From The Shadows

I couldn’t sleep. I got out of bed and went to the balcony. A solitary street light was glowing dimly. Not a single leaf moved. A few lights flickered in the distance, but all was quiet. Yet there was something about the air that night, I just couldn’t tell what it was. Maybe it was the car parked deliberately on the side of the road. Did I see something in the shadow. Or someone?

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I hid myself behind the tall potted plants and tried to get a better look. The shadow moved a little. I was sure now that it was someone lurking near the car. Who could it be? I wondered if I should alert the building’s security. He’d be sleeping as he always does. I couldn’t just go back to sleep now. I walked back into my room very quietly and went to the foyer. The main door was locked. I double checked and went to the kitchen. I poured myself a glass of cold water and washed my parched throat. I tried to calm myself and remembered all the Gods I could. I pictured the Gods saying, “It takes a ghost for you to remember us, doesn’t it Sham?”

Wait, ghost? They aren’t real. ‘tuk… tuk…’ I heard some sound in my balcony. I moved, treading gently on my carpeted floor and walked to the balcony. Hands sweaty and trembling, I slided the glass door a bit and stepped out again. On the floor I saw two shiny, uneven gold stones. They were glittering brighter than anything I’d ever seen. I bent down and picked them up. What could they be? Some sort of precious stones? I turned them in my palm, puzzled and my eyes moved again to the shifting shadow behind that car.

Two shiny spots glinted from the dark space there. My heart skipped a beat. Eyes? Whoever that was, did they throw these shiny stones to my balcony? What does all of this mean? I plucked up my courage and decided to step out into the alley and find out for myself. Down I hastened to the ground floor and out of the gate. I walked with unsteady steps to the car and froze, unable to move forward. I slowly inched towards the car and looked behind. There was no shadow, no person, no ghost. I was still clenching the glittery golden stones, now wet with the sweaty nervousness of my palms. I threw the stones as far I could and made my way unsteadily back to my apartment. Utterly confused by the events of the night and exhausted by now, I drifted into a disturbed slumber.

Morning light washed into my room and woke me up. I turned to my side to reach for my phone on the bed-side table.

I saw two glittery and uneven stones glaring back at me.

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