“Assalamualikum!” I said as I walked towards the kitchen “Moooom, I’m home!”.
“Wa’alaikum assalam.” Mum replied, busy preparing something. “I know which one of my children it is by the way they open and shut the door, no need scream to announce your arrival!”
“Hm, missed you too. Why are you making mango pickle again? You just made some last month.” I inquired.
“And that one’s nearly finished, remember? We need some more for the Eid party.” She replied, as she put some spice on the pan.
I picked a piece of mango and put in my mouth before Mom protested “Spoon please!”
“Mmm. This one tastes better than the last one.” I said dodging her hand that was trying to swat me away. Once I was at a safe distance, I gave her an apologetic smile as I chewed on. Savouring on the delicious flavour of the raw mango mixed in spice, I walked towards the garden through the kitchen back door. “Mum….where’s my hammock? What have you done to it again!”
“Calm down young lady, you can put it up again after the party, once the Marquee’s down. Your precious hammock is in the shed.” Mum said casually as if it was no big deal.
“Where am I supposed relax now?”
“Um, on the couch? Like a normal human being? And anyway, there’s no time to relax now! go get changed,” Mum commanded “I have some work for you.”
“Wait let me see if my hammock is alright.” I said sadly as I walked towards the shed. Last time, they just stuffed it in a corner.
The shed is big but filled with unnecessary things – junk mostly. As I walked through the door, I pushed the switch, but the light bulb didn’t turn on. “Oh come on!” I muttered but walked in anyway. It’s dark, but a tiny amount of light was coming through the closed window. I sighed in relief as I saw my hammock safely lying on the floor. But that relief was soon replaced by fear as I heard the door shut behind me. I was trapped, because the door only opens from the other side. And it was darker now that the door was shut.
I’m scotophobic, meaning that I hate darkness. Add on to that being locked in. A big garden separated this shed and the kitchen. Mom wouldn’t hear me even if I screamed from here.
Suddenly, I heard a creak and jumped. As I turned towards the source of the noise, I gasped. A middle aged man was sitting comfortably on the old sofa that has been here for as long as I remembered.
“Hello again,” he said casually, as we if we knew each other.
“Who are you?!”
“Don’t ask me questions. Only I talk here, and you listen-”
“How did you get in here?” I ignored his bossy manner.
He glared at me in way that made me back a little.
“DO NOT stop me in mid-sentence.” He said furiously. Then muttered, “Looks like the mind swipe didn’t change your habit of ignoring orders.”
“I didn’t see you here before…” I ventured. Despite his grim attitude, I was curious.
He looked at the sloping roof of the shed. Then it clicked. The glass sunlight on the roof was wide open. So that’s how he got in…! I silently admired his skill of stealth.
“Now listen carefully, in-” He looked at his odd looking wristwatch, “One hour and twenty, a black car would come to pick you up. If you hear the words ‘blood is blue’, get in the car. Do as you are told.”
“Who are you to tell me what to do? Did you lock me in here? Let me out, and then get out of my house!” How did I became so brave all of a sudden? Maybe it was his bossy attitude that ticked me off. No one bosses me around except my parents. I pounded on the door, trying to force it open.
“Save your energy. And this is not your house, your mission here is accomplished. Time to go back.”
“What mission!” I resumed pounding on the door, calling Mom.
“She isn’t going to come.” He replied calmly.
“What have you done to her?!” I asked with horror. When he didn’t reply, I got more agitated and started punching on the door with more force.
And then suddenly he was at my side. “Step aside.” He demanded. Then with a swift movement, he pried the door open.
How did he do that?
“You have an hour and ten minutes to get ready now.” He said, motioning for me to go.
I hurried towards the kitchen. There, on the floor, was my mother lying unconscious. “Mom!” I went and knelt next to her. I reached for her wrist that felt really cold. There was no pulse to be found. I run for my phone to get help, but came to a halt when I saw my father unconscious on the couch. After a quick, desperate check, I realised that he was as lifeless as my mother. I felt a lump on my throat and tears welling up on my eyes. I ran to my little sister and and brother’s room upstairs, skipping two steps at a time.
Dead. All of my family were gone.
I don’t know how I found my way to the kitchen and how long I sat there on the floor next to my mother’s lifeless body, grieving. I snapped out of my mourning thoughts as I heard a car beep. Being cautious, I went to the sitting room to have a peak. To my surprise, the front door was wide open and a woman stood there. She said in a flat voice, “Blood is blue.” My instinct told me to run. I moved towards the stairs as fast as I could, but soon, strong arms grabbed me. I smelled something sweet, then everything started to fade out.
I woke up in my bunk bed that I share with my training team mates. The room was now empty. I started to get up when I noticed someone on my door.
“Captain,” I smiled.
“Good to have the old you back. Been quite a while. You have successfully passed your assigned mission.”
I did it! I tried to recall the moment of victory, but there was a huge gap in my memory. I frowned. “Captain?”
“What was my mission…?”
He didn’t reply and gave me a smile instead.
A curved smile full of mystery that made me shudder.
Written By Syeda khanom!
Wattpad ID @missy_symina