The Night at Four

It’s 2.55 in the morning and I still can’t write. I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting at the same spot staring at my laptop. All these ideas in my head refuse to come out from my hands. What am I doing wrong? I had my drink of coffee, I made the plot in my mind, but when I write I go blank. Is it the lack of inspiration? Maybe it is, because I haven’t been reading books for the past few weeks. I don’t recall exactly how I lost this sudden interest in books. I guess I should have chosen the right book. No, that’s not it. I have been too distracted with my mobile lately. And my laptop in which I write is itself a nuisance. And also this addiction. I still haven’t tried my best to stop myself. It all started several months ago, and I only realised it a month back. I will admit that I haven’t done my best to stop it, but despite taking all the necessary actions, I just can’t help it. Maybe that’s the biggest reason, followed by the lack of inspiration and the severe distraction.

Christmas is over. And my promise for a new start has already failed. Maybe I just need a change. And that too, as soon as possible. It seems I don’t even care about my deadline. Don’t even care about the crucial future and the possible dream that I’m putting at risk. That’s why I had taken the promise in the first place. But as every new day gives me a new chance, I think of achieving it yet again only to succumb badly in the end. New Year is just four days away. Maybe I’m just waiting for an official new start, I guess. Christmas was ordinary. I spent most of my time hidden in my room trying to write something. But all I came up till now is an utterly lousy opener. Look at me. A young man at this perfect age struggling in life. Do I really have all these problems? Or is it just me panicking and making it even worse? But thinking positively is a bloody tough task. This year I’ve also started questioning myself. I’ve become prone to negative thinking that it almost seems like I’m a masochist. Is it that hard to be happy? To be ever positive?

Who in the world sits on for hours in his room during Christmas? If I can just get a few sentences right, I’ll get my momentum. But even in this silence, it’s impossible. It’s not the first time I’m up this late acting like a madman. A few months back I could happily write pages and pages for hours without dozing off and without my coffee. But now even coffee doesn’t seem to work. It’s 3.20 now. The dogs are howling outside. I always wonder why they howl and that too only after midnight. I haven’t heard a single dog howling during daytime. I don’t know why but a howling dog gives me the chills. I started fearing the sound when a dog died just outside my window. I was lazing around in my room at that time, it was night time, maybe 11.00 or 12, I don’t remember, and the dog came running near my window and howled and wailed till it crashed on all fours. I was terrified by its cry that I didn’t do anything to save it. I didn’t even peek out of the window, but I knew the dog was suffering. I knew the dog was nearing its death. I will stop here. ‘tis the season to be jolly, right? Ha! Look at me.

It’s 4.00 now. And I still haven’t written a bloody thing. Maybe I should call it a day. There’s no use of trying now. I’ll start fresh tomorrow morning. Hopefully follow my new routine as well. I hear the dogs howling again This time much closer. I take a peek outside through my window. It’s in my neighbour’s lawn. I see it barking. Robbers? Rival dogs? There’s nobody there. Why is it barking wildly? I see another dog besides it now. A white one. But I still can’t see what they are barking at. This may seem like an annoyance in day time but it is really creeping me out now. Now, they are howling again. They are…frightened. I see them whimpering and taking a few steps back. And now, all of a sudden, they have gone silent. I turn towards my laptop. The night has become eerie. It is unusually silent. I can hear the wind coming through my window. The dogs? Where have they gone? I look outside again and all of a sudden I can hear my own heartbeat. The dogs have disappeared. But I’m not scared because of that. I’m scared because of the silence. Something extremely weird is going on.

But why am I scaring my nuts off? I should concentrate on my work again. So, I go to my living room with my laptop. A fresh room makes way for a fresh mind. As I crossed my mother’s room, I hear her muttering in her sleep. What is she dreaming about? Should I wake her up? But it was not the first time anyway. I see her muttering even while she’s taking a nap. I wonder if she knows she is muttering. I should tell her that tomorrow. Break it down to her piece by piece if she freaks out. Sitting on the sofa, I try to write the opener again. Mother’s muttering has gone louder. And now just like the dogs, her voice faded away. And now, a new noise. I’m not moving. It came from outside the main window. A man’s voice. He was…singing. Is he drunk? I don’t see anyone outside. Where is he? I hear him singing again. In this frightening silence, his voice is sounding so close, as if he is right behind me. I turn around to survey my hysteria and saw a vague white flash near my room. My eyes go wide. Why am I refusing to move? I should really get some sleep. I close my laptop and force myself to stand up. Why am I panicking? I turn around expecting to see the flash again, but don’t. As I start walking to my room, I hear the shrill sound of a bicycle bell.

I jump but don’t turn around. Someone is out there. The bell is ringing faster. It is not stopping. I run to my door as fast as possible without making a sound to wake my mother. I’m inside my room again. The ringing has stopped. The man has gone. Mother is fast asleep again. The dogs disappeared. As I turn my lights on, I lose all my cool and drop my laptop on the floor. It made a loud bang, as if a tiny bomb had exploded. But that was none of my concern. Sitting on my bed, I see the man, his face almost distorted, giving me a grin. I try to scream but in vain. The man is now standing. I stand frozen. The man is still smiling, a smile so devious. I close my eyes. This is all unreal. It’s not really happening. But when I open them again, I see him right in front of me. He grabs me and punches me in the face. And ruptures my body more after I fall down.

With my body stinging in pain, I try to stand but the last thing I see before I black out is the man grinning at me and laying on my bed for a night’s peaceful sleep.

– Viveck

Photo Credit: Night Time Window Scene


4 thoughts on “The Night at Four

  1. Woah–definitely didn’t see that coming! I love how you played with the idea of a metacognitive writer writing a blog (which, was it all true up until the end?) but then turned it into a fiction. Well done! 🙂

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