Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Haunting by Anon123

He ran as fast as he could, gasping for breath. The night air slapped him across the face, preventing him from opening his eyes properly. He could hear feet pounding in the distance. Somebody was running and he didn’t know why, but he had to get to them.
I was jolted awake as a piercing scream filled my ears. However, there was no one in sight. My surroundings appeared to be unfamiliar and as I looked around, I found myself lying in a dark alley. The loose gravel poked my back, making me extremely uncomfortable. Beads of sweat trickled down my forehead and slowly slid down my neck. I could feel something in my hand, and was shocked to discover it was a knife. A knife covered in blood, the blood glistening under the moonlight. My once-white shirt was no longer the same as well, with patches of blood and dirt all over it.
There was a full moon tonight. The howling wind caused the hair at the back of my neck to stand up. A cat walked by, with fur as dark and as black as the inside of Dracula’s coffin. It looked at me, its light green eyes boring into mine. I was obviously hallucinating, but it felt as if the cat looked at me almost KNOWINGLY. Within a few seconds, it walked right past me.
What was I doing here? WHAT HAD HAPPENED? I had absolutely no idea how I had ended up here. Whose blood was on my hands? I checked my pockets and and couldn't find anything. Frustrated, I smashed my fist to the ground, causing my knuckles to bleed.
Panicking and longing for answers, I decided to check my cell phone out. I cursed my fate when it refused to switch on, the screen staying pitch black even though I pressed every button possible. I let out a huge sigh and began to think rationally. If I was found in this condition, ANYONE would think I was a murderer. If I presented my story to them, they’d probably think I was a psychopath. It was in my best interests that I got home as soon as possible.

I’d gotten up at the crack of dawn and made myself a cup of steaming coffee to ease the pounding in my head. I swirled the last of it as I tried to recall the events of last night, the brown moisture clinging to the side of my Superman mug.
The last thing I remember before finding myself in that deserted alley was going to bed really early. Yesterday had been very exhausting and I couldn’t wait to get lost in the comfort of my bed. Today, I just wanted the truth.
As soon as I’d gotten home, I’d washed my clothes until every spot of blood had vanished. Then, I’d gotten into bed, hoping to relax a little. I was barely able to sleep. The knife on my bedside table was a constant reminder. It taunted me, and told me that all what was happening was real. The whole time I was lying down, I felt as if someone or something was watching me with malicious intent. Call it intuition or even sixth sense, but I knew the feeling couldn’t be brushed away easily. Even the crackling of the bone-dry leaves outside, accompanied by the hoots of an owl, made me jump. The radar on my head was on a roll last night and I don’t remember being as alert as a bat ever before. The few minutes that I did manage to get some sleep, were the minutes I hated the most.
I’d dreamt about a girl. No. Not a girl, but a woman. A beautiful one, I might add. She had jet black hair, and the most enchanting eyes I’d ever seen. But, she wasn’t alone. She was with a man, around the same age as her. I couldn’t exactly see his face. As a matter of fact, practically the whole dream was a blur and I could remember only glimpses of it.
I snapped out of my train of thought when the television screen before me began flashing. It was a news bulletin about someone who was found dead last night. A young woman, Sana Rehan, was murdered at her home last night, drenched in a pool of blood. But, what startled me was not the fact that her residence was near the alley where I woke up. Not the fact that her neighbors had heard her let out a deadly scream, and upon investigating it, saw a man running out of her house. But, it was the fact that that woman was the same woman that appeared in my dream last night.
“I love you.” said Sana, as she looked into the eyes of the man standing in front of her. His eyes were erupting with anger. His hands trembled, with rage as well as fear in what he was about to do. Swiftly, he plunged the blade into her stomach and took it out with the same speed. Realizing what he had done, he dropped the knife and ran, leaving her bleeding to death…

Two days had passed by since I woke up in that alley. Two days since Sana Rehan’s death. And, I was still at square one. I planned on making some progress today and I knew exactly where I should start. Occasionally, I would get flashbacks. Pieces of a puzzle that I was unable to put together. ALL of them revolved around the woman, but there wasn't just one man, but two. I was beginning to think I had a mental condition. Multiple Personality Disorder? Amnesia? Or maybe I was just possessed by some demon from the underworld.

Who was I kidding? All arrows pointed towards me. Towards the fact that I killed Sana. But, something didn’t add up. I couldn’t accept the fact that I, Khalid Mirza, an ACCOUNTANT, had a killer streak in him.

But… What if I had? Why else would I have the knife and was literally bathed in blood?
There was no other logical explanation. Oh My God… I took the life of an innocent woman. The guilt overcame me and turned my insides, making me want to throw up.

I rushed to the bathroom, gripping the toilet seat firmly and emptied the contents of my stomach. I glanced at my reflection in the mirror and couldn’t recognize the man staring back at me. He had heavy circles under his eyes, as dark as purple and as wrinkly as his Grandma’s hand. His once handsome face was now pale and lifeless like a deserted, barren land.

“Nobody can find out about you. Not anyone I know, not even anyone you know. It has to remain our secret.” said Sana.

“But… why? What’ll happen if we do?”

“This secret is as sacred as the pearl inside an oyster, Khalid. If it gets out, it can cost us our lives.”

I tiptoed towards the house at the corner of the street. The bald trees created eerie shadows, making him want to tremble. The streetlight above glared at him with its orbs of gold. A tape surrounded the house to prevent anyone, except the police, from coming in. However, nothing was going to stop me tonight.

An hour had passed by, and I still hadn’t found anything. I had snooped around the cupboards, drawers, tables, each and every nook and corner of the house, but to no avail, I didn’t find anything.

I stopped mid-track. The floorboard had creaked. Somebody was in the house. My breath caught in my throat. My heart started pounded and I could literally hear it in the silent house. My palms started sweating and the hair at the back of my neck rose. I could feel tiny goosebumps all over my arm.


Wait a second. The noise was coming from underneath me. I looked down and was surprised to find a loose floorboard. I bent down and pulled it. Inside, there was a stack of old letters and pictures. Hopefully, they would have some answers…

Dear Sana,

Please don’t leave me. Me, you and Khalid can be a family. I know you’re scared, so am I. But I love you, Sana. We’ll work it out. We’ll do something. I’ll handle Ibrahim. I know what we did was wrong, but you can’t deny that you felt the same way. Please, don’t let this fall apart.

Love, Zain.

That was just the first of all letters. Many more followed after it. There was a birth certificate with my name on it and also a news clipping titled “Middle-aged man dies in mysterious car accident.” After reading it, I realized that was the same piece about my father’s death. All this time, I’d thought his death was just an accident. Turns out there was more to the story than I thought.

It was all beginning to fall together. I was the illegitimate son of Zain and Sana. Sana was my mother, and she had sent me away to protect me. To protect my father. But Ibrahim had gotten to him and two days ago, he killed Sana, my mother.

I clenched my fists and let out a growl. The fury inside me was building up. My blood boiled in rage and anger couldn’t sum up all that I felt. There was just one thing on my mind and one thing alone.

To avenge the death of my parents.


  1. I like "The night air slapped him across the face".
    But the conclusion should have been evident, why did you need to tell us who was who?
    Till the letters, it was going great, the end didn't work for me.
    Short Story - Yes, but weak toward the end
    The Haunting - Yes
    Terror - Yes
    Guilt - Yes
    Grade - 6.5/10

  2. exactly. the story had so much impact and mystery, it could be anything but you chose this ending which seemed a bit cliché and over dramatized. towards the end, a lot is introduced. its confusing and the pieces of the story dont really fall together well.