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Shadow: A Strange Story

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The alarm clock was ringing at it’s peak at 6:00 in the morning, but I was too lazy to get up that early, so, I banged the clock against the floor and slept again for an hour or so. And again, the clock started to ring, so I opened my left eye and saw that the clock wasn’t on the floor anymore, I turned my head upward, saw the clock back on the table resting besides my bed.


I was so frightened that I jumped out of my bed, but I was still confused regarding what had happened, had I started to forget the stuffs or they really happened?

I finally got up to take a shower in the bathroom located at the corner door in my bedroom. Luckily, no more nuisance took place after that and I quickly raced towards my closet for cloths to wear post taking the shower as I had to get ready for my office. I double checked everything from my cloths to accessories. I grabbed the keys to lock my 1-BHK apartment but I decided to lock the bedroom too, so I went to the bedroom and found the lights on so I went inside to switch them off, but when I entered the room, I heard the sound of shower running, I was again frightened, with hesitation, I opened the door of bathroom and saw that it was actually running, but to my best knowledge I’d turned it off before coming out of it. I quickly turned the tap off, grabbed the keys, locked my apartment and raced out of the building as fast as I possibly could.
I was then literally expecting some more nuisance to take place after experiencing all that on a morning with clear sky and sunshine which was turning horrific for me. With so much running in my mind, I called for a cab, it stopped and agreed to take me to my office building. I reached the office half an hour later, it was 9:00 am with two more minutes to spare.

I worked at T.R.A. as an editor for their magazine. I entered the building and to my surprise I didn’t wish anyone back and went straight into my cabin and turned on my laptop to see what tasks were pending for me that day. I’d hardly entered my login when I heard a very unpleasant voice,
“What do you think you are, Jacob, why didn’t you show up yesterday without even informing me?” I looked up to see my boss yelling at me.
“Sir, I’d sent a message to you that my owner suddenly arrived with his grand mother, and I had to stop by.”
“I haven’t received any message and stop making lame excuses”, he yelled, yet again.
I quickly checked my phone to find nothing in there, but I remembered that I had sent the message despite of it been found nowhere on my phone. I was almost dumbstruck and said, “Sorry sir, it won’t happen again, I’d sent the message to someone else by mistake”.
“You’re now staying till midnight to complete all the pending work as we’ve a very thin deadline to complete the next article array,” he said.
“Sir, but I….”, I stopped to see him not being a mere single percent interested in what I was trying to say as he left the cabin, banging the door hard behind him, literally on my face.
I sat down on my chair and started to continue my work as quickly as possible because I knew that I’d be allowed to leave as soon as I’d finished the work left. I was indulged in work without looking anywhere or listening to anything until I felt a bit of fatigue hence, my concentration broke down and after a few seconds my mind reacted to the sound that clock had started to made, I was counting it literally like one, two, three,…, till nine, when it stopped. I looked up, it was 9:00 p.m., the time when the staff was leaving, and my boss too. So, I was stuck there till midnight along with a security guard who’d taken care of the building all night.

After three hours of intense and focused hard work, I was able to complete my task and then got up with a sigh of relief to reach the washroom at the far most corner of the office building for some hygiene related reasons which a lazy head like me never understood. There were no lighting in the corridor as well, as the switches were turned off and the controls were in a room which was locked by the staff when they went out.
There was a vent-hole through which the street light popped in and reflected onto the wall, I started to stare at it until I saw the shadow of a man running with a magician’s cap mounted over his head. I was again dumbstruck and turned behind, but no one was there, I turned to the wall again and didn’t see any shadow for two more minutes, then I returned to reach the exit gate where the security guard had to be present so that I could have asked him whether anyone except us was staying there for work that night. I reached the exit door and tried to push it, but it was locked to my surprise and therefore, I was locked into my own office. I yelled and screamed in panic but security guard didn’t hear it. I ran towards my cabin to reach my phone, as soon as I picked it up, I felt retarded and unconscious just before I lost my senses and fell down on the floor.

“Get up boy, what had happened the last night? Security guard has no clue”, I heard my boss again but this time it was pleasant to listen from someone after all that panic I had the last night.
I looked up at the clock on wall which said 7:00 a.m. just before telling him regarding all the drama that took place wondering how much he’d scream at me thinking that I was an excuse to take a day leave.
“Hmm…., you should go to a doctor as soon as possible, I’m giving you and official leave today”, he replied just opposite to what I thought.

I went to a psychiatrist the same morning and he, after all necessary information and knowing what all had happened with me, he asked me to visit him regularly every weekend.

