The collectors

avond-evening-the-red-tree

The collectors

Looks can be deceiving. Her mother, Simone, never failed to drill it in to Donna and her sister Felicity’s psyche when she told them how she had met Dan, her husband and their Dad at an art gallery and had taken him to be the janitor. He was so unassuming that very few had an idea about his brilliance and that he was already a millionaire at 25. His business acumen became legendary in the later years and by the time their beautiful and sophisticated mother married him at 30, he was almost a billionaire.

Yes, Donna nodded her head in assent to her mother’s mantra as she added the final touches to the painting. Years of training, dedication and a steady hand, made her work picture perfect. The blue background and the storm swept tree looked majestic, yet bowed down with deep sorrow. She smiled .An apt cover for the Van Gogh which had been at the receiving end of her expert manipulations this time. She stood up, stretching her lithe and supple limbs.

Time for a break and she also needed to make that call.

“Hello Darling!”

“Hi, there! Missed you.”

“Me too. Finished my painting.”

“Wonderful. Will come down tonight to have a look then and we can have dinner somewhere?”

“That would be lovely. See you at 8 then?”

“Okay, see you.”

Richard, her fiance, was a Professor of Art history and she had met him at a party. His extensive knowledge on the subject had fascinated her and he was smitten by the strong woman hidden behind that fragile lissomeness. Her father’s art collection made their meetings more interesting and they started dating. After two years, they got engaged and now plans were on for a Christmas wedding.

“This is brilliant work, my love,” Richard beamed; his warm brown eyes looked almost dark in excitement.

“Thank you Richie. I will hang it in Dad’s room .I think it will cheer his spirit,” Donna smiled mischievously.

“So, what’s the next plan?”

“Next week, the Rockweller’s are throwing a party. Their collection will be on view. I have already seen it twice and I have my heart set on their Monet.”

“I believe they also have that Picasso we have heard so much about?”

“Yes, you heard right but remember “restraint” is the key to success.”

“You are the Boss, Ma petite,” said Richard, drawing Donna into his warm embrace.

She snuggled into his arms and responded,”We are a team-a formidable one.”

The Rockweller’s Art Deco party was a huge success and they basked in the pride which every art collector worth his salt lives for. They had no idea that every night from then on, their mansion would be under surveillance. Two hooded figures, dressed in black, followed their every move. One such night, when the Rockwellers had gone out and the servants had retired to their quarters, the two figures entered the mansion. The burglar alarms and the CCTV cameras had already been compromised-these two were no amateurs and neither was this their first-or last-such heist.

Next morning, as soon as the newshounds got a whiff, the heist made headlines. But no amount of detection could reveal even the slightest hint as to who the Art thieves could be or how many were there. The agencies involved including the Interpol and FBI knew that the stolen work would probably resurface some 3 to 5 years later in some part of Europe but by then it would be impossible to prove that it was stolen because of the different laws in the two continents.

 Six months down the road, enjoying a quiet dinner, Richard and Donna were chalking out plans for their Honeymoon.

“Mom thinks we should go to Italy.”

“Ha! Ha! Now how did she read my mind?”

“While we are away, our last two year’s fruits of labour will be auctioned off.”

“Your Mom has her uses, eh?”

“Definitely! Thankfully, she never cottoned onto what Dad’s real profession was.”

“I really respect your Dad. That man sure knew how to build a reliable and foolproof network.”

“True. Wish you two had had more time together. He would have been proud to see you as his official son-in-law.”

“I do hope our kids will inherit your sense of adventure and his discerning eye for real art, money and…”

“Yes, yes along with your brains, charm and my mom’s practicality”, giggled Donna, looking at Richard coquettishly.

 Richard burst out laughing.

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This was written for Speakeasy’s weekly writing challenge.The challenge was to(a) write  a piece of fiction or poetry in 750 words or less(mine is 748 words,including the title),(b) the FIRST line of our submission must be: “Looks can be deceiving.” and (c)make some sort of reference to the media prompt- a painting called Avond (Evening): The Red Tree by Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian.If you are interested in participating,please click on the link here http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/153-open/

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Sleep Baby,sleep

Friday Fictioneers

Aha,this time it really is Friday-at least for me.Over at FF,our  immensely talented host,the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posted the photo prompt some 3 days back,setting the bar high with her amazing story.As I write this,already 81 writers have spun their magic using the photo prompt,provided by one of my favourite writers on FF,the admirable Sandra Crook.Thank you Sandra .:-)

I am late for two reasons-one I was rushing to get too many things done and second,c’cos this prompt had me stumped.However,after untangling my scrambled neurons and soothing my jangled nerves,I came up with my 100 words which follows just after the photo.

In case you are interested in participating or reading what other fantastic story tellers from around the world have come up with in just 100 words,do click on this link and pop over there to check it out http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/friday-fictioneers-2/

 

Copyright -Sandra Crook

                                             Copyright -Sandra Crook

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Sleep Baby, sleep

 

Maude drove the tractor –trailer out of the farm at an easy pace.

Ricky’s trench coat and boots sat well on her.

She pulled the cap a little lower and adjusted her sunglasses.

Not that anyone was around at this time.

Soon the town was behind her.

Ricky sure had been surprised to see her.

He thought she was dead.

Maude touched the scars on her face.

All through their marriage, Ricky’s constant complaint was,”I am going to pieces woman, let me sleep.”

Maude turned her head.

Between bales of hay, lay Ricky, finally sleeping.

In pieces…

 

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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;

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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