SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (70)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK ( PART 11) : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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When Neeraj woke up the next morning, he felt discombobulated. He wasn’t sure whether he had actually met his father or it was a dream; a bad dream. His gut instinct, however, told him to trust his father and be alert always. Even though he had high regards for Inspector Subhash, he decided to listen to his father. He got ready, as usual, to go to school.

After a quick breakfast, he grabbed his school bag, kissed his mom and dashed downstairs to grab his bike. No sooner did he cross the gate, than he noticed Inspector Subhash sipping hot tea from the tea stall across the street. “It’s strange,” he thought, ” Inspector Subhash convinced me that we were safe and called off the security. But, what’s he doing here? Should I greet him or go to school or follow him?” Inspector Subhash was having a pleasant chat with some people near the tea stall. He didn’t see Neeraj observing him. The latter thought it was better to follow him without his knowledge rather than attending school for the day.

He pretended to move on and turned his bicycle to the adjacent road and come back to the same spot. When he returned, he noticed that the Inspector had finished paying for the tea and was about to start his bike. Neeraj remained unobtrusive and tried to cast a casual glance around. He was actually thrilled to do some spying work which he had read only in books. He felt like James Bond with a missing gun. Inspector Subhash left the area with Neeraj leaving enough gap to avoid being detected. He regretted his foolish decision because a bicycle was no match for a bike. He was actually panting and gasping for breath. The inspector led him on a fool’s errand by taking narrow lanes and coming back to the main road. “What the hell is he doing?” grumbled Neeraj. He stopped his bicycle for a moment only to wipe the sweat of his forehead with his handkerchief. This fraction of a second caused his quarry to surge ahead and disappear.

Neeraj was frustrated. He slapped his forehead with his palm and complained, ” Where did he go?” Suddenly, a hand tapped gently on his shoulders and Neeraj jumped in fright. When he turned, he was shocked to find Inspector Subhash smiling at him. ” Were you searching for me, Neeraj? Is there any problem that you followed me all the way for the past half an hour? I see. You have even skipped your school today.” Neeraj looked sheepish and was silent due to loss of words and more so, because he had been discovered. He couldn’t admit spying on him just because his dead father’s soul warned him to be careful around. “Well, ” The inspector tapped his foot and raising his eyebrow, ” You owe me an explanation, child. Are you thinking of a suitable lie to justify your actions? Because if I caught you lying, you would see a different Inspector.”

Neeraj gulped and then slowly answered, ” Sorry, Inspector. I should not have followed you. Last night, I read a detective novel and was so impressed that I wanted to experience following someone. In fact, when you saved my mom from the clutches of the kidnappers, I made up my mind to become an Inspector like you and catch the culprits to put them behind bars. You are so brave and intelligent, Sir. Would you kindly help me and teach me some tricks for becoming a detective?” Inspector Subhash appeared to be relaxed and grinned, “Well. I am very much flattered with your words of appreciation. But I don’t approve the manner of your seeking help. Anyway, I don’t mind because I too skipped my school for a day to watch a cricket match between India and Australia in Wankhede Stadium. I want you to promise me that you won’t venture out in such a dangerous task. I won’t tell your mother this time. You must be tired after that exhausting bicycle ride. There’s an ice cream parlor around the corner. Let’s chat over ice creams, alright? ” Neeraj couldn’t believe his luck. He thought Inspector Subhash would either slap him or arrest him and send him to a juvenile detention center. He smiled back and said, ” Gee, thanks. I learned a lesson today. There’s more to following a person than what I read in detective novels. This adventure was enough for me, I promise.” The inspector and Neeraj had an interesting conversation where Inspector Subhash taught him a few tips and also invited him home to show the spying gadgets that he had recently acquired.

Inspector Subhash said, ” You now have a whole day at your disposal. You can’t go back home for your mother will be suspicious. I will drop you at your school with a letter seeking permission for coming late. There’s no need to waste a productive day.” He always kept a notepad with him and wrote and signed the letter. The Inspector followed him to his school and spoke to the class teacher, handing over the note. She allowed him to attend the rest of the classes.

Neeraj wanted to yell at his father for misleading him and filling his head with wrong ideas when there was no problem at all. Inspector Subhash was a kind man and came to his rescue. He didn’t scold him. Neeraj snapped out of his reverie and paid attention to the Biology Teacher.

