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The Portrait at the Parlor

It was a dark and stormy night. Ominous black clouds hovered over the sky and released a sudden thunder. I was drenched from the heavy downpour. Icy fingers gripped my arm, and I was chilled to the marrow. While going to work this morning, little did I know that there would be such a tempest, I would not find a single cab and would have to go through an undetermined path amid which was a desolated decrepit house. I thought to myself: what was I thinking when I sought shelter in this house? Was I digging my own grave? 

When my mind returned to the present, I mustered up the courage to turn around. I slowly turned my head during which my heart was pounding, my spine was chilled, my hair was raised, and cold sweat was running down my forehead. To my relief, there was no one. I was probably hallucinating-delirium having caught me seeing the mystical house-as I had flagging disbelief in ghosts or any supernatural things. I knew they were nothing but a figment of our imagination, so I decided to sit in the parlor till the rain subsided. The house was as lonely as a cloud. 

A lone grey mouse stood sentry at the corner of the leather sofas which had been denatured by quite a few spider webs. Hung high on the soaked wall was a portrait of a small girl with a pale-looking face, snub nose, bright sparkly eyes, and neatly plaited hair. A misplaced grand bookshelf lay unruffled in a corner of the room. I neared the shelf and found inside it a myriad of children’s storybooks and fairy tales. Outside the window, a cat with coruscating green eyes looked at me with an eerie grin. Terror gripped my whole being and perspiration started dripping from my forehead. I had to fight against my fears as I was a firm realist and a rational person. Besides, the weather was deteriorating. A curious worm was poking into my brain to catch a sight of this house which, though old, seemed to be quite opulent and majestic once. But, as they say, curiosity killed the cat.

 I tiptoed into the bedroom, and the door begrudgingly creaked open. A musty and pungent odour crept into my nose. The bedroom had a beautiful almirah made of cedar-which, despite needing some varnish, looked quaint with its seamless finish, and a bed, on top of which hung the same portrait of the girl downstairs. The bed was crammed with dolls, and I sat on the bed admiring one which was very lifelike, very authentic and seemed to be standing out amongst the crowd as if it was a minimized version of that little girl in the portrait. However, there was some deep sadness in the girl’s eyes- a solitude, some pain that had subjugated her for decades. Nonetheless, I thought I was flogging a dead horse, so when the vigor of the rain lessened in a while, I thought to return home. As I stood up, my eyes widened as big as a tennis ball and my face turned as white as a sheet for the doll had grabbed my hand. The next moment I was horror-struck, my blood ran cold, and I had lost my voice. I did not know what to do and I tried to free myself without success. Then I gathered the sparse courage that I had left, and, with all my strength, thrust the doll away. 

The next moment, all the dolls were looking at me and I dashed as fast as my legs could take me. I scampered down the stairs with some shadows following me, wailing: “Don’t go, stay here. Please play with us,” with a spooky, yet tranquil voice which made my heart gallop. Cold sweat streamed down my forehead and my throat was parched. When the door was about to close by itself, fortuitously, I took a high leap and came out of the house. The howl echoing throughout the house died. I had got goosebumps and my heart was in my mouth. The dilapidated mansion looked as though it had been solitary for centuries and was waiting to quench its thirst. Several questions reigned over my head: Who was the girl? Why was she trapped in a doll and why was she so despondent? Whatever it was, I vowed never to go to an unknown remote house ever again, for escaping the ghosts was bad.

This one will definitely rouse you(may even raise your hair)! #StayingTrueToMyRoots


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