Duped

Duped

 

 Ben felt irritable. He rubbed the back of his neck but his rigid muscles dismissed the placatory move. His stomach rumbled and knotted in protest.

He had no idea what he should do. The blue file on the desk beckoned him but for once he had no wish to be enticed by its enchanting contents.

He started pacing, raking his fingers through his hair. He had to find a solution. After all he, Ben Bradshaw was the CEO of this company.

A soft knock on the door startled him and he barked a sharp, ”Come in!”

Naomi, his personal assistant came in carrying a cup of coffee and a plate of fruit salad.”Ben, time to stop starving yourself,” she said clearing the coffee table. She added,”Mindy had called. She told me to remind you that it’s your turn to pick Stacy up from school. I will be back in 20 minutes to clear the table.”

 Ben smiled. Naomi had been a great find-reliable and trustworthy-her only weakness, a taste for handsome, high flying executives, like Ben. Not that Ben minded. Naomi was young, sexy and had no demands. She knew when to keep her mouth shut and was not clingy. And Mindy need never know.

 “Naomi, you go have lunch and yes, I will have the papers ready for the Board meeting by 4-will brief you on that too.”

Naomi smiled, winked at him and left, swinging her hips,encased in a beautifully tailored, slim red skirt, knowing well the effect it had on Ben.

Ah, but no point in dwelling over those forbidden pleasures now, Ben told himself, that’s for this weekend when Mindy flies off for her annual fashion show at Milan. For now, he needed to eat first and then get back to work.

 

Wolfing down the fruit salad Ben realized that he had been ravenous. Good no one could see him eating like a pig, he chuckled. Satiated, he started sipping the coffee and mulled over the contents of the file. He had hired a special agency to look into embezzlement from company accounts and they had come up with shocking facts.

Ben had all the facts, figures, dates and the names behind the racket. He was shocked that it had been going on for over a year and no one had had any inkling. But, tomorrow morning, in the board meeting all the masks would be off and a lot of heads would roll. He was waiting for the last two names on his hit list.

The intercom on his desk buzzed.”There is a special delivery for you Sir.” It was Robin, the lobby manager. “Should I send the package in?”He asked.”Do that Robin and please see to it that I am not disturbed for the next ten minutes. Naomi is out for lunch.”

 

As he read the last report, Ben frowned. The more he read the more his eyes widened. How could it be? His lips pursed into a thin line as he read the last words.

Where was Naomi? He needed to talk to her.

Ben stood up and the room swam. He clutched at the table, trying to steady himself. Queasiness clutched at his innards. His stomach heaved and he stumbled into the bathroom and threw up. Everything that he had eaten came up in stringy gobs. He lay there drained, seeing black spots, unable to move. He clutched at his heart, sweat soaking his shirt. He was being sucked into a black hole of excruciating pain.

 

The door opened. It was Naomi.

She was smiling.

Mindy stood behind her.

She looked grim.

Ben tried to speak but no sound came.

“Hush!”said Naomi,” I know you found out the last name was mine.”

“Why don’t we tell him all before he breathes his last, Naomi?”

“Poor dear! He has no idea that he has been had  by both of us working hand in glove,” clucked Naomi.

“I think the poison is working. Today’s dose has triggered the heart attack we were waiting for.”

“Yes, let us rehearse the last act once more, before the ambulance arrives.”

 

At school, six year old Stacy waited for her Dad to come pick her up. One by one all her friends left and the hall emptied. Stacy sat on the steps outside the school, forlorn, clutching the card she had made that day. Her small mouth quivered and a sob escaped her as she waited for someone to tell her what to do next.

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The above story is my entry for the speakeasy at yeah write #150,this week.The challenge was to (a) write a work of fiction in 750 words or less (mine is 749,including the title) (b) use the following as the last sentence:  “She waited for someone to tell her what to do next.”  (c) make some sort of reference to the video short The Black Hole (click on the high-lighted title to watch).For more details click on this url http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/150-open/

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The Crusader

Speakeasy #149

MurielStreeter

 

The Crusader

“Don’t blame the sinner, “whispered the cloaked figure, bending over the terrified, supine girl, a dagger poised over her heart.

“CUT!” shouted the Director.”Robert, for Pete’s sake put some menace into that whisper. You sound like you have a bunch of tadpoles jammed up your throat!”

The unit sniggered. This kind of scenario was common when Robert was shooting.

Robert shuffled his feet, looking like an errant school boy, embarrassment writ large on his angelic features. His face was his biggest asset and helped him get some bit roles. This time it had been a meatier role as he was playing the Villain.

“Take 22! Let’s roll-Robert, no mistakes this time”, the Director growled at him.

