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  • Writer's pictureSonal

The Art Studio - Part 3

It's 3.33 AM. You can feel your heartbeat as clear as the morning cuckoo. It feels like someone is watching you from outside the window, which is strange because you live on the second floor. You keep feeling uncomfortable, as if a pair of eyes are fixated on you. It's dark outside, so you can't see what's on the other side of the window. But you eventually gather courage and walk up to your window and slide it open. On the other an owl.

My father lay on the ground, his usually gigantic frame feeling like a shrunken little imp. I kept staring at the key to the basement. I had to do it, I had to open the door. I did not know why something as ordinary as an old art studio affected me so much. It was just a room, after all. But I had to get done with it, once and for all. Before leaving, I dragged my father to a corner of the room and locked it. The closer I walked towards the basement, the more eerie I felt.

My hands shivered as I struggled to get the key to open the door. The one thing that seemed strange to me was that if the room was NEVER opened, why did father check the lock everyday? When the door finally opened and I stood at the top of the stairs, I was nothing less than surprised. For a room that was closed for, or was let me to believe that it was closed, for 18 years, the place looked pretty...clean? You would expect it to be covered with cobwebs. But it was far from that. However, the more I descended the stairs, the more I could get the nauseating smell of piss, and dried blood.

The street lights were enough to moderately light up the basement. It was a huge room, with a couple of skylights from where the light rays came through. It was still pretty dark, I let my eyes get adjusted to the darkness as I walked around the room. The smells were getting stronger, as if I were playing "Hot & Cold" and I was going into the "warm" zone. *Crunch* I looked down to see what I had stepped on. After a few seconds, I realized it was my father's watch. He had been in the basement recently, I believed. I looked around to see if I could find something else. That's when I saw it.

A tattered pallu of a black and beige saree...

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