Tragedy: Under 100 words

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The knife is sinking in her chest like she is made of butter.

Blood splashing on me with each flailing beat of her heart, in rhythm with the clock.

She always said that there has never been another man in her life.


It’s not so warm now.

I read the letter yet again.

Mrs. Patel,
Congratulations on your wedding.
Your child has already been adopted.
We can’t disclose any other information...

And she wouldn’t let me touch her before marriage.


I wipe the blood off the date-stamp.


What? Wait a second!

The clock ticks away.

©2010 by Chhaya. All rights reserved

Inspired by a crazy phone that delivers a text, hours/days after it’s sent
image is googled


RAJ47 February 3, 2010 at 4:15 PM  

Simply fantastic!
Date does the twist you always have in your writings.

Tarun Goel February 3, 2010 at 5:08 PM  

Not able to understand, read it five times but blank :-|

RAJ47 February 3, 2010 at 5:08 PM  

I hope people don't miss the date and the clock ticking solo.

Tan February 3, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

Awesome tale!!!
Really liked the twist.

Chhaya February 3, 2010 at 6:44 PM  

@Raj : it took me more than 15 days to shape the story. I had based it on this phone a friend has. The smses sent get delayed by hours and days and cause some funny confusions :D

i thought i wud give the situation an Othello touch.. not that i m comparing myself to the Bard :)

Chhaya February 3, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

@Traun - what Year is it right now? :)
that shud help

Brian Miller February 3, 2010 at 6:51 PM  

wow. great twist at the end...vivid story!

Chhaya February 3, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

@Raj - hehe.. same here ..
but i didnt want the twist to be too obvious. it wud make the story bit dumb

@Tan : thanks sweetheart :)

Chhaya February 3, 2010 at 6:55 PM  

@Brian : it always makes my day when an amazing storyteller like you priases my work :)

thank u :)

RHYTHM AND RHYME February 3, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

Brilliant, I was sat on the edge of my seat throughout.

Have a nice day.


itsyvitsy February 3, 2010 at 9:18 PM  

The twist in the tale and tail is simply fabulous. 'Haste makes waste' is a proverb that comes to my mind here. Here haste has made a mess and a total waste of two lives.

Your descriptions at the beginning of the story are very graphic. Very masculine. "Blood splashing on me with each beat of her heart, in rhythm with the clock" and "It's not so warm now" gave it that dark (awesome) touch. It shows the loathing this man cultivated after reading that dreaded letter. And then the defiance - reading the letter again. Now he has time to read the letter again, every word of it carefully and then he is hit. There is no undoing to what has been done.

Another stupendous short-short by you. :-)

Eon Heath February 3, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

i sometimes (always)wonder, how come the dark side feels so good??
or maybe, its your writings thats so good....

loved always...

A Friend...

Ankesh February 4, 2010 at 12:51 AM  


Scratching my head, the logic of the intellect is too supreme for my ablity... not understood dat well... Wat I didn't understand always turn out to be brilliant... keep writing.. :)

vidya February 4, 2010 at 2:56 AM  

wow! kept me engrossed till the end. Super:)

Suresh Kumar February 4, 2010 at 5:04 AM  

Nice story once again.

No one seems to remember what what their high school teacher says to them. Read carefully before answering the questions. That important lesson is to be remembered everywhere. :)

RAJ47 February 4, 2010 at 7:33 AM  

The story below is making rounds on the emails. I liked it, thought I should share it with you and your readers.

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some chips. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat

There all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, "Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?" She replied! "I ate potato chips in the park with God." However, before her son responded, she added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

@Yvonne : thank u :)

@Gerry : Ha ha. i wud take that as a compliment ;)

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

@Vittal : yes, exactly what the story is about. btw, i am bit amused at ur use of the word defiance... defiance about?

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

@the silhouette : i will come back to ur comment.its a a very thought provoking subject.

