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Dream or The Last Horrible Night...
"But you heard it,
darling you look perfect tonig......"
I stopped in my tracks and pulled out my phone from the pocket of my overcoat. The Spotify app was still working, but the screen had started buffering. Woah! This area was really down on network reception. I took out my earphones and stuffed them in my bag. Thinking about my mother's reaction if I was too late, I quickened my pace.
That day, I was awfully late to my project discussion meeting. My group had planned to meet up at Priya's place, to discuss our basic plan. I was the last one to arrive and leave. That was a bit shameful, but I endured it anyway.On leaving, Priya advised me to take the Old Nehar route, saying the one I earlier travelled was not very safe at this hour. Although I know she meant no harm, but now I regret taking her advise.
It was around 8:00. That area didn't have many inhabitants, but even those counted ones seemed to be asleep. The limited number of streetlights, the quiet atmosphere, the chilly night and my own footsteps were scaring me to death.
I jumped, my heart racing as if it was going to break out of the ribs. It was my phone.
"Just my phone, my phone , its okay, all's well...", I muttered, trying to reason with my stupid heart to calm down. I recieved the call; it was my mom.
Mom:"Beta (child), where are you?"
Me: "On the way."
Mom: "What?! I can't hear you.."
Me: "(ugh!! network!) ON THE WAY!"
Mom: "Oh. Shall I come to pick you? Why didn't you call me? Where are you now? It's already soo dark outside!"
Me: "Mumma, everything's fine. Don't worry. I can return on my own."
Mom: "Are you sure? Where are you right now?"
Me: "Old Nehar Road. Almost on the main road, I'll be home in max 15 min.."
Mom: "WHAT?! Darling, I can't hear you!"
Me : "I"LL BE HOME SOON! DON'T WORRY! I LOVE YOU! "
I put my phone in my pocket, I started walking again. All of a sudden, I realised that I wasn't alone. Someone was behind me. I looked over my shoulder. I was right. Someone was there walking towards me. There was some distance between us and I decided to increase it.
I grabbed my phone, hovering my finger over the emergency button, just incase.
All of a sudden, a hand grabbed my shoulder! I screamed, and began running at full speed. It was impossible, how could he, (or maybe she) get that close so quietly and quickly? I fumblingly tried to press the button on my phone. It didn't work, the phone seemed to have hanged. Damn it! What a great timing!
My attention was diverted by a house with the lights on and the door open wide; a girl was standing at the doorsteps. I changed my course of direction and ran towards the house.
"Hi, can you please help me. There is someone following me. Can I use a phone, or maybe landline? I need to contact someone."
The girl was beautiful and cute, younger than me. "Please come." She said leading me into the house.
Oh, I'm not a fool from a horror movie. I was not going in, out of question! I mean, this literally seemed like a sequence from some scary hollywood film. But I turned to see the stalker right at the gate. Waiting For Me?! I decided it was the only option. I stepped cautiously inside, every nerve in my body alert. The girl was near the door which must lead to another room. She pointed at the sofa,"Please wait."
The house seemed big from outside, but from the inside it felt claustrophobic. I shifted uneasily on the sofas. I was freaking out. Where was this girl? To make the conditions worse, I heard something outside.
Pittar-Patter and a Swoosh. A drizzle which took no time at all to turn into a full downpour.
I decided I'll leave. This instant. I was not brave enough to stay there one more second, I'll just try to run at my best speed. Quietly, I tried to get up when something got caught in my hand. It was a keyring. A doll keyring, precisely. It was pretty and ugly at the same time. All of a sudden, my spidey-sense shook me. A horrible stench reached my nostrils and I looked up to find that girl at the door again, staring hard at me.
My breath stopped. She wasn't pretty anymore. She had a landline phone in one hand and a knife in the other. She pointed the knife at me and screamed. Not a human scream. It sounded like a man and a child and a woman at the same time.
"LEAVE IT! LEAVE IT! LEAVE IT!"
I jumped up, ran to the main door, flung it open and ran. Drenching in the rain, I ran. Don't stop. Don't look behind. Run. My bag was holding me down. I threw it. I ran. I screamed. "HELP!" Where was I going? Didn't matter. Run wherever you can, far from that house. The rain was defeaning. Run, please. My legs and my breath were giving up. RUN! I need to look behind. Please God please. I looked over my shoulder. The path was deserted. Should I stop? No. Run. All of a sudden, I hear a blaring horn. I looked to my right. Two big headlights where rushing towards me. No. It was too close. It was too late. Why? Why me? The truck hit me full impact and I felt myself fly away....
"NO!!!..." I pushed up, breathless and sweating. My heart was beating so fast. I tried to catch air, I was shaking. Dream, it was a dream. That was the worst one I've ever had. It broke all the records.
My little brother ran into the room. "Didi? Oh,You're finally awake. Mumma and papa are already out for work... Wait, are you okay? Had a bad dream?" "Yeah, I guess so.."
"By the way, look what I found! It was in your hand this morning, did Priya Didi give this to you?"
"What?",Rubbing my eyes, I turned to look at his hand, and my whole body froze. Tears welled up my eyes as I became breathless once again:
It was the same pretty-ugly doll keyring from my dream, or the last horrible night....