The rain beat harder. It looked like it was never going to stop.
The girls moved around groggily carrying their buckets filled with water. The wake up bell had rung persistently some minutes ago. The hostel proprietress acknowledged that it took more than a single ring to get the girls up. As they lined up their buckets in front of the bathroom waiting their turns, some decided to brush their teeth while those who felt their turn was a distance from the bathroom; went back to bed.
In the midst of all these, a girl lay in bed, oblivious to the sound of banging buckets and shuffling feet. A roommate came in and tapped her. “Wake up”. The girl ignored her and continued sleeping. Her roommate tapped her again but the girl still refused to get up. Her roommate decided to leave her alone. It is her business if she gets to school late and is flogged.
Weeks later, the truth about that fateful morning will be revealed. The sleeping girl had been playing with her friends under the banana tree just behind their room. The rain had prevented her from coming back into her body. So her soul stayed put.
She had previously offered her roommates homemade food prepared by her step mother during the visiting day. Her step mother had urged her to do so; she needed to initiate more people. The greedy among her friends had gladly eaten. Their parents had also brought food for them from home, as the norm was during visiting days. But greed was a cloak they wore.
A roommate who slept next to her bed had always noticed she placed her feet on the wall when she slept but had never attached any importance to it. She never imagined it was her way of connecting with the other world. She confessed that to the consternation of her roommate.
The whole issue would have remained unknown but for two girls who attended a congregation which believed in seeing visions and identifying supernatural forces. It was a weekend and they had strangely started a prayer session. They were so emphatic about the girl belonging to the other world and had started a process of exorcism practiced in their congregation.
The process had been scary and the evening left an indelible mark on the minds of the girls. The bright weekend ended in gloom. They were all aged between nine and twelve.
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