The survivors

Lion

 

The survivors
Without a word, she dropped to the ground. She had no energy left. Her half naked body shivered and her mind telescoped within itself. She was oblivious to the hushed murmurs that rose from the group of women surrounding her or of the midwife cleaning and covering her up. Her eyes were fixed on the small, immobile bundle. Her fourth child had arrived into this world without any noise, as if protesting against the atrocities of the past. A still born…

 
She was not sure if she should be relieved or sad. She, Radha, the third wife of the village Chaudhary had failed to give him a male heir yet again. Her three daughters had been killed as soon as they had uttered their first cry. Radha had been told of the fate a new born girl would meet in the Chaudhary household by Lalita and Amodini, the first two wives of Chaudhary. They had undergone the same pain and had finally been thrown out of the house.

 
The first time it happened, Radha had cried for months but this time, she was numb. She wondered if this little one already knew that she was going to be killed-was unwanted and so had decided to end it all before it began. The Chaudhary was too egotistical to even harbour the idea that a woman was in no way responsible for a child’s gender. Not that anyone in this village knew or understood such things.

 
She knew that her time to be evicted had arrived when she saw her husband eyeing the Priest’s nubile daughter, Pallavi. His hungry gaze reminded her of a cat she had once seen, climbing a tree slowly, stalking its prey-a young bird. She thought that it ironic that the Chaudhary did not want any daughters, forgetting that it is finally a woman who gives birth to a man!

 

 

When she heard that a marriage proposal had been sent to Pallavi’s house, she shuddered at the fate that awaited the poor girl. She wished she could do something to save the young girl from her husband’s clutches but her husband was a powerful man. No one could help her and anyway all the men in the village had the same attitude. The date for her husband’s marriage was fixed .It was going to take place in three months time. She prayed for a miracle.

 
Unfortunately, nothing happened and the marriage took place on the scheduled day. Chaudhary decided not to throw Radha out simply because she was still young and beautiful. It also gave his ego a big boost to have two young wives at his beck and call, to satisfy his every need.

 
Two weeks after the marriage, the Chaudhary had to go to another village for campaigning. Panchayat elections were close and he wanted to win again. Meanwhile, Radha and Pallavi became good friends. Then, one day Pallavi confessed that she was in love with a young man. However, he belonged to a lower caste and though he was very intelligent and was going to college, they could never be together.

 
Radha got an idea .She knew there was a chance that the Chaudhary could be beaten, God willing. She remembered reading in “Mahabharata”, the epic. Kunti and Madri, the two wives of King Pandu had conceived children by invoking different Gods as their husband had been incapable of having coitus.Though, this was not really the case, and a little twisting of the original tale may work wonders here. It could also mean salvation for her and Pallavi.

 
She decided to talk to Pallavi about her plan.Pallavi was scared at first but then she caught on to it and became excited. For the two weeks Chaudhary was absent, Radha helped Pallavi meet her lover and they cohabited. Her lover was leaving for the city after the two weeks and Radha and Pallavi decided he need not know anything about their plan.

 
A month later Chaudhary was given the good news that Pallavi was expecting.

 
Both Radha and Pallavi prayed and eight months later, their prayers were answered.Pallavi gave birth to two bonny babies-both males. Everyone rejoiced and the Chaudhary threw a huge party. The two wives looked at each other and smiled, knowing that they would take this secret to their graves.

 

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly writing prompt #155. The challenge this week is to(a) write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is 718 words,including the title) (b) using “Without a word, she dropped to the ground.” as the first sentence, and (c) make some sort of reference to the photo prompt (which is posted above).

Speakeasy is open to everyone and if you are interested in participating or reading what other contestants have submitted for this contest,please click on this link http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/155-open/

speakeasy-new

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.

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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: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/147-open/ 

                 

<a href=”http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/147-open/”><img src=”http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/speakeasy2.png”></a&gt;

Lucky me!

Friday Fictioneers

It is that time of the week again when Rochelle Wisoff-Fields,our wonderful hostess at FF ,posts the picture prompt.The challenge is to write a 100 word flash ficion based on that picture.Now Rochelle herself sets the ball rolling with a fantastic spin herself.This in turn sends around 100 writers from all over the world,scurrying for their muse and their magic quills and the fun begins:-)What?You don’t believe me?Ok,head over to her site(http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/friday-fictioneers-2/)  and read for yourself.

