Sanjana Kapoor’s horror story from the Duckbill Workshop in Bangalore. Our thanks to Sanjana for letting us use this for the blog.
Nivesh took his ball from under the bed and pranced out.
“I’m going to play ma.”
The door shut behind him with a loud bang and he was gone. He had recently discovered an abandoned construction site and was aching to bounce the ball of the walls.
He was about to throw the ball when a quiet voice from behind startled him.
“Can I play?”
Nivesh turned around to find a small boy standing shyly.
“Sure,” said Nivesh, throwing the ball towards him. The little boy missed, and the ball went over the wall into what would have been someone’s plush office.
“I’m sorry,” the little boy said as he turned to fetch the ball. Nivesh noticed the boy had a terrible limp.
“The wall is too high for you to climb,” Nivesh said, running up to him.
“I don’t need to climb,” said the boy, walking straight through the wall. Nivesh stood transfixed, as the boy returned with the ball.
“I… I… I think I should go home now.”
“Are you scared of me?”
“No, I just need to go.”
“I don’t like it when people get scared of me!”
“I’m not scared … I …”
“Your ball,” said the little boy, coming closer to Nivesh.
“I don’t want it.”
The little boy frowned. “I don’t like people being afraid of me.” He held onto Nivesh and pushed the ball into his face. Nivesh’s screams echoed through the unfinished walls.
The two of them sat together, perched on top of the wall, waiting for someone to come and play.