@Vidya : thanks :)

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

@Raj : I have read that story in one of those emails. Most ppl would say how touching , but I found it rather juvenile. it has a rather long leap of faith. it would have been better if the circumstances of the old woman’s life were shared with the reader. I mean, why would a guy sharing a bag of chips sound like God unless the woman was severely deprived. One might argue that it was the goodness in that woman’s heart that made her see God in that guy.. but then she would see God is practically every person. that wud blunt the story.. So.. hmmmm... I wudnt rate it more than 5 on the scale of 1-10

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 9:05 AM  

@Ankesh : haha. thats such a polite way of saying that i made a mess :)

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

@Suresh : agree with u.. We tend to assume a lot.
and as one of my favorite writers once wrote - To ASSUME makes and ASS out of U and ME

RAJ47 February 4, 2010 at 9:49 AM  

May be it is one of those under 100 words!!!

Maya February 4, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

@chhaya.. awesome story.
it went like left right left right then bang!..
it had an accidental feel to it, got a feeling like car crash on curvey road..

and she wouldnt let me touch her before marriage, took the anger to an whole new level.. superb

et February 4, 2010 at 4:30 PM  

The story had an elegant comic style. I mean, not comical, but the content can be perfectly pictured in a few dark frames.. nice :)

Karthik February 4, 2010 at 5:46 PM  

Oh Chhaya, how I wish you'd dragged this story with a few hundred (at least) words more! It was so damn good. I'm not a fan of this genre, micro-fiction, that, but this one was just fantastic. Loved the ending. :)

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 6:00 PM  

@US: yes, it is like a car crash on a blind curve.. that’s an apt description of the story :)

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 6:02 PM  

@ET : I got what u meant :) ... exactly my aim behind this style. it had to be crisp, short and yet vividly imaginable to be effective.
btw, this was my first attempt at writing from the point of view as a man... I m so glad I didn’t mess it up ;)

Chhaya February 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM  

@Karthik : ahhh, inherently I am a descriptive writer. I prefer to devote a lot of space behind building up a character. I always want my readers to be able to be OK with what the character does, cz it goes with his/her persona. here, in this micro version, I am trying to be better.. to say lot with less... its a masochistic exercise I have grown to love :)

PS: a longer story coming up soon!

buckingfastard February 4, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

dammit indian post!!! :)

luvd it!!

Oxymoron February 5, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

nice twist at the end...yet another demonstration of a bad decision taken in hate...but would have loved to read more of it....i find the pain of the husband to be very intriguing...maybe you could do it under regret...

swapnanjali February 5, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

using few words...explained everything ....

starting to end full of tragedy....but i love the last part ...FEB,1976 ......

Amit Kumar Das February 5, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

The economy of words is well maintained but I think just by receiving a letter, a man won't be so mad that he would kill his wife. Ofcourse untill and unless he belongs to Taliban and his wife is a purdah-clad woman. But as she has a letter which talks about adoption and all that, It gives me an impression that she is an educated and free woman.... anyways!!!...I liked the twist.... keep walking!!! :)

Chhaya February 5, 2010 at 11:24 PM  

@Anorak : u didnt get the story or the twist at all.. :)

the letter was not written to her.. so there is no Q of her being a liberated woman or not. that letter was abviously written to someone else who cud have been called Mrs. patel, in 1976

jonna February 6, 2010 at 10:18 AM  

i honestly dont fully understand the story though i have ideas on it and the twist has really amazed me..though somehow the whole plot is blurred on me..>.< ive read it twice and read also the other comments..hmm...

can you pls. explain the story on me a lil bit easy to comprehend with..? pls..? :P im dying to know it..anyway..ive just followed you hope you follow me a s well ^_^

hmm..interesting and though provoking contest here eh..? i might as well think of joining though im too lazy for these mind boggling things and fights bet. this endless questions whether God really exist..>.<

(P.S. if you'll reply to this comment..pls. put it in my blog's comment box so that i can update my comments :D)

Opaque February 7, 2010 at 10:49 AM  

I am not surprised by such a cerebral tale coming from you. No, I am not. I am sure you have taken ample time to shape this up to such perfection. Loved it! The mind=game this just played i s just fantastic! Well done! Keep on writing artist!

