The haunted 

Within the safe and comfortable confines of my room, I decided to unwind by doing the one thing that I absolutely enjoyed doing. I sat down by the bed and quickly plugged in my headphones and a keyboard which I dutifully connected to my laptop. A static quickly buzzed through the headphone and I could listen to the white noise with a crystal like clarity.
“What that once brought smiles, now only brings tears”
I had pulled out my favourite instrument to start composing on this melancholic tune that was ringing in my head. Violins, I had clicked. The software took its time loading up. Slowly, the notes of a violin string sprang to life. The metronome was set to a sober 80. The sadness of the tune in my head needed a soft steady pace to bring it to life.
One note after another, the tune was taking shape. I could feel the emotions translate from my heart to my fingers. Through my fingers, music was coming to life. The melody was quite engaging. I had managed to lose myself into music once again. As the melody trailed, I paused upon this note. The violin gently creaked. Through the bass timber of the instrument, something caught my attention. I couldn’t explain it. It made no digital sense. How could it ? I was the master and slave of a machine was following my every nuanced instruction. This didn’t fit in. 
I heard an unmistakeable laughter. A sound so distinct, a sound that needed no further introduction. It was a gentle laughter. The pristine clarity of the sound sent a shiver down my spine. I looked around to see if someone had walked into my room. The prison that was my room still remained a prison. I was the only prisoner around and I wasn’t laughing at all. 
I quickly removed my headphones to catch the noises from the real world. Nothing. The air conditioner emit a low mechanical hum. The fan creaked rhythmically. The dead stillness of the room bore no life. 
I shook my head and smiled off my hallucination. I went back to the violin. A minute could have passed and I heard it again. Only this time, the laughter was more prominent. A laugh followed by a few words. The combination immediately struck a chord. I knew the voice. I knew the words. What I didn’t know was , what were they doing here? How were they there today? It made no sense at all.
I dismissed the intrusion and tried to focus on my musical recluse. As time wore on, the effects got worse. Distinct faded laugher was coming alive with every passing moment. The words surrounded me. I could hear my shoulder getting slapped , my palm exchanging hi 5’s. Fear gripped me for the first time that night.
MOM, I screamed. Mom… I called out to hear once again. There was no reply. Through my palpitating heart, I tried to come to terms with what was conspiring. The room around me darkened. All my wailing cry for help to my mother could not carry themselves in the air. My screams deafened my ears. I could feel the strain on my ear drums. My ears buzzed in protest and the slight ringing in my ears wouldn’t stop. The laughter didn’t cease. It pierced right through my screaming and the ringing sounds of my ears. 
The laughter stopped as abruptly as it started. Silence had found its way again. The silence was piercing. I could sense the pressure on my ears, my heart and on me as well. I felt choked. I felt as if my heart was getting squeezed from inside. I gasped for air. I couldn’t breathe any more.
Mom, mom, I tried screaming again. Only this time, I couldn’t even hear my screams any more. 
The silence ensued for a while. WHY…. blasted a question through the silence. The word kept repeating itself through an endless echo. Why. why.. the word popped through my left and then through my right. Why, why…. the word, I could visualize it right in my front. Why..why… it was all that I could hear. Every iteration, the intensity of the word got stronger. 
In no time, that was the only word that I could hear anymore.
I gasped for air and suddenly woke up. I had been sleeping. The A.C was still humming its mechanical buzz. The fan still creaked. I realized that I had survived another bout of haunting. 
It was not ghosts or the dead that had haunted me. I was haunted by my thoughts. A past refused to stay down and buried. It had found a way to resurrect itself.
I lied on my back and stared at the ceiling. Wide awake, restless and with a palpitating heart whose beating reminded me of an overbearing drum that dominated the sound space. Unmistakeably again, I heard a laugher. Ominous , at a distance.
I closed my eyes. There seemed no escape anymore. 
“What that once brought smiles, now only brings tears”

Katz

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