It was a long and tiresome day at the office. I was completely exhausted by the time I had reached home. A refreshing bath and a hearty dinner had helped a little in relieving exhaustion. A little later, I surrendered myself to the cozy comfort of my bed and was soon overpowered by sleep. I slid into dreams and found myself wandering through the corridors of an old house. To my surprise, the house seemed very familiar to me as if I had been there before. I already knew which corridor led to the balcony and which to ended up in the backyard. And everything was exactly the way I had assumed them to be.
I was halfway through my tour of the house when I heard a faint sound of sparking in the old electric wires from the far end of the house. I ran in search of it from one room to another but couldn't locate where it came from. Finally, I decided that it was the best option to turn down the electricity. I headed towards the garage where the meter box was. But then a question reverberated in my mind, "how do I know that it was in the garage and not somewhere else?"
The thought halted my pace as I questioned my own instincts. After a few enigmatic minutes, I decided to check it out. As I walked forward, I saw a cloud of smoke approaching from the far end of the corridor. It penetrated into my nostrils and filled my lungs with an obnoxious odor. I started coughing and struggled to breathe. Within a few minutes, my legs staggered and I sat upon my knees, grabbing my throat. I gasped for air as I saw the cloud of smoke giving way to fire. It was voraciously devouring everything that came in it's way. I jumped upon my feet at once and made my way out of the house. I pushed open the doors of the house to find an escape from the blazing fire when my gaze fell on a beautiful picture of a pair of deer. For a second, I forgot about the fire and stood with my eyes transfixed upon it as if been mesmerized by it's spell. The furious flames of the fire engulfed the huge hall and jolted me back to my senses. I threw myself out into the garden and helplessly watched the whole house burn down.
I opened my eyes abruptly and found myself safe and sound on my own bed. I turned to my side and noted that the clock on the bedside table was flashing 3.30 am. Kavita, my wife was sleeping peacefully besides me. I heaved a sigh of relief and gulped down a glass of water to pacify my tittered nerves. But the obnoxious odor of the smoke would just don't leave me. I was still feeling it as if it was coming from within my own house. I sprung upon my feet at once and checked every nook and corner of the house. After assuring myself that everything was perfectly alright, I returned to the bed.
The next morning, I was woken up by frightened screams of Kavita. I rolled out of the bed and ran immediately to her only to find her in a utterly shocked state.
"What happened, Kavi?" I asked as I shook her in an attempt to revive her.
Without a word, she passed the newspaper that was clutched in her hand to me. I took it from her and read the news on which her eyes were still glued. It said that our ancestral home was burnt down by a massive fire that was caused by an electrical short circuit. The time of incidence was about 3.30 am. No causalities were reported as the house was been kept locked for the last two decades. There were a few pictures of the burnt house along with the news. In one of them, I spotted a half burnt picture of a pair of deer exactly the same as I had seen in my dreams last night.
"So, it was this house that I had seen," I muttered to myself.
My family had shifted to Mumbai when I was a boy of seven and after that nobody ever cared to return to our hometown.
"That's why the house seemed so familiar to me," I remarked to myself. "I was actually there when it was happening. I saw it all with my own eyes!"
"Are you alright?" Kavita asked anxiously, "I'll bring you some water."
She rushed to the kitchen assuming that I have lost my sanity after suffering such a huge loss. After she was gone, I kept pondering, "are things like the sixth sense or ESP a truth or mere myths?"