Thursday, July 28, 2016

#5 on 17th Street

From: Nicholas
To: Patricia, Rajat, Tiffany, Douglas, Amanda
Subject: Hi!

Hola neighbors! How do ya all doing? Enjoying the snow, is it? Just kiddin’. I know this season has been pretty bad with crazy blizzards and power cuts; even I had a hard time keeping the snow out, and wouldn’t dare to step out from my 2nd floor study since last two weeks. But hey, at least we’ve got each other.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi since we haven’t seen each other for a long time.

And Patricia, how have you been? I could hear your granddaughter’s (whats her name again? Alice, Isn’t it?) piano practice all the way up to #1. She is learning fast. I almost stopped everything else to listen to her rendition of Beethoven’s eighth.

Also – I’d like to welcome Rajat in our small community. He moved in #5.
Hi, Rajat – the 17th street is the land of dreams. Ha ha. Okay, it is not. But give any of us a shout in case you need a hand with anything. Especially Douglas here is everyone’s favorite. Do ask him for some favor some time. (Can I be around when you do so. Please?) ;)

Nick
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From: Rajat
To: Patricia, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: Re: Hi!

Hi Nicholas, Hi everyone else,

Thanks for your kind welcome. As Nicolas mentioned, I have recently moved to # 5 from India. It’s a beautiful house but I guess it was locked for a long time; there are layers of dust on everything. I haven’t taken a moment’s break from clean-up.

And of course, it is snowing cats and dogs which isn’t helping one bit. Is it always like this, at this time of the year?
Speaking of cats – when I moved in #5, I found three dead cats in the house. Very weird.

Anyway, once I am done settling-in I’d invite all of you to my housewarming party. :)

Regards,
Rajat
__________________
From: Patricia
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: Re: Hi!

Dear All,

God bless you Nicholas, my son. And welcome mister Rajat. Yes, it has been indeed a long time since all of us have met. In fact, I have almost forgotten how all of you look. Blame it on my old age.

Yes - Alice has gotten better at the piano. I am glad she found something to keep herself busy, poor child. God took her voice but gave her a beautiful way to express herself. He works in mysterious ways. She is almost 10 now and reminds me of her mother.

Amanda, Tiffany – do visit our place sometime. My arthritis pain kicks-in in this climate so I can’t walk much. In fact, I haven’t gone out in so many weeks.
Mister Douglas – You’ll be in my prayers today. I hope Lord will help your drinking and anger problem. Amen.

Patricia
P.S. Alice says hi to everyone.
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From: Douglas
To: Rajat Kumar, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Patricia
Subject: Re: Hi!

What a load of horseshit. 17th street is as fucked up as it gets. We are hundreds of miles from any other soul and I am stuck with these dimwits for weeks. I wonder what that Indian guy is doing here in this godforsaken place.

Patricia – I don’t need your prayers. Keep them for your dumb grand-daughter. She needs it.

Nick – stop meddling in my affairs. If I ever see you near #1; I’ve oiled my rifle just in case.

Doug
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From: Tiffany
To: Rajat Kumar, Nicholas , Amanda, Patricia, Douglas
Subject: Re: Hi!

DOUGLAS – Can’t you act civilized for ONCE?!

Patricia – Don’t pay attention to what Douglas says. We all love you and we all love Alice. I will surely visit you some time. I was stuck with my novel...you know how it is when I am in the zone. I was so busy untying the knots of the story that I haven’t even peered out of my window in days.

Rajat – Hey! We share a fence! I am in #4. That two storey house in gray – yeah, that one. In fact, your bedroom window is right opposite mine, and we can see each other from there. Come over sometime, we can have a tea together.

Tiffany
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From: Nicholas
To: Rajat, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas, Tiffany
Subject: Re: Hi!

Hey! Rajat – no peeking. She is my girl, all right? ;)
Nick.
_____________________
From: Tiffany
To: Rajat Kumar, Nicholas, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas
Subject: Re: Hi!

I was, Nick. Was. And I’ll kill you if say that again, you insensitive jerk.

