The Lull – Prologue

The Lull – Prologue

I’ve been working on this – shall we say – “piece” for a while now and found this hidden away in my drafts. Any thoughts would be appreciated. In case you can’t tell, this is going to be a medical thriller, someday. Here’s hoping.

I’ve been waking up at the exact same time everyday, 3:30 AM. Sometimes I think I can hear noises, but that’s probably just my imagination. Truth is, I haven’t been sleeping well and it’s been eight months now and I know it’s not the new mattress. The clumps of hair I find in my hands every time I run a few fingers through my hair feel like warning signs. Multiple warning signs. Back in my day as a doctor at the hospital, I would see cancer patients on therapy losing hair this alarmingly. I don’t know what’s wrong with my body, but I sometimes feel like a part of me is kind of dying. And that isn’t comforting.

Who is going to take my place when I am no more?

The pain in my tailbone is bad today. I would rate it a solid eight point five. I can’t remember when it started but I can feel it intensifying. My normal ignore-it-till-it-goes-away tactic isn’t working anymore. Which is funny because it works really well when I have my dysmenorrhea. I try chamomile tea. It’s now almost four in the morning, and it’s cold, and dark and wet outside. It hasn’t stopped raining in forever. The wifi goes for a toss when thunderstorms happen and I temporarily have no access to Instagram. I like to stalk – no, keep up with – a few people when I am alone. I like to see what Rita is up to with her brand new side hustle, or what Nikkie is up to with that judgemental mind of hers, and what Tina is doing with life. These guys were my best friends in college, and then we went our separate ways and then the whole pandemic happened and all hell broke loose.

You’d think they’d check up on me, but I am someone they secretly like to call “The Dismissed”,  and they’re not wrong. I’m a has-been, a pariah, the one who threw her life away. I have no job, no prospects, and I don’t know if I would ever see my patients again. There’s a health crisis raging outside and they need me more than I need them but they don’t see that.

After all, what would anyone see in a emaciated former doctor in her late twenties who lives in a shoebox of a house, savings dwindling, with no one to turn to? I close my eyes and touch my back, that’s where they surgically implanted something so Nikkie could get away with something else.

Their life, happening.

Mine? Nothing but a lull.

Resentment.

Resentment.

I don’t know why I married this thing in my bed. She doesn’t have brains. Doesn’t have the looks either. Doesn’t make money. Has a voice louder than those drills going in my neighbor’s backyard. I look over at the sleeping form next to me; chameleon-eyes open like she’s always watching me. She has these big eyes I used to find beautiful and luminous once but now, all they do is follow me around, grotesquely.

I am a henpecked husband.

I cannot even remember how long I have been married to Her. It disgusts me to even say the name. to think that I wanted a home and a child, or maybe two, with Her, one day. She’s not who I married and she has completely changed. Recession hit and she – very voluntarily and very comfortably – pulled off her socks and curled up permanently on the couch, just watching and being a pain in my neck. She acts like she’s doing me a favor when she gets me breakfast in bed. She lords it over me when she’s folding and putting away piles of my laundry. I’ve never asked her to do any of it, but she acts like she has this chip on her ugly, hunched and emaciated shoulder and uses it against me at every opportunity. I hate being stuck with her indoors all day. Fucking Corona. It had to happen now, now when I was on the verge of going on this business trip to Amsterdam alone. Now, when I’d have a few peaceful days all to myself.

She makes unnecessary commentary when I talk to my friends on the phone. She tells them not to call on the weekends – her voice shrill in the background, making me feel like I would bleed from my ears – saying she wants me to herself and she tries to sabotage my two-decade long friendship with my best friend. We had a go at each other the other day. The rabid cunt thinks I would let her treat me this way, does she? She thinks I don’t deserve her, and she’s right because no one does. Stupid, freaking, crazy bitch. How I wish I could turn back time and ensure this marriage had never happened.

I don’t even remember taking a pillow and stifling her till her writhing body goes still and her silent screams fade away to silence, blissful silence.

Twitch.

Twitch.

I wake up with the worst headache.

And my right brow has been twitching too. I’m either super dehydrated, or I’m in need of new glasses. The latter seems to be a very impossible mission right now, what with the pandemic and all, so I’ve to make do with some water.

I gulp down a huge glass of water and wait for the headache to pass. It doesn’t. An hour goes by. Nothing happens.

I’ve to deal with this twitching eye. It’s driving me mad at this point. I go to the mirror to have a closer look. It’s twitching harder than ever and I can see something poke through.

I clamp my hand to my head. Another hand pushes it away. Bloodied. And it has claws. I scream in agony as my inner devil rips out through the twitch and starts to consume me.

