Monday, February 2, 2015


Fiction Short Story
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.

WHO IS MY HUSBAND ?  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.” 
“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

Annie Morris stares at the tombstone. 
Her brain goes into a tizzy and suddenly she blurts out:
“Who is my husband?
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? 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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.

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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story written by me in the year 2008 for a flash fiction contest and later posted online a number of times in my creative writing blogs including at url:

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