Meanwhile, Archana Khandve, Amit’s ex-wife, called upon Radhika. The latter was delighted to see her and hugged her. Archana said,” I am so sorry over what happened to you. I think this city is getting too dangerous for you. If you ask me, you should be in the witness protection program. It’s not your fault that you got involved with someone like Amit.” Radhika sipped her tea and nodded. She said, “It’s very kind of you to say so. But everyone I meet these days, seems to have two faces. The fake, good side to gain the trust of people and the real, hideous one to destroy your life and gloat about the fake victory. You never know, whom to trust.”

Archana almost choked on her tea. Radhika felt alarmed on seeing her reaction to a simple statement. She got up and went to the kitchen while Archana received a call. She grinned at the mysterious caller and said, “That idiot is still unaware of the danger lurking around her and her son. Yes, I have done exactly what you asked me to. At first, I thought she had caught on to us. I can’t wait to see her dead body floating in the lake or pond. And I want to reunite the son with his dead father.” Archana ended the call and turned around to find the shock of her life. She started sweating profusely, as it was not Radhika. Radhika was unconscious in the kitchen.

Archana screamed, ” No….. You can’t be here. You aren’t supposed to be here. The boss ordered you not to show up for some time until Amit’s death case turns cold.” The stranger gave an evil grin, pulling out a sharp shining blade.

Watch out for the next episode of The Special Notebook as the story takes another thrilling turn. Will Archana survive or die? Who’s the stranger? How did he get in?

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (68)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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Neeraj got ready to school. He didn’t want Radhika to know about his near escape from the jaws of death. A policeman was standing guard outside his house. Neeraj just told her that the police thought it was a good idea to provide them with security, as the killer might be hunting for the remaining links to Amit.

Meanwhile, Radhika’s curiosity couldn’t be contained. She tried questioning Neeraj about the missing diary. He told her, “Mom, that diary is an important evidence linked to Amit’s death.So, I handed it over to the police. Don’t you want his killer to be caught? Besides, he might come to finish us off. ” Radhika sighed, ” Ok. If that’s what you insist. But I am dying to know what kind of secrets Amit was hiding from me? Don’t you think I am entitled to learn the truth? “

Neeraj didn’t respond. He simply shrugged and went to school with one of the security cops following him to school. Radhika called Archana ( Amit’s ex-wife) and arranged to meet her in a cafe. As she was about to step out of the house, someone hit her on the head. Everything blacked out. When she woke up, she was in a dilapidated warehouse, with her hands and feet firmly bound with tight ropes. She had a handkerchief stuffed in her mouth. She had a splitting headache and was struggling like a fish caught in the net.

She heard someone laughing at her. He said, ” Welcome to my paradise, honey! I must say Amit had great taste in women. Look at you! Who could guess that such a precious beauty would be a mother of a fifteen-year-old boy.” Radhika was too shocked to see her kidnapper. “This couldn’t be true,” she muttered under her breath, ” I must be dreaming. It might be a concussion.” The kidnapper chuckled, ” Unfortunately, you aren’t dreaming. You didn’t expect me, am I right? Don’t you ever read mystery novels? The criminal usually turns out to be the one whom you suspect the least.” He removed her gag and she burst out, ” What did I ever do to you? Why have you kidnapped me? I am all my son has got. How much money do you want?”

The kidnapper shook his head and said, ” Tsk… Tsk. I appreciate your maternal love. But my freedom is more important to me than your foolish sentiments. No, I am not going to discuss my plans with you. I am going to make your son do my dirty work.” He gagged her again and left her struggling to get free from the tight ropes that were beginning to hurt her.

Neeraj finished his school and came back home. He was astonished to find no one standing guard. The door was ajar. Fearing the worst, he dropped the school bag and rushed in, followed by the cop. His mom’s handbag was lying on the floor with its content spread all over. He checked all the rooms and started panicking to find her missing. He cried in agony and dropped on to the couch. The cop went to fetch a glass of water and offered it to him. ” Why’s everyone after my mom? ” he wailed, “What does this sick bastard want? “
” Now, now! Young man, “said the friendly cop, ” Take a deep breath and relax. I have already called Subhash sir. He will be here any moment. Don’t you worry. Inspector Subhash will rescue your mother.” The place was soon swarmed with cops and fingerprint experts. As Neeraj sobbed over a cup of hot cocoa, the landline began to ring. Subhash put it on speaker. ” Hello, Inspector, ” chuckled an evil voice, ” It’s good that you answered the phone instead of this bitch’s son.” Neeraj seethed in rage. He yelled, ” Mind your language, you skunk. If I get my hands on you, I will pack you to hell if you ever dared to hurt my mother.” Inspector Subhash signalled him to keep quiet as he started to speak, “Let’s cut out the crap. What’s your demand for the ransom?” The kidnapper replied, ” That’s a wise move, Inspector. Better tell that hot headed boy to hold back his tongue if he wants to see his mom alive. Well, I heard you have an interesting diary in your possession. Just hand it over to me and the lady is yours. Do not try to trace my call. Drop the diary at the Old Godown near Wadala by 10 PM tonight. Radhika will be home before dawn.”

