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An introspection of horror
A.I. Wulf (A.I. Thomas)
"Ghosts are phantoms of guilt. They are like shadows. Inseperable. They'll follow you everywhere. That's because they are a part of you. They have grown into what they are now by feeding on your darkness. The waning goodness in you, waxes the darkness in them. You'd see black cats haunting you. You will just find them walled up at the tombs you built.", the psychatrist's austere, yet pensive voice reverberated in the room.
I thought about that for some time. Guilt. That wretched, yet inevitable emotion. One that, at most of the times, created by us, the servants of the dark savant. I had always hated that dark, old savant with his twisted grey beards arching into a wretched cone of coldness, like an icicle. Once when I saw a boy being chased by a bully, I believed that I could stand up for something. But, one step and the wind began to move.
The cold, dark and dense wind raised my hairs. And I heard footsteps. And then....
[[I turned back and to the utter horror..]]
[[I tried to ignore the footsteps.]]of me... An old man with hideous green eyes, stooping like a vulture's neck, gleaming, passed a cold and evil stare upon me. I couldn't move. He slowly laid his hands upon me and I was left in trance. Imdidn't shudder, didn't shiver, didn't break a sweat. The man had an arching forehead with wrinkles, creating mounains in his forehead. And he slowly glanced through my frail body and said, "You can't."....
The old man had left by now. I slowly came to my senses. Who was he? Through my eyes flashed that green stare. It created cold stalagmites in my mind. I slowly walked towards home, believing I could forget all this nonsense. Then I saw the boy, who I saw, running away from the bully, crying. His mother was consoling him now. The bully would surely have hurt him. I ignored all that, and walked into the cold.
[[Darkness is really cold, isn't it?]]But now the footsteps were really close. The doppler effect signified that. I could not but, feel a little bump, in my so called hardy heart. I felt a cold breath upon me. And I felt a burning freeze. And I desperately looked back to see the source of this horror. [[And to the utter horror..->I turned back and to the utter horror..]]"Hey, Shep. What did you think of, now?" The austere, frowning face in front of me, asked.
I heard that question. I thought about what I should say. My mind journeyed through all the possible answers.I thought of a better choice.. Then my eyes hooked on the room. The green of the room reminded me of something else. The room was just a plain cabin fit for a normal psychatrist. It was painted a pale lemony green. Green soothes our mind. That's the psychology of painting rooms, green. At least the rooms would be green, if nothing else outside is green. And the green denotes progress with values like truth.
"Are you lost in thought? Can you please tell me what you thought of now?"
"Nothing special, just some old memories." I replied.
"Never consider memories as some stupid flashbacks. They are the keys to one's inner psyche and secrets. Even the most insignificant parts in them would be clues. Can you just explain, what you thought of now." He asked me.
Never say lies to the barrister and doctor. That's what proverbs say. That's what my previous introspection said. And especially to a man who treats the ailments of the mind, lies could create distortions. I made my mind about telling the whole bully incident.
[[And I just saw the darkness, trickling into the room.]]
Babysitting. Not my kind of job, really. First time. I thought myself. A wimp caring for a little kid. The kid would do that better. Oh, I am so tense.
When Mrs. Smith told me about gaining some pocket money, Oh, gosh, I freaked out. At last, some dreams are gonna be on the right lane. You know, she told me about all that adolescent should be self sufficient-morally upright-stubborn in his ideals-kind of thingies, all I felt was tedium. Weird isn't it. Advices can be really tiresome. Even if they are valuable.
But never did I thought about the work she'd give me to do. She just told about some fun in her home, when she was not in this locality, away on a business tour. I never thought that fun would be playing with a ten year old. You know, babysitting. My friends(if there is such a thing to me) do this little job, for making money.(And how much are they babies, when they spent all that hard earned money on a Cricket Attax trump card.) But this was my first time. It'd be nice, I believe.
And by thinking all this weird things, did I stand before that medium sized house.(Just exagerrating)A good, white, modern looking house.(Obviously not a refernce to Zork)The square cut windows and doors with straight, doric woodcuts. No extra beautifying Corynthian artworks. A modest little house.