The appearance of that horrific shadow continued for a few days but then I started to feel normal, and after the hard work of doctor Walter on me, I’d encountered no more shadows or horrific incidences. On a fine day, Dr. Walter asked me if he could visit my place to talk, and I said it’s fine, he need not to ask even.
“Do you read novels?” Dr. Walter inquired.
“No.”, I replied in just a word.
“Television? Or horror shows?”, he again asked.
“I don’t have a TV set and nor I get time to watch shows outside”, I replied confidently.
“Then what, are you sure you haven’t heard, watched, listened to any horrific story or event before all this started?”, he asked curiously.
I quickly remembered the day my owner came up with his grandmother, and continued,
“Yes, grandmother of my landlord came by a few weeks ago and told me the true story of a family who lived here before me, the man of the house was murdered by his wife who later killed her kids and then committed suicide the same night.” I replied with a feel of terror in my eyes.
“Well, that might not be true as I’ve been living in this city for last 50 years and never heard any news regarding that. Well, that’s the issue, you’re thinking too much about it, that you’d started to see and feel probably a virtual ghost of the family members which was nothing but a dramatic assumption of your mind. You’d probably turned the snooze button instead of banging your clock on the floor that morning, you’d probably left the shower turned on but due to stress and that story running in your mind you’d probably be forgetting things and assuming few which never happened like that text to your boss informing him that you’d take a leave, that you never sent, the shadow on the wall of office was probably that large tree that I’d personally visited to see in front of the street light outside your office building. Son, you were horrified and it’s natural in that condition to see unnatural things.”, doctor replied with a smile.
“No, I thinking you’re not…”, I stopped as I heard my phone ringing.

“HELLO!” I said.
“Hey, I fired that security guard, he locked the office at 10:00 p.m. assuming that everyone’d left. He always did the same, and returned before reopening time, as it’s a crime free city, nothing unusual happened and no one ever doubted the security guard. Now come by the office from tomorrow.”, and he hung the phone up.

“What were you saying son?”, doctor continued the conversation from where I left it.
“Sir, I was saying that, I think you’re right.”
He smiled and left for the clinic. I too returned to my work and nothing unusual happened from that day.

After two normal weeks, on a weekend, I decided to visit Dr. Walter to thank him so, I reached his clinic and asked the receptionist,
“Is Dr. Walter present today?”
“Sorry, who?”, asked the receptionist.
“Dr. Walter”, I spoke after clearing my throat enough so that I’d get heard nice and clear to her.
“I’m afraid sir, but no one named Dr. Walter has ever worked in this hospital”, she replied as she checked the name on her system.
I started to fall back but regained my vision and started to recall things as that might be a confusion as he never told me his name, I just read it on the letterhead of his prescription, but soon the colour of my face vanished as I remembered few things like,
I’d never told him about banging the clock on floor,
I’d never told him about the running shower incident,
I’d never told him about the text message that I assumed, I sent to my boss.

I did not fall back and thought with more strong mindset then, I decided to call my landlord to ask about her grandmother, as I wanted to talk on a few things with her.

“Hey, is it Mr. Robinson?”, I asked on phone.
“Yes, you’re my paying guest right?”, he recognized my voice, or maybe my number.
“Yes, may I talk to your grandmother for a while please?”, I requested.
“I’m afraid friend, but who told you to do so? She died eight years ago.” he replied.

I hung up the phone in disgust and trembled so badly that I fell down on the floor of the hospital and felt unconscious, suddenly something hit really very hard on my head and a sound of beep-beep-beep started to produce itself, I opened my eyes to find myself on a familiar carpet, yes, it was my bedroom and that heavy old alarm clock fell over my head.
Everything was as clear as blue sky now, that was all a dream, a shear and utter nonsense. I stood up with a disgusting smile and continued my daily activities.
I reached my office as usual and heard scoldings from my boss, again as usual. Everything was fine except the date on my laptop, when I slept, it was Tuesday, but the laptop was showing, Thursday, a day was kipped. No problems, I thought, I clicked the calender to set it to automatic so that no human error pertained anymore, sometimes manual setup may encounter problems, well, to my surprise it was already set to the auto-mode. I checked my watch, it showed Thursday, my phone, showed the same, but all these were just gadgets, I thought in my mind, so, I was having few hopes which were soon killed by the newspaper which said loud and clear in bold letters, THURSDAY. A whole day was missing out my life, untold, without a trace and I still can’t figure it out, what and why.



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        Find out more about her campaign here.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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