Rigmarole19 mins 65 19 mins 65
ACT I The Truth
“Do you love me?” asked Vina caressing Praveen’s hair.
“I don’t know,” answered Praveen.
“Why?” Vina looked into his eyes, she always felt it. She knew he was afraid of something. His eyes were pale.
“Can you please change the music?”
“Answer my question first.”
“Can you please change the music and fuck off? I am on acid for god’s sake.”
“That’s why I want you to answer now.”
“I feel restless. I might just punch the fuck outta you if you talk even once more.”
Praveen punched Vina hard in her face. A distinct sound of a solid contact of flesh. *BAM* She didn’t utter a word, not even a minute sound. He flexed his arm. There is utter silence.
He walked up to the stereo system and changed the cassette. The first song started to play.
“Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever
Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out
It doesn’t matter much to me
Let me take you down, cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields”
He came back to the bed with his eyes closed and body swinging.
She sat in the bed with the bedcover wrapped around her mouth, its dripping blood.
“Do you love me?” asked Praveen.
“Maybe,” Vina answered in a muffled voice.
“He fucked me.”
“My uncle. My mother’s younger brother.”
“But… When? How?” Vina dropped the bed cover. Her face was bloody and at tense.
“For 15 years. Every summer. My mother used to take me with her to our maternal house.”
“You never told her?”
“She died before I could.”
“Praveen, I am sorry.”
“Fuck you. I want to kill him. Help me kill him and I will love you in return.”
“Really… Can you?”
“He sucked the life out of me, Vina. He haunts me in my sleep. I feel him walking behind me, I feel his warm breath on my face. I can smell his odour. I can’t live if he is alive. He needs to die.”
“Can you ever really love me Praveen?”
“Let’s kill him together, please. I can’t do it alone. Don’t you love me?”
“Make love to me and I will kill anyone you want me to.”
Praveen held Vina’s waist and pulled her close to him. He clutched her hair tight and kissed her passionately. His tongue ravishing over her tongue. She moaned with pleasure. Praveen could taste her blood. His face was as bloody as hers now. They both looked at each other. Vina smiled.
ACT II The Tricky Case
“These were very cold-blooded murders,” said the doctor still inspecting the dead bodies.
“He has an ugly face; the old one. Seems like he deserved it.”
“Easy officer; he is a dead man, pay some respect.”
Mr.Officer spit on the floor and grunted.
“Respect to my unwashed asshole. How the fuck did he die?”
The doctor looked nervous.
“You can’t spit on the floor!”
“Can I spit on your face?”
The doctor looked petrified now.
“Now can you please tell me how the fuck did this piece of shit die?” Mr Officer calmly asked with composure.
The doctor looked baffled. He smacked his dry lips.
“Well, at least 165ml of air was injected into this man’s right internal jugular vein which is situated in the neck. The air was injected through a medical syringe. The air was injected very fast into his blood circulation which became fatal since a large air bubble blocked the outlet of his right ventricle. Blood couldn’t enter his lungs, from where the left ventricle, the body and so on, causing obstructive shock.”
“What about the other one?” asked Mr Officer.
“He died just the same way but the wound is much more distinct. As if, he was stabbed in the neck with the injection from the back with a distinctive force, unlike the old man. The old man was killed with precision and without haste.”
“Were both of them killed by the same injection?”
“That is possible; we will find that out.”
“Thank you, doctor. Sorry for the spitting though, you can always lick it if you want to.”
“What? I disdain your behaviour. What rubbish do you speak!”
“Oh shut the fuck up and send the post-mortem report to my desk by 8:00 pm.”
Mr. Officer stormed out of the morgue.
He sat in his car. Opened his glove-box. He always has an extra gun and a bottle of rum in there, just in case. He needs to drink to think straight now. He is 48 years old and he cannot deny the fact that nobody in this world really loves or cares about him. Perhaps the only time anyone remembered him was when they curse him. He is his only witness; and his own assistant. He is a good detective. A man of service. He has caught and even killed quite a lot of criminals, but in turn, perhaps he became one. He is on the good side but he isn’t good at all.
He started his car, accelerated and left a cloud of dust behind. He rolled his window down and lit a cigarette. He started thinking. . .
