Meraki

This is a story I wrote for RavenclawSam’s blog. There’s some good work there. You should definitely check out the other stories in this series of guest posts.

A Blast Of Random

The curator switched off the main light and looked back into the room. All seven paintings were lit by their individual soft lights. They were placed all around the room with benches for observation in the middle of the room.

Personally, the curator didn’t like this particular exhibition of paintings. They made him uneasy. He couldn’t point out why but they seemed to be eerily alive- especially in the dark.

The curator left the room in a hurry. It was 11.15 pm. He knew he was late. The wife would be angry. He checked the room once more before locking up for the day. His boss would have his head on a platter if anything were to happen to the paintings.

The room with the paintings was enveloped in complete dark barring the lights of the paintings. The room was quite empty and still. Yet something was breathing. Breathing, waiting…

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Gossamer

Mariana had been dreading her 21st birthday ball ever since it had been announced. She would be forced to be polite to all of the Dukes and Lords of her father’s court, who would then leer and paw at her under the pretence of wishing her. She just wished that people would ask before touching her.
She barely said a word when she was shoved into a too tight dress for the occasion and let her maids pull at her hair until it was in an acceptable state. After dismissing them, Mariana stared at herself in the mirror.
“I look terribly thin. If I eat a grape, will my corset pop?”
Giggling at the very un-ladylike joke, she left her room mentally preparing herself for the next few hours. Let the torture begin.

“Darling, who is that exquisite creature walking down the stairs?”
Edith sighed at her mistress. It was one thing to be indifferent about politics, but to not know the Crown Princess of the Kingdom was just insulting.
“Your Grace that is Her Royal Highness, Princess Mariana; whose birthday party you are currently attending.”
Katherine raised one delicate eyebrow at her lady’s maid, who apologised immediately for the sarcasm. Turning away, she narrowed her eyes at the Princess. Katherine was attracted to her immediately, she was absolutely gorgeous.
There had never been an instance where a man had interested her. She was different, she knew and so did her parents. Fortunately, they loved her enough not to force her into anything. But society gossiped and she was known as the Lockwood’s 24 year-old spinster.
Princess Mariana was tall for her age and carried herself with a silent grace. Her gossamer gown fit her perfectly up until her waist and then it flowed. She was smiling demurely as she tucked in a strand of hair back into her bun. Mariana was beautiful and looked every bit of the princess she was.
“I am going to go meet the Princess.”
Edith stared in horror. “But, Your Grace, you cannot. That is not how it is supposed to be. Her Highness is meant to meet all the important guests first.”
“Are you implying that I am not important enough?” asked Katherine coldly. “You are dismissed for the night Edith. Have a lovely one.”
She left without a second glance towards her maid. Infuriating meddler she might be, but she was efficient. Katherine wouldn’t replace her. Not yet, at least.
Walking across the ballroom purposefully with her head held high, Katherine drew a lot of curious looks. It was not every day that the daughter of Duke Lockwood actively participated in something. When she reached the Princess, she dropped into a curtsey.
“Your Royal Highness, it is a pleasure to meet you.”
Mariana took one look at the stately brunette with bright green eyes and flung herself at her. Surprised that the lady hadn’t pushed her off immediately, she tightened her grip on her neck.
“Please play along,” Mariana whispered. “I need to get away from these old coots.”
Katherine let out a laugh and pulled away. “I did not know you would be so happy to see me, Princess.”
Mariana quickly curtsied to the people that were surrounding her.
“I apologise my Lords and Ladies, but I have not had the chance to meet my friend in a long time. If you would excuse us, we will take our leave.”
The Princess smiled at the confused guests and led her ‘friend’ away. She smiled at everyone they passed, much to Katherine’s amusement.
“Where exactly are you taking me, Princess? Do you know how terrible it is for your reputation to be seen with me?”
Mariana didn’t answer and led her to an empty balcony. Once there she dropped Katherine’s wrist and curtsied.
“Forgive me for causing inconvenience. I had to get out of there before my corset or my temper snapped.”
The Princess startled as Katherine burst out laughing. “Is something funny?”
“My dear Princess, forgive me but I find the most inappropriate things hilarious,” Katherine smirked. “My name is Katherine, since you did not ask I thought I would tell you myself.”
Mariana blushed and offered her hand. “You may call me Mariana.”
Katherine raised the hand to her mouth and looked at the Princess.
“May I?” she asked and kissed the back of the hand when she was given permission. The Princess blushed and hastily took her hand back.
“I think we should head back inside. It was lovely meeting you; I hope to see you again.”
Katherine winked at her and laughed a little when the blush deepened.
“You will be seeing a lot more of me, Mariana. I hope you are ready for it.”
The Princess scurried off, eager to get away from the oddly charming lady. It was the start of a beautiful friendship and perhaps, a little more.

***
Another post for my Blog Birthday 😀

This is one is by my friend who goes by Evil_and_I_know_it. The word given to her was “gossamer”. She’s a hardcore Fangirl and writes great fan fiction. Especially Harry Potter ones. You can check out her work here.

Happy Weekend!

When Dreams And Reality Intertwine

  Mikaela ran through the shrouded labyrinth, knowing full well that this had to be a dream. Sleep was never a welcome distraction. Because in her sleep, she dreamed. Not dreams about unicorns and rainbows or buying the perfect dress for prom night. Nighmares. Terrible ones. Usually ones from which she emerged kicking and screaming. This dream seemed more perilous and threatening in particular. She halted for some air. All the running had left her breathless. She looked around her. The labyrinth stretched into two dark hallways before her. She was tired. This was usually the part in the dream when something really horrendous would happen and her loud wails would cause her mother to shake her awake. Her dreams somehow always seemed very realistic. This one however, had made it to the top of the list on the reality factor. Instinct made her take the right pathway. It seemed to be dimly lit and smelled vaguely of lavenders. Mikaela squinted her eyes to get a good look ahead. But it was the same as all the other paths. She could perceive nothing but darkness. She walked slowly, taking in the strange carvings on the walls which looked like distorted faces. Something about the faces enthralled her. She shook the chills which occasionally ran down her spine and walked deeper into the labyrinth. And then she stopped dead. One face on the wall grasped her attention, awaking an indescribable terror in her. As she took a step closer to it, the identity of the face dawned on her. It was hers. The dream had suddenly become a bit too real. She wasn’t even sure if it was a dream anymore. A sound of shuffling footsteps behind her startled her out of her reverie. It was time to run again. As she ran, she saw light streaming in ahead of her.

  Yes! Finally an exit! Maybe she could wake up now!

  But when she reached the end of the hallway, she saw a group of people who supiciously looked like doctors and some cops. There were a few patrol cars in the background with silent alarms

  Mikaela was bewildered. She couldn’t comprehend the situation.
Had someone been injured? She came to a stop as a doctor advanced towards her, a look of pity and horror etched across her face. And thats when Mikaela looked down at her hands, her face contorting with disbelief and disgust. Her hands were laced with blood.
“Is she the one?”, she heard a cop ask one of the doctors.
“Yes.She somehow finds a way to sneak away at night and the next morning we find her dishevelled and disturbed in her room.”, the doctor said.
“Is she mentally unstable?”, the cop asked.
What? Mentally unstable?
Mikaela was sure this was a dream. Panic seized her. She wasn’t crazy. But the doctors kept looking at her like she was.
“She killed her entire family in a fit of madness and was discovered later in a tunnel underneath their house not unlike this one. She was dazed and couldn’t remember what had happened”, the doctor replied, looking at her like she needed to be chained to a wall.
Words failed her.
Killed my family?
She was flabbergasted.
Hadn’t her mother just awoken her last night from a bad nightmare?
“She suffers from a sleep and identity disorder of sorts. And sometimes wakes up in a trance, unaware of who or where she is.”, the doctor continued.
Sleep disorder? Amnesia? What the hell was going on?
One of the doctors stepped forward with a syringe that looked like a tranquilizer. Mikaela opened her mouth to protest but was held still as she was injected. The night sky with stars aligned around the distant planets was the last thing she saw before she passed out.
She woke with a start, beads of sweat on her forehead.
“Are you alright sweetie?”, asked a figure beside her. It was her mother! She wasn’t insane. It had indeed been just a dream.
“She seems to be hallucinating too.”, one of the doctors said to his colleagues outside the observation room in which Mikaela had been placed.As the doctors walked out of the room, the last thing they saw was Mikaela hugging the air with all her might as if it was a flesh and blood person.
“Mom I’m so glad to see you!”, she exclaimed happily.
She wasn’t mentally unstable at all.

