At The Knife Point

A Short Story

Jessica opened the door opposite to that of the driver’s seat of her car to keep her things. She felt a sharp object against her back. She thought it should be a knife.

“Get in!” He whispered into her ear.

They got into her car and she started driving. Her heart started beating fast. She was sweating as she saw his reflection in the mirror.

“Who are you ? What do you want?” She asked scared.

“You will know soon.” He said, flashing his sharp knife through the light of the vehicles passing in the opposite direction. ” You should have read about me in the newspapers. I’m that killer!”

“The serial killer who took sixteen innocent lives?” She asked, interrupting him. Now her heart was pounding.

“Yes, but, they got the figure wrong.” He said, grinning at her through the mirror.

“Wrong?” She asked.

“Yes, they only recovered sixteen bodies so far.” He said.

This sent a chill down her spine. Now things started becoming clear to her. She was his next victim. He would surely rape and kill her mercilessly, if she didn’t think something fast….There should be a way! she thought.. there should be!.

She had a glance in the mirror and saw something. It was her only way out of this. So she slammed her foot on the accelerator. The car leaped forward and raced. The knife which he was holding slipped and feel down, he bent down to pick it up. She applied sudden brakes and his head hit hard in the front. He got up annoyed with the knife in his hand. He saw a cop standing at his window.

“What’s up? Why were you racing like that?” asked the cop, looking at her. “And what the hell are you doing with that knife in your hand?”

“I..I..was cutting an apple.” He replied.

“No. He is lying. He is the serial killer you are looking for and he kidnapped me.” She cried.

“Mister, I see no apple in your hand. Now hand over that knife to me and step out of the car!” cried the cop, pointing his loaded gun at him.

“Trust me! I’m not a serial killer! I was only trying to impress her for a role in her forthcoming movie. That’s all!” He cried, stepping out of the car.

“Movie?” asked the cop, handcuffing him.

“Yes, she is the famous Hollywood director Jessica Parker.” He said.

“No. He is lying to escape.” She cried.

“Are you Jessica Parker?” asked the cop, looking at her.

“Yes, so?” She said.

“So he has pre-planned it.” Said the cop, opening the door of his car and pushing him inside.

“Ma’am, It’s a pleasure meeting you. You can carry on after signing your autograph for me.” He said, handing here pen and paper.

“Thanks..” She said, signing and handing it back to him.

She started driving in an isolated path. She bent down to pick a cassette and placed it in her deck and was about to switch it on. When she felt a knife on her neck, and found a hand holding it. She saw the shadow seated behind her.

“Who are you?” She asked in a choked voice.

“I’m the real one about whom you were talking sometime back.” He said.

“I’ll give you whatever you want. Please let me go.” She pleaded.

“I want you!” He said, grinning at her. She saw his teeth in the mirror and he looked terrifying to her. The knife went down between the buttons of her shirt. He held the top button of her shirt, and ripped it with his knife.

“I collect mementoes from my victims.” He grinned placing the button in his shirt pocket.

This sent a chill down her spine. Her heart was pounding once again. She wanted to get away some how..this was the second time.Would she be lucky this time too…she started thinking fast.

“Thinking of a way to get away from me?” He asked her, as though reading her mind.

“No..no..” She said.

He pulled the front seat next to her back and came forward. He sat in that seat and turned back to pull back his seat. Suddenly, she slammed her foot on the accelerator, opened the door and jumped out. The car lost control, went and hit a huge tree on the side of the road.

She wanted to check whether he was dead or not? So she slowly started walking towards her car. The front side of her car was smashed very badly. He was bleeding from his head. She slowly moved her hand through the window to feel his pulse. Suddenly, he caught her hand firmly. She cried aloud scared.

“Cut!” cried someone.

He stepped out of the car and smiled at her.

” Can I keep this?” He asked, showing here the button.

She smiled back at him.

The director cried. “Excellent! Pack up!”

Departed

A Short Story

Shyam sat on the edge of his bed holding the picture of his wife, Riya and eight year old daughter, Anushree. He had tears in his eyes, which started over flowing on his cheeks.

It was because of the unfortunate accident which took them away from him forever. He would never be able to see them again.

Death is so uncertain like the wind, which can blow off the flame of a burning candle any time.

