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3 Jun 2015

Miasma

All for ThreeWordWednesday. 


January 2, 2014

She lovingly cultivated it; planted it just under the calming shade of the mango tree and watered it just right every day. She even talked to it sometimes, shared nuggets of her childhood and hummed her favorite bits of the latest hot number. When the blue and white buds started blooming, she slowly started the process, her natural precision making it easier to craft her masterpiece.


March 13, 2014

She measured carefully. Months of preparation could not be ruined by getting the amount wrong, could it? She ensured that the markings were level and measured out an exact 60 ml. All the wise ones on the internet had agreed that 30-40 ml would be enough, but she just wanted to make sure.

March 14, 2014, 7.12 am

She chose a Friday; her nights had always been the darkest on Fridays. She tipped the liquid from her carefully hidden tincture bottle into the glass. She waited till he sat down at the right-hand side of the dining table and sat down at the left-hand side, just like she’d been instructed to. Despite the finicky planning she’d done, she found her nerves jangled and palms sweaty. So breathed deeply to calm herself. And smiled inwardly at what was to come.

March 14, 2014, 8.00 am

He was completely absorbed in the legal documents that were spread out in front of his plate. He took a bite of the toast and instantly noticed that the spread didn’t have the usual bite. Without looking up, he threw the jagged piece of toast at her ¬– it caught her unawares, hit the side of her cheek and left a trail of toasted crumbs as it slid to the floor. Useless piece of shit, can’t even get the right spread, can you? What are you looking at you fat fuck? Pick it up! And next time, send the maid to buy groceries. She knows what I like better than you ever will, he sniggered. And took a nice, long gulp of the chilled, bitter orange juice from the lovely crystal glass.

March 14, 2014, 8.15 am

Before he was done with breakfast, his feet had gone numb and his fingers felt cold. He checked the AC remote next to him, it was at a comfortable 24 degrees… was he coming down with a fever?

March 14, 2014, 8.30 am 

His shirt was soaked through, but he couldn’t move. He couldn’t feel the chair beneath his backside. He started trembling like an aspen leaf in a storm. I am having a heart attack! Until he saw her face flitting in and out of his dimming peripheral vision. Her smiling face. What did you do, bitch!


March 14, 2014, 8.31 am 

Of course she’d prepared a monologue.

I was twenty when you begged my parents to let you marry me. Do you remember what it was like to be twenty? Eyes shining with hope, the world full of possibilities! I had resisted every single advance made in my direction but something about your easy laugh hooked me in, something about controlled baritone reeled me in and everything about your sincerity had me head over heels. I, till this moment, wonder what it was about me that had you on your knees at my parent’s house. And I wonder how different my life would have been if someone else had caught your eye. 

You wasted no time, did you? You ensured that the stars in my eyes were wiped out even before we came back from Bali. You really did give me a first night that I’d remember my entire life. And shudder every time I remembered. Do you? Remember what you did to me, that is? Remember holding the pillow to my face while you forced yourself upon me? Remember the vase that you crushed my fingers with? Remember the butter knife you held so close to my eye ball just to see me freeze with fear? No? I remember. 

Then you proceeded to spend the next decade making good on your promise that night. You really did kill the me in me. You broke me in ways that I hadn’t known I could be broken. Like the time you brought your friends over to rape me because you needed some papers signed. But do you know when you strangled the last bit of life out of me? Remember the night I told you I was pregnant? I remember. I remember the fake smile that had me fooled as I walked trustingly with you. I remember being shoved down the stairs. I remember you driving your heel into my fingers that were clutching the beading on the top step for dear life. You didn’t stop till you made sure I could never have the pleasure of holding a baby in my arms, did you? Why, I asked you. A baby will complicate things between us, don’t you think? You shot back, glibly.

To the world you were the best lawyer money could buy, the only one who could redeem their soul from the clutches of manmade laws. Everyone told me I was lucky, lucky that you were so talented, so handsome, so wonderfully polite, so well-dressed, so meticulous, so rich and kind and socially responsible. They told me that I was lucky to have caught your eye. I always just nodded my head and smiled, not daring to open my mouth because you had this wily way of always being within earshot. 

The time you tied me down and made me watch you rape the maid was truly special. I always wonder how much you paid her to keep her mouth shut. Must have been quite a dent in your pocket, eh? But just have been worth locking eyes with me while her screams rent the cold air.

To the world you were perfect. The world did not realize that the devil incarnate knew to hide his sins well. 

But all that is over. 
You didn’t think I had it in me, did you? 

March 14, 2014, 8.45 am 

Laughter slipped out of her at a maniacal pitch but she stifled it. This was the crucial bit. She’d timed her monologue to be just under 15 minutes so that, even with the extra dosage, the aconite would not have taken complete effect. He had slid off his chair and into a pool of his own feces; the poison was doing its thing and doing it well. She was looked into his frantic eyes and felt vaguely disappointed that the snake wouldn’t be able to respond.

March 14, 2014, 9.01 am

The ambulance got stuck in traffic. She sat on the floor by his side, carefully tucking her saree away from the mess on the polished linoleum. Then she pointed out each scar on her body to him and reminded him of how he’d given it to her. His body had stopped responding to his brain’s signals but he could hear every last word, his mouth was seething but from rage. His eyes were flashing but from helplessness. After years of being able to catch hold of her hair and bang her forehead against the wall till her vermillion and blood left a drip on the walls, he couldn’t get his fingers to her throat. His heart stopped while his brain was still burning with hatred for the woman who he had made his bitch.

March 14, 2014, 9.23 am

When the wails of the siren came closer, she brought out the glycerin and messed her hair. Years of being the victim came in handy as she hiccupped and sobbed her way through the story of her husband’s death. Multiple organ failure. Was he on drugs? No? We shall let you know the results of the autopsy, Madame. Our heartfelt condolences to you. 

March 14, 2014, 10.30 am

The hullabaloo died within the hour. The police had come and gone. The friends were arranging the funeral, for the widow was too distraught. They had no relatives. So when the house was quiet once again, they, she and the maid, cleaned up the mess and scrubbed the linoleum till it sparkled again.

Then she went to her safe and got out the emerald set that he had beat her with on her birthday. She handed it to the maid and told her to never come back, she did not wait to see or hear if she had anything to say.

March 14, 2014, 10.48 am

She locked the door and allowed herself one pat on the back. Then she made herself a cup of masala chai and sunk into the luxurious recliner before switching on the giant telly and re-watching a prerecorded program on the National Geographic

The list of ten most potent poisons in the world is topped by aconite. This extremely lethal plant poison is not only fatal within an hour of ingestion but also is virtually undetectable… 

She had lovingly cultivated the plant.

PC