______________________
From: Rajat Kumar
To: Patricia, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: Re: Hi!

Hi everyone,

I can’t peek even if I wanted to (just joking). I’ve actually dumped the two dead cats in that above bedroom and I don’t want them anywhere near me, not even on the same floor. This is because what happened with the third. When I was trying to throw that dead cat out of the window, a strong gust of wind pushed it right back in. And then it was alive! I am not exactly a cat person but that cat refuses to go away. It is always following me and looking at me with those deep blue eyes.

Anyway, I guess it’s not worth troubling myself about as I have tons of work to do and I am already two weeks behind due to moving-in and all this snow.

Tiffany – I’ll surely pick that offer of tea. Tonight, I plan a grand cleaning of my house and then I can surely use that tea. And some peeking? Lolz.

Mr. Douglas – I am on a software implementation project.

Rajat
__________________________________________

From: Patricia
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: Re: Hi!

O’ dear Douglas – you do need some help. Look what I came across just now.

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” - James 1:19

Lord listens to our prayers and guides us with his wisdom when we need it.
_________________________________________

From: Rajat
To: Patricia, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: Re: Hi!

Hi Everyone,
As I was cleaning the floor, I removed the rug to clean under it. I discovered a trap-door that went downstairs to the basement. I never knew there was a basement in the house. Did anyone know about it?  There is a really bad stench too coming out from there so I am keeping it closed for now. That’s one more thing to clean.

Anyway, I don’t need the basement so it is fine for now. At least I can dump the two dead cats in there.
Tiffany – I am sorry I couldn’t make it out to our tea today. I hope your offer is open for 8 PM, tomorrow?

BTW does anyone have a map of this area? Google maps just show that forest across the fence but there is no sign of 17th street. For once, I think Mr. Douglous is right – even satellites haven’t bothered to take a snap of this place.

P.S. This cat is really annoying me. Does anyone want it?
_____________________________

From: Nicholas
To: Rajat, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas, Tiffany
Subject: Re: Hi!

Hey! Can I join for that tea party too? It’ll be fun to meet you in person Rajat. 

And Tiffany, babe, can we please get over to it now? I made a mistake and apologized for it. C’mon girl. Whatsay?

And yeah – google map sucks here. I think I have a handmade map somewhere. There you go. Super helpful, ay? Ha Ha.




Nick
_____________________________

From: Douglas
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Patricia
Subject: Re: Hi!

I see what you did at that “map” of yours. That’s two strikes, Nick. I am itching to test that new rifle ever since the Andersons moved out of #5. Try me one more time.

Hey, Indian dude – The road to Fillik town remains closed due to snow this time of the year. So, you’ll have to go 150 miles for the nearest sign of sanity. 17th street, of course, is full of insane idiots.

Doug
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From: Tiffany
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas
Subject: Re: Hi!

Can’t you boys give it a break? It was because of exactly these kind of things that Anderson’s didn’t talk much to any of us except Amanda. You guys give 17th street such a bad name that they moved out overnight without even telling us.

They were such a nice family – Mr. Anderson was such a gentleman and Mrs. Anderson always in a good mood. Their daughter Meesha was such a doll with those bright blue eyes. I remember – I used to sit in my window watching Mrs. Anderson telling fairy tales to Meesha every night. Her face used to brighten as she listened to her Mom making air castles and horsey sounds.

Hey, look at that. I guess my writer’s instincts are kicking in J

But really, I miss them. Since we are on this topic - did anyone know why did they leave. Amanda – do you?

Patricia – I haven’t heard Alice playing piano for sometime. Is everything okay?

Nick – you wish.

Rajat – I didn’t know they had a basement. They mostly kept to themselves thanks to these jerks. The invite for tea is open.

It’s late now. Good night everyone. The blizzard is picking up speed. Keep your fire strong folks, night is going to be tough.

Tiffany
___________________

From: Rajat
To: Patricia, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: What the heck!!!

It’s midnight and I woke to a horrible stench from the basement that is now spread throughout the house. I think I’ll have to clean it up right away. I can use a hand right now. Any volunteers? Nicholas? Douglas? In case you guys are awake and decide to come please also get some flashlights – I can’t seem to find the switch for the basement, (not that it’d help much in this power cut), and it’s pitch dark here.