“I can understand the pain you are going through right now, my friend,” Said a stranger handing him a hanky. Shyam wiped his tears with it.

“But life is like that-uncertain.” The stranger continued.

Shyam placed the picture and the hanky on the table next to the bed. He got up and left the room, followed by the stranger. He went to his daughter’s room and looked inside for some time.

Later, He said to the stranger “Let’s go.”

As they walked out of the compound, an ambulance went inside with his body inside.
He knew that this stranger would take him to the other world, but he wished to keep the picture of his wife and daughter sleeping in his daughter’s room in his mind as long as he could.

The Stranger on the Road

A Short Story

Rahul was driving in his car, listening to the music of A.R Rahman in an isolated road on a hill station. There were only trees and bushes on either side of that road and nothing else. He was driving through the middle of the forest. When the car turned a bend he saw a beautiful young girl standing by the side of the road.

As he approached her, he applied brakes of his car.

“Lift please!” She said, smiling at him.

“Sure, get in!” He said, opening the door to his side.

She got in and closed the door. He started driving again. “So how did you get here?” He asked, looking at her with a smile on his face.

“Actually my car broke down,” She said. “I was walking back when I saw you coming.”

He saw a car parked by the side of the road before them.

“That must be your car?” He said.

“Yes, I need your help to get something from my car.” She said.

“Sure.” He said, stopping the car by the side of the road, getting down and following her to the car. She opened the door of the driver’s side. He saw a body of a wounded man seated in the driver’s seat.

“Did you kill him?” Rahul asked shocked and bewildered.

“Actually, he is my husband and tried to kill me. I had to kill him in self-defence.” She explained, shrugging her shoulders.”Now, I want your help to dispose his body along with the car.” She added.

“W-what?” He cried. “No! I can’t do this!”

“Please help me out of this..” She pleaded looking at him earnestly.

“Alright, go and hold the steering. I will push the car from back. We will push the car to that side and down the hill. It will appear as an accident, ok?” Rahul said.

The showers of rain started coming down.

“Great! Thanks.” She said, smiling at him.

They both pushed the car to the side into the bushes. The car gained speed as it was slopping downwards to the edge of the hill. It was now rushing through the bushes and small rocks on the way. Suddenly, the person in the car cried for help.

“I think he is still alive! Let’s stop the car!” Rahul cried.

“No, it’s too late for that.” She said, holding his hand and pulling him back. The car went and leaped out of the hill, went down and down. Finally a big explosion was heard from below.

“You need to keep silent about this, for that even you have to jump down this hill and die.” She said, taking out a gun and pointing at him.

“No. I helped you and I don’t deserve this. I will keep silent and no one will know about this. I swear! Please don’t shoot!” Rahul cried shocked.

“He was not my husband. He offered lift like you and started to molest me and you know the rest of the story.” She said, moving forward and he started walking backwards towards the edge.

“But..I…I..” He said, walking backwards.

“I will give you count of three to jump down. If you don’t then I will have to shoot you.” She said, still walking forward.

“One!”

“Please!” He cried.

“Two!” She cried.

Suddenly, she slipped and fell forward pulling him along down the hill.

Fortunately, he held to a branch of a tree on the edge. She held to his left leg and her gun slipped and fell down.

“Please help me!” She cried.

“Alright, climb on me and reach for the branch above me.” He cried, looking down at her.

“I can’! I’m losing grip..” She cried.

It was becoming more slippery due to rain. She slipped and held on to his shoe..

“Please pull me up!” She cried.

“Give me your hand!” He cried, trying to bend and reach her hand.

But his shoe came off his feet and she went down with it. He heard her loud cry.

Somehow, he managed to climb that tree and walk back to his car.

He found some men waiting for him there.

“Did you see this lady?” One person asked, showing him her picture.

“No, what happened?” Rahul asked.

“She is dangerous. She escaped from the mental hospital last night. She is also armed. Please give me a ring if you find her by chance. Here is my card.” He said, handing him his visiting card.

“Sure.” He said, getting in and starting his car.

“By the way, what happened to your other shoe?” asked another person.

“I lost it when I went to pee in the woods.” Rahul replied, smiling nervously and driving away as fast as he could.

Lonely at Heart

A Short Story

Rahul walked, thinking about what had happened to him. He loved her so much. But she left him for someone who had more money and property than him.