*This was twisted. The maid of the house contacts the police saying an unknown man and her employer; both were killed by someone during the night. She wakes up at 6:00 am each morning and serves tea to her employer, but on the way to the kitchen that morning she encounters an unknown man lying dead on the living room couch. She screams and goes up to her employer’s room but he is dead too. Apparently, both these men were related. The guy who is dead in the living room is the old man’s nephew. The interesting fact is that the old man named everything he owns to this same nephew in his legal will. So, the nephew did have a solid reason to kill his uncle but he was dead too, moreover, his residence was burnt down to ashes that very night by an unnatural fire. The maid says she never saw the dead man on the couch, which is weird. Why would someone name everything they have to someone who never even visited them? The maid sleeps in the storeroom situated on the terrace and she is very sure no one came in before 11:00 pm; that’s when she always locks the main door. She placed a water bottle for her employer in the counter next to his bed. He was reading a book and wasn’t asleep. That was the last time she saw her employer alive. The maid left for her room after this and slept off after around an hour, according to her verdict. She seems very believable and has no logical reason whatsoever to kill any of them. Now, when did the nephew come in and why did he? Did he kill his uncle? If he did then who killed him? Were both of them killed by the same person?*
Mr Officer’s strain of thoughts got distracted as a car just overtook him with flare. He followed the car. Sirens loud on now yet he is honking. The car pulls over beside the sidewalk. He parks his car behind it. He walks out slowly. His gun in this hand. He banged the windscreen.
“Get the fuck out.”
A shy lady of around 30 got out of the car, already apologising. He came close to her face and smelled her.
“Are you drunk?” he asked.
“Yes.” she replied.
“Drunken driving is a crime lady. You will get a ticket for this.” He started browsing this jacket in search of the ticket register.
“But! Hey! Aren’t you fucking drunk too?!” The lady cries out.
“I am. But you ain’t the cop bitch. Now, listen up. I can’t find the shit where I write tickets off so you can suck my dick instead.” He looked at her eyes.
“Fuck off creep!” The lady screamed and hastily tried to get inside her car but Mr Officer caught her by her hair.
She cried “Please, let me go!”
Mr Officer forced her down to the keens. S
he keeps crying “Please, no… Please!”
Mr Officer has a weird smirk on his face. He unzipped his pants.
ACT III The Lover
I am so weak. I can hardly walk downstairs now. I never loved Rudrali but after she passed away, I have been so lonely and desperate. I miss her so much. Her ordinary face, I crave to see. Afterall she slept beside me for 43 years, I could never make love to her but I got so used to her body around me. She was as mediocre as a human can be. She accepted me and my inability to help her bear children. She always slept beside me. She never snores and always throws her blanket away in sleep. I want someone to sleep beside me.
I received a letter from him yesterday. I haven’t seen him in years, I don’t know how long. I haven’t counted. But he constantly occurs in my thoughts. I can see his naked body lying in my bed, his soft skin, his melancholic eyes, his sharp jawline, his dense, dark hair and of course his cries of pleasure. Ah! He is my boy. I enjoy his company so much. But, he never visits me; the last time I saw him was on his 18th birthday. When I tried to steal a kiss from him in the kitchen, he punched me in my face. It hurt, he never hurt me before. I still remember the look on his face, he hated me. Only if I could explain my love for him.
His letter has rendered a week of sleepless and desperate nights. I can’t make love to him now, I am so weak. But, I can request him to sleep beside me. He promised to come to see me this month on full moon’s night. He will come at 3:00 am. He says he has respect now and that he doesn’t want anyone to know anything about us. His letter makes me feel like he still cares about me. He hated that I made love to him, I know. But, I wish I could explain to him that it was pure and an expression of my love towards him. He didn’t understand; the society had polluted his mind and perception.
He wants me to keep the door open for him at 3:00 am. I don’t like the idea, since its too dark. I want to see him in the morning so I can look at his face well. Moreover, I get so exhausted these days after doing the household chores. I thought I wouldn’t need a maid yet, I considered myself fit enough to at least take care of myself but I suppose I was wrong. I need to find myself a reliable maid who wouldn’t steal or laze around. Anyway, I opened the door for him at 3:00 am. Walking up the stairs was the difficult part. I walked slowly yet by the time I arrived upstairs, I was so exhausted. I laid back in my bed and thought of how he must look now.
I thought of how I shall apologize and hug him tight. I want to comfort him. I love him so much. I wish he was my son. I was very exhausted. My eyes were closed and I felt like I was asleep when someone held my neck up. I opened my eyes. It was him.
Praveen looked into my eyes, smiling at me. Both his hands around my neck, holding me up. I smiled back at him. He kissed me. But, instead of his tender, soft, lips above mine, I felt a sting behind my neck. It hurt but I couldn’t scream. His lips were above mine and oh; I wanted to kiss him.
He looked back at me after a while.
“Die asshole,” he said.
I was confused.
I felt this strange agony. I couldn’t breathe. I felt so suffocated. His face started to blur away. Was he killing me? Well, I thought to myself. I had to die anyway; better be killed by my beloved than by age. I smiled at him.