I move in in another 10 minutes – I will keep the main door open if you wish to come.

P.S. My offer for that cat is still open.
____________________

From: Patricia
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!   

Even I can’t sleep because of Alice. Tiffany, you are right, Alice is not keeping well. She has a very high fever. Even in this cold her skin is too hot to touch. I tried putting ice on her forehead and it sizzled into vapour in a second.

I am just praying next to her with a cross in my hand. Lord, please take the poor child safely through this dark night.

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"
____________________

From: Tiffany
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

I am also awake trying to write a scene for my novel that was haunting me for some days. But did someone look outside? The weather gods must’ve got crazy tonight.

Patricia – Don’t worry please stay put with Alice. Tomorrow morning we’ll take her to Tasfeid Town. Right now, it’ll too difficult to go anywhere in this blizzard. I will pray for her too. Do you want me to come over?

Nick, Doug – did any of you go over to #5 to help Rajat? I can see over from here that he left his main door open.
_____________________

From: Nicholas
To: Rajat, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas, Tiffany
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

Looks like everyone at street #17 is awake and out of bed. I couldn’t sleep with power and heat gone and man, haven’t seen a blizzard like this one ever in my life. I tried opening the window and I almost got knocked-out by the wind.

Hey Doug!  Can you go to #5. It’s just next door to you afterall. I can barely see his house.

It’ll be fine Patricia. Just stay put. Tiffany – call me if Alice and Patricia need help.

Nick
_____________________
From: Patricia
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

Yes, dear Tiffany, if you can, please come over. Alice is also muttering some weird things in her sleep.

She has become white and cold. Oh, Lord. Why are you testing us like this?
_____________________

From: Tiffany
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

PATRICIA! I somehow worked my way in this blizzard to your home. But it’s locked. From outside.

Nick, Doug – is this some kind of joke you guys are playing with Patricia? It is not funny. Alice is sick and ...

What was that? Did anyone hear that scream from #5. Oh God! It came from the basement.

I can’t see anything from my window either, except...are those eyes? Probably that’s the cat Rajat was talking about.

Nick, Doug – please go over there. I am scared now.

Tiffany
______________________
From: Douglas
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Patricia
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

As always, you buffoons come crawling home to good ‘ol Doug. All right, you all can watch while me and my twin shot rifle do the talking.  I am going there.

It is probably nothin’. That fool probably just slipped in the basement. These stupid foreigners.

Hey grandma, give some lime mixed with brandy to that kid. She’ll get better.
_______________________

From: Tiffany
To: Rajat, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas, Nicholas
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

I saw Doug go inside #5...and there was a gun-shot and another scream. Oh God! I am crying. Nick, Patricia....what should we do?

...and is that...howling? Or the wind is playing tricks now?
______________________

From: Nicholas
To: Rajat, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas, Tiffany
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

It is howling. I can hear it too. And it’s coming from the basement.
Wait...those voices...it’s like hundreds of people are screaming...and I can hear Doug too in those voices.
Something weird is happening. There is someone... or something here. Except us.

Don’t worry Tiffany..I am coming to your home. Patricia, Tiffany...grab something sharp.

Nick
_____________________

From: Patricia
To: Rajat, Nicholas, Amanda, Tiffany, Douglas
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

She is...Alice is looking right at me...and she is speaking. W..without moving her lips.

Hundreds of voices are coming out of her mouth. T..This is the work of Devil.
 ___________________

From: Nicholas
To: Rajat, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas, Tiffany
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

I....I can’t get out of my home. My door is welded shut. From inside...what the f**k is happening.

Whats that? I saw...a...face staring at me from just outside m...my winnddoow....at the 2nd floor....looking at me...

Tiffany...run...save yourself...take Amanda too...
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From: Tiffany
To: Rajat, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas, Nicholas
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

I don’t know what to do...ppplease reply aanyone...

Patricia...I am making a run for your home...please come outside...we need to run away...

Amanda...Amanda...where are you?

_____________________


From: Rajat
To: Tiffany, Amanda, Patricia, Douglas, Nicholas
Subject: Re: What the heck!!!

I am here. I’ve always been here.


Amanda





2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Sirji, good to see your msg after a long long time. Where are you?

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