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The Grandfather Clock

About Aishani Biswas

Aishani Biswas is a 15 years old student, from Siliguri, West Bengal. She is studying in Class 10 in G D Goenka public school.

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A strange whiff of cold, damp and dusty air smashed on my face as I cracked open the door of my old archaic home. The wooden floor had a blanket of dust and cobwebs dominated the photos in the frame. I raked my eyes around the room. The house seemed deserted and I could feel a sense of loss and sadness panging in my chest. I had come back home after two decades.

One of the major perks of living in England was its ethnicity. The food, attire and language – all seemed to be entirely unusual and unique before others. I, being a non-native, tried to remain as outsider as possible. But unfortunately, time caught and put me under handcuffs. People could now see me in a formal attire along with a tweed coat and a peculiar English hat, smoking a pipe and carefully reading a batty newspaper. Well, memories do flash in front of our eyes like bioscope, like it occurred to me as I sat down to have a strong cup of tea one Sunday morning.

I didn’t have to look behind twice. I had successfully realised my next move. Now when I looked over to the room, I was quite grateful and felt gratified towards the cup of tea. Home wasn’t exactly as I expected it to be. The situation was far better, in fact. The farthest bedroom down the hall looked sufficient enough for me to kip in. The new few moments flew by as I responsibly cleaned the rooms, making it look clean as a new pin. An evening stroll was what I deserved after all the toil. As I walked over the green, grassy path, I noticed a battered shop. The owner’s knowledge seemed comparable to a modern computer. He joyously enlightened me with some valuable information after I handed him over a five pound note and a cheeky grin.

‘Dong! Dong!’

My eyes snapped open as the hands of the grandfather clock struck two. I noticed the bedroom. It looked entirely different now. Somebody had started a fire at the fire place and a nice, cool breeze wandered about the room making my auburn hair flutter. There was a wonderful fragrance around the room. I turned around and tried to sleep. The clock made another noise. I couldn’t get up. I felt my eyes close and before I realised anything, I had fallen asleep. The next time when I opened my eyes, the golden rays of the rising sun illuminated the room. I decided to take a so called ‘morning walk’. Just another English convention. There was an old lake nearby to take a few strolls around it, cherishing the nature and appreciating its beauty. The birds tweeted and babbled, making my soul fill with life and joy.

As I opened the doors of the house, my heart skipped a beat. A man lay on the floor, facing downwards. He was dead. I slowly and steadily walked towards him. Perhaps I could save him. As I touched his hand, I knew it was already too late. I carefully turned the body.

Suddenly, the words of the shop owner raked my brain. He had said, “Be absolutely careful with that house. After midnight, we hear strange noises coming from there. Quite horrid, actually.” I stared at the dead man and a cold wave rushed through my spine. He wore formal clothes along with a tweed and a ridiculous hat. No wonder, he looked familiar. Now I know. He seemed surprisingly identical to me. I looked over to the huge clock. The hands were struck at two.

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