An Unexpected Visitor

I live in an abnormally small house which contains abnormally large furniture. For reasons not known to me, men armed with deadly weapons protect our house 24 x 7. I wish I knew who or what they are protecting us from.

Just like every other night, I go to bed at eleven. Mother comes to my room soon, and sings me to sleep. Her silk-like voice calms me down, and sleep comes to me easily. In a matter of seconds, I go back to my own unconcious world.

Illustration by Muskan Raina

Illustration by Muskan Raina

I hear someone knock on the door. I wake up from a deep sleep and glance at the clock. It is four in the morning. I wonder who would come so early in the morning and for what purpose. I rub my eyes and wear my spectacles. As I go down the stairs, I notice from the window that there are no armed men outside. Not even one. I shudder, but finally gain the courage to open the door. I open the door and find a tall man standing. He wears a black cloak, and his face is not visible.

Sweat trickles down my spine, and a lump forms in my throat. I shut the door immediately, and take a deep breath. The man, again, starts to knock on the door. It terrifies me beyond limit. I climb the stairs in a hurry, and finally reach mother’s room. I scream her name, and she wakes up with a start. I tell her about the man, and a line appears on her forehead. She is worried. A second later, she looks at me and smiles. Her smile could make anyone’s heart melt. She kisses my forehead, and holds my hand. We go down the stairs together. The knocks on the door have gotten even louder.

This time, my mother opens the door. When the man sees her, he smiles wickedly. Suddenly, he takes a gun out of nowhere and shoots her right in the head. I am too shocked to react.
I feel like there is no blood flowing in my veins. I feel like my heart has stopped beating. Tears start streaming down my face, and I am unable to control them. I feel like there is fire in my veins. I realize my mother is gone, and so is the man.

I close the door and walk outside the house. I go to the farm and I sit beside a tree. Mother used to love trees. Sitting near something she used to love calms me down. I close my eyes, and then it hits me.

The tall man in the black cloak was Death. No man, even with weapons so destructive, could prevent her from dying. Death came knocking on her door unexpectedly and he waited for no one.

– Shreya Sharma


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