Yorkshire Woods: The enigmatic

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

1835

It has been nearly ten years, since I visited that place. A wave of terror runs through my veins whenever I think of that solitary apartment. Completely isolated from rest of the world, the apartment stood on a sundry hill, where not many people could be seen.

 YORKSHIRE WOODS: THE ENIGMATIC


1835


It has been nearly ten years, since I visited that place. A wave of terror runs through my veins whenever I think of that solitary apartment. Completely isolated from rest of the world, the apartment stood on a sundry hill, where not many people could be seen. I still dread the situation, and curse that day when we decided to visit that ghastly place. I am Kim. I and my husband Jonathan had decided to go on an adventure trip to an obscure village in Haworth. I was so excited. Finally, we would now have some days off from that boring, monotonous routine. We were very excited to explore the place; it had been hidden from the human eye for many years. I thought this trip was a must for both of us, so as to, you know like add spice to our married life. Married for almost five years, our life had taken such a mechanical turn that there was almost no love making for more than five months now, maybe, or even more. 

 

 “I am so much excited for our vacations dear”, I said.

 "So am I", replied Jonathan. There was a sparkle in both of our eyes. We were having a trip after almost two years. When we finally reached that place, I found everything around so peaceful and serene, but at the same time felt something eerie about it. There was a kind of spookiness in the wind that was blowing and cutting through the ears, as if someone had cast a spell over that place. Rustling of leaves and howling of animals just intensified my fear. As soon as I heard the howling, I just clutched my husband's hand so hard that he screamed.

"What are you doing?”

 “I was so scared... I, I didn't mean to hurt you. I am sorry.”

“Is everything fine? You just clutched my hand so hard.”

 “Everything is fine. I was scared for a little while. Now let’s not waste time and find some place to stay.”

 He looked at me nervously and from his look, I sensed that was something not right, and asked him that do we still need to find a place? Don't we have any bookings and how could he be so careless.

“I told you to check everything before we leave.” I shouted at him

 “I purposely didn't book any lodgings for us. I wanted this trip to be the most exciting one.” Jon said this in a mysteriously romantic way.

 “You and your ideas, now what should we do?”

 

I told him, “The sun is going to set and it might rain anytime. Let’s just find a place to stay for the night.”  So we began our search. And in the meantime, thundering and lightning struck, and it started raining heavily. “We need to hurry up; otherwise we will be soaked in this damn rain!” my husband said irritatingly. I was angry at him too, but thought it was better to find lodging, than to fight.  We could not find any decent accommodation for our stay, and after hours of toiling and wandering, we finally saw an apartment situated on the backside of the hill. It was named ‘Yorkshire Woods.’ As soon as my husband saw the name "Yorkshire", he was taken aback, and there was a kind of shock on his face. The ‘Yorkshire Woods’, situated on the backside of the hill, looked beautiful and mysterious under the starry sky. It stood lonely, expanded in a vast place, with trees all around. It gave the vibes of ecstasy and delight, wanting to be explored. The place appeared to be calling the tourists, to go on an adventure. The place was beautiful, yet mysterious.

 

“Perhaps we could find some another lodging to stay.” He tried to convince me to consider another option but; it was raining so harshly, that there was no other option left. Perhaps the only option that was left for us was to seek shelter in that mysterious and isolated apartment.  When we were walking hand in hand, soaked in rain and enjoying the weather, heading towards that place, Jon started to behave a little strange and I could not fathom his doings.

 "Dear, why are you behaving so weird?” I enquired.

“There is nothing to worry, dear”

He took my hand and we entered the lodging and found a man at the reception. “Actually, the weather is quite stormy outside, and it has also started to rain, would you mind if me and my husband could take shelter for night?” I enquired.  “Yes, why not the place is open to stay”, the person replied.  "We would like to take a room for a night", said my husband. He asked us to pay hundred dollars. Maybe he was aware that we couldn’t find any other place in this weather, so he charged us extra "Hundred dollars, that's too much", I asked surprisingly.