Inspector Subhash said, ” Alright, it’s a deal.” He disconnected the call. Neeraj was worried. Subhash said, ” Don’t you worry. I promise to make sure your mother is safe.” He left with his men as Neeraj was wondering over his mom’s fate.

The next morning, Inspector Subhash arrived carrying Radhika in his arms. She was too weak to walk. Neeraj was delighted to see his mom but then his grin was quickly replaced by lines of worry. ” What happened, Inspector?” he questioned as Subhash gently lay her on the couch. He winked at Neeraj, ” Don’t you worry. She’s tired because of her traumatic experience yesterday. I can’t share the police secrets with you. She’s safe for now and so are you. We have caught her kidnapper. He’s safely behind bars. Just relax. There’s nothing to worry about. However, I would still advise you not to be complacent and let your guard down.” The inspector was about to leave when Neeraj suddenly hugged him. He said, ” I can’t thank you enough for saving my mom. What about the diary? ‘I guess the killer must be having the last laugh.” The inspector grinned, ” Thank you so much for your confidence in the police. Do you really think we would have compromised with an important evidence? I have my own way of solving the case. Be rest assured, you can now continue to lead a normal life.”

Neeraj thanked him as he saw his favorite cop walking off in style. He had a newfound respect for him. He considered him a hero, next to his father. Later that night, he wanted to talk to his father and tell him that he was wrong. He picked up his special notebook and wrote :
Dad, meet me tonight.

It was well past midnight when a strong wind blew and his father’s soul appeared before him. Pranav was still looking worried and said, ” Thank God! You summoned me. I know the reason behind your call. But the danger is not over yet.” Neeraj didn’t look convinced and replied, ” Though you were right about our lives being in danger, with my near accident and Mom’s kidnapping, Inspector Subhash rescued both of us. He told me that the kidnapper was behind bars. The kidnapper has to be the murderer, right? Because he demanded the diary as the ransom. ” Pranav said, ” You are wrong, my champion detective. Don’t you see the common link between your accident and your mom’s kidnapping? “

Suddenly, it dawned on Neeraj. He said, ” No dad. It can’t be…… “

Watch out for the next upcoming thrilling episode of The Special Notebook for more dramatic turns.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (66)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK ( PART 9) : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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Neeraj got ready for school at his usual time on the following day. Radhika saw him off and decided to read the diary that Archana had given her. It was nowhere to be found. “How could it disappear just like that?” she wondered. Finally, she gave up searching for the diary which was now present in the police station as an evidence.

Unaware of the fact that someone was spying on her, Radhika finished her household chore and went to take a small nap. The stranger sighed at his spontaneous change of mind. Initially, he had planned to kidnap her, feast on her body, and leave her to die like his other victims. He was caught off guard at the sight of her mesmerizing beauty. There was something special about this woman. Usually, he never developed these kinds of feelings towards his intended victims. He would satisfy his lust, kill them, and also leave behind their bones after consuming human meat. But now, his partners in crime, were languishing in jail because of this woman and her nosy son.

He let out an evil chuckle, ” I think I am going to use Amit’s formula. Win over the lady, take her to bed and then threaten her to kill the boy if she didn’t marry him.” He was impressed with her luxurious apartment. She was a rich widow with a healthy bank account. He would kill her later after usurping her excessive wealth. For now, he decided to give up his cannibalism and lust. He thought ” I think I should gain the trust of her son before approaching her. Amit failed in his mission because of her son.”

He took out his smartphone and made a phone call. Neeraj’s classes were over for the day as he stepped out of his school premises. He was chatting with his friends with his school bag slung over his shoulders and holding his bicycle. No sooner did he get on his bike, a car sped along, trying to run him over. Had it not been for the tall, dark and handsome man who pushed him to safety, he would have been crushed to death. The man gave his right hand to hoist Neeraj back on his feet and picked up his school bag.

