflicting sensation. It was as if the demon was feeding off her lust and fear, becoming stronger with every passing moment.
But then, suddenly, Deepa felt a surge of power within her. She summoned all her strength and fought against the demon with all her might. She screamed, and the room was filled with a bright light, banishing the demon back to the nether world. She was able to catch a glimpse of the demon’s face just for a fleeting second before it vanished.
Deepa lay there, panting and drenched in sweat, feeling a mix of relief and shame. She had been desecrated by an evil force, and yet, she had also felt a sense of pleasure that she couldn't deny.
The experience left Deepa with more questions than answers. Was she now forever tainted by the demon's touch, or was it possible to move past the trauma and reclaim her life…and why did this experience seem vaguely like déjà vu?
"I can give you everything that you want”..also sounded vaguely familiar.
Her mind was in a flux as she lay in the bed thinking, closing her eyes, trying to concentrate. After all this was the nearest she had ever come to confronting the demon tormenting her all these years.
Then there was a flash …it all came back to her….the déjà vu was real!
The face of the demon she saw for a fleeting second resembled her long dead uncle Jagdish and wasn’t he the one who had promised to give her whatever she wanted..chocolates, toys?
That was just before he violated her..a child of just 10 years of age. Her innocent body and mind had been traumatised beyond comprehension that fateful night and she had sub-consciously shut out the incident let alone telling anyone. Jagdish, an alcoholic had died soon after that and she had never seen him again. But the invisible demon which got created on that horrifying night had stayed on within her and replayed the trauma again and again, the moment she shut her eyes.
Deepa suddenly felt a sense of peace wash over her, as though a heavy burden had been lifted from her shoulders. She knew that she would never forget what had happened to her, but now that her mind had finally accepted it – the insidious demon within it was dead, she was ready to move on with her life.
As she got up from bed, she felt a cool gust of breeze blow through the open window and waft across her face, and a voice whispered in her ear.
"You are strong," it said. "And you are free."