***

Diary of an Introverted Schmuck completed a year on the first of April. To make a big deal out of my Blog Birthday, I asked some friends of mine to guest post here.

This story is written by a friend of mine called Haya on the word ‘labyrinth’. She’s a terrific writer. You can check out her poems on her instagram. Drop some comments while you are at it. I’m sure she’ll love them 🙂

Week 5: Self-crossed

I have decided that I’ll do The 52 Project story wise. Since I can’t write a story per week, I’ll just write 52 stories over a period of two years or so.

So here’s story 5.

Self-crossed

Chloe
  I looked at the girl in the mirror. She wore a pouffy white dress. She had her hair done specially for this occasion. She wore Cinderella slippers (the glass kind, not the wool kind). She was glowing.
  She was me.
  I could almost imagine it. I would walk out of this room. My dad would be waiting outside wearing a sharp penguin suit. For once, he wouldn’t be making any jokes. He might even be a little teary eyed. Dad would clasp my hand tightly in his and lead me into the church. My sister, Gabrielle, would be walking in front of me wearing lilac. Lilac looks absolutely revolting on her. For once, I won’t be in the danger of being upstaged. It will be my day and no one will be able to steal my thunder.
  I would enter the church and ancient Mrs. Geller will be playing the bridal march on her equally ancient piano.  Everyone will turn and look at me, eyes ablaze with amazement. But my eyes will be fixated on one person. His eyes would be telling me that we’d made it. Our love for each other will become tangible in the air…
  The excited knock at the door snapped me out of my reverie.  Amy swooped in wearing the actual wedding dress. She was lit up like the New York skyline.
  Amy was the one with the bridal spark in her eye. Not me. My eyes could only be described as melancholic.
  I never would have imagined my eyes as melancholic. Yeah, they had been described as mischievous and they were said to have the wild look on more than one occasion.  But not melancholic, never melancholic.
  And my dress? It was just a color pretending to be white but not quite succeeding.
  Logically, I was supposed to hate Amy.
  She was the one who was going to make a decent man out of Ollie. She was the one who was going to marry him, have his kids and grow old with him.  She was going to be his wife, his other better half.
  But I didn’t.
  Her bridesmaids wore dresses that actually looked good on them.  There’s nothing more that I can say about her. She is actually that nice.
  And she made Ollie happy. I could already feel myself disappearing from his life. My existence was already less connected to his.
  That felt different. Ollie and I had been inseparable for a greater part of the 27 years of our lives.
  Ollie. Oliver. For me, he was still the laughing boy who had pushed me into Sally Malone’s pool when I first moved to Haven. We had been together through it all- childhood, puberty, first kisses, college, a bit of adulthood. Ollie had been my best friend for as long as I can remember. He had always been there for me and I had always been there for him.
  And now, he was getting married. We had talked about it. He had assured me that nothing would change. That we would always be best friends, no matter what.
  That would have even been possible if I wasn’t so hopelessly in love with him.
  Don’t we take people for granted?
  Don’t we cling to the belief that they are going to be there forever?
  The worst part?
  Amy was too darn awesome. Hating her or even disliking her had been impossible. And despite my best efforts, we had become good friends. Good enough that I was her maid-of-honor.
  Not that she hadn’t had enough candidates. She knew how important it was for Ollie that I would be a part of their wedding.  Ollie had actually wanted me as his best man.  The problem was-
a) I wasn’t a dude.
b) I looked way better in a dress than in a suit.
c) Female strippers did nothing for me.
  So I became Amy’s bridesmaid, soon promoted to chief bridesmaid. All the thanks go to her sister getting knocked up.
  As brides go, Amy was fun. She definitely wasn’t a bridezilla. Also, she actually ate the cake at her tasting. I trust people who refuse to refuse cake.
   She hadn’t freaked out. Not once. But she was totally freaking out now. Amy was afraid of screwing up. She was afraid that she was going to forget her wedding vows.  Or that an ex-girlfriend of Ollie would do a ‘speak now’ and Amy would be left with blood on her dress and handcuffs around her wrists.
  I tried my level best to carry out the bridesmaid duty. She didn’t calm down. What if Ollie didn’t show up?
  I assured her that he would. He was absolutely nuts about her. He looked at her in that special intense way that made her flush. Every time.
  I had always wondered, how would it be to be on the receiving end of one of those looks.
  Her hurried flow of words was interrupted by another knock at the door. Ollie peeped in. Amy shrieked and tried hiding under the bed. I held her and prevented the disaster called wedding dress and dirt.
“I am not looking! I am not looking!” yelled Ollie but by then Amy had gone on the offensive. She grabbed the huge pillows off the bed and hurled them at his head.  She was yelling something that sounded like a battle-cry.
  “I’ve just come to claim back my best-friend. Do you want me to have a black eye?”
  “C’mon Ollie! They’re just pillows! Your penguin suit made you a sissy?” I said, putting myself between them. I had a very risky and difficult job indeed.
  “Oh, it’s on.” He grabbed me and pulled me out of the room. I followed him to a deserted staircase with an open window.  He spent a few moments inhaling and exhaling. I gazed at him as his breath escaped his lips as white tufts of air. It was snowing already and Ollie was bracing himself.
  Finally, he spoke.
  “I can’t believe it! I’m actually doing this…”
  DOING WHAT?
  Don’t get your hopes up, Chloe. Just don’t.
  “I am actually getting married! When  we were kids, I always thought we’d end up together. And then I found Amy…”
  “You are a lucky guy. Amy is awesome. I’m leaving you in good hands.”
  “What? You’re leaving?”
  “No! Just that she can take over the job of babysitting you.”
  “It’s not like that Chlo. You’ll always be an important part of my life. You’re my best friend.”
  “Yeah. But you will have a wife in some hours. Wife trumps best friend.”
  “Nothing’s going to change. You’ll always be my girl.”
  “Aww Ollie. Aren’t you super sappy today?”
  “C’mon Chloe! I am getting married today! You’ve always been my rock. And, today, I need you more than ever. Emotions aren’t your enemy, you know.”
  “I am here, aren’t I? Ollie, you’ve always been my rock too. But now, you’ve got a new rock. Anyway, it’s time. Let’s go.”
    I could see it. Amy walked out of the room. Her dad was waiting outside wearing a sharp penguin suit. For once, he wasn’t making any jokes. He was actually a bit teary eyed. Amy’s dad clasped her hand tightly in his and lead her into the church. I was walking in front of her wearing my pretty dress. I didn’t look horrendous but no one in the room held a matchstick to Amy. She  definitely wasn’t  in the danger of being upstaged. It was to be her day and no one dared to steal her thunder.
  The ceremony went exceedingly well. The rings were remembered and procured on time. No one forgot their vows.
  And I didn’t start singing ‘Speak Now’. God bless Taylor Swift. She had a song for every damn occasion.
  It was so difficult to believe. Ollie was someone’s husband. He just felt so grown up now, a man.
  Well, when he was not trying to taste the icing off the wedding cake.
  Amy found him. Then those sneaky conspirators planned to creep into the kitchen and eat a piece of the wedding cake. I found out and averted the disaster.
  If I was the one getting married, there wouldn’t be any cake left. No matter who tried to stop me. Ollie and I would have been successful.
  But I wasn’t the bride so disaster averted.
  Amy went to change before the first dance. The dress was too pouffy for her moves. Ollie went to loosen his bow tie. They always made him feel terribly constricted.
  I walked to the door.

