Saturday, February 19, 2011

GOOD BYE MRS MORRIS - a story of passion

Good Bye, Mrs. Morris
Short Fiction

From My Creative Writing Archives: One of my earliest short stories - a horror thriller. I am sure you will like it. 

          I waited in anticipation overcome by tremors of trepidation, secretly hoping he would not come.

           But he did come. Right on the dot. Sharp ten o’clock at night. Exactly as planned.


          He said nothing when he entered. The moment I recognized him I started to tremble. But he didn’t seem to notice. He turned around, as if he had forgotten something, took two quick steps and bolted the door. 

          Hoping to conceal my emotion, I began to speak in order to gain my composure: “Please be seated, sir,” I said. “Would you like a drink?”

           “Whisky and soda,” he said, loosening the knot of his tie, as he moved towards the sofa. He sat down and gave me an appraising look.

           I took my time getting up from my chair, taking care to make my movements deliberately slow, in order to hide my fear and nervousness. I walked towards the fridge, my back turned in his direction, but still I could feel his eyes piercing me. 

           Soda, glass, opener, ice-bucket and a bowl of peanuts ready on a tray, I opened the liquor-cabinet. At first my hands instinctively touched a bottle of cheap whisky, but then I hesitatingly picked out a bottle of the best premium whisky. After all this was a first-class client. And maybe his last drink. Let him enjoy it.

           I carefully set the loaded tray on the table in front of him and sat down on the chair across. I poured him a stiff drink and opened the bottle of soda.

           “Put lots of ice,” he said, in a commanding voice. And then, as an afterthought, he added, “What about you?”

           “No,” I said handing him the glass, “I don’t drink on duty.” 

          “Duty?” he laughed looking me in the eye. He took a sip of the whisky and closed his eyes with a gesture of fatigue, as if waiting for the whisky to caress his brain. His was not an unpleasant face. In fact he looked quite handsome. 

           “Without any effort I could go straight to sleep,” he said with his eyes still closed. Then suddenly he opened his eyes, looked directly at me, and with a mischievous smile he said, “But there’s plenty to do tonight, isn’t it?”

           “Yes indeed!” I said to myself. “There was plenty to do tonight.” In my mind’s eye, I tried to visualize how I was going to do it.

           The man shifted on his seat, took out a wallet from his hip pocket and stylishly extracted ten crisp red thousand-rupee notes and put them on the table in front of me. 

           I did not pick up the money. “It’s okay,” I said. “It’s on the house.”

          “Who said so?” he snapped an angrily.

          “The person who sent me here,” I answered.

          “What else did he say?”

          “That you are a very special guest.”

          “And?” he asked.

           “That I should be very discreet. Shouldn’t even breathe a word to anyone.” I paused, and then said, “It’s okay. You can trust me.”

           He smiled and said, “Take the money. I always pay for everything. I am a man of principles.” 

           Suddenly I could feel the venom rising inside me. A man of principles my foot!

          Hypocrite. That’s what he was. A Bloody Hypocrite.

          Where were his principles when he had killed my husband and concocted lies that it was a gruesome accident. And then quickly disposed off my husband’s body at sea – into the Davy Jones’s Locker.

        Murderer. That’s what he was. An unscrupulous mendacious murderer.

        And tonight he was going to pay for it.

        Everything was in my favour.

        I had recognized him. I knew who he was but he did not know who I really was. For him I was just a nameless face. A one-night stand. To be used, discarded and forgotten. And though he could not possibly realize it, it was he who had reduced me to this. And now he had unknowingly walked right into my hands.

          “Is it enough?” he asked, pointing to the money on the table. 

          “My normal rate is fifty thousand,” I said. I wanted to embarrass him for I had glimpsed into his wallet when he took out the money. I picked up the ten thousand rupees from the table, tucked them in my blouse, and said, “But for you, it’s okay.”

           He smiled, looking intently into my eyes for a few seconds. Then he gulped down his drink, got up form the sofa, came around the table and stood behind me. I sat still, waiting for his next move. He put his hands on my shoulders and said matter-of-factly, “Let’s go to bed.”

           When I woke up, for a moment I could not imagine where I was. The silence was so intense that I could hear my heart beating. The room was not quite dark, for the door of the bathroom was partly open, and the light in it had been left on.

