Campaign has ended. This book was not selected for publication.
We will let you know if this book becomes available on Amazon. Want to know if this book becomes available on Amazon?
Back to top

First pages

Preface

The Employment Exchange had appointed and sent a young Brahmin, Vishnudathan Namboothiri, to ‘Alangatu Mana’ for the job of a caretaker. This very old ‘Mana’ (palace) presently belongs to the Archaeological Department but there exists a dispute in the court regarding its ownership.

The first day itself Vishnudathan faced a serious problem in this old ‘Mana’ the interference of a Goddess who is invisible but stays there as a protector. She will destroy anyone who tries to trespass this Mana. Vishnudathan faced this challenge on the first day itself as ‘She’ threatened and scared him but Vishnudathan confronted her courageously.

It was the beginning of a strange and extraordinary relationship with a young man and the Goddess.

This novel ‘Goddess Rudra’ is based on the influence of the supernatural powers created by the author with his imagination and nothing related to reality. If the sequences in this story find any similarities with the background, individuals, or any events and those living or dead shall be completely by coincidence only. The storyline developed is through the life of Namboothiri families and the beliefs related to Indian Mythology.

 

Ignatius Variath

1

Vishnudathan stood in front of Alangatu Mana’s entrance. When he pushed the door to open, noticed the momentum that placed on the sides of the main door. The Maharajah, His Highness with pleasure gave the tribunal to Alangatu Mana, the Royal writ, authorizes for the ‘Power of Killing and Punishments’.

The metal plate placed on both sides of the main door has the writ engraved on it. The texts written on the plate are still clearly visible, without any damage.

The pebbled walkway, leading to the doorsteps of the entrance...

The elephant-shed seen on either side, once packed with elephants, probably.

The large shell shaped bell hanging over the threshold for the public to inform the Lord of any complaint at any time.

The bygone era flashes through the mind picturizing the past with a vivid vision of Alangatu Mana.

The servants of the King are standing guard at the entrance with drawn swords.

Entertainment palace and Banyan tree base.

The sound of dancer’s anklets heard along with charming choreography from the palace. Partially dressed slave-girls serving queens and the king...

The only thing left today is its memory.

The old luxurious era is over...only the skeleton of the old cosmopolitan glory remains today!

The present heir of this Mana is the Archaeological Department. The historians say that Ananthan Namboothiri, the last survivor of Alangatu Mana, has no children and no followers. It believes that someone who later discovered the Mana handed it over to the Archaeology Department.

Vishnudathan returns to the verge of reviewing the situation and comes near the caretakers-shed. He opens the door with a key from the key-bunch that is with him. A mattress is the only furniture in that room. He sits on the bed, removing his bag from his shoulder and keeps it aside.

His mind is relaxed: ‘This is my abode for next six months and if I am lucky, it will be extended for another six months... After a long wait, I got this job, by luck or by destiny, I do not know. Until now these words didn’t appear in my life but it is good to believe that this is my destiny!’

Vishnudathan is unaware of the nature of the job when informed about it from the Employment Distribution Centre of the Government - the job of a ‘caretaker’ in this Mana.

Vishnudathan is the only one who has accepted this job among hundreds of young men; that way he is lucky, but purposely ignores the reason why others were not willing to accept the job...

After the Mana is with the Archaeology Department, it is cleaned and well maintained including the surroundings, so it does not feel scary as others said.

The only challenge is that there are no natives or residents nearby for any help.

‘This is the best job that a Master’s degree holder could get! Thinking about it, laughed loudly as there was no one nearby.’

Vishnudathan is surprised at the quietness of this village as compared to his own village ever since he came here!

As he finishes cleaning the watcher-shed, he remembers about the requirement for water. He had noticed a well nearby when he came. However, he does not know how to get water from the well without a proper water bag.

 Just at that instant, Velu enters, interrupting his thoughts -‘Velu’ is an old man who earlier directed him to this Mana.