Ollie

  Wow. I was actually married.  I felt like the luckiest SoB in the world except mum was a perfectly lovely lady.
  But at the same time, I felt …sad. Yes, it was weird. I had fooled a gorgeous, smart, kind woman into becoming my wife and here I was, moping around.
  That was because I knew.
  Today was the day…today was when Chloe would leave. She never even hinted. But I knew.
  Chloe was the person in question. My Chloe. How could I not know?
  Yeah, she was my best friend.  But she was more than just a best friend.
  She was Chloe.
   Mischievous, wild Chloe who was the definition of trouble. It wasn’t that she broke the law or something.
  It was just that she seeked an adventure everywhere. My basement, her attic, the supermarket, nightclubs, here, there, everywhere.
  She did the craziest things but always landed on her feet.  Literally.
  Like the time when we were learning skateboarding and Jimmy Kendall dared her to try one of those dangerous, professional skateboarder slopes. Any of us mortals would have at least broken an arm upon taking up this dare.
  Not Chlo. She didn’t even get a scratch.
  Jimmy Kendall was impressed and saved her a seat on the bus for over a week. A seat which she never took. We had been a team, Chloe and Ollie.
  From the day Chloe hit puberty, I had guys asking me whether Chloe and I were, you know, together. We never were.
  Chloe was a light that attracted many moths. All of them were burned.
  I had gotten a really great deal. God, Amy was amazing. I love her so much.
  But what I felt for Chloe was different. She was Chloe. What else can I say? She was Chloe. Amy understood.
  I knew though, that this day would come. One day, Chloe was going to get bored of seeking adventures here, there and in this limited everywhere. I knew Chloe would want the world. So I decided not to want her.
  She was destined for great things. Who am I to challenge destiny?
  It was snowing again. The white tufts made this day truly magical. I leaned on the balcony railing, watching the winter wonderland.
  I saw a human shaped whiteness rush stumble towards the gate. She hesisted just before walking out but she never looked back. I didn’t ask for a goodbye. It would  have killed both of us.
  Instead I watched her leave, dragging her suitcase behind her.
 

Chocolate 3: To go or not

This is the last chapter I’ve edited so far. I really should write more.

