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Hide and Seek

is the seeker for real?

By Geetanjali NaiduPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

The old photos made her conscious of her age, of how much time had passed - and of what an interesting life she'd had!

Now looking at the picture for a while Meera has a smile on her face, eyes brimming with tears of joy, it looked like a vivacious doll was brought to life.

Gazing at each member in the family she continues to smile, only that her smiling intensity varied.

Just like the morning dew disappears in the instant of the first sun rays, similarly, her radiant smile vanished after she saw her cousins standing near the closet in the picture.

Meera kept the picture away and sat on the couch.

Her heart ached like a train pounding down the tracks, she started sweating and panting as if she participated in the marathon.

To relax, she closed her eyes and covered her face with her hands.

Flashback 20 years, Meera, 8-year-old ‘Girl with curious eyes’ came to spend her summer vacation with her cousins away from the city hustle to her grandparent’s place.

The best thing was she wasn’t alone, her cousin brothers Mukesh -15years, Ram- 13 Years, Viren and Naren- 10 years joined her.

This place was situated in the outskirts of the town, their spreading to till miles along with other abandoned properties, farms, small houses all around begging to be explored.

For a kid like Meera, it was definitely a gold mine for a treasure hunt or a sherlock homes adventure or a great exploring episode.

One evening they all decided to play ‘Hide and Seek’, all of them would hide and Mukesh the eldest of all was to seek.

Meera had pre-decided her hiding spot, when the count began, she sprinted with a leap without looking back.

She ran past a small demolished house near the well then what looked like a crumpled shed for the cattle and finally to her hiding place.

She ran into what looked like a poultry wreck, climbed the ladder, and gazed through the window, she could clearly see her brothers not hiding far very away from her.

She gave a small giggle,

The place she was standing was partially pulled down, there were broken porcelain items scattered on the floor, haystacks lazing around, cracked framed, broken glass pieces, and furniture all around.

There were few closets some broken some shut tight some intact and some empty.

BINGO! It was indeed a treasure, there where clothing in the closet.

Meera hurried, she stepped into the empty closet and shut the folding door up.

Her only illumination was a slit of sunlight shining through the crack of the door nearby window.

She crouched her knees to her chest and waited for a while, what seemed like an eternity, after nearly an hour her head drooped.

She woke with a jerk, it was pitch black, drowsy and confused she forgot for a minute where she was and what was she been doing!

The realization that it was night and that she was being abandoned here, filled her with sinking dread in the pit of her stomach.

She tried to get up but the sudden cramp in her calf kept Meera grounded.

She squirmed about waiting for the cramp to pass, just then she heard a door slamming shut downstairs which made her instantly freeze.

Was it one of her cousins?

There was a brief period of silence then footsteps at the bottom of the stairs but not just footsteps, there was ‘thud’ too, after every other step, these weren’t the footfalls of a child, they were slow, heavy, deliberate.

Meera held her breath praying that they would go away, but they did not.

The noises continued to ascend, after another moment of silence the walking resumed this time along with a steady scraping sound like heavy being dragged across the floorboards.

The footsteps made their way through the debris and wandered aimlessly through the various rooms.

Meera thought she could smell something faintly putrid. The constant scrape sent cold shivers coursing down her arms and back.

Meera’s first fears were realized when steps reached the bedroom doorway, they got closer and closer and directly stopped in front of the closet door.

She couldn’t see a thing, after an agonizing pause, they continued walking over to the other side of the room and out of the doorway again.

The sounds finally faded away down the hallway, Meera waited for what seemed like an eternity, she was now trying to build up enough courage to open the door and flee.

Three things happened simultaneously just then, Meera was bombarded with a smell which she could only describe as roadkill, she heard rapid breathing behind her in the closet and she felt hot breath against the nape of her neck, that was enough to hurtle her out from the confines of that nightmare space relying on memory and scant moonlight to navigate through the darkened house.

All the while she heard footsteps chasing, closing behind in a terrifying speed, it was a clumsy torturous escape full of trips and bumps and blind stumbling.

Meera never looked back, at least not until she reached her grandparent’s place,

Nothing made any sense, the empty property, the footsteps and the chasing.

This picture would be a perpetual horrid nightmare, waiting Meera to play hide and seek with her emotions.


About the Creator

Geetanjali Naidu

I can’t remember the horror fiction I read or when I read it.

But I have a stash of real-life-based horror.

Writing short horror fiction will always be my favorite pass time.

Ready for some spine-chilling short horror fiction?

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