That day was just like any other days.
Like any other days.
But very little did I know that things were about to change so shortly in time.
There I was at one of the academic block I frequently visited in the name of
Farah research and development of my current study, standing at the front of the huge vertical door made from heavy glass and metal while my eyes wandered around. I just arrived from my room that late afternoon, and all I had in mind was to process some of the biomass feedstock for combustion test scheduled a few days in the future. With a powerful electric cutting tool and carbide circular sawblade in one of my hand, I pushed the green button next to the door and almost as instantly the grand, heavy door started to lift, inches from my nose.
The weather was rather cloudy that particular day, and from the look of it there was a brewing storm coming my way. With limited time, I intended to process at least 50kg worth of biomass feedstock, and with an incoming storm, my hours were cut into strictly shorter period of time.
So I put on my leather gloves, put on the ventilator mask, crystal-glass eye-goggle, broad face shield and a protective thick jacket and got to work as immediately as possible. I had to cut all the fronds outside since the work was pretty messy to even begin with - a lot of sawdust, airborne particles and strange odor of rotting organics. I turned on the electric saw and cut the fronds one by one - from 3 meter length to only 1 cubic inch sections. From the tail of my eyes I could see the storm brewing on top of my head - thick, dark clouds began to form and the wind blew stronger.
I stopped an hour after that when the first few drops of water started to wet the surface of the open field where I was working. Still covered in dusts, sweats and some blood from a few cuts I received from the sharp frond parts, I unplugged all electric plugs and rewind all power cords before proceeding to store them along with the saw in the laboratory from which I have to go through the grand door.
When I was carrying them all, something metal dropped on the floor a few feet away from the door, creating a clinking sound as it hit the ceramic tiles. With all my hands full, I could not take a look at it so I decided to only collect it afterward.
As I entered the laboratory area, the cold breeze from the air-condition swept onto my sweaty face. I stored all those equipments in a designated cupboard, including all my protective gears before I went back to the grand, heavy glass-metal door to close down the laboratory. As the door slowly moved down, the rain outside was getting heavier. The door completely shut after a few seconds, so I went around to head to the sink to wash my hands, and that was exactly when I felt there was something terribly wrong happening.
First, there was nobody around. It's normal, anyway, because the undergraduates were all having their holidays and the time was already past 5.30pm, which means all staffs had left the premise. Strange thing was, I did not see any guard too, whom usually will walk pass my workplace as a routine manner. That day, the last of them I saw was two hours back and nobody since.
Secondly, one thing about my air-conditioned laboratory is that, it is large. It's ceiling reaches two floors height while the space it contains, other than those parts filled with large instruments and equipments are all empty. With the rain pouring outside, the inside of it looked very dim, dark, dead. All I could hear was rattling ventilation ducts and heavy rain outside, more or less were very eerie to me.
Suddenly I heard something, might be a spanner, fell and hit the floor. The clinking sound it made roared and shocked me so badly that I was stunned for a while, only to have realized that the spanner fell from my jeans (I always carry it around at work). As I bent over to pick it up, I heard a very faint but somewhat very clear voice of a girl.
She was giggling.
At this point, I think one of my balls have dropped onto the floor and went missing. In my mind was nothing but to get the fuck out of the laboratory. So with all the strength I have left and all the hair on my arms and neck standing, I walked out the laboratory through a smaller exit door. I headed to my car but somewhat on the way there my right foot kicked something on the floor - a smaller spanner that dropped while I was carrying the stuffs earlier - causing it to slide a few feet away. So in that rush I bent over to pick it up too.
And that was the mistake I swear I will never forget.
As I pulled back, I had hunches telling me to look up. And there it was - the strangest, the most frightening, shocking and horrifying thing I ever saw - at the second floor above me.
Imagine this: A lady the height more than the whole floor itself, where her head had touched the ceiling and that she had to bend forward a bit behind her large, awkward shoulder; no arms at all but covered in a huge and loose white robe with no opening; her face hidden behind her long messy hair that went all the way to the floor; and she was hovering in a static manner almost a foot above the ground. And the distance between me and her was only fifteen to twenty feet away - 3 to 5 meters more or less, where I was on the ground but she was at a floor above. She just stayed there, static, and me too, static.
I was so stunned that I could not move, though my brain kept telling me to. Reading any citation from the holy verses was completely out of question - my mind was so mixed up that I could have ended up citing a quadratic equation instead. My face felt so tight, and I could imagine just how pale I became. It lasted for almost a minute until she slowly disappeared into thin air, and in my ears I could hear those giggles again, only this time it gradually rang into high-pitched, scary long laughs.
I got into the car, pressed on the gas and left to my room shaken, unable to sleep until the morning came.
* * *
It became apparent that the sighting I had a few days ago had gone worst. A day after I had it, a guard told me he saw her at the top of the building at 2.00am in the morning. And then out of any reason, the postgraduate students who usually spent their times until 3.00 to 4.00am in the morning all left the building by 9.00pm, believed to have gone through the same experience. A few sightings of fireballs flying around the blocks and then all the way up to the hill next to them have been reported.
Latest was yesterday. Apparently there was a postgraduate student who worked until 7.30pm in the evening to finish up his works in the laboratory without realizing that rain started to slowly shower the earth at the outside. While doing his work alone, he heard a number of males having discussion next door loudly, but when he went and check, there was nobody. And when he decided to leave, as he left the laboratory space, that faint giggles were heard again from behind him.
How I know about this latest thing? Of course I do.
The guy was me.