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.

#ThrowBack – An Excerpt

#ThrowBack – An Excerpt

Do you remember your first day of grad school? I remember mine like it were only yesterday. I remember the cadaver on the cold metal table, and the stares.

Most importantly, the stares.

I stuck out like a sore thumb, so I tried very hard to blend in. I was painfully aware of myself and my flaws, all magically modified like crazy, because I was in a whole new place. I’d never lived away from my parents before and going to live in one of those hostel things was very uncomfortable at first, and I’m sure a lot of people can relate. Now that I look back on those days, I realize that I’d only gone to med school super far away from home, to get away from the bubble that I’d been living in all my life. An overprotected bubble, I might add.

The people were mostly from upscale metros. I was the only one from the Podunk tiny town. Sigh. I felt so uncomfortable there I thought I would die of anxiety just from walking into class and have people make fun of me. When you’re a kid, you don’t understand what’s happening, and sometimes you don’t understand what bullying feels like, until it’s too late. I got made fun of my crooked teeth, my hair and my stoop (they called me that), and I was overweight on my first day of college and I was made painfully aware of that. Usually people come up to you when you’re new, make conversation and that’s how you become friends – but when it came to me, nobody really ever approached. Except for this one girl who became a good friend – she was just as gorgeous on the outside as well as on the inside – and although we’ve lost touch, I’m forever grateful. Bless her soul. I honestly hope she’s happy wherever she is because I’m sure she’s slaying it out there. She was badass. Truly.

So that first month passed by pretty fast, and I noticed myself losing weight. The food wasn’t very nice – it’s normal when you’re eating in a mess – and at some point, I got bitten by depression so hard, I stopped going to school. While the other kids maintained a routine, I would stay in my room and only go to the classes I enjoyed, and ended up alienating myself further. That was also how I ended up losing six inches off my waistline. Go me. That was also the start of my tiff with things like anemia and vitamin D deficiency, both of which were self-induced. While the other kids were busy studying, getting into relationships with classmates, and having artists do their anatomy projects, I was busy drawing my own anatomy diagrams. And I loved it. I’d forgotten how much I loved to sketch, and funny as it may seem, drawing the model of the heart from Cunningham’s manual actually calmed me down.

At this point I also discovered eyeliner and tight-lining, and went ham. That was how I created the illusion of smaller eyes. The stares and the comments eventually stopped and I finally achieved what I’d been trying to since day one – I became invisible, successfully.

Movie Review: Secret Obsession

Movie Review: Secret Obsession

Going to cut to the chase here and say, “Issa NO.” Just no. I wasted my afternoon watching this absolute trash of a movie trying to justify having done it – came up with zero reasons to actually tell myself that it was okay.

Truth be told, I’m offended.

Netflix messes with you sometimes. I loved YOU, which actually told the story of a psychopathic serial killer from his own point of view. And I assumed that Secret Obsession would be similar, but boy, was I sorely disappointed.

First off, you can actually tell the whole story from the trailer itself. Where’s the fun in that?

She still has fake lashes on. Slow claps.

I’ve to admit I watched it for Brenda Song alone. She played London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and I was such a huge fan. She plays Jennifer Allen who gets hit by a car and suffers from short term memory loss, with no memories of her life or her husband. This guy Russell comes up to her and introduces himself to her as her husband and she says yeah, okay. And she goes home – a suspiciously large home – with him. She comfortably settles into the role of a housewife because Russell says she’s quit her job and eats an obnoxious amount of breakfast eggs, and goes about trying to see if anything at home triggers her memory. But Secret Obsession did her dirty. Her character is bland at best and there are so many gaping pot holes, you’re going to give yourself a headache just by trying to keep track. Mike Vogel, the psychopath that plays Russell, isn’t just crazy enough. He photoshops himself into her life, edits a whole bunch of photos, including the wedding photo, but forgets to blend in the skin tone and edit major stuff like fixing his own reflection in a photo that shows the back of the real Russell’s head. Which Jennifer notices eventually – by then it’s too late.

Look at the obscene amount of scrambled eggs she’s eating.

Like, honestly.

There’s a good cop with a tragic backstory that finds out about the knock off husband pretending to be the real husband, and he does some investigation and finds out the real tea. The other thing that gets me is the completely baffling timeline. Three months, and fake Russell KILLED Jennifer’s (Song) parents and they’ve decomposed funny. There’s also a strange man that leaves flowers and Russell kills and buries him in the backyard. Nobody finds this dead person. There’s also a scene where Russell gets mad because Jennifer won’t do it with him and he has an angry outburst and grips her arm tightly. Okay, dude needs to learn to get it under control.

Eventually Russell gets found out and we have a happy ending with Jennifer limping away in heels. Why would anyone put her in heels when she’s clearly limping is yet another mystery to me.

A few people have liked the movie, but it’s a hard pass in my opinion. If you’re bored and want to get drunk surreptitiously out of your skull and need something to distract you, watch Secret Obsession. Have a great weekend, folks.

The Savior

The Savior

Jemima was twenty-four when she got married to a jewelry store owner. They had a good life. He would come home late and leave early. And he would constantly obsess over how Jemima looked.

