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Pratik is a high school graduate from Trinity International College, Dilli Bazaar, Kathmandu.
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Terror in the Night
I was slouching in my chair, sleepily tapping my feet on the floor and drumming my fingers on the table, when a hollow knocking sound startled me. I looked over my shoulder and fancied I saw a shadow flit past the window. A shapeless shadow with a distinct whisper and a hollow knock swooshed past and my heart leapt like a shot animal. My senses began to heighten and a drop of sweat trembled on the tip of my nose. Gentle evening breeze poured from the open window, moved the drapes and chilled every fiber of my being. I pulled myself and gazed at the window.
It is a well-documented fact that Ghanshyam Bista is no coward. However, when danger rears its ugly head, he is occasionally known to let his legs do the thinking. This, it seemed to me, would be one such occasion. A lesser man would’ve soaked his pants in throbbing terror, constrained in such thick circumstance, but not Ghanshyam. I stood there with a resolve and stiffened my sinews. I would be lying to the reader if I told you I wasn’t at all shaken. A slight weakness was felt on the knees and a boneless feeling was getting markedly stronger with every passing moment. At this moment, the wind blasted, the window slammed shut, rattling heavily. I bolted to my feet, like a nervous soldier on the trenches hearing the bomb explode and the ground vibrate. The drop of sweat dripped down my nose and plopped softly on my right foot. I leaped on the table.
Outside the trees were swaying with the gush of the wind. Oh! I sighed with relief. The trees! Quite right! Of course! It was the trees. I carefully got down from the table, fixing my unblinking eyes on the window. Softly a leaf wafted down a branch and through the window sank softly on the bed. I, stretched my hand, hesitated, stretched some more then lunged at the leaf like a rabbit. I held it in front of my eyes and studied it carefully. It was a dead leaf, crumbled and brown. No signs of anything ghostly. I tossed it carelessly out of the window.
I stood up on the floor and stretched, my back facing the window. Strange things were happening. I’m the sort of blighter who has no interest in thrusting himself into impenetrable mysteries. Ghanshyan Bista is not an inquisitive man. When he was a kid he learnt how curiosity had killed the cat. And only God knows he has a tender spot for cats. He lets them nuzzle in his lap, strokes their neck and watches them purr with pleasure with motherly tenderness. He of all people won’t let the callous cat murderer into his thoughts. One has to stand up for those helpless cats too.
I felt a pair of blank eyes slap on my back, and my heart stood still. A feeling of doom descended upon me. I winced and swallowed painfully. Slowly with a burning flush of fear and terror, I turned back, getting ready to edge towards the door at any moment. Two pair of piercing yellow eyes was glaring at me. My heart pounded like a drum on my chest. “Meow”, I felt a confounded indecision sweep over me. What? It breathed into the mirror and its head became visible. Oh quite ho. My spirits swam out from the rivers of despair, dripping with a newfound freshness, and stood on the shores of jauntiness and jolliness. I am one of those fellows who prefer hail and rain to beat down just so he can enjoy the quiet and fragrant air later on. I pulled the window and let the cat trickle into the bed. It was a black cat. I lifted it up and it meowed submissively. It coiled on my lap and I stroked its forehead. It closed its eyes with a relaxed expression. All well that ends well.