For a second,my breathing came to a halt.My heart started pounding faster.
Who’s that behind me?!
I remove my earphones and look behind.
“You just scared the hell out of me Gayathri!”
Gayathri is Madhav’s sister studying in 8th standard.
“What are you doing here?”
“Listening to music..why?what happened?”
“You don’t seem to be at ease..even though Mumbai is winning.. You left the match and came here! Unusual for a cricket addict like you.. Isn’t it? ”, she asked the perfect question.
“Err..it was a one sided match…. ”
“But you ALWAYS watch their matches,be it one-sided or not! ”, she retorted.
I kept silent.
“You’re hiding something from me..even Madhav and Vishnu are acting a bit weird..What’s it? Tell me!”, she demanded.
She knew my weakness that I couldn’t hide anything from her since she held the tag of my ‘favourite cousin’.
I narrated the entire story to her,and asked her to be silent about this issue.
“But..it would be better if you don’t go there again.. ”, she advised.
“Well..I came here to call you for dinner.. Mom has made your favourite Sambhar that you crave for!” she smiled.
“Then why are we still here? Let’s go!”
There was a sense of awkwardness even at the dining table as the three chaotic guys were unusually silent and that made my Mom ask,
“What happened?Is the food not up to the mark?”
“No no! Its superb as usual.. ”,I replied.
Back at the first floor bedroom, we three discussed about the horrifying experience that e had and decided to think about it later and sleep.
I switch off the lights.
As expected, instead of sleeping,we talked for another one hour or so, on a wide variety of topics ranging from RCB’s defeat to new movies to cricket stats to Bollywood movie collections.
And soon,we slumbered.
But we couldn’t get that sound sleep as usual.
Each one of us had the image of the creepy creature we had seen, running at the back of our mind.
And that’s when I spot some movement across the window.
Some reflections from the other side..
Startled,I got up and tried waking them up.
“Lemme sleeeep Sooraj..I’m tired!”, Viz blurted out.
Madhav,on the other hand got up with great efforts.
I point towards the window pane.
And he was correct.
Maybe my mind was still not out of that spooky trance.
“Stop thinking bro..Sleep and let us sleep!”
“No if’s and but’s.. Why don’t you just….. ”
And we were gifted another shock.The window emitted that characteristic dim fluorescent green light that we witnessed that evening at the ‘haunted house’.
“What the!”,Viz had woken up by then.
“Shh!”,I forced him to be silent.
Slowly I creep to the opposite wall and switch on the lights.
At the same instant we heard the loud sound of the creature landing down.
The sound was enough to wake up the elders in the house who were at the ground floor.
We head downstairs.Vishnu’s Dad had already woken up and was about to open the door.He didn’t possess that element of fear since he is an Army Officer.
“No Mama!”,I shout out as I run down the stairs.
“But why!?We could catch that robber easily!How dare he try this!”
Oh God!How can I make him understand about that creature!?
“We couldn’t say if its only one robber or a group of them Mama! Maybe it was their plan to bring us out,that would in turn make things easy for them to enter inside! ”,Madhav explained him tactfully.
I agreed to his point and made Mama believe the same.
“Better we check it out once the sun rises..”, Vishnu suggested.
“Ok fine..now you boys go to sleep.Check if all the windows are secured or not.”
“Ok Mama..”,we say in unison as we go upstairs.
We couldn’t sleep that night.
We were still not able to believe that we were being targeted at.
“Guys,I have a plan”,I announce.
“What’s that plan?”,they ask out of curiosity.
“Wait till tomorrow..
Everything will become clear..