Last night I suddenly woke up at three. I thought I heard noises. Not the normal ones. There was an infernal quality about them – bizarre tapping sounds that seemed to be of a devilish quality, with the vague discomforting silence between each tap only serving to increase the ghostly aura.
Perfect interval between each strike; sounds with a sober grievous quality, as though proclaiming the innate melancholy of the inevitable fate of the world; not so much a warning bell as a mourning.
I woke up with beads of perspiration and a suddenness that I couldn’t quite ascribe to. The world around seemed eerily still. It wouldn’t have been a surprise even if I found out that nothing existed around me – and everyone else had disappeared. I looked out to confirm. Darkness, empty corridors and shut doors. It seemed an intentional wicket plot to have put an evil spell of infinite sleep on everything else, and then to wake me up for the awaited confrontation. I got back to the bed closing the door behind me. I feared confrontations.
I could pass it off for a lizard’s tail swatting had it not been so loud. I was in half a mind to go back to sleep. Weird things do happen at the unearthly hour; it was best to let them be – perhaps there was a rich invisible life that sprang to life when human souls migrated to another realm and it simply happened to be an accident that I bounced back a bit too early.
I turned back and forth – but the realization was simply too strong to be pushed away – the sound was getting louder. Something was getting closer. It now seemed to be coming from a source right around me, nearer than a couple of meters away. A part of me was too scared to investigate. I simply wished to shrink away to invisibility; the sense of doom was closing in.
My heart was beating so loud, as if wanting to compete and shut down the noise of the ghastly taps that now seemed right over me. All I needed to do was open the eyes shut so tight and everything could end for good – the doubt, most of all. Yet, I didn’t want to let go – I didn’t want to face the inevitable; the unknown is sometimes better left unknown. The darkness of avoidance was more comforting than the light of truth. The darkness within provided solace from the darkness without.
For what seemed like hours, there was no more sound. Yet, I could feel the presence. It was waiting. Its breath was over me. Time was ticking. Gripping fear had spread to the entire being and become a state of transient existence. It could no longer exert its centralized vigor and was dying a slow death, bringing in its more painful counterpart, despondency.
Somewhere down, I started feeling anger at the inescapable tragedy of it all – for this mystique parasite to be spoiling my peace of mind. All I had to do was open the eyes and see the enemy.Perhaps I could even fight it. Perhaps I could escape and ask for help. Atleast, it was better than lying here having it right over me, poised to attack anytime.
TAP-TAP- TAP- TAP
So loud! The pressure was killing. I responded this time. I opened my eyes.
After 10 long years of coma, Nancy finally responded to treatment and opened her eyes. Following a devastating car crash on Aug 15 2002, where she was in and saw her husband and kids get killed, Nancy had slipped into a coma. Even after her physiological parameters got working, it was suspected that her fear to come back and face a world without her loved ones made her continue to embrace the darkness within. But finally, she opened her eyes.
Perhaps she will see that reality isn’t as dark or scary as she had imagined it to be.