ACT IV The Victim
I like his eyes. He gently smiles; as if he slows down time. I like his voice, I want to listen to him talk forever but he talks less. He wears shirts of solid primary colours and smells like watermelon and coconut. I know I am desirable but his existence around me makes me feel worthless. I feel valuable to be around him.
When he sits cross-legged smoking his cigarette in silence; looking outside the window, abusing the world. I often wonder why he even likes me. I am not like him, I can never be like him. He is like a sacred idol kept untouched below a dark, holy dome. I stand within the darkness. The idol is sparkling and vibrant. It gives me light, but I shall not touch it! He is like that, just like that. I am his worshipper and he is my deity. But, oh he isn’t god. He sins and makes me sin.
I often wonder if he loves me but then I know he doesn’t. But, he needs me. Without me; he has no purpose. I keep him to myself so that he doesn’t burn the world down. He needs me to be in anguish for him to be at peace. I don’t mind. I let him molest me and love me. I am the shrine where he washes his miseries in. He possesses me and I let him.
I was never very fond of sex before I met Praveen. He somehow ignites my demons. He makes me someone who I am not. Sometimes I feel disgraced upon myself, I feel like his whore. But; each night when he comes back home and fucks me, it feels like I was meant to be his whore. I happen to enjoy this dilemma I live with; life is pleasurable if you perceive it to be. Pain is ecstasy and it’s intoxicating.
Often he got delirious on drugs or alcohol and cried for hours and raped me later. Sometimes I have bruises so harsh that I stay home until they heal, but he does care for me. I know he does.
Yesterday was his 27th birthday. I gifted him a mix-tape and a poem that I wrote for him. He dropped acid that night. He is very intense when he is on acid; it scares me. I played the mix-tape but he seems to despise it. He is very particular about his music. He didn’t read the poem either, he says he will read it later but I doubt he ever will. I asked him if he loves me and he punched me in return. But, yesterday night he said something he had never said before. Now, I know. He has a reason. He has a reason to be insane, all this, while I thought of what to be his character, was nothing but a repulsion from his own suffering. He was raped too, hence he rapes me. I understand now. He wants me to help him kill his uncle and I have decided I shall. I don’t know how or why but I shall help him kill his uncle.
Today Praveen bought a couple of syringes from the pharmacy. He says an empty syringe is enough to kill his uncle. He talks with the conviction of how he watched a documentary on Discovery channel where they showed the entire process of how air bubbles are formed in our arteries if the air is injected into our veins and it kills a man once these air bubbles reach the heart. One dies due to an instant heart attack within 2-4 minutes.
“The human body is fucking interesting, isn’t it!” He exclaimed with excitement.
“Not more than Discovery channel!” I replied.
We both laughed. Oh! I love him so much.
ACT V The Nemesis
My name is Praveen. My father named me; and left when I was 3 years old so that he could fuck some other woman. My mother forgave him, but I could never like my name. I despise my name and myself. My blood feels like poison and I itch in my skin. No matter how much I try to numb my distress, it just somehow catches up with me. Those images in my head, those whispers shall never go away. My uncle was my first lover. I let him love me. I know I could have stopped him. I knew whatever happened was not normal. I was conscious enough to stop him. He never really forced me to do anything. Did I want it? I may never know. I have been with so many women but it really doesn’t change anything. I can’t sleep well. Even the slightest sound can keep me awake for the entire night. I am irritated, I am suffocating. What am I doing? Can I even satisfy myself? Can I ever be as happy as those people I see in movies and read about in novels? I don’t get it! The entire concept of life you know…
“Life is about its simple pleasures my boy. A good delicious meal, a glass of cold sweet water when you are really thirsty, a hug of love when you are upset, a word of kindness in your days of suffering, comfortable sleep in a soft bed. That’s life for me… hahaha!” I could recall my mother saying the most wonderful things. Her laugh was so calmative. Her words were so true. She was the only human being I really loved in my life, I suppose. After her death, I only feel love for people momentarily. Love is ever fleeting.
Lately, I never get excited about anything. Excitement is dead. But, there was this thought somewhere concealed in my sub-consciousness.
“I should kill him.”
It might not make sense, but I feel like killing him will kill his memories in my head too. Seeing him die shall give me the utmost pleasure. It was strange how the thought of me killing him excited me so much. The idea itself kept me awake for nights. I thought of ways of how I can kill him without getting caught. The creative scenarios a human brain can articulate in the screen of mind is intriguing. My mind, maybe my soul always wanted it. I didn’t think he was guilty or he deserved to die, but I thought if someone had the right to kill him; it was me. I knew it all. I had it all planned out. But, I desperately needed an apprentice. I knew who could that be but oh I despised her. Her body was so serene. So soft, so perfect and alluring. I wanted to touch her until eternity. A woman’s body is so exquisite I thought to myself each time I look at her; as if god sculpted her body to be devoured or perhaps if not god then evolution. Here she lay in my bed, stark naked and touchable yet all I could do is stare at her. I recalled about my days of youth when having a body as such laid in one’s bed would be a wild and exciting fantasy. It was such a big deal. Sex and women. Always the most anticipated conversation of all among my friends.