“It’s so stupid,” He said to himself, “that the girls go for boys with money and boys for girls with beauty. Why should I feel angry? It’s really nice that she left me. Now at least I’m free again. Free to do whatever I wish to do. I’m the ruler of my life. No one…no one can rule over me…not even love…but I loved her so much! She shouldn’t have done this to me! She shouldn’t have done.”

She had such beautiful eyes, her smiling lips which produced beautiful dimples whenever she smiled. Her black hair. Her graceful slim figure. Her sweet body fragrance. Her gentle touch. Oh God, how could he forget her?

He became more and more depressed thinking about her. He took out a cigarette, lighted it, inhaled it with one puff. He remembered the promise he had made to her, that not to smoke again. He was about to throw the cigarette away.

“Dame her, why should I bother now?” He asked himself, “It kills you! I know. I know. But what’s the point in living anymore? And for whom? I shouldn’t have fallen in love in the first place.”

He would be now enjoying her company like the he did before. How could he forget her non-stop chattering? He used to forget everything whenever she spoke and just listened to her. Now, who shall speak to him? No one. Just no one…all of a sudden he felt as though someone had pressed the ‘Mute’ button in his life. He took another puff. He was now lonely at his heart and it frightened him.

He had wished that he could marry her and have kids. He had built many such dreams with her in his mind and heart. But now she had shattered all his dreams and broken his heart.

Suddenly, someone pushed him to the side real hard. He was about to fall down. He turned and saw the rushing train on the tracks upon which he was walking until now. His heart almost skipped a beat or two.

“What the hell do you think you were doing?” shouted a stranger, who had pushed him away. “Thank God, I was here! If not, you would have been dead by now!”

“Thanks…thanks a lot!” He said, smiling at him and going away.

It would have been better if I had died, he thought. Suddenly, the thought of tomorrow came to his mind. Oh, God! To be confronted by yet another day? Another day of solitude. Another day remembering the pain. Why doesn’t the world end this night?
It would be so nice if it happens..

Let me forget her and love someone else. Why? To be cheated again?

He reached the sea-shore. Then:-

“Would you like to spend the night with me?” asked a young lady.

“How much?” He asked her.

“Five Hundred Rupees!” She replied.

“Here! Take this money and just go away!” He said, giving five hundred rupees to her. He lied down on a bench and closed his eyes.

She could not go as she felt sympathy for him. She went to that bench, lifted his head, sat down, placed his head on gently upon her lap.

“Didn’t I tell you to go away?” He asked, opening his eyes slightly.

“Shhhhh! Now go to sleep. I have no where to go.” She replied.

He closed his eyes. “Promise me that you won’t leave me and go.” He murmured, half asleep.

“No, I won’t!” She said, bending down and placing a kiss on his forehead.

Like the dreams built on the drifting clouds

A Short Story

It was a hot summer afternoon. The fan hung from the ceiling with its three blades moving slowly in a circle. He sat on the easy-chair, with a book on his lap, looking at the fig tree through the window. He remembered what had happened sometime back. He had sold their old house in which he was staying with his wife. He had gone to his son’s place. He wished to spend the rest of their lives with his son’s family.

“I just can’t stand your parents staying with us in this house,” said Swomya, his daughter-in-law to her husband, “You know, I need freedom,”

“Come on, Swomya, they have sold their old house and have come here. Where do you expect them to go?” Arvind asked his wife.

“Anywhere? How does that matter to me?” She said. “Why? They can go to your sister’s place or even to Kashi..”

“But..” He said.

“Listen, you decide whom you want: your parents or me. I’m ready to leave to my mother’s place, if you want your parents to stay over here.” She said.

Next day, morning, Rajesh left with his wife to his daughter’s place in train. His daughter and her husband welcomed them both with a warm smile.

He took the book from his lap and started turning the pages, trying hard to concentrate. But his mind kept wandering into the past. How he had built the dreams about his son. Someday, he would grow up, get married and have kids. He would enjoy their company staying with them. His son would be there for him, like he was there for him when he was young and helpless. When his son needed to hold his hand and guide him forward in his life. He was so confident that his son would take care of him and his wife, when they would grow old and helpless. But then all those dreams seemed like those built on the clouds in the skies. Unfortunately, those clouds drifted far away, taking his dreams along with them.

