Return – Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema

The moon shot soft white beams onto the darkened road. The silhouettes of the tall houses and trees surrounding the road rose in human-like figures. The wind brought them to life; their bodies swaying musically to its shrill whistle. It was a rare privilege that falls on one, to be able to walk this deserted road at this time of the night, for otherwise, one never sees the dark beauty of the night, nature’s fine imagery. I missed the bus, and this is my reward, walking in solitary enjoyment in the company of these night creatures.

“Missed the bus?”, someone asked. I started, my heart beating wildly. Where did he apparate from? I can swear the road was deserted. Looking up, I saw a familiar face smiling at me. I have seen him before but couldn’t recall where. I was annoyed; he disturbed my solitary walk. With a curt nod, I walked on, resenting the intrusion.

“It’s a privilege to miss the bus so that you can see the true beauty of the night.” He was echoing my sentiments. I felt infuriated. He was not only disturbing my solitary enjoyment, but reading my mind, and mocking me perhaps? I kept my pace silently. “I’m going the same way”, he offered. I walked with increasing speed in the hope of shaking him off. “Ashgrove house is very quiet now. Mr. and Mrs. Winters rarely go out. Peter is their saviour; he runs errands, and Missy does the housekeeping.” So, he knew my parents. “They’d be surprised to see you”, he continued. Surprised? Why would they be surprised? And what business it is of this scoundrel who robbed my peaceful walk?

With pursed lips, I turned the bend. In five minutes, I was at the gate. It was past ten, well over my parent’s bedtime, and I didn’t want to disturb them. I spotted the flowerpot with the aid of the moonlight and searched for the latch key. It was there, buried on the soft earth. Curiously, it felt rustic in my palm. I tried the door and it opened. The darkness greeted me. I entered and groped my way towards the parlour. With difficulty, I switched on the light. A yellow beam illuminated the parlour and directed itself at a picture. My picture! It was hanging in the wall and was staring back at me. Right underneath, a plaque stood on the floor, resting against the wall. I stared at this unwelcome sight, dumbfounded.

” James Winters

Born: 25. 03. 1990

Dead: 15. 07. 2023″

Dead! I am dead, and for three months now!

“You are dead”, someone whispered in my ear. I turned to face him who has followed me into the house. Enraged, I hissed. “You! What are you doing here?”

“Why?”, he laughed quietly. “I am you. Didn’t you recognize me?”

About the author

Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. Her devotion to literature has taken shape in reading and reviewing books of various genres set in different periods of time. She dabs at a little poetry and fiction of her own and hopes to share her work with the readers in the future.