Robert sighed and took his position.

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It was drizzling and the streets wore a deserted look.

The inky darkness of the night pressed on from all sides, making visibility poor. The atmosphere burgeoned like a pregnant woman, on the verge of giving birth to some evil spawn.

Through the gloom, the lights looked almost feral.

The dark figure stood in front of the cottage in the second lane. There was something about the stance which made even the street dogs stay away. The hood was drawn over the head  and there was no trace of anything below-as if darkness had swallowed it whole, leaving behind an empty shell.

A woman‘s silhouette could be seen through the lacy curtains on the window. She was reading.

After a while, the figure moved and disappeared into the house through the shadows.

The figure entered the room and silently went and stood behind the woman. Sensing a movement, she turned and opened her mouth to scream but before she could, the figure held her swan like neck and snapped it and her head lolled.

Picking up the body, the figure moved out of the house and dumping it beside the neighbour’s garage,walked away.

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 He is 10. He has been naughty and so has been sent to his room. But there is a party at the house and he loves parties and good food. So he decides to slink into the dining hall before the guests arrive. As he enters the passage leading to the dining room, he hears strange noises from his parent’s bedroom and peeks in. He is surprised first and then angry to see his Uncle and Mom kissing each other. Then his heart jumps to his throat as he hears them plotting his Dad’s murder. That night he hides and watches helplessly as his handsome Dad sips the poisoned wine, standing under his favourite painting, “The Chess Queens”.

When the Police arrive, well placed clues lead them into believing that the butler has a hand in this murder and so he is jailed.

His mother acts the bereaved wife perfectly, looking oh so fragile and heart -broken. To him, she looks eerily like the lady in the black gown and veil in his father’s favourite painting.

Ironic, for soon she will look like the ghostly white one standing opposite the lady in black.

Six years later, he kills his Uncle in the same manner and manages to pin the murder on his mother. She rots in jail for a murder she did not commit, mourning for her lost love, yet unable to express her grief openly. He enjoys seeing her lose her rosy hue and gradually become ashen and frayed, falling to pieces like a moth eaten blanket.

Vengeance is his.

Growing up, he realizes that there are more Moms and Uncles in this world than he cares for and they all need to be taught a lesson.

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Sometimes it is his angelic face and at others his bumbling manner which makes the needle of suspicion always point elsewhere-lucky Robert!

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This is written for speakeasy writing challenge #149.For this week’s challenge we were required to use  the following sentence as the FIRST line: “Don’t blame the sinner.”Secondly, we had to let the artwork above ,”“The Chess Queens,” by Muriel Streeter, influence our writing and last but not the least ,submissions had to be fiction or poetry and be under 750 words.(mine is 633,including the title).If you are interested in reading more submissions or joining the challenge,click on this link- http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/149-open/

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;

Trapped

Trifecta: Week 111

This week’s one-word prompt.
 

MANIPULATE (transitive verb)

See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.Csr5i3fe.dpuf

Here are my 332 words:-)

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Trapped

 It was two in the morning when he entered the hospital. An accident victim was being wheeled in. He took advantage of the melee and was soon on the 4th floor.

 His first pit stop, he thought and chuckled inwardly at his own wit.

Locating the men’s room, he got to work. Soon he was dressed in a Doctor’s coat with the signature stethoscope around his neck. Looking at himself in the mirror, he smiled. Now on to room number 610-his next pit stop.

No one was around in the corridor. Cautiously he opened the door to the room. In the dim light, Jen’s golden hair was visible on the pillow, though her back was turned towards him.

Taking the gloves from his right pocket and the ampoule and syringe from the other, he injected the same poison that had brought Jen here, into her IV bottle.

It was all her fault.

Granted they had been in love and that he had promised to marry her but then his Boss had died. The Boss’s daughter Clara had inherited his million dollar business. Clara had always had a sweet spot for him but her pug face and flat body made her easy to resist, till now.

He was a charmer. Thus, it was a cake walk for him to manipulate his schedule in the office such that he and Clara kept dashing into each other. Inevitably, sparks flew-from Clara’s end at least. She wanted him-for keeps.

But he could not manipulate Jen. She threw a fit and threatened to sue him for fraud.

Feeling trapped, he poisoned her coffee yesterday evening. Then he heard that she had survived but was unconscious. Thus this nightly visit to finish the job before Jen could spill the beans.

Ah, final pit stop-home. He smiled.

 He turned to leave and froze.

Cops!!

A voice boomed, “Raise your hands Stuart Pinto. You are under arrest for the attempted murder of Jen Brooks.”

Behind him, he heard Jen snigger…

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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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