“Look!” Mohit whispered. Jenny stared at it with bulging eyes. The hideous artifact was moving. It has come to life. Its red ruby eyes were glowing with life.
It turned towards them and raised its finger, a blue flash leaped across the room and struck them; darkness enveloped their senses.
Jenny first regained her senses, it was morning; the sunlight has filled up the room with clarity. Everything would have seemed nonsense if her uncle’s lifeless body was not lying at the foot of his bed.
One look at him, from a few feet of distance left no confusion about his death. His face was twisted with raw horror, eyes were wide open.
She ran out of the room to call the doctor. The nurse was sitting on her bedside chair. Her head was hanging on her bosom limply.
The doctor declared both dead, rang up for medical team and cops.
They both were arrested after the last rites.
It all started three months back.
Jenny was brought up by her billionaire uncle after her parents passed away years ago. She met Mohit and fell in love. Her uncle had no problems with her marrying an Indian boy. He was a philanthropist so these petty things meant nothing to him.
He accompanied her to her maiden visit to Mohit’s family home; a beautiful castle in Himachal Pradesh.
It was sitting prettily in the lap of hills. Snow covered mountains crowded the distant horizon. The entire area was covered with woods.
He immediately packed up his rucksack and embarked on his own journey, leaving the lovebirds to themselves.
She could still recollect his radiant face when he returned with that ill-omened artifact. “Where did you get it?” Jenny asked. She did not like that hideous artifact but displayed fake interest after noticing the joy on his old, wrinkled face.
“I bought it from the priest of a temple.” He said after a slight hesitation.
Mohit made a little fuss. “You know, it’s not a good omen to displace a deity. They say that people who do it are cursed.”
“Come on dear, you know how strong-headed uncle is.” Jenny coaxed him as much she could. But the dark frown did not left his face before she wiped it away with her love.
They returned London the next week.
They left for their apartment from the airport and her uncle headed for his manor.
His strange malady started right after that.
“There is something wrong with sir, madam.” His butler John said. “Ever since he returned from the trip he is sleepwalking and talking to himself in strange voices and languages.” The face of the poor old man was contorted with anxiety and fear.
“The servants are scared to death and want to leave.” He further added.
“Did you talk with him about it?” Jenny asked.
“He is denying bluntly. Saying we are making it up- all of us.”
“I will be there on Saturday night, that is, tomorrow. Please fix my chamber.” She said.
She recollected how gloomy the manor looked from behind thin veil of drizzle that was pouring down. The tall, drenched trees lined up silently on both side of the road, gently stirring in the rain, as if acknowledging her.
Her uncle was truly glad to see her. She did not give him any inkling about John’s visit or their discussion.
They retired to their own rooms after spending some time in the drawing room after dinner.
She was sitting on her desk, waiting for John to call her. The knock sounded past midnight. “Come.” He was waiting there with a grim look on his face.
They quickly crossed the distance and stood outside his bedroom. A chill ran down her spine when she heard two distinct voices coming out from within. One was her uncle’s voice and the other one was a strange voice. A cracked voice speaking in a strange dialect; she could recognize some terms, they were from Mohit’s province. They tiptoed back to her chamber after listening for a while.
She wrote a note for Mohit and handed it over to John. “Give it to him the minute you can manage to sneak out of here and make a trip to London.”
Mohit reached by eleven o clock in the morning. Her uncle watched them keenly trying to gauge the reason behind their visit but their placid faces did not give away anything.
They crowded outside his chamber when John informed them. Mohit’s face lost all colours within fifteen minutes.
“What’s wrong honey?” Jenny asked.
“That unknown voice is speaking in my province’s dialect. The rural people talk in that dialect. Its threatening him that it will punish him for desecrating his temple, for stealing the deity.” He gulped hard.
The silence of the night was shattered by a sharp scream emerging from her uncle’s chamber they rushed back to the door. The servants forced it open.
He was lying on the bed, breathing slowly. The doctor said he has slipped into a coma. She made arrangement of his medical supervision from home.
But the nurses started to fall sick and soon it became impossible to get one.
They decided to stay in his chamber overnight with this one, to see what was happening with their own eyes.