Friday, July 15, 2005

Checkmate

She straightened her skirt and flattened it out with her palms. “Silk crushes so easily” she thought. But she was glad she had been dressed to kill. Her suspicions of a year had not been unfounded, Dev was having an affair. His furtive glance at her whenever he approached the Bitch was just added confirmation that she wasn’t even looking for. The way they shot glances at each other throughout the evening, so casual yet consuming, had made her look away each time, hurriedly, hungrily seeking some solace. But nobody had noticed. Her midnight blue full-length ensemble, with her hair piled high made her look like the elegant, contented wife of a senior partner of the firm, not like the jilted one in a broken home of love that had long curdled. And that had been necessary.

She looked around the house from the chaise longue she was on. A long, hard, last look. It was time to leave. She would miss this beautiful house and the happy stories it's walls had once told, of earlier days and cleaner slates. But this crazy game had gone on for too long. It had been the time to leave a year ago when she had caught him in one of his contemptible bluffs for the first time. The confrontation had blown into a full throttled fight just as she had expected. Bristling with frustration, she had thrown her shoe at him. The coarseness of that act baffled her to date. She was not like that. She always acted composedly and competently and handled intense situations so well. Like, now. Memories of that first fight made her think of her shoes, and whether she had packed them all. She had. And the comfortable yet dainty ones she had on now would be perfect for the long trip ahead. She looked down at them and then quickly drew her feet in. The pool of blood around his cracked skull had grown at an alarming rate, almost half way to the chaise. She had been so careful and it would all be ruined if she was stupid enough to get blood stains on her shoes. She got up, carefully stepping around the Persian rug. Yes, it was time to leave.

56 Comments:

Anonymous Zoheb said...

I assume that the widowed girl is now single and looking. If so, can you send to me her email addy/contact? Would be obliged.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Ashok said...

OH BOY. That caught me by surprise alright.

Great post Gratis. So short stories too huh?

7:58 PM  
Anonymous burf said...

oops...

shot him over his affair??

im sure he must have had huge insurance on his name ;)

:D

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that Mr. Gabby is doing well. :)

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Leela said...

Nice one, Gabby. Real nice.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Ashwin said...

Very well written...and really haunting! I hope its not a true story.

Ashwin

www.infinitelimits.blogspot.com

1:58 AM  
Blogger Ashwin said...

Just wanted to add that I loved your previous post :). I am an SIB too so could relate to it a lot...though I can safely say I am not AS fussy as some of the characters in that post ;) :D.

1:59 AM  
Blogger KJ said...

Story mein twist....

very good!!!!
:)

2:34 AM  
Anonymous saba said...

ossume . you have a good way with your words wonderfully written mini story

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved this Gabby! I thought that she leaving him was what the "checkmate" title was for.

Write more!

Shobha

4:56 AM  
Blogger The Man Who Wasnt There said...

Been quite some time since I had been here (something tells me my usual "I am usually the FIRST one to read every one of your posts and keep clicking on the refeesh button relentlessly"..wont work here..) and quite a deluge of posts indeed! Interesting but predictable story..:) Hope the protagonist wasnt based on you...:p

6:39 AM  
Blogger Peg said...

YO!! Caught me in the dark without my flashlight! GREAT JOB!!
Loved how you brought me to come to feel sorry for her but her nostalgic way she handled her leaving in the beginning made me applaud her but in the end, WOW!! What a lady with some serious issues!!
You really brought her personality and her situation to a realistic halt as you see a woman so well adjusted to her situation now in cold blood murdering the means of her unhappiness!
Very nicely written and well composed and worth a publishers' look-see or a continuation of how they catch up with her!!
Enjoyed it immensely!!

2 thumbs up!!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous sqrl/nt said...

ouch

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with burf - must be the insurance. To kill over a tiddly affair, self esteem's got to be at floor level!!!

Anon

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Ash said...

Chilling !

12:17 PM  
Anonymous observer said...

Phew Gratis. I did NOT see that coming.

Amazing, churn out a sequel now!

1:04 PM  
Blogger AmitL said...

What a short yet gripping thriller,Gabby...nice going..More coming up??

9:28 PM  
Anonymous karan said...

weddings, babies, domestication, and now this?! i wud guess there was a change in theme smwhere there :)
but yeah..nice writing...chilling short story. wonder wat cracked the skull...the shoe?! :o

9:54 PM  
Blogger Akruti said...

Twist:( chilled me for a while,starts with silk and ends with Persian rug,and all after his cracked skull! ! Gabby,gosh

1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOLY F**K~!

And WHERE did you get the inspiration for that?!

7:05 AM  
Blogger anantha said...

Wow.... i am speechless...

5:34 PM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

Booom.... and yipeee for her :)

1:15 AM  
Blogger phatichar said...

*Takes a bow*

:)

1:30 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

Brrr, what an end! reminded me of all these cold and chilling movies I have been watching...

1:57 AM  
Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

ah.. u into typing-terrifying-tales too? :)


sent you the link in mail.

2:27 AM  
Blogger sanguine said...

you are trying to scare someone na gabby ? hai na ? hai na ?

:D
but seriously very roald dahl ish. loved it .

3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Mr.Gabby ok? ;)

Pretty good. In just a few lines, you make the reader feel sorry for the woman and by the end you know this one can take care of herself. Or can she? (idea for a sequel?)

Passer-by

6:16 AM  
Blogger manuscrypts said...

hmmph.. poor guys always get killed!! :(...

6:27 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

zoheb - She needs some time. And lots of money. Do you have money?

Ashok - thanks man.

burf - Hee Hee. Maybe. Maybe not. Watch out!

