Content Warning- Murder/Suicide
He walked up through the dusty road which led to the small town of Temans. It was twilight and a light wind was blowing. Far away, the crop plantations acquired a greenish orange colour due to the light of the sun. On the other side, one could catch a faint glimpse of the Temans church, with its tall steeple standing majestically high up in the sky. The yellow- orange hue of the sky washed the town, and the muddy red road was illuminated with a touch of gradient yellow. The whole town looked peaceful and surprisingly, nobody was outside their houses.
He entered the town and looked at the banyan tree in front of him. It had remained much the same…. He looked up at the houses and walked towards them. Darkness was falling now. The red orange hue was slowly swept away and a dark blue colour entered, only with a touch of crimson at its bottom. Shadows fell here and there, creating a spooky atmosphere and he quickened his pace, as if to avoid the evil spell cast by the shadows of the houses. The moon came up, not too bright, for clouds were starting to surround it from all sides. He glanced upwards and realized that he had to take shelter somewhere. Rainfall could occur anytime now.
He walked through the dusty and muddy road and looked here around for inns, but there were none. Finally he found a big apartment, which was deserted. He let out a sigh of relief and walked up the stairs and entered the apartment.
It was evident that the apartment was still under construction work, it was not completed. However, years of neglect had withered away the raw smell of the brick walls, and small plants could be seen growing almost everywhere. All of them had a feeling of evil in them, the brick walls, the plants, the floors and even the ceiling. It was like they had witnessed a lot of sad events, and were telling him not to go further inside the house. The house itself was spooky, with its large corridors and almost no rooms. A huge round staircase led to the other floors. The greyish appearance of the apartment matched perfectly with his grey and withered T-Shirt and pants.
He went up the staircase and reached the terrace. It was broad and wide, and one could see the beautiful town stretched before it. He looked down and was surprised to see an old woman with a lantern standing in the doorway of the apartment, waving her hands to call him.
He descended the staircase and ran out of the apartment to meet the old woman. The woman was short in stature and had grey hair, with sometimes a tint of black in them. Her face was wrinkled, and she looked at him through her cat green eyes piercingly.
“What are you doing here?”, she asked coldly.
“I am a visitor and I came here for certain business matters. I could not find any inn to spend the night in, so I came here.”, he said.
She looked at him suspiciously and then said,
“Okay, you better come with me. This place is not good, especially at night.’”
He nodded his head and followed the old woman. He was cold with fear, and could not understand what was happening. He followed her till they reached a cottage, and the old woman asked him to enter. He went inside, and enjoyed the warmth of the fire which was lit. He sat down on a sofa, and the woman came to her with a candle. She placed the candle on the table and handed him a plate.
“You must be hungry? Here, have some food. You better not go to the apartment anymore.”
“Why?”, he asked.
“It’s a long story. I have seen too much of this world to remember happy deeds. Most are evil.”
“What do you actually mean?”
“Do you want to hear?”
“Yes, I do”
She took a long deep breath, and then began:
“Long ago, when I was about 17 years of age, there used to live a plantation owner named Hamilton. He had a lot of money and was very rich. You see those plantations, all those were Sir Hamilton’s. He was not only rich, but kind and generous too. He used to donate with open hands. He had a beautiful wife, four daughters and one son. However, naturally his neighbours were very jealous of him and despised him. He did not care that much for that. But one day, his neighbours attacked his family. His daughters were of almost my age then, and the son was only a baby. They killed his daughters and his wife, but somehow Hamilton and his son were able to escape.”
“Why did not Hamilton inform the police?”,he asked.
“There was no evidence against the neighbours. He had nothing to do. I later heard that he had fled somewhere to Canada.”
“But how does it relate to the apartment?”
The old woman sighed. Her green eyes glistened and she said,
“The apartment was being made by Hamilton. He wanted to turn it into a hospital…”
“Yes, but how does that matter anyway?”
Rain had started falling heavily and the fire and candle went out. The two people were left in total darkness. However, he could still see the old woman’s eyes glistening.
The old woman said, “For the past few years, there had been a lot of suicides there. Many girls of around 16-17 years of are committing suicide there. It all started with the daughter of Mrs Morepen. She jumped from the terrace you were standing a few minutes ago. The second case was of Mrs Rayon’s daughter. She was found hanging from the chandelier one morning, her face white and terror stricken.”
