Going green

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mage courtesy of Unsplash.

 

The ladies tea club was holding its fortnightly meeting today. The meeting was of course just a ruse for the ladies of the four blocks to meet and gossip in the community recreational hall. Every member was expected to volunteer at least once a year. The chosen member paid for all the refreshments and was expected to give a small token of appreciation.

 
Marla was not happy. This fortnight, her neighbour Sanchi had been chosen. Marla had never really liked Sanchi who had moved into the next apartment recently. She had observed some strange people entering but never leaving Sanchi’s house. Yes, she had kept a constant watch through her peephole-one can’t trust foreigners. Sanchi had Gypsy blood, she was sure. I mean who else had that olive skin, kohl lined eyes and long black hair!

 
But Marla simply could not afford to miss all the gossip. So off she went.

 
Sanchi stood at the door, thanking everyone and handing over a small plant .As she handed it, she whispered something to each member which made them smile. Marla did not like the looks of that plant but stood waiting. Maria, her friend was in front of her. Sanchi whispered something and handed over the plant to Maria and Marla was astonished to see Maria hugging Sanchi. Maria never hugged anyone and Marla had been her friend for the last 5 years!

 
Her turn came and Marla was sorely tempted to refuse it but good manners made her grin and bear it. Sanchi handed her the creepy looking plant and whispered, “Plant it in every window ledge and your happiness will multiply. The world will cease to matter and you will be reunited with Luke.”

 
Marla was shocked. No one knew about Luke-her husband, who had disappeared some 6 years back. How did this woman know about her secret? She was definitely not going to plant anything anywhere. She threw the plant in a dustbin in the hall.

 
A week later she was surprised to see greenery sprouting from every apartment and laughter and music emanating from all corners. But strangely she could see no one anywhere. So she decided to call on Maria who lived on the tenth floor.

 
As she reached the landing, a strange smell made her recoil. She was horrified to see green tendrils of some strange plant blocking Maria’s door. When she tried to go near, it hissed and snarled, Frightened she backed off.
Back home, she dialed every number in her phone book but was greeted with only silence. That night, she heard strange slithering noises in the corridor.

 
Morning saw her packing her bags-she had to leave! But when she came out of her apartment she was petrified to see thick green, bulbous curtains, blocking all exits.

 
Marla realized it was too late to escape! The world would definitely cease to matter now for she was going to die and be reunited with Luke, whom she had murdered 6 years ago.

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The above story was written for Write on Edge,writing prompt:2014,Week 21.The challenge was to write a piece of fiction or poetry in 500 words or less(mine is 500 words,including the title)based on either the photo above (I decided to pick the photo)or use the quote ,Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.” by Ralph Waldo Emerson,or use both.For more details or to participate please click  on this url http://writeonedge.com/2014/05/writing-prompt-2014-week-21/

 

No dues

No Dues

 

Thunder rolled on like loud drum beats and rain pelted the car’s roof in a rhythmic staccato. Lightning continued to slash at the black velvet of the sky.

Pam cursed her luck. What a day it had been! Her alarm hadn’t gone off and she had been late this morning. In her hurry to reach office on time, she had no breakfast. On the way she had realized her car was low on gas and had to take a detour to tank up. On reaching, she was frazzled to learn that the executives meet was rescheduled. Worse was to come. Her usually reliable assistant had goofed up and forgotten to get some important documents. Somehow, the day had then slipped into a neutral mode making her heave a sigh of relief.

Exhausted and hungry, she had thought of leaving with the others instead of staying late as usual but her hard -nosed Boss, Martin had called her for another briefing. The discussion had been lengthy and complicated and Martin had to catch a flight to Germany. He was leaving for a conference. So he suggested that Pam drive him to the airport so that they could finish the discussion on the way. Pam had no choice. Still, she had hoped for a peaceful ride back home and a relaxed night. But, it was not to be. As she left the airport, the weather had revolted.

Now, a storm was raging and she could hardly see the road. As she neared the turnpike leading to her neighbourhood, she accelerated a bit, keen to reach home. She entered the by-lane and her eyes widened with shock and fear. A figure was lurching onto the road .She screamed and stepped on the brakes, swerving the car to avoid crashing into the figure on the road. The slick road did not give much purchase and it slithered and skittered, finally shuddering to a stop but not before it had rammed sideways into the figure.

Pam sat hunched over the wheel, trembling. She was terrified to look up. Had she killed someone? Oh God! Please let it not be true, she prayed. No! Not again! She had never touched a drink again! Be brave, she told herself. This was not your fault-not this time! After a few minutes, she gathered her courage and looked around. She could see the figure lying crumpled in a heap on the left side of the road-immobile. Not a soul was to be seen.

Licking her dry lips nervously, Pam slowly unbuckled her seat belt..She opened the car door and fell down in a heap- her legs seemed to have turned to jelly. She crawled to the figure and saw it was face down. Gently, she turned it to face upwards and realized it was a man. There was no blood and when she checked his heartbeat and pulse, all seemed to be in order. Relieved, she went back to the car and taking the bottle of water, walked over to the prone man.

A few sprinkles of water and the man came to. After sipping a bit of the water, he felt capable of walking up to the car. Miraculously, he was unhurt. In the pouring rain, they sat in the car and he told her his name was Chris. He was new to the area and had lost his bearings in the storm. He seemed genuinely apologetic for the alarm and trouble he had caused Pam.  He wanted to know if Pam could be kind enough to drop him at some motel nearby.

