#MuslimGirlCampfire: “I Sleep Here!”
This story is based on an adaptation of true events:
This story starts innocuously enough. My best friend flew out to visit her cousins in India, as she did every summer. I used to miss her, but the plus side was that she would always return from India with a treasure trove of jinn stories, told to her by her multitude of cousins. The stories ranged from the macabre, to the creepiest of bumps-in-the-night; mostly a collection of third-party recollections passed down from a friend of a friend. Regarding this particular incident, however, my friend Zainab wasn’t so lucky:
It was a typically warm, summer night in Lucknow, India. As was standard for evenings like this, Zainab and her army of cousins gathered on the roof of their joint-family residence, wicker beds littering the space, to shared jinn stories, and fall into deep sleep under the stars.
The night wore on, and the cousins shared story after story, each one scarier than than the one before. Once the flow of stories came to an end, the group of cousins began to settle in for the night.
Zainab rolled her eyes at this pathetic attempt to frighten her. She had the spirit of a warrior, and intended to take this attempt to scare her, head-on!
In an attempt to scare Zainab, they told her that it was all well and good to sleep on the roof of their abode, as long as they didn’t sleep in one very specific corner of the roof. “Why?” Zainab inquired. “Because that particular corner belongs to a jinn. He sleeps there, and there’s no telling what could happen if anyone disturbs him,” chorused her cousins. Zainab rolled her eyes at this pathetic attempt to frighten her. She had the spirit of a warrior, and intended to take this attempt to scare her, head-on!
“Oh, I wouldn’t dream of sleeping anywhere BUT that specific corner,” exclaimed Zainab. And so she did, for the next couple of nights. One night, she awoke, only to discover that she had been moved to the other side of the roof, in her sleep. Once again, she rolled her eyes at this tragic, albeit hilarious attempt at scaring her. She left a note for her cousins that read, “Your attempts at pranking me are failing, I know there is no jinn,” and in her sleepy state, she left the pen uncapped, by her bedside, along with the note.
She stared, wide-eyed, as her bedding seemed to rise in the air with violent, jerky movements, and was tossed carelessly in her direction.
A few nights later, Zainab awoke to being flung from her bed with force. She stared, wide-eyed, as her bedding seemed to rise in the air with violent, jerky movements, and was tossed carelessly in her direction. She looked around the rooftop, amongst the multitude of wicker beds. But there was no one there. She was alone.
Terrified, Zainab gingerly made her way towards the spot where she had been sound asleep, not too long ago. On the floor, etched backwards, and haphazardly into the concrete where the words, “I sleep here.”
Zainab ran. She ran furiously, putting as much distance between herself and those words as possible. As she ran, she felt her hair being tugged firmly, as though by a toddler in midst of an epic tantrum. But she couldn’t see anyone behind her. Zainab never visited that rooftop again. But from time to time, on her annual visits to her cousins in Lucknow, she sometimes feels a frigid gust of air on her ears, and hears a ghoulish, disembodied whisper: “I SLEEP HERE.”
And there you have it #MuslimGirlClique! The final campfire story in our #MuslimGirlCampfire series. Have a ghoulish Halloween, and remember, if you hear something that goes bump-in-the-night…RUN!