Everywhere she looked, she saw destruction. It was an ugly sight; but something else bothered her even more – how exactly had she come here?
The last thing that she remembered was falling asleep in class, she felt like she was falling into a dark, black well, and she kept falling until she hit the bottom. Then she woke up to find herself surrounded with mass destruction. Dead bodies lay unceremoniously like ragged dolls. Massive holes in the building seemed like deadpan eyes boring into hers. The ceiling looked like it would fall down any second.
She looked down at herself. Her salwaar was torn in many places, and so was her kurta. Her lower lip bled and her abdomen felt like it had just been hit by a truck. What happened, she wondered once again, trying to collect her scattered thoughts. She took a step ahead, and excruciating pain pulsed through her leg. She pulled her lips in tightly to stop the scream that was threatening to burst out from her mouth.
Trying her best to think logically and rationally, she decided to fix her leg before taking another step. She slowly pulled her bloody, torn salwaar up. There was a deep, long cut along her lower leg. It was bleeding profusely and it wouldn’t be long before she bled to death if it were to be left unattended. Shit, she quickly tore a part of her kurta and tried to tie it around her leg. The bleeding didn’t stop.
She realized she was standing amongst at least 30 dead, fully clothed corpses, which included her class teacher. Tears stung her eyes at the thought of what she was going to do, but her survival instincts had kicked in and she knew she’d have to do whatever it took to get out of here. She slowly walked towards where her teacher lay, careful not to step on anyone. Upon reaching her teacher’s corpse, she breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of her partly torn duppatta still draped across her chest.
She pulled it up and tied it tightly around her leg to maintain the pressure on the wound. After taking one last glance at her class, or the class that was, she turned around and walked out of the class.
But the sight that greeted her outside was a 5 times magnification of what she had witnessed inside. It looked like a heinous genocide. Bodies were everywhere. Not just murdered, but brutally murdered. Some had been impaled multiple times, some had their heads chopped off and some had been castrated. She instantly put a hand on her mouth in an attempt to stop herself from throwing up right there. Trying to avoid the ghastly sight before her, she quickly made her way towards the closest exit, this time not caring about stepping on the bodies.
As she made her way towards the exit gate, she felt a presence behind her. She stopped and turned around, ‘Whose there?’ After lingering on for a while, she thought she must have imagined it. Just as she turned back around, she was welcomed by a familiar face situated inches away from her.
‘Jeez’, she spat out and staggered. It was her best friend and class mate. And she was grinning.
‘Why are you grinning?’, she asked.
‘We need to get out of here’, the friend replied, calmly as though they were standing on a beach.
Before she could complete her sentence, the friend took hold of her hand and started pulling her through all the destruction, but not towards the exit gate, but somewhere else.
‘Where are you-’
Her question was left suspended in the air as the friend cut her off, ‘Sshh. Be quiet. Just come’
Even though she was her best friend, her gut told her that something wasn’t right. That she must break free and run away right now. But then the friend turned around and smiled at her, and said, ‘Trust me’. She decided to give her friend benefit of doubt.
They finally came to a stop infront of a large gate. The friend slowly pushed it and it swung outwards. She took a step ahead to look what lay inside.
The sight made her stagger and gasp in horror. The gate was an opening to a massive, deep well. Hundreds of sharp, extremely long nails were embedded in it’s surface. She looked at her friend, and saw that she had an evil smirk on her face and her eyes twinkled with sadistic satisfaction.
She shook her head and tears brimmed in her eyes once again. But before she could act on her impulses, her friend pushed her into the well. A loud scream of terror was stifled in her throat.
‘No!’, she snapped her eyes open and jerked her body up. She was breathing heavily, and her face was smeared with tears and sweat. Looking around, she realized she was sitting in her class and everything else was normal, except that people were staring at her because of her loud scream. She looked down at herself, and saw that she wasn’t hurt anywhere. Had it all been a dream?
Her best friend sat right next to her, but was one of the few who wasn’t staring at her. The friend seemed engrossed in her homework. She continued to stare at her best friend for a while. The friend sensed someone looking at her. Looking up, she smiled.
She saw the same sparkle and sensed the same dark vibe. But it had all been a dream, or had it?