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by Gowri Bhargav

After a long day at work in the new city, she is exhausted. Bone tired. She fixes herself a simple dinner, watches TV and retires to bed. As she tosses and turns trying to sleep, she hears a noise. Her heart skips a beat.

Who can it be? 

She is tempted to check if the windows and doors are locked but her body seems frozen. You lurk stealthily in a corner, waiting to take charge. Isn’t that what you do? A monster ruthlessly waiting to attack the timid ones.

She spots you dodging the shadows and silhouettes. She lets out a silent scream and is unable to move. With vile intentions you move closer to her and make her squirm. Muted, she watches all that you do as tears trickle down her cheeks. 

At the crack of dawn you leave. She discusses the happenings with her neighbors but their attitude seems indifferent. They claim that there have been no such reports in the affluent neighborhood and she’s just imagining things. So she decides to muster courage and tackle it herself.

The next night after ensuring that all the windows and doors are locked, she places cameras inside the room to record the footage and prove your presence.The clock ticks but you fail to come. She feels relieved in a way.

But…you seem to know her every move.

In the following two days you don’t come. She decides to forget what happened that night. She even begins to doubt if it was just a nightmare.

But on the fourth night, you appear. With two more accomplices. She wakes up with a start when the table lamp falls from the nightstand. You give her the most ominous stare and her night goes for a toss. Her sheets are stained and tattered.

The next morning drawing in all her strength she wakes up and inspects the CCTV footage in vain only to realize that you have sabotaged the connections. You are smarter than what she had presumed.

The following nights you continue to harass her bringing in more accomplices. You turn her life into hell. She seeks help from her neighbors but all her pleas fall on deaf ears. At last, an old gentleman living in the apartment downstairs decides to help her.

As per his advice, that night, she seals all the windows and doors, whispers a silent prayer and switches off the lights. She hears you enter as the clock strikes one but does not dare to leave her bed.

After a while your squeaks turn into shrieks and you begin to rattle. The next morning she wakes up to good news. You can’t run forever. While you are helplessly trapped in the rat cage, your accomplices struggle in the sticky pad. She notices the gap in the AC vent–your entry point. The old gentleman helps in disposing of you and your kind, seals the entry point and closes your chapter forever.



This story won a special mention in the monthly flash fiction contest held by Penmancy.  It was first published here.

We had to incorporate the line ” You can’t run forever” in the story.  The story also had to be weaved based on the line.

Picture Credit : Bing

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1 comment

Pushkala June 15, 2024 - 8:43 am



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