Things that go crackle, click in the night

It was a dark and wet night. Rain clouds hung low in the sky, the wind whipped through the branches of the trees making swishing sounds. The taxi stopped in front of the house and I got out, avoiding the puddles in the potholes. The building was in darkness, the gate wide open. My neighbours were out, maybe even for the night. I paid the driver who solicitously asked me if I needed help. Thanking him for his concern, I told him I could manage and walked into the compound, hoping no one was hiding in the shadows. Maybe I should have asked him to wait till I got into the house.

I let myself in, switched on the lights, shut and locked the front door behind me. I had just finished a baking workshop, 2 bags full of baking trays and other paraphernalia that had been used and now needed to be washed, dried and put away, awaited my attention. And when it was all over, I switched on the TV to unwind before going to bed.

Just in time to watch a paranormal movie. I love watching scary movies, they are never scary enough for me. I usually watch them alone as neither the husband nor the son likes to watch them. But that night, with no other soul at home, the movie seemed just a little bit scarier.

The movie finished a little after 1am. I got up to switch off the TV when the lights began to flicker, at the same time, there was a cracking sound behind me. It took me a few second to realise that it was from the fridge. Twice a day, it goes through a resting phase and makes these weird sounds.  No two sounds are ever the same.

Then, clicking sounds from my son's room. Pulling myself together, I went up to the doorway and stood there. Everything was still and silent. Walking back to the living room, I heard it again. Goosebumps all over my arms, I tiptoed back to the doorway. Silence again, the ghostly light from the wifi equipment was the only illumination in the room. Click click!! Good heavens, it was the stupid UPS... gosh, I just hoped the power wouldn't go off with all the fluctuations. I got into bed and then heard a window banging in the wind. Got up again, bolted it shut and by then, fed up, tired and a little jumpy, I left the lights on and went to sleep.

Waking up in the morning, I felt quite foolish- the light was still on when suddenly, it went off. Cold fingers of fear gripped my heart... then the realisation it was the morning power cut.

Well, no more scary movies for me, at least for a while.

I had to cook that day and the contents of my freezer were not particularly interesting- a tray of boneless chicken and a tub of tomato paste. And in the fridge, half a carton of cream. Further rummaging unearthed some peeled garlic cloves and an onion. And in half an hour, my chicken was ready and for a dish that had so few ingredients, the result was simply delicious.

Here's the recipe for chicken in creamy tomato sauce. Throw in some sliced mushrooms, if that tickles your fancy. Serve it with herb rice, bread or even spaghetti. Err...I know it's a weird name for a fab dish, if anyone has a better idea, do let me know.

Chicken in creamy tomato sauce

450 gm boneless chicken, cut in chunks
1 onion, cut into chunks
5 cloves garlic, diced roughly
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 star anise
6 pimento
3 tablespoons tomato paste or puree(not ground tomatoes)
100 ml cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet, put in the star anise and pimento, followed by the onions.
When just turning golden, stir in garlic and ginger garlic paste.
Put in the chicken chunks, saute till the colour changes and the meat browns around the edges.
Stir in the tomato paste, season to taste, cover and cook till the chicken is done.
Stir in the cream, remove dish from heat just before it comes to a boil.


  1. Wow sara..felt the chills just reading it...the next time we go out,we will leave the lights on... just in case ;-)-swarna

  2. How will I be inspired to write my next tale if you do that?? :D

  3. Sara! Loved reading this piece. Didn't know that you loved horror movies, Shwetha and I are big fans too! So here's to a horror movie and food session very, very soon! :)

    1. Oh that's fantastic, KP. Yup love them and yes, definitely looking forward. Must plan one soon.


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