It was around 12 in the night, that I came back to my room after having spent hours watching television and playing games in our common room. I was the only one present in the top two floors of the hostel. The hostel was completely deserted, dull and dark. The reason for this unusual scenario was that all my friends had gone to attend some ceremony that was scheduled for the next day. I planned to read my AML course notes for sometime but as it was already too late, so I decided to sleep. It was a chilly night, so I switched off the fan and now it was an absolutely noiseless environment. I rolled myself in my rug to get that cozy feeling. Before I could slip into deep sleep, suddenly I heard a sound, a really loud sound that kept bothering me repeatedly. I tried to figure out what it was, but my efforts went in vain. I was really terrified, so I went down immediately to call the guard, but could not find him at his place.

I decided to go to the reading room where I will have some company at least. I reached there in about 10 minutes with my bag, I parked my cycle and went in. But to my chagrin there was hardly any one there. I somehow started writing my MEL report but I soon started dozing off. I set my mobile alarm and planned to study after an hour of sleep. My phone rang in due course of time and I woke up groggily in pitch dark since the power seemed to be off in the reading room. I was frightened out of my wits when there was no response to my shouts. I realized that I was alone and locked inside the room. I felt a terrible compulsion to look up at the upper window, and horror of horrors I could discern a strange creature beckoning to me. A cold fear constricted my heart and spurred me to break my way out of the lower window. I stepped into the shadowy corridor in the moonless night with the feel of cool breeze on my flushed face.

I searched for my cycle but couldn’t find it. I wanted to go back as soon as possible because the roads were completely deserted and also the dogs were many in my way. I decided to go by foot. In the eerie silence I sped back to the hostel with my heart racing on the verge of a cardiac arrest. As I raced, I suddenly felt the cold fingers of the creature on my neck chilling my spine.

I somehow mustered enough courage to shake it off and continue on my way to my room. With a pounding heart I shut my room’s door and felt safer inside. Feeling dead tired and my mind trying to forget what all had happened I fell asleep blocking my ears with ear phones.

A new day….haha!!!

Day break brought not only sun shine but sanity to my mind and slowly I analysed my terrifying experiences and could find rational explanations. First thing I noticed that morning was the sound of water flowing in my bathroom. I immediately closed the tap. Then it suddenly struck me that the sound that troubled me last night could be the gurgling of an air locked water tap. The guard must have locked up the reading room thinking it was unoccupied as I was dozing in a corner. In broad day light I could see that the weird creature that had beckoned to me last night was only a banner tied to the adjacent banyan tree about the sports meet. I realized that I parked my cycle in front of the Bharti building but searched for it near the MS building in my frenzy and tension. The cold fingers on my neck must have been overhanging twigs brushing against me.

Thus I felt relieved of the irrational and imaginary fears of last night. So much for the tricks that fear and imagination can play on a lonely and susceptible mind.

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