*Bang Bang* a door banging sound woke Varun up. He was sleeping like a baby, found it hard to open his eyes. He turned to the other side and slept again. *Bang Bang* the sound continued for a while and Varun is now completely lucid. He jumped from his bed and walked down the corridor, he moved the curtain and the light from the living room attacked his pupils making him go blind for a moment. He closed his eyes like it was a flashbang. “What the hell are you guys doing at this time?” he yelled at his two sisters. “Oh! Is it 2 already? We were playing crossword, we lost track of time” Niveda, the eldest sister giggled looking at Harsha, the other sister. Both of them were laughing at their young brother who was making weird faces. “I never thought playing crossword would sound like a canon firing on my head” he complained. “It’s the neighbours!” Harsha said pointing towards the opposite apartment. *Bang Bang* this time the bang was more intense and harsh. “For the love of god, why do these things happen when I finally decide to sleep” Varun whinged “It’s been 37 hours since I last slept”
*Bang Bang Bang*
“What the f….” Varun gasped and peeked out through the peephole. It’s Catherine, her shift completes at 1:30 AM and she’s home by 2:15 AM. Her husband, David, “creepy guy” Varun calls him wasn’t opening the door. “Looks like Miss. Narcissist is learning her lesson” Varun whispered to his sisters. Niveda couldn’t hold her curiosity and pushed Varun aside looking out through the peephole. Catherine is literally trying to break the door. Harsha was laughing at how curious her siblings are “Stop you both! It looks odd, voyeuristic!” she yelled at them. “Shhh! She might hear us” Varun whispered with awkward expression on his face. Varun pushed her sister slowly and peeked out. Catherine burst out in tears was hanging on the door handle shaking the door like a mad woman. “Poor Catherine” Varun said to himself. He turned towards Niveda “Shall we open the door and ask what happened?”. Niveda thought for a moment, “Should we?” she asked with a puzzled face. “Can we?” Harsha yelled from behind. “David must be so drunk” Varun laughed. “I don’t think he drinks.” Harsha said. “Did they fight?” Niveda looked at both her siblings. “So, Creepy Guy is just being creepy because that’s exactly what he’s good at?” Varun asked again. “So should we open the door?” Harsha asked again. “Will it be like…” Varun gulped. “Be like what?” Niveda asked like she was thinking the same. “Interfering in a private matter” Harsha completed their thoughts. The three looked at each other. “What should we do now?” Varun asked. “We’ll play Crossword” Harsha said and went back to the table, sat on the chair and was arranging words. Varun looked at Niveda as if he’s expecting an answer. But she responded with a shrug and went back to join Harsha. Varun looked at both of them, he was helpless, curious and peeked through the hole again. The door was open with a half broken handle. He could hear Catherine crying and David explaining. He couldn’t figure out what they were talking about though. “Just another troubled family in the troubled city” he said to himself. “We didn’t open the door. But what about the others? Why didn’t the other two neighbours open doors?” he continued asking himself and looked at the apartment beside Catherine’s, the door shook a bit, like someone was standing behind it, like someone was peeking through the peephole. He got his answer. He turned towards his sisters and they were not there. The crossword board was on the table with all the alphabets thrown around the board on table. The board has a single word on it, ‘Bang’. Varun looked puzzled, looked around, couldn’t find his sisters around, like they vanished. “Varun !” someone screamed. It sounded like Niveda!
*Bang bang bang*
Varun opened his eyes, the banging continued. Varun looked at his phone, it was 2:30 AM. There were 25 missed calls and a message from Niveda.
“Open the door, Varun!” the message read. Varun jumped out of his bed.