Here is the picture prompt for this week by Jean L.Hays.

 

Copyright- Jean L. Hays

Copyright- Jean L. Hays

 

Am off to spin my tale.This week sadly am not going to be able to read any of the entries because tomorrow am travelling to my home town for a 3 day reunion bash with my (school) class mates and will be having no access to net(no time too) till I return on the 26th,So wishing all my friends,readers and followers at FF a very  cheerful and happy festive season,God bless you all:-)

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Lucky me!

A renowned marine biologist.

 She was 30, successful, surrounded by people but lonely.

A struggling artist.

He was 22, a high school dropout with no money, yet happy.

A chance meeting at a stained glass exhibition led to love.

Mismatched, some said.

Odd couple said others.

When they decided to tie the knot, few gave their marriage more than six months.

I was one of the few.

Today, 35 years later, my wife Millie and me, look at the stained Glass door and smile.

It was my first job and it gave me more than I had ever dreamt of.

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(102 words including the title)

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Slippery customer

Trifecta: Week 107

 

On now to this week’s challenge, where the word is:

MELT (transitive verb)

Remember: 

• Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
• You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.  
• The word itself needs to be included in your response.  
• You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.  
• Only one entry per writer.   –

See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.Hod5X3m7.dpuf

 

 

Well,after two days of agony,nursing a bad bout of migraine,here I am groggy but better,attempting to play catch up.Hope this offering(333 words) is not entirely unpalatable,though a tad silly;-)

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Slippery customer

“It started two months back-with her feet, “Harris stated tiredly.

“What do you mean?”

“You see her beautiful feet were developing calluses and cracks. No salons would do-she was a DIY kind of woman. So, off she went to the market and came back laden with all kinds of special scrubs, exfoliating tools and oils .After that there was no stopping her. Agreed her feet started becoming softer but this was like OCD-I mean she would just melt at the mention of any product promising to soften her feet and order them at the drop of a hat!”

 Detective Sheridan looked at the middle-aged man sitting before him and said, “So you decided to kill her, Harris?”

“No officer, I did not! Yes, I admit I harboured that thought specially when meals became few and far between and the soup tasted-ugh soapy! The house reeked of exotic oils and my sinuses became clogged. Soggy towels, pumice stones and scrubbers of all kinds filled up our bathroom shelf! Worst was her insistence on wearing thick woollen socks even in our intimate moments-the few we had that is!”Harris sighed.

Sheridan hid a smile under his bushy moustache and continued with his investigation. His sympathies lay with Harris but he was duty bound.

“Then how do you explain the fatal injury on her head? Are you suggesting she hit herself?”

“Ah no Officer! I know how it looks but she must have slipped and hit her head on the marble floor, when she rushed to open the door. I had warned her many times about the dangers of walking on wet feet but she never listened. You saw for yourself the wet footprints and the tub of soapy water.The courier company can verify…”

“Hmm, you mean in her eagerness to receive the package of wonder foot cream that she had ordered, she ran?”

“Yes officer.”

“Too convenient don’t you think? But for your sake Harris, I hope the post-mortem report rules out any foul play.”

 

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Silenced

 

This is the first time I am writing for Friday Fictioneers,hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields,an amazing writer herself 🙂

THE CHALLENGE:

Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)The following photo prompt has been provided by Douglas M Mcllroy ,for the challenge.

 

Copyright - C. Hase

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

Here is my 100 word story plus 1(for the title) 🙂

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Silenced

“EDDIE! Did you clean the pond?!”

It was always the same.

Agnes was beautiful but loved to nag. Eddie, her husband, was a gentle soul.

 Neighbours hoped that some day she would really leave Eddie and go, as she often threatened.

 Her only love- the Koi pond.

When Eddie got posted to the neighbouring town, he went alone. Neighbours understood the reason.

Soon, a man was noticed Agnes, at all hours.

Tongues wagged, when one night Agnes disappeared.

Later, they saw Eddie filling up the koi pond.