“How’s the place, Sir? Do you like it?” Velu inquired.

“Well, I am here for work and not sightseeing... Velu, this is my job. So I have to.”

“Don’t worry Sir; I will do anything that you want. Just tell me.” Velu grinned.

“Are you... yes, a bucket of water, and then a few utensils to cook food?”

“I’ll make a bucket to get water ... to buy other things; we will go to the market in the evening.”

Velu did not take much time to build a bucket with the leaves of areca nut tree, which were lying around and tying them with a rope.

Vishnudathan accompanied Velu to the well. The well was not deep and found very clean. Vishnu wonders how the well is so clear after so many years.

Velu understood his dilemma and answered, “The workers who came to clear the surroundings also washed the well so that we can get good drinking water”.

He got new freshness after washing his face with cold water. He drinks it and savours the taste of pure water. ‘The water in my village never felt so good. Maybe because it is on the outskirts of the city’ he conjectures, speaking to himself.

Velu follows him to the shed and then seeks permission to leave “I’ll come back in the evening.”

The innocence of Velu surprises him. ‘This humanity has disappeared from the cities a long time ago! However, it is still prevalent in the villages’.

It is just afternoon; there is a lot of time left for the evening. As there is nothing special to do, he prepares the report about his arrival to the Mana. He writes the address on the envelope to send it to the department. He also makes a list of items to buy and then starts waiting for Velu and the evening.

Even though he is not feeling hungry, he eats some food that he brought with him and drinks water that he took from the well. He thinks of taking some rest. He remembers only lying down, but cannot recollect when he fell into a deep slumber.

He does not remember a single instance in his life when he slept so soundly and wonders how so peacefully. He wakes up only when Velu comes into the shed.

 Soon thereafter, they go to the market to purchase the necessary items...

When they return home, it is getting dark. Velu seems eager to go back. However, he helps to get water and washing the utensils. As he is leaving, he says,

 “Sir, do not go out of the shed. It is said that there is a devil in this Mana”.

 When Vishnu hears this, he considers it stupid and says to himself, ‘Devil and demons are not a problem for me. Fear does not exist in my dictionary. I do not have the fear of death! Whether it is a demon or a devil, it will kill in the end. Sometimes they kill by drinking blood. What more can happen! I do not care about it. I think of suicide but never try to commit it because I know it is only for cowards or else I would be....’

When the earth starts to get clothed in its night attire by stripping the dirty apparel of the day, a warm breeze flows into her. She hears the tinkling of the birds returning to their nests. The reddishness of the western horizon has reduced. The palm trees rising in the sky appear like a passageway in the dark sky...

 Vishnu lights up the chimney lamp, as there is no electricity in the Mana and thinks, ‘The forthcoming nights will be in the background of this pale light. I feel that darkness is more appropriate for me than the bright shining lights! The Department has given torchlight; maybe they know that the torch is an essential element of a caretaker’s job!’

Vishnudathan has purchased all the necessary items and plans to start cooking from the next day onwards. For dinner, he takes fruits and bread that he had bought from the market and drinks some water...

 He is not aware of the time as there is no source of knowing it. He assumes it around eight o’clock considering the darkness outside.

At the end of the day, before sleeping, he goes out to look around with the help of his torchlight. Thereafter, he comes inside and closes the door. He cleans the bed with a piece of cloth, puts the bed sheet on it that he brought with him and prepares to lie down. As there is nothing to place under the head, he decides to use his bag as a pillow.

He lies down and stretches on the bed turning off the chimney lamp. He also makes sure to keep the torch beside him and speaks to himself ‘the duty of Vishnudathan - the caretaker starts here’.

Darkness fills the room as the chimney light goes out. Warm air is passing through the shed from the open window...What a quiet night! He is lying on the bed looking at the darkness outside. His mind is happy to see that the night is so beautiful. Darkness is his favourite. He even says that he finds special happiness when he sits out in the dusk.