Frankennovel.

Frankennovel.

She’d gone missing one Sunday morning. Her husband had woken up to find an empty kitchen, and he’d thrown a fit and called her name, angrily, a bunch of times.

She didn’t show. Neither did she make the coffee that morning.

The husband called her cellphone and it rang shrilly, indicating it was somewhere around the house. He looked around and found it lying on the couch. And there was no sign of her.

He knew nothing about his wife. They’d been dating for two years and had only gotten married six months ago, but he knew nothing about her. He knew nothing about what she liked, or what her favorite color was, or what perfume she wore. He’d never made the effort to get to know her, really. To him, she was a waste of space, a spineless creature who only lived off his money, who did nothing constructive. But she also came from money herself, which was precisely why he’d married her in the first place, despite having fallen out of love with her months ago.

He made himself some coffee and started walking around the house. The silence was nice. Padded. Comforting. It felt so much nicer than having her yell at him constantly.

I hope she stays missing, he thought, sitting down on the couch. Something poked him in the side. It was a hard-bound leather notebook. He opened it and realized that it actually had stuff written on the inside in his wife’s handwriting. She seemed to have been penning down a story. Intrigued, he started reading. It was the story of an unhappy marriage between a corporate guy and a housewife who seemed to have a habit of cutting herself.

He winced at the gory descriptions of the woman cutting herself open and sewing herself back together. Every time the man made her feel small and insignificant, she cut herself deeper.

The story ended rather abruptly with the woman and the man in a verbal tussle. The woman seemed to be hiding something behind her back…

He was shocked when a woman – the same woman in the story – rose out of the pages of the notebook and stabbed him multiple times. The last thing he saw was the woman stepping back into the pages of the notebook and closing it behind her.

Short: “Becky With The Camera”

Short: “Becky With The Camera”

Becky’s had a crush on her best friend’s man, Jared, for over three years now.

One day she accidentally sends a screen grab of her gallery to her friend. The very next day, Jared ditches his girl for Becky.

Jared’s newest post on his feed is gorgeous. He’s shirtless and his skin is glistening. The caption reads – “Becky snapped this while I was in the shower, and boy, that girl is a keeper. No one’s ever made me look this good.” The photo is one of the pictures from Becky’s gallery, which Jared’s ex had immediately forwarded to him, demanding an explanation. The only thing she’d gotten in return, unfortunately, was a total termination of the relationship.

A famous underwear brand sees the post, and they contact him to model for them. Jared says heck yes.

His Insta blows up, Becky goes from being trashed as home-wrecker to being hailed as a photography hero, and her best friend goes into rehab for drinking a little too much. The things people do for a little social media attention, would stun you.

50 Word Story: Vegan

50 Word Story: Vegan

Read the first part here.

Mia had recently gone vegan, and had promptly grown as an influencer.

Unfortunately, Shay had caught her eating bacon at breakfast the other day.

“Thought you were vegan.”

“I am, for the ‘Gram,” Mia smirked, posting a photo of her milkshake to her feed. “Hashtag Vegan. Shay, go like.”

50 Word Story: Milkshake

50 Word Story: Milkshake

“Mia, look I got you a vegan milkshake! It’s yum, I tried it the other day.”

“Ooh, thanks Shay!”

It would be the last time Mia ever spoke again. By the time the rat poison showed up on the autopsy results, Shay had already left town.

Short: The Hotel

Short: The Hotel

Sabine was twenty when she got married. There were rumors that she had actually been forced into marrying Pierre, who was eighteen years her senior.

He was wealthy and Sabine’s mother wanted to get rid of her anyway.

Sabine was a vision in her beautiful white gown, which sparkled against the lavish walls of the big fancy hotel ballroom. Nobody noticed the desperation and pain in her eyes. Everyone was too busy marveling at Sabine’s wonderful luck and Pierre’s expensive taste.

No one knew when the fire started. The alarm never went off. By the time the firefighters got to the scene, the place had already burned down.

Fifteen years have passed since. They say if you drive down that road in the wee hours of the morning, you can still hear the blood-curdling screams of Pierre and his family as Sabine burns them down over and over.

The Other Man

The Other Man

It was day five. She didn’t want to tell her man what was going on with her.

Darkness fell, and her face changed. She felt the presence of something within her, consuming her, she felt her body start to contort. Her eyes fell on the mirror on the wall. In the low lights of her Hollywood vanity she saw her scleras blacken. Something else stared back as she looked at herself in the mirror.

It was less than a week to the wedding – all she could think of was how to get rid of the other man, this demon that had been taking over her body every night. Every night, at the same time.