Let me know what you think 🙂

To go or not

Sam or whatever was left of him was airlifted out of here. The beautiful peaceful blonde guy in front of me wasn’t Sam. Not anymore. If it would have been Sam, the lips that I had kissed countless times would have been stretched into a grin. His peaceful face would have shown emotion because Sam had been the most expressive guy I had ever known. So it wasn’t Sam.
But it was. That guy, sleeping peacefully, had had the same blonde hair, the same nose, the same everything as my Sam. Because he was Sam. Only that he wasn’t sleeping peacefully or taking a nap. No. Sam O’Donnell was dead. Gone. Passed away. Kaboom.
It had been a week. Seven days. One hundred and sixty-eight hours. Ten thousand and eight minutes. Six lakh four thousand and eight hundred seconds. And still, I felt the sharp pinch every time, every single time Sam and death came in one sentence.
He had been eighteen. This shouldn’t have happened to an eighteen year old. Especially to a healthy eighteen year old. Not due to natural reasons. No matter what the doctors said, I refuse to believe it.
Who did it then? Me? Rachel? Kathy? Jeremy? Zac?
No. We were friends. At least we had been. Friends don’t do that. Not murder. So who had it been?
I blamed the ghost. I hadn’t met him. But he was the one. The culprit. There was no other explanation.
So this dead person I had been fascinated with, now well to put it lightly, was on the top of my hit list.
To make it even more worse, the O’Donnells including Rachel blamed me. I blamed myself. And rightly so, if I hadn’t wanted to come here, Sam would have been alive. It was all me and my selfishness.
I lay in self-loathing on Alexander Wilson’s bed. My eyes ached with dryness. All of me ached. I hadn’t slept in what seemed like a few years at the most. In reality, it had only been a week.
All I did was sit in the room, on the bed where I had my last memories of Sam. The alive Sam. I couldn’t bear to part with them. My strength whatever little I had of it had disappeared with a poof at the very same time when Rachel had lost it. She had made it clear that I was the one to blame for all of it.
The sun was shining outside. The sun rays penetrated the window and pierced my eyes. I wished for the dark of the night. It was good company and sunshine felt all wrong. How dare the sun shine down upon the earth when the earth was no longer inhabited by Sam?
The world was such a bloody unfair place to live in.
A soft knock at the door jerked me out of my joyous merrymaking. It had been a while since any contact with the world outside.
I gave no indication of my presence in the room. I did not want to. What’s the use? I’m better off alone in here.
I expected the person knocking to just go away, give up. Instead the knocking grew more insistent. The soft knock was now a loud drumming.
I continued ignore.
Finally the person outside stopped knocking. I let out the breath I had been holding. I couldn’t face any of them now.
As I was once again about to lose myself in the gloomy situation, she opened the door. Yes the door hadn’t been locked. It was Kathy in all her glory.
Argh. I so don’t need this. Is it not enough that I am beating myself up into a pulp over this? I can literally see the psychological bruises.
She walked in towards me as I looked back defiantly at her. She rested her ass beside mine and held my hand.
What!!??!!
“How are you doing?” she asked in the gentlest voice.
“Fine. Just peachy.” I said looking down at the bed.
“Really? You don’t fool me, Becky.”
“Really.” I said not raising my eyes.
“Rebecca Andrews, I am your friend! Stop acting like this right at this very moment!”
“But you sound like my mom.”
“Good. Now speak.”
“How will I be Kathy? This sucks. And I am the one to blame.”
“No. you’re not.”
“Of course I am.”
“The autopsy reports say otherwise.”
“Rachel blam….”
“Rachel is Rachel. She’s in grief. She needs someone to blame. Unfortunately it’s you.”
“Kathy, do you seriously believe that none of this my fault?” I said through the tears that had started falling freely. And I had thought that I was all cried out.
“Yes, I do.” She said firmly daring me to contradict her. “Now, stop crying. Is there a sale going on on tears or something? Seriously. Besides, all of us need each other today.”
“Why? What is today?”
“Today. Becky, today is his funeral.”
“Oh.” Was all I could get out. Did someone just punch my tummy?
“We need to stick together. Also, there’s a breakfast meeting about some issues. You should come.”
“Okay.”
“Do you want to clean up? Comb your hair?”
“No, I’m fine.”
“Okay. As you wish. Now let’s go.”
Kathy marched me back to the room where they were camping. Indoor camping. Wow.
Neither one of us felt the need to fill the quiet with the unnecessary chatter. I felt weak and realized that I had probably lost some weight in the past week. Finally. Wallowing in grief and guilt was so much better than going to the gym.
As soon as I entered the room, I felt all their eyes on me as I took my seat at the table.
I tried to avoid meeting their eyes until I realized that it was inevitable. I looked up and I saw four different emotions in the four different pairs of eyes.
Kathy was concerned. Jeremy looked wary. Zack had pity. And Rachel, Rachel had revulsion. Revulsion and real, pure hatred.
I looked away half expecting to see another pair of blue eyes exactly like Rachel’s smirking at me. Hair so very like her only shorter.
It hit me again. The absence of him. How in the world was I going to survive this? How were any of us going to deal with this?
Sam had been our sunshine. The person that stopped us from killing each other. The one that stopped Zach from getting in to drunken bar fights with truck drivers. The one who had set Kathy and Jeremy up. The only one who could deal with Rachel when she was a bitch. The only one she would listen to.
He was the one who could make me laugh non matter how bitterly I was crying. He was the one who would stare intensely at me when he felt I wasn’t looking. He had eaten those cookies. He had…. he had loved me. The only guy ever who had.
We had never been perfect. I had loved him anyway.
I could feel someone speaking. I could just feel the vibrations. I was falling down the tartarus and it was swallowing all the sensations. All except the pain.
I felt something. It felt alien. I looked up blinking back tears. Wow. I was crying. That was new.
Not.
Kathy had her arms around me and she was whispering that everything was going to be okay. Okay? Was okay even possible?
I was breaking apart. I could almost feel bits of my skin blowing away in the wind, disintegrating me.
I was freezing, I realized as I opened my eyes. I hadn’t even realized that I was asleep.
My head didn’t hurt anymore. Nor did my eyes. On the other hand I couldn’t see anything. Like nothing at all. Except darkness. I had non clue where in the world I was. Was I even still in Aphrodelia?
I guess yes. It wouldn’t be this freezing back home. One thing about the weather in Aphrodelia is that it cold here.
I tried to go back to sleep but I was all slept out. Maybe I could start a bit of ghost busting. Why procrastinate?
I crept out of the bed. I realized I was alone. Alone was good for kicking some ghost ass.
I walked towards the door. For a moment,I was afraid that they had locked me in. But no. Fortunately for me.
This time around I had my slippers. So I was cold but not freezing.
I decided to go in the direction opposite to the room where they had found him.
I reached the first closed door. That was when I realized I had no freaking clue about any of this.
Okay. Seven days a week. Seven Harry Potters. Seventh door. I counted six doors. The seventh door, I opened.
It made the most horrible creaking noise that raised my hair. I almost backed out.
Then I switched on my flashlight to at least take a look at the room.
Calling it grand would be the understatement of the year. The room was long and rectangular. Portraits were hung on both the long walls. Every portrait had a man with fat moustaches and a pouffed up lady. There were different men and women in every painting but they were obviously related. All of them were old and had the ‘I am so awesome’ expression and upturned noses. The ladies wore way too much of jewellery. Yes, they had the money but none of them had any decent looks as such. Call me superficial but all these people were lords and ladies. They were supposed to be pretty.
Or maybe I had been reading too many M & Bs.
I started from the left wall. These paintings were clearly older with cracked canvases and faded colors. The first one was of a Lord William Wilson and a Lady Priscilla. I moved forward chronologically. They were all the same only a generation ahead of each other.
There were ten portraits in all. Ten generations of the Wilsons. None of them stunners. At least that was what I felt till I reached painting number nine.
The lord in it Lord Hector was old-ish but striking with a straight posture and a thin moustache unlike his forefathers. Lady Anne was younger than the other ladies had been. Prettier too. She had glossy brown hair and smiling eyes. She was smiling too, the only one who didn’t look grumpy.
I moved towards the next one squinting my eyes. Thank goodness, my flashlight was strong enough.
