Laughing, I ran away from Manoj.
He’d won a kiss from the spinning bottle –
but I felt like making him work a little
From the clearing I went into the evenly
planted pine rows, hiding from Manoj
behind one. I heard him shout, run by,
went round the tree to avoid discovery.
He shouted about the mansion
at the end of the forest, I peeked
and saw it. Not to go in there,
he said, that it was forbidden.
It drew me. I waited for Manoj
to rejoin our friends, who were
singing and laughing in the distance,
and then went closer, to the black
iron fence. The place looked
deserted except for vivid reflections
in the windows. Flashes of people
and violent changes in temper.
A breath of air struck my neck,
as from somebody close by.
I turned, and there was no-one.
Eery, I thought, and noticed
that daylight had clouded over.
Now there was sooty dark
and a shiver as from an impending
storm. Not to worry, I told myself,
you simply walk back. But my
friends’ merry noises were gone.
I walked and again felt a breath
in my back, longer this time,
more forceful, as if from giant
lungs. And there was noise
to it, the suppressed roar
an immense animal would make.
I stood and turned – not a thing –
turned and resumed walking.
Roar and cold air, an impatient
howl. I turned and saw –
– Johannes Beilharz (© 2010)
This is a rather free retelling of what I remember of the beginning of Raaz (Secret), a Hindi horror film from 2002, which, very quickly and successfully, sets up a scary atmosphere with very simple means, so that this fits in very well with Napowrimo #3, Scared yet?.