Friday, September 28, 2012

Water in my grave

You hear from the news each day terrible crimes are committed, people like monsters killing other people,  sometimes for money or anger or jelously or to simply snatch a gold chain, and sometimes you cant even begin understand why. It seems like demons are possesing them and making them do things which cause tragedy and pain to even themselves too, because often they are caught and made to pay for their crimes, sooner or later . 

Recently prision staff in Anuradhapura reported a strange case of murder –suicide from inside the prision itself – two men who were caught for a terrible crime, of having abducted and killed a woman, had been arrested but on the third night one of them had strangled the other and then hung himself . What was amazing was that the one who had done this was the smaller and younger of the two and prision officials could never begin to understand how he had got the strenght and the ability to do this, but perhaps after you read the rest of the story you may understand.

This started with a pretty village woman called Seetha whose family worked in kilns, meaning they mined the mud near the Kelani river and shaped it into bricks which were burnt for sale. Their family had lots of land near the river and this had been their source of income for generations, although now the land was somewhat pockmarked with all the digging. 
Seethas husband was a succesful agriculturalist in other ways and planned the mining sometimes a year ahead and how he would roll that money into his other work and manage the income and expenditure for the year. In the year Im taking about his eldest daughter had just decided she wanted to do a rather expensive but well recognised Information Technology course in Colombo and he was trying to figure out how he should fund this.. 
He had one problem, the land that remained to be excavated in that area was some land which had remained with a good reason. His mother had told him long ago that she had some very bad dreams about a river spirit in the area, who had warned them not to dig that land. This warning had been given to him about 15-20 years ago when he was young and impressionable but in his middle age he had grown more cynical possibly because of boisterous friends of his,  and he felt that it was foolish to worry about this bad dream from long ago and more practical to go ahead with his plan of mining that area. 
So this year he dismissed the irrational fear from his mind and went ahead and told his crew to use the clay of the particular area for the next batch of bricks. About 12000 bricks could be made from this block which at the  current sale prices could comfortably see to his daughters education as well as about 6 installments to his tractor lease.
The process of shaping and burning that batch would take about 4 – 6 weeks and after the initial subconcious worries about his mothers warning, he actually forgot it completely as life seemed to go on fine. He was planning how to level the remaining land in this seciton and sell it for some final income.

One night though, as he had been feeling a bit feverish after working in the sun all day, he felt he could not do the final checking round and sent his wife to check the kiln instead. This was not a good idea. 
The family were startled horribly by the terrible screams of Seetha who came running back with her hair awry and her face distorted. Seetha could not even speak for a day or two afterwards, she had been shocked so badly by something she saw. She never did tell them what it was she had seen either but from that day onwards, she was never the same again, and began to behave in a very bizarre way.
Village folks concluded that she must have been possessed by the terrible and vengeful river spirit and lost her mind , but her husband took her to a psychiatrist in Colombo who gave her various lots of tablets and seemed to get her to function normally again. 
No matter how anyone asked,  she would not however tell of what she had seen that night, and it was to become clear that when the sedative effect of the pills faded, she was still possessed by the unspeakable madness that had caught hold of her that night alone in the kiln.
And in months to come, the nightmare was to take on new levels of horror.

To be continued

No comments: