Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Hand- A Thriller/Horror Story

Living in the city was never so much fun. I walked the lanes in a quite solitude waiting for the rain to calm down. It was getting darker and the rains didn't loose its ferocity. It only got dimmer and not so pleasant sunlight remained for us to go home.  But my home was what I called home. It was a one bed studio, previously owned by an artist. He still had his paintings in the flat when I started to move in. The landlord didn't touch them, asking me to do what I wish with them. Most of them were portraits of people, young and old and some very repetitive ones, as if he was trying to perfect his art. And some incomplete.  This particular woman did seem very difficult to put on canvas. And I was taking arts at school. It only made sense that I get to keep them.

The dreary stairs stood in front of me as I reached. Two flights to take and I skipped in my way. I was thin and fit so not having an elevator didn't suck as much as it did for others. And the rent was dead cheap. It was so affordable that I didn't need to share it with anyone. I finally had my own place at 18.

I flipped through the several keys I had when the door opposite to mine. The old woman was creepy, white hair, uncombed and those sleeping robe that must not been washed since ages. She she stunk! Like some rat feeding on dead worms and maybe of rat poop too. I backed a step. The smell was unbearable.

"Why are you living here?"
What a weird way of welcoming someone.
"He doesn't like anyone watching him work. Or touching his work. Never sold them even to me. I could have given him so much for those paintings".
"Uh, He?"
"The man who used to live here. Amish guy. beard and a hat with black suit. He used to hide them from his Rabbi family".
"What do you mean?"
"They killed him. He was being rebellious. A jew wasn't supposed to paint. He could only be a farmer or a teacher..."
"I see".
The woman laughed. Her rotting teeth telling a story of an unloved life, "And you will know soon too".
I just pushed myself into the flat, angry that I got an insane woman for a neighbor. No wonder I didn't have to give the down payment.

The light didn't work and it was too quite. The woman's word still ringing at the back of my mind. I was a catholic, church going woman with no one to tell me what to do with my life. The poor guy must have really suffered. Religion suppressing his creativity.
The lights flickered and a hollowness of someone talking began.
"Cut his hands off!"
"Both his hands!"
It was like an repetitive echo. The paintings began to lift and fly, smashing against the walls. I stood frozen, sweat trickled down my forehead and body just feeling cold, as if it was peak winters and I was standing naked in the middle of the night.
"I love that woman. Don't do this please".
"We are going to do what we please. Our religion does not allow two marriages. You are a cheat".
A shadow of a woman, so beautiful began crying. And another one, a little older but coldness exuded from her. She took the painter's knife and slashed the woman's head.

The lights came and there was no one in the room. The paintings were exactly where they were. And none were torn. I blinked and felt a fervor. The woman's painting had to be completed. I got to work, my hands picking up the color palate, fresh and the paint brushes looked new. It was like someone was waiting for her to do the job. I didn't feel tired, a strange fever catching up with me. Someone tapping my shoulders, putting his solid hands on them, wanting to tell me what to do. But I ignored it.

Morning came and I had a backache. It was the first in my life. The painting was finished. I went for my classes like everyday but the backache persisted despite those medicines. Weeks turned into months. The ghosts didn't come back. My neighbor was invisible but I was admitted in the hospital for an uneven spine. The backache had now become a serious problem. I was wrapped in some weird bandages, my hands were being bound and my mouth gagged as I tried to explain but no one heard me. My teacher had come to see me and he looked peeved and concerned.

"You said you had one painting that you wanted to show me".
"Yes...it's of a woman".
"Your flat is filled with blank canvas and there is only one painting with red paint on it. Of finger prints and hands..."
I was speechless.
"It looks like real blood".
"Maybe my flat was robbed. My neighbor might have seen something?"
"What neighbor? The old woman who owned it never gave it up. And she has been dead for years now. So I really don't know what you are talking about".
"I...Where am I?"
"It's a psychiatric ward. You have been making hand prints on your canvas for months now".
The old professor left shaking his head in dismay. I turned in my bed, curling into a ball, the backache gripping me in pain. The mirror in front of me had another man, hugging me from behind. I closed my eyes, tears and a mix of fear swirling me in the world of make believe world.




(c)Sonia Kundra Singh
Do Not Copy
(c)Copyright 1957


12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hope i did justice to my readers! :) thanks for reading it. You comments are invaluable

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  2. That is really scary, i could visualize the events with your precise description.

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  3. Awesome. You are really talented.

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    1. Thx Shivangi. Ur words r always motivating me :)

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  4. Wow...You could start writing a Novel soon...and trust me, some production house would soon approach you. Nice.. :)

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    1. Thx Uttpal. I already hv published three novels. But yea i cud try horror as a genre too :). Thx for d encouraging words

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  5. Sonia
    From Romance to Horror?
    Scary transition - this story is good - now looking forward for some romantic horror from you.
    Reminded me of a few horror stories I wrote long back.
    Maybe I will re-post a few on my blog for old times sake.
    All the Best.
    Vikram

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    1. Just trying out hand. M bored of happy endings. Yes plz..i love reading horror.

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  6. Hi sonia may be you could write a novel like vc andrews or goosebumps.

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    1. I havnt read them Shivangi. Im a fan of Shaun hutson though. Ill check them out.

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