Fright | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 31, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 31, 2019



…And when the surface tension could bear no more, the fluid slowly broke off – drip...drip…drip. The recurring sound of liquid dripping in the distance was the first to register into my mind which, accompanied by the stench of iron that assailed my nostrils, sent my brain into overdrive – blood.

Shaking this completely irrational thought out of my mind, with eyes still shut, I re-evaluated the situation. Images of the scarred eleven year old girl descending a staircase on all fours, bent over backwards, her torso arching up, kept passing through my closed eyelids. I cursed myself again for overdosing on the horror movies last night. It was Halloween for heaven’s sake! What’s Halloween without a little fright? I concentrated again on the current situation.

Not blood! I rolled my eyes under my eyelids. Leaking iron pipes. Completely reasonable, since the house was being renovated and the bathroom next to this room had its pipes exposed. Giving it further thought, I concluded that I hadn’t noticed the smell or sound before falling asleep because I was panic-stricken to the point where the only thing I could see everywhere I turned was the girl in the white bloody dress from the movie. Closing my eyes, and ignoring all physical or mental stimuli, I had drifted into a very restless sleep, the result of which was the sound of leaking pipes waking me up at three in the morning, and deceiving me into thinking of blood before anything else.

It made me laugh how I still hadn’t opened my eyes even after having solved the dilemma. And then I laughed again at how I had laughed with my eyes closed. Some part of me was utterly convinced that if I opened my eyes I would witness something that I would regret. Ridiculously, the phrase “What has been seen cannot be unseen” kept passing through my head. I decided I was being absurd. At the count of three, I am going to open my eyes and I will witness nothing out of the ordinary. One, two, three…

The blank white ceiling met my eyes. See, nothing to worry about. Just for the sake of being completely assured however I looked around at the entire room.

Or at least, that was what I had in mind. Yet when I tried to turn my head, I couldn’t! I couldn’t move a muscle of my body. My heart began thumping wildly against my ribs. I rolled my pupils in all directions trying to “see” a reason for this sudden paralysed state of my body. The moment the word “paralysed” went through my head I knew what was happening. Sleep paralysis. The logical centre of my brain told me to just calm down and wait. The phenomenon would run its course and pass.

In a minute however I sensed someone pushing me vigorously, as though trying to wake me up, around my waist. All logic went down the drain at that one instance. What in the world was happening? I tried looking at who it was, but I couldn’t raise my head high enough for it. I tried screaming out, but fear had caught my tongue. Tears trickled down from the corners of my eyes, while my face was contorted in a silent cry for help. Slowly, in what felt like a millennium, did the feeling ebb away from the tips of my fingers and toes. I thought about this clearly and remembered that when the senses begin to come back to the body after sleep paralysis, the blood flow sometimes causes sensations such as being pushed or pulled. The thought comforted me. I sat up, and wiped the tears away. I felt ludicrous. It’s all science you dope! There’s no such thing as “ghosts”!

Just then I heard a voice behind me, as though someone was speaking into my ear, a shrill whisper chilling me to the bone, sending shivers down my spine. I knew then that this was no sleep paralysis.

“Is that so?”


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