Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.
Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.

Ell Pee



Ell Pee




5 mins

You, yes you. Sitting there with your laptop. Yes, I’m talking to you. There you go looking around.

Are you surprised the window blew open?

Did the sudden sound startle you?

Did you wonder who opened that window?

Oh, don’t look so scared. I know your heart is beating faster than horse hoofs. There, there slowly reach out for water and take a sip to calm your racing heart. Feels better, doesn’t it?

Is your brain telling you that it was just a gush of wind, on a cold December night? I bet it is. And I bet you are listening to your brain.

You look back at the screen, all you see is static. Now whatever happened to your Macbook? What are these blurring lines you see? Oh, I see that the lines seem to be making sense to you now. Yes, they look like numbers. 27.11.2010 isn’t it?

It doesn’t make sense, does it?

Just a random date.

And then your memory jolts.

It brings forth a face. No! That can’t be.

A face long forgotten, a face buried in the deepest recesses of your mind. Your hands start shaking uncontrollably. You turn around, and look at the open window; almost expecting to see her face with bones peeping through hanging flesh, and a macabre grin lighting that mouth.

Your stomach sinks, and your flesh is cold. You will your legs to stand straight and walk up to the window. You peep outside with dread invading your bones. You see an empty alley, just like you would any other night at three in the morning.

You scan the street, and just as you are about to blame it all to your overactive imagination. Blame your imagination to the pot of weed you smoked. You see a single street lamp, light a corner of the alley, and there stands a girl, a single, lonely girl, wearing a dirty wet white dress. Her hair is messy and dripping. It is filled with pieces of caked mud and grass. She is looking down on the ground.

You hastily shut the window, before she notices you, or before you see her face and realize it is the same face from 27.11.2010.

You run up to your bed and to crawl into the duvet, cover yourself from top to bottom and sleep with the lights on. But before you do that, you need protection. You need a gun.

Yes, that’s right. Slowly, carefully, walk to your closet and pull out the semi-automatic pistol, Papa gave you. Do you remember, what he said when he gave you this?

“A girl alone in another city needs all the precautions she can get.”

Yes, good girl. Now, go back to bed and keep the pistol under your pillow. Now, cover yourself and leave the lights on.

You do just that. And you still cannot sleep. Memories of that night, five years ago haunt you. Did she deserve what happened to her?

Probably not, you think. But it happened, and Papa always told you to let bygones be bygones. So, you have spent five years running away from your past, trying to forget what you and your friends did.

You have finally learned to move on in life, you have a great job, a fabulous boyfriend and an envious social circle. Everything that she deserved to have too but she couldn’t. Because of you.

You shake your head off these macabre thoughts, you sigh deeply and talk yourself to sleep. You tell yourself, that it was all just your imagination, and there was nothing to it.

Just then the lights go out.

You squeal in terror, but you are too afraid to remove the duvet off your head. You can feel everything around you submerged in darkness and shadows. You hear a door creak open. Your breath is harsh when it comes it makes wheezing sounds.

There is someone in your room and whoever it is, is dripping water. Even with the heating on your room is freezing.

You try not move, you hear slushy feet slap loudly on your wooden floor. Walking uneven, trying to reach you. You fill with increasing dread at the sound of oncoming footsteps. You still have a part of your brain working in all that panic. You slowly move your hand under the pillow and pull out the gun.

You hold on tight to the cold handle of your pistol. You are ready to surprise the intruder, be it human or otherwise.

Suddenly the footsteps stop, you wonder what happened? You wonder where did the intruder go? You question your own sanity again.

With the last wave of daring bravado, you throw off the duvet to see nothing. Because you realize that lights are out and darkness hangs like an impenetrable cloud. Your hands are still on the gun when you remember that your bed lamp is battery operated.

With shivering hands, you reach out to the bed lamp and switch it on, while your eyes are glued towards the door.

The soft glow from the lamp illuminates your room, and you see nothing, except for puddles of water. Your eyes follow them slowly, with elevating panic, from the door to the bed, where they stop.

You whimper as you turn towards the bed lamp, knowing what you will see. Your unsteady hands try hard to hold the gun upright, as your eyes meet empty sockets infested by maggots.

That face, the face you helped drown five years ago, the same face rotten by time and eaten by rodents. Just the way you imagined it.

What should you do now?

What should you say?

How do you react when you face the demons from your past?


You say, “I’m sorry” and shoot yourself in the head.

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