‘Yes, it is.’
, Said a voice behind me.
My reaction to the statement was instantaneous. My eyes widened in horror and a scream escaped my mouth. Only, no sound came out of it. My throat had turned so dry that I seemed to have lost the ability to scream, much less talk. My body had frozen in spot, as a sub-zero chill settled on me. I felt numb, almost as if all my bones had been replaced by rods of ice. Now, in horror movies, the characters usually turn around after hearing a sound behind them, only to be inadvertently taken out by the antagonist. But, I wasn’t going to turn around. Not because I knew what was going to happen after I turned or that I was brave enough not to give my adversary the pleasure of my scream, but because my body had stopped moving. The only action it could do was shiver uncontrollably.
‘Are you scared? I bet you are.’
The voice spoke again. It was very soft, like a whisper.
‘Really, if I had to kill you, I would have done that already. But you are still standing. So come on, talk to me.’
The voice did not seem menacing, it seemed almost friendly. I felt myself regain control of my body as the ice around my bones began thawing.
‘You can turn around. I promise you won’t see anything.’
Somehow, my instincts told me to trust this alien voice. I slowly turned around, almost certain I was going to meet my maker. But, the voice was right. I couldn’t see anything. No guy wearing a hockey mask, or person in a striped tee and long claws, no nothing. There was no one there. I wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved or to freak out even more. I managed to mutter out a few words,
‘What are you?’
‘I think that was rather impolite. The question should have been who am I, not what am I. I was the last person to live in this room. I don’t really remember my name. It has been a few decades since anyone spoke it. As to what I am, it is fairly obvious.’
This was unreal. I was actually talking to a dead person. I managed to stutter out a reply to him,
‘Ghost, spirit, aatma, does it really matter?’
‘No, no. I was just asking. Doesn’t really matter. I guess. So, what do you want with me?’
‘Oh, nothing really. I just heard you talk to yourself about the darkness. I confirmed your thoughts. Also, I get bored. This is just one night every year I get to interact with a living person. You see, I can’t leave this room for some reason. I’m trapped here.’
‘Hey, wait a minute. I was only thinking all of that, an internal dialogue. How did you hear it? Do you have ghostly telepathy powers?’
‘Well, you were thinking alright, thinking out loud. So yes, I heard you. I don’t have any telepathy powers.’
A silence followed. I did not really know what to talk about to a ghost. He did seem to have a flair for conversing, strange as he seemed to lack communication for so long, but it was a better thing than him wanting to kill or possess me.
‘So, powers. Yes, I do have powers. But none that you would want to know about.’
‘No that’s alright. You can tell me.’
‘Alright then, don’t say that I did not warn you. I have a knack for possessing people. After my death, they closed the room for a few years. After that, they reopened it and gave it to a first year like you. I really wanted to get out of the room. So I tried to possess that boy’s body and it worked. I entered him and stayed within him. But, I realized the cold truth only after he left the room. I did not really understand my powers of possession. I was inside him when he left the room. I could see through his eyes as he walked on through the corridor. He stopped in front of the mirror to check himself out. That is when I realized the horrors of my power. There were visible cuts on his face. He touched his face only to realize it had got further bloodied. He checked his hands to realize that they were covered in blood. His skin had peeled-off, leaving behind uncovered flesh and blood. He ran back to the room and locked himself inside. His body started crumbling slowly. Tears of blood dripped from his eyes. His body grew covered in cuts and I could feel him losing his grip on sanity. I got out from his body, hoping that all of this would stop. I was too late, a couple of minutes after I got out, he jumped out of that window right there, ending his torture. ‘
I stood aghast. The incident was indeed horrible. The more I visualized it, the more the bile in my throat welled up.
‘For so many years, I felt horrible about the incident. But, I decided to perfect my power by contemplating upon it. Finally, a decade ago, the students here started this yearly ritual of holding a party here. I started practicing a little by little. Initially, the students did get harmed slightly, bleeding here, cuts there, but nothing serious. Of course, I only transferred a bit of my essence into them, not my entirety. Finally, I think I’ve got a hold of my power. I think I need to give it a test run.’
I thought he was kidding and flashed a smile.
‘A test run you say? That sounds interesting. How are you going to do that?’
‘By possessing you, of course’
My smile faded away faster than it had appeared.
‘Wait, you don’t really mean it, do you?’
‘Yes, I do.’
The lights that had gone out, started flickering. Fear had found its way back into my heart.
‘Then why would you tell me all this? Why make your presence known?’
‘It’s really simple. While contemplating, I realized that the host would have to be aware of my presence. That way the mind and body would accept me faster, and without harm. I promised I wouldn’t kill you, but I really need to get out. So, I’m just going to take your body. I promise it won’t hurt, much.’
As soon as I heard those words, my flight or fight instincts kicked in. I decided to make a dash for the door. But, as I was turning, I managed to trip over my legs and fell to the floor. As my eyes adjusted to the flickering lights, they fell upon wires coming out of the floorboard. I followed them to where the voice had originated from. Now, that I thought of it, the voice really did seem soft, with a static effect to it.
‘Could it be?’, I thought to myself.
I crawled and made my way to where the wires seemed to end. My suspicions were confirmed, connected to the end of the wires was a speakers and a microphone apparatus carefully placed out of view on the ground. I stood up and screamed
‘This was all a very good setup. But, it is over now. I found out the speakers, you assholes. I’m pretty sure I’ll find the others microphones and the cameras. So, the game is up. Open the door and let me out.’
The lights stopped flickering, and came back on. I could hear the door being unbolted from the outside. I quickly went outside and saw a couple of seniors looking at me with concerned faces.
‘Hey man, are you alright? We had gone out to party and completely forgot about you. We are sorry.’
I flashed them a grin.
‘You can stop the act now, you assholes. It was a real neat setup and it really got me for a while. But, I found out those speakers. Nice touch, with the voice.’
‘We know that we tried to prank you with the speakers, but they did not work, nor did the microphones and the hidden cameras. So, you don’t need to rub it in our faces.’
‘This is annoying. Anyway, I’m going off to bed it was a long night. Goodnight, losers.’
Like I said, the experience changed my life. It was brilliant. I conquered my fear of darkness, and on top of that I managed to show up my seniors, all in one night. It really boosted my confidence. I felt really elated, so elated that I did not even hear my seniors call out after me,
‘Hey man, how did you get those cuts on your face?’