‘Maybe that would be the helplessness of a cursed, educated, unemployed poor man...!’

When the eyelids start getting heavy with sleep, the dreams start shaping up in the mind that is like the tinkling of anklets...!

The royal dancers in their costumes embedded with gems and jewels perform in front of the King. Their lovely flexible steps thrill the royal audience. Behind the screen, maids with bare chests serve the Queens while they enjoy the dance...

Gradually, the angst vanishes from his mind and their romantic dance takes its place. As the melodious sounds merge with the dancer’s grace, the King moves to embrace her. The soldiers don’t try to look and instead turn their heads. At the end of the performance, the dancer’s face draws close to the King and their breaths merge. The King closes his eyes passionately...

The beauty of the dancer’s face gradually fades replacing it with the shadow of Satan that spreads on her gentle face. Sharp teeth suddenly appear between her lips and they pierce the King’s lips as a needle. The hot blood starts flowing that collects on her tongue, her lips turning to blood red...

The servants suddenly vanish, there is complete silence for a moment and then a scary roar erupts.

Vishnu suddenly wakes up from his dream. He is unable to believe that it was a dream. That horrible scene refuses to leave his mind. He looks outside and stares into the darkness through the window... He listens eagerly to hear any sound...

He feels as if he is listening to something more than the whistling of crickets...

The jingle of cricket’s stops and Vishnudathan hears the sound of an anklet. It is like the rhythmic steps of a dancers anklet...

That voice again! He could not believe that it did not really happen. Vishnu feels that the sound of the anklet is close to the shed. Is it true or just a perception? He waits to make sure. He tried to believe, sometimes, it might make a reflection of his own dream.

Immediately, the sound stops. Vishnu feels a terrifying silence around. His conscious mind responds: ‘Why should I fear demons... like Velu said, a devilish force could do nothing to me’. He makes up his mind

He takes the torch and decides to see who is outside. He looks everywhere, but cannot see anything. He comes back inside and sits on the bed, the scene of that terrible dream echoing in his mind. The strange character of the dancer yet again disturbs him. Once more, the voice breaks the silence and reaches his ears. Vishnu immediately rushes out to see, as the rhythmic voice approaches closer.

Unexpectedly, the torch dies down and repeated attempts to light it, fail. He tries innumerable times to switch on the torch but nothing happens.

In the dark, Vishnu tries to look for something. He hears a sound similar to that of a woman sobbing. He listens intently to determine the location of the sound but could not see anything.

Again, Vishnu touches the switch of the torch and is shocked to see it glow. In the light of the torch, he sees that he is standing in front of the Banyan tree. He looks around him, but cannot find anything.

Vishnu goes back to the watcher’s shed with the lighted torch. As he reaches the door, he hears the same sound of the anklet again. This time it is coming from behind him. He looks back with his torch but again the light switches off.

The string of doubts reverberate through his veins; once again. Vishnu turns to look into the darkness. This time he sees something in the form of a white smoke near the base of the Banyan tree. He can clearly see the white spot in the darkness. He heads towards the spot through the darkness to confirm...

Yes, somebody is there.

Vishnu remembers at that moment. ‘Maybe this is what Velu said before he went. No, do not trust him; he wants to believe that it is just a feeling. I want to be sure if it is correct or not.’ He again goes near the Banyan tree but cannot see anything. A dry leaf of coconut is lying near the ramp. He thinks that it could have been its white appearance’.

Vishnu laughs at his foolishness and goes back to his shed.

Out of curiosity, he touches the switch of the torch and it lights up. Now, he is sure that the torch has some serious problem.

Vishnu suddenly senses that someone is behind him. A cold hand comes to rest on his shoulder. The snowy cold creates turmoil in his body. He realizes that his torch is once again not working!