” Are you alright, young man?” he asked with concern clearly showing in his eyes. ” Whew! That was close, ” replied Neeraj, wiping the beads of perspiration from his forehead, “Thank you so much for saving my life.” His savior extended his hand and said, ” Hi! I am Sub Inspector Subhash Gupta from Andheri Police Station.” He showed his ID card so that Neeraj could feel safe. He said, ” You look pretty shaken up. Let me get you a hot cocoa or coffee and then you can be on your way home. Shall I inform your parents that you will be late? ” But Neeraj was lost in thoughts. Was the car driver drinking and driving? Or was he an assassin? Why would someone try to kill him and make it look like an accident? This seemed to be more like a Bollywood script. The thought of a murderer baying for their blood gave him goosebumps. His face quickly got drained of its color as SI Subhash was now thoroughly alarmed.

He gently shook Neeraj out of his reverie and said, ” That’s it, boy. You are coming with me. Let’s discuss your situation at the cafe. You can trust me. I am a cop and would certainly help you in any way I can.” Neeraj nodded and said, “May I use your phone to make a call? We aren’t allowed to bring cellphones to school?” Subhash handed him his mobile. Neeraj took a few steps away and called his mother. He didn’t want to worry her over the freak mishap. So, he told her that he would be late by an hour, as he was with his friend to discuss about their upcoming tests.

” Thanks,” added Neeraj, handing back the mobile to the SI. They entered a nearby cafe and placed their respective orders. ” I observed that you were lost in thoughts,” remarked Subhash, ” A mere hit and run wouldn’t have that kind effect on a brave young boy like you. Consider me as your friend and tell me everything.” Subhash had ordered a cup of coffee and Neeraj , hot cocoa with pastries. Neeraj hesitated for a moment but then decided to trust him. He told him everything about Amit’s conspiracy that was recorded in a diary. He also said that Amit’s ex-wife, Archana Khandve, had advised him to leave it outside the police station.

Neeraj added, ” I don’t know how, but Amit’s murderer might have found out about us and is planning to seek vengeance for ratting out his crooked pals.” SI Subhash was silent and then suddenly grinned at him, ” I think you will make a fine detective someday. You are right to assume that the murderer might have caught on to you. This means yours and your mother’s lives are in great danger. Your suspicion has a direct link to the case that I am dealing with. I will discuss with my seniors and immediately offer you the police protection.” Neeraj thanked him as SI Subhash paid the bill and they went their ways.

Neeraj came home feeling tired. Radhika was alarmed to find him in such a pathetic state. She touched his forehead which was hot. He had fever. They had a simple dinner and she called their family doctor. Neeraj was unable to sleep that night. He kept on tossing and turning. A gust of wind blew open his windows. His jaw dropped open in surprise as he could see a thin vapour like substance taking a shape. It was his late father’s soul.


Pranav gave a sad smile to his son. Neeraj stammered, ” D…. Dad, is it you? But how are you here? I didn’t even summon you through the special notebook.” Pranav replied, ” I came to warn you, my son. A great conspiracy is being hatched to get rid of you, and Radhika. Your lives are in great danger. I warn you to be careful. Don’t trust anyone, including your mother.” He disappeared after issuing this warning. Neeraj kept wondering whether he had actually seen his father’s soul or was it a hallucination? Whatever it was, he couldn’t take a risk.

Watch out for more thrill as Neeraj and Radhika’s lives take an unexpected twist and turn.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (64)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK(PART 8) : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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Neeraj also learned that his mother had lost her baby due to the severe trauma caused by Amit’s death. He went to visit his mother who looked very pale. She had almost started to cry but he diverted her attention by offering her a glass of juice and engaged her in a pleasant chit chat.

Neeraj called Archana and informed her about Radhika’s regaining consciousness. He asked, ” Aunty, I read Amit’s diary. It was so horrible. I don’t think it’s advisable for Mom to go through its content. What should I do? Will you come to the hospital so that I can hand them back to you? ” Archana said, ” Better hand it over to the police anonymously. Wrap it in a proper cover and drop it outside the police station. Amit’s criminal friends are pretty dangerous. Thank God, Amit didn’t tell them about me Or I would have been a goner.”

Neeraj thanked her and ended the call. The rest of the night passed peacefully. Neeraj woke up early. It was Monday and he had to go to school. Fortunately, his mother was now better and got discharged from the hospital. He took her home and ordered food from the nearby hotel. After making sure that she had everything in her room, he went to school.