I knew I would never be able to love her. Well, damn I even haven’t made love to her in weeks now. It’s not I haven’t tried, I try to be wild, I try to arouse myself. I tried loving a woman, but it doesn’t work out. She desires my affection may it be fake and I am a lonely man, I enjoy Vina’s company. Vina is lonely too, but she is tired of complaining; like all women, she expects far too much but unlike all women, she is conscious of that fact. No matter how much she tries to deprive herself of this trivial hormonal illusion, she would often doubt if she is in love with me.
I have decided to be truthful to her. I will tell her what happened to me. I will ask her to help me kill him. I know she will not deny, she is my slave. She cannot deny.
ACT VI Verdict
She never harmed anyone in her life, she thought. She harmed herself but never others. Today she killed a man she didn’t know. He was old, helpless and lonely, the man she killed. She didn’t even know him. He smiled while dying.
Somehow she didn’t believe that she would really kill him. An empty syringe didn’t seem enough of a weapon, there was no blood, he didn’t try to resist or scream; probably he wasn’t even worth killing. But, now it’s done. She killed a man. He really was fucking dead. She never really saw a dead man. She saw her grandparents for an instance when they were dead, but not from so close, not like this. His body was still warm yet motionless. She sat beside him, staring at him while Praveen rubbed his mouth with a white handkerchief.
She was disgusted. By the old dead man, by the fact that she killed him and that Praveen kissed him right before his doubt. She doubts she can ever kiss Praveen again. She wanted to have a bath. Something changed in her. She hated everything around her. She wanted to escape. She never wished to kill someone; and that too for what? She came to the sudden realisation that had been carried away, maybe she doesn’t even love Praveen.
She looked at Praveen, he was sitting on the floor. He was crying. She didn’t care. She couldn’t even hear him cry. Everything she saw felt distorted as if it wasn’t even real as if she would wake up just now in gasps with sweat all over her body. This is all just a horrific nightmare.
Praveen stood up and rubbed his face with the same white handkerchief he used to rub the old man’s lips. She looked back at the dead old man’s face, she concluded that death must be very peaceful.
“We need to get going.” said Praveen zipping up his jacket and hurriedly walking out of the door.
She walked behind him, unlike him she walked calmly and slowly.
When Praveen arrived at the living room, he felt a harsh, distinct sting in this neck. He looked back. Vina was standing at a distance looking at him with an adorable face. She had a naughty smirk on her face.
Praveen got down to his keens, he didn’t make an effort at all. He leaned back against the couch. He looked at her. She was so beautiful. He could have loved her but this is the end he deserves. The world would be a boring place if he lives now, he needs to die because he is the villain of this tale and every other. He is damaged beyond healing anyway, death must be peaceful since in heaven there is no man nor woman, no father nor uncle, there is love that touches you beyond gender and family. And, if not heaven and hell it shall be, then Praveen shall be fine there anyway. He is a creature of hell, after all, he will feel at home. As for Vina, she needed to take a long shower now. She was free from Praveen but not the society yet. She can’t run away, she has to escape.
It started raining outside. Vina loved the rain and she needed it the most tonight. She took a sari from the old man’s; it must have belonged to his wife. She wondered how his wife must have looked. She got dressed and went out in the rain. She went back home, not home; it was just a house now. She knows she wouldn’t be there for Praveen’s cremation, at least she will be there for the cremation of their house. They made a lot of memories in this house, mostly ugly and unpleasant. She sprinkled 4 litres of gasoline evenly with care all over their house. She lit her cigarette, took a few long drags and slowly dropped it on the gasoline on her way out through the back door.
She felt like so alive as she walked in the drizzle while looking at their house burn into ashes. She felt like the sky, boundless and empty. It was almost about to be dawn in a while. She drove Praveen’s car swiftly to reach her destination. She parked her car in a lonesome alley about 600 meters away from the old man’s residence. She walked to his house. She didn’t walk, she lurked in the shadows. She could see all but no one could see her. She made the necessary arrangement of furniture to make believe that she is the maid of the house. She thought of a name for herself. She scripted the story. She wasn’t going to run, she was going to escape. She wasn’t the victim anymore but the protagonist of this story. She is the maid who works for herself.