Do you dread the unseen? Do you check behind the shower curtain always, to see if someone’s there? Do you check the backseat of your car to see if someone snuck in while you were shopping for groceries?
Do you like getting spooked?
1. That thing in your toilet
Things have been known to crawl up the sewage pipes and into the toilet pot. Rats do it all the time.
Now what I think is the protocol, no one really looks down when they are taking a dump, do they? Say something crawls up the pipe while you are doing the business.
To take it further, you get bitten. Startled, you jump up and look for the creature that bit you. And the thing doesn’t really look like an earthly animal. Slithery, thick and black and shiny, swirling in the pool of flush water which has your blood in it now.
Or was it a hand? A black, skeletal hand with sharp bloodied nails? It retreated, but you still see it. It sits there, waiting.
2. Stroll mate
You like taking late night strolls, to clear your head or just to aid your digestion after a heavy dinner.
You are walking on the pathway and you cannot see anyone in the distance. The streetlights emit a halo around themselves. You hear a rustle of leaves like they are being walked upon just alongside you. At your pace. But you cannot see anyone walking.
You stop and the sound of the footsteps stop too. You walk and the footsteps start again.
You run. The footsteps run with you.
And you cannot see the person making the footfalls.
3. Temple bells
Still and humid air, your clothes stick to your skin with sweat. You are walking up the steps of a temple.
It’s quite late and no one is there. At the last flight of steps, the bells start ringing.
There is no breeze, no sudden gust of wind to make them sway. The tempo rises as you climb another step.
You run away and the bells stop. Do you want to go back again?
You come home after a long day, your flatmates are all out partying. You finally get that peaceful environment, where the apartment is all quiet and you just want to take a hot shower and crash into the bed. You step into the shower and feel good. The hot water relaxes your fatigued muscles and you sigh with relief.
You haven’t really shut the bathroom door, because what’s the point. No one is out there, right?
You pause shampooing your hair because you thought you heard footsteps out there in your room.
You turn off the shower to listen more closely, and you hear footsteps scurrying away. You come out of the bath in a towel and check. The main door is ajar and looks like it was pushed ajar a few seconds back. Did you leave it open? Is the person still inside?
5. Late night hydration
We all get thirsty in the middle of the night. Waking up with parched throats, we reach for the water bottle we always keep at a reachable distance.
You didn’t even need to switch on the light and you take three satisfying gulps of it. But now your throat itches and feels like there is something wiggling inside there. Something alive. You switch on the light and check your water bottle against the light.
A thin snake-like worm, a couple of centimeters long is swimming inside. It has got sharp teeth on a disc of a mouth and looks like if they latch on to something, they wouldn’t let go. You look even more closely, you spot more of them. So many of them, swirling agitatedly inside the water.
And one is inside you. Could there be others, many of them? Are they burrowing? Because the itch in your throat is slowly turning into sharp pain.
You get up in the morning to brush your teeth, and you stare listlessly into the mirror because you are still grumpy and half asleep. The process of brushing is monotonous, but you have to do it.
The bathroom door behind you is wide open and someone is peeking at you, look back but no one’s there. You dismiss it as a trick of the light. But you notice the same man peeking at you from random reflections during the day. On the reflective bus windows, on the big glass behind which the mannequins are put for display. The same man. Is he waiting for something? Should you look into the mirror again?
Look closely into the mirror again. Is he still there?
You are driving through the traffic, horns blaring everywhere and you finally turn into the road on which your house is. You hear a faint whisper in your ear that says, “Do not go, I don’t want to leave you.”
You are startled and look back, but there’s no one there. Maybe you imagined it all.
But the whispers continue. The whisperers are following you everywhere.
8. Ear cleaning
It has been more than a week since you cleaned your ears. You take a q-tip and expect to scoop out a dollop of earwax, but you scoop out a small centipede, a creepy crawler with smaller baby crawlers on its back. You throw it away in disgust and go to your doctor for a check-up, but he says everything is fine. But you start hearing something inside your head.
Is the worm inside your head? Is it eating your brains? You cannot spot really small worms on an MRI, right? Or can you?
Tik tik. Is it gnawing on the inside of your skull with its pincers?
Tik tik tik.
Your bed is placed near the low and big window overlooking the garden outside. You keep it open because you love the fresh air when you sleep.
You just had a very lucid dream and it woke you up and now you are squirming in your bed. You open your eyes and see the moonlit sky through the window.
And the person standing there, staring right at you. He has seen that you have noticed him, but he still doesn’t flinch. You get up and his unblinking gaze follows you.
He is still undaunted by the prospect of getting caught. You flee.
Has he always been there outside? Every night?
Chronicles of Narnia was a cute book and a lovely movie. Such a nice fairy tale, where you can just go to a kingdom
full of adventure because it is such a cool world beyond that wardrobe.
What if our world is the better world of all, and horrible creatures of all the other worlds out there want a taste of it?
You hear knocks on the inside of the closet or wardrobe. It is random and sporadic and sounds desperate. And before you even realize that someone knocked, it’s gone. Next time, listen closely. Is there a person inside your closet?
11. The WiFi stops working
Heh heh heh heh…