Every month, he would send her to the biggest clinics in the country, just so she could get several procedures done, ranging from chemical peels, to microdermabrasion, sometimes a nip here and a tuck there. Six years had gone by, and they led a comfortable life.

Jemima was also very lonely. When you’re thirty, married to a rich person, and living in a big house with only walls for company, you do get bored. And neighbors kind of talked, a lot. Jemima always felt very useless and insignificant. And she prayed that someday she could help someone and be treated with respect. That’s how a few of her habits were born. One day, she complained to her husband that she couldn’t really eat anything anymore.

He was mildly alarmed, because he’d given her a strict diet chart which she followed religiously. Her diet comprised largely of fruit and no carbs whatsoever. This helped her maintain that twenty two inch waist of hers.

“When was the last time you actually ate something, Jem?”

“Dinner, last night. My belly kind of hurts.”

“I’ll have Ron drive you to Dr. Samuels’ today. I’ll call and get an appointment, don’t worry.”

He kissed her on the temple and left.

Jemima was in surgery when her husband’s store was broken into. They took everything. Emptied the registers, stole millions worth of jewelry. He thought he’d lost everything when he got a call from a very astonished Dr. Samuels.

“I just got robbed, Dr. S,” he sobbed, “I don’t know what I’m going to do!”

“Come to the hospital immediately. There’s something you’ve to see.”

He rushed to meet Dr. Samuels. Nothing could have prepared him for what he was facing. Recovered from Jemima’s abdomen were about three kilos of jewelry. A couple of rare Rolexes. He almost cried.

“How’s Jem doing, Dr. S?”

“She’s stable.”

Jemima’s husband had never felt so relieved before.

“AntiPropt”

“AntiPropt”

I looked at Em, hunched over the new batch of eye-drop formulations we were going over. Em has had myopia her whole life, and by the time it stopped getting worse, she was already a twenty-nine year old. I remember the conversation we had once, very distinctly, like it were yesterday.

“I’m so tired, Sean,” she’d told me, “Of being the only one in the family that’s not yet married.”

“That’s okay, marriage isn’t a big deal, you know,” I’d told her.

Em had shaken her head and said that she was Indian, and being as old as she was, and unmarried to boot wasn’t considered a good thing in her family. I told her I failed to see logic.

She’d sighed and explained, “It’s a thing. An actual thing. Indian parents don’t understand you, it’s true. You could be doing well career-wise, but you aren’t doing anything till you’ve actually gotten married to a nice guy and made a few babies. And I keep getting rejected. My parents are worried.”

That had sparked my interest. Em was beautiful: she was tall and stately, had dimples when she smiled (which wasn’t very often), and also had one of the sharpest minds in the lab. She was a brilliant scientist. Sometimes I considered her my competition, my only competition.

“I’m sorry I’m being nosy, but why would you keep getting rejected?”

She’d pointed at her eyes and said, “Proptosis and high myopia. They won’t even do LASIK on me. My eyesight is really bad. Minus eleven diopter.”

And she’d cried a little. I’d passed her a tissue, patted her on the back and gone back to the lab.

Present day, she would still get upset over her eyesight but she tried to shove it under the rug and pretend to be fine. But I could see through the façade. Strong Em had reached her breaking point. I’m trying to not be too intrusive but I notice Em pick up a of couple eye-drop samples that weren’t meant to be there, which she then proceeds to pocket casually. I know exactly what those samples are. I look down at my notes and smile to myself.

Two months later, Em walks in and she no longer has proptosis. No longer has myopia. She also has a shiny new ring on her finger and new veneers.

She’s hugging back everyone who’s congratulating her.

I’m at my station, working on my patent. I’ve decided to call it AntiPropt and it’s my baby. It’s my brainchild, my new eye-drop. It essentially penetrates the eye to slowly absorb and dehydrate the eyeball over a course of few weeks. Oh, but not too much, so that fluid loss from the aqueous and vitreous humor happens over a span of time, and doesn’t happen too drastically because having a shrunken globe is again, messy. And once the process is completed, this leads to a shortening in the actual axial length of the eyeball, making the images form on the retina like it normally should, thereby curing myopia without any invasive procedure. This drop had taken me years to perfect and Em has been my first successful test subject.

She comes over and hugs me.

“Thank you, Sean,” she says, “for my new eyes and my new life.”

“Wedding Dress Shopping.”

“Wedding Dress Shopping.”

Dana wants this big wedding. She’s so excited. She walks into a fancy boutique on Friday morning, with a whole entourage, all wearing pink. Jose, the camera guy, and Sammy, her assistant are in the mix. Dana tells herself that it’s going to be fun. Her Tiffany Nova square cut ring sparkles in the late morning sun.

The girl that’s going to be helping her with her dress walks in, and everyone is so pumped.

A round of hellos are exchanged and the champagne’s poured and Dana goes in to try her first dress on.

“I’m so nervous,” she tells Charlotte, the bridal store girl.

Charlotte pats her on the shoulder and says, “Aw, honey, don’t worry, it’ll be fine. Let’s get you changed into this beautiful ivory strapless. You did say strapless was your style, right?”