Later that evening, he came home frustrated because he had loads to write; homework as well as the notes that he had missed during his absence. He made rotis ( Indian flatbread) with dal ( lentil soup) for dinner. Radhika hadn’t gotten over the betrayal of Amit. She had lost her baby as well as appetite Neeraj looked at her, ” Why are you picking on your food? Did you know that I cooked food especially for you? Let Amit rot in hell. As far as the baby is concerned, I am really sorry.” He wasn’t sorry at all. In fact, he was so happy that he wanted to throw a party. Radhika gave a feeble smile and finished her dinner. She said, ” I am so sorry, Neeraj. I didn’t mean to cause you so much trouble. You have been a real sweetheart. By the way, you cook really well.” Neeraj beamed with pleasure over his mother’s compliments.

Later that night, Neeraj took out his special notebook and started writing his new wish. He wanted his mother to feel better and prepare his favorite meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The next day, he woke up with the aroma of hot, sizzling, masala dosa, his favorite. After finishing his morning duties, he joined his mother for breakfast. “Wow! Masala Dosa, my favorite,” he said enthusiastically, ” Thanks a ton, Mom! You should not have strained yourself.” Radhika smiled at him and replied, ” This is just a token of appreciation for your taking good care of me. I prepared rotis with mutter paneer ( a gravy made of green peas and cottage cheese) for your lunch.” Neeraj hugged her and kissed her forehead. Neeraj said, “I should thank Archana aunty for getting you hospitalized at the right moment.” Radhika nodded and said, ” Yes, that’s true. I hope you thanked her on my behalf. I will speak to her later and if possible, invite her to dinner.”

Neeraj suddenly remembered that he had to hand over the diary to the police on his way to school. He had it gift wrapped and put it in his bag. By the time he left home, it was 7.55 AM. His school started at 8.30 AM and was just a few streets away from his house. His mother wondered why he started earlier than usual.

Neeraj reached the police station. It seemed there was no one around. He checked around to make sure no one noticed him. He dashed in and left the brown package at the footsteps before rushing out and taking off to his school.

After 10 minutes, Constable Patil returned to the police station after having his morning tea. He almost tripped on the package which he eyed with suspicion. ” Is this a bomb?” he thought and was hesitant to pick it up. His partner and good friend Constable Shyam Rao picked it up. He pressed it against his ears. There was no clicking sound. He said, ” This is not a bomb. Let’s hand it over to Inspector Prakash Das.” They went in and approached the Inspector who was typing furiously on his laptop. Constable Patil cleared his throat as Inspector cast a glance at him. ” Yes? ” he prompted, ” What do you want, Patil? ” The constable replied, ” Sir, we found this package outside the police station. Shyam confirmed that it wasn’t a bomb.” Inspector Prakash took the package and unwrapped the cover. It was Amit’s diary. As he turned a few pages, some photos fell down. The inspector immediately sat straight, ” Oh my God! This is a very important evidence in the Amit Bhonsle murder case. How did you get this? There’s no name and address of the sender. We searched Amit’s house thoroughly but didn’t find anything. Wait a minute! This means that the killer must have somehow gained entry into his house and discovered this diary.” Constable Patil interrupted, ” But sir, if it was with the murderer, then why would he send you the diary as an evidence? It seems that someone else is involved. Someone who is very close to the deceased and wants the killer to be caught.” The inspector replied, ” You have made some valid points, dear Patil. But again, why should he or she possess this diary? Why didn’t he or she hand it over to the police immediately? There are lots of puzzling questions. But first, let’s read this diary.” The Inspector and his men were shocked to note the contents. Amit had clearly mentioned the names of his partners in crime.

Inspector Prakash and his men carried raids on the houses of the culprits mentioned in the diary and managed to arrest most of them. A thug named Birju evaded the arrest by remaining hidden until the police left his house. He immediately called the murderer, ” Boss, we have a problem. Someone must have informed the police about our involvement. They have arrested most of our friends.” ” Damn it! ” thundered the murderer, ” This means that the double crossing bastard Amit must have recorded our activities in his journal or something and handed it over to his latest conquest, Radhika, for safekeeping. I told you that we should have killed her. It’s not too late. I am going to make her pay for her audacity to send our friends behind bars.”

Radhika’s life was in great danger. Amit’s murderer had caught on to her. Watch out for the next thrilling episode as the game of the cat and the mouse begins.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (62)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK(PART 7) : A SHORT STORY bY ME.