He was taken aback and looked at the old woman with wide and fearful eyes. Lightning struck, illuminating the whole room for a moment, and he could see the old woman’s face, ugly, wrinkled with a strong piercing glance, which was almost witch-like. He wanted to run out of the house, but some strange power kept him rooted to his seat.
The old woman said, “You better go to sleep now, I guess you had a very tiresome day.”
The old woman showed him his bedroom, and he fell down on his bed, immediately asleep.
The next morning when he woke up, he could see the sun shining brilliantly outside. He heaved himself up and went to the living room. The old woman was preparing coffee. She handed him a cup and he sat down on the sofa. He drank from the cup the delicious thick cappuccino, and felt refreshed. He almost forgot all the horrible incidents from yesterday night.
“Where do you want to go today? I can show you the way. It is evident that you are new to this place as you were talking about inns in here.”
“I have heard about Kingsman’s Place here. Can you please take me there?”
“Kingsman’s Place? Ok, I will. It is a business centre here. When do you want to go?”
“About 9:30, what do you say? Please prepare a packed lunch for me.”
“Of course! Get ready then.”
He went back to his bedroom and took out his suitcase. He looked at himself in the mirror. He was middle aged, but still he looked pretty young. He brought out a coat, shirt and pant and put it on. He looked the perfect businessman.
After having breakfast, the two went out. On the way, they came across the Flint river. There he saw some girls whispering and talking together. One of them was extremely beautiful. Her fair skin with an orange tint, made one remember pure milk. Her eyes were a deep blue and she had beautiful black eyelashes. Her cheeks were pink and her lips were a light red. Her mass of curls was thrown at her back and she wore a pretty green dress. Her hands were well toned and her legs were slender and well shaped. She looked a pretty picture. He stared at her for sometime, and then she turned to the old woman and, pointing to the girl, he asked,
“Who is that girl?”
The old woman glanced at the girl and then said, “She is Mr Trudeau’s daughter. Pretty, isn’t she?”
“Yes”, he said. “What is her age?”
He sighed and gestured at the old woman to move forward. They reached Kingsman’ s Place and the old woman left him there with his lunch box.
He did not wait there. As soon as the old woman was out of sight, he started running. He did not stop until he reached the old building. He entered and went up to the terrace.
The terrace was absolutely empty. Despite being so large, the parapets were very low, and there were high risks of falling to death in case of an accidental slip. Unlike the rest of the house, almost no plants were there on the terrace due to some unknown reason. He roamed here and there on the terrace. He stepped very carefully and whenever he looked down, he was sick at the sight of houses so far down below. He hated heights, and was afraid of them. He went downstairs and waited.
“You, know Laura, I will go to Grandma Fontaine’s house today.”
The words kept ringing in his mind. To reach Grandma Fontaine’s house, she had to cross this building.
There…. There she was coming. Alone. Nobody was with her.
He waited silently, and as soon as she came in front of the apartment, he gripped her hand and pulled her inside. Before she could scream, he put a handkerchief under her nose, and smelling the chloroform, she fell unconscious. He now prepared for it. He dragged her upstairs to the terrace and carefully washed her face. He then threw her down the parapet, and she landed with a loud thud sound. Dead. Yes, she was dead. Blood was flowing from her, and her pretty face was peaceful.
He quickly fled from the place before anybody could see him. He did not return to the old woman’s house. He kept walking towards the outskirts of the town. It would take him almost three hours to get out.
He had seen his own sisters and mother get killed in front of him, those Morepens, Rayons, Trudeaus and Grays have killed them out of jealousy. He and his father had somehow fled. But after sometime, his father also died. He died, saying, ”Kill Morepen, kill Trudeau, kill Rayon, kill Gray. Don’t let them live.”
He had done that. He had killed all of them except Gray’s daughter. He would be back for her after the next four years. Yes…he would not let her live. They do not deserve to live. They had destroyed his life, he would destroy theirs. He would not let them be happy when his own happiness had been snatched away from him. Never.
He looked back at the town. It was twilight yet again. The town looked peaceful, but he could hear faint sounds of crying. Let them cry. They will have to cry again after four years.
He turned and walked away from the town, as darkness fell and made the town silent.