Fiction Suspense Thriller

The smell of fresh snow floated around outside while the fragrance of my piping hot pie that I had just baked spread inside. By the time I had reached home after what seemed like an extremely long day at work, a thick layer of snow had gathered on the roof of my small, cozy cottage. Cutting out a thick slice of the meat pie, I dug out a leather bound, brown book from my shelf and I settled myself on the edge of my bed beside my window. I wiped the thick layer of dust that almost covered the book. Flipping through the pages of my book, I smiled to myself remembering all the memories these pages contained. Each page contained a couple of pictures from my childhood days, and each picture contained mixed feelings. There I was on the first page playing with sand on the beach. And on the next page, my eight year old self was sitting on the floor of a bookshop, struggling to hold up and read a book that was too heavy for me to carry. My mind raced back as I travelled back in time, sitting in my bedroom. But all the fun moments had come to an abrupt end. My father had run away with another woman six years back, leaving my mom and me alone. Soon after, when my mom did not return from work, the police set off a search party. Eventually, she was found in a small, wooden house at the corner of Northwood Park. She was found, yes. But by the time they found her, she was already dead. Multiple scratches had been found on her arms and her legs, a knife had been pierced into her chest from which blood spurred out. I was sure of who it was, of course. But where was he? I had a million questions, all unanswered. It had been three entire months and there was no contact, no mode of communication between my father and me anymore. I was standing alone in the world and I was at the edge. I could see two options in front of me. One was to let go and the other one was to climb back up from the edge and to keep going on. The first one seemed easier, however I decided to go with the latter since the easier choices may not be the right ones. Anyways, back to that night. Where was I? Oh yes, while I was flipping through the pages when I heard the engine of a car start. I looked out of my window in surprise, since there were not many cars here. Stoneybrook was a small town, and the people in my neighbourhood definitely would not roam around in their cars at 1 a.m. The driver’s pair of brown eyes met my curious stare as the car sped off. He seemed eerily familiar, but my mind couldn’t place where I had seen him. Just as the car disappeared from my sight, a voice started ringing in my ears.

“Northwood park, the cottage.” came the voice.

It had been six years but the voice was as clear to me as if I had heard it yesterday, itself.

“Mother?” I asked, my voice shaking but receiving no reply.

Scrambling off from my bed I rushed out, snatching a coat in the process. The fifteen minute walk seemed to take fifteen entire hours. It was hard enough to walk through all the snow that had comfortably placed itself on the roads, and on top of that, the Northwood Park wasn’t the best place for me to pay a visit. Unpleasant memories were tied up with it and the picture of my mother’s dead body, blood spurring out, kept coming back to me, no matter how hard I tried shaking them away. It was like a broken video player that went on replaying a video even though one tried to switch it off. I reached Northwood park soon enough and walked up to the broken, wooden house. I blew air into my hands to warm myself up and pushed open the door with a light creaky noise. It was a rather shabby cottage, cobwebs nearly covering every corner. The eyehole on the door was cracked and the brown paint had started wearing off. I entered the small cottage, still uncertain if I should. I entered the first room to find a small fire burning in the fireplace. Shutting the door behind me, I crept towards the fire to warm myself. But before I could do that, the door opened with a creak and I saw a man enter. The same man who I had seen outside my window. The same man who had ran away with another woman. My father. He stood before me with a knife clenched in his hand- the same knife that had been used to stab my mother, the same knife that he would use to stab me. In a split second I could feel his fingers strangling me, his nails piercing my neck. I gasped for breath as my vision became blurry, but it was of no use. Suffocating and gasping desperately for air, I blanked out. After quite a long time I gained consciousness and found my hands tied together with strong ropes. I felt a slight burn and realized the corner of my lip was bleeding. Bruises settled all over my two legs. Struggling, I wobbled to the fire and kept my hands close to it so that the ropes would burn and tear apart, freeing me. I heard the sound of the door open again, and fell on the ground pretending to be unconscious. I heard someone walk towards me and in a moment I heard a thud. I opened my eyes immediately, not being able to restrain myself. I saw the lifeless body of my father that lay beside me. He had stabbed himself just like he had stabbed my mother. Out of guilt, I presumed. At that moment a figure appeared in front of me.

“Mother?” I asked not being able to understand what was going on.

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Now, listen to me, it wasn’t his fault, it was mine, all mine.” Came her reply as she felt my blonde curls with her pale hands.

“That man right there killed you! How can you take the blame?” I asked, my voice rising.

“Will you listen to me, Bree? He ran away with another woman, yes, but if I hadn’t let my jealousy take over me, I would still be here. Your father was living here with the other woman. I had followed them here and killed the other woman out of rage. Your father killed me right after that, as part of the revenge. But, I never look back. One must carry on.” She told me softly, taking off her emerald necklace and putting it around my neck. The next I remember is finding myself on my bed, my head feeling heavy. I sat up as a ray of light fell right through the window into my eyes.

“Was it all a dream?” I asked myself, my eyes still closed, half asleep. I looked down to see the same necklace around my neck that my mother had given me in my ‘dream’.

  - Sampurna Dasgupta

June 11, 2021 15:54

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