THE CHRONICLE

PART – 1

She was a beautiful girl in her early twenties, standing about a 5’7″, having blonde hair, relentlessly cold eyes, eerily serene eyebrows, quite skittish as she stood near the pole, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. One could see her chewing her nails every two minutes, and her baby-pink lips flutter.

Sometimes, life is gonna hit you hard with a brick. just have faith, she thought. She tried to cast her mind back to 2017, when her professor’s words echoed all over the room, “All of life is the exercise of risk“. Her lips widened for a moment. Sun was sinking toward the horizon, the pitiless white ball now an angry orange. Her mind was filled with the memories of the past, wandering near the Central Park and visiting the rose gardens.

She lost herself in the string of thoughts, with little knowledge of what’s gonna happen next. “Excuse me, Kat”, a guy snapped at her. He stood about a 6’2″ , in his torn blue jeans, a green Nike T-Shirt and his feet sported an old pair of Brooks shoes whose laces were untied. Oh shit. she told to herself.

“Kaitlyn, you really need to work on your mental health. It is getting worse day by day.” She smirked. After all, he was right. “Well then, here you go. This has all the info” he said as he handed over a yellow file, which appeared to be seemingly quaint, a little dusty and rancid, and had the letters ‘S’ and ‘W’ on its cover.

Kat’s eyebrows narrowed as she went on to get a deeper look at it. Hmmm. “Where did you get this from?”. She looked at him in the eye. Blake shrugged his shoulders and blinked twice. He crossed his arms before telling, “come on Kat, you gotta guess this right.”

“Ah. Okay. For a second, I completely forgot that your mom was a journalist.” He grinned. “Well then , it is all up to you from now. I have gotta go. You do your thing. But let me know about the progress”, he said as he pulled out a colourfully-wrapped parcel from his red sling bag. “Belated birthday wishes, girl. Sorry that I couldn’t catch up yesterday. ”

She didn’t pay attention. Her eyes were glued to the file. She kept flipping the pages, her right hand fully pressed against them, as she stretched her left arm and put the parcel inside her bag. She took out her round, rimmed spectacles and fixed them firmly on her pointed nose. Her head nodded as her eyes followed every line of the page. Time didn’t seem to intrude her, and Blake stood stock-still. He wasn’t new to this, though.

Fifteen minutes passed. He tapped her on the shoulder. “Adios.” She didn’t seem to mind it either.



Kaitlyn knew the moment she started to cry, she was alone. She cried slowly, with tears dripping down her temples and the soft hum of her own voice echoing throughout the room. She knew she existed and breathed. It was as simple and beautiful as the strumming of a guitar. Yet, she meant nothing to anyone. She was alone, sinking deeper and deeper within her own music.

The rest of the world could be seen, drifting farther and farther away as teardrops made up her ocean. They fell into her parted lips and stuck to her eyelashes. She could taste them, rolling down her parched throat. She was alone. She had lost herself. She had lost herself in an endless ocean. Loneliness had been killing her for the past few weeks, and she knew she had no choice but to take it.

Loneliness eats you alive, swallowing every once of hope you had yet to spare. It feasts upon any happiness you have left, leaving behind empty carcass; full of despair and memories you can’t seem to hold onto anymore. It takes your heart into its claws, squeezing out every bit of life you had circulating throughout your opaque veins. It craves for you to suffer a life without any warm hands embracing you, or any shoulders to go cry upon. No this beast wants you to only feel those cold fingertips tracing your soul, getting close to you, yet leaving in the end; abandoning you, once more, for this beast is something you should be afraid off because you have no power over it.

The living room was dimly lit with the vintage wall sconces that hung on the mute coloured walls like earrings. Thick velvet curtains hid the long windows across the walls, just leaving a shy peak of the woods beyond. Two antique couches stood the opposite sides of each on the hand-woven rug in front of the ashen fireplace, accompanied by rich velvet and bronze wing-chairs that stood as a sidekicks. The paintings and faded tapestry panels on the walls seem to blink at her as she entered, like they were greeting her. She sunk in one of the couches and she looked like she was melting. It was the first time she rested her body today.

Her bedroom gave away more than she meant it to. Over the mantle were pictures of a guy that looked just like her, a brother I’m thinking. Deceased most likely, given the careful placement of white candles. Around it were smaller pictures of the two of them, birthday parties and the likes. He’s younger, probably by a couple of years. Everything else was of her mother, no father there. Every decoration was feminine, there were those ubiquitous statements of love and friendship engraved into plaques on the wall. She idolized love but cannot replicate what she had lost. Inside her was a void, one she needed to fill. But to be honest I’m not sure if that’s me. I’ve never exactly been the dependable type. And I’m not sure I could ever fill the shoes of the guy on the wall, no doubt his wonderfulness was already enhanced by the rose tinted glasses of her selective memories. Who could ever compete with that?

She sat down on her desk and opened the file as her watch showed 8:45 p.m. Her tea cup was placed firmly on the coffee table, and she jumped to page 36. She started reading in between the lines and with every word she read, her eyes kept widening. She checked the date on the top-right corner of the page. 17 July, 1986. It said :

HOUSE OF STRANGE HAPPENINGS

CHAIN OF DEATHS RATTLES FAMILY

Interesting. But she couldn’t connect the dots. It was back in the 1980s. How can it happen now? Deja-vu. She looked for similar stories. ARGH NO. Come on, Kat. She rubbed her eyes and adjusted the frame of her glasses. She flicked her hair behind and took a sip of her tea. It had already become cold. Never mind. She found one more headline on Page 59. A smile. She took out the pocket diary from her desk, and started to jot down points. She had finally found something. She glanced at the wall clock. The clock was an antique, that old deep wood and classic curvy shape. It more hugged the old mantle than simply sat there. It was a thing of beauty that would last. It had soul. It said 10:38 p.m. It was eight minutes past her bed time. She put down her pen and rested her elbows. It had been a long day. She tried to read a novel gifted by her dad quite some time ago, but within minutes, she was fast asleep.



To be continued.


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SUDARSHAN PALIWAL

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