The drops were smacking onto the cold stone floor with monotonous
regularity, echoing sonorously in the stillness of the room. She
finally woke, and lay still in the downy bed, watching the falling
drops as they formed a puddle on the floor. The raindrop drumbeat began
to pound in her a brain and slowly lulled her off to sleep again.
Did she sleep? The room was gone and she was standing on a narrow path
that stood delicately drenched in the soft morning drizzle. She walked
but seemed not to feel the ground beneath her feet. On and on it went,
till it came to the foot of a gently sloping hill, and she saw at the
top : the mango and jackfruit trees that formed a barrier about the
haughty white house that rose among the leaves, kissed by the morning
rain. The sunlight pepped through just enough for a misty rainbow that
encircled the whole like a picturesque halo. It was unearthly, almost
She moved faster now, almost gliding up the hill. Nearer and nearer to
the stately old mansion she came, not feeling the fragile drops that
carpeted her hair and shoulders. She felt very small as she approached
the great teak front door and slowly, as in a trance, she floated up
the steps onto the verandah of the bungalow. A she drew up, the massive
door creaked on its hinges as it swung slowly open.
The first thing she saw was the large peacock-feather fan, its old
splendour somewhat dimmed. She remembered. Her father's golden
handshake from his British superintendent. And now ! Her father
himself, she saw, coming slowly into the main hall where she stood!
Dignified and impassive as ever - but did a frown crease his brow? His
eyes pierced as they gazed silently right through her. She wanted to
speak but her tongue had no life in it. She watched, transfixed, as he
turned away and strode majestically into the next room - and
Now she was walking on. A long-forgotten fragrance seemed to fill the
air and tickle her nostrils - the aroma of hot crisp pancakes. She
found herself suddenly at the kitchen door and saw- her mother,
squatting before a large steaming griddle and the pungent aroma
overwhelmed her. She glided, ever so slowly, towards her mother who
raised her head from the rising steam. The old lady's eyes seemed to
fill with bright red tears as she stared mournfully at her daughter's
face. The girl wanted to cry out but she had forgotten how. Her
mother's eyes were now deep, dark pools, overflowing and red rivulets
meandered down her cheeks. The girl's heart writhed within her as she
reached out and touched her mother's face.......
The chilling wetness on her fingers snapped into her mind and she
opened her eyes to see her hand lying in the icy puddle beside her bed.
The rain had stopped but it was still dark outside. The quietness of
the night was broken only by the snoring she could feel behind her
The rain had stopped but there was a warm puddle forming on the floor
and growing larger.