Anon - LOL! He is doing well. He is also swallowing hard thinking of what might happen if he "strays" :)

Leela, Ashwin, kj, saba, Shobha - thank you, thank you. Your words are very encouraging.

girish - Ah, and how much did you pay for that sarcasm class? They did a great job I say :) Kidding. So it was predictable huh?..O well, what do I say, pure genius! (I went for that class too! LOL!)

7:53 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Peg - Thanks. That was exactly what I was trying to do, bring out the readers' sympathy for her and then Wham! take it all back. She could handle it her way. Yes she has some issues, and so did her dead husband. Not the healthiest relationship there :)

sqrl/nt - yes that must have hurt, cracked skull and all :)

Anon - A separate response just for you. Coming up.

Ash, observer, Amit - I like the response "chilling"...any day better that "Luke Warm" or something like that :). I am planning a sequel, I don't know when I'll get to it though. Thanks.

karan - trying hard to show my "wild" side maybe ? LOL! All those wet grinder-ish stories... Need some serious un-doing :)

Akruti - Spoken like a true gal. Silk and that lovely rug. All ruined. *Sigh*

8:02 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anon - Out of the blue it came. Nobody I know has been murdered. Nobody is even cheating. Yes, even in that crazy crowd I hang with :) When I started this blog 5 months ago, I thought of writing only short stories. Obviously I have deviated from that plan. With this mini-story I am taking a few hesitant steps back in that direction....

Anti - In a good way?

pallavi - Well she definitely showed him. Will she be able to erase the pain she felt though?

phatichar - king of short stories. i can only bow back, respectfully.

Anumita - I hope not one in particular! We all try so hard for originality...*sigh*

t fairy - Just found out myself. And yes, Benazir does come to mind :)

sanguine - no re! but if it does help clear the rules, only good can come out of it! LOL! glad you liked it!

passer-by - i like the way you think. i was thinking much on the same lines :) & thanks!

manu - stupid fellows. first they cheat and then they go get themselves killed. Hrrrmpph!

8:11 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

This is for the Anon who commented

"To kill over a tiddly affair, self esteem's got to be at floor level!!!"

I have luckily never been cheated on..But I can imagine the humiliation and pain that must come with it. Can't you? I myself don't think killing is the solution but at some level I can understand how one can be driven to thoughts of it. If she had killed HERSELF, you can say her self esteem is at floor level...But really, with your statement I am forced to think you do not realize or respect the sanctity of marriage.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seriously think you should try your hand at writing a book.

-Peggy

10:35 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Thanks much Peggy. Good to know that if all else fails, I can consider a paperback thriller.

(I suspect though, knowing my patience levels, that it'll be a really slim and cheap one :))

10:47 AM  
Blogger Megha said...

Deadly killer short! ;)

Totally loved it!

12:47 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Thanks Megha...time for a new post non?

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crisp Gabby!

3:04 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Thanks Anon!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Rash said...

Hey good one. And good way to warn the man in life. hehe

9:33 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

"a really slim and cheap one..." (a few comments up) So what? I say just do it. Get yourself published. Lots of folks are into those slim and cheap novellas (like me!) because you can read the whole thing in flight or on a train to and from work.
I disagree totally with girish. Nothing in that even hinted toward your exceptionally surprising end. Wow. Great stuff. Really great writing.

2:36 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

No my dear. I meant the genre. This is definitely original and very well written!

3:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabby, extra-marital sex is prob'ly as old as marriage itself and folks deal with it in their own way, mostly with respect and dignity. Famous ones in recent times being H Clinton and P Charles (Looks like Diana slept with anyone who would only ask). Whatever the provocation, in the end our reaction is a reflection of our character.

Ugh..Too much fundaa but cudnt let it go after ur comment.

Anon

4:23 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

rash - :)...yes, I think we have no worries on that front EVER :)

Weary - Thanks Carol. Maybe sometime in the future...I feel I am miles away when I read writing like yours. And Girish, did ya hear that ? *grin*

Anumita - Thank you!

Anon - You're right...too much fundaa! Let's kaata this? ;)

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Interested said...

Nice narrative. This is my first time to your blog and I'm very impressed.

Keep writing.

1:47 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Thanks interested. Drop by again!

3:00 PM  
Blogger FunnyCide said...

Gabs, nice short and crisp story. checkmate caught me quite off gaurd! while I dont want to go judgemental on whether or not what the fictional lady did is right, I want to add that you do have the short story writing talent. You should write more of these. The character, though not completely built [because of the brevity of the story] was consistent and crisp [which suits short stories better]. Inconsistencies and shades of grey are for novels where you have the time to develop all shades of the character. And adding quirks to characters is another good way of developing interest.. like what the "silk crushes so easily" line portrays... anyways, enuff of being the snobbish story critique, I just wanted to say, nice one. keep writing more such stuff.

8:26 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Whoa Funny! Thanks so much for the precise analysis. I was happy with the piece too...when I began to expand, the techicalities like fingerprints, where-is-she-going, wont-the-cops-catch-up-with-this-obvious-departure and stuff like that boggled me...maybe that's why it was kept so short :)

6:06 AM  
Blogger WA said...

Wow. Chilling story! Didn't expect to see it on your blog though :)

12:24 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Ah Wicked, we are all wicked inside, aren't we? LOL!

No, that does NOT mean that's more than a piece of fiction! *grin*

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice story. Caught me by surprise, at it was meant to I suppose.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Swathi said...

nice denouement.first time to ur blog, am gonna frequent it now

9:56 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anon - Thanks!

Swathi - Good to see you here! Drop by when you can, & thanks! Will go check out your abode now...

6:05 AM  
Blogger Khushee said...

Good one!

12:30 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

thanks khush!

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You write wonderful stories and are really good at short ones..
i love the way you end them.. :) the sudden and unpredictable twists are both amusing and haunting ..

11:58 AM  
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10:32 PM  

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