No, this wasn’t the best shrimp salad she had had. It was a little sweet, honey glazed and slightly tangy in parts. But overall, it was good. The shrimp was plump and juicy, spurting with flavours with every bite. But it was sweet. And she wasn’t really a big fan of sweet savouries. As she sat contemplating the ingredients of the dish, she felt a hand on her shoulder. It felt eerily cold. She turned back with a jerk to see who it was, but there was no one. Something felt very wrong. She had this fear of unknown lands and the spirits that resided there. She decided to polish her plate clean to distract her mind from this whirlpool of thoughts. And then it happened again. The hand was on her shoulder again. This time, she didn’t waste a second. She sprang up from her chair and looked around menacingly. The other guests at the restaurant looked at her quizzically. She might look crazy behaving this way in broad daylight. So she paid the bill immediately and ran towards her hotel. As she ran, she heard another pair of feet running behind her. She remembered that you should never look back when a spirit calls you. Because if you do, they never leave. She entered her hotel which was just a short walk away from the restaurant, breathing a sigh of relief. She somehow felt safer here. She immediately went to her room and opened her prayer book. It always helped calm her down. And today, she needed it more than anything.
As she opened her book, she saw words starting to appear on them. They read, “I haven’t had lunch in 342 years. I would like to try that shrimp once again.” She felt something strange happen now. Her body hurt and her head spun as she collapsed on the bed. When she woke up, it was dinner time. She couldn’t remember how she landed on her bed and why she had wasted the day sleeping. Her head hurt but the last thing she remembered was those shrimps. She suddenly felt an urge to have them again. A ravenous appetite was taking over her. She remembered hating the sweetness of it, but she wanted to try it once again. So she walked towards the restaurant and called for the shrimp salad. This time, the sweet savoury shrimp felt just right. But she knew something was definitely wrong with her.