He looks behind to confirm his suspicion, yes...a woman dressed in white attire. There is an indescribable elegance in her beauty. Her face is shining in the darkness. Vishnu stares at the celestial beauty as if he wants to see her clearly, without any fear.

Nevertheless, Vishnu realizes that he has seen this face somewhere. In the fragments of the visuals, that he has seen in the dreams convinces him that the face of the dancer is similar to this woman. At the same moment, even though he self-described himself as being brave, he feels frightened...

Vishnu is helpless; he cannot even move her hand that she kept on his shoulder. She holds him firmly but her eyes are passionate.

As in the dream, her face starts coming closer to his, and in frenzy, it...

2

Vishnudathan’s mind goes blank, unable to think of anything. He does not realize what is happening. Her terrible face was approaching ... He felt; he is fighting a losing battle against her magical eyes. He sees a thirst for blood in her burning eyes!

Moreover, the canine teeth appear on both sides of her lips, glittering in the fire of her eyes! Her lips succumb to his face... Soon her tongue comes out through her partially opened lips, rolls through the upper lip and goes back inside the fleshy mouth...

Vishnu realizes the waves of fear that appear and spread through his whole body. A slight trepidation occurs in his legs! Foreseeing the prospect of disgrace, the spirit of dignity prevails and with a startling inclination, he attempts to push her away...

However, he realizes that his hands cannot touch her body. They just pass through thin air! He gets frustrated and abandons the attempt to touch her... Even though there is no other alternative than to surrender to the situation, he does not give-up and stands steadfast in front of her...

Whoever is that soul, devil or demon, Vishnu’s action elicits a sudden response from her. Her cruel face starts transforming. She looks at him for several minutes... A feeling of departure, from the devil, is evident on her face. The embers in the eyes extinguish. The eyebrows that look like bow return to normal... Ends up with a feeling as if she has taken a decision... she removes her hands from his shoulders...

The smoky profile disappears in a flash!

Vishnu does not understand anything but knows that something has happened here. Everything seems to be a distant dream; he cannot believe that it is true. He goes into the room and sits on the bed. The form that he has seen does not leave his mind. He keeps lying, as he is unable to sleep, every moment he expects something to happen.

Something like a voice, a movement or a flash of light...!

Nothing happens!

The happenings that occurred a few hours ago upset him and raise many doubts. Who is the form that he saw...?

Different thoughts come to his mind: ‘Did I see anyone in real? Was it all a reaction of my restless mind? Why did she come here? What is the reason for her to come and face me? What is up here? Why did she disappear suddenly? Does it have any connection with the incident that Velu mentioned?’

Vishnu did not have an answer to any of his questions! He could not visualize that it was just a dream!

Like Velu said, if it was a demon...! Should it not have hurt him? However, it never happened... If it was possible to harm someone, then the form must have immense power. However, he could not even touch it. Yet, she could touch him. The past events were startling...

It was then that he remembered about the torch. It was astonishing to see that it is now working when he touches the switch ... It scares his innermost thoughts; he stares at the torch as an enemy. After examining it in detail, he finds that the torch has no problem. It was beyond his understanding why it was not lighting up earlier!

Vishnudathan’s mind fills with confusion again. What could make it happen except the demon’s black magic? Then, what about the torch in his hand, and did not work, but is working perfectly now? What is the logic behind it? What happened to the torch at that time?

Maybe it just did not work, because in his anxiety he did not switch it on properly. It is just that...

Vishnu’s mind does not allow him to accept the whole episode without any concrete evidence. He has to work hard to find an answer...

There must be so many secrets around this place, which no one knows. The universe is itself a complex part of many things. How much do we know about it? Many mysteries seem hidden in this Mana, which we don’t know... What happened in these last few moments stays.

 Like the scene read in stories...

At midnight, a woman’s form comes... tries to kill him... and then, she vanishes as if she is his imagination!

As Velu said, it can be a demon. On the other hand, it can be some other invisible power.

