Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Red Lozenge

           A sudden blood curdling scream broke the silence of the sultry night, I was yanked off the bed by a brute force and the tick tock of the bedside clock rose to high decibel levels until my ears ached.
           Beads of perspiration accumulated on my brows , the power went off plunging the room in sheer blackness. Blinded by this totality of eclipse, I cursed the generator for not switching on. The breeze seemed to have breathed its last too.
            Out of the somber clouds, came the full rounded white object like a knight in shining armour ,flooding the bedroom with a strange light. I sighed with relief, but it soon turned macabre- I could spot blood stained footprints on the floor which seemed to get reflected in the moonlight aura. The force dragged me to the silhouette above the eerie red shapes and I followed loyally, like the dog its master, offering no resistance whatsoever. Now, the beads of perspiration had grown in volume, turning into a shower of sweat and I could feel it trickling down my spine in torrents. Dreadfully nervous, I heard nothing except the ‘lub dub’ of my heart, aided by the hypnotic effect, I gently opened the latch of the door and treaded outside. The moonlight filtered through the trees forming weird shadows , foretelling some signs of a gruesome tale about to unfold. The force moved on and so did the red blotches , I could even hear blood dripping onto the ground . the dry leaves under my bare feet rustled and then crackled , orchestrating with the symphony from my bosom.
             I walked on into the alley way , a slender bat flew over my head ruffling the hair in the process but undeterred I tagged along, the old grey stoned church standing in testimony to the times before and the revengeful deed to be revealed. I crossed it in a daze, disturbing the wandering souls at the nearby tombstones, who seemed to be in a hurry to occupy some desperate souls.
             A flash of lightening streaked across the midnight sky and a gleaming, glistening dagger was in my right fist inviting me menacingly to the house at the corner of Grove street .The mansion once proudly owned by the business tycoon Mr. Bhim Lal , my husband, who ruled the sparkling lozenges industry. Tears rolled down my eyes as the bungalow stood in utter desolation, neglected, abandoned, haunted and lusterless. Gravity was acting on me pulling me to the entrance of the stately building. The huge Victorian gates clanked open as if by remote, the driveway loomed in darkness, over grown weeds lit up by the lunar light ,playing hide and seek. The once, pride of the eyes garden was in shambles with crawlers and creepers stalking everywhere. A spider kissed the nape of my neck, I stopped in my tracks for a brief moment but the powerful , persuasive, emphatic thrust led me to the ornate main door which creaked open revealing the cobweb chandelier, it beckoned me and shortly I was spiraling up the winding stair case . I passed two landings and on the third one, I took a vigorous turn to the right to the room, which had been the domain of my daughter Kajal.
            The walls looked dull and forlorn , the magical laughter of my Kajal was not there , the room was full of dust and grotesque shadows were dancing in the dark. Lounged on a chair was a man whose face was lit up by a light from below his chin .An evil creature with a wicked grin , presently turning into a deep throated chortle. A brief elusive moment passed, before sheer exasperation drove the wrath filled venomous sword into the villainous chest of the abominable man, spilling horrendous blood , spurting as if from the nozzle of an aerosol can and spraying on my face .
             I stood stupefied in the carnage , glorified like a gladiator for what seemed like eternity…..

                      The rasping voice on the telephone line demanded “1 crore” as ransom money for releasing my kidnapped daughter unharmed and the deadline to make the payment “24 hours” and the line went click .
                     We were in diamond business for generations, the trade legacy passed down by our fore fathers .It was competitive and risky but our business acumen had made us to carve a distinct niche for ourselves and we enjoyed a prime share in the market and our imposing store stood at the prestigious Bhimji Zaveri street .We had recently bagged a deal with a South African merchant from Kimberly that took us to dizzying heights. But somewhere along the way, we picked up jealous enemies too who wanted to bring us down on our knees and the kidnap plot was a daring attempt by our predators.
                  My husband ran from pillar to post arranging the funds without disclosing the reasons as the abductors had warned us of dire consequences.
                   TRRIING…TRRIING, the phone rang ,my heart raced as I picked up the receiver, on speaker mode , the threatening words that were coming from the other end echoed in the house- the merciless mercenaries had upped the ante, they were now demanding 5 crores , stakes going up manifold , I just plunged on the sofa, with the receiver precariously dangling from the centre table , hands cupped at my chin. Kajal’s father in a fit of rage, called up the police and informed them about the kidnap and the rising ransom.
                     We were running against time , the police swinging into action, tracing the number to a public call booth and then getting sketches made with the help of assumed witnesses. The abductors , meanwhile had sniffed the scent of the Khaki trail and immediately snuffed the life out of my darling. Ruthlessly they chopped off the limbs ,disfigured and dismembered our princess and dumped the body in front of our house.
                    Inconsolable, we wept, cried, screamed and despaired, our diamond was gone forever…..

We relocated from that house leaving behind the painful memories, to another house to try and start living again. Day in and day out, a desperate voice echoed in my ears “don’t worry mama, I’ll find you my killer “and the vengeance grew within me… the deed was done, the holocaust over….RIP my red lozenge.   


  1. brilliantly written but why a sad ending :(?

  2. Marvelous, I was glued to it till the end and the vocabulary is amazing.

  3. Deba, all along I have been writing chapters from my life and humour with a dash of poetry thrown in. To prove my versatality, I ventured into horror stuff which is outright serious and sorrowful - so the sad ending.

  4. Saru, thanks for appreciating a bold new venture - I had to unleash all my stock of words to make the story intense.

  5. When did you start writing horror stories I am scared !!

  6. Ooooo...that was one scary tale! But why???

  7. Very well written! Chills!

  8. @Deepika, there is a paradigm shift,albeit temporarily!!!

  9. @Appa, Just venturing into new avenues ...

  10. @Ash Thanks for appreciating my effort, the first of its kind.

  11. That was a really good story- the words were very descriptive and I could almost imagine the scene!! There are few good fiction writers. You certainly are one among them.!

  12. Thanks Meera for elevating me to the status of fictional writers that too with the prefix 'good'!


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