The other painting was different. The couple in it were young. They were blessed in the looks department too. He had beautiful brown hair and eyes that were laughing as much as he was. The eyes were deep dark pools in the night light. He was hot! She was wearing a ballgown will a low cut neckline that had certainly been the talk of the town back then. She was tiny with luscious black hair that was straight. Green eyes, the cheekbones. They felt so familiar. I had a feeling of dejavu looking at this woman’s face. Where had I seen her before?
I stood there staring at her in wonder. Then it struck me. I had seen her before in my mirror. My reflection, me; she was my doppelganger!
I frantically read the plaque. Oh. My. God. It was him. It was her. Lord Alexander Wilson and his fiancée Miss Victoria Cooper.
Something started burning in my stomach. I had this irresistible ugre to either ripe of the portrait or at least draw a really silly moustache on Alexander’s happy face. Alexander Wilson was a sick twice dead man. I was killing him. Seriously.
Apparently he was the ghost who haunted the mansion. Apparently he was the one who had murdered Sam.
I had never felt that intense hatred for anyone as I did for Alexander Wilson.
And the worse thing was that they looked happy together. And the bitch was going to leave him. He was going to go crazy, die and murder my boyfriend.
I hated both of them. Sam was gone and they were the reason.
Sam was gone. All of a sudden, my legs couldn’t bear the weight of me. My knees were bending and I was sinking.
The portrait room had a fur carpet. I lay down on it. I tried to concentrate on my breathing. Was it going to hurt this bad every time?
I had nothing to cover myself with and I fell in a sleep where I was trekking the south pole.
Next morning, I opened my eyed when I could feel light beyond the lids. The portrait room had a window. I felt better today. Like I could deal with all of this. Sam wouldn’t want me to be sad so I’d decided to be happy.
I could hear voices muffled by the thick door. I could hear people running. I couldn’t feel anything though. My feet were asleep. My finger tips and toes were numb from the cold. So was my ass.
I got up from the floor. And my eyes fell on him and her. I agree she had a haughty turn to her face. But he didn’t look like someone who would kill. He looked genuine. It unnerved me. How could he look so damn normal?
There had to be something. A fat nose? A crazed look in his eyes? Fangs?
Nothing.
I couldn’t figure him out.
I was staring hard at him, trying to find some kind of flaw. Something about him that could kill.
My eyes were beginning to water yet I couldn’t look away.
Way to go Rebecca. Staring at your boyfriend’s murderer.
The door slammed open. I nearly sheded my skin and ran away. It was Rachel, glaring. Only today, I wasn’t going to let her get to me.
“What are you staring at?” She snarled.
“My long lost twin.”
“What? ”
“Look at this.”
“Oh my God. She is a prettier version of you.”
“Thank you. ”
She walked towards the door and yelled downstairs.
“I FOUND HER! UP HERE! SHE’S LOOKING AT PAINTINGS. ”
Soon we were joined by the others. Kathy was standing beside me staring at the painting too.
All of us were amazed.
“You had us worried sick, Rebecca.” Said Kathy.
“I know. I’m sorry. I meant to return before dawn but sometime just before I fell asleep. ”
“It’s okay. Just, next time, please inform. We don’t want you to be next. ”
“Okay. I promise.”
“So are you guys related or something?” She asked pointing at Victoria.
“No relation that I know of.”
“It must be a coincidence. You aren’t stuck up. She is literally plastered with glue.”
“Gee thanks Kathy.”
“So people, when are we leaving?” Asked Rachel loudly.
“In about six months,Rachel.” I declared confidently.
I looked around asking for support. There was none. Something had changed. And I was feeling pissed.
“What?” I asked accusingly.
“We’re leaving earlier than that.” Said Zac sheepishly.
“A lot earlier. ” added Rachel skankily.
“And why so?” I asked warily.
“We’re scared. Sam died. Maybe of natural reasons. Maybe this house is actually haunted. But we’re scared anyway. None of us want to be next. Mr and Mrs O’Donnell are really shaken up and they want Rachel to come back home. So we leave tomorrow.” Said Jeremy steadily.
“Okay. So you guys leave. I’ll manage here.”
“And leave you alone? Are you freaking kidding me? You are coming with us! We hadn’t come along only for Sam, you know? ” which I what I had thought all along .
“What about the ghost? And GRO? I need to stay here for the next six months.”
“No. It’s too much of a risk. Please Rebecca, be reasonable.”
“Can I think about it? ”
“Okay. Now let’s go have breakfast.” Said Kathy cheerfully.
So we did. I had been surviving on candies for the past one week. Having proper food inside me felt just do good.
I made a pros and cons list for going back home as opposed to staying back here. Jeremy did have a point. Sam dying changed everything. My parents must be worried sick. As must be all the other parental units especially the O’Donnells.
It made sense to return no matter how much I wanted to stay. Because I did want to stay desperately. If I returned home, I wasn’t getting this kind of a haunted opportunity ever again.
Not to mention my dad. He was a great dad. Really. But he had really been against me coming to Aphrodelia right from the very beginning .
I had always been the obedient one. This was the very first time I had wanted to do something different. Something that my parents didn’t agree to.
If I went back now, I was afraid I would go back to being that girl again. No ghosts ever. Except on Halloween. But that’s not the same.
Also I loved Wilson mansion. Literally loved it. I would not mind living her for the rest of my life.
But Sam had died here. I didn’t want to risk Rachel’s or Kathy’s or Jeremy’s or Zac’s lives.
Insisting on staying back was going to male me feel guilty because they would stay back to. And I wasn’t sure that I could bear losing any one of them.
So I guess there was nothing o do but go. Responsibility before ghosts.
By the time I came to this conclusion, I was done with my breakfast.
No better time than the present. I took a deep breath.
“So guys, I guess we should start packing.” I said not quite meeting their eyes. This was too hard. Like getting my eyebrows done.
“We already kinda packed.”
“Did you call the GRO people? For the plane pickup? ”
“Yeah. That too. ”
“What if I had refused to come home? ”
“Well, your parents have given us the permission to physically carry you home.”
We looked at each other for a moment and then burst out laughing. I wasn’t very light.
My remaining time at Wilson mansion was spent packing. And mentally threatening and cursing the ghost of Alexander Wilson. He had gotten away.
Around dusk, I crept back into Alexander’s bedroom. This was where Sam had last been alive. Technically not. But here was where he had told me that he loved me. I just missed him so much.
I cried silently for a few minutes. As soon as I got home, I was going to add crying to my hobbies on Facebook.
Then I went back to the sleeping area. It was now night and dark. The temperature dropped a few degrees.We had an early dinner of chicken soup. Steaming soup felt so good in this weather.
We arranged our sleeping bags with the me in the middle. Rachel and Kathy on my either side and Zac and Jeremy next to them respectively.
I couldn’t sleep for some time having slept quite a lot in the past 48 hours. Finally I drifted off into the dreamland.
Unfortunately it seemed today they were handing out freaky dreams.
I dreamt that Sam was still here. Alive. I could feel him, his heat . I could feel his heart beating. I could see his eyes blazing. I could smell him. He smelt like the sea, sand and summer. He kissed me. And someone knocked on an invisible door.
My eyes snapped open. I looked around for Sam. Until it hit me yet again. It had just been a dream. Sometimes the best dreams are the worst ones. Especially when there’s no chance of them coming true.
So it was just a dream. A tear escaped my eye and slid down my cheek.
A noise made me jump. I realized someone was actually knocking on the door. I got up to open it. The brass knocker could get insistent. Bad idea I know. But I wasn’t in my senses at all.
As I stepped out of the sleeping area, I felt Kathy stir up. I felt her shake Jeremy and Rachel. Zac had been wide awake.
I looked at their tense faces asking. Jeremy nodded gravely.
I held up a flashlight at the general direction of the door. My heart was skittering like a pebble and my brain yelled mortal peril. A knock out of nowhere in nowhere was disturbing.
I inhaled and opened the door before I could freak myself anymore.
A guy was standing out. His eyes were squinting due the flash of the flashlight.
I lowered the flashlight to get a better look at him. Who was he? A psychopathic killer? The pizza delivery guy?
He took my breath away. He was tall. I had to look up to meet his eyes. His eyes; they were melting balls of chocolate as they held mine with an intensity that could be called scary. His hair was chocolate brown and longish without being weird. His face was all strong planes softened by full lips.
I remembered all those lines, each one of those hard lines. The painter who had made the portrait had been accurate.
“Hi.” He said making that two lettered word sound like poetry.
I couldn’t look away. Nor could he.
I couldn’t breath. I didn’t know if he could.
I fainted.