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Neeraj’s eyes widened in horror as he read Amit’s first entry in the diary. It was :

January 24, 2019.

I wish to celebrate the horrible deaths of two of the traitors who betrayed my trust. I think hunting humans gives me immense satisfaction and a feeling of great power rather than targeting poor innocent animals.
I wish my beloved wife, Payal, hadn’t cheated on me with my best friend, Mohit. Today, ‘I got rid of my sworn enemies.

Since Payal was cheating on me with Mohit, I thought she must be lusting after other men, too. As her husband, I felt that I should make her happy. So, I invited my close friends who leapt upon her as I forced Mohit to watch her scream in pain. Seven of us feasted on one lady, as her paramor, helplessly watched her suffering. I forced him to sleep with her for the final time at gun point. By the time, he was finished, Payal had died. People usually consumed animal meat. But the rage of betrayal burning inside me forced me to take a bold step. I chopped her body into pieces and cooked the parts below her waist. My friends were initially appalled but they too joined me in the feast. We left her ugly head with upper torso for the police to discover. We smeared her blood all over the petrified Mohit and got him arrested.The asshole is now behind the bars for the crime, we committed. Ha, ha, ha! But now, the eight of us were like tigers who caught on to the scent of blood and always on the prowl for the next prey.

Neeraj could feel the bile rising up his throat again. Thankfully, he had some peppermints in his trouser pocket. He popped one into his mouth and continued reading.

January 27, 2019

“After the legal formalities, I got the decapitated corpse. The whore didn’t deserve a decent funeral. I skinned her and made footwear out of it. ‘I used her bones to make a chair.

February 3, 2019

I thought of Mohit’s beautiful wife, Leela. I called my dear friends and hatched a plan to get her into the prostitution. Ranjan and I went to her house to express our sympathy as Leela started crying. She was heart broken to find out that her husband was sleeping with someone else. I took this opportunity to hug her and started patting her back. She came to her senses and pushed me away. But I convinced her, “Mohit doesn’t deserve your loyalty. After all, this is an era of women’s liberation. If he can cheat on you, you have every right to do it. Let’s teach him a lesson.” She fell for our charms and we didn’t waste time on disrobing her. We took our turns in bed with her and captured plenty of pics.

Leela got addicted to sex and willingly stepped into prostitution. I acted as her pimp and got her affluent customers. I took her snaps in various compromising position.

February 14, 2019.

I had a special Valentines Day present for Mohit, the Jailbird. Initially, he refused to see me but when ‘I passed on the message that his beloved wife, had sent a surprise gift for him. In spite of his infidelity, Mohit loved his wife. He grudgingly agreed to meet me in the visitors’ room. I handed him a huge parcel. He was losing his temper as he kept unwrapping the box that was covered in several layers of the gift wrap. When he opened the gift, his jaw dropped open in shock. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He was wild with fury and looked ready to throttle me when the guard stepped in to refrain him from murdering me.

” You sick bastard, how dare you do this to me? I know I should not have been involved with your wife. It was my huge mistake. This doesn’t give you the justification to retaliate and stoop so low as I did. But it’s not my fault alone. By the way, do you know that it was your beloved wife who seduced me into sleeping with her, ” ranted Mohit.

I wasn’t surprised. I thought of giving a respectable life to a call girl by marrying her. My parents and friends had advised me not to marry her. Yet, I ignored their pleas and went on to marry the love of my life. Little did I realize that I would be deeply hurt in the process. A single man wasn’t enough to satisfy her libido. To make the matter worse, she had labeled me as impotent to justify her deeds.

I hate women. They treat us men like a use and throw bottle. Hey, that gives me an idea! Let me turn the tables on them and get rid of the filthy creatures to protect innocent men falling victims to their charm and greed.

” Time is up, ” said the guard. ” ‘I hope you rot in hell, ” said Mohit. I replied, ” Wish you the same buddy. I hope your wife makes enough me in her newfound business so that it could be enough for both of you to lead a comfortable life together. ” Mohit lunged at me but the guard slapped him and asked his colleague to lead him away. The guard shook his head and said, ” That was reckless of you to provoke him to attack you. Please don’t come back because I am sure the next time, it would be your corpse walking out.”

February 15, 2019

” Prisoner commits suicide in Andheri police station.” ‘I smiled as I continued to read Mohit’s final journey into death. He had ended his life by hanging himself from the ceiling. This is a great day to rejoice. I called Ranjan and rest of my gang to celebrate in style.”