Yet, I felt the haunting cold wind when walking through the pathway leading to the house. The concrete laden path was a bit rough. The trees with no leaves, just felt so off looking. The lawn was not greeny. It had that greyish, dry aura you see in gothic films. Everything was so dry and bleak. The pale white of the house didn't evem try to stand out from that and hide itself. Nor did it try to be an eye candy. It just added to the eerieness.
Little teen moving to the creepy house.
Well, there was really something creepy in that surroundings. Nothing was bright and sunny. Nothing playful or cheerful. Just..[[eerie dread.]]Then I heard them. Rustling leaves. Was it the same eerie wind that rudely patted me? I turned my ears to the direction where the sound was coming from. No, not just some wind. Some heavy thing was rustling the leaves. The leaves, which seems to be dry, cracked and rustled. The rustling slowly started closing into me. Well this was scary. I looked around. Nothing was around me. I looked for leaves around me. There were some under the barren beech tree. Just some wind then,I suppose. I slowly walked to the door. Now the cracking was hard and loud. I quickly turned. And I got a glimpse of someone running. Someone who was agile. I exitted to the lawn and turned to the side where I saw the running figure. No one was there now. Was someone playing pranks upon me? Well scaring me was one of the easiest things that can be done in this small world.(But scaring the reader is the hardest.) I slowly walked to the barren beech tree with all that leaves under. I felt the dry leaves cracking under me. Just like the sound I heard before. Someone was here, behind the beech tree. I was in a dilemma. Was there some real foreboding, some real trouble here? Or just some tricks played by my mind.
[[I decided to find it out. Peace comes when you seek for it. Else trouble looms behind your head. And for worse we will never know that untill, the fatal moment comes->I decided to investigate.]]
[[Impulsiveness and over-anxiety are directly proportional to peacelessness(Is that even a real word?). Sure, it scares me. But finding scares in the minutest breeze, will only bring trouble upon us.->I tried to ignore all the negative thoughts.]]Well that's what people who yearn to succeed in life do. Move forward bravely. For me the last word in the previous sentence is just a bit different. Now there was a bit of desperation too. You know about that. I believe, you got the point. Well the rustling leaves were cracked by some heavy leg. And I saw that legs, running to the backyard. Let that be my first step.
The backyard was really less majestic than, all that front view. The wooden, covered fences were really close to the house. The walkway was narrow. Then I heard that sound. Well, water hitting the ground. Yesterday seemed to be blessed by the clouds and water, here. The water that seemed to be collected at the roof, was slowly dripping through the crevices in the upper storey.Then I remembered about the dry grass in the frontyard. Something was amiss.The water was still dripping. But I couldn't make out any inferences from that.(Poor Sherlock Holmes in me!) I avoided the water and moved forward. There were no traces of anyone running through the backyard. Then I ambled to the frontyard. I believe that the boy would be scared by now. His mother had left an hour ago. He was all alone in the house and would be scared. (Just an assumption. The exteriors freak you out. Then what about the interiors, Oh God! The boy should be really scared by now. You know that. Huh? A real punctual babysitter can really kick up an angina pectoris in the kid's heart. I believe you got the point.)
But, some shiny exterior may hide hideousness. Real mass of hideousness. I knew that. So, I called out for the kid.
"Shep, are you there?"
"Hello, Shep.This is Abe. Are you in there?"
"Shep, open the door if you are in there."
This was getting tenser by every second. The future of two young men may be at balance now. If something bad happened..
"Are you the one guy, sent by my mother? Abe G. Addams?" A voice inside the house called out.
My breath was quick. Breath of relief.
"Yes. Can you please let me in?"
I walked. Remaining behind was the fear I wrought upon myself. At least in some part. The crack was still there.
Well, now I was again in the front of the door. That rustling leaves still didn't leave my mind. But that shouldn't keep me away from pursuing my dream. I gave a slow, loud knock at the door. [[And then I waited for the response.]]I tried to ignore all negative thoughts. There are no strangers in my bedroom. No zombies. No vampires. No werewolves. No undead slashers who resurrect to wreak havoc on scream queens. Psychological safe space. This place was safe. And no tresspassers, real or surreal would enter here. I tried to make my mind believe that.
