Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Arunlekha Sengupta would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Pickle lady in the closet

By Arunlekha Sengupta All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

Ruhi dreams of Amma

It sounded like a death rattle.


Ruhi woke up with her arms flailing in the air. She had been dreaming of her grandmother, her amma. Hers had been the only death rattle she had heard in her life. And that had been that. The sound had signaled the end of her beautiful amma’s life. Ever since then Ruhi had been nightly dreaming of her amma. Her old-lady smile, all wrinkly and toothless and the smell of her lap had been very reassuring in her sleep (and just as jarring in the first moments of awakening as she realised every day, that amma was dead).


Tonight too, just before being awakened by that rude noise, heramma had been talking to her. In her dream, a younger amma (still with all her teeth and lesser wrinkles) – the amma of her childhood had gathered all her cousins in a circle around her and was feeding them fat balls of curd rice mashed with ripe langda mangoes from their orchard. This sort of food smelt of their collective summers and they waited every year to have amma feed them her strange concoctions. There was pickle too on the massive communal plate but none of the children wanted the pickle with their curd rice.


Ruhi had been savouring the lingering taste of the mango and the curd rice of the last round. With her tongue she touched every corner of her mouth chasing the elusive taste. Two more cousins till it was her turn next, and suddenly she was awash with a prickling sensation up and down her body (The grown up Ruhi doing the dreaming felt it in her still sleeping body). Ruhi felt it in her dismay filled heart of hearts that amma was saving the pickle for her.


She opened her mouth wide, tears filling her eyes. Amma’s hand was outstretched towards her. Through her despair and sadness and tears, she saw that her amma had transformed into a different sort of woman. This amma was a young woman. Soil-coloured and raunchy, pushy and leering, she fed Ruhi the curd rice and pickle and with bell like clarity said, “This piece of pickle is meant just for you.” The young Ruhi (and the older sleeping one) felt horrified at the stirrings in her loins.


Ruhi was almost shamed into waking up when she heard the death rattle and actually did. She looked around the dark room and turned to her side to reach out and then remembered that Deb had gone home for Christmas. Ruhi realised that she was now alone in their brand new flat, with its brand new paint smell, in a brand new part of the city (so new, it was almost in another state).


Death rattled again. It was coming from the closet.
The closet had been Deb’s baby. She had meticulously selected the design, the wood. She had bullied the contractor, sat with and cajoled the carpenters to have every bit of the spacious closet, the way she had wanted it. And now, Deb’s closet had a thing dying in it.

Suddenly, with a flash, she remembered her dream, remembered the spiky feeling run up and down her limbs. “The pickle lady is in the closet,” she thought, “pretending to be my amma.” She jumped out of the bed, and hurriedly looked for her phone. She wanted to call her sister who lived across the city. She wanted to call Deb and scream at her for leaving her in this new house. She wanted to cry and scream at amma for dying, for dying in front of her and leaving her with the death rattle which will stay with her, her entire life.


But mostly, she wanted to open the door of the closet and meet the sexy woman she had just dreamt of.Ruhi walked till the closet door and fingered the delicate beading work on it. She could smell something spicy. The smell of varnish and something else. Ruhi made up her mind. 


She walked out of the room and bolted it behind her. She locked herself in the other room and covered herself from head to toe in her sister’s favourite polka dotted comforter. She breathed in relief, “If there is a ghost in a closet, keep the door to it shut. That’s common sense na?” The sun rose in 3 hours and everything was fine.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Arunlekha Sengupta
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

briggy1998: I really enjoyed the book, even though I had to skip a few lines, because at times it could get a bit disturbing🙆🏻😅What I would have liked is if you could have given a bit more insight into jack's and fiona's relationship, especially the epilogue was a bit short 😬Other than that an amazing story!

Kashaf Azmat: The concept is excellent everything is well defined that you can picture the whole scenario which makes you feel connected to the plot and this is the thing that catches my eye and this what i am looking for in every novel.Keep it up

Spring: I normally don't read fiction novels, but I absolutely enjoyed reading Silent Shadows! The style is quite different from the previous fiction novels I've attempted to read. Great job!

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

rachelrainford6: This probably has to be one of the best books I've read on here. I read it quite quickly and I'll have to say the story took a turn towards the end that I did not see coming. The topic discussed in this book such as life really gave me a new insight and I realize that it is taken for granted.

Kaitlyn Bier: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

nikole carr: After starting and stopping several books tonight, this book caught my attention from the very beginning and i stayed up until 6 a.m. to finish reading. The plot has many twists and the sexual scenes keep it interesting, too. im a florida native so the Caribbean location is fun to read about. th...

More Recommendations

Rachel Mc Donald: This was an awesome book a real page turner couldn't put it down . The characters all had a good back story . I love these kind of books and would read it if you decided to write a follow up book . Excellent work

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

skippybash12: This story has engaging characters that you care about and a plot that is unpredictable and exciting. It is well written with a believable voice. Great weekend escape and if there was a sequel available I would buy it today -

Erica Mifflin: is very very neat and is one of my favorite novel of all time I want more stories like this please write another one. I love it so much thank you for your stories it was like a good book to my heart and I want more stories like this

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.