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Sunday, April 29, 2007

A story in time...

This is one of three short stories I wrote back when the electricity used to go out regularly at work. Now that we've shifted to a new office there's no chance of that happening.

Maybe that's a good thing. If they were pieces of paper, each would be more crumpled than the previous one. I could try and smooth them out but that wouldn't be any fun.

Disclaimer: I know two girls called 'Rowena'. This story has nothing to do with either of them. In fact after writing it I wanted to change the name, but somehow nothing else fits.


Rowena walked slowly home. There was no reason to hurry. Everything had been planned; everything anticipated. She stopped at the store at the corner from her flat and bought some crabs. Crabs were easy to make. Just boil them and they’re done. She knew John loved crabs. He’d complain about how long it took to eat them but… today he’d have a lot of time. The whole process of cracking the shell and removing the crab meat would probably soothe him.

Her thoughts continued to wander as she climbed up the stairs of her building. For once she didn’t think longingly of the other flat they’d considered buying on the outskirts of town. That had been on the 1st floor but John had pointed out that their 5th floor flat was quite a bit cheaper and closer to his workplace too. That would help them save quite a bit on fuel each month. And as for the stairs, he’d assured her that they’d adjust in less than a month.

It was almost a year now, and while he’d indeed adjusted in less than a month, Rowena still wasn’t sure if she’d ever adjust. Sure there were days when she’d run up and down but they were few and far between. Most days she dreaded the long slow climb.

As she reached her flat she shook her head in annoyance. She’d been determined to let nothing spoil her walk home. The last thing she needed to think about was all of John’s assurances and promises in their first few months of marriage. It wasn’t his fault. He was just a man. So full of good intentions that it left no room for understanding.

She washed the crabs and put them to boil with some seasoning. Soon they’d be done. All done.

She had a long slow bath. She’d been very fond of long hot water baths before marriage, but somehow she’d lost the habit in the months since. That wasn’t John’s fault. Was it? No. Not really. True he kept explaining that they would have to tighten their budget. True she often felt like a failure. But she couldn’t hold him responsible for the ways she’d punished herself, could she?

She shook her head again. Here she went again. Thinking about John. He was starting to take over her mind. Maybe love did that to you. For she did love him. So very much.

She dried herself and wore her best dress. With her very best underwear. Today of all days it wouldn’t do to wear something old and worn.

She laid the table, placing the dishes and cutlery with care. Everything had to be perfect. John would come in late as usual. Tired out from a busy day at work. He was so considerate. He wouldn’t even come into the bedroom because he knew she was a light sleeper. He’d eat his dinner, have a bath and read for a bit until finally he’d switch off all the lights and creep slowly into the bedroom where he’d crawl into bed silently so that she wouldn’t be disturbed. Well today she definitely wouldn’t be disturbed. She smiled at the thought.

The crabs were ready. She kept them in kitchen so they’d stay hot. Then she looked about the flat. Her home. She’d cleaned up earlier but she still went about re-checking everything. Everything had to be perfect.

Finally it was time for bed. She placed the bucket she’s bought by the left side of the bed and switched off the lights. Then she crawled in between the sheets as carefully as she could. She didn’t want to mess them up. There was still a little light coming in from the building next door. She didn’t mind. She knew that by the time John came home everything in the room would be pitch dark.

Then finally when everything was in place she looked around once more. She tried to think of anything she might have left undone. Nothing came to mind. So finally, happily, she placed her left arm over the bucket and carefully slit her wrist. It stung a bit, but the pain was much less than the pain she’d imagined. She threw the blade into the little dustbin that stood on her bed-side table and lay back. John wouldn’t be home for another four hours. By then everything would be over. Perfect.


jai said...


nice blog, and have a nice day!!!


iz said...

My, my, looks who's back! Thank god! Missed ya!

Anonymous said...

Well thanks for brightening my day :-P


tangled said...

Um. Question: wouldn't the blood clot? Isn't that why they do it in the bathtub with the warm water?

Oh, and walcome back, we missed you!

KD13 said...

@ info depot - thanks

@ iz - missed ya too, though I do confess I've stopped by n read your blog now n then without commenting :)

@MP - um...

@ tangled - wow... u do read closely. :) To be honest I wrote it n never read it again. Now that you mention it... *starts to think of other ways to kill off characters*

Anonymous said...

Any idea where Wayne is? Even the building people have no clue :-O


tangled said...

Well, I may read closely, but I still seem to have spelt 'welcome' 'walcome'.
Suggestion: Make a chracter throw herself off her balcony for errors of that nature. :D

Suspect said...

Ahh, dead people and dirty bedsheets.

But wait!

The T. is right. The usual way is to throw a party (clear out the bank account, ie.) and get drunk (which soothes the pain, both physical and otherwise) and slit the wrist in the bathtub.

@t: Both me and Karen have thrown enough characters off balconies, now, haven't we? :) I suggest seducing a nuclear physicist and using him to gain access to a nuclear reactor core, and then jump into it. Like they say, take the fucking city with you...

tangled said...

"chracter", yet.
I'm so disappointed in myself :'(

Woozie said...

Time for Amazing Grace again? Already?

Seeta said...

hey karen

you've been tagged!


Gomathy S said...

OK.. !! That was a good one..
a perfect twist in the end.. & lots & lots of detailing to deviate the reader in guessing the climax :)