Week 4: Blur

Week 4: 27th July to 2nd August.
I’m really behind schedule, I know that. I’m really sorry and I’ll try my best to catch up 🙂

So, Blur –

On most days, Joe felt like a fucking walking contradiction. He had a dentist for a father but a chocolate tooth. He had a chef for a mother but was skinny as a skeleton. He loved punk music but hated electric guitars. He loved the sky but couldn’t stand the color blue. He loved pizza but couldn’t stand the base. He liked looking at the starry sky but their silly twinkling irritated the shit out of him. It went on and on.
Once, Joe got very drunk. He called his girlfriend Kia to drive him home. She drove him home but his parents were out. When she called them, it was their irate friend Maureen who replied. They had gotten drunk and called her to drive them home. Then they passed out as soon as they got into her car. But not before calling her a drunk bitch, hence her irritation. For some reason, this made Joe giggle in the backseat.
Kia realized that she would have to take her drunken boyfriend back to her place. She was a bit worried about her parents but as long as Joe slept on the couch in the living room, he would be safe. Her mom slept in the attic while her dad preferred the basement. Her mother was a legendary snorer. She was better off sleeping in the sound proofed attic.
The moment Kia drove into her driveway, Joe yelled for food. She fondly thought about cooking him a meal at 3 a.m. Maybe some pasta? She gently pulled him out of the car and dragged him to her living room and deposited on the couch. She opened the refrigerator for something that could be termed as edible and found coffee beans. Just coffee beans. Where had all those veggies gone? No bread, no milk, no eggs. How was she going to feed Joe?
Kia put her hand in the oven and found a packet of cookies. She looked into the spices drawer and found a piece of bread. She made a cookie-coffee bean sandwich for Joe. Joe said that it was the best sandwich he’d ever tasted.
Joe was feeling less and less drunk by the minute. He could focus on Kia’s pretty face now. Before she had been a blur of red. Maybe it was the coffee bean sandwich. It had been the best thing Joe had ever tasted! He was a lucky guy. Kia was such an innovative cook. He got to eat her innovations.
Kia was blushing prettily because of Joe’s compliments. Joe pulled her towards him and tucked her in a hug. They started watching the Discovery channel on the telly.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Joe got up and opened the door. He was a little upset. He had been having an amiable time with Kia. It was the Police. Not the earth police but the police from Mars accusing Joe of terrorist activity. Joe stood there with his mouth hanging open. Kia had heard it all. She grabbed her comb and attacked the policemen.
They overpowered her with the help of their toothbrushes. Then they arrested Joe and Kia and took them to their spaceship.
The spaceship was shaped like a giant pig. Joe and Kia were beamed up into the spaceship. They weren’t surprised to see that the rest of the crew comprised of assorted talking human-sized animals.
They were taken to the captain of the ship who was a cock wearing a baby’s bonnet.
” You sick dick! ” yelled Kia. “Why did you arrest us? Are you nuts? ”
“You were a threat to the peace of Mars. So you were arrested.” He replied in Spock tones.
“What did we do to disrupt your peace? And also, we are earth citizens. Not your division.”
“You ate cheese.”
“We just had a coffee bean and cookie sandwich each.” Said Joe. “There was no cheese.”
“You ate cheese.” Repeated Captain Cock.
“Yeah, we probably did eat cheese in this lifetime but almost everyone on earth eats cheese. So why us? ”
“It wasn’t that you ate cheese but they way you ate it.” Said the cook Sheep in a french accent. “You earth people should really be taught the correct way to eat cheese. Only the french do it correctly.”
“What?” Replied Joe and Kia with identical confused expressions.
Then entered the Wolf. He was a Very Important Person on the ship. He invited Joe and Kia to eat some mushrooms with him. Captain Cock had to let them go.
So they went to the Wolf’s quarters which were huge and Gothic. He had scented candles lit all over the room.
He gave them fluorescent mushrooms to eat. They tasted like lemon sherbets. Kia loved them. Joe puked all over the Wolf’s carpet. He found out that he was allergic to fluorescent mushrooms. That made Joe grumpy which made him rude. He ended up insulting the Wolf who had them kicked out of the ship.
Joe hit the gnome in Kia’s garden and fell unconscious. Kia curled up in his arms and fell asleep.
The next morning, they woke to the bright glare of the sun. Last night was a blur in their memory.