 

 "You won't find any lodging here sir. This place is completely isolated. It's better that you stay here only, otherwise..."  I looked at him and asked, what would happen otherwise? He got a little scared and said, “Nothing sir, nothing. So what have you decided? Are you taking the room or not?” “I think it's better to take the room, it is raining very heavily”, I told my husband. He also agreed with my decision, but there was a weird kind of look on his face.

“Are you not okay, honey with this place?  Because of your carelessness we cannot get any accommodation, so we have to adjust with this only now”, I told him bluntly.

 “We are taking a room.” I told the manager. He gave us our keys, and as per custom he said, “Here are your keys; the room is on the ground floor. Have a happy stay.”

 

“Don't you think that the owner looked a little bit strange?” I asked. "Yes, he did. Let's go to the room, I am very tired” replied Jon.  I don't think that we should stay here. From the very starting, I was feeling something strange and awkward about this place. It seemed that there was something that was calling me. He looked at me, and said, "Oh! Come on, don’t worry darling. It's just a matter of a night", he said to make the situation light. At first he was hesitating to stay at this place and now he has no problem. “This man is strange”, I said to myself. He kissed me and we went to the bedroom. The bedroom looked so shabby, that all my desires just went in vain. But, nothing could be done and I just hoped that it would be morning soon.  “Finally, our adventure has begun”, I said.

 “Yes, finally”, he seemed excited too.

“I am very glad that we found this place; otherwise it would have been so difficult.”

“I can’t see you in pain.”

 “Oh! How sweet of you dear. I love you.”

 “I love you too.”

“Can I ask you a question dear?”
“Yes, you may”, he said romantically.
"Why were you hesitating coming to this place, is there something you need to tell me?” I enquired.
 He suddenly was furious and said, "Stop asking me unnecessary questions. If it was important I would let you know".

 

 It was a little weird. Why was he behaving in such a way? I thought it was better not to think about it and ruin our holidays.  I ran my eyes through the room and, it looked a little strange. I guess the person who designed this room must be in love with black. This place looks so unreal. Who would have known, that the darkness of this place, would one day represent the darkness that would be symbolic of my life. “What are you thinking, don’t bring unnecessary thoughts into your mind? Why don’t you change and come.” he asked irritatingly.“From the time we have come here you are behaving as if something had has happened. And now you are sweating. It's better to talk when you are in a good mood ", I replied to Jon. Everything was black in that bedroom, and although black was my personal favorite, but I could sense something devilish and frightening there. Black curtains, black bed sheet, black walls, black carpet...black everything. Ignoring everything, I started to undress. The rustling of leaves, the strong wind blowing, and the continuous knock on the window from the branch of the tree—all of it added to that mysterious night. Even though these are quite natural, but it was all so spooky side by side. Was it just an exaggeration of my mind, or was there actually something strange about the place? "Let's get some sleep now", said Jonathan

 

But I just could not sleep that night and so decided to read. I sat on the table and read. Hours passed by and everything was quite normal. I decided to take a walk outside, as I was tired of sitting in that dingy room. Past midnight, not a soul could be seen. Everyone must be asleep, I thought. All of a sudden I started craving for coffee. But, who would provide me with this beverage at this point of time. I decided to try my luck and gave a knock at the owner’s door. To my surprise, he was still awake. “Will you mind, if you can get me a cup of coffee please.” I enquired. I thought that he would get angry, but he looked so calm. Actually I was not able to sleep, so I started reading, and then....”  He just didn't pay any attention to my words, and told the servant to bring me my coffee.  Strange! I thought.  

"Excuse me, madam! Your coffee”, he said.
“Oh! So it’s so nice of you. What's your name by the way”, I tried to initiate the conversation.

"My name is Mr. Ham.", he replied. I was unable to sleep and so, I thought, why not a little talk have with him. “So, Mr. Ham, for how long have you been living here?”

“  For hundred years madam.”

“What? But you look only forty, so how come you can live here for hundred years?”

“It's quite late madam, it’s not safe to be awake till late night. Kindly go into your room and get some sleep.”