            As I turned and I saw him lying beside me, I felt a sudden flush of passion. It was after a long time that I had really enjoyed it. But I quickly controlled my feelings and carefully observed the sleeping man.

            He breathed steadily, like a man immersed in deep sleep, fully satiated. But I had to be sure.

          “Hello,” I whispered near his ear.

           No answer. He was dead to the world.

           Very slowly, very silently, I slipped out of my bed. I slowly bent down near the bedside table, unplugged the two-pin electric plug from the socket on the wall and carefully coiled the wires around the base of the table-lamp.

          I picked up the table-lamp in both hands holding the plug carefully, and stood for a while, looking at the man to see whether I had disturbed him.

         His breathing was as regular as before. I took a couple of tip-toe steps and halted, took a few steps more and waited, and so on, until I reached the bathroom door. Then I quickly went inside and locked the door.

           I yanked out the wires form the table-lamp, and with my teeth, removed the plastic cladding from the open ends exposing at least two inches of naked copper on both the wires.

           I smiled to myself. In my hands was a weapon of death. A set of coiled wires, one red and one black, long enough, a two-pin plug at one end and the other end exposed, naked.

           I retraced my steps, tiptoed, leaving the bathroom light on and the door a bit ajar, so that I could just about see slightly. I put the plug in the socket. Then I uncoiled the wires, carefully holding one wire in each hand, a few inches away from the naked exposed copper, my hands apart.

           I switched on the electric switch with my left toe, got on the bed and slowly advanced on my knees towards the sleeping figure. The man was lying on his back, sleeping soundly, dead to the world.

          I decided to aim for his eyes. Simply thrust one live wire into each eye. Hopefully death would be instantaneous, the electric current flowing though his brain; even if it wasn’t, at least he’d be unconscious and then I could take my time.

           The live wires had almost touched his eyes when some invisible force seemed to have grabbed my wrists.

            I froze. And felt a turbulence of conscience.

            “I don’t want to be a murderess. What do I gain? And then what’s the difference between him and me? What about his family? Why should I make them suffer for no fault of theirs? And maybe what he said was indeed true; that it was just an accident, like he had reported,” said one part of me, pulling my hands back. 

           “Revenge! Vengeance! He deserves it,” desperately urged the other part of me, pushing my hands forward. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Do it now. Fast!” And slowly my hands started moving forward.

           Suddenly the man started turning and, panicking, in a reflex action I instantly pulled my hands back. In the confusion, the naked wires touched; there were sparks and then total darkness.

           Short Circuit - the fuse had blown.

           My blood ran cold. There was no movement from the man. Instinctively I guessed that the man had turned over on his side, his back towards me.

           I tiptoed to the bathroom, retrieved the table-lamp, kept it on the bedside table and tucked the wires underneath. Then I lay down on my bed as if nothing had happened. The centralized air-conditioning was still on; but the bathroom light had gone off. Probably only the local light fuse had blown, but I didn’t know where it was.

           I had muffed up a golden chance. The man was lucky to be alive. Sheer luck! But I knew I would try again. Again and again. For he did not deserve to live. And with these thoughts I drifted off to sleep. 

           When I woke up in the morning, I saw that the man was still fast asleep. The dawn had broken. I opened the window and let the sunlight in. 

           “Who’s that?” he asked, startled, adjusting his eyes to the sunlight.

           “You must go to your room now,” I said. “Someone may notice.” I walked towards the sofa, picked up his clothes and threw them to him.

           He dressed hurriedly and quickly walked to the connecting door between our rooms. He opened the door, paused for a moment, and turning towards me he said, “Good Bye, Mrs. Morris. They told me that you’d kill me. I came to find out. But killing isn’t easy. You can take my word for it.”

              With these words he left my room, silently closing the door.

              I sat in dumbstruck silence, a deathly grotesque deafening silence.

              I never saw him again. I never want to. For I have never felt so scared as I felt at that moment - and when I think of it, a tremor goes up my spine and a shiver perambulates throughout my whole body and I resonate with fear.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2004
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU, The Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. His delicious foodie blogs have been compiled in a book "Appetite for a Stroll". A collection of his short stories about relationships titled COCKTAIL is being published soon and Vikram is currently busy writing his first novel and with teaching and training assignments. Vikram lives in Pune with his family and his muse – his pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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