Is the demon a woman? He cannot confirm whether it is she or not. Very strange, Vishnu thinks that something has happened to him! He travels a long way through the imagination and realizes that by inserting the colour of reality into it, it makes more sense...

In addition, he finds that things are going beyond the scope of his knowledge. Cannot believe that the incidents just happened was an imagination because how can he felt what he saw and suffered was not real!

Vishnu lay in bed expecting to sleep, with a disturbed mind that is unable to reach a proper conclusion...

At some stage, Vishnu slips into a deep sleep.

Vishnu woke up when he heard Velu come up at the gate. It is too late, as he feels that he has slept for too long. When he reaches the gate, finds Velu standing there with an uncertainty clouding face as if he is trying to read something from his face.

Vishnu didn’t like to disclose anything to Velu. Besides, he felt that it is not good to report past experiences to others. The best thing is to let others know about it only after finding out the truth behind the incidents. If not, we will have to give more explanations to convince them, which we do not know...

Therefore, keeping silent is most appropriate, he thinks. Velu helps him bring water from the well, so it is not difficult to fulfil the morning requirements. Velu prepares tea; When Vishnu comes back after a bath in cold water.

Well-water is good and medicated, he thinks, because it removed all his fatigue and delivered fresh and good after a bath.

Velu informs him while drinking the black tea: “I will arrange milk tomorrow. I can get it from the shop on my way here”.

Vishnu does not say ‘no’ because he also likes to drink tea with milk.

“Sir, I did not close my eyes all night,” Velu said.

Vishnu looks up at his face to see what he is trying to say. Velu continued, “Sir, you were alone in the Mana all night... my mind was totally disturbed and calmed down only when I saw you in the morning.”

Poor man, he worried about a stranger. Do we see anyone feels with the issue of strangers more important than their own? This is the perfect innocence of the village.

“Yesterday night, did you see any demon or devil?” Velu queried.

His question was sudden but not surprising. Vishnu thinks a moment to find out an answer. Velu believes that something evil happened here yesterday night. He must have experienced something here if he thinks so. Maybe that is the reason behind his question.

Vishnu responded to his question to know his experience: “There was nothing special to say about... but there is something special to say. I never slept so calmly and quiet in my entire life like yesterday. The sleep at night was so peaceful.”

Vishnu did not think that he understood the meaning of what he said. Velu’s silence stopped him to offer any further explanation. Vishnu asks him casually after a pause by seeing his carelessness, “Do you have any reason to ask this question? Velu, have you ever experienced something strange here?”

The expression on Velu’s face implies that he is trying to say something. Vishnu gave him some more time to help him gather his thoughts. Vishnu thinks that he is right. There are some mysteries hidden in this Mana and Velu should be aware of, like all others in this village. He needs to collect all the information immediately.

Just listen, the wrinkles on Velu’s forehead shows that he is going to say something. “Do not know, if you believe me or not, but here, there has been the presence of a demon” Velu pursued. “One day, the boy of a nearby village was found lying dead at the entrance of Mana. I also saw the dead body; it was murdered by the demon...” Velu’s face went pale for some time as he recollected that sight.

“So that... Sir, you have to ensure always that you are safe,” Velu’s voice carried a warning.

There is definitely something here, as Velu thinks, Vishnu thought; ‘It can be a demon or something else. I do not feel anything even if it is frightening news for others. Death is the end of all and other than death, nothing more can happen! I do not care about death!’

Vishnu thinks about Velu for a moment while he is cleaning the area outside the shed. What is his plan, does he intend to stay here? Yesterday, he had mentioned that there is no one whom he can call his own, and therefore he can assume that he does not have any other job. Vishnu sensed that if he had plans to stay with him, it would be a great burden.

Vishnu’s mind analyses the situation: ‘It is very difficult for one person to stay here. Depending on the revenue of six months, there are so many calculations and some dreams for myself. I do not know if I will get this job extended from the exchange. Since this is not an ordinary govt job, there is no regular income and there is no guarantee of further employment.’