Suddenly, someone pressed gently on his shoulders. He turned and looked up and saw the smiling face of his wife. “Thinking about something?” She asked.

“Yes, about our son,” He replied, “How could I have been so wrong about him?”

“Life is like that,” She said “Many a times; we may not get what we expect from it. You didn’t want to have daughter then. You felt that she would be more than a burden to you. Now?”

“Well, I was wrong again,” He said, “I always thought that daughters are ore than a burden to their parents. They grow up, get married, and go away.”

“Fortunately, I didn’t think like you.” She said, smiling at him.

“Yes, if not, we would have been in Kashi spending the rest of our lives over there.” He said.

Love at first sight

A Short Story

“Look at her ! She is so gorgeous !” said Shaker.

“Who are you talking about~ ?” asked Anil, looking around in the restaurant.

“That lady over there!” He said.

“Do you mean that old lady who is sipping her cup of coffee or tea~ ?” asked Anil.

“Are you blind or what~? I am talking about that young lady behind that old woman.” He said.

“Oh! I see! well, I think she is looking at you now.” He said.

“Really~? I think I have fallen in love with her.” Shaker said.

“So soon~ ? You know nothing about her. Whether she is single or married~?” said Anil.

“Love is blind, my friend.” Shaker said.” Is she still looking at me~?”

“Yes. Do you think~?”

“That she too has fallen in love with me.” Shaker said.

“It would be better if you go and ask for yourself.” Anil said.

“And know how hard she can slap me!” He said.

“At least that slap will remind you not to fall in love at first sight with another beautiful girl!” He teased.

“Come on, stop kidding and tell me what should I do~?”

“Simple, go and propose to her.”

“Alternatively~?”

“Alternatively. Wait for her to make the first move.”

“That would be better.”

“Well, then come with me.”

“Where to~?”

“If at all she loves you then she will follow you.”

***

They went to the bus stand and waited for the bus to come. Shaker saw her standing in the opposite bus stand.

“Hey! Look there!” Shaker said.

“I Know! I know!” said Anil. “I am going to catch the next bus that comes and go. I shall call you later to know what happened~?”

“You are going to ditch your best friend when he needs you~?”

“Not really. I think she will not make the first move in my presence. All the best!” Anil said getting into the bus and leaving.

She kept staring at him. Then three buses came one after other. He couldn’t see her. He closed his eyes and prayed that she should not leave in one of the buses. He opened his eyes, the buses were gone. She too had vanished. He felt sad. He turned and saw her standing next to him.

“Your name is Shaker~?” She asked.

“Yes.”

“Your date of birth is 26th Jan.”

“Yes.”

“You are 5.9″ and your address is #25, 1st Cross, Girinagar, Bangalore.”

“Yes. How do you know all this~?”

“Well, you forgot to take your dairy while leaving the restaurant.” She said, handing it to him, with a smile on her face.

“Thanks. I thought otherwise.”

“That it is love at first sight~?”

“Yes.”

“Just forget it! Bye!” She said, leaving.

His phone started ringing.

“Hi! Shaker, what happened~?”

“Nothing special. She came and returned my dairy which I had left in the restaurant.” He said.

“What~?”

“I’m not able to forget her.”

“Well, all love stories don’t have happy endings, isn’t it~?” He asked.

“I think I know her well.”

“You think you know her well~? Are you kidding~?”

“No, I’m serious!”

“Then why didn’t you tell me then~?”

“Well, I just couldn’t.”

“How do you know her~?”

“Well, she is my little sister Preeti. She just called me and said…”

“You Idiot! what did she tell you~?”

“That she too has fallen in love at first sight with you!”

“No. Just see in the bus stand opposite to you. She is waiting for you.”

“Yes.I see her.”

“Then have a nice time! I wouldn’t have found a better person than you for her.”

“Thanks, buddy.”

“You’re welcome.”

The Intruder

A Short Story

Jack Wilson rolled on the bed as usual, placed his hand next to him where his wife was supposed to be sleeping. But he didn’t feel her body on the bed. Suddenly, he opened his eyes and saw only wrinkles on the bed sheet.

Did she go to the bathroom ? He listened if any sound was coming from the bathroom. But he heard nothing. It was silent as if no one was inside.

Jack got out of his bed yawning.

Where did she go ?

Perhaps, she was watching television unable to catch sleep, he thought.

