Wednesday, July 23, 2014

FLASH FICTION - THE LAB JOURNAL

THE LAB JOURNAL
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE
 
From my Creative Writing Archives - a flash fiction story

I wrote this story for a Flash Fiction competition long back, 6 years ago, in the year 2008. 
The theme was journal and there were restrictions on word count so it is a tightly written taut story, the bare essentials.
The story was short listed, but sadly, did not win a prize. 
I wonder why..? 
Dear Reader, please tell me if you like this story.
THE LAB JOURNAL - flash fiction story by Vikram Karve
“See this.” 
“It’s a lab journal.” 
“I picked it up at the raddiwala.” 
“Hey, I sent you to sell old newspapers, not collect raddi.” 
“Open it, read the name.” 
“John Morris.” 
“John Morris? That is my husband’s name.” 
“I know – unbelievable, isn’t it? Just imagine – your husband’s science lab journal, after so many years – and that too here, at a raddiwala in Delhi.” 
“Let’s go to Mussoorie.” 
“Mussoorie? Now? Are you crazy?” 
“To John’s school. He studied in a boarding school in Mussoorie, but he never tells me anything about his schooldays.  I’m dying to know – let’s go, please.” 
“Annie, be sensible. You have got to catch the flight back home to New York early tomorrow morning.” 
“Please Priti, I have to go – this journal, serendipity, it’s a signal. Let’s go in your car – Mussoorie is only a five hour drive – we can easily be back by evening.” 
Okay, lets go.
That afternoon the two women are seated in the office of the Headmaster of a famous school in Mussoorie. 
“I wonder how this school journal surfaced after twenty years, and that too in Delhi,” the Headmaster says, with an expression of awe. 
“I would love to know about my husband’s schooldays – photos, anything…” 
“Well, I have joined recently; most of the staff too has joined recently. Why don’t you ask the Bursar  he is an old timer,” the Headmaster suggests.
Annie and Priti walk to the Bursar’s office.
They show him the science lab journal. 
“Mrs. Bhalla must have taken this journal with her to Delhi as remembrance when she retired,” the Bursar says wistfully. 
“Remembrance? Mrs Bhalla?” 
“Our previous Science Teacher – John Morris was her favourite student – she treated him like a son.” 
“Son?” 
“Yes. John was an orphan – he lost both his parents in a car accident…” 
“I know.” 
“…and Mrs. Bhalla was a childless widow. They lived for each other – like mother and son.” 
“It’s surprising – John never told me about Mrs. Bhalla…” 
“John told you? When did you meet John Morris?”
“Two weeks back.” 
“Two weeks back? That is impossible. Where did you meet John?” 
“In New York. At home. John Morris is my husband.” 
“John Morris is your husband? That’s just not possible…” 
“Not possible? Why do you say that? I am Annie Morris – I have been married to John Morris for five years.” 
“Look here young lady. There seems to be some mistake…” 
“Mistake ? No. No. There is no mistake. Everything fits perfectly. John told me he studied here. Twenty years back, in 1988, he must have been in class nine, like it is written on this lab journal. I know he was born in 1974.” 
“1974? Are you sure?” 
“Yes. The 7th of September 1974,” Annie Morris says.
“Oh, My God…How do you know all this? Tell me, do you remember when you first met John Morris?” the Bursar asks.
“Of course I remember – I first met him in May 2001. In New York. Why are you asking me all this?” 
“Come with me,” the Bursar says.
The two women follow the podgy old man up the slopes of Landour to the cemetery near Lal Tibba. 
The two women, Annie and Priti, freeze with shock as they read the large bold letters engraved on the tombstone:
 
                 JOHN MORRIS
      BORN: 7 SEPTEMBER 1974
      DIED: 15 DECEMBER 1988
                   RIP 

Annie Morris stares at the tombstone. 
Her brain goes into a tizzy and suddenly she blurts out:
“If this is the real John Morris, then who is that man living with me in New York? 
And if that man living with me in New York is the real John Morris, then who is this man lying dead for twenty years in this grave? 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Did you like this story? 
This is a story from my anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL. 
I am sure you will like all the stories in my recently published book COCKTAIL comprising twenty seven short stories about relationships. 
To order the book please click the links below:
COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the link below:
AMAZON

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and he is currently working on his novel 
and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines. Vikram has published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now he devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
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Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com
      
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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