‘Seeing a cat isn’t a problem, the problem is when it disappears.’
A chilling night of December was enough to make me feel awkward but on top of that my ongoing exams were adding the pressure on me. I was not sure how long it would have taken to complete the final sample paper. It was already 1:15 am in a night of December winter. I was preparing for my examinations in my room which was on the 3rd floor of the house. It was chilling outside the house, enough to slow down the beating of a heart. I was trying hard to keep myself warm and to remain awake inside the blanket. But after some time I succumbed against the dozing eyes and killing cold, I closed my book and looked at the clock; it was 1:25 am. I stood up to have some water. Suddenly I thought that I heard a voice, like someone whispering. I heeded it. It was the sound of singing on the terrace above. It was not carrying any tune, but piping shrill and melodious. Such a sound in cold was enough to send shivers in the spine of a common man; but it was more than the fear of a physical invader that held me frozen. I could not define the horror that gripped me.
There was a time when I was frequently haunted by nightmares that made me remain awake in the middle of the night with a cold sweat and tossing and turning here and there, screaming. It went on for months and yet I didn't tell anybody, not a single soul. Suddenly it all stopped.
Fear does not have any clinical definition. It is an emotion, trauma, entertainment or myth. It is perhaps an intense, painful feeling of repugnance. The senses paralyses and heart beat comes a halt for certain time. It is hard to explain.
The strange paralysis that had held me was broken after a few moments. I took a step toward the door, and then checked myself. I came out of the appalling door and moved towards the stairs. I was not running. The tread was deliberate and measured than ever. It was dark near the stairs.
I heard the stairs began to creak. A groping hand, moving along the balustrade, came into the bar of moonlight; then another, and a ghastly thrill went through my body, as I saw that the other hand gripped a hatchet -- a hatchet which dripped blackly. Was that thief who was coming down that stair?
My heart started pounding as never before. Terror held me like a vice-like grip. The torture of my indecision and fear threatened to crush me. I saw two eyes blinking and coming towards me. All of a sudden I felt the rush of blood inside the veins of my body. I was trying to shout...but it was a distant dream as I could not even breathe properly at that moment.
I had seen it in many movies by then. An unknown mask-man with a machete or hatchet comes slowly and if you are lucky enough you won’t see him. If otherwise, before you could scream, his hatchet with flung in air and your intestines will be spread over the floor, pouring red and thick blood all over.
It moved towards me with no sound but tweak of the stairs. It was all spooky and sense of encountering something evil was dominating my thoughts. As the distance reduced between me and the glittering eyes, I closed my eyes…as tight as I could. I knew that anytime that hatchet with segregate my head from rest of my body.
I opened eyes and saw no one near me or the stair. I quickly saw behind me to make sure that no hatchet is swinging towards me. Anyways a person is killed in a movie when he is least alert and feeling secure. There was nothing. I could only see two fireflies in some distance and assumed that the glittering eyes were nothing but these fireflies.
I again moved towards the terrace. I could see a hatchet hanging on the wall. I reached the terrace. It was cold like ice out there. I shivered at the phrase, staring uneasily at the terrace walls that shut them in. The scent of the pines was mingled with the odors of unfamiliar plants and blossoms. But underlying all was a reek of rot and decay. Again a sick abhorrence of these dark mysterious woodlands almost overpowered me. The voices of dog-cry and cats were not helping at all. It seemed that a cry was crying just near our house.
I was again drowned in the feeling of fear and disgust. It was not only chilling but a sense of fear also captured me deep in my heart. I was somehow so frightened that the blood drained from my face, turning it to ghastly waxen color; my fists were clenched, white knuckled, against my flat bosom. I felt goose bombs all over my body. It was like I have forgotten to be happy and a deep sorrow penetrated my heart.
I heard voice of someone crying on the terrace now. It was like a child’s cry. I put pressure on my eyes. It decreased in size and the visibility increased a bit. It was a small shadow, more like a cat. It was not moving, still, grounded but emitting a sound…a hellish sound which could extract blood out of your veins and make it filled with only sorrow and death. The speed of my mind was retarded to nothing. I could not think anything but horrors. I crouched and moved one more step ahead, the cat was eating something.
When I was a kid, my granny used to tell the stories of a devil cat. People say it was a woman, cursed by the witch-craft and black magic. She became a cat and fed upon the dead bodies and little children. It used to kill sleeping people as well. When people used to sleep unconsciously, unaware of what horror was approaching them; this cat would appear from nowhere and would start licking the toe of sleeping man or woman. People believed it was a kind of black spell which used to make that person go into deep sleep. And after confirming the deep sleep, this cat would kill the person and behead it to eat. There was a time when the whole village gathered to search and kill that cat but nobody could find it. It is said that this cat travels from place to place, killing people and feeding upon their heads.
