Fear warned Fariya but, curiosity kept nagging her. After a vigorous internal conflict, curiosity vanquished fear. She gulped nervously and cautiously, took a step towards the mystery man. An acrid stench filled her surroundings. It burned her nose and brought tears to her eyes. Hastily, she covered her nose with her dupatta’s corner in a feeble attempt to block the odour. She cautiously took another step towards him.
“Hello?” Her voice came out shakier than she expected.
He didn’t seem to notice and kept staring out of the window.
The unidentifiable, highly pungent and revolting stench increased as she neared the man. It was suffocating her and she was on the verge of puking.
Smutted wooden chairs with attached desks were lying haphazardly and hindered her wary advance. They were almost obliterated by cobwebs. Dust clouded her trachea and she coughed wheezingly.
Fariya could feel a dangerous and unnerving aura radiating from the man.
She was halfway through the room when the stranger stood up. She halted and took a step back. Her heart thumped against her ribcage, its beat gaining momentum with every passing second.
“You shouldn’t have come here.” His deep growl sent shivers down Fariya’s spine. It was like a whisper, barely audible but clear and ominous like subdued thunder.
Subconsciously, Fariya took another step back. She jerked back as her foot landed in the fracture between the bench and the desk of a wrecked bench desk. She lost her footing and fell backwards with a loud thud. Her iPhone flew out of her grip and landed with its torch facing the ground, on top of her left hand. Darkness engulfed her. Pain shot through her backbone and left hand at the sudden impact. A whimper of agony escaped her lips, and a lone tear trailed down her left cheek. Impulsively, she grabbed her phone and illuminated the surroundings. She attempted to get up with the help of her right hand but, blood seeped out as splinters pierced through her right palm.
The vicious man seemed to feed off her fear and suffering.
A sinister snigger echoed through the room as he slowly turned around.
Fariya’s breath hitched, and bile rose up the throat as her eyes took his appearance.
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