I Sense A Presence XX


There was an awkward silence that enveloped the room. Emotions (rather anxiety) simmering in hearts. Before that silence could attain a monstrous shape Sally ran to Henry embracing him and pouring her heart, to be precise her fears to him.

“Someone is trying to kill me. Someone is after my life, watching me 24*7. Trust me, please!!!” Clinging to Henry as Sally spoke, words seem to be gushes of streams of her inner turmoils.

“Sshh honey, I am here, no one gonna hurt you. Calm down love, I won’t let anything happen to you. We will see through it” Henry spoke as he caressed Sally’s hair to pacify her. But warmth seemed to be missing in his words and momentary glance at Josh had some other equations wrapped up in itself.

“But I wasn’t expecting you” quipped Sally all of a sudden and that shifted his attention towards Sally again while Josh was still looking at Henry. And Sally continued her questions “and how you ended up coming from the backyard, and Tracy!! There was a vibe of suspicion in her tone.

“He wanted to surprise you ” Tracy (rolling her eyes) finally intervened who till now was a mute spectator of the entire chaotic scene.

Tracy’s presence has always evoked unpleasant feelings in Sally. Tracy’s intervention ruffled the same feathers in Sally who snapped back at her “a backdoor entry is more of a shock than a surprise. I deserve an explanation, don’t I?” Sally was fiery that no one knew of. From awkward silence to flaring tempers, that was a complete turn around.

Josh thought quitting the scene might result in some sort of serenity immediately. He did so, took leave and left. Henry on the other hand didn’t have this convenient option. He invested himself in handling Sally, trying to tackle her questions and dodge her stares. And Tracy has nothing better to do but to go to her room.

Sally wasn’t done yet. Her stare followed Tracy till she went out of the sight. “When will she leave our house?” asked Sally in a tone just a decibel higher than a whisper yet cold and seemingly menacing, signalling the dislike sedimented in her heart for her.

“Soon” replied Henry in a placid tone. And before Sally could further her investigation he took the initiative and tried to mellow down the tense situation with his care and caressing. “Honey let me make a cup of coffee for you. Something is bothering you and I see that but can’t see through it. Trust me” and he kissed on her forehead.

Around 9’o clock in the night:

Josh was still occupied with everything that passed throughout the day. He wanted a diversion but suddenly one more thing from the day’s minutes struck his senses – the letter !!

Crushing himself on the couch he opened the letter. It read:

Dear Diana,

Georgia finally found peace but how I wished it was amidst us. She was in pain, in deep pain which was beyond our comprehension. She wailed, she fought and she succumbed but unfortunately she was alone. We did everything in our capacity and understanding, from prayers to rituals, everything we were told we did in a bid to drive that demon away from our child. A mother’s heart knows how excruciatingly painful it is to see her child go hungry over days, restrained by shackles, bearing the burnt of religious fanaticism as a demon drive out exercise. She screamed in pain and I stood there just to offer my service as a hand holding a fragile, fear stricken girl with all it’s might telling her to “mind her ways”. I was only a fiddle to my god fearing husband and more than the god it was the world who he was fearing. We tried to keep things wrapped tight, so tight that we suffocated our own child. Demons still haunt us after Georgia left – demons of guilt, indecisiveness, agony and going to stay till we are buried in our own remorse. What we thought will be our safe and beautiful abode turned out to be our castle of nightmares. Georgia always complained about a presence. Why she has to go through it…….

Josh finished an unfinished letter. Now his head was heavy with an imaginary vision of what could have transpired in that house, what happened to Georgia, demons or something less cared and talked about. What is it?

As Josh has different concoctions cooking up in his mind the trance was broken by his buzzing phone.

Before he could pick it up it stopped but a message popped up “we need to talk right away” and the sender was Henry…..

I Sense A Presence XVIII


An unintended chuckle escaped Josh’s mouth the moment he heard the grandma saying “it is cursed”. His reaction was met with a cold shoulder and a stoic pose that had an immediate dominos effect on Josh silencing him too.

After few seconds of silence she resumed talking “well I see this generation tosses up everything in air that is out of their comprehension. There are many things in this cosmos that might not fit into your tiny realm of LOGIC but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist”. Her words did restrain Josh from being eloquent about his thoughts via his expressions. He has resolved now to let only his ears do the working. And the grandma continued.

“A house isn’t just a structure of mortar and bricks but a mirror capturing the vibes of emotions parading amidst the walls. And this house is a glass cage, beautiful from outside but stinks from the staunch of a tormented soul trapped inside” and before she could continue she was interrupted by the blaring sound of a phone ringer that happened to be Josh’s. Apparently it slipped out of his mind to silence it while entering into the house and most importantly the conversation.

Silencing the phone hurriedly and slipping it into his pockets he apologised for such an unintentional unruly behaviour of his and asked “who used to live here? You were acquainted with the families who dwelled there? What nursed the commotion that this house is “cursed”? What has actually transpired beyond those walls? I am a kind of intrigued “. This was in a way Josh’s attempt to make the grandma talk succinctly without the buildup like that of a youtine channel credits that thrive on click baits. And seemingly he was successful in his effort.

“As a child I remember lovely couple of Turners once gracing that beautiful house. One of the most beautiful house in the quarter also hosted some of the most opulent parties in the neighborhood. My grandparents had the opportunity to be on the guest list of few of those parties. It was all hunky dory. But things turned upside down quickly in a matter of couple of years. Gatherings slowly dwindled away and the usually chirpy atmosphere around and in the house was devoured by queer silence. The lady of the house as heard by the people fell ill and chose to remain in solitude. My grandmother tried to peep in their troubled paradise with a a genuine intention of pitching in with help but all went futile. And after few days even the little news from the house died as if it was engulfed by big black cloud of oblivion. And Ann died, reasons best known to the family. And after that misfortune seemed to be a permanent guest wishing every occupant thereafter. The Mark’s, The Schindler’s, The Scott’s everyone had a trail, from unpleasant to scary events driving them out. Last it was the young girl Georgia whose horrifying screams were heard across the neighbourhood. Once a healthy child was reduced to a bag of bones when the family left the place. It has been almost a decade I guess when Georgia and her family left this place” Grandma paused, so did the history in her eyes.

Josh scoffed and reinitiated the conversation ” any idea where all the families are by any chance? And couldn’t I be a mere coincidence of misfortunes and mishaps? Not everything that doesn’t meet the human eye is supernatural, I am sure there will be some explanation behind these stories. Fear is as bad as any other addiction and needs a rehabilitation of truth” Josh made a quite a statement there.

And as he awaited Grandma’s reaction his phone vibrated, it was a call from Sally. Josh excused himself to attend the call. “Come home as soon as possible” requested Sally in rather shaky and petrified tone.

Josh was in a rush in the next moment. Just as he reached the door he was stopped by grandma ” too many coincidences in or around something spells phenomena, my experience says so. Hope you prove me wrong dear” and handed him a letter addressed to her by Georgia’s mother. “Hope it might help you” said the grandma.

With just one glance at the tattered letter and a smile on his face Josh left the place slipping the letter in his pocket.

To be continued….