Fariya took a last look at her and Zoya’s room as she wiped her tears. This room was her own fairyland where she spent most of her free time. She hated to share her room with her sister and was forced to do so because of Zoya’s fear but right now she was even ready to accept it if someone would miraculously stop them from moving out of their bungalow.
Fariya has a fair complexion with big black coloured eyes. She has naturally rosy cheeks with high cheekbones and a broad forehead. Her lips are slightly red while her nose is small and pointed. She is around 5′5". Her sister Zoya is almost similar to her but she is taller, around 5′7" and has hazel coloured eyes.
During the last two years Fariya’s father, Yameen had faced multiple setbacks in his business due to which he was drowning in debt right now. He was forced to sell his beloved home where he had been living since his marriage. He only had a building left in the old city area of Karachi whose only one flat was habitable.
“Fariya come down quickly. We have to reach our new home before Isha prayers.” Fariya’s name Sultana called her.
Fariya picked her books box and came down.
“Mama, why do we have to leave? I don’t want to leave.”
She stormed out and threw the books box in a truck that was already loaded with multiple other such boxes and the remaining furniture. Most of the furniture has already been sent to the apartment.
“Behave Fariya.” Said Yameen crossly to her daughter.
Zoya giggled at her sister’s insult.
“Alright everyone, get in the car we have to leave.”
Fariya, Zoya and their youngest sister Aisha settled in the back seat whereas their mom sat next to their father who was driving.
After battling the Karachi’s traffic for an hour, they finally reached the new apartment.
As Fariya stood in front of her new home she felt as if someone had dragged the ground from under her feet. Only one thought was going through her head.
How can someone live in a ruin like this?
It was a completely ruined two storey brick building. There weren’t any galleries but just barred windows. Built-in 1932 was written mockingly above its main gate which was barely standing there as one of its hinges was detached. Fariya is a fan of historical architecture but this building seemed more like a haunted prison or mental asylum from a Hollywood horror movie than breathtaking architecture. Apparently, it looked that the building comprised of six apartments but only one seemed habitable while the others were completely ruined.
“Dad we can’t live here.” Fariya barely managed to speak. She was completely shocked. Her sisters and mother also had the same expression.
“I had no other option. This is the only house that I could acquire with the money that I had left.”
Yameen handed over the keys to the truck’s driver.
“Please unload all the stuff and place it in the first apartment on the second floor.”
“Sure sir.” Replied the driver and gave directions to the boys that were with him.
Fariya noticed that everyone in that street was behaving in a weird manner. Instead of welcoming them most of the shopkeepers were staring at them strangely.
“Assalam O Alaikum!” Said Yameen loudly to greet his new neighbours.
Just an old man replied.
“Walaikum Salaam. Baita why are you moving to this building? It is dangerous.” An old man said with a worried expression.
“Why uncle?” Fariya chipped in.
“Don’t you know about this building’s history?” The old man asked with a wide-eyed expression.
“What history uncle?”
“Enough Fariya. All of you go upstairs and decide your rooms.” Yameen dismissed Fariya.
“Thank you uncle for your concern, but I already did my research and I believe that all of the stories related to this building are just myths which were born because of it’s ruined condition. Once I’ll clean it all your doubts will be cleared.” Yameen dismissed the old man politely and started to inspect the workers.
“Make it quick boys I am already quite tired.”
“Okay sir.” Replied the workers and increased their pace.
Fariya inspected the apartment from inside and decided that it wasn’t as spooky as it looked from the outside. She chose the room with a window for her and Zoya. Furniture was already set. she just had to place her clothes and books.
Multiple questions regarding what the old man said was brewing in her mind. She was waiting for her father to answer them. She was slightly frightened and wanted to share her fear with her mother and sisters but she didn’t want them to get tensed as well.
“This is the last box, Madam.” The worker told her mother.
“Thank you. Collect your wages from my husband.”
The worker left. After fifteen minutes Fariya’s father came.
“Hey, dad can I please have a minute.”
“Sure.” Fariya took her father to her room.
“Dad, what was that old man talking about?”
“Nothing baita. He was talking about the myths that are associated with this building.”
“It’s nothing baita.”
“What myths dad? If living here is dangerous then we should at least prepare.”
“I told you it’s nothing. I assure you nothing will happen. Just have some rest.” Fariya’s dad patted her head and left.
Even her dad’s assurance was not able to remove her fear.
She pushed all her thoughts aside. She went to the common room and picked her clothes and books’ box and brought them to her room. She wasn’t feeling like setting things up so she just took her nightdress and Sidney Sheldon’s “Master of the game”. It was just 9 p.m but she was feeling very tired. She changed and got in the bed.
“Zoya I am going to sleep. Don’t you dare wake me up by your ruckus or I’ll ring your skinny neck.”
“Fine siso I’ll come to sleep once Aisha is settled in her room.” Shouted Zoya from another room.
“Okay, good night.”
Fariya started reading the novel and soon she was engulfed by sleep.
Next day she woke up around 10 a.m by the loud volume of TV.
“Oh come on shut it down. I am trying to sleep.” Fariya groaned in her sleep. Zoya ignored her and continued watching Fast and Furious that was streaming on TV.
Fariya got up and threw her pillow at Zoya. Zoya picked up another pillow and threw at Fariya. Soon it turned into a full-fledged pillow fight.
“Stop it both of you. Are you kids or what?” Sultana shouted as she entered their room.
“I am giving you a few things that I have cooked. Get ready and give them in the neighbouring building.”
“Fine mom.” groaned both Zoya and Fariya.
Fariya changed into a blue Kameez and White trouser. She applied a little bit of makeup and covered her head with a dupatta.
Zoya was already ready.
Both of them picked up the wrapped food and made their way to the neighbouring compound.
Like yesterday, once again they were greeted by hushed whispers and worried stares.
“What’s wrong with people. Last time I checked I was still human.” Zoya looked around her with a puzzled expression.
“Hush. Behave we are new here may be that’s why they are behaving like this.” Replied Fariya as they entered the compound.
Few old aged women were sitting on chairs and talking while children were playing. Men were hurrying to reach their offices on time. Women shushed as they entered and stared at them. They also started talking in hushed tones as Fariya and Zoya made their way to the first house.
“I don’t think so. Listen closely to what they are saying.” Said Zoya.
Both of them listened closely.
“Why have they shifted here? What if they awaken THEM?”
“What if IT kills them?”
“Are they stupid or they don’t know? THEY won’t be happy?”
“I don’t want police to barge in my house again just because these idiots got themselves hurt or worse.”