He walked towards the hall and it was dark.

Was she in the kitchen eating some snacks to kill her mid night hunger?

Even the kitchen was dark too.

Where did she go then?

Did she elope with his handsome neighbour Frank Willis?

He went back to the bedroom and checked their wardrobe. All her clothes were intact. It was more puzzling to him.

Where could have she gone?

Suddenly, a thought came to his mind.

Did someone kidnap her while he was sleeping? If so, he would receive a ransom note the following morning from her abductor. How much would he ask for ? Twenty million…Thirty million…Forty million….Fifty million…or even more.

He scratched his head thinking how would he arrange for the ransom amount.

He went and checked the main door and it was locked from inside. However, the back door was left open. He remembered that he had locked it before going to sleep.

The gentle breeze was blowing through the hall window, riffling the window curtains. He should have forgotten to bolt the window in the hall, before going to sleep. So the intruder should have sneaked in through the open window and took her out through the back door. Now, it all made some sense to him.

The back door leads to the car garage.

What if he was still in the garage with her?

He had to save her somehow. But how?

He saw his baseball bat, picked it up and held firmly in his hands while he stepped outside the house.

As he walked towards the garage he saw a faint light coming from the car garage.

Would he find the intruder or his next-door neighbour having a secret affair with his wife, Ammie Wilson?

Truth was just a few steps away from him. His heart started beating fast and he started sweating.

‘Be bold, Jack. Be bold!’ He told himself. He took few steps forward as silently as possible.

As he slowly walked towards the garage with the bat held firmly in his hands, the light in the garage went off and he saw a dark figure emerging from the garage.

That could be his neighbour Frank Willis, he thought. He hid behind the tree in the garden and waited for the shadow to come closer.

He held his bat firmly in his hands ready to strike at the intruder whoever he was at any moment. All he had to do was hit hard on his head so that he would collapse to the ground unconscious. Then he would drag him into the garage and tie him up, after which he would call the police.

The shadow came closer and closer. Jack would be a hero soon. Everyone wanted to be heroes in their individual lives and this was his moment. Nothing could go wrong here. Nothing!

He held his breath and started the count down in his mind.

Four…Three…Two……One.

And a sharp object touched the skin of his throat.

“Don’t move!” whispered the voice. “I won’t think twice to slit your throat with this sharp knife of mine.”

“What..?” Jack cried and his voice choked.

“Come with me inside!” The voice said.

And he obeyed. He was tied to a pillar and a cloth was gagged into his mouth. He heard someone start his car in the garage then it raced away.

Maybe his wife had eloped with his neighbour now, he thought. He cursed her.

“Now, I am going to switch on the light.” The voice said.

The light came and Jack started blinking. Jack was shocked to see his wife, Ammie standing with the sharp knife from the kitchen. The knife, which she used to cut the vegetables and fruits. He groaned.

“What the hell…..?” She cried, shocked to see him. “I thought you were someone else..? I thought you just went in the car to call the cops..” She said.

He groaned again and she pulled the cloth from his mouth.

“What the hell were you doing in the car garage with that god dame knife in your hand?” Jack shouted at her.

“I heard some sound coming from the garage. I thought some thief had broken in and I wanted to catch him.” She explained.

“And..?” Jack asked.

“And it turned out to be a rat.” She concluded.

“You mean to say that a rat just drove away in the car?” He asked. “Oh, come on, remove this rope.”

He dialled the cops and told them about his stolen car. Sometime later, he heard someone honking. He rushed outside to find his car. His neighbour, Frank was seated in the driver’s seat.

“Sorry, Jack, my mother-in-law had a stroke sometime back and my car was down. So I had to take your car without taking your permission. Actually, I didn’t have the time to wake you up and…Thanks anyway.” He said, getting down and handing him the car keys.

Sometime later, a stranger in dark pressed the button of his wristwatch and the screen illuminated and it showed 3.15 AM.

He stepped out of the wardrobe slowly without making any sound. He had a glance at the bed; both the husband and wife were sleeping peacefully.

He walked into the hall and picked whatever he wanted and placed them in his bag and reached the fridge. He opened the door and took an apple and had a bite, and closed it with his leg.

He walked to the window from where he had entered, having another bite of the apple. He opened, crept outside and walked away into the dark of the night.