Nightmare house

Nightmare house

Nightmare house

“What's the matter? Don't you like the house??" Rajesh looked at Geeta uncertainly. She was staring at the walls around them dismally. He repeated his question. This time a little impatient. Geeta sighed and replied.
"It's very nice, dear. But ….you may think I'm being very silly, but something about this place gives me the shivers. Especially the dark damp kitchen. There's something so…" She broke off with a shrug. Rajesh patted her arm understandingly.

"I understand, it's going to be a bit difficult for you, living here alone while I'm at work. Remember, it's only for a few months, until you find a job. Try and cheer up, Geeta. Can you do that?"

Geeta smiled weakly at him he didn't understand at all. How could she explain the chills that ran down her spine at the thought of cooking in that shadowy kitchen? Her mother had been right. She read too many novels, and her imagination was playing tricks on her mind. It transformed every dark corner into a hiding hole for dark creatures. She couldn't possibly tell her husband. He would think she had gone crazy. She put on a wifely expression, and went about, cleaning the house. Rajesh, proud of himself for handling the situation so well, went to work the next day.

The nightmares started after a week. At least, that's what Geeta called them. She repeatedly dreamt the same dream for many days. She could visualize it as clearly when awake as in her dreams - happily cooking……footsteps…..and then waking up, shaking and sweating. She woke up several times in a night, and drifted into uneasy slumber sometimes. Rajesh, blissfully snoring quietly was not troubled by any such manifestations. He grew alarmed when Geeta told him about her nightly blues. When he mumbled something about seeing a doctor, she brushed aside the idea and firmly replied, that she was going to handle her own problems. Rajesh agreed with her, secretly admiring her courage.

Geeta waited for a week, but the dream didn't recur. She relaxed a little, and even believed that the dreams had been a result of stress, as Rajesh kept insisting. She became more cheerful, less morbid, and even the tender feelings in her heart for Rajesh grew.

In a good mood, Geeta decided to cook up a surprise for Rajesh before he came home. He had mentioned that he loved carrot halwa once, but how on earth would she learn how to cook halwa? She decided to try her luck, and going on memories of her mom preparing the dish, decided to give it a try.

After a lot of hard work, she tasted her creation. She frowned, and realized, that something wasn't right. She racked her brain, trying to figure out what she had missed.
" A little more sugar should do the trick"

"Oh, of course. I didn't add……"
Geeta realized that someone else had spoken, and opened her mouth to scream. Standing against the wall of the kitchen was a short, squat old woman who was strangely translucent. Was this the part where she had to scream or faint? Why on earth wasn't she scared? The only emotion that Geeta registered was a strange sense of puzzlement."All ghosts aren't scary you know! You don't have to be scared of me, it's only a stereotype."

How did she read her mind? Geeta's brain was buzzing with a thousand questions. She simply stammered, "Who are you?" "I lived here about 10 years ago, alone. Well, I died one day and here I am. A ghost, apparently."

"That's it? I mean, aren't you supposed to be a tortured spirit and all that?"
"Oh heavens, no! I'm as contented as you are. I just happen to love cooking, and housekeeping and gardening. It's just that I'm not, well, human any more. Oh, and by the way, the halwa is burning. You had better turn off the stove."

When Rajesh came home later that day he was in for a pleasant surprise.
"Mmm… halwa! This is so great! Geeta, you're a wonderful cook"
"Oh! I had some help", said Geeta, smiling at a dark shadowy corner.