Dana nods and puts on the dress. Charlotte helps her tuck it back and secures it with clips, and she walks out to meet her entourage. Jose is still filming. Dana wants the whole thing done vlog-style for her YouTube channel, it’s been a fun seven years on there.

“OH MY, that’s stunning,” Sammy says. Sammy’s been trained to exclaim appreciatively at everything Dana does. Sammy is also really good at keeping secrets and that’s why nobody really knows who Dana is getting married to. Everyone’s looking forward to meeting the mystery guy, but every time the topic comes up, Dana giggles and brushes it aside with a wave of her long red nails that almost looked like talons from some mythical creature.

She goes on to try four more dresses, and buys the slinkiest one because everyone likes it the best.

“When do we meet the man now that the dress is done?” someone asks in the comments that afternoon when she posts a mirror selfie in a white dress on Instagram.

“Soon,” Dana replies with a winky face emoji.

Now she must find a guy since the last one died from an accidental stab wound to the carotid. The murder weapon? A woman’s blood-red talon. Incompetent police work overlooked this, and the murderer effectively got rid of it. No arrests were ever made. No one knew who the man was and where he went. That’s what happens when you don’t have a family and you end up in a dumpster with nothing to identify you with. The case was closed and filed away, never to be opened again.

Dana throws a glass at the mirror, breaking it into little shards.

“Why wouldn’t any guy last till the damn wedding?” she screams at her shattered reflection.

50 Word Story: Stand-Up Comedy

50 Word Story: Stand-Up Comedy

Morgan’s at the bar, cracking jokes. That night he meets Sally, they fall in love.

Sally likes comedians.

Deep down, she hates anti-feminist jokes.

Soon, she adds a new piece to her collection of shrunken heads in the basement. Morgan fits right in with the rest of the offenders.

The Power Of Belief

The Power Of Belief

Guest post by Suyash.

I jerked awake as my chef slipped my supper into my room.

I smiled at him, he had a look of disgust on his face. I wondered why.

I remembered my family from back in the day: a devoted mother, a strong father and an annoying little brother. They doted on him so much I was almost jealous sometimes. He became a fine man, more successful than me even, and our parents were very proud.

Right until the day we found his body in a car. The brakes had failed. That tore the family apart. My mother overdosed on pills, and my father hung himself in grief. Thank God I survived as I dug into the meal which looked much better than it tasted.

“Looks pretty normal from the outside,” the prison guard said, “who’d have thought he murdered his entire family”

American Horror Story: 1984

American Horror Story: 1984

The second trailer for American Horror Story: 1984 dropped a few days ago, and IT LOOKS SO GOOD! Ryan Murphy, as usual, slays yet again. The new season airs on September 18, 2019.

1. The major players are missing. Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett don’t make an appearance in the ninth season of the anthology. Evan Peters, too. He said he wanted to take a break from the show. This makes me very sad, but okay.

2. New cast members. We have Matthew Morrison (Mr. Schuester from Glee), and DeRon Horton (Dear White People). Angelica Ross from the show Pose will be joining the cast of 1984. She also makes history as the first transgender person to be cast as a series regular in two tv shows. Woot woot!

3. I also caught a glimpse of John Carroll Lynch. He played Twisty the clown in Freak Show as well as Cult. I smell a connection.

4. Matthew Morrison’s bulge makes a very prominent appearance through the little shorts he wears in the trailer. So yes, expect soft-core adult movie action that you get with almost all seasons of AHS. Ooh, and everyone looks amazing. The eighties were so… fashion forward.

5. Olympian Gus Kenworthy stars as Emma Watson’s character’s boyfriend. I’m looking forward to their onscreen chemistry.

6. Cody Fern is a series regular and looking super retro in that hair with those bleached blonde tips.

7. Apparently, there’s going to be a Billie Eilish song and I cannot wait.

8. There’s a dude in sunglasses. He reminds me of Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, who killed people between June 1984 to August 1985, using a wide variety of weapons. This fits the theme too.

9. The music is going to be KILLER. I can already tell.

10. There could also be a twist like the one they put on Roanoke. It’s hard to tell, because this is AHS we are talking about. But I’m speculating at this point. This has to be the campiest season, ever.

Does anyone watch the show? Who’s excited?

Lasting Impressions

Lasting Impressions

I’m in my usual spot, desk by the window, writing. You’re at work, and I’ve got the house to myself. I can’t focus. I guess this is what writer’s block does to you, maybe.

You’re a good man, you don’t need to know things.

Ronan was being a bit of a douche lately. He was talking about trying to talk me out of my marriage. This marriage. What I have with you. Ronan doesn’t mean a thing to me. Not anymore. Not since twenty fifteen.

You walked in the other day to find me on my knees scrubbing at a the carpet. You said I looked crazy because I was scrubbing away feverishly. But you didn’t dwell much on it because you know I am a bit of a germaphobe, so you didn’t say anything, and went on your way.

Such a darling.

Now I must dispose of Ronan’s lifeless form and the blood stains before you find out I’m not so innocent after all. Lasting impressions, baby, they matter to me.