Neeraj closed the diary in disgust. He heaved a sigh of relief and muttered, ” Thank God! ‘I wished for his death, or the sick bastard must have killed my mom too. Neither all women are bad nor all the men good. ” The nurse exited Radhika’s room and told Neeraj that Radhika’s is now slowly regaining her consciousness. Neeraj was delighted with the development but how could he discuss about Amit’s horrible secret with her? Watch out for the next episode for another development in the story.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (39)

ADVENTURE IN BERMUDA TRIANGLE : A SHORT STORY BY ME IN STORYMIRROR.COM

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The editor of the travel magazine ‘Around the world’ Shilpa Mehra was going through an interesting article. The article was about the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. It described the disappearances of planes and ships near the coast. She wanted to discover the mystery behind their disappearance. She knew that none of her staff was ready to undertake such a daunting task. She was a brave woman who didn’t mind taking a risk in her life.

She switched off her laptop and proceeded towards the coffee vending machine. She took a sip of a strong and sugarless coffee.

One of her writers knocked at her cabin door. It was Tejas. He came in to submit his article on the North-Eastern states. He had spent two weeks visiting the hilly region and exploring tribal areas. He addressed her,” Madam, I have completed my feature writing on Assam and other North Eastern states. I need your feedback on the write-up.” “Thanks, Tejas,” said Shilpa with a smile. She asked him,” Are you ready for an adventure?”

Tejas was surprised by her question. He replied,” Sure. Where do you want me to go?”

She replied,” Bermuda Triangle.” ” What?” he thundered,” Have you lost your mind? Do you realise the risk involved? What if I don’t come back?” She laughed at his cowardice. She answered,” Do you still believe in that crap? The so-called mysterious disappearance of ships and planes are a thing of past. There is no conclusive evidence of any paranormal activity or supernatural element. I just checked Wikipedia. There is no mystery involved. You will be surprised to know that ships and planes daily pass through the region. It is quite safe. The readers will be interested in finding out the truth about the Bermuda Triangle.” Tejas was intrigued. His eyes sparkled in excitement. He said,” I am ready for the trip. It seems to be a fascinating journey. When do I leave?” Shilpa replied,” Correction. We are leaving next week. I can’t miss this trip at any cost.”

Tejas smiled at her and said,” I am at your service, madam. What about our ten-year-old son Varun?” They were husband and wife working for the same publication. Shilpa commented,” We have to leave him with Maa and Paa. He can’t miss school. His half yearly exams are scheduled to begin next week. Sweetheart, why don’t you book tickets for us? I will make a reservation at the hotel.” Tejas saluted her and said,” I am looking forward to our second honeymoon.” Shilpa grinned at him as he left her cabin. She sighed as she thought of her married life. She had married her college mate Tejas Mehra twelve years ago. They went to Symbiosis College for Mass Communication and Journalism in Pune. She never lost contact with Tejas even after their graduation. She got a job as a journalist for a local newspaper. Her editorial columns got rave reviews.

Tejas meanwhile had shifted to Mumbai. He joined as a reporter in The City Times. He got promoted as a senior reporter and then as an editor. Shilpa often met him when she came to Mumbai. Their friendship blossomed into love. Their parents consented to their marriage. They got married within a year of their courtship. Their jobs kept them so busy that they could barely see each other. He never wanted her to quit her job. They had parental pressure from both the ends for a grandson or a granddaughter. Luckily, Shilpa’s company had closed down due to heavy losses. She decided to concentrate on her family. Tejas was over the moon when he learned about her pregnancy. She delivered a baby boy after nine months. She spent her time looking after her family. She continued submitting articles to various magazines when the baby slept. Tejas was proud of his wife. He assisted her in her household chores. His parents doted upon their favourite daughter-in-law. She was lucky to have a loving family that always encouraged her.

Her family supported her in starting up her travel magazine. Its readership soared within a couple of years. She set up her own office in Andheri. Tejas declined to be an editor. He insisted that Shilpa should take over the mantle as an editor. Their magazine had just entered the seventh year of publication.

Shilpa came out of her reverie as she started reading Tejas’ article. A small card fell out of the paper. She picked it up and smiled. It said,” I love you. From your poor husband.” She laughed and replied,” I love you too.”

Tejas was hopelessly romantic.

Later that evening Varun threw tantrums. He shouted at his parents. ” Why do you want to leave me behind? I want to come with you.”

