The attic room was small, but, cosy. The adjacent terrace, garnished with flowers, was the added attraction. I was glad that I decided to respond to the rent advertisement. The tenacious blossoms in earthy terracotta pots, with their unadorned confidence, instantly grabbed my attention. Each one a delicate bloom, with lustrous red petals, was a sight to behold. There were eleven of them.

I kept devouring at their mystic beauty until Mrs. Basu, the landlady’s voice broke my trance.

“You like the flowers?” 

“They are mesmerizing.” I gushed.

“They’re the only near ones I’m left with.” 

Her husband died a year ago. She lived alone. 

Then, with a sinister voice added

“Never touch my flowers. That’s the only rule you’ve to follow here.”

I shifted next day.


I was new to the town and didn’t have many acquaintances in the recently joined office. But, I wasn’t lonely. I had the red blossoms for my company.  And Mrs. Basu took care of me like a mother.

Only the nights were a little disturbing, when the terrace garden seemingly came alive and started whispering. Slowly their murmurs would turn to howls. I knew it was just a trick of the wind. But, I always felt I heard, “Leave.”


The night was unusually dark that day. And the flowers were restless. There was no wind, yet their howling wouldn’t stop. 

Then, all of a sudden all went silent. And I found Mrs. Basu standing in front of me. With an axe in her hand. Before I could move, it came down on me. 

“Nothing personal, dear. Just need thirteen of those flowers to bring back my beloved.” Were the last words I heard.    


A new tenant moved in yesterday. We started shouting at night from the earthen pot, “Leave.”


This is an entry into ODE-7, #helloween, hosted by the watchers of Room8 | ArtoonsInn. Do share your comments and rate the writing out of 10.







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