Vishnudathan thinks on the other side that he needs Velu’s help until the conditions improve because there are no other possibilities around. He decides that he will do whatever he could...

In between, Velu has already started preparing food.

Again, Velu’s words come to Vishnu’s mind. ‘You have to be very cautious, Sir.’ What does he mean by that? Something will happen to me. Anyway, I have reached here... so let us see where and what will happen next.

Velu is busy preparing food. As there is no other way to spend time, he walks in front of the Mana. It was then that he decides to look inside the palace. He took the keys from the bunch and walks towards Mana’s doorstep. As he is moving forward, his nostrils hit a stale smell; he has a strange feeling... sketches of Mana etched in his mind became more and more clear...

However, he is unaware that all his perceptions and assumptions are going to be overruled!

3

From the main door, we are entering the large lobby, which the greatness of the royal palace expressing all around. A seven-wick lamp hangs in chains at the beginning of the steps.

Sitting places are made of rubble on three sides and one side filled with a hanging bed. By avoiding the wrested chains, the hanging bed looks like fresh. Maybe this is the place where the great King dealt with the chiefs of the local sectors!

There are long verandas on either side. It took a moment to decide which direction to head first. He walks through the veranda on his left side, it reaches to a long corridor, and through that enters into another lobby. All four sides of this open space, there have large rooms with doors and passages in front. The interiors of these areas are not visible fully because the lighting facility is not available.

Vishnu decides to open every room starting from his left. Doors to all the rooms are closed. The door to the first room opens immediately since it not locked. The condition of the room indicates that no one has visited here in recent times. He notices that every door is designed beautifully, with engravings on it.

The next two rooms are also open and look similar to the first one, covered with dust and cobwebs. The fourth room is different from the other three rooms; the door is also bigger than the other three rooms. While looking at its specialities, he notices another difference. One side of this inner chamber has a large room in the middle and there are three rooms on either side. The doors of all six rooms are of the same shape and design, but the middle one is much larger and different in design.

Out of curiosity, he checks the other three sides of the lobby and finds that all four sides are identical. Three small rooms on both sides of the bigger room and all doors carved in the same design!

He walks through the passages. The doors of all small rooms are also open, except the middle, bigger one, which is locked. All the small rooms are empty and covered with dust and spider webs.

Vishnu again came back to the door of the middle room in the first passage where he started. Took one of the keys from the bunch, placed it in the keyhole, and turned it many times, but it did not open. Again, he tries with four different keys but with the same result. After a while, he took another key, which was of a different shape, placed it in the slot and turned forcefully...

After a lot of effort, he distinctively heard the sound that the key was turning. Three times, it rotated and each turn gave a bell sound but it did not move the fourth time! Since it was closed for many years, it takes great effort to open it. The door opens with the sound of a tumult. It is irritable when the old smell and dust enters his nostrils. The intensity of the aerosol takes a long time to dissipate even after the door was completely wide open.

When the inner darkness dissolves, he sees something shining like a horn. He goes inside very carefully as it is dark. However, that light was enough to see things. When he approached closer, he realized that they were real horns.

Two deer horns in good shape are on the table. The middle of it indicates that something is missing but could not guess what it was. The table with the horns looks odd. A three-legged table with no drawers, an excellent example of an artisan work.

That room has two metal boxes, which have pendant locks. He tries to open but none of the keys from the bunch matches the lock. Hence, he drops the attempt and moves back.

Suddenly, he sees a picture drawn on the wall; it is excellent and guesses that the painting is coloured with genuine leaf colours. This style of painting belonged to ancient times. It seems mysterious, as it looks alive!

Vishnu comes out of the room and locks the door with the key. As usual, the other three rooms are empty like the first three. He thinks that he has time to check the other side also, so moves there. He opens the first three rooms one by one and all are empty. The fourth room opens with a similar key, the one used on the first side. He is surprised that the key turns three times and every turn makes a bell sound. The door is not like the previous one. This one opens very slowly as if it is operating with a powerful mechanism and with automatic power.

