Wednesday 1 September 2010

FlashFiction 2010 FirstPrize Kamalika Ray

Guest in the Night 

As the cellphone kept beeping louder, Anil  woke up with a jerk. Half past One, it said. He had fallen asleep on the sofa. Strange that the alarm went off at this hour in the night !!!
The house felt eerie with unusual silence.

The kitchen tap was running. Anil pulled himself up.
Minutes later, as he dragged himself sleepily to the bedroom, after switching off the lights a peculiar sensation pricked  him, like someone was there behind him, watching him. He tried to laugh it off,  “Imagination!” he thought.

As if to assure himself, he turned around with a force.
There she was! Watching him, bloody eyed
But he looked past her… He could not see her yet.

It was hard to say what woke him up again that night. But there he was, profusely perspiring and awfully thirsty. As he staggered out of the bed in the dark, a tap was again heard running! He turned it off minutes ago, didn't he?

The fan was still, was it a powercut ? Anil, a bit anxious now, started towards the door by the time he reached the other room, he had heard her.
It was a low, monotonous groan, a child’s voice but not quite, coming from somewhere outside. With the bottle of water still unopened. Anil proceeded towards the living room. Was it from the balcony that the sound came? His throat was parch dry but something stopped him from drinking the water he held, was it fear?

Or was it what he saw there…
A young girl was sitting there on the railing of the balcony, knees huddled together and head bent on her knees, face hidden therein. Anil shaken to the core quaked out a “Who is it?” to her she lifted her face to him and it was then that he saw the real her, the face was a bloody mess of raw flesh…fiery red eyes bulging out of it, “I’m thirsty too” a raspy voice said.
There was a sound of  breaking glass. 

Anil  ran around, locking every single latch of all the doors, windows, even pulling down curtains...
Panting like a dog, he finally collapsed on the sofa, armed with a flashlight.
It was her! Anil’s mind was racing a car’s screeching brake was heard flashes of a girl’s face, twisted in pain, an angry crowd shouting as his car sped off… 

Could it be?

“I said I’m thirsty too” the voice hissed from behind Anil turned back before passing out into the darkness…

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