No foul play


 the speakeasy at yeah write #151

No foul play

“Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes.”

Gerry stopped writing and shut his diary with force. Anger and sorrow struggled with each other to gain foothold. Sorrow won. He missed her. If only…

He went and stood by the window. Night had decided to wear her star spangled coat and was busy romancing the full moon. He closed the window. Such beauty pained him.

His mind went back to the time when all was orderly, or so it seemed. His Dad was a soldier and was home only on short holidays. He was a good father and a dutiful husband but nothing more. His mother on the other hand, was an artist with a passionate temperament, which she kept well hidden under routine. He was an ordinary boy living an ordinary life.

Then one day, when he was fourteen, it all changed. His Dad came back from Afghanistan sans his right leg. Wallowing in self –pity, his Dad took to the bottle. His mom tried her best to take care of the family by taking up odd jobs but it was not enough. She had been a beautiful woman, but her face stated to lose its glow with the constant worry. Soon, his father started becoming abusive. Initially it was only verbal but then it escalated into physical blows.

Life dragged on, with no respite for the family. The only silver lining on the black cloud called “crisis” was Gerry’s excellent grades at school.

One night, when Gerry was sixteen, he found his mom in the basement painting the walls furiously. He was astonished to see the vibrant colours and bold strokes that she used. He watched silently, as she added a cobalt blue and then contrasted it with a flaming orange. Later he convinced her to let the artist in her take charge.

She surprised everyone by excelling in her chosen field and very soon, many art galleries were showing interest in her work. She had her first independent show, when Gerry turned eighteen. Soon after, he left for college on a full scholarship. Life seemed to have steadied itself.

At college, he made friends and enjoyed studying. He received letters from his Mom which told him about her shows and he was happy that she was tasting success. He was unable to visit home for the next two years as there were some extra courses he had opted for which needed him to stay back during the breaks. So, when he went home, he was a little puzzled to see his mom looking radiant but a little flustered, as if she had a secret.

Two days before he was due to return, he learnt of his mom’s secret. She told him that she had met Bud, another artist-a sculptor- six months back and they had fallen in love. However, as his mom was not free there was no future for them. Gerry was happy for his mom and expressed his wish to meet Bud. A meeting was arranged and he was pleased with his mom’s choice. However, his Dad posed a problem. He was not ready to let his wife go and said”no” to divorce. His drinking and violent behaviour took a turn for the worst. Bidding her a fond farewell, Gerry promised his mom to be back during Christmas to find a solution.

But that was not to be. Six weeks to Christmas, he received news about his Mom’s death and had to rush home. Police officers said that they had found his mother lying with her neck broken at the end of the stairs leading to the basement. Possibly she had slipped .They ruled out any foul play as his Dad was found dead drunk, on the sofa in the hallway. Gerry had his reasons to believe otherwise.

A few days after the funeral, Gerry plied his Dad with drink after drink. He kept egging him on and implying that he was glad his mom was no more. Still, his blood froze when he heard his Dad confess.

“Ah, I hated that bitch! Pushing her that day felt damned good. No one leaves me!!”His Dad growled in a slurred voice.

A week later, Gerry slipped back into the house, unnoticed, and pushed his drunken Dad down the stairs. He was satisfied to hear the squelching sound his Dad’s head made when it struck the corner of the marble slab at the bottom.

Police ruled out any foul play, again.



This was written for the Speakeasy weekly writing prompt, the speakeasy at yeah write #151 ,which is to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is 748 words,including the title) (a) using “Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes.” as the first sentence,and (b) include some sort of reference to the photograph posted above, taken by Czintos Ödön.If you are interested in reading all the entries or joining the challenge please click on this url-




36 thoughts on “No foul play

  1. What a great story with a killer twist. I am amazed when writers can use so few words to bring out so much detail about characters. I felt like I knew them all and could relate. Nice use of the prompts!

    • What a beautiful and encouraging comment Martha-am so happy that you think so cos am not well today and wasn’t sure what I was spilling out-this made me feel so much better,God bless you xx 🙂

  2. Oh Atreyee you come up with unbelievable stories. Good for you. I thought you were not going to enter, but you are a late bloomer and they always produce their best work. Good luck and best wishes to you my friend.

    • Thank you dear Ranu for your lovely words and support:-)Yes,I too was wondering if I will be bale to or not-had a bad night yesterday -daughter was also unwell but managed to write something-glad it struck the right chord:-) Did you submit?Hope you have.Will start reading tomorrow-am feeling very tired just now.U tc and have a great day xx

    • Thank you my friend-am pleased that you think so-the community is very supportive and I won a second place in my very second week-so am very happy-now winning is not that important-I would love to keep growing with these wonderful challenges and my reward ? When my readers and friends ,like you,love what I write :-)Did not see your entry-did you not submit?

  3. Backatcha buddy! A deserving end for a man twisted by fate. The happy news of the mother and son’s success lifted me up, but was saddened by the mother’s death and sloppy police work. I guess slipshod efforts by the police is a double-edged sword. Great story, Atreyee!

    • You caught that one Eric:-) Yes,I had initially thought of only doing the Dad in for him mistreating his gem of a wife and neglecting the child but found out that my story had a mind of its own-just like me,ha!ha!Thank you so much for the pat on the back-means a lot 🙂

  4. Ah, you write death so well! I had wondered if the son was going to ‘take care of’ the father, but was surprised by the death of his mother. Am sad that she died, but am a little too gleeful that the father suffered the same demise. Not very nice of me, I know!

    • Ha!ha!Janna,thank you my dear,glad you felt that way for that was my intention 😛 We are the wicked sisters,lol! Just logged on-still feeling sleepy and it is afternoon,yikes!Had just finished reading and commenting on the 5th entry and opened the 6th to see your response come in-Sam has gone to college-had an exam.poor girl.Will mail you later tonight,tc,love u xx

    • Yes,I managed Deanna though daughter could not-had an exam today-so she was busy studying for that:-)Thank you so much-am glad my story made sense and was not drivel ,lol!

  5. There’s some lovely writing there. My favourite line was, “Night had decided to wear her star spangled coat and was busy romancing the full moon.” That squelching sound was a little more satisfying than it should have been. There’s nothing like a little poetic justice. I love the title too. Great job! 🙂

  6. You have such a devious mind, Atreyee! Remind me never to cross you. 😉

    I also loved the poetic justice in the father’s fate, but I feel bad for the son having to lose his mother, who was such a bright light in his life.

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