 But...Mr. Ham, listen....!!

 

 And there he goes, ignoring my calls. I must have heard something wrong. I should better take some sleep now. I went back to my bedroom, and saw that the window was opened. It must be the wind. Let me close it. Now it's time to sleep, Kim. No more weird thoughts. As I lied down on the bed, I heard a noise. Surely it was coming from outside. It was so disturbing that it was impossible to sleep. I looked at my husband. Oh! How much I envied him, at this moment. He was sleeping so calmly, unaware of everything. And here was I, not have been able get a minute’s sleep. I finally reconciled with the fact that there was no sleep for me today. I decided to soothe myself with little music. But, again I started to hear some strange voices, as if someone was in writhing in deep pain. Was it coming from the courtyard, or was it coming from my bedroom. No, it was from somewhere else, but I could feel the terror. Enough! Now, I have to find out what is going on there.

  Mr. Ham, is that you?
Hello, anybody there. Mr. Ham....??
 

I called out. Suddenly it was all quite. Maybe, I am turning insane or actually something is definitely awkward here.  And now all of a sudden I start to feel hunger pangs in my stomach. I thought, it won't be right to wake Mr. Ham at this time, so I began searching the kitchen. I couldn’t find anything in the kitchen that would satiate my hunger and so I decide to make pancakes for myself. It was all so quiet at that moment, and this at I started to fear this silence somewhat freaked me out. “Honey, what you are doing here at such point of time?” patted me my husband from behind .He came so suddenly that I got a little terrified. 

“I thought you must be were sleeping, how come you are here?” he asked.
“You just scared the hell out of me, Jon!”

 "I saw that you were not besides me in the bed, so came searching for you.”

“I heard some noises from the kitchen, so I thought I should check.”

“I told you not to step out of the room. How dare you betray my orders?” he looked at me with fury

 “Okay, I am sorry. Well, I was hungry, so was baking some pancakes. Would you like some?” I tried to calm him down.

 He grabbed my arm and said, "No, thanks. But make haste and come to the bedroom. It's quite late. Get some sleep now"

 “Yes, coming right away.” As, I was eating those pancakes, again I started to hear those strange noises. It was coming from the attic. Slowly and steadily, I climb up the stairs. The door was jammed; maybe it had not been opened for quite a long time. I wondered how I could get inside. I searched for something but all my efforts just went in vain. Then suddenly I saw a crack in the window pane and opened the window. The window was quite large so I was able to enter through it. To my surprise, nobody was there. But the voice was surely coming from here. It's just the impact of reading such mysterious novels, that my life had just turned into a mystery. As soon as I went out of the attic, again the shrillness of those voices pinched my ears and when I went inside, the voice stopped. It seemed as if someone was writhing with pain, calling me for help. But how could I, how was I supposed to?

 

 “Who are you, and why are you disturbing me with all this.”  I asked stubbornly. No, reply came...  “You have to tell me who are you, or I'll go insane. Kindly tell me.” Again, there was no answer. “If you need any kind of help, you will have to answer, otherwise, how would I help you?” The crying started again, and now I saw a small child sitting on the window. Even though her appearance was pallid, but she looked so beautiful. She was wearing tattered clothes and looked around seven years of age.

 “Who are you, dear and why are you crying?”

“I am miss…my name is Hannah.”

“Okay, miss Hannah. Come to me, and tell me what the matter is?”

"My father, he is not a nice man"

“What are you saying sweetheart? What has happened, tell me.”

"No, I can't. He would punish me again."

I tried to calm her down and said, “Nobody would punish you. First of all just get down from that window, you might hurt yourself.”  She seemed to be angry with my words and replied, “No, I won't. You are also bad; I know my father has sent you to take me. You will also punish me. I despise him more now just hate him.  Go away.”

“I won't hurt you. You shall not worry.”

 After she was convinced, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and came running to me. “Yes, please continue. Why do you hate your father so much?”

 "I...I..."

 She was just not able to speak, as if an outside force had numbed her senses. She seemed so scared that not a word came out of her mouth.

