Past Tense – Part 2(The Letter)
Before you Start – If you haven’t read part 1 of this story, then first go and read it – Past Tense Part 1(Experiment of Will)’
Anisha and my favourite room was the kitchen. During our teenage years, whenever we will meet, at her or my house. We would end up looking for new recipes and cooking something new.
I was planning to break into her room at midnight, but luckily the cleaning staff came to me and asked to collect all the essential stuff and pack it to be delivered to her parents.
The room had weird essence of cold. As if something was surrounding me. Pale violet in colour, a 1BHK flat. Everything was lying around as if someone tried to search for something. But, I knew where to find what I want. Her kitchen looked like she didn’t use it much. Very clean, no signs of oil, and primarily polythenes and packed food wrappers. I started my search for don’t know what, she wanted me to look. She knew I wouldn’t have much time to find it, so she hid it in plain sight, inside a pack of chips which was sealed again, after opening. Why plain sight? Because I had a weird temptation for chips. Closed packets carried a smell, which I loved. So whenever I see sealed chips packets, I always open them and smell.
It was a letter –
“Just like you, I was also invited by someone to work here. It looked like an opportunity which no one would like to miss without realising the fate it carried. It was beautiful to work here, and it felt like I was working for some greater good. It felt like completing some social responsibility. But, just like what I did, the person who called me died under mysterious circumstances. They declared it suicide. They might have done the same for me, but it isn’t what it appears to be. After some days, four more deaths happened, and they were again labelled as suicide. I was scared and decided to leave the job, but my contract didn’t allow me to. I filled it in excitement without reading many things just like you did. I changed my hotel building to the one which is newly built. In which you are also staying. I kept on working and finding reasons for their deaths.
Slowly, I was able to figure it out. It might be a job for us; it might be a hospital for patients, but it’s an experiment or ritual for them. And, not just controlling the hospital, they are working among us. Many who ran away, after knowing what is going to happen, were eventually killed. Those who complained to the police kept losing someone significant until they came back to work. It’s an experiment named ‘Past Tense’. Game, where staff and patients are mere pawns. The patients, most of them, are not sick. They got a well long time ago but did not agree for leaving the hospital. You do not know who is honest and who is from them, so trusting someone from inside was never an option. Within a month, I was able to understand this much.
I started looking for what is the experiment for and who are those people. And many, many other questions. It took me around three more months to gather some more information.
Beneath, the building used to be a prison, a secret prison, away from society’s eyes. People who committed the most heinous crimes were kept there, away from the community and other prisoners. They were too manipulating and didn’t commit the crimes themselves but made others do it. They had fans, followers, and contacts. So arresting them and punishing them in daylight was not possible. They were kept at a place where no one could find them, precisely beneath this hospital. But it seemed that wasn’t enough to stop them. Now they control it by living among us. Whoever comes to work here dies on the 333rd day by suicide. But there was man, who out-smarted them seven years ago. He escaped this fate of death. I tried to find him a lot and was about to reach him.
A book kept a record of every staff member who came here and the number of days that person lived. But my time was up, and I failed to find it. As per my contract, I had to find someone after 300 days of my tenure to replace me. Most of them don’t know the real reason why the authorities asked them to hire any of their friends to work with them, but I knew. Still, I called you. I am sorry for it. I had no other choice.
But, you know what you have to do, and you have more time than me. Find that book, find that person, help yourself and others. Burn this letter after reading. If you use it as proof or for some other purpose, it will be at a cost to mine and your family.”
To be Continued…
By Satyam Kumar Tiwari
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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