And I gave the door a loud knock. I waited for some reaction. But time didn't bring anyone on the other side of the door. This was strange. The kid should be in the house. But I couldn't hear any sounds from the home. I was really scared now. Did something happened to the kid? If something happened I would be the one who is responsible. But what could have happened to him? Some burglar? Or is it just because he can't hear the knock. Or is it some pedo..? I just hated that thought. My thoughts rushed through the fast lane of tension. Grief and terror laughed upon me. The urge to do something- you know, that's natural- enveloped, clouded my reason. I decided to investigste the situation.[[And off did I go.->I decided to investigate.]]"The bully incident you told me gives me some insights into your mindset. But still, I cannot jump into a conclusion.", the doctor said, in his usual pensive note.
"Doctor, am I senile?" I was confused. Well, seeing ghosts in crowds should have some relations with insanity.
"Well, if that's insanity, nearly all men have this phasmophobia, and so are insane." He tried to console me, but I felt the futility of the attempt.
"Yeah, maybe. I don't know. Maybe I'm just imagining." I really sounded importunate now.
"Yeah, that's be the most possible outcome. But there can be something else, more troubling. I can't make conclusions with the present data. Well, I believe you have filled the personal information form at the reception?", he asked.
"Yes." I replied.
"Well, then, you can go now. Better come after three days. And never forget- if something unusual seems to be happening to you, inform me quickly.", He said, giving me the papers.
"Thank you doctor." I said and exitted the coldness and mechanical feeling.
[[To the darker corridors, which I fear more than everything, else.]]I slowly moved through the corridor. The hallway had a painted mosaic floor. There were patterns of flowers in them. Big, colourful flowers. But for me, they were eyes of gloom. There were other patients sitting in chairs, bending their backs, waiting for overtaking fate. I slowly moved to the latrine. The path to the latrine was a bit far from the O.P section. So I walked through the shadowy path. As it was daytime, there was no need for switching on the lights. But the architecture made the path very dark, shadowy in a foreboding way. When I reached halfway, I saw the bulb at the edge flickering. Maybe someone had turned on a short circuited bulb. I ignored it. But I felt the light, piercing my eyes. I looked forward. Nothing. Utter silence. I slowly moved towards the latrine. And the more I closed in, more the shadows did grow. And the bulb was flickering now, more irregularly. Then I heard a slow noise. The door at my side, to the generator room was opening on its own. Now the light that flickered went off... And I saw a decaying hand in the room. The hand slowly rose up. There were some hideous, disfigured rats on them, licking the hand. And a cat was just watching them, indiffrently. The hand pointed to me and then..the face was clear.. It was her..Her face was rotting with holes, bleeding like a leper's. She was dressed in the same gown I saw her last wearing...that day..But it was rotting...and my nose couldn't bear it..Her bleeding lips moved at screeched. But what came out, was her sweet voice of the old days. She said-"You let me rot."....
Three blades were rotating over my head. Around me, was a usual hospital war. I had fainted, that's what they said to me. I looked around. A green room. A cold room. I again looked above. And in the fast rotation of the leaves, her face again became clear. And I said "Forgive me......"
[[And the phantoms took over reality..]]Evan Shepard. Shep. A litte kid of a little suburban house in the outskirts of a noisy city of fumes. A little hyperactive creature, was I given to take care of. Most of the time he just teared some papers and scribbled something in them and just tore it into unrecognizable crumpled pieces. Othervise he was running all over the room with his toys. He didn't seem like a boy who would quit something that fast. But now he was lying in his bed peacefully, giving peace to me. I was contended by all this and set out to explore the suburban homescape.
My dreams were ones that could be fulfilled only by the five senses and the mind. The mind has to be watchful for it. The ears should always be open. The hands should feel everything. And a quiet home was a good place to hone those skills.
I walked through the parlour. A T.V was on the table on the corner. An old but majestic looking sofa sat there. It was wrinkled. The floor under me had a wood panelling. And through the window I looked outside. I saw the creepy beech tree looming upon the environment there. I aw the dry leaves there flying in the somewhat fast wind outside. And the exteriors seemed a bit nice from here.
