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;

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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Retribution

Its time to submit my piece for Friday Fictioneers. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is the wonderful host for this site and every Friday ,around 100 fellow bloggers submit their 100 word stories based on the photo prompt of that week.

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.)

Copyright - Ted Strutz

                                            Copyright – Ted Strutz

Here are my 101 words(including the title).

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Retribution

 

She watched them board the ferry.

The bitch with him was pregnant and he looked happy.

Her face darkened.

He had said he was going to be with his dying mother.

The lying bastard!

Well, she was going to see to it that someone died!

 

At the busy hospital, no one noticed the mousey intern.

On Thanksgiving Day, the woman delivered a baby boy.

That night, the intern offered to work extra hours in the neo-natal ward.

It was the last time anyone saw her or the baby.

Next morning, the woman was found strangled to death-in her hospital bed.

 

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Sometimes the best- laid plans…

Trifecta: Week 104

The  weekly prompt.by Trifecta is-

 
 
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. 
• If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz. 
• Trifecta is open to everyone. 

This week’s word is companion.

See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.5Qgjyjly.dpuf

Here come my 333 words:-)

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Sometimes the best-laid plans…

 

 “Patrick, I need the Sun. Move my chair near the window.”

“Patrick, go get my knitting needles and the blue yarn.”

“Are you deaf? Or blind? I said blue, not green!”

How he hated her dominating attitude.

But, worse was her condescending tone.

“Patrick, when will you ever learn to set the table properly?”

“Is it so difficult to understand? We are going to the concert, not the market and you expect me to wear this frumpy frock!”

“If Agatha had sent you to some better school, at least you could have known how to read. “

He despised her.

She the rich invalid relative, he the poor(ly) paid companion.

Companion, my foot! He thought and seethed inwardly. She treats me worse than a servant.

Then, six months back, he had met Julia at the local deli-a gentle beauty. Love was instant.

 But he had no prospects and all his hopes hung on this old relative dying early, leaving her substantial estate to him.

However, the visit to the Doctor a week ago poured cold water on all his hopes. The test reports said that though her legs would never bear her weight again, she was otherwise healthy and expected to live long.

 He saw his dreams turning to ashes.

Murder it had to be but as the sole heir, he knew suspicion was bound to fall on him.

An accident was the perfect answer.

“The view is really breath-taking Patrick. For once you have pleased me.”

Standing behind her, he smirked.

He pushed the wheel chair, heard her screaming, realizing at the last moment that she had latched on to his wrist….

 

“What a horrific accident!”The crowd murmured.

Police examined the site and concluded that the boulder had come loose and both victims had slipped and fallen onto  the rocks below.

While the elderly lady had died, the younger man had smashed his spine, thus becoming a vegetable from the waist down. The trauma had robbed him of his speech as well.

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The alley

Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday and our sparkling gem of a host Rochelle Wisoff- Fields over at FF has a new prompt for us to ponder on and come up with a short story 🙂

 

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.)

 

copyright - Kent Bonham

                               copyright – Kent Bonham

 

Here come my 100 words(excluding the title).

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The alley

 

Scouring the place, one evening we chanced upon this alleyway.

With its weird ramps, it was clearly meant for unhurried pedestrians.

So, it did not surprise us to find it deserted even at that time.

We smiled.

It was perfect for our plan.

Next night we left our car at the corner, hauling the heavy sack between us.

Reaching a suitable spot, we lowered our package deftly.

It squelched.

We left quickly.

Next day’s newspaper headlines screamed, “Mafia Kingpin Carlos‘s body found in deserted alley. Police baffled while city celebrates.”

We flew out to the next city that needed cleaning.

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The Unveiling

Trifecta: Week 102

The weekly prompt at Trifecta is-

 
:  skill in planning, making, or executing :  dexterity

2 a :  an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill <the carpenter’s craft> <the craft of writing plays> <crafts such as pottery, carpentry, and sewing>

 

plural :  articles made by craftspeople <a store selling crafts> <a crafts fair>

:  skill in deceiving to gain an end <used craft and guile to close the deal>

http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/11/trifecta-week-102.html#comment-form

Here is my submission:-)

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The Unveiling

 

Smiling, she opened the door and flung herself into his arms. He laughed and hugged her back. He could not help it. Her exuberance was infectious!

“Stevie! So, so good to see you again! I knew you would never forsake us-so what if you are a big shot in the city now!”She giggled, looking at him mischievously.

Later, at her studio, she regaled him with all the local gossip and told him proudly that she had been selected to sculpt his full size replica, to be placed at the town Square. The town planned to honour its Hero before he left for the city in two weeks time.

He listened and wondered how and when to tell her about the change in his plans for their future. He was afraid that she would not take it well.

Next week, when they met for dinner, he broached the topic.

“Julia, about our engagement…I think we ought to talk about it.”

“Of course, Stevie, its time we set the wedding date. We also need to finalize our move to the city. I was wondering if getting a studio for my work would be…

“Julia, please listen, “he interrupted her.”I am sorry, but I have met someone else and I want to call off the engagement. This is the only reason I came.”

He was surprised when she did not break down but told him in a strangely cold tone,”Thank you for being honest.”

A week later, he had booked an early morning flight and had decided to check in at the airport hotel the night before.

