This story is by Raghavendra Prasad and was part of our 2019 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
The room had only one door. There were no windows. A small filament bulb was already turned on at a corner of the room. I was completely trapped.
I checked my pocket for my cellphone.
2 days back,
I received an anonymous letter for the fifth time. The letter read as follows:
Hope this letter finds you in good health. This is the fifth and final reminder I am sending to you.
As mentioned in the previous letters, you are one of the owners of an ancestral possession which could turn out millions of dollars on today. You have not yet visited my house where I have kept this treasure for long. Perhaps, you might be dubious on the authenticity of this letter. Let me tell you something about your family, then it is your choice to come forward and claim it.
Per records, your great grandfather’s name is Joseph Coleman. He traveled from Ireland to the United States. That’s his name as per properties, bank accounts, license, and insurance. A few of your family members know that your great grand father’s name is Josef Pfefferberg. He changed his name to hide from the Nazis. He also hid a treasure in his body and carried a precious diamond to the US from Europe. Before he died he gave the diamond to me. I am his second son and your grandfather is his first son. Now, time’s up for me. I am counting my last days battling cancer. It is your choice to come and collect it.
The letter had an address to reach the place where I should go and collect it. I was unsure of the genuineness of the previous letters until I received the last letter. Because it had my family history which was not known widely. My grandfather used to say that they were from Poland.
I decided to pay a visit to the address mentioned in the letter.
I reached the place. It was a nice old mansion which was constructed in the late 1950s. There were no nearby houses for a distance of about two hundred yards. I rang the doorbell of the house. There was a small slip of paper stuck next to the doorbell. I opened that and read it – If you are Charles, please enter your phone number followed by the date of birth to open. For a moment I thought if Bartley was dead already and had instructions to collect it.
I entered the phone number followed by my date of birth and the door opened automatically. Unlike the appearance of the mansion from outside, the entrance room was constructed in a bizarre way. The walls were not flat. There were hedges on the wall with alternating directions which resembled something like a closely held Toblerone Chocolate. I was confused a moment to enter and then I saw the diamond flashing at a corner. The diamond was tied to a string.
I slowly moved inside and untied the diamond from the string. Yes, this was the diamond mentioned in the letter.
Suddenly the main door locked. I realized that I was trapped.
“Hello! Can anybody hear me? “I screamed as loud as possible. To my surprise, my voice was diminished inside the closed chamber room. I took my mobile phone. There was no signal on my phone. I dialed the emergency number. The call did not proceed.
“Please come and get me out from here. I don’t need the diamond. I need to go. Can anyone hear me again?” I again screamed and my voice again lowered.
“What’s happening? Is… Is my voice ok?” Charles asked himself.
“Your voice is absolutely okay Charles, Just that you are in a soundproof room, you don’t hear any sound reflections or echo.”
I heard another voice, and I searched for the person. It was coming from a small speaker which also had a mic through which I was heard. The voice sounded like it was a typical bot indicted speech and it was not a human tone.
“What… What is that supposed to mean? Who are you? Get me out of here, please. I am going crazy. I will give you how much ever money you want”.
“Well. I don’t need money, Charles. I need only one thing from you which you can give”
“Tell me. Do you want my car, it is parked outside. Please take it. Just leave me alone.” Soon I realized that diamond was the bait that I would fall for and it got me here.
“I don’t want the car either. I want” The stranger paused for a second and then said “Revenge”.
The stranger was clear on his notions.
“You want revenge? “ I asked bewilderedly.
“Yes, Charles. Let me remind you what happened about seven years back. Michael and Charles started a business as a Joint venture. The business gave both Michael and Charles good returns they both continued to be good friends. One fine day, Charles wanted to own the entire business to himself to become a millionaire as well. Charles took a few wrong decisions and made Michael’s decisions as to the reason for the loss. The venture went bankrupt. Charles sued Michael in the court citing that Michael was the sole reason for the loss. The court decided to make Michael pay for Charles. Michael gave up all his belongings, his stocks, car, and house and finally, Michael goes bankrupt. Charles’s greediness made Michael lose everything and made Michael land on the streets. Michael’s bank account was confiscated, Michael did not have an address. Michael became a vagabond for a few years. Michael was completely lost. No one knows Michael even now.”
“Now seven years later Michael wants to take revenge on Charles. Charles is now trapped in a cage.
“Is that you Michael? Come on. I will give you back the company, you take it, but please take me out of this hell. ” I was sobbing now.
“As I said Charles, all I want is only the REVENGE. I don’t want your company or filthy money. You are trash. You forged all the documents and made me lose everything for your wrong decisions. ”
“I am sorry, that was a mistake. I wanted to marry Christina. She was one of the top rich people in the city. She wanted me to buy her a big holiday house in Hawaii. So, I had to forge the documents to make money. But please, let me go now. You can even take a holiday house. Trust me. “
“Lust and greed made you betray your friend and partner at business. Well Charles, if you had the trust in our venture, you would have earned the same money in a few years. Your time is up idiot. Be ready. “
“Please… Please don’t do anything to me “ I was crying.
“Charles, I knew that you have a great curiosity at asking things. I won’t hit you or kill you. I have vowed not to see you again”
“Please come and release me now Michael. I am getting creepy with this room. ” I was sobbing strong this time.
“I won’t come here as I can’t be in that room for more than half an hour. You are in an anechoic room.”
“What is that? “ I asked him as I was getting eerie with the room.
“Have you heard about this Charles? Revenge is the sweet dish when served cold. Right now, you are in the anechoic chamber. Just to know, this room is the most silent room in the world. Radio waves and microwaves cannot enter this room, so your cell phone will not work even if you try calling emergency. People will go crazy after 30 mins, as the sound level goes below – 20 decibels. There is absolutely no echo in the room. You will soon start getting creepy thoughts again and again. At a point, you will die. I want revenge. I tell you – Revenge is a dish best served silent. Goodbye. “ Michael severed the talk. I am sure he will not be coming back again.
I sat in a corner in the room. So many years back, I had ensured that I had properly taken care of Michael. But I never expected him to come back again. Thoughts wavered in my mind about what happened past several years and I was going through that again and again.
I was silent for a minute. Pin drop silence was noisier than this room.
Soon I started hearing my own heartbeats, arteries, and vein pumping blood from the brain. About an hour later, I could not hear anything, not even my heartbeat.