|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|SETTING||Terrace OR Bedroom OR Living Hall|
|THEME||And He/She Changed Forever|
Suspense Short Story – Killer Instinct
I looked at with pride the book – my book. It had been in the best sellers list now, for over a week and was adorning my living hall. I had never expected it to top the best sellers. It was my first walk to limelight; and Chaya was not alive to see it.
Both of us were writers; her genre was paranormal and mine was crime fiction.
Those dark by lanes I was walking through, as an amateur writer and my oblivion had become things of the past.
And here I am……, and my book, which had won a national award for the best crime fiction.
“How have you so well brought out a murderer’s feel? Shall I read a few lines from the book with your permission?” VCD came alive in my living room for the nth time.
The interviewer started reading from the book:
“All the cells in his body were alert. When he took the rope quickly and through it around the victim’s neck, his hair stood on its end. His heart beat ever so fast that he thought it would burst anytime. There was a tingling sensation at the back of his neck…….”
“Amazing,” said the interviewer. More words of praise, a few more reads from the book, it was over, and with puffed up ego I switched it off.
My mind journeyed back ….
Chaya walked the path of roses to fame, which I so craved for, as I stared stupidly at the people cheering her. I slogged my guts out, researching, thinking and writing; she simply typed out her stories, and at times without even editing them. Chaya was the one who made me detest women. I strongly believed Chaya won accolades because she was a woman and a beautiful woman at that; and, she, was my wife.
I met Chaya as a first year college kid and I had graduated that year. She had won a state award for her short story.
I met her and my words flattered her. I had lost my parents; so I approached her parents with the intention of marrying Chaya. Her parents found me possessing the requisites of a son in law and we were married soon.
Fate has its own crooked ways, makes some great, while it makes others fools, for no reason at all.
Chaya was churning out stories by the dozen. I wanted to write a book but I stumbled on a huge writer’s block. The block was Chaya and her popularity, no doubt.
God! I wanted to put an end to this threat to my forte, by exercising my authority as Chaya’s husband. But she would not have any of it.
“Pavan, I am content to be your wife, but if you try to stand in the way of my writing, I shall have to make my choice in life, and my priority is writing,” Chaya had said with a finality.
But what offended me the most was, her giving me tips on writing!
I had started researching for the book that I wanted to write, a crime fiction. It was my fervent desire that it should make my name indelible in the world of fiction.
“Pavan, effective writing is born when you write what you have experienced. Writing turns out to be contrived when you use just imagination. Experience what you want to write about; spontaneity won’t be lost.”
“What does she think? Just because she won a prize in a kids’ competition, does she feel she knows everything about writing?” I seethed with anger.
Her words were rumbling in my ears. I wanted to end the nagging pain that was blinding me…..
She was found murdered. Her parents were inconsolable. I was in great shock.
It was concluded that she was killed for her jewels. She loved wearing expensive diamonds, platinum, etc, etc. Her parents testified that they were always worried about her expensive habit; and it had brought her the inevitable end.
I continued writing my book with unswerving devotion and determination. I was able to complete it even before I thought I could and I get it published. Well, success had come searching for the one who strove with patience……
I brought myself back to the present with some effort….
I looked at Chaya’s framed photo on the wall. She was smiling and giving life to the living hall. I turned my back to it.
“Pavan,” I heard her soft cooing tone. Startled, I turned to look at her picture.
How memories play tricks, sometimes! I got up and started moving towards the fridge.
“Pavan! Why did you kill me? Just so that you wanted to write a book? Just so that your book became famous?”
I froze in my place. I started sweating profusely. I literally ran out of the house and took refuge in a hotel room. My heart was pounding hard and I could not sleep for a long while.
I had dozed off in weariness and I woke up with a start when I heard Chaya again, with a whiff of her breath on my ears.
From then on I heard her wherever I was. I was stifled by it. I had no escape. I returned home the next night and sat in the living room, in darkness. My book fell at my feet with a thud. I picked it up and I heard her repeating the same words.
I screamed, “Yes, I killed you. You advised me to experience and write the book, didn’t you? I did just that. I killed you to experience a killer’s feelings. You suffocate me, dead or alive,” I closed my face and sobbed.
Suddenly the lights came on. Two uniformed policemen stood before me.
“Mr. Pavan, sorry we had to employ the age old ploy to get the truth and evidence. Your book was a give away, the way you had described the murder and the murderer and I had my suspicion about you. But we needed evidence to incriminate you. We played a tape that we had recorded, with a mimicry artist talking like Chaya and you fell for it. We have taped all that you said,” said the senior officer and advanced with hand cuffs.
“If you play the tape, you will know nothing is recorded. Officer, you are a wee bit late. Chaya has beaten you by more than an hour. No, now it is too dark to search for my body. But take my clue. Look for it in the morning in an unused well about half a mile from here.”As the policemen watched in horror, I glided out into the open, with my book, my pride.