Nov 16, 2010


by Nimrah Nadeem

The bedroom was chilly. Well, it was late November. What did you expect? Jeanette sat
at her desk, tapping the pencil on the paper anxiously. Tick, tick, tick. Her wristwatch
was too loud. The room was quiet. Almost too quiet, Jeanette thought.
She glanced at her paper again, frustrated at how little progress she had made.
“This must be what ‘artist’s block’ feels like,” she muttered, looking glumly at her
unfinished pencil sketch. Her portfolio was centered on a particularly morbid theme:
insanity. Ghastly reference pictures were tacked onto a softboard, some depicting
haggard men with hollow eyes, some of people with expressions distorted in pain. There
were some of children recoiling in terror. Jeanette’s research was quite thorough, but now
that she finally had to pout her ideas down on paper, she felt blank.
The lamp on the table cast a cold light that barely illuminated the rest of the roon.
Jeanette pulled up her collar. The room was unnaturally cold. She looked at the pictures,
and they seemed to leer at her with their cold eyes. They seemed almost alive in the
loneiness that cold November night.
Jeanette felt a chill run down her spine. She was never one for ghost stories, but there was
something particularly eerie about the room that night. It was a clear night, she noticed.
If she didn’t have so much work to do, she would probably be out somewhere. The
room seemed to close in on her, the walls edging closer slowly the way they do in those
horror movies. It didn’t help that the paint on the walls was a dark maroon-ish purple, the
clolour of congealed blood.
Jeanette felt an uncomfortable nagging in the pit of her stomach. Something was wrong.
The silence was deafening. It roared in her ears like a feral animal, hurting her ears,
making her head throb.
Oh, God. Not another migraine, she thought. Her muscles were tense, and her hands
were shaking. She turned the reference pictures over. She was getting a bit unnerved by
the silence. There was no sound from the dorms below. It was as though time had stood
still. Even the tick-tick of her wristwatch had stopped. Jeanette got up slowly, and winced
as the chair scraped loudly on the floor. She froze, waiting for some unknown horror to
swoop down upon her without warning.
Scolding herself for being so superstitious, Jeanette went to wash up. She gasped as the
ice cold water hit her hands. As she dried them, she studied the face in the mirror. A pale
girl with grey eyes stared stonily back at her. Her hair was tied back, but a few strands
has escaped her chignon. She pushed them back and was about to turn and go back to
her desk when she froze a second time. A white mist was snaking across the glass of the
mirror, slow and almost spiderlike. It was unnatural, eerie.
Jeanette felt her musles tense up again. She thought she saw something dark flit inside
through the window, and she tried to scream, but al that came out was a choked sob. The
fine hair on her arms stood up, and sheer terror ran through her veins.
With one hand clamped over her mouth, Jeanette ventured cautiously out of the
bathroom, her heart thudding frantically against her ribcage.
Her room was exactly the way it was before: nothing was amiss. But still, she felt the
unnerving presence of an alien being. As she walked to the open window to shut it, her
head started throbbing again. Pain shot through her skull. She thought she saw smoke

roiling upward in an oily haze, and her vision faded to black.

When Jeanette came to, she was on the floor. Little bursts of agony still wracked through
her head, and she could see nothing through one eye. She got up slowly and flexed her
fingers that were numb with cold. Just a dream, hmm? She thought.
Then, as she walked to the bathroom she saw the shattered mirroe. Black lines were
interlaced together within the glass, like some sort of horrid fungus.
In the sink, lay the pictures of the convicts, drunkards, and the like, all immersed in dirty
rust coloured water. And, in the middle, lay a picture of Jeanette, one that she had never
seen before.
As she looked at the girl in the photograph, an inexplicable horror clawed its way up her
throat, and she screamed in the silence, drowning out the unbidden whispers in her head.


Lynette said...

wow amazing !!! I want to know what will happen next!

Jaza said...

Woah. Nimz that gave me goosebumps. I love the end

Marium Ibrahim said...

its amazing! i want to read the rest of the story, despite the nightmares i know it would cause.

nahl said...

woah nimrah this is really really good.

** Sparkling Star ** said...

KoOL !

Dania Shah said...

Wow, I want to know what will happen next so badd, you should continue it on your own, it's really good!

Quratulain said...


Nimrah N said...

Thanks, everyone. I might continue, just as soon as i actually figure out what happens next myself. =S

megan said...

this is soo good.
you had better finish this, before CURIOSITY EATS ME ALIVE!

Fatin said...

Nim, high five! This so amazingly chilling.

Sana Riwzan said...

Nimra, you're insanely talented.

camilla munaf said...

That was soo good nimrah!

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