The curse: A story by Sreemati Sen

The sharp clang of the gates woke me up. A tenant…AGAIN? Won’t they give up trying to occupy this property?

Rushing to the window, I see a young couple struggling with the lock. Hah! No matter how hard they try, no one can open it. Unless HE decides it. The locksmith is called in. He tries breaking it. The gas cutter is summoned. He fails.

And then I hear the CLICK, followed by whoops of joy. A chubby little boy runs in. I shiver. Why did HE allow them in?  

Clapping in glee, the boy makes his way in. Wait! The vines…! They will strangle you.  I stand in shock as the vines and the creepers make way for him. The tallest and the sinister of the lot stoops low to get a better look at him. I shudder. What if…? But the boy waves it away with his chubby hands.  

The family starts climbing up the stairs. I am sure the creaking will arouse HIM. And then all hell will break loose.

I lookup at the potted plants hanging above the stairs. These little culprits have fallen mercilessly upon visitors, scarring and scaring them forever. Their screams still echo in my mind. NO! Don’t hurt the child. Please!

The pots hang in silence.

Just as I breathe in a sigh of relief, I see the boy stretching out his hand to pluck a flower. No…Don’t touch them. HE will kill you just the way he killed my child years ago. 
Alas, they can’t hear me! The child plucks a flower and tucks it against his mother’s ears and then plants a sloppy kiss on her cheeks.

I miss my little boy!

But where is HE? I wait with bated breath for HIM to deliver a cruel blow. Very few have made it inside.  What does HE have in mind?

They are now touring the house…I hear them laughing.

They venture out into the courtyard. All of a sudden I see the child breaking into a run. NO! Beware of the swimming pool! That’s where he drowned my boy in a fit of rage.

I…I have to do something….. I float out. Fast…faster!

And then I hear the loud splash, the cries for help. That pool is demonic. It gobbles down whatever is thrown into it just the way it swallowed my child. The boy sinks into a bubble.

I wade deeper. I see nothing!

And then I see HIM. HE thrashes the water and brings up the inert boy. Leaning down, HE tries to make him breathe.

I look at HIM in disbelief. The child opens his eyes and smiles back. He can see us!

There are tears in HIS eyes. There is a silent plea in them. Yes, I forgive you…I forgive you for murdering our child.

He gives me a hand. Clutching it tight, we hover around the boy like a thin mist. And then we soar higher. The curse has been lifted. We are free!