I stepped down the roof to head to my room. I unlocked the front door and opened it. The lights were off, everything was dark inside. The only light glowing nearby was the one in the common area that lay in the middle of the four flats on my floor. I had opened the front door almost fully. I lifted my right arm to reach the light switch. I looked around. My finger touched the switch. I was about to turn on the switch when my eyes fell on some movement on the ceiling. It was a rapid movement in the dark. ‘A butterfly,’ was my first thought. I kept looking at the movement, it was in circles and it was fast. My finger was still on the switch. ‘But a butterfly doesn’t flutter this fast,’ was my second thought. I felt a fear rising in me. I switched on the light.
I saw it. It was flying with its crooked, black wings. I stood at the door. I found myself unable to move any further. I kept it watching from there. It was energetic and mad. It was flying between the rooms, hitting the walls, then flying again. Fear froze my feet and my head. ‘How do I kill it?’ was my third thought. ‘How long will that take? It is faster than me and smaller than me. It can easily hit me in my eyes and make me blind forever.’ I stepped back, leaving the lights on. I came out of my house into the common area.
I leaned against a wall and watched it fluttering. ‘It should come out now, The lights might scare it.’ I stood by the wall and kept watching. It was simply lost in its own dance. I reached for the switch for the light glowing in the common area. I switched it off. ‘Maybe this drives it out of my house.’ The sudden darkness outside did not seem to have any effect on it. I stood by the wall and kept watching. Waiting. I could feel the fear stopping my heart.
It maintained its speed. It wasn’t growing tired of flying. It wasn’t coming out. I started thinking again about how to kill it. ‘Should I kill it or should I kill myself instead?’ I had no weapon with me, just slippers in my feet. There was no stick nearby, no broom either, no anything I could hit it with from far and fairly accurately. So I took off the slipper in my left foot and held it in my left hand. I walked like that to the door. I took a few steps, then I stopped. I couldn’t see any fluttering, any movement. I stood there for a few more seconds. No fluttering at all. I resumed walking to the front door. I looked inside. Nothing. ‘Is it gone?’ I stepped inside, took a few steps. Nothing. I put down the slipper. As soon as I put it down and looked up, it came out of the far darkness and flew right in my mouth.
I stopped thinking everything. ‘It just flew right in my mouth.’ I staggered back, my body hit the door hard. My eyes were open, my mouth too. I could see its wings moving between my lips. It was trying to fly inside my system; whether it intended to do that, I cannot say. The fear of dying a horrible death gripped my muscles, my veins, my everything. I put my one palm on my chest and the other inside my mouth. It was a restless little beast. I grabbed it by its wing and pulled it out without caring about what damage my action could do to my tissues. I threw it on the ground. After a few moments, my eyes fell on it. It looked alive and well. It was twisting and turning, twisting and turning, twisting and turning, again and again and again. I guess just like me, it too was trying to make a sense of what had just happened. It went ahead and banged itself on the nearest wall multiple times. Then it took off into the air again. I ran out of my room and back into the common area.
I leaned against the wall and bent down a little and rested my palms on my knees. ‘Who would believe this. I myself won’t.’ I took a deep breath. My mouth was open. My tongue was hanging out. I took two fingers and forced them down my throat. Nobody lived on that floor other than me. I could vomit right there and nobody would see. I forced my fingers into my mouth. Nothing came out. Not even wind. I pulled out my fingers and looked at them. There was no redness on them. No sign of blood. I wasn’t bleeding inside. ‘Oh fuck.’ My eyes had water in them. I sat down right there where I was standing.
I do not know when my eyes had closed. I had fallen asleep on the floor. I opened my eyes slowly. How much time had passed, I cannot say. I came to wakefulness only to realize that a subtle pain had started growing in my throat. I put my both hands around my neck and pressed it firmly to assess the damage. The pain grew but gradually. I gulped down my saliva. It made the pain grow. However, pain was not the only thing that I felt in my throat. I felt like something stuck there, right in my throat. I opened my mouth as wide as I could. Something pointy, sharp poked the inner walls of my neck. ‘It hasn’t left me completely.’ A part of it broke inside my mouth and went down the canal. I stood up somehow.
I gathered some sense and ran downstairs at once. I reached the ground floor and turned to the gallery. I stopped after talking a few steps. The security guard was sitting on a cemented bench. His eyes were almost closed and he was pouring some water into the glass that he held in his left hand. I walked to him. I do not know if he noticed me. He was in trance, rolling his head in circles, drinking water in gulps now and then.
‘Hey,’ I said. He did not listen at all, his eyes closed still. ‘Hey,’ I said again, a little louder this time. His one eye opened half. He moved his head upwards, asking me without speaking what the matter was.
‘Something has entered my house,’ I said, ‘Can you take care of it?’ He did not say a word. His eyes closed again.
‘Hey,’ I said again. ‘Just wait,’ he replied, ‘just wait, I have come back from work just now. I am exhausted. I will come to your room in five minutes. Just…just give me some time.’
‘No problem,’ I said and starting walking upstairs to my floor. His eyes had closed again.
I reached the front door of my room. I forgot to lock it, it was in the state in which I had left it. I peeked inside. I did not notice any movement. I did not see anything fluttering. ‘Maybe it has grown tired. Maybe it is taking rest on the far wall before it resumes its mayhem.’ I waited for few minutes; how many, I cannot say. Nothing was moving. I walked inside with one slipper in my hands. I took few steps. Nothing. I took few more steps. Nothing still. Then suddenly it came out of the bedroom and flew right over my head and outside the door. I hurried behind it and closed the door, and then I went and closed all the windows. I closed everything for that nuisance.
I put down the slipper and went ahead and drank some water. ‘Who would believe this.’ I walked to my bedroom, turned on the fan, fell in my chair. I drank some more water. The pain in my throat seemed to disappear. After five minutes, I heard a knock on the front door. Then another knock, then few more. ‘What the hell. Is it back?’ I thought. ”Sir, are you there?’ the security guard asked. He was finally here. I stood up from my chair and walked to the door.
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