 

 "Kim, where are you? Have you eaten your pancakes? Come quickly, it’s not safe to be outside at this point of time", I heard the voice of Jon. It’s my husband. He must be searching for me, better I should leave now. But what about this little girl, I thought. As soon as I turned towards her, she was sitting silently in the corner. Maybe I should leave her alone. Do one thing Hannah, you sleep now and I'll come to you in the morning. Right now my husband needs me. And I left that place. When I was leaving the attic, I don't know there was a strange kind of feeling inside me. But I ignored that and went to my bedroom.

"Where were you honey? What took you so long?”

 “Oh I was ... never mind, tell me what happened to you?”

 “Nothing my love, I was just missing you. I so wanted you by my side. It’s our night; let’s make love to each other. Let's unite ourselves again. Let me be with you and let you be with me”, and he grabbed me in his arms. Saying this he cuddled up to me and our passion fired again.

 

 “A constant knock on window panes of the attic, those are my dreams calling upon me. Those cracks on the walls, there are my hopes smashed. It's been nearly two years, and I have been given the privilege of seeing sunlight only through the cracks of these window panes. How my soul, my body, demands to go out. How my face demands a freshness of breeze", thought the young girl. “She is also gone, how can I trust anyone now. She came forward to help me, but now she is gone to enjoy her night with the husband".

 

 “But, I don't feel at ease here. Something uncanny is going on. We need to find out, something is surely wrong here”, I told Jon.

“Don't think about random things and let’s make love to each other this night. It's our hour dear. Let's make the most of it. Let's tell each other how much we love each other".

 What charm my husband has I really don’t know but for that moment, I forgot everything. And we made love to each other. For that one hour, all those mysterious thoughts just wandered from my mind and it was me, my husband and love and then finally, I slept in his arms. But as soon as the clock struck three, again those noises started to pinch my ears. I went to the attic. The girl was still there, but now she was calm and was looking through the cracks in the window. “You want to go out?” I asked

“Yes, oh how much I have I waited for this day. Please take me out. Show me the sun, leaves, flowers, birds. How do they look? Are they beautiful? How is it to be outside?”

 “It's quite beautiful out there. But, have you not been out for many days?” I enquired

“It has been nearly two years now".

“What?” I was shocked. 

“Two years and you have been in this attic.  This attic! This is strange”. The tension in my body was overpowering. Every vein, every nerve, every fibre of the muscle stretched on the tension. The intensity has surely risen and it’s time to unveil this mystery.

 

“This girl is somewhat strange”, I said to myself. Sometimes she cried, sometimes she stood stiff. Tears came down. There was no noise. I took out my handkerchief and wiped her face. I tried to comfort her. The only noise in the room was of the strange leaves beating against the window shutters. Everything was so dull in that room. The walls looked so pale; it seemed as if there was sadness and remorse all around. The whole ambience was so gloomy, so dark.  There was a cracked window pane, a rusted old cupboard and those bland walls. And surrounded among them sat a young girl who was still unknown to me. What could I do? How could I help her?
All these questions were continuously thumping in my mind.  I was lost in my thoughts and the little girl shouted,

 “Help me, you woman. I DEMAND HELP, HELP!” Such agony in the voice, so much anger—it just gave me shrills. “

Calm you down, little girl. I will surely do something to help you”.

 She sobbed and then starting crying and crouched in the corner.  “Don't cry and come to Me.”, I told her. There was something mysterious in her voice. I could sense it. There was so much pain in her voice that it started to sound devilish. It seemed as if she had suffered a lot. I was feeling bizarre.

 

I wanted to run away but I could not. How could I go away, when I knew somebody needed my help? She yelled “HELP" so loudly and had a kind of stubborn attitude. Suddenly she started to cry. I was not able to think about anything else for the time being. My senses seemed to be numbed. The time was running so slow. The morning seemed hundred winters away. I just wanted to get rid of everything. At one moment I decided to go away, at another I decided to stay.  I convinced myself that I must help this girl.  Okay, now just finish this matter once and for all. Hannah, come to me.

