Gauri Vinod Nair
Thursday, January 3, 2019

I was fast asleep when I heard a knock at the door. I was nervous to open the door since it was 11o’clock, which means late night and it was raining heavily. Precipitously, I heard a girl crying. She was shouting and wailing. I gathered my courage and opened the door. Standing before me was a girl whose hair was open, with big blue eyes, very fair and young. Her forehead was bleeding and she looked as if she was crying for ages. Seeing her state, I felt sympathetic and let her in. She came and sat on the chair. She looked very frightened and was shivering. I gave her a bottle of water which she gulped within seconds. She started crying. Seeing her crying, I became very desperate.

I asked her the reason for her crying. She looked at me with her bright blue eyes and said ‘I was walking to my house after tuition and…..’

‘Wait, wait. Tuition at this hour’, I asked a bit muddled.

‘I, I that….um….it was because I had extra class since I missed my class for two days. I was passing by that haunted bungalow, do you know that house? Where that girl named Alice hurdled from the bungalow and died then and there’, said she looking petrified.

‘Oh, that Alice Bungalow, right?’ I asked.

‘Yes, yes, the same one. People say that Alice did not commit suicide but someone pushed her from there’, said the girl trembling.

‘Of course! People can make up their own stories. They spread rumours that, even after Alice’s death, she is still there. And that Alice was imprudent to suicide, whatever the reason was for’, I said.
‘You should believe it’, she said in a furious voice. ‘When I was walking, I heard footsteps behind me. When I turned back, there was no one there but I saw footprints on the floor. I was scared so I kept walking. But then suddenly, I felt as if someone caught my shoulders. I ran with all my might but lost my balance and fell down and hurt my head. I was looking for a shelter and saw your house.’

‘Okay, cool down. Your forehead has a wound. Let me go and get some medicine’, I said and got up from there.

While I was taking the medicine, I remembered that I have not asked the girl’s name. ‘By the by, what is your name?’

There was no reply. I could just here the thunder outside. I went to the hall and said to the girl ‘Here is the medicine. Show me your wound.’

‘You cannot heel this wound. It was caused by my friend before two years when she pushed me from the top floor of the bungalow. Some people still don’t know the truth. And you’ve asked me my name. My name is ALICE. The same Alice who you thought was stupid to commit suicide.

I was stunned. I ran for the door but it was locked from outside. All of a sudden, the lights went off. I didn’t know what to do and started panicking. Suddenly, I felt something on my shoulders; as if someone was catching me. I gave a scream and ran to the dining room. Rapidly, the lights came on.
‘Why are you scared?’ said someone behind me and there was Alice sitting on the chair. ‘You said you didn’t believe in all this.’

Alice took the flower vase and came near me. ‘You allowed a stranger in and that stranger will be the cause for your death’, said Alice raising the vase.

I screamed ‘Noooooooooooo.’

‘Janet, Janet. Wakeup! It’s getting late.’

I thought Alice was saying this to me but when I opened my eyes, I saw a familiar face; a face which I used to see every day.

‘Mom, Mom, did you see Alice? Did she hurt you?’ I asked.

‘What’s wrong with you, Janet? And who is this Alice? Get up now. You’re late for school’, said my mother pointing at the clock.

‘Oh my…….Oh my God, I….I am alive. It was just a nightmare. Don’t worry mom. I will be there for breakfast within five minutes.

I got out from my bed. While I was pulling the sheets, a book fell down. I took the book and lo and behold it was a horror story.

‘I vow, I will never read such books again. Never’, I said promising myself.

And my dear readers, the name of the book was ALICE.

Gauri Vinod Nair
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