At 2 a.m, Julia called, “Come immediately.”

He could not refuse.

She was at her studio, working feverishly at his replica.”I could not finish this without you.”

She poured champagne into two glasses. ”To a new life! Cheers!”

Two weeks later.

Steven’s bronze statue was unveiled by the Mayor. Everyone marveled at Julia’s craftsmanship. Sad, Steven had to leave for Africa.

Julia smiled. She too could use craft.

 

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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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Drop dead,Gorgeous!

Trifecta: Week Ninety-Four

 

This week Trifecta wants us to write a piece which has 33-333 words ,using the 3rd definition of the word “Mask” as under-

MASK (noun)

3.: a protective covering for the face

 

: gas mask

 

: a device covering the mouth and nose to facilitate inhalation

 

: a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infective material

 

: a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries

 http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.1KBEPzkl.dpuf

Here comes my submission 🙂

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Drop dead, Gorgeous!

 

It was a busy morning at the well –known salon and when the Police arrived,a crowd of curious onlookers  gathered to gape and gossip.

She stood among them,smiling  furtively.She had planned and waited for this for the last 6 years.

Inside the salon, Julie was nervously twisting her apron,looking at Inspector Harris,who asked,”So,Julie,you are saying that Mademoiselle Colette arrived for her usual bi-weekly facial at 10 a.m.?”

“Yes Inspector Harris,” replied Julie,her lower lip trembling.

Harris nodded,” Please tell us what happened.”

“Well,Mademoiselle took out  the pot of facial cream she always insisted on using and  once I had finished applying the fruity mask on her face,I  drew the curtains and  left her .After about 15 minutes,I heard  a loud crash and when  I entered the cubicle,I found her on the floor writhing and groaning.I rushed out to report to our Manager, who immediately called the Doctor.But,by then she was dead!”  Julie began to sob.

Patting her on the shoulder,Harris turned to the Doctor expectantly.

Dr.Peter glanced  at the beautiful, dead woman and shook his head.”We will have to wait for the autopsy report.”

Forensic report said,” “Death by lead poisoning.” It also revealed that the pot of cream used by the deceased was heavily laced with lead.

Inspector Harris and his team ,on interviewing the highly emotional and excitable Spanish maid of the deceased,found that her mistress  had been buying  the cream from a golden haired,green eyed, Avon lady, who came in twice every month.

 Search for the Avon lady led the police team to naught, for the employee records of the company offices showed no such agent on their roll.

Far away in Paris, at a cemetery,she stood near her brother’s grave.Her PhD in toxicology had served her well.

With tears in her eyes and a smile on her lips, she whispered,”Finally you can rest in peace Bro.She will break no more hearts”.

Near the headstone lay a bunch of fresh flowers,a golden wig and green contact lenses.

 

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The Hussy

Trifecta: Week Ninety-Three

 

This week Trifecta wants us to use the following word prompt, using the third definition and  containing between 33-333 words.

GRACE (noun)

 

And here is what my mind conjured up,nothing new I am afraid 😛

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The Hussy

His handsome face and twinkling blue eyes had a charm of their own. But, he was a Philanderer. Every girl in town knew that. Yet his suave ways made their hearts flutter each time he smiled or flirted with them.

Then she arrived in town. Her class showed in her lady like mannerisms. She was grace personified.

These two were as different as chalk & cheese but fate conspired. They fell in love and surprising everyone and shocking some, got married!

Two years flew by as if in a dream!

One fine morning there was a ruckus at the local inn. A sexy siren had taken up residence in the neighbourhood. Soon, all the men made a beeline to have a look at this eye candy. Their women folk quickly labelled her “Hussy”.

The hussy’s arrival upset the apple cart for the happily married couple. Hubby’s errant heart, was enamoured of the new charms on display.

The wife watched silently-never a word of protest or any un-lady like behaviour.

Then horror of horrors, he did the unthinkable and brought the Hussy home.

Slowly, six months passed .Then, one night, when the wife was away, the Husband was found murdered in his bed, the jeweled hilt of the antique dagger sticking out from his chest, crimson blood dripping from the wound, in a pool.

The police was called in. Though the Hussy protested her innocence, her fingerprints on the dagger and the family jewels stashed in her room, along with the discovery of a train ticket in her name, sealed her fate.

The evidence was conclusive and she was sentenced to life imprisonment.

At the funeral, the widow, dressed in black, looked bereft yet dignified. Everyone admired her courage and the respect for this lady grew every passing moment. Accepting the condolences, her lips moved softly-only her bright eyes, heavy with unshed tears to a casual observer- held a secret-a secret that would go untold, to her grave...

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Murdered

Trifextra: Week Sixty-Seven

 

This weekend Trifecta wants us to give them 33 words (exactly) that include among them at least one example of onomatopoeia.Honk,Honk,move,here comes mine!Splat!Told you to move!

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Murdered

 

Cold,drizzling night.

 

He dug feverishly.

 

Clank!Thunk!

 

Wanting to forget the little girl’s head squelching ..when he..

 

Snap….crunch..

 

Footsteps!

 

Bam!Bam!

 

He fell.

 

Drip,drip,drip …his life blood seeped away.

 

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