25th April 1963, the day I was born bringing sorrow in the life of my father; it was the day he lost everything. As soon as my mother gave me birth, she died and I had to live with this reality as a curse. My father never loved me after that. My grandma was the one who took care of me like a mother. She was everything to me. Every night she used to tell me stories of fairies, witches, and magic. These stories were like a lullaby to me.
I never use to talk to my dad because I knew he hates me, for him I was the murderer of his wife; he never let me get come close to him. Our house was in the valley, far from the city. Grandma and Grandpa built this house with love and care but today only grief wanders in this house. Grandma passed away a few years ago leaving me alone in this world. Living in the valley was quite different than cities, we didn’t have neighbors. Our house was surrounded by corn fields and woods. The closest market we had was 3KM away. The house started to feel bigger and bigger as everyone in the family died one after another. Now only my father and I were left in the house. We would barely talk to each other. The silence was our new friend and now only the walls would talk to each other.
I used to go and sit in grandma’s room whenever I use to feel lonely, but after few months of her death, father locked that room. There would be so much silence in my room that I was able to hear the ticking of the old wall clock we had. Days and years passed and I became an acquaintance to this loneliness. I never realized when I started to develop fear in me. It was always dark outside as there were no street lights and inside the house, this silence started to hunt me every day. I used to have nightmares of ghosts, witches and black magic. All the sweet stores that grandma told me were now turning into terrifying dreams. I couldn’t talk to my father about it. I had to deal with this problem myself.
I started to pray and recite some hymns before sleeping. It helped me to sleep peacefully at night.
One night my father asked me to go and get him some tobacco for his hookah as he ran out of it. It was late at night and was pretty dark outside. I was not that courageous to say no to my dad. He gave me $2 and I was on my way to the market which was 3KM away. As I started to walk the wind started to blow fast. I could see the lighting in the sky at a distance. Soon I realized that it’s going to rain heavy and I wasn’t ready for it. In order to get to the market faster, I took a shortcut. It was a downslope of a hill covered with long teakwood trees and wild bushes. It wasn’t the wise decision but I hated to walk in rain. It was dark and now with little rain, it was impossible to see. It was full moon night so the moonlight helped me navigate for a while.
As I was approaching down I heard some kooky noise. It was coming from far so I started to walk fast. I was making a mistake; the sound was coming closer and closer as I moved forward. So I stopped in the middle. I started to analyze the sound; it was a sound of musical anklet that women used to wear. After listening to it for a minute, I thought that it might be something else. Now it sounded like a bunch of rattlesnakes. I was stuck; I couldn’t go back to the house empty handed. I started to walk again, my heart was pounding. Just a few steps later I saw something terrifying; something I couldn’t believe was true. I saw a woman; she was the witch from my dream. Despite the wind and rain, I felt like I was sweating, a current ran through my entire body. I was trembled just by looking at that scene. I was scared to death and I knew that I am in grave danger. What could I do? Going back and telling this story to my dad wasn’t an option.
I started to recite the hymns in my mind. I closed my eyes for a minute and prayed to god. My legs were shaking but I started to walk in the forward direction. The wind started to blow faster and faster and along with it the weird noise started to go louder and louder. I wasn’t opening my eyes completely as I was so scared to see the witch. I was hoping that I will just pass by her and she won’t do anything to me. Soon I was close enough to see things a bit clear; I realized that no one was standing there. I guess the witch was gone. But I could still hear the sound. I thought this is my chance to run and save my life as the witch wasn’t there anymore. I started to walk fast. I wasn’t looking anywhere else but straight. The rattling sound was so close to me that I couldn’t resist myself to at least see what it was. As I looked to my right side I stopped, I stood there for a minute and then laughed. Tears were falling off my eyes with laughter. I was looking at a plastic bag that was stuck in a bush that was making this noise which sounded like a rattlesnake. On a certain angle, the shadow of the bush was appearing to be like someone was standing. Such a relief, I wasn’t going to die, my breath was back to normal.
I took the plastic bag with me and garbaged it.
I got home safely, my father asked me what took me that long to get the tobacco to which I replied that I met someone on my way who needed my help in order to get some stuff out of his cart so I was helping him. Father left without a word. I didn’t lie, I just wasn’t clear enough.
I was helping myself by taking out fear from my brain. That day I realized that fear is just an illusion. I could have turned around and took a long way and never find out that it wasn’t a witch or snake, it was just an illusion that was created by my brain.