Chocolate 1: Dreams and Fantasies

When I was 13, I tried writing a book.
When I turned 16, I completed it.
When I turned 16.5, I thought it was shit.
When I turned 17, I realized it just needed editing.

I always dreamed of becoming a published writer. And ‘Chocolate’ was to be the book that would get me published. So only a chosen few got to read it. Most of them loved it but they weren’t impartial.

Anyway, now I realize that I don’t want to become one of those writers who write only for monetary gains. I don’t want to become rich by making my reader poor. I mean, if I do get published (and that’s big IF), I will probably have many giveaways and free downloads.

I’ve decided to put the first three chapters of Chocolate up on my blog. Why only the first three chapters you ask? Because I’ve rewritten only three so far. Heavy editing, remember? And because I’m the Queen of Procrastination.

I’m sorry for any grammatical or spelling errors. I had a fight with my editor (best friend). I hope she’ll start editing once again 😀 She’s an amazing editor!

Feel free to praise and feel free to criticize 😀
________________________________________

Dreams and Fantasies
I didn’t feel as good as I thought I would. I always wanted to stop being such a daddy’s princess but the thought of staying far away from my parents scared me. Unlike other families here, we had always stayed together. I felt empty from inside.
I mean I always wanted to do something related to supernatural stuff. I believed in ghosts, vampires and even Harry Potter. I was really into this stuff. My problem was that my parents weren’t. So, obviously they were against me going to Aphrodelia and living in a haunted mansion for about six months to research.
An entire town had been wiped off due to the death of their principle land lord or something. There had been successors but they didn’t really last long. They died under some really mysterious conditions.
Now, Aphrodelia was a ghost town with a haunted mansion where I was going to live for the next six months.
I was at the airport near the entrance when he entered. He caught my eye as he entered the airport. He winked and grinned. Wow. I sure as hell had gotten lucky. Sam O’Donnell was my totally hot, blond-haired, blue-eyed boyfriend.
Following him was his twin. Rachel O’Donnell. In a pair of twins, when you have a girl and a guy, they can’t be identical. Sam and Rachel contradicted this theory. Rachel was my bestie.
They were two of my favorite people in the world. I couldn’t help but smile. It seemed that everything was going to be alright.
Oh-oh. Following them were Kathy and Jeremy better known as Kathmy. They were the most sickening, sweet couple of my acquaintance. What were they doing here? Sure, we hung out together. But still. They were just too sweet.
Then entered our catalyst. Zac Robinson. I relaxed a bit. Zac was a laugh. And a flirt. And my friend. He was as good as gay for me. Unfortunately for him.
My parents were pissed off that I was going through with this “vacation”. They had tried various methods to prevent me from going but nothing worked. I had taken the plunge and I had taken it whole-heartedly. I was going to swim now. I couldn’t just back-out.
I couldn’t look into my parents’ eyes. I wasn’t a rebel by nature but this was something I just had to do. I was disobeying direct orders here. Not that they could do anything. I was eighteen now.
“Bye Rebecca. You can still say no to this stuff.” Said my mom. “There are better things to do.” she added more sternly.
“Other things are simply not an option at this point of time, mom. I have always wanted to do this and I am going to do it!”
“What? Live in a haunted mansion?”
Huh. This had been going on for months now. It was now becoming tiring.
“Exactly.”
“Stop being such a teenager, Rebecca.” Said my dad.
I smirked.
“I am a teenager, dad.”
“Okay, you are. But that doesn’t mean you can just go off to nowhere to spend 6 months researching ghosts. If it’s a break that you want, go bag packing across Europe like a normal teenager.”
“God dad! This is something I have always wanted to do. Besides, I’m not exactly normal, am I?”
“Of course you are”
“No, dad, I generally stretch a bit towards the weird side.”
“Is there anything I can do that will make you stay?”
“Not really.” I said cheerfully.
“Okay.” He said giving up finally. “Let’s make a deal. You can go now but when you return, which you will, ghosts don’t exist Rebecca. You will choose a proper career and take education accordingly.”
“Okay, dad. Now, let me go.” I said. I had to cut him some slack. I wasn’t going to be able to talk to him for around 6 months. And he was just looking out for me. That’s what parents do.
“Fine. Go.”
“Okay. Bye. Take care, huh?”
“Bye.”
“Bye, Rebecca. You take care too.” Said mom.
I boarded the plane without as much as a second glance at my parents. But as soon as the plane took off, I busted into tears. I missed my parents already.
“Are you alright, Becky?” said Sam.
“Yah.” I said wiping my tears.
“It’s going to be okay.”
“Really?”
“Yah. You have me what could possibly go wrong?”
“Well, the fact that you are with me to begin with.” I said with a devilish look.
“Ouch. That hurts.”
“Deal with it.”
“Kiss it for me?”
“Admit it Sam. You’re just horny.”
“No!”
“Then what? You’re in love with me?”
“No! Okay. I am just horny.”
Well, he didn’t love me. I was kind of hoping he did. We had been going out for a year now. And I kind of just might love him. Anyways.
“Can I get a kiss anyways?”
“No.”
“Okay. I’ll ask someone else.”
“Okay.”
“Don’t you mind me kissing some other chick?”
“No. I don’t.”
“Seriously?”
“Actually Sam, the thing is that there is no other chick around who will actually want to kiss you.”
“Oh no. you are mistaken. I am very much in demand you see.”
“Okay. Let me ask the other girls.”
“No ways.” Came a reply even before I officially asked the question. Rachel.
“Me neither. I have Jeremy.” Said Kathy.
Hahaha.
“Want to ask the guys, Sam?”
“No need. I have got you.”
“And what makes you think that I want to kiss you?”
“You can’t resist me babe.”
“We’ll see.”
“We’ll see.”
“10 bucks that Rebecca will not be able to resist Sam.” Said Zac.
“20 bucks that she will for at least an hour.” Said Rachel.
“You don’t want to lose like the last time, Ray.”
“No I don’t. And I won’t. Dontcha worry Zac.”
“Oh but you will.”
“You got a stick up your ass Zac.”
“Thanks. That’s the reason for my sexy swagger.”
“You look drunk, not sexy.”
“You dig it babe.”
Wow. Men. Seriously.
Eventually all of us got too tired and bored to even talk. They dozed for a while. I was reading this memoire of some chick who used to work at Wilson Mansion as a maid or something. Poor thing. She was totally crushing on the mansion’s owner- Alexander Wilson. He sounded like a catch. And was one of the good guys to add to the looks. Pity he had been engaged to this chick called Victoria Cooper. She was an Absolute bitch and ate maids like this one for breakfast. Victoria had left Alexander at the altar. He died soon after of a broken heart according to this maid girl. Load of crap.
I was soon bored. The girl was full of Romeo and Juliet-ish ideas about romance and Alexander. I put the memoire down. She had started to get a bit stalkerish and creepy. As I had nothing better to do, I looked out of the window.
I love first glimpses. So I was hoping to catch the first glimpse of Wilson Mansion. It was going to be our base in Aphrodelia.
I had to wait for a while. We weren’t anywhere there yet. But it was worth the wait. Wilson Mansion was huge. It was ancient. And surprisingly in good condition. The old guys knew their stuff, I suppose. Even though its days of glory had come to an end, the Mansion stood tall. There was a miniature forest growing around. The trees and leaves were covering the mansion as if protecting it from the time that had passed; preserving it for the time yet to come. As for the mansion, it seemed to be waiting for the return of its days of glory. Waiting for the days when it used to be full of people going about their daily routines.
And, I’d bet all the money in this world that it was haunted. It looked just like it and also had the perfect tragic story behind it.
After land lord guy- Alexander Wilson and been ditched at the altar by his fiancée Victoria cooper and had died mysteriously soon after. With him, the mansion had started to die too. And finally Aphrodelia succumbed too.
It was all that I had imagined and more. I fell in love with it instantly. This was where I wanted to stay for the rest of my life! With a ghost or two. and maybe some vampire paraphernalia? That. Would. Be. Awesome.
The only catch? I couldn’t imagine Sam living in a place like this. And he was my boyfriend and I was biologically defined to plan our wedding at this stage.
Soon, it went out of sight. We were supposed to land some distance away on this flat field. Most of the area around the mansion was covered with trees. It wasn’t possible to land anywhere around there. After that we would be on our own.
All the sleepyheads around me soon woke up rubbing their eyes and stretching their bodies. We would land in a minute or two. That minute was the slowest minute of my life. I wanted my time in Wilson mansion to begin ASAP! And the minute simply felt too long!
Finally, in what seemed like a millennium, we landed. And I finally set my feet on the Aphrodelian soil. Man, it felt so good. I thought I was going to get knocked off due to an adrenaline overdose.
And I fell in love with Aphrodelia at first sight. I loved every aspect of it. It had a haunted (probably!) mansion.
It was like my personal heaven on the earth.
I wasn’t the only one who was happy. Rachel was too. She had recently joined some Go Green charity thingy. So all the greenery around made here happy. Not that it was going to last. She would get over it soon. That was Rachel for you. She had her fads but they never lasted long. Moreover once she realized that there was no electricity connection in the mansion, no possibility of being able to use her blow dryer; she was going to freak out.
Kathy and Jeremy. Kathmy. How could they not be happy? They had everything they wanted! That is they had each other. They needed no one else, no other thing. Alas for the power of true young love. It never happens to you.
Sam was an awesome boyfriend but sometimes I wondered if he wasn’t the one. I wasn’t sure if I would be willing to spend the rest of my life with him if he asked. Sure, he was hot. Sure I liked him a lot. But I couldn’t see him living in a haunted house with me.
I usually stashed these thoughts away in the back of my mind. Today was nothing unusual.
We had now started our hike to the mansion. I was walking beside Sam. Usually it was like the best thing ever. Sam was good at verbose. Today for some reason though, he was in a real bad mood. Maybe it had something to do with Zac losing his bet.
“Hey Sam! Didcha see it?” I said in a chirpy and flirty tone.
“Rebecca, I seriously am not in the mood.”
“And why is that so?’
“Is there supposed to be a reason for everything?”
“Yeah. Usually there is.”
“Just let me be, Rebecca. All I wanted was to spend the summer at the beach before leaving for college.”
“I never asked you to come.”
“Like I could let you come alone.”
“You should have. That would have been better than you snapping at me.”
“Rebecca, don’t be like that. For god’s sake, I did come. I am here, and you are the only reason why.”
“My parents have already been giving me hard time ever since I decided to come. Please Sam, don’t you dare start now.”
“I’m just feeling a bit uneasy. Give me some time. I’ll be alright, okay honey?” he said; dropping a light kiss on my forehead.
“Yeah. Meanwhile, let me just bug Rachel.” I said with a small smile.
“Yeah, you do that.”
Sam really did need to be alone. He looked a bit freaky. Not sick or anything, just a bit under weather. He was going to be all right. We had the basic medicines like for fever, or pain and so on. Nothing to worry about.
I moved on to chitchat with Rachel. By now, we had gathered our luggage and were waiting for the motivation to help us carry it. Rachel and I, we hadn’t been getting along too well recently. It might have something relating to the fact that her brother was always there whenever I was around. I got her side of it but Sam was just irresistible. I was hoping though, that we would be able to get some female bonding time now.
“Did you see it, Ray?”
“Yeah. Impossible to miss, right?” she said. Yay! She had replied and without sarcasm! “You seem overjoyed…but then that’s expected.”
“Yes! I know! Isn’t it gorgeous? My research is going to be a success!”
“No offence, Rebecca.” She said obviously saying something that was going to be offensive. “But do really think ‘research’ is an appropriate term for it?”
“Of course it is! We are researching whether ghosts really exist or not.” Does Alexander Wilson?
“That isn’t a topic for research. Rebecca, the earth is already way too overpopulated; we don’t really need to add some spooky spirits to the mixture. Where will they live?”
“In deserted places like these? Rachel, to you it might be an all expenses paid vacation, but to me, it’s my career. Got that?”
“You should choose some other career…something more concrete perhaps?”
“Just get off my back, will you? I am sick of receiving all this shit first from my parents, then from Sam and finally from you. Just let me be!”
I stormed off to the front of the group. We had to hike to the mansion. I was the right at front anger fueling my speed, behind me was Rachel. Following her were the lovebirds and Sam was right at the back, sulking.
Zac? Where the hell was he? Bloody idiot, if he had gotten lost, he better not be found. He was in big trouble.
“”Lo!” said someone cheerfully into my ear. Huh. At least someone was in good spirits. “How are you, my pussycat?”
“I am not a pussycat, Zac. And I sincerely hope you aren’t drunk.”
“Nope. Not yet. What’s up with the sour mood? Someone kicked your ass?”
“ Not really. Had a bit of a fight with Sam. An argument really. And Rachel is giving me a hard time about some stuff.”
“Is she now?” he said pretend deep in thought. “Okay, I won’t sleep with her tonight.”
“Oh my God. Oh my god. Are you dating Rachel? Coz you’ll be the worst couple ever!”
“No…not anymore, now that you’re single.”
“I am not single! My boyfriend is probably staring daggers at your back.”
“Oh…Rebecca, what kind of fun do you get in breaking my heart time and again?”
“You, my friend, are full of shit. And drunk.”
“Am not.”
“Really?”
“Yeah! I’ll be much more fun when I am.”
“Shut up Zac!” I couldn’t help but laugh. Zac was pretty crazy when drunk. Though, hangovers weren’t such good ideas right now.
We continued to joke around till we reached our destination. As soon as the mansion returned into my line of vision, I was distracted. Big time! And boy, don’t even get me started on the emotions that raced through me when we actually entered. As soon as my feet touched the marble tiles of the grand floor, I actually squealed. Zac says that it was more like a moan. But officially, I squealed! I was in haunted territory now! woohoo!
The first thing I wanted to do was to explore it from the roof to the cellar. Unfortunately for me, accommodations had to be searched first. Sam wanted to crash for a while. We let him nap in a sleeping bag for a while. Poor guy was missing all the excitement. But he really looked tired. So I let him sleep.
We divided ourselves into pairs and set off. Obviously, Kathmy were together. Didn’t those guys ever get sick of each other? Seriously! Zac and Rachel set off. Probably to shag some more. So, I was on my own which suited me perfectly.
I was strictly verboten from opening any doors. The idiocracy of it. But I did anyway. Just one door. It was huge and intricately carved from some costly teak or mahogany or something. There was this heavy brass knocker in the shape of entwined lions.
One thing I could tell-some important person had slept in the room. And I was proved right when I opened the door. There was this colossal bed with an intricate headrest. It was of some old age town. On a closer look, I realized that it was Aphrodelia with the Wilson mansion and all. Aphrodelia during its happier days. It was just wow.
That moment, that very moment, I decided that this was the bed I was going to sleep on tonight.
I stayed there going through the armoires and other drawers. I found nothing. Except for some cobwebs. Sad but I enjoyed prying into someone’s private property. Even if that someone had been dead for a long long time.
Finally it was starting to get dark. I started towards sleeping Sam.
Halfway through, I found the gang with dinner ready. Sam was now wide awake and looked just fine.
We had a fun dinner chatting and joking. Everyone seemed in good spirits. I felt relieved. Maybe everything was going to be alright.
After dinner, we set up our sleeping bags. Well, they did. Not me. And when I announced my decision to sleep in that beautiful beautiful bedroom, they thought I was suicidal.
“No, I just love the room too much.”
“I told you not to open any doors, didn’t i?” said Rachel.
“You did. But I couldn’t resist. Now can I go? I want to sleep.”
“No. you are going nowhere.”
“Let her go, Ray. Like she’s going to listen to you. She’ll probably sneak out after we are asleep.” said Sam wearily.
“You know me so well.” I said kissing him. He didn’t kiss me back.
“You are being selfish. But then again that’s what you do, don’t you?”
That really hurt. Were we hurling towards a breakup?
“Then you are better off without me, I guess.” I dragged my selfish ass back to the bedroom and closed the door behind me.
And bursted into tears.

