Shilpa was sleeping alone in her bedroom , for the very FIRST time. Her sister Shreya , who usually shared the room with her,was away on an excursion trip.
She felt very grown up and pious, having a big room all for herself..huh..!!
All was fine until she turned off the lights and hit the bed. She lay on her bed watching the dimly lit room.Shadows spurred in to supernatural shapes. The lamppost on the corner looked like a eerie Zombie with a pointed hat. The cloth rack looked like a scary ghost with a flowing white duppatta. The posters on the wall shifted into spookier shades.
Shilpa shut her eyes and pulled the blanket over head.That was when her auditory senses took over.
Every single sound rang amplified in her ears, cutting open a myriads of imagination.
Swish-swash..gushed the wind through her open window, banging the doors in the process.She could almost picture a white face with long teeth, outside the window, smiling maniacally at her.
Plink..Plank..the tapping of the water droplets from the leaky pipe, against the empty bucket in the bathroom ,colored a vivid image of blood oozing out of a fresh wound….ah….why did it not stop??
The light hum of the fan grew louder and louder and sounded nothing less than the grim breathing of an unknown monster.
And then she heard it and her heart momentarily stopped.
Chin Chan Chin Chan….the tinkling of the anklet rang loud and clear in her ears….She first thought it was her imagination.She stopped breathing and listened again….there it was…unmistakably echoing inside her room…Chin Chan Chin Chan….
That was more than enough to freak her out, she somehow mustered courage,got up fro her bead and sprinted into her parents roomroaring “Mammaaaaaaaa”
It took a while for her mother to calm her down and her Papa gently lead her back to the room.
“Let us see if we can hear your ghost once again…”Her Papa solemnly declared, with a faint hint of a smile.
They switched off the fan and listened in silence, their own breathing sounds echoing inside the room.
And there it was “Chin Chan ..Chin Chan….” and Shilpa dug her nails into her mothers palm
“Owww…..Shilpa…” her mother moaned…and her father broke into a laugh.
“Silly girl..that is just a cricket…listen carefully…can’t you make out”
Yeah..indeed it was…it sounded less like an anklet tinkle and more like a chirping now…
“Oh…” Shilpa smiled sheepishly…”May be we should go back to sleep.Papa….” And when her father rose to leave, added carelessly ” ..let the lights remain on….”