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The couple that lived in our house before we moved there, in the summer of 2015, were devout Hindus. So when the couple politely warned against moving three porcelain figurines of Hindu deities, lightly propped on a window sill, we smiled and- out of respect for their spirituality- abided by their wishes. 

Two years into living in the quaint and tidy home, our family adopted a rambunctious 2-year-old yellow lab, Luna. When she meets new people, she experiences what my family lovingly refers to as zoomies, and skitters through the narrow twists of our home, jostling tables, nudging chairs, pulling on rugs and, occasionally, knocking down figurines. One fogged September day, a blonde blur whirled into my dining room wall, and one of the deities slipped off its fragile ledge and shattered on the wood floor beneath. Chastising Luna- “bad dog! Go run off”- I grabbed the dustpan and swept up the broken pieces. Brushing off the incident as a minor inconvenience, I continued with my day. 

About two weeks later, as I sat under the amber light of my dining room chandelier, I noticed a constant flickering of the light above the two remaining figurines. Tightening the lightbulb, I assumed, would fix the issue - it had with all the other lights in my house. So I wandered over to the light fixture, tightened the lightbulb, and the flickering stopped. I stumbled back into my seat, picked up my pencil, continued my calculus homework, only to realize, frustratingly, that the light started malfunctioning again. 

I told my mom of the issue, and we called in an electrician to solve the problem. “I have some bad news-” he muttered to us, after working for two hours and dismantling the entire wiring system, “- I couldn’t find anything definitely wrong with the light. It’s connected to the circuit of the lights adjacent to it, both of which are fine, so there is no physical explanation for the flickering.” My gaze rested on the two remaining figurines, and a sense of deep unsettlement simmered in my gut.

To this day, the mystery of the flickering light has never been solved. Every once in a while, however, the slightest whirring emanates from that corner of the dining room, inexplicable wind currents that blow napkins and rustle curtains: a reminder that an energy, a disruption in the placid home has occurred there, marked in the fragmented remains of Durga, the protector of humankind from evil. 

I am a first year at Duke University. I'm from Boston, Massachusetts and live with my five siblings (triplets and twins). Outside of writing, I am passionate about music and have played the flute for nine years.
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