I was around 12 years of age and I almost pissed in my pyjamas.
I was reading Dracula - by Bram Stoker. The novel had already made deep inroads in to my psyche and kept prodding the fear psychosis. But I was gallant enough. That was before that particular night.
9.30 pm, after dinner. The window in my room opened towards the coconut palm grove. I was reading the novel in my bed when I was positively certain that two points of red light were looking at me from the darkened frame of the window. As on cue a dog howled from among the dark palm trees. My eyes were fixed on that dark square of the open window.
I kept the novel away. Extended my hands to the table, eyes still fixed on the open window, and took the readers digest lying on top.
' Was Dracula for Real ?', said the title on the page that I flipped open.
I was by then parlaysed with fear and sure to be Dracula's victim that night and as confirmed by the reader's digest omen too. The bedsheet under which I hid that night must have confused him probably.
On getting up,I checked - no dots on my neck signifying Dracula's fang attack. I was spared.
At the breakfast table that morning I must have been the happiest guy on earth.
AFTER I BECAME BRAVE
I dont know when, but sometime later , the ghosts dissappeared from my window. Probabaly the hormones did it. There were not any more ghosts in my life. Draculas interested me now but never stopped me from sleeping peacefully. Open windows carried only fresh air inside and not fear.
Thats when one day, we friends, decided to play the ghost story for our neighbouhood. One of us dressed fully in white (white cricketing gear, secretly smuggled out of our homes) used to be in the burial ground during the dark, exactly facing the road that ran adjoining the cemetry and led to the nearby housing society.
The ghost saga didnt run long as the whisperings about the ghost reached the local police station and we stopped our prank just in time.
It must've been a blood chilling sight. Ghost in white, smoke from the cremation ground in the back ground, a few dogs- in cahoots with us, howling here and there. Not a bad scene at all.
If I remember correctly, a man retraced his steps on seeing me, first hesitantly but frantically a little later. Another fell off his bycicle and ran for his life. But the prize goes to the one whose scooter went dead right in front as I appeared in white. He ran all the way home. He jumped the compound wall, blinded by fear, while the gate was fully open - so I heard.
Though I lost fear of the ghosts long back, Iam not too sure if they do or dont exist . They may perhaps- atleast for the believers. Thats what I learned from my later life.