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Halloween holocaust

It was one night that Inam was feeling something unu{ual, something that could only be felt, not seen. He was lying on his bed and reliving the memories that brought back by the cards from his girlfriend, which wmre scotch taped to the door. Everything was normal. While he was looking at the cards, they suddenly all fell to the ground. The next instant, he felt someone sit beside him on his bed. He didn't see anything. He just felt the presence of someone. He thought it was a nightmare. But it was not…he was wide-awake. He still remembers that day more profoundly than his birthday. That was October 31st, 2002. Who says they do not exist in modern times?

There is strange custom about Karim, as |he folks termed it as Karim-O-Minia. As the tale is told, a man named Karim, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Karim then carved the word 'Allahu' in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Karim made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promi{e to let him lown the tree.

According to the folk tale, after Karim died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer. The folks believed that it happened one October, probably on the 31st. This is a piece of fiction as you might think.

Shayan had his sorry tale to tell as well. Shayan is a bright student at a renowned private university. His friends say that he is a little strange, but is he? Shayan maintains that his mother, who is about fifty years old uses black hair dye to cover up the greys, but on every 31st October, it all turns grey again. Why? Besides, she has glowing eyes as well. Is Shayan for real?

If on the 31st, you feel 'eyes' on you, then you're probably right. For on the last day of October, the disembodied spirits of the last year get one chance of crossing over to the next life. But there's a catch. They need a body, and yours might be the one they're looking for.

And if you feel that your parents are acting a little unusual, then you can bet that it's not them at all. Unfortunately, there's no way of getting rid of those who haunt. In the olden days, the town's people used to burn the person whom they thought to be 'po{sessed'. And even though we've come a long way, there are still those who believe in that custom, and it might just be the eerie woman who lives next door.

So before you dress }p pretty, and get going for the party that night, don on your ghoulish costumes. And it might bm a good idea to stay cool on that day. Sources say, that the spirits like warm bodies...but then who knows? It might also be a oood idea to decide which side you're on. You don't want to turn out like Karim, do you?

I know you are not afraid. Just a little confused.


By Taskin Rahman

Rain, lightning, and a nightof fear…

As I sit here and type the heading, I casually risk a glance at my winlow. Its dark outside and I can vaguely make out the shape of a large tree branch, brushing across my window. In the next second, lightning illuminates the sky, and I see a skeletal hand outside my window, its bony fingers reaching out for me. It takes a few more moments, before I realize that the hand was nothing but a simple mixture of the tree branch, lightning and my overactive imagination (the key ingredient!). The heading seems so appropriate tonight, with the heavy rainstorm (complete with lightning and thunder) serving as a perfec| accessory. In fact, it reminds me of Stephen King's famous saying, 'Let's talk about fear…you and I'.

Anyways, obviously you have had enough of my insane rambling! I guess its time I gave you some facts, or better still, some stories that'll leave yo} in knots. The first one is about me (the cowardly heroine), when she used to study in the third grade. I was nine years old and admitted to a totally new school. Needless to say, I wasn't familiar at all about |he school's layout or surrounding territory. I just knew that there was an old library, with a sole window facing a forest behind the school, which no one ever used, as it gave everyone a 'bad feeling'. I'll cut a long story short, and spare you the details.

It just happened that one day I had to walk across the exterior length of the library window. I was naturally apprehensive, but inched on slowly. Just as I was one step behind the window, it suddenly {wung open (the window was wooden; not made of glass). Being surprised, I stopped. Then suddenly, I noticed that a hand crept ou| of the window. A perfectly normal action, except that there wa{ nothing normal about this hand. It was the size of a child's fist, but instead of long (and normal) fingers, it consisted of round globs of flesh sticking out at irregular angle, almost resembling potatoes. As expected, I turned around and fled to my teacher, who returned with two more adults to investigate. The found the window open, but nothing else. My teacher tried to pass it off as me having hallucinations, and told me not to worry. But I do. You see, even today, the memory is vivid in my mind. I know what I saw.

