"Wake up !"
I jumped out of bed so violently that I almost knocked my
"What's wrong with you ?" Mother asked with concern. "These days,
you have been acting so weirdly. You walk around in a doze and you have
nightmares every night !
"Eh ... oh... nothing, Mother," I stammered, hoping
to think of a better excuse to appease her. "I must have been eating too much
before bedtime and so I have not been sleeping well. I guess that's why I am so
tired in the day too." I cast my eyes downwards, not daring to meet her gaze.
"In that case, no more food for you after nine." She gave me another concerned
look and left the room.
I could not tell her what was bothering me. No one
would believe me or they would think it was a figment of my imagination. Ever
since I started reading this book called 'Read On if you Dare !' by an
anonymous writer, I had been experiencing
strange things while I was awake and in my sleep.
I felt as if I was being
watched all the time. Sometimes, I could feel its presence so close that my hair
would stand on end. I tried to shake off this paranoia
but I continued to feel its eerie presence around me. Sometimes, this strange
formless entity would pursue me as I ran to get away from it. At night, I
dreaded to go to sleep because of this recurring nightmare that did not make
sense to me at all.
Throughout this time, I could not stop reading this book.
I felt drawn to it in a mysterious way. There was a strange force pulling me
towards it and forcing me to flip the pages and read on. Finally, I could not
bear this madness any more. I went to seek the help of an old man. Old Man Li,
as he was known in my neighborhood, was rumored to be a witch doctor.
encounter with him was frightening. His house was dark and gloomy. It smelt of
burning incense. He recited a few chants and performed an unusual ritual. He
sprinkled some magical dust on the book that he claimed would dispel the evil
spirit that resided within its pages. After a few more visits, my nightmares
stopped and I did not feel its presence any more. I could not thank Old Man Li
enough. As soon as I got home, I burnt the storybook although
its memory would forever be engraved in my mind.