Restless Soul - Flash Fiction
My grandmother told stories. In fact she would whisper.
My ancestral home in Guwahati had something eerie about it. I did not like it, although there was a playing field, and fruit trees. The fruits were always served for break fast or on mid day. They were in plenty. But she would call me to narrate her stories.
One day I saw my twins who had cholera, flying in the wind like a kite. That was when they just passed away. But, you saw them? I asked incredulously. Yes, she said, they were flying searing across the sky. Even my infantile mind could not digest such gibberish.
Grand Ma is a psychic, my brother said.
What is that?
That is a person who has extra powers of the senses. They can see what others cannot, perceive what others cannot, understand what others cannot.
I would sit on her lap, and she would tell me about the shadow that walked across the pond, opposite our house in Guwahati. She insisted on talking about the twins, whose souls left their bodies, the souls which you could not see. But grandmother saw all these.
Apart from this she had a sharp memory and when I was about seven years old she must have been over ninety. At that time she suffered from a paralytic stroke and was bed ridden for the rest of her life. Even then, her memory was charged and her anger was tumultuous. She would berate the nurse, waving her finger vigorously if she was upset about anything. Even in such a condition she would continue telling stories of the haunted house in Guwahati and the man who stalked at night.
Was he a ghost I asked.
She nodded, and went on to narrate another story.
What about the man by the pond at night grandma I asked, was he a ghost as well? Yes, she nodded.
What is a ghost grandma? I asked.
A ghost is a man who is not a man she would answer.
Then what is he? I persisted.
He is a ghost she replied.
Grandmother passed away when she was over a hundred. Someone said cynically that she was run out. The night before that I felt someone whispering into my ears. The next morning we got the news. We left for Guwahati with grandmother leaving her body behind and a restless soul. I could hear clearly her story about the twins she lost, who died of cholera.
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Ananya S Guha
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