The gift

I inserted the key into my empty apartment door to open it. As soon as the door opened and I stepped inside, a sweet smell of a perfume filled me with a long forgotten memory. I stopped instantly and thought to myself – “This is the same fragrance he always used.” I swallowed hard.

Before I could reach for the light switch of the drawing hall, the hall light turned off. My heart stood still for I was always scared of the dark. I put my hand inside my bag and took the mobile out; I pressed the unlock button. It showed me a battery symbol with a red line through it. I sighed and decided to wait until the generator was turned on. But the smell and the creepy darkness made me feel uneasy. I stood there, staring blankly into the darkness in front of me. I pressed the power button of my mobile hard wishing it would light up, but it didn’t.

” Why is the generator not turned on yet? It’s been quite some time.” I muttered curses under my breath.

As I turned around to call out to Neetu Auntie, my neighbor, I heard a noise coming from inside my apartment. I turned back instantly.

” Who is it? Who’s there inside my house?” I shouted.

The noise intensified. I took a step forward and then another. My heart was pounding like crazy; it caused me to wheeze. The noise stopped suddenly. I turned to the main door and it slammed shut automatically. I yelled – “Save me. There’s…”; before I could finish, a hand covered my mouth. The fragrance was suddenly much stronger. I lifted my hands to free myself, but I found no hand over my mouth. I could feel someone standing behind me, yet there was no physical existence of it. The invisible force started pulling me backward. It grabbed my hands to stop me from moving. I heard the sound of a door creaking open and a moment later, It threw me onto the floor; The door slammed behind. I turned my face towards it, but I saw nothing as it was completely dark. Suddenly the room light turned on by itself. I looked around the room and realized it was the same room I once shared with him.

“Who unlocked this room?” I muttered, breathing heavily.

Suddenly something touched my foot; I glanced at it. It was a small bottle with a label on it – ‘POISON’. ” You remember this bottle sweetheart!” A husky voice whispered in my ear. I jerked away and exclaimed – “Who is it?” There was no one in sight.

I reached out for the bottle and took it in my hand. A note was pasted on the opposite side –

Many many happy returns of the day sweetheart! A year back, on this day you set yourself free from my hands. You remember darling! So on my death anniversary, I want something from you…a gift and I won’t take no for an answer.

Drink it up.

From your dead husband

I threw the bottle, gathered all my courage and ran towards the door. I pulled the door handle in vain to open the locked door.” You have little choice baby…drink it or I’ll make you do it.” The voice mumbled again.

I looked down as the bottle touched my foot again.” Drink it baby…I’ll count from 1 to 5.”

1…

2…

3…

4… “Your time’s up sweetheart!”

– Chirasree, a dreamer

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17 thoughts on “The gift

  1. You definitely have a gift for atmosphere! It might be worth taking a little more time to let the dialog breathe though. Let the ghost take more time to freak her out. He’s been dead for a while and clearly, they have a bad history, so I’m sure he’s thought of all the right buttons to push. Psychological horror would really work in this story.

    I do agree about the use of smell also. It’s commonly thought to be the sense most associated with memory, so if you came home and smelled your abuser’s cologne, I think any of us would be scared too.

    Great read!

    Liked by 1 person

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