Orchi Saha‘s short story: The nightmare house

The house was derelict, the porch scattered with leaves and pieces of broken glass from the windows. Weeds and plants covered the walls of the house, naked bricks peeping from the parts where the plaster had peeled.

Bracketed on either side with houses decked in colourful lights in the spirit of the festivities, the dwelling seemed even more ominous and out-of-place. The last light of the day only seemed to give it a sinister effect, as if a pale apparition would pop up at any minute from the inky shadows of the abode.

The neighbourhood is a good one, but the owners of the dwelling had moved long ago and, the dilapidated building appeared abandoned.

Keyword being appeared, since, not half a minute ago came a piercing scream from its gloomy recesses.

I shuffled on my feet, hitching my bag higher, as I hesitated at the entrance of the house. It was getting late, and I was already in a hurry to join the celebrations in the community park, which could be heard even from this distance. The inhabitants of the neighbouring houses has most likely already left for the local festival grounds and probably wouldn’t be returning any time soon.

I sighed, and made up my mind to take a look inside to make sure nobody was in need of assistance. Hopefully, there wouldn’t be any souls – living or otherwise – inside and I could get out of here soon and with my mind in one piece.

Approaching, I climbed onto the porch to find myself facing a large room through a broken doorway. Stepping across the threshold, I used my phone as a torch to avoid tripping over anything as I made my way into the dark depths of the dwelling.

The front room was empty, walls bare and wet patches in parts of the ceiling. There were two doors on either side, one opening into a hallway, the other leading into what could have been a kitchenette. Towards the back, I could see a flight of stairs through an open doorway.

Most of the rooms on the ground floor were interconnected and, like the front, covered in dead leaves and dirt. The dust looked mostly undisturbed, as though the place had not seen any movement in forever.

Finding no signs of life, I was turning around to make my way out when something at the bottom of the stairs caught my eye.

Wet drops of crimson glistened in the dim light!

I moved towards the stairs and the light from the phone caught dark lines on the stairs, similar to something heavy being dragged up.

Gulping, I crept my way up the stairs silently. There was a muffled noise from above and I looked up. The sight that greeted me made my blood run cold.

On the landing was a woman soaked in blood!

The hairs at the back of my neck stood at end as I silently observed the woman.

Dark splotches covered her once white midi dress, pale hands caked with blood and grime. The knife she held in her trembling hands had scarlet drops trickling along the blade and escaping to the floor with silent splashes.

A thump! drew my attention to the lump at her side and I realized with a start that it was a man, blood pooling from a wound at his shoulder and staining his collar in red. He was feebly trying to cover the wound with a hand and even though his mouth was moving, no voices seemed to come out of his throat.

This seemed to infuriate the woman, as she lifted the knife, bringing it dangerously close to his neck.

Seeing this, I must have made some kind of noise since the woman whipped her face towards me. Silky long strands of hair obscured part of her face, but there was no mistaking the anger on it.

Terrified, I scrambled down the stairs, dropping my phone on the stairs in my haste to get away. The sounds of someone following behind had me trying to move faster and I burst into the front room, trying to get away.

Nearly at the front entrance, however, my escape was cut short as I failed to notice a little jagged edge in time and went down with a crash. I looked up as my pursuer caught up with me and in slow motion, I could see the knife coming down.

The sensation of getting stabbed in the chest was startling and I responded to it in the most logical way I could – I screamed.

I screamed and screamed and screamed myself hoarse until I finally sat up on a couch, startled and disoriented, and promptly fell over. The brightness of the overhead tube-light pierced my eyes and I squinted against it to find myself on the floor of our living room.

There was a prick of pain and I looked down to see that the pin of my school badge had come undone and was stabbing me in the chest.


Orchi is an engineer and she loves to read. She believes that every language has its own unique story that cannot be replicated by any other language in the world.

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