They nodded sagely, “Natural! He does not want to be reminded of Agnes.”

 

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The Countdown

Trifecta: Week Ninety-Seven

This week’s prompt word is –
 

ASS

 
 

Here is my submission.

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The Countdown

 

Melissa looked out and groaned inwardly.

He was up on the rickety ladder, trying to hang a string of light bulbs on to their Christmas tree

Aloud, she said,” Clarence, don’t you think it is too early to decorate the tree? It’s still two weeks to Christmas!”

He grinned, the lop-sided one, which once had charmed her. She hated it now.God, she hated him now!

“Oh Mel!

She hated it when he called her that!

“Christmas is in one’s heart. It’s giving and spreading love. I want to spread it, “ he literally cooed.

Someone kill me, cried Melissa silently.

She went in .She would rather not be party to this kind of foolishness and definitely not be the object of derision of the amused passers-by.

She was glad that all this would be over soon.

 

It had not been like this always.

They both had met in college and fallen in love. Everyone envied them. They looked perfect together, were intelligent, funny and had a bright future ahead.

After graduation, they landed plum jobs, tied the knot with the blessings of their families. Nothing could have gone wrong.

But it did.

Recession hit and Clarence lost his job. He sank into depression.

She had a miscarriage.

He took to drinking.

 Many sessions of counselling ensued and he joined AA.

Then the real trouble started.

He met Greta. She was all that Melissa was not.Frumpy, boring with no class or education to speak of! A real dumb-ass!

But by Jove, she knew how to spout the scriptures and was a fanatic.Funnily, Clarence, took to her and her teachings like a duck to water.

 

After failing to wean Clarence away from this suicidal “religion” and the clutches of his ever present Greta, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

The countdown had begun.

Clarence was going to receive a beautiful Christmas gift, for Melissa was in a mood to give too. Their divorce was going to be granted on Christmas Eve!

 

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Once upon a night…

Trifecta: Week Ninety-Five

 

This week Trifecta wants us to come up with a piece  which is between 33-333 words and uses the third definition of the word “Rainbow”.The definition is-

[from the impossibility of reaching the rainbow, at whose foot a pot of gold is said to be buried] :  an illusory goal or hope.

 

Yes, the prompt for this week is rainbow and having just recovered from a bout of Migraine,am still seeing a palette full of colours-so here comes my “rainbow”(even if there is no pot of gold-as yet -at the end 😉

 

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Once upon  a night…...

 

“I do!” said Gillian,taking the marriage vow.

She had arrived at her pot of gold!No chasing the rainbow anymore!

Not an easy task to outsmart some of the sharpest minds, a bevy of beauties and the richest of the rich, not to mention the big names of the county.

 And what was her claim to fame?Nothing but aspirations and dreams.At 25, her violet eyes and porcelain skin stood out against her copper tinted hair but that,she knew would not be enough to carry her into the arms of  a rich man!

So she set her eyes on Rupert,35 ,gentle and shy and with no clue as to how to deal with the fawning women who fought to be noticed by him!

It was opportune that he advertised for a personal assistant to help him and Gillian’s matter-of-fact attitude made Rupert pick her from the dozen or so applicants.

Slowly,she made herself indispensable. As time passed, Rupert realised that she had no designs on him and they became friends.

All was going as per Gillian’s plan-she was able to deflect all the wannabes intending to become Mrs Rupert,when one fine day,his great Aunt Mathilda  arrived with Miriam in tow.She intended her great nephew to make Miriam his wife!

This was a bolt from the blue .

But as luck would have it,soon  Mathilda decided to visit  the neighbouring town with Miriam.

 Gillian acted promptly.

That night she spiked Rupert’s coffee and while picking her own cup,”accidently” spilled it on her dress.

 In the morning ,Rupert found  Giilian in his bed-neither of them had any clothes on and it was obvious what had happened.

Being the conscientious man that he was,he immediately proposed to Gillian,for he truly cared for her and Great Aunt Mathilda was sent packing with her precious Miriam.

Thinking of that day, Gillian chuckled.

Starry eyed,she  looked fondly at Rupert and smiled.She knew,he was going to be a great husband and he need never know that nothing did happen that night.

 

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