Week 2: I go to sleep

Week 2: 13th July to 19th July

Prompt: Lullaby with creepy undertones

I go to sleep

The flat still smelt faintly musky despite of all the dusting I had put it through. I thought it would take some time before it got the lived in feel.
  It was a decent place to live in. It was situated in a good locality; my neighbors didn’t seem to be creepy and the flat wasn’t rat-infested like my previous hellhole. And it had barely cost me anything. Overall, a great bargain!
  I couldn’t help but feel a little alien living here. I had lived in the same hellhole for seven years. Then my insomnia got worse. I would spend my nights pacing relentlessly. My flat mates tolerated for a while but they had jobs too which were being affected due to their lack of sleep which was a result of my pacing.
  So I moved out.
  I figured maybe I would be able to sleep better in a new environment. I would be all alone with no one to disturb. Living with people felt like an intrusion of my thoughts. Both my flat mates read my mind.
  I snuggled up in my old bed in my new room and tried to lose myself in the world of dreams.
  The new flat theory? It worked! I could feel myself drifting off. 
  The world of dreams brought my mum singing ‘Raindrops and Roses’ from Sound of Music. She used to sing every night before I slept. The song was a talisman against the monsters under my bed.
  Mum was patting my back so that I would sleep better. She was affectionately running her hands in my hair and crooning in that sweet voice of hers.  For once, I felt at peace.
  The moment I thought that her fingernails grew into talons which stroked threateningly against my back.
Why do good dreams like these get distorted so?
  I could feel sleep slipping away from my clutches. Soon, I was completely aware of my surroundings. But my eyes were closed.
  The lullaby hadn’t stopped. The talons dug deep into my skin and brought out blood. I yelled and sat up. There was nothing around. The pain in my back was reduced to a ghost ache. The singing had stopped. There was silence all around.
  I breathed a sigh of relief. Just a bad dream. Nothing else.
  My accelerated breathing slowly  returned to normal.
  Suddenly something grabbed my face and slammed it into the pillow. The palm pressed against my nose and lips, smothering me.
A voice like fingernails on a blackboard whispered.
“This is what happens to bad children who don’t sleep. Everything is okay now. Go to sleep.”
So I did.

Week 1: Numb

Week 1- 6th July 2014 to 12th July 2014

Numb

The champagne must have tasted good but I don’t remember tasting it. That tended to happen when I became like this. Numb.
Our last few dates had been disastrous. He had begun to follow the pattern too. They met the happy, normal me. Then I grew comfortable in their presence and begun to let my guard down. I started taking off the mask I hid under, little by little. And they began to see the part of me that wasn’t quite so optimistic, not quite “normal”. What was normally really? Then began all that bloody criticism. They were soon rendered unable to look past my flaws and I was rendered unfeeling to their awful rants.
So here I was, in a posh restaurant I didn’t really notice, eating food I didn’t really taste and drinking champagne that I didn’t really feel.
And there was he, talking about my pessimism, my walls, and my issues. This one could really hit the mark. He had the perfect ability to grab onto my insecurity of the moment and then pull, squeeze and hurt. I had really hoped him to be different. When I first met him, I had been crying. So, he knew. HE KNEW.
But he refused to believe.
I stared at him with the straightest poker face. He was speaking; I could see his lips move but the sound had been blocked. I was quite bored actually except that I was too numb to actually feel the boredom.
It was stupid to try to inform me about my so called “issues”. I was anal about analyzing myself. So, really, I knew how screwed up I was. I knew every single one of my faults. Reminding me was a waste of time. I was excellent at tuning out bullshit.
Not that he-they ever noticed. Self-important bastards. Every last one of them. They misunderstood my silence for acceptance and attention. A tiny pinprick of amusement crept in through my wall. It didn’t have the power to break out my trance. Though, it was successful in pushing an idea.
I had better things to do. I’m sure he did too.
I took a sip of the tasteless champagne. It was wasted on me. I grabbed my purse. I had actually dressed up for the occasion. I got up from my seat walked towards the entrance and walked out of the restaurant. And his life.
It had begun to rain. I didn’t have an umbrella. I wore a red dress. The wet thing clung to my body. My Louboutins were probably dying due to the puddles. My makeup was probably flowing down my face with the rivulets of rain.
I didn’t care.
Slowly, I got some emotion back. Not enough to start grieving another dead relationship. But enough to become aware about the half-destroyed, soaking Louboutins on my feet.
I took them off and carried them in my hands. I could feel pebbles and slush below my feet. But I didn’t care.
I was roaming listlessly. Was this how breaking down was like? How did it matter? I would find my way back home eventually. I would be fine once I broke out of this daze.
Now, I was starting to become aware of my surroundings. I recognized the area I was walking in. I knew my way back home.
I was in the elevator when it hit me. It was over. I had left my blanket of unfeelingness behind somewhere. I had hoped. I couldn’t stop the tears from escaping my eyes. It didn’t matter. I’m sure I resembled a zombie enough as it was. Tea would make me feel better, I hoped.
The ding of the lift made me aware that I had reached my floor. I exited and took out my keys.
He was sitting on the staircase. As soon as he saw me, he got up, strode towards me and grabbed my hands. They looked so tiny and feminine next to his. Worry and panic was etched clearly all over his. A few more tears slid down my cheeks. I actually found myself wondering about the state of my Mascara.
I noticed that he was wet all through too. The rain messed up his longish hair in a way that had become familiar. It brought back memories. It had been raining the first time we met. I cried harder.
“What the hell were you thinking? You had me worried sick! Never do that again! Never, got it?”
I nodded with the start of a smile on my face and a tear welling up in my eye,
“And I’m sorry. You are a mess. You go zombielike. But you are my mess. And you have my heart and my brain and my soul. You are my zombie and I love you. Okay?”
“Okay.” I said as he bent down and kissed my forehead.

The Girl and The Star

One of my friends, Shubhada, wrote this beautiful piece. I was dazzled. So I just had to post it.

“She lived in Her bright little world of monotony. She gazed through Her lost vision. Wild vague dreams would chase Her slumber. Awakened, She would stare at the clear sky above. She had befriended that little star who stood alone in the vast expanse of darkness that stretched from horizon to horizon. The star illuminated resplendently her dark path as the girl smiled at her delightedly. Maybe they had struck a chord. They talked throughout the night. The star twinkled in reciprocation when She poured out Her heart. She would soak herself in Her tiny bed and feel blissful. Amidst the talk, She would fall asleep. The star still shone bright, twinkling in Her path of dreams. And then there were days when she did not show up. Yet She believed in her presence, warming up the sky. She wondered hard and consoled Herself to believe that she might have had a hard day herself. They celebrated each day as they grew old. They had built their own space. Neither windy storms nor heavy showers came in their way. And they loved these nights of dreams and stars…”

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