Pam was in a dilemma. She knew there were no motels nearby and in this weather no way could she allow Chris to go his way. In a way, she felt responsible for Chris’s accident therefore, for his well being. Wondering if she should tell him to leave or accompany her to her house, she kept Chris engaged in small talk, all the while watching him and weighing her options. He seemed to be a little older than her-maybe thirty, was well built, had brown hair, gentle eyes and she liked his smile. On the whole trustworthy, she decided. So, she asked him if he had any objections to coming with her up to her house, for that night. A little hesitant at first, which appealed to Pam, Chris agreed.

Turning the car, they headed home. Pam was surprised at how at ease she was with Chris. Once home, she found Chris to be charming company and they had a nice hot meal. Later Chris helped her by washing the dishes. That night, for the first time in years Pam felt a stirring and heard her heart beat.

The weather played up and continued to be nasty over the weekend, preventing them from leaving the house for the next two days. This was instrumental in bringing them closer faster than months of dating could have.

Soon, Chris moved in with Pam. He took interest in everything and he was especially interested in Pam’s family. Strangely though, Chris never spoke of his family. Having grown up in a happy and supportive family, Pam could not understand this. However, she was thrilled when Chris proposed .He also promised to talk about his family, once they met her parents. Pam agreed and they flew to her parent’s home.

Next day, the police found Pam and her parents murdered in their beds. A note said, “It takes two to make an accident. Re-paid with interest.”

Police investigations revealed that there was more to the story than met the eye .Years ago, when Pam was 19, she had run over a man, killing him instantly. At that point she was at the wheel and was drunk. Her boyfriend Matt was also with her. There was a furore but Pam’s Dad had pulled some strings and Matt had taken the rap. Both Matt’s family and the victim’s family had sworn vengeance.

Now search was on for the suspects..

 

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This 999-word story(including the title) was written for a contest held by Write On Edge This is a voted contest for a chance at publication.  Details are below… if you want to join in, there’s still time – click the badge above to view their site 

  • 1000 word limit, all genres of creative writing are welcome.
  • linky is open until Friday, February 21, at 11:55pm Pacific
  • Use the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote “It takes two to make an accident.” as an opening/closing line or draw inspiration from it, your choice.
  • Community voting opens 2/22 and closes 2/28 at 11:55pm Pacific.
  • Community and editorial choice winners will be announced on Write on Edge andBannerwing Books on Monday, March 3, 2014.
  • All entries must be original work, only published on your personal blog/website, and by entering you give Write on Edge and Bannerwing Books permission to reprint your entry in Precipice, Volume III‘s print and digital formats, as well as permission to edit for grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors.

Scent of yesterday

Scent of yesterday

 

The exquisite dress showcased in the display window took Trisha’s breath away. Her pupils dilated, her heart hammered in her chest and she felt faint.

“Get a grip girl, this is London and not Paris,” she admonished herself.

Still, she could not stop herself from looking up to check the name of the shop.”En amour”! Her head reeled. No, it was just not possible!

Trisha was suddenly afraid. Should she enter the shop? Was it worth the risk? What if it turned out to be true? And what if it did not? Did she truly want to know?

With trepidation, she entered the shop. Immediately, her senses were assailed by the fragrance of mimosas-her favourite. A young shop assistant came up to her, “May I help you Madam?”

“Ugh, was wondering if you could tell me the price of that dress in the window?”

“Oh, Madam our apologies but that dress is not for sale.” With that she pointed to a small card which Trisha had missed and it said, “Not for sale.”

“I see. Could you please tell me the name of the designer?”

“Monsieur Felix Pierre. He is also the proprietor.”

Trembling like a leaf within, Trisha asked ,”Would it be possible to meet him?”

“If you can wait a little, you can, He usually arrives at lunch time.”

“I shall return after an hour then.”

Sipping on her cappuccino, her mind travelled backwards and she found herself back in Paris. At nineteen, she was a successful model working for top design houses. She met Felix-then a struggling designer, at a fashion party. She had found him charming and great company. Soon, they were spending all their free time together. Both discovered they loved the same kind of music, books and art. They both loved to cook and both were passionate about their careers. Trisha also realized that Felix was extremely talented and introduced him to many top notch designers.

Within no time, Felix started making headlines with his stunning designs and at the same time, their love for each other blossomed. He told her that his dream was to open a shop someday for a select clientele. Then, he won a national award for one of his designs. They were ecstatic.

Trisha remembered how Felix had taken her on a picnic and proposed with a bunch of mimosas and a solitaire. Their wedding was to be held in the Loire valley and the reception would be in” La Grande Cascade.”

Tears pricked her eyes and a bitter taste filled her mouth as she remembered how she had been left standing at the altar and the endless days of waiting, hurting, the unanswered questions….

No, she told herself vehemently, she did not want to know the answers now. Ten years had gone by and she had made peace with her past. No point picking at old wounds .As she exited the mall, she mused, yes; sometimes time is the longest distance between two places.

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This was written for ,Write on Edge,Writing Prompt: 2014, Week 7.We were required to use the quote,”“Time is the longest distance between two places.”~Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie as an opening/closing line, draw inspiration from a single word within it, or choose the given photo prompt instead.Word limit 500.I chose the quote and word count,including the title is 499. If you would like to read what others have submitted for this challenge or would love to participate,please click on the link http://writeonedge.com/2014/02/writing-prompt-2014-week-7/

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/ 

                 

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