Then why do I need money for writing stories. Isn't imagination enough? Whatever greatness, a great book wins, the more it survives the future. A writer has to find a substisence.
I understood the fact that things are not really what we see. You see a red book. For you that may be a dusty, thick, jargon filled book. But for someone else it would be a treasure, coated in red. It's not the light that reflects from the book deciding the color, but our inner eyes. That's why no painter paints the same scenery in the same way. Men are unique.
Well, that was some real self introspection to the philosophies of a wannabe writer. [[I moved to the study,to explore the treasures in it.]]The lonely rose
The mud had a beauty in it,
squashed by history and time a lttle bit,
and from the mud rose a single rose,
a victory that overcame every past lose.
Mary Shepard Smith
My eyes ran through the lines several times. What did they mean? Was it about the pheonixes after war? Was it about the family, and the evolution of happiness in it? Or was it about the growth of hope at faces of despair?
Can hope defeat everything? Can it help us to survive all adversities?Can hope ressurect man from his frailities, his frivolous existence, his impermanence?
I don't know the answers to these questions. Just some questions that evolved in my mind. The girl who wrote this would have been a good poet. She'd be Evan's sister studying at some far away far away college. Evan would be missing her, I presume.
The more I rummaged the room, the more poems did I get. There were poems about love, beauty of nature, familial love and loneliness. But the one that struck me was the one named "Scissors."It was different. It carries the idea of negativeness of life.
Then I heard footsteps behind me. Alas, the boy can't even sleep. Why is the new generation like this? I turned back and looked. There were none there. The boy must have ran to somewhere else. I entered the stairs to look for him in his bedroom, where he slept. And he wasn't there. Then I felt like some bright light shining behind me. I looked and saw it. From the room just opposite to some light, as if it was coming from an arc lamp was coming out. The boy would have turned on some lights for some weird fantasy role-play, where he is the hero. I smiled. Then I heard the sound from the room.[[The sound of scissors.]]Shep, this is a poem that was written by your sister. Sorry for stealing it that day.
Two eyes, two arms,
pincers to clutch,
to the unwary foe's
Two metal knives,
for knaves, to cut
the paper for feeding
lies to the men.
Two sharp edges to
cut ropes, crate lassos,
and to tie them
on your neck.
Mary Shepard Smith
Sorry this seems to be her last poem. I don't know what pushed her to this. I don't even know what scissors signify. I believe that you, as her brother, could piece out something worthy from it and find an end to your journey to truth.
Your well wisher,
Abe G. Addams
Just some words to console me. He knew that I was always into the truth that was apparent. He at least tries to help the wretched soul of inaction like me. He, a good writer sees stories in everything. But the truth is that, you never see stories in anything. It's the emotions and history you see in them, moulded by your insight in your mind, creating the story in it. Any object, any man never has a story. I do not have. My sister didn't have. The men who accumulated wealth in chests, didn't have it. If anyone had it, the world would have been artful and blissful.
[[And I closed into the light. Or maybe the reverse. And it was a dark light.]]The light was coming from a real arc lamp in the room. A distinct heat filled the room. But why should one home have an arc lamp? Why should Shep turn on this lamp. I inspected the room in the yellowy, iridescent light, which smelled of burning carbon. There was no one in the room. The room had some torn papers here and there. They were not torn. They were really cut with fine edges.
Then I listened to the silence. I felt the purity of it. Unpolluted by noises. And I heard the pollutor. A clock was ticking in some room. Time was still to me now. And with the ticking, came the sound of the scissors...
[[I ran out looking for the source of the sound.]]
[[I carefully crept out studying the noises.]]I reached the hallway of the upper storey. I glanced the ground level quickly. How can the sound of scissors I heard in the upstair, just shift to the down storey? Was it Shep's prank to scare me? I slowly descended the stairs. Even my steps were being eerie and scary to me. I had the same feeling I had in the courtyard. Rustling leaves there. Scissors here.
