Silence in the Depths of Death
“Silence in the Depths of Death” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Neha S Prasannan, Arya Central School, Kerala, India.
Silence in the Depths of Death
Life was not easy for her. Those troubled childhood days were enough to haunt her till death. At the age of eight, the death of her father came like a sharp blow. Her mother was traumatized beyond recovery – confined to a wheelchair for the rest of life….Her depressed childhood days…instances of being mentally unstable…. Those days when she was half dead…. created nightmares even after many years…and then came those happy days when she was rescued by gentle minds…she worked hard and when she felt that she was on the top of the world, suddenly everything came crashing down, only to make her life a hell….
The silence was horrifying. So was the darkness. The night was too dark. Few streaks of moonlight peeked in through the dense canopy of trees. The house stood in its ever gloomy self. Dim yellow light shone from one of its corner windows. Almost all other lights were out. The light was coming from a room in the corner and this room was very untidy. The bed was not made and there was a girl who sat at a table, very busy writing. There were beads of sweat on her forehead but she was unaware of her surroundings. The silence was suffocating. The only sound was the scratching of her pen. Her uncombed hair was very untidy and there were dark circles under her eyes. There was a trace of nervousness on her face that changed into fear at times. Her nervousness added to her pale face was enough to say that she was not in perfect health…
The knocking on the door came like blasts to the never ending silence. She shuddered while fighting hard to move to the door. No one was outside. She felt the rage build up inside her as she shut the door with a loud bang and latch it. She leaned against the heavy wooden door with half closed eyes. Even her bones were aching of tiredness. She stood there, lost in thoughts. Just then, she saw it – a dark outline of a man standing outside the window. It stared right into her eyes. A shiver ran down her spine as she watched it raise its hand so as to grasp something and…. It disappeared so suddenly that she doubted if it was really there. Her insides twitched and she froze in her place. The room was plunged into damp cold breeze. The windows began banging on their own. Eerie screams and howls broke out everywhere. She felt as if a thousand cold knives were piercing her body. The pen on the table rolled down. Her unsteady handwriting stood out boldly on the paper
“This might be my last day. You must be careful, my friend. He returns on full moon; he who craves for blood; he who devours souls; he who kills…I am helpless. You shall find me dead near the window…..He has killed innocent lives. Don’t weep over my body. I myself will take revenge on him…”
Five minutes passed. The screams ceased. An eerie calmness descended again. She was covered in sweat, but was still leaning to the door. Then she turned and checked again if it was latched. It was. Slowly and with great effort, she moved to a corner and grasped a bottle of water and emptied it into her mouth. She then washed her face, dried it and stood staring at her own ghostly appearance. Her thin and fragile body was trembling….
She then opened the door and went out; out into the dangerous darkness. She reached near the window. There was a deep canopy of dense bushes and trees growing near it. Her eyes bore deep into it. Slowly, a mocking smile appeared on her face. She said loudly “I know you are out there, but you won’t be able to harm me in anyway….”
The next day all that came out of the house was the news of her death….Silence lashed over the house again…
In her room, her last writing was still lying on the floor. A few words stood apart from others; a few darkened words – ‘……….I………….killed…....myself….”