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Supriya Parulekar, 17 Jan '13

Endless Night
The house stood ominously still bathed in full moon-light. It was an old house which grunted and sighed, showing off its age. Only sign of life was a dull yellow light that reflected on one of the window-panes on first floor. The skeletal branches of mango tree scraped at the window trying to make its presence known. The occupant of the house, Adi, a young man of all 24 years slept peacefully unknown to the nature orchestrated drama unfolding outside. His face was bathed in the warm yellow glow from the bedside lamp. The harmony in his sleep was not going to last long. Suddenly gust of wind started blowing in the room. Adi’s forehead creased and his lips twitched at the unsolicited intrusion. His eyes flew open as he heard a scraping sound coming from his living room below. Adi sat up in bed thinking of all the possibilities. Had a burglar got in? Or even worse; was it his dead grandmother’s ghost that had come to collect her belongings? He quickly removed the torch from his bedside drawer and stepped out in the corridor. The floor boards creaked with his pressure and he reminded himself to get it fixed; only if he survived the night, Adi added an afterthought. There it was again; running footsteps; not one but couple of them. Adi clutched the torch tightly in his hands as if it were a weapon and slowly moved ahead. As Adi neared the staircase that wound down to the hall, his shadow jumped ahead of him giving him a scare. His heart raced ahead of time and it took him few seconds to bring it to normal. The torch was his life-line as its light bobbed at his feet. He took baby steps as he descended the staircase and it seemed like an hour when it had only taken him ten seconds. He could hear the tick-tick of the clock as it neared 12 signaling midnight. Any second the cuckoo would fly out screeching at the top of its voice. The clock belonged to his grandmother, a gift from her doting husband. When Adi returned home from college he would find his granny relaxed in the rocking chair, the clock merrily ticking above her. After granny’s death, Adi moved the clock to the far corner in the hall as it was very near to the television set and a constant nuisance. He had forgotten to move granny’s rocking chair! Adi realized to his horror; the chair was no longer there. Someone had moved it. His heart started racing madly and suddenly at the stroke of 12 the cuckoo flew out screeching its guts out and out of nowhere lights came up followed by loud cries. Adi shielded his face as shouts of ‘surprise’ ‘surprise’ followed by ‘Happy Birthday…’ rang in his living room. Slowly slowly he realized there was no ghost or burglar but just his friends who had turned up at his place to wish him a ‘Happy Birthday.’ Adi was pulled by his friends as they made him cut the cake and raised a toast to his good health and success. As merriments continued nobody noticed the rocking chair which had started to rock on its own…merrily...merrily…

Comments · 2

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  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    I enjoyed your first burst Supriya :)

    I hope you don't mind me giving you some feedback on the reading experience. I think breaking the piece down into paragraphs would help the flow, and there are a number of occasions where a words has been missed out (I think a good read out loud would highlight them). Whilst the missing words are easy to figure out, they tend to momentarily drag the reader (me in this case) out of the story.

    • Posted 4 years ago
  • Supriya Parulekar said...

    Hey...thanks for the wonderful analysis. I will surely keep this in mind. Its always been difficult for me to write a short story than a complete novel. Burrst will surely help me polish my skills as short story writer. Its from life that we learn n for me life is a learning process. Hope to read all stories of every burrst writer one day. Read a few and enjoyed them.

    • Posted 4 years ago