IdleMind February 7, 2010 at 7:22 PM  

Short but cryptic, specific yet crude ... yeah, I guess you have started to define them well.

This twist was the sweetest part of the story. Not that I would leave out the soft description of a murder. Don't know how many authors have described the knife going in through butter while killing!

A mis-delivered mail may be, but the spirit of a man is brutal. Well conceived!

Ashley February 7, 2010 at 10:54 PM  

Awesome! I was stunned and shocked. Applause! :)

PointSingularity86 February 7, 2010 at 11:53 PM  

Hey Chhaya,
Nice writing, this one!!!
Read some of your other poems too... really liked some, some were totally over me(bouncers). Guess m extremely poor when it comes to poetry and their context(though I was very good at mugging them in school).
Btw, couldn't reply on ur comment on my blog, as read it only some time back. More of a commentator than a blogger for some time now, but still putting up something occasionally! Keep visiting though! :)
P.S.: I'm glad u liked the hex editor on my blog (wasted lot of time on it:), so feels good someone liked it :)

Pete February 8, 2010 at 10:13 AM  

Great and Ouch! On the Bard theme it reminds me more of Romeo and Juliet with their accidental suicides.

Sh@s February 9, 2010 at 8:59 PM  

Well-written. Good twist n suspense.

Chhaya February 10, 2010 at 7:40 AM  

@buckingfastard : :)

@Oxymoron : Regret is, but just a tiny part of this story. And i think most tragedies stem from regret of what if and if only

Chhaya February 10, 2010 at 7:41 AM  

@swapnanjali , Ashley, Shash : thank u :)

Chhaya February 10, 2010 at 7:44 AM  

@Ayu : frankly , only thing i uderstood about your comment was that u didnt understand my story. well, i never talk in detail about such short stories as it kills the intelligence behind it. but if you read the comment left by Vittal, you will know.

btw, i will visit your blog very soon and comment on your content. this reply belongs here so i m putting it here :)

Chhaya February 10, 2010 at 7:47 AM  

@pete : I said Othello cz Othello killed Desdemona without checking on the facts.. Romeo and Juliette always felt rather shallow to me.. i mean, how cud they fall in love in a jiffy?

@Pointsingularity : you are most welcome

Chhaya February 10, 2010 at 7:49 AM  

@Brosreview : wow! u made my day :)

i had started thinking that i have bitten more than i cud chew.. but u justified the way i treated this story. i had worked really hard on this :)

Tongue Trip February 11, 2010 at 10:50 PM  

creating cliffhanger peaks from the start to the end. tragedy is merciless and there's no retribution.

Amit Kumar Das February 12, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

well, I got the latter part now ... as a story it is brilliantly written ... nod doubt ... but personally I don't think someone would be so mad that he would murder ... I mean killing is too big a task to commit ... nevertheless a good read ... keep walking!!!

Anonymous,  February 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM  

that's a crisp tale! loved it and more so because it was short... interesting indeed

Outsider February 18, 2010 at 7:58 PM  

Hello Chhaya, do you remember me? :)

I was reading your poem about smoothcoffe&warmthcandles or, just coffee :P

And I remeber you and this nice blog of yours.

How are you? Long time no...writting :P

vidya February 20, 2010 at 5:21 AM  

I did finally manage to put up stuff about me :d
Have tagged you for another award..its not a tit-for-tat:)
I hope the deadlines aren't troubling you too much..Tk care

RAJ47 February 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

Hi Chhaya,
Don't become such a ergomaniac that you forget your passions.
Awaiting your return to the blog eagerly.

C G March 10, 2010 at 11:20 PM  

Oh WOW! Shocked. Awesomely told! :)

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