At the stroke of midnight

 For the speakeasy at yeah write #147

At the stroke of midnight

“There was a time when things were different. When I was young…”

 Amused laughter and snatches of conversation filtered through the living room into the kitchen where Christina stood at the sink washing the dishes. She was used to such sessions of group study at her house. Gary, her husband was a renowned Professor at the university.

She finished washing the dishes and started dinner. The students would be leaving any minute and she did not want to be caught on the wrong foot.

Few minutes later, she heard the door close and tensed. Gary strode into the kitchen.

“What’s cooking? Smells  good.” His arms went around her waist and he started nuzzling her neck.

“Its pot roast”, she replied, trying to put a smile in her voice.

His fingers were already busy undoing the buttons of her blouse.

“The food will get burnt, “she protested mildly but to no avail.

Gary took her on the kitchen floor, while she clenched her teeth to stop herself from crying out. She knew he was watching her. Any sign of discomfort or pain would just egg him on. Sex was not for pleasure but something he used against her, to inflict pain and humiliate her.

She could smell the food burning and involuntarily her eyes moved towards the stove. That was enough to tilt the scales. Gary shoved her away with such suddenness that she banged her head hard against the worktable and she cried out.

“You flat chested cold fish! Not even the best plastic surgeon in the world can help you.” He jeered.

With that, he left the kitchen and shut himself up in his den.

Christina knew better than to call his bluff. She was a size D and very attractive. She had been very popular all through college and even now, at parties, men sought her out.

Looking back on her three years of marriage she wondered how she had not seen through Gary’s veneer of decency. She had ruminated on this many times but each time she concluded that she had had no way to gauge it. Gary had played his cards very smartly.

 In their six months of courtship, he had always been gentle, courteous and attentive to her every need. He was well established, had his own house, and was respected in the community. No one would ever believe that the same man could behave in such a manner.

She too had not-the first time it happened. They had been married two weeks and had returned after seeing a movie. As she was taking off her jewelry, Gary grabbed her roughly, tore her dress off her back and had his way with her. She was left bruised; a little shocked but she was still very much in love and thought this just added another shade to their colourful life.

She couldn’t have been more wrong!

She remembered how one afternoon he had returned home and started dragging her to the bedroom. When she protested, he growled, ”Why not? Am not good enough for you, eh? Or is there someone else giving you what you are refusing me?” He had then beaten her leaving her numb with shock and pain.

Another night, in one of their intimate moments, he had suddenly slapped her and said, “You Bitch! Do you think I don’t know? Fantasizing about your dream lover, aren’t you?”

The pattern continued without any respite. Initially she tried to get him to go for counselling but was laughed at and punished severely.

Christine knew no one would believe her. She had no one to turn to-Gary had made sure of that.

Deciding enough was enough, she started her quest for freedom. She used different internet cafes in the neighbouring town, every time she went online. No use leaving tell tale signs.

New Year’s Eve.

Christine, beautiful in her off shoulder floor length burgundy gown .The full sleeves, gathered at the wrist looked divine. Her French knot looked regal.

She watched Gary enjoying himself. Oh, how he loved being the cynosure of all eyes! Well, it would be the last time he did, she mused.

At the stroke of midnight, the lights dimmed and everyone rushed to hug and wish each other. In a flash, Christine stabbed Gary with her poison tipped stiletto knife, and moved away.

There was an investigation but the Police never found the weapon or the motive for Gary’s murder.

Best thing? She was never suspected.



This is written for The Speakeasy at Yeah Write. The weekly writing challenge with a sentence and image writing prompt for up to 750 words. This week the sentence, “There was a time when things were different,” must be used as the beginning of the story. This week’s prompt can be found here: 


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30 thoughts on “At the stroke of midnight

  1. Good for her! I’m so glad she got rid of him. Love that she used a poison-tipped knife to do him in. Great story, Atreyee! It’s so great to see you at the speakeasy! 🙂

    • 🙂 Thank you Suzanne-am going to go read and vote as soon as I finish responding to the comments on my blog.Am very excited-lots of entries this week 😀

      Sadly,my daughter’s post did not link up and strangely is not showing up on her blog too tho funny that she has recd a few likes on her post?Never mind-there is always a next time-told her to expand it and post it for another upcoming challenge for another site-hope that is alright & not breaking any rules?

  2. You’ve got to love a happy ending that involves someone dying. 😉 This is a compelling, well-written story with a satisfying end. Very nicely done in spite of the word limit.

    • Ha!ha! The wicked witch in me has to agree to that ;-)Thank you so much for the thumbs up on my debut entry here-I really appreciate your coming by to read and comment 😀

  3. Oh what a horrible monster she married! I really liked that he was a well-respected college professor and I love how you start out the scene of her in the kitchen listening to the kids voices. I thought this story was fascinating and oh how I loved that ending. I’m so glad she never got caught!

    • Thank you dear Linda-it means a lot to me when friends comment- for you know they are not paying lip service-others may be trying to be polite or something 😛 Glad you liked the end-initially I had written differently-with her just planning to flee but my wicked self disapproved-so the change 😉

      • Well I thought the ending was most satisfying. But honestly, I didn’t want it to end. I can see this as a much longer short story. It left me with a feeling that there’s so much more going on in those two lives you conjured up. Maybe you could continue it at some point . . .

      • Oh really?Actually once I finish writing,I never think of them again and in fact I tend to forget my stories-Sam gets mad at me(btw,she has started a blog too-[participated in FF last week-baby steps)but many a times I have been asked if I planned to expand on the storyline-maybe once I become more seasoned ,then I can think of adding more “meat” to such stories and maybe a novel will take form,lol!

      • Yes! I’ve found the writing challenges are the most fun way to improve one’s writing! And I love that you are asked to write about things you wouldn’t have ever thought of writing about without the challenges. And I know what you mean about not remembering your stories. I’m that same way! I just recently started looking at my Trifecta stories and I have 87 of them. Sheesh! And everyone of those stories was fun to write! So I guess for all my complaining I really do love blogging and I have learned so much and met so many like-minded people like you!

      • Yes,it does surprise one-I learnt some new things-like writing a Haiku and some other Japanese style poetry,lol!All in all,it is fun,I agree:-)

  4. Woo-hoo! He got what he deserved! What an insecure jerk! He knew he was rotten to the core and took it out on her. I admire her patience in waiting for the right moment to ‘off’ him. I’m afraid I would’ve snapped and done it while cooking dinner (before I had to endure intimacy with him 🙂 )

    Glad to see you linked up at Speakeasy. This week just may be the biggest turn out yet 🙂

    • Ha!ha!So would I-in fact I would have sliced him the day he dared to tear off my dress,lol!Hate abusers!

      Yes,just finished reading all the entries except two-one my daughters which did not link up and funnily is not showing up on her blog too-no idea why and another which failed to open-no 30 i think-voted already:-)Both me and Sam had probs trying to add the badge-mine linked up and though she followed the exact same steps-her’s didn’t-I was right beside her -she even got a few likes-don’t know how that is possible-poor thing-felt very bad 😦

    • Thank you Valerie-so glad that her voice rang true:-) Am still reading & commenting -been at it since the last 8 hours or so-finished one site-am at the second-won’t finish this tonight-going to b e 3a.m here-will visit Trifecta only tomorrow-sigh-am so slow,lol!

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