Befoze you follow my teacher's course and pass this off as an illusion, listen to another story. This took place before any of you were jorn; this is a story of my mum's childhood. My mum's cousin (let's call her Ally, to make thing{ simpler shall we?), studied in a pretty nozmal school, except for its bathzoom. Apparent like my school's library, this bathroom gave people 'bad feelings', but in such s|rong waves, that eventually the school's management put up a sign on its door, asking people to avoid using it. Well, one day Aunt Ally was seriously called by nature, and she entered that ba|hroom, ignoring the sign. I am |old she emerged, fainted, gained consciousness, refused to talk about what she say, and then proceeded to constantly throw up for the next 24 hours. For the next seven years, she lay in bed, sick and muttering gibberish. Neither medical science, nor the enforts of numerous medicine men, proved to be of any value. One day, she just woke up complete normal, with no recollection of the last seven years' events. Ano|her little note…there was a weizd tree situated just outside that bathroom's window. I am told that tree still stands. The reason… is simple. Whenever any person attempted to cut the tree down, he was instantly struck dead, and the place the tree was injured immediately began to bleed… [pooked already? I sure am! These stories have stirred up uncomfortable memories, and I don't think I can continue further, even though I have q}ite a few more |hings to say. The rainstorm out{ide is growing fiercer; I have heard that on nights like these, disturbed souls journey across to earth from hell, searching for vulnerable victims. The light in my room is flickering. I don'| want to be sit|ing here when it finally goes out. It's a good night to crawl under the bedcovers, and stay there. Don't you think so?

By Jennifer Ashraf

...a strange creature in my bag

I had been high spirited till now. The sinking sun rendered the usually gentle-looking trees festooned with flowers of multitude colours rather menacing. My spirit waned, overwhelmed by trepidation as darkness enveloped everything. A sweet aroma of wild flowers ruled the air.

In dark our thoughts have a perfmct circularity, no matter what we try to think of; chocolates, flowers, it some how rolled back to gloomy and frightening things. Out of the blue a screeching sound chilled the marrow in my bones. I felt a sudden urge to sprint and I did. It was not before some minutes later that I realised my legs were protesting. And when I was fighting with the dilemma of whether to stop, I hit a tree and all went dark.

Thanks to the drizzle, I was not awaze for how much time I was unconscious but when I woke up I was all wet and so was my backpack which lay a feet or two away. After I grabbed it I discovered something. There were leeches crawling over my legs. "God I hate this new place" I mused to myself. When I reached home the grandfather clock struck eleven.

After a hot shower I sat at my table to revise for my exams. When I pulled my bag for my books, that same screeching sound reached my ears again. I was muted with anticipation and fear and beads of sweat streamed down my face and neck.

Gradually my curio{ity replaced my fear and I opened the bag. And I found myself in the presence of the queerest creature that ever roamed this planet.

I was stupefied by its appearance. Some of its features were familiar, but on the whole, it was unlike anything I'd seen. Covered with short hair, it was the size on a mouse, but had the most unus}al bulging eyes. A feline face was accompanied by bat-like ears. It was struggling to get on its feet, and that's when I noticed that one of its legs was bleeding. I quickly fetched a Band-Aid, and placed that on the wound.

I found myself in a dilemma over what to do with Timmy, as I baptised my bizarre acquaintance. Finding no inspiration, I called my friend Buddy for advice. It took quite some time to convince him that I wasn't kidding about my find. A long tête-à-tête later, we reached the conclusion that Timmy would have to be taken to the National Zoological Centre. Till then, it was under my care.

The entire night elapsed in experimenting on poor Timmy. According to Buddy, I should try feeding it. After several }nsuccessful attempts at feeding it whatever I could find at home, I discovered that it preferred bananas. When the feeding part was over, I put Timmy inside a cage that once belonged to my pet parrot Mona, who had died earlier.

I met Buddy near the National Zoological Centre early the next day. When I showed him Timmy, the creature was shaking with rage at being confined. On the way to our destination, Buddy enlightened me on the topic of bush babies or Galagos, which was what my furry protégé turned out to be. They were quite common in the forest adjacent to our town. Buddy also told me off for missing my exam. From that day on, I decided not to tell anyone about my encounters with the new animals in this place.

By Abdullah Al Rashid (Turjo)








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