Stepping into the house, Aroo breathed a sigh of relief. She put down her duffle bag and reached out for the light switch. 'Darn it! No power! But I just came up eight floors by the lift! Lights from the adjoining blocks are shining bright...hmm...maybe my fuse is out. God knows how one checks the fuse!' She said to herself peering out of the windows. 'I'll go over next door for help, but after a shower,' and she set about scouting for some candles and matches in the kitchen with her mobile torch on. All she found was a tiny birthday candle. The phone beeped. Critically low battery it flashed and went out submerging the house in total darkness. Hurriedly she struck the matches to light her candle and after two tries lit it to a wee flicker. She set it to stand in a steel cup.
'Just one shower, that's all I want, is that too much to ask for?' she groaned. Picking up the tiny light she made her way to the bathroom.
The water from the shower was lukewarm but she didn't care. A sleazy item song blared from somewhere outside and she lazily gyrated to it. Letting the water flow over her body, she just stood under it and blanked out her mind.
A few minutes later, she turned off the shower. Wrapping a towel around herself, she stepped out, humming the same song. As she went to set the candle on the dressing-table, she saw something on it that made her freeze on the spot.
'How did this box get here?' She looked around furtively, instinctively pulling the towel around tighter. 'And those pearl tops, how on earth! I had definitely gotten rid of every last trace. NO, NO, NO! This can't be happening!'
She chanced another look back at the dressing-table, the little white box and the pearly pair were gone. Maybe she had just imagined it. The candle was down to a small puddle in the cup. This was her worst nightmare playing out.
And on cue, the eerie sound of a creaking door resonated through the still room.
She searched desperately to arm herself with something, anything. There was nothing on the table within her reach.
Sweat ran down her back and forehead. The candle finally blinked away and she was now totally helpless, unarmed, half-naked and in total darkness. Her eyes scanned the room in the feeble light streaming from the windows. Eerie shadows flickered in the partial light.
Seconds, minutes ticked by but there was no movement or creaking door noises. Cautiously, Aroo stepped out of the bedroom and urgently reached out for the telephone. Just as she dialled 100, a skeletal hand tapped her from behind and she dropped the phone in shock.
A blood-curling scream rent the air.
'AND CUT!' called out the director. The lights suddenly came on. She automatically shielded her eyes from the harsh glare after being in the dark for so long. 'Perfect take Divyaji! Even I started believing you were the real Aroo, you are just too good,' he complimented her.
'Oh, sure. Can someone turn on the damn AC, I hate shooting in closed spaces,' she huffed. 'But Divyaji the AC is already on in full blast,' exclaimed the production assistant.
The apartment was suddenly alive with the unit hands buzzing all over.
She wiped her face dry with a fresh towel and quickly slipped into a robe someone handed her.
Divya's make-up man and hairdresser were fussing around her look for the next take. Somewhere in the background she could hear the lighting assistant and cameraman angrily squabbling. Nervously fidgeting with the belt of the robe, she felt something weigh down in the robe pocket. Her hands dug in, to wrap around a circular object, she pulled it out. The same white box from the dresser, with something rattling inside. She already knew what it would be.
Someone was watching her every movement, right here, right now. Someone who knew about the owner of box and Divya's sordid past.
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