“Ms Norah! Ms Katherine! What a co-incidence!” Joyce called out to the ladies walking in front of us. It was our first visit to Bedok estate and we were surprised to meet Joyce’s and Kate’s kindergarten teachers here.
“We need to get something upstairs,” said Ms Norah, pointing towards the lift of the deserted block beside us.
“Could we follow, please?” Kate asked.
The teachers looked at each other uneasily. Nonetheless, they agreed.
“Do you live here?” I asked politely.
“NO!” answered the teachers in unison.
We entered the lift. Ms Katherine pressed number ‘5’. The highest level in this block was six. Within a minute, we reached level five. Ms Katherine and Ms Norah bid us farewell before they exited the lift. We were curious why the teachers were in a hurry to leave. However, since we’re here, we decided to catch a view of the area from level five. Maybe we could locate the coffee-shop from here. We had been walking around the estate, searching for the coffee-shop in vain.
“Wow! There’s a bouncy castle! Mommy, may I join them?” asked Kate excitedly.
“Only for a short while! Come…” She dashed to join the crowd before I could complete my sentence.
Joyce wasn’t interested in bouncy castle. Thus, she stayed behind to read her favourite Thea Stilton, while I checked out the WordPress Reader in my iPhone.
Suddenly, my iPhone rang. It was a message from my husband. He had been waiting for us at the nearby coffee-shop for thirty minutes! I looked at the time on my phone and realised that it was already dinner time! I called out to Kate immediately. It took a while before she responded. By the time she returned, the sky had darkened. We scurried into the lift, and a little boy followed suit. I pressed button ‘1’, and waited for the lift to descend. Once the lift door opened, we stepped out hurriedly. We stopped instantly outside the lift.
“We are at the 9th floor, mommy! Did you press the right button?” queried Joyce.
Indeed, the number displayed on the wall near the lift landing was ‘9’! Joyce wasn’t dreaming, so was I! I remembered clearly that I had pressed ‘1’! Without hesitation, we went back into the lift. The little boy inside the lift was trembling all over and his face was as white as a sheet, as if he had seen a ghost. Without a second thought, I pressed the number 1 button numerous times. I scanned the numbers displayed on the button panel. There is NO number ‘9’! I remembered clearly that this block was only six levels high. Why would we ended up at the 9th floor? That sent chills down my spine. The girls clinched onto me tightly. Our hearts pounding hard and loud.
Once again, the lift door opened. This time, we were back at level 5. At least, that was a familiar sight. Before we could move an inch, the little boy bolted out of the lift and disappeared round the corner. We scurried out of the lift. The bouncy castle was gone. Not a single soul could be found. Kate pointed at a unit with a bright white light. We decided to seek for help there.
I knocked on the door gently. A Malay uncle opened the door, a little girl was standing behind him. I explained our situation to him, and he immediately invited us into his home. His house was barely furnished. There was only a worn-out fridge in the kitchen. His family was having their dinner on the floor. He invited us to join them, which I declined politely. We were hungry but we wanted to leave this block immediately. The Malay uncle told us that no one leaves this block when night falls. I was stunned.
“If you don’t mind, you all could stay for the night and leave tomorrow morning. Although we had packed our belongings, we could still lend you some blankets for the night,” the uncle said kindly.
“Thank you so much. Are you moving?” I asked inquisitively while getting the girls ready for bed. We didn’t have a choice. It’s better to stay indoor, than out.
“Tonight is our last. We are moving to our new house in Punggol tomorrow. Have a good rest,” replied the uncle before he retired to the bedroom with his family.
The girls were fast asleep. I took out my iPhone from my handbag. Battery flat! My husband would be worried sick if he could not reach us for the entire night! However, there was no phone in this house. The family had all fallen asleep. It would be rude to wake them. Fine! Just wait for the morning to come! I sat next to the girls, soon I dozed off.
The first ray of sunlight shone through the window, right onto my face. Finally! It was morning! Everyone was still sleeping. I woke the girls, folded the blankets, and left a note to thank the family for accommodating us for the night. Then, we headed straight for the lift.
Inside the lift, I pressed ‘1’, and waited patiently for it to descend. Soon, the lift door opened. It was the same first level, where we boarded the lift with the teachers yesterday. We were ecstatic. We hurriedly exited the lift and headed for home.
At home, my husband was pacing up and down our living room. He heard some footsteps, and headed for the gate.
“Daddy! Daddy!” shouted the girls happily. They were happy to be home, I was relieved that we made it home safely.
I related the whole incident to him. He listened intently.
The girls showered and changed into their new clothes. They were excited to share their strange encounter with their dad, who had decided to bring them to Burger King for breakfast. I was tired and didn’t want to tag along.
I was glad to be home. I couldn’t tell the girls or my husband the real story behind that spooky block. Before that Malay uncle and his family retired for bed, his wife came to me.
She whispered, “This block is cursed. A medium and his family was murdered in the lift at night. It was heard that he put a curse on the entire block to prevent people from leaving or entering the block when night falls. Even if you take the stairs, you can never find the end. We are the last family to move. Don’t come back after you’ve left.”
Her words were still ringing in my ears. What could have happened to that little boy who exited at level 5? I wondered.
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This was a nightmare I had last night. It was weird. But I’m glad it was just a dream.