Book: Frankly Spooking
Author: Sriramana Muliya
Publisher: HarperCollins India
This is a book that will give you the chills. Sriramana Muliya's Frankly Spooking is a collection of short horror tales, containing familiar elements associated with the genre: witchcraft, ghosts, abnormal spirits, and the odd psychopath.
Mythili's eyes flew open in the dark. She was a sound sleeper, but something or someone had woken her up. She looked up at the rattling ceiling fan and stared at it for a few moments.
Then she turned to her side, her hand reaching out to snuggle Anusha, her three-year-old daughter. But Anusha wasn’t there.
Arun was, facing the other side.
‘Anu?’ Mythili looked around the bedroom, then peeped into the bathroom faintly lit by the light coming from the street lamp across. She was now beginning to panic, her sleep gone.
‘Arun, wake up …’
‘Arun.’ She shook him, but he was drifting back to sleep.
Then she saw the light on in the guest bedroom and could hear somebody talking.
She hurried across.
Anusha sat on the bed, smiling at the bed post.
‘Oh, Amma, see …’ She was pointing at the bed post.
A little nervous, she neared her daughter. ‘What, Anu?
What is it, child?’
‘Amma … see … Gomu here says he wants the apple pudding from the fridge.’ Gomu was Anu’s teddy bear that Arun had got for her second birthday.
‘Anu …’ Mythili bundled up the little one in her arms and turned to leave. ‘Don’t scare Amma, baby. Let’s go and sleep. It’s midnight. I’m sure Gomu was talking in his sleep.’
She wanted to sit the little one down on the dining table and shoot a volley of questions, but she was a tad scared to be even outside their bedroom now. I can sort it out in the morning, she decided.
She switched off the light and left the room.
She woke up again at 4 a.m. It was still dark outside. This time Anusha was gently breathing against her face. She smiled and hugged her close. Then she saw through the half-closed door.
Had she forgotten to switch off the light in the other room?
She clearly remembered turning it off. She got up and went to the guest bedroom again. The light was on. And so was the fan. Weird. She looked at the bedpost and smiled at what Anu had told her.
She sighed, flicked both the switches off and turned to leave.
‘Let’s keep the fan on at least. It’s rather warm here, is it not?’ called out a voice from behind her, in the darkness.
Excerpted with permission from HarperCollins Publishers India.
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Book: Frankly Spooking
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