Summer’s end: Does the wind have eyes?

Illustration: Sonal Goyal  

The story so far: Lunch was a disaster. But the ‘accidents’ after dinner could only be described as scary.

“We need to find Moti uncle,” said Keya, “there’s something weird happening here. Let’s see if he is outside.” They tried the kitchen door.

“It’s locked from the outside,” whispered Dhruv. They heard a faint hiss, a ‘yes’, in the background but there was no one. Shuffling footsteps moved towards them. They shivered and pressed themselves against the wall. Something cold and wet swept passed them and, with a sharp clang, the bolts were drawn and the door flung open with a bang. Dhruv and Keya, rushed out into the night. Icy rain beat down on them, as they ran to the servant’s quarters but Albert’s room was empty.

They heard voices in the vegetable garden. When they went there, they found Albert on the ground with Moti uncle trying to lift him up. “Give me a hand here,” said Moti uncle, hauling him up. The ground was slushy and muddy. Slipping and sliding, they lifted Albert and took him back to his room.

Knocked down

“What happened, Albert? Why were you lying in the vegetable garden?” Moti uncle asked.

Albert was pale and shaken, his voice trembled as he spoke. “Sir…I was just getting ready for bed when the door flew open and a gust of wind swept in, bringing with it all these leaves and mud,” he paused to show them the wet leaves and mud. “So I rushed to shut the door. But the wind was so strong it kept pushing the door back. I had to use both my hands to force the door to shut. At that point, I don’t know what happened but I felt my legs give way and I fell. The next thing I know is I am lying in the vegetable garden.”

Moti uncle puzzled over this and he asked sternly, “Albert, do you drink?”

“Sir!” said Albert in shock. “I have never touched alcohol in my life. I swear on my mother’s grave….”

Keya said, “Moti uncle, I think what Albert is saying is true.” She then recounted their experiences in the kitchen.

“I am too scared to sleep alone tonight. Do you mind if I came into the house?” asked Albert.

The four of them spent a restless night in the drawing room, all swaddled up in blankets. A fire roared providing warmth and a modicum of comfort. As the wind howled around the garden, they heard books falling out of the bookshelf, and papers being thrown around.

Though they were safe together in the room, they could not shake of the feeling of being watched.

To be continued

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 11:24:32 PM |

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