Sunday, 13 October 2013

Tick, Tick, Tick








The room was silent except for the droning sound of the fan overhead. It’s time it was retired, Deepa thought. Suddenly she felt her body go rigid. What was that? Turning around to Varun she asked, “Did you hear that?”

“What?”

“That sound that I hear?”

“Which sound? The cry of that child in the next room?”

“No, it’s’ something else. Something I can’t explain. Something sinister.”

Varun felt the medicines were to blame. He said,“Go to sleep. You are just imagining things. Maybe you are tired out.”

Deepa thought, “Yes maybe I am imagining things.” The day had been an eventful one. She had just stepped out of her house when a speeding bike had almost collided with her. “Vroooooom…” the bike had sped past her at top speed. “Thud,” she was there on the pavement. Before she could collect her wits, a crowd had gathered around her. She could not make out what was happening. The chatter of a hundred voices was adding to her confusion. “Acchoo.” The intensity of that sneeze suddenly jolted her to reality. She realized that she was lying there on the pavement with blood splattered all around. Her head was bleeding profusely. Seeing the blood made her dizzy. Yet, she was not one to give up so easily. She tried to get up, embarrassed at being the topic of attention.  But before she realized it she let out a cry. “Aahh,” the pain was intense. She could not stand. Never before had she felt so helpless.

“Tick, Tick, Tick.” What was that? Was she again imagining things? No, it could not be. She had that gut feeling of imminent disaster. No, she could not keep quiet. She had to wake up Varun. Had to get him examine from where that sound came.

She called out to him. But he did not hear. She tried again and again but to no avail. He was deep in slumber. “Bang,” went the jug as it hit the door jolting Varun out of sleep and sweet dream.

A shocked Varun cried, “Are you crazy? Why did you throw the jug?”

Desperate as she was, Deepa pleaded with him, “Varun listen, I can now hear that sound clearly. Do concentrate and try to pick it up.”

At first Varun was hesitant to listen to her. He only wished to get back to sleep and continue with the sweet dream that has so abruptly been cut short with that “bang” on the door. But then something in Deepa’s eyes forced him to listen to her. He strained his ears, keeping his mind focused. There it was. “Tick, Tick, Tick.” He felt his body going taut. What could that be?

He started to search frantically. Finally not able to find the object of his investigation, he called in the duty nurse.    

“Yes Sir, any problem?”

“Sister, what is that sound?”

“Which sound, Sir? I hear nothing unusual.”

“ Sister, that tick, tick sound.”

“Oh! That is just that clock on the wall.

Deepa could no longer remain a mute spectator. She said, “Are you sure, Sister? But I did not hear the sound till say half- an- hour back.”

Putting on her best smile the Duty Nurse explained, “You see Madam. You did not hear it because till half- an- hour back the hospital was filled with various sounds. Now that most of the patients are fast asleep and a blanket of silence has fallen on the entire premises, the sound of the clock is loud and audible.”

Varun: “Ooh! Thank God.”

Deepa : “My, I am so relieved.”

The sign of relief on the face of the two brought a smile on the lips of the Duty Nurse. Looking at them she said, “So what did you expect- a bomb?”

Both Varun and Deepa looked at her sheepishly just wishing she’d leave.

Once at the doorstep, she looked back and said, “Don’t worry, you are in safe hands. Have a wonderful sleep.”

The door closed and they both burst into laughter.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda