short story · Thoughts

An Episode From Life

This short story was my entry for the below picture prompt.

She knew exactly where to find her.

Sue locked the front door of her cottage and headed out to the lake gathering her jacket. She wondered if Heather has carried hers.  The evening chill was slowly creeping and she felt the cold caress of the wind on her exposed cheeks.

Heather was agitated and she had the reason to be.

Sue tried to gather the right words and keep them ready to use, even though she herself did not know if they would be good enough to guide her friend safely through the storm which was brewing in her matrimony.

Heather had found a resort booking with details of one room under the name of Allison plus one, in her husband Harry’s mail.

She did not mean to snoop. But her instincts were tingling, triggered by his late office hours and an assortment of flimsy excuses for coming home late.

The booking was for the weekend. She nourished the improbable hope that, it was just Allison, Harry’s assistant, who would be going for the business meet. When he left, Saturday morning for the meet at the resort, Heather did not confront him. Instead she left for her sanctuary. Her best friend Sue and her cottage near the lake.

Sue found Heather, at their usual place and settled next to her.

“What did I do wrong? Heather’s voice was barely a whisper.

Sue put her arms around her friend. “Don’t shift the blame towards you, girl. Harry knew what was at stake, when he embarked on his adulterous relationship. “

“Maybe he wasn’t happy with me”

“Cut it out Heather. I knew how happy you were together. If happiness was running low, you don’t go searching for it in the arms of another woman. You talk and sort out your issues.”

Silence descended between them, riding on the wings of the peaceful evening. The crest of the faraway mountain was gilded with snow, like an angel at the apex of a Christmas tree.

Sue said “ Fall is almost over girl. Trees never remain bare, with their dead leaves gone. Life starts all over again for them. Does it not fill you with hope? We will get through this. “

Heather leaned towards Sue and rested her head on Sue’s shoulders.

“Yeah. I am sure we will. “

short story

The Red Ball

I believe in paranormal experiences. I got a prompt for a 250 word horror story which brought memories of an unexplained experience I had years ago.

I was sleeping on the floor and I had a dream of a ball rolling and hitting my feet. I woke up in the morning and found the ball under the cot.

Here is the story

The day broke with a pall of gloom cast by the looming clouds.

Sue hurried towards the cemetery ignoring the threatening thunder and lightning.

She opened the rickety gate, expecting to see the cemetery keeper, George, in his ritual of sweeping the autumn leaves from the narthex of the little church where funeral services are held.

Not finding him, she moved to her brother’s grave.

She remembered their last day together. He was playing with his favourite red ball in their courtyard and she was in her room lost in her books.

She never thought that her brother would fall into the ditch, leaning in to retrieve his ball.

His tiny body was found after two days, three miles down the road, by the workers who opened the man hole for inspecting and rectifying a block in the drainage.

Wiping off her tears Sue hugged the headstone, imagining her brother’s slender arms around her.

Rain drops started pelting down. She let go off the tombstone and turned to head back home.

Something hard hit at the back of her head.

She turned around and followed the red object which was bouncing away.

Sue picked up the familiar, but lost red ball, hearing the rain drops whispering in her brother’s voice,.

“Come Sue, Play with Me”

Lightning struck, bringing a huge branch of the tree down, at the exact place where Sue stood a minute ago.

Sue saw George bounding towards her, shouting something which was lost in another clap of thunder.

She stood, rooted to the ground, her tears merging with the raindrops, staring at the red ball in her hand.

short story

Revenge She Mused

Everything was absolutely in place and customary when she got up early Monday morning. She switched off the alarm, carefully removed her husband’s arms entwined around her and headed off to kitchen .
She liked everything normal and habitual that followed a preset pattern. Having to do things differently caused her irritation and she loved her methodical life.

Even going out and having fun followed a time table which they did on Saturdays. It was always a movie, random shopping and lunch.Once in a while she would do things unplanned and chaotic.
On such occasions she would be restless tills she falls back on track. Even though she was aware of this quirk in her nature, she didn’t find anything strange in her behaviour and her husband never complained.

As usual, she was in her comfort zone, making their Monday special banana pancakes and the next agenda in her timetable was to keep the kitchen waste outside. She did it promptly and went to the balcony to collect another waste disposal bag .

Then and there the trouble erupted.Her husband had not placed his shoes on the shoe rack where it was meant to be.It was on the floor with the soiled socks strewn around .She hated having to touch another person’s soiled socks even if that another person was her husband. Now seeing the balcony in a disarray, she felt irritation welling within her like a volcano waiting to erupt.

She disliked reminding him to do the same thing multiple times. So she would bottle up this soreness within her for days, observing it intensifying every day, due to some things or the other out of place, like a wet towel on the bed, unfolded blanket, dirty foot prints on a freshly mopped floor, dirty linen which missed the free shot into the laundry bag.

All these amplified her feeling of being taken for granted.

Then it would erupt and she would let her anger flow, careful that the lava doesn’t cause any harm to anything or anyone nearby.

She would be clamming up her brain with thoughts of leaving her husband and staying alone and not having anyone to bother about or anyone to disrupt her picture perfect life.

She would pour out her anger in all those conversations that happened in her head, words which would wring his heart, which she would otherwise dare not utter. Then she would feel remorse for even having those thoughts. This would calm her down. She would drown her husband in her love for the next few days till it happened all over again.

Today, having had to face this soiled socks and strewn shoes early morning itself, she felt the storm brewing within.

She first thought of flinging them out of the balcony, then thought of hiding them .
As she kept concocting her devious plans and thoughts, she felt her not so good alter ego gaining control. She felt its evil presence enveloping her, but for once she let herself succumb to its power.

Her husband got up at 7 a.m, came to the kitchen to give and receive the good morning hug and sat with the news paper and his coffee .

Her plan was to spill little water on the marble floor near the bathroom .She expected him to slip and fall, thus taking her sweet revenge for spoiling her day. He finished his coffee and headed for his bath.

She was in the kitchen listening for the thud and the voice of him calling out for her.

She heard the dull sound of something hitting the floor and then silence.

Seconds passed and she failed to hear the groaning as expected. Her wicked state of mind gave way to alarm and she flew to their bedroom.

There he lay, motionless, blood pooling on the white floor around his head. She knelt down beside him and shook him, calling his name again and again.

This wasn’t what she expected. She did not imagine or want him to hit his head on the sharp corner of the bed, or for him to lay still like the way he was lying now.
“ No, No..Oh God, No…” She screamed…

“Stop it …wake up…” It was her husband shaking her. She opened her eyes, realizing, what she had gone through, was just a dream.
“ Were you having a nightmare? It’s 5:30 am .Aren’t to going to work today.?” he asked.
She heaved a sigh of relief and said,”No, I am taking a day off. Let’s spend a day together.What say ? ..”
“ You are a very wicked woman ,” he said smiling.