The dark clouds pregnant with rain were an uncommon occurrence in the month of October, in Karachi where even monsoon rains are rare. Not an ounce of humidity appeared to be present and as the gentle wind played with my hair, I turned the car into the direction of Mustafa Hut, my grandfather’s property; far from the city and other residencies at the beach.
I always went there in such weather or when something was disturbing me and today it was because of both. The car drove steadily on the dusty road that unwounded up like a snake when I felt a sickening bump as the wheels of the car drove over something and then, a piercing inhuman scream filled the sky. Horrified, I hit the brakes and leapt out of my car to check the atrocious accident i had committed but to my utter surprise the road showed nothing except for the tyre prints of my car. There was no trace of anything out of sort or any injured animal.
Mystified, I went back to my car and sped through the rest of the way towards the hut. As I parked the car into the driveway, I noticed the sky which had darkened more in a matter of thirty minutes and the wind was becoming violent. There was a storm on the way, I was sure and hurried to the white hut that appeared to contrast remarkably against the now almost black sky and the angry sea behind it. The hut seemed to radiate a serene effect which soothed me as I marched towards it. I was greatly disturbed with the incident on my way.
I entered the hut and made my towards my beloved spot; the terrace. The generator was placed there and I had to switch it on. My gaze wandered upon the vast expanse of the angry sea which was frothing like a mad dog. The waves were crashing on the sharp rocks below the terrace sending showers up and drenching the terrace floor. The generator was enclosed in a small shed and I bent down to turn its key when the same scream forced its way into my ears again. Startled, I immediately tried to stand, forgetting the low roof of the shed with which my head banged and left me dazed for quite a while. Rubbing my head with my hand, I stumbled towards the terrace wall, wincing with pain every moment. My eyes hunted the beach for the source of the piercing sound that now seemed like a banshee but the beach was utterly desolate.
The rain started suddenly and heavily. I rushed inside, aware of the fact that I had my cellphone with me which would get wet. The raindrops felt like pelting stones and I yelped with pain. Once inside, I shut the glass door immediately and took deep breaths while rubbing my head which had grown a lump on the part I had foolishly banged it. The silence in the hut disconcerted me, especially the complete darkness which seemed to be crawling towards me as if to engulf me in it. I searched for the switch board on the wall frantically and then began to switch on the lights but nothing happened. That is when I remembered that I had forgotten to turn on the generator in the chaos of my head being banged and the recurring scream.
Cursing, I ran towards the glass door that led to the terrace but was unable to see anything outside due to the heavy shower. A cold breeze suddenly danced into the room and the temperature in the hut dropped. Hair on the nape of my neck stood up and as I glanced back to the glass door, I saw a frosted hand appear on it from no where.
And that’s when I screamed.