Shilpa assured him that they would be going to Europe for the summer vacation. Varun hugged her and planted a big kiss on her cheek. She was pleased and kissed him in return. She prepared a special dinner for the family. They had almond kheer for dessert.

Tejas had booked flight tickets to Miami (US) on the following day. They were going to spend a couple of days in Miami before leaving for Bermuda. Shilpa called her younger sister Nina who lived in Miami. She informed her about their upcoming trip. Nina was thrilled to hear about their trip to the Bermuda triangle. She promised to make arrangements for their comfortable stay. Shilpa booked a room for them in Grotto Bay Beach Resort and Spa near the Bermuda Triangle.

The day of their departure arrived. They landed at Miami International airport. Nina and her husband Mohit Kumar received them. They went to their beautiful villa with sprawling lawns and a marble fountain.

Mohit said,” Welcome to our humble residence. Hope you like it. Enjoy your well-deserved vacation. Nina was telling me that you are planning to go to the Bermuda Triangle. Please take my suggestion and don’t go there.”

Tejas assured him,” Do not worry, Mohit. Shilpa did thorough research before taking up this journey. We will be in touch with you. We will call you after reaching our destination.” Mohit tried to convince Tejas and Shilpa to give up their journey. They had a friendly banter with him. Mohit gave up and raised his hands in defeat. Nina walked in with a tray of teacups. They chatted merrily forgetting the controversial topic. Tejas and Shilpa freshened up. Nina and Mohit showed them around their house. Later, they went to the beach for relaxation. Mohit and Nina went surfing. Tejas and Shilpa were mere spectators. They spent their next few days shopping and sightseeing.

Shilpa and Tejas took leave from the couple and resumed their journey. They opted for a cruise to the Bermuda Triangle. They left for the harbour in a taxi. They did not realise that someone was following them. They were enjoying the scenic beauty of the ocean. They sat on the deck sipping their evening tea.

“Let’s dance,” said Tejas. He held her hand and slid his hand around her waist. They kissed passionately after dancing for some time. They broke up to breathe freely. ” Wow,” said Shilpa,” You still manage to sweep me off my feet.” Their cruise ship was nearing the Bermuda Triangle. A thick fog enveloped the ship. Someone hit them on their head. They instantly blacked out. When they opened their eyes, they were tied up in a chair. They were blindfolded and gagged.

“Welcome to my paradise,” said a familiar voice with an unpleasant chuckle. He came near them and opened their eyes. They were stunned to find Mohit standing in front of them. He was holding a gun. He laughed like a maniac. He said,” You didn’t expect to find me here. I told you repeatedly to stay away from the Bermuda Triangle. You were stubborn.

You will have to pay the price of your disobedience.” Shilpa was restless. Mohit removed her gag and said,” I know you want to ask questions. Ask them right away.” Shilpa hit out at him,” You are a despicable skunk! Why do you want to kill us? We came here to explore the island.” Mohit answered,” I did not want anyone to discover this place. I have been working here for the past six years.” He stepped aside, and a giant TV screen appeared before them. He switched on the TV.

Shilpa and Tejas were horrified to find scientists working in the lab. Mohit wore a smug expression on his face. He said,” I have hired them from various countries. They are working on producing the deadliest nuclear and chemical weapons for me. May your souls rest in peace.” He raised the gun to pull the trigger. A bullet suddenly grazed through his hand to disarm him. Nina barged in with state troopers to take him into custody. She explained how she had overheard her husband hatching conspiracy against them. She also saw him spill oil in front of Shilpa’s room. She had sought the help of the police. She had kept a tracking device inside his shirt pocket as advised by the police.

They followed him using the GPS. Mohit glared at them as the police handcuffed him. They led him away with his gang members. The scientists heaved a sigh of relief after being rescued.

Nina hugged Shilpa and Tejas. They decided to have a grand picnic on the island. They ventured out to explore the island. They were impressed by the beautiful island. ” So,” said Tejas,” We are still alive in the Bermuda Triangle.”

Shilpa told them that the unpredictable weather conditions destroyed the ships and the planes. She said,” The Gulf stream washed away the debris. I got this information from the Wikipedia and Google.” They spent the rest of their day in chatting eating and drinking.

Shilpa and Tejas returned to India after fifteen days. They had enjoyed their adventure in the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. What a trip they had!

Their article on the Bermuda Triangle made the magazine sell like hot cakes.

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