“Well, tell me, how can I help you?” I went to her and asked.

"Do you see that cupboard?” she said in a soft voice

“Yes.” 

“Open that cupboard, you will get to know. You can help me when you will read that diary which is lying inside that cupboard.”

 “Okay. But the cupboard is locked Hannah.”

 “Search for the keys then.” And I started searching. I searched every nook and corner of that room and finally found the keys hidden behind a portrait. Why would someone hide the keys there?  Did someone deliberately desire that this cupboard should not be opened? What must be in that diary? Now I was more scared. I unlocked the cupboard and found the diary. As soon I started reading I was even more shocked. I could not believe any word that was written. What, how could that be? There is surely some mistake. I was so angry after reading the diary that I just threw it out on the floor.


“How dare you, I shouted at Hannah. This is not true, how could you stoop down to such a level?”

 "How could I? Madam, I am not to be blamed. I myself, I am the victim and now you are making me the culprit. If you can't help me, then kindly leave me alone, but listen one thing- the diary speaks the truth.”
“No I don't believe you”, and I broke down into tears.

  “You have to; you have read only half the diary, come on read it till the end. Then you will have no other option left than to believe me. It’s the time that you should now face the truth”, she tried to console me.

 So I read, I read it till the last, I read every bits and parts of it. Everything just shattered in front of my eyes. Now everything was crystal clear. Hannah consoled me and told me the exact story. She told me that this diary had records of that every woman who suffered from his hands. She told me, how her mother was also tortured by him to death, here in this attic.

 “Do you see that portrait? That portrait is of my mother who was also brutally killed. I saw that incident with my own eyes. He tried to kill me too, but thankfully I managed to save myself.”

“What? He killed your mother. Oh! What a devil he must be.”

“He is much more than a devil, he has killed so many that I can’t just even remember the number now. My mother, who was also killed by him, told me everything. She also told me that I am not his only daughter, he has several others. And all his wives and children were killed in this attic. He brought them here and just killed them. My mother before she could tell me the actual reason as to why she and other woman were killed succumbed in my arms. They were not even buried. My mother saw this with her own eyes and unfortunately, she too was killed. She comes to meet me often at night in this attic. Be Quiet. Listen carefully; you will hear my mother's crying and of all others”. By reading the diary, I came to know that my husband Jon was a psychopath. This diary was written by him and it was lying here for the past two years, all stained with blood. Maybe I was next. Maybe, everything was planned, and coming to this lodging, was perhaps not a sudden encounter. Maybe I was taken to this place purposely, so I could get to know the truth.

 

These walls are the proof of their murders. The cracks in the window panes have heard their pleading cries. The walls have turned pale and wan; because of the innocent's blood being spilled. Everything in this attic mourns their deaths. “Maybe you are next, Beware”. And she went to window pane and started laughing, a diabolic laughter. She laughed and said, “One day I will also unite with my dead mother and sisters and that will be the end of his life.”

 “You must come with me; I shall not leave you here alone in this attic.”

“No I am not coming with you. I would stay here only and would wait for that person. He must be searching for his next target, and he would come to this attic. Then I would strangle him, as he strangled my mother. I would smash his head on this same wall, as he did it to my mother. I want to see his blood spilling all over. I want the windows and the walls to be stained with his blood.”  Her anger was intensifying with every word and I couldn't take her with me. That one night, just shattered everything.


Now everything was making sense. Why did Jon hesitate coming here, why he was behaving all so strange? But if I was his next target, the why that strange behavior. My mind was not working. But I was happy that I came here and was enlightened with the truth. I also felt thankful that I could save my life from that monster, and came to know about him on time. It was destined to have come here, so that I could be face to face with his real side. How life takes a sudden tragic turn. How everything that seemed so pretty at the surface can be the most hideous gruesome underneath. I couldn’t prove my husband's crime, so he roams freely in the town. But my life has just come to a standstill. It has been ten years and I am now trying to forget that incident, which turned my life to a full circle upside-down.

 


Submitted: January 20, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Garima Puri. All rights reserved.

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