Since his eyes have now adjusted to the dim inner light, he can see things in partial darkness also. He waits for some time in front of the door to get some fresh air before going inside. His eyes notice something shining as he enters and moves anxiously to see what it is...

“Sir...!”

He hears the voice very loudly and knows it is Velu, but he ignores him and goes inside.

“Sir ... please come...!”

‘Damn! That coward may be frightened of something’. Anyway, he cannot go on with the search. Maybe there is something wrong with Velu. It is better to go back and check.

Unexpectedly, the door closes, just as he is on his way out. He looks back at the door and is shocked to see that part of his shirt is stuck in the joint of the door. He realizes that if he had stayed there any longer, his hand would have been stuck in between the doors. How did this happen...? He realized that he used a lot of effort to open the door but it closed suddenly, there must be some technique for this door or something else!

He stays in front of the door for a while dumbfounded, when Velu’s voice from outside again disturbs him and brings him back from his thoughts in a flash.

He comes out of the Mana with many queries in mind, like a riddle!

He tells Velu, who was waiting impatiently in front of the Mana with a smile. “There are no such demons or devils here ... nothing to fear.”

Velu does not respond but stands there helplessly. Vishnu thinks why he is so scared. Even though he speaks to Velu very casually, but the sound of the door that had closed automatically behind him reflects in his mind. By keeping away the restlessness of his mind from facial expression, he walks away with Velu...

Velu has prepared the food. He thinks whatever the reason, Velu is a big help to him.

While going towards the village-centre yesterday, he had seen that there was a Library. After closing the entrance gate walks along with Velu out...

At the end of the village path, there was a small Shiva temple, connecting to Alangatu Mana. Right turn from there leads to the centre of the village. When reaches the junction, he tells Velu, “I’ll be there in the library, will come back after a while.”

Nobody in the library is familiar with him but no one expresses it. He sits there on the bench among them as a stranger.

***

 It was evening when they reach Mana, Velu asks for permission to leave, but does not forget to give the warning again. “Sir, you must be careful. Do not go out in the night”.

Vishnu does not want to say anything, he just shook his head...

Velu has prepared the food for the night and kept it aside. He has washed all other utensils and cleaned the room before going.

Vishnudathan takes the torch and checks it... lucky it is working!

He lights the hurricane lamp, places it in the room and goes out with the torch. He takes a round of the outer area and comes back into the shed.

He washes his face, closes the door and eats his food. He lies down on the bed to sleep, keeping the torch near the bed for easy access and makes sure it is working.

He feels a bit uncomfortable when the events of the last night started running through his mind... slowly he slips into deep slumber.

The second Yamam of the night passes silently and the bats through their “Kuk” sound declare the arrival of third Yamam.

 Somewhere, he hears the cry of an owl...

Vishnudathan wakes up and listens curiously... notices a mild sound somewhere nearby...

He immediately hears a boisterous laugh that frightens him!

He takes the torch and points it towards the location from where the sound is coming. Damn, it is stuck again. Torch does not light up!

Again, he hears the laughing sound. He experiences a grasping fear in his mind. The strange and mysterious working of the torch has caused him great discomfort... He starts trembling with fear. He heads towards the place from where the sound is coming - the laughing sound...and realizes that it is a feminine voice!

Vishnu notices whitish smoke in one corner of the room, which looks somewhat like a whirlwind! He looks at the white shadow helplessly. His torch slips from his hand and he sits nervously on the bed...


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Ignatius Variath lives in Cochin, India. An engineer by profession worked in many companies in India and abroad. Few stories published in regional illustrations four Novels (fiction) published in the Malayalam language. Fictions published in English language: ‘The Peacewoods’ and ‘She was waiting’