As soon as I remembered the story my heart froze into nothing but a mass of cold ice. I could not feel heartbeat. The saliva gathered into my throat but could not swallow it. Afraid of the fact, that swallowing could make some sound which would attract the attention of the cat which could be the same devilish cat. I don’t know why I stepped ahead. My foot landed on something slippery. Was it blood?
I had no idea why I even tried to go and see on the terrace, how I could forget the horrors of the terrace especially after 12 am midnight. I was terrified by the fact that I was standing on blood of someone and the cat probably was eating someone’s head. I had no torch and even my mobile had dim light. But I took out the mobile, The different pages of virtual worlds like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and instagram were still loading on it. I tried to see the color of the fluid on the terrace with the mobile light. It was red. Suddenly my heart beat went louder, I could hear the pounding in my ears and few drops of sweat appeared on my forehead. Somehow I was recalling all the horror stories have ever heard.
I was 16 when I visited one of my friend’s house. It was in Himachal Pradesh. It was a fruitful stay until I noticed that not everything was right there. I saw a little girl in the bathroom. I thought she is the member of the family but I never saw her with rest of the family. After a day I requested my friend to stop that girl from going to my bathroom but he told me that there was no girl in family. I was shit scared and after that day here was constantly something happening. Doors flying open and shut, voices, footsteps. Nothing ever stayed where you put it. I was not alone there but either it was only me who was seeing things or my friend was lying to me and they knew what was it?
‘Stuff that's hidden, murky and ambiguous is scary because you don't know what it does’.
It was only a horrific day when I came to know that my friend had a niece, who died in that bathroom, drowned in the bathtub. Her spirit remained there and started to haunt everyone. Even after returning Delhi from there, I could not go to the bathroom at night. I always felt as if someone was there…may be that girl.
It was a gut-level disturbing reality now that there was a huge possibility that this cat was a Satan. I pulled my step back, slowly, without making any noise. I could feel as if somebody was squeezing my heart apart. I slowly moved to the stair and as soon as I kept my first step onto the stair, the cat started crying again. It was an ominous sound.
The sound continued to plunge inside my ears but brain I wasn't scared, and I didn't feel anger or any strong emotion. In fact, it was like emotion was trickling out of me somehow, and I was getting more blank, more empty. My mind started feeling a little hazy and more and more I felt like I simply didn't care about anything. A small and rapidly dwindling part of myself started to panic, knew that something bad was happening, but it was like my own inner voice was slowly getting quieter and quieter. My feet became heavy and breathe deeper. I had to literally drag my legs to my room.
I didn’t know why I was so afraid, so scared and panicked. It was just a cat. But I had the fear of cats since I was a kid and there is a reason behind it. I was seven when I killed a cat by throwing it from 2nd floor. The cat fall straight down and collided with a rock. Its head broke and it died almost instantly. I received a lot of heat from my father on this topic. But to my amazement, I saw that very cat alive the next day, following its daily routine. Everybody believed that this cat was different but I knew it was not. It was the same cat. I could see it in its eyes. It’s hazy and brownish eyes which were like fire of hell… was giving out the imprints of an immortal devil; that couldn’t be killed or buried in mere soil. It kept on returning to haunt us and to spread hatred, unlikeness and dismay.
I and my friends also tried to dig the place where cat was buried. But we could find no body, not even the maggots.
I dragged myself into my room and closed the door. I felt relieved that I was back in the room and was not killed by spirits or ghosts. I locked my door properly and turned around. Suddenly the lights fluctuated and I saw something which I cannot explain.
A 6 feet tall woman was standing there in black. She had no legs; she was hovering on the air. Her black hair had covered her half body. The hair was floating in the air as if it was in water. She was smiling and her smile was bigger than what her face could afford, as if her cheeks were cut with a sharp blade. Her brownish and sharp teeth were visible with red pieces of meat stuck in it. She had whiskers like cats do. Her flesh was rotten. Her whole body was covered in a kind of black fur.
It was a killed scream which got buried in my throat. My heart could not beat, and I was not able to breath. The whole body was twisted as if a rift had begun inside my body pulling everything in a black hole. I could not stop thinking about her white eyes; it had no pupil in it.
“I also have a tail.” She said.
She scratched my neck with her long nails and a stream of blood oozed out of my neck. I cried out with dismay and pain. I could only hear the crying of the cat. I ghastly tried to save myself but my neck could not tolerate the second attack and my head broke. It rolled down on the floor and that woman turned into a cat; black cat with white eyes. I died.
I know you are feeling sad for me. It is a bit chilling here. Your heart is filling with fear and misery. You are recalling that cat and that girl in the bathroom. May be you are feeling like someone is watching you. Now you are thinking that how can I tell this. You can turn back and see me because I am right behind you.