Read Part One Here
Natasha and Uttara were in a dilemma. Was Uttara's maid Melissa trustworthy? Nevertheless, what Melissa had said had dumbfounded them. Vivan would have vehemently opposed this idea.
Ever since that morning in the wooden house, Natasha had been staying with Uttara. Vivan had ofcourse felt that the window must have been kept open and the wind might have done the damage. Natasha was very sure she had bolted all the windows. She was no way going to live in that house. Not when it could endanger her baby.
Natasha had confided in Uttara. Uttara had, to Natasha's relief, believed in what she had to say. It was comforting to share her anxieties with someone. While Natasha was narrating the entire story, Melissa had eavesdropped on it.
"Natasha Madam, I know what you are talking about..." she meekly interrupted.
"What do you know Melissa?" Uttara probed.
"Madam before you moved into this house, Rebecca Madam lived here.""Of course I know that. We purchased this house from her. What does she have to do with it?" Uttara was impatient.
"Rebecca madam can feel the presence of spirits."
"What rubbish. She is an artist. Her husband is a psychiatrist."
"Trust me madam, she knows how to do it. Her husband can take anyone into past life! Rebecca Madam had told her husband that she knows there is a spirit in the wooden house. I had heard them talk." She added.
"Uttara, do you have Rebecca's number? I want to meet her." Natasha was excited.
"Natasha this is madness! We don't even know Rebecca properly. How can we trust her?"
"Look at me Uttara! I haven't slept in days. I keep on guard to protect my baby. I want to live in peace. Rebecca is my hope."
After much persuasion, Uttara had agreed to accompany her to Rebecca's house. Rebecca now lived on the other side of town. They chose a day when Vivan was in Dehradun.
Natasha was frantic. She had never seen anyone who could talk to spirits. The image of a woman with long hair let loose, vermillon on her partition, black robes, lot of beaded necklaces and crimson lipstick is what she had concocted in her mind.
Nervous and hesitant, they rang Rebecca's door bell. The bell was that of a bird chirping. The house itself looked bright with sunshine yellow walls. The door was opened after a lag of 5 minutes.
A woman in her thirties, wearing an apron and with a spoon in her hand, answered. She had short hair cut in a pixie haircut. Her eyes were brown and her face devoid of any make up. She wore a thin chain with a cross on it. This was Rebecca.
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"Hey Uttara, what a pleasant surprise!" she beamed.
"Sorry for not informing you before hand." Uttara found her voice. Rebecca looked young with this haircut!
"No worries, come in please." She invited them.
They entered her house, full of paintings, windchimes and framed photographs. Natasha instantly took a liking to Rebecca's warm personality.
"Good that you dropped in today. I'm just done baking a cake to mark the spring. I love the weather!"
After the formal introductions were done, Uttara broached the topic of the wooden house and it brought a change in Rebecca's expression. She was grim.
"Uttara I do not know anything about the house. Melissa is ofcourse mistaken." She curtly replied and tried to change the topic.
"Oh Rebecca, please help me! I know you can help. Save me and my baby." Natasha pleaded and continued till Rebecca lost her cool.
"Natasha, I'm telling you I know nothing about the house!" Rebecca raised her voice.
"Fine. You don't want to help then don't. What do you care if the nightmares don't let me sleep even when I have been given sleeping pills. What do you care if my baby dies. You are happy with your bright spring. You are just spineless." Natasha chided her and made her way to the door. She almost bumped into the man at the door.
"Madam, no one talks that way to my wife. Not in the least, standing in my house!" A tall and well built man in a black suit said that to Natasha but not in the least in an intimidating tone.
"Jacob, please let them go..." Rebecca was crying.
"No Rebecca, what is it that these people want? You say that the house is haunted and they call you a witch! They throw stones in our house and almost kill you. They killed our child Rebecca! Now that we are not intruding, they want us to help!" Jacob shouted.
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Natasha cringed. Rebecca's child was killed? Oh my! What had she said to Rebecca!!
They sat in the room upstairs. Jacob and Rebecca sat hand in hand. Uttara and Natasha in anticipation.
"7 months.. I was 7 months pregnant. We had just moved into our dream house. We wanted our child to breathe his first amidst the beauty of nature. Jacob's practice was good and I reveled in the creative outbursts and inspirations I got in that place. The wooden house intrigued me. My father studied occult sciences. He taught me the knitty gritties of the science. I sensed the presence of a spirit there. This spirit was dormant. Not harming anyone. But I could feel the melancholy. You get that depressing aura in that house. I wanted to free that spirit. I didn't know how. I wanted to know who lived there earlier but before I could find it out, someone spread rumors that I was a witch. I was undeterred. Stones were pelted on our windows every other day. One of those days I was painting and there was a loud bang on the door. I saw a group of people standing outside. I knew they meant harm. I ran out of the rear door but could not escape before someone threw a stone at me and I tumbled down the flight of stair in the back yard. Jacob had returned from work for lunch and could save me. But not my child... My sweet child..." she burst into tears
Jacob held her close. Planting a peck on her cheeks now and then to console her. How he loved her!
Natasha didn't know what to say. But she desperately needed help.
As if reading her mind, Rebecca answered, "I will help you. I will try to save atleast this child."
Natasha felt a huge weight lifted off her chest. She hugged Rebecca, "Thank you..." she whispered.
"Rebecca, why is it that Vivan is unaffected while I'm troubled?" Natasha asked.
"IT depends. Some people have extra sensory perception. They can feel what others cannot. Or maybe the spirit is making contact only with you."
"What? Is it possible?? Can the spirit talk to me?"
"Natasha, it's a intelligent spirit. And by that I mean, the paranormal entity is able to interact and respond and is aware of the living realm. Its a soul which once walked on earth."
"So you use the Ouijia board to communicate?"
"Never. Its a dangerous toy. It invites demonic spirits which might never leave. The spirit in your house is not harmful."
"How do you know?"
"By the mere fact that it has never tried to kill you or anyone for that matter."
"What does it want then?"
"It only wants to communicate with you."
"It wants you to know something. But what and why, only your dreams will tell."
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Vivan called Natasha. She realised it had been a long time since she left home. Vivan was staying in Dehradun for another day. This gave Natasha and Uttara the much needed time. Rebecca insisted they stay with them for the night and they obliged. (To be Continued)