“Long time ago or was it once upon a time?” she began.
“Either way, amma. Tell me a scary story today,” I said.
“Want to sleep in my room?” my mother joked.
We laughed it off.
“There was a small community who were outcasts for their practices didn’t match the lofty standards others had. They believed in life after death; they even had sacrifices.”
“Sacrifices? Of what?” I asked.
“Human sacrifices. They believed that evil must be sacrificed each time a good soul dies of old age. This was done to keep the balance of good and evil.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“It was said that there was an old lady. She turned 80, then 90 and eventually died. Her family was devastated. So they went to the lead men of the village and pleaded to bring her back. They told them about the many wonderful things she had done; her good deeds towards society and the wonderful children she had given birth to. Upon understanding their situation, one of the men marched over to the local prison to chose their bait. Despite the village being an outcast, they had strict rule of law. Guilty were punished in the jail. The man randomly picked a prisoner. He asked him, ‘What crime did you commit?’ The man replied, ‘I killed a bird.’ The head man of the village nodded at the prison guard. The guard released him with chains and the marched over to their public execution ground. The head man ordered for the old lady to be brought. They placed her on a hospital bed along side the guillotine. The bird-murderer was executed, slowly and painfully. As life left him, it entered the old woman. Slowly, the body hung limp. The old woman stretched and sat up. She was alive again. The family cried tears of joy. She was with them, once again.”
I stared at my mother. “Is this a real story, amma?”
“No. No, Nina. You cannot bring back the dead,” she said.
“It is just a story?” I asked.
“Just a story. Now go to sleep.”