Then I heard a quick run downstairs. A heavy, thudding run. I shuddered and shivered. A little boy like Shep cannot run like that. Someone was in the house. Someone other than me and Shep. I ran quickly to where I felt the sounds came from and saw......well, nothing. There were no signs of anyone in the room. Nor any preence of Shep. Then I heard the sound of a fan staring to rotate in the room.The room I never noticed. The one near the kitchen. I moved to the door and saw....[[Shep!]]I carefully descended the stairs inspecting all the noises with my mind. The sounds were coming undoubtedly from the kitchen side. The sound of the scissors was really eerie. Why should one, use scissors like this? Could it be Shep's spells of hyper activity? Then I heard the rotation of the fan in the upstair hall. It started to rotate it in its own.How can that be...possible? I ran upstairs. Nearly all switches in the upper story wre turned off. I even switched off that devilish arc lamp with that piercing beams. The I heard the screeching of wooden floors from below. But the sound was coming through the walls. I groped through the walls, like in a minotaurian labyrinth, following the sound. The sound was coming from the cupboard near the arc lamp. I opened it cautiously.It was not a Almirah, but a room. A room with stairs descending. A dusty, eerie, brown room. Shep might have been going through this room. But how could a fan rotate by itself. Then I saw the water stored in a large tank in the room. The pipe going upward from the tank, to the exterior, was leaking at the end. That explains the dripping of water on my head at the backyard. But the pipe was deliperately cut, like with a... sharp scissor...
Then I heard some sounds coming from underneath the stairs. I descended expecting the one who was freaking me out like this..But ...[[Shep!]] Threnodies at the grave
From the playground of the strong,
echoes sounds of wrong,
what wrath has man wrought upon
his kind by being clad in the bloodstained robe,
armed with a curved scythe,
with a skull as a frail face.
From the scapes of normal life,
comes scissors cutting ropes,
creating nooses, like in gallows,
man become exterminators
of the six foot conscience.
And with utter futility he tries,
to ovecome the gravest end,
to the grave's end, he tries.
But can the wheels of fate be bend,
with lies of grandeur.
The more closer he gets,
the more he gets clad, in the robe
with a scythe and a skull.
Some men create legacies unforgotten,
some make vices unforgotten.
How to live forever, be vily
or wise as an owl, good as good can get.
These questions, let be better left unanswered,
for beyond comprehension are they,
rules of heavenly beings.
Your well wisher
Abe G. Addams
The answer to my question is better to be unanswered. That's what he says. Maybe that's the truth. No one likes the truths around us. In fact we are the ones who define the truth, values and society as we are it. Shep, that's me feels like that. Abe always reminded me of the days I rummaged and terrorised the home with my scissors. He always felt that I misunderstood "Edward scissorhands", an art.He said that I misinterpreted it as a movie about violence and scissors. Well, for me it was not anything about misinterpreting art. It's always about misinterpreting man, and so misunderstanding his art. He never knew about me and my sister. Abe never, will know about the phantoms I see in the doorways and rotating blades of fan. I see terror, guilt and remorse as the phantoms.And now she is closing in. She wants the answer to my inaction. She wants to know why I let the flowers to be trampled. She wants to know why I let rats bore into her. She wants to know why the cat in Animal farm never responded. She needs to know about the dark savant.
[[And I can give the answer.]] "Sir, I believe that you are the only relation to him in any way. I found these letters from here, and all of themta had your name in them."The rookie officer told me.
"Yes, I know him well. We are good friends and we have correspondence.How did he die? " I asked, startled to see the familiar face lying in front of me, with a burning smile.
"We suspect that he overdosed the anti-depressants purposefully. He doesn't have any previishistory of cardiac arrests. So maybe psychological distresses may have pulled to the verge of this." The senior and more serious looking officer replied."Do you know about his personal problems?"
"Not much. He had some kinds of problem with phantoms and guilt in the last letters he sent to me. I don't know why?" I replied.
"Sir, you are a reknown writer. How can a suicidal maniac have corespondence with you?"The officer asked me.
"We are friends from childhood. Shep was the son of my mother's friend. His sister was a good writer. And I don't think he wouldt commit suicide."I said.
Yes, suicide are for cowards. They are the ones who have the courage to do that. To self-immolate. Burn. Shep was always a brave lad.
Then I looked at his motionless hands. They were in a familiar position. He was holding an invisible......scissor...