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Mayank Sharma

Drama Horror


Mayank Sharma

Drama Horror

The Curse of 29th

The Curse of 29th

5 mins 226 5 mins 226

When he got up early in the morning, it was still raining. The rain had started yesterday and had not stopped since then. He looked outside. It looked very gloomy outside. He liked everything about this place except for the incessant rain. Coming from a place where it rained only during rainy season, he had initially enjoyed it, but after some time, it lost its appeal.

As he tried to get out of bed, his eyes fell on wall calendar. It was 29th October today. He mind was filled with foreboding. He had a special relationship with this date. Most of the bad things had happened to him on 29th of the month, not necessarily October, but 29th October had always been the worst date in his memory.

He did not feel like doing any exercise today. Soon it was time to have breakfast. Since he was alone, he had to eat it alone. He tried to focus on today’s assignment and tried to forget the significance of this date in his life. He switched on his computer to look at his emails and assignments marked to him. The computer seemed to be taking longer to switch on or was it his own mind playing tricks on him. Finally the computer was on and the first thing he did was to look at his emails.

The first email he saw

was from the publisher to whom he had sent his manuscript. He had known this publisher for a long time and even considered him as his friend. Both of them had made money from his books. But of late, his books had lost their uniqueness, as told to him by the publisher. As expected, the publisher had rejected his book. It was not a catastrophe, but a disappointment nevertheless. He had almost expected it. He wondered if the date shall live to its reputation of being unlucky to him.

He remembered that it was on the 29th March that he had resigned from his job to focus on writing. His wife was also working, so he was confident that they would be able to manage with one salary for some time. In the evening when his wife returned from work, he informed her about his decision. Her reaction was unexpected and it shocked him when they had a heated argument for the first time in their two years of marriage. She told him that he should not have taken any unilateral decision. Still he assumed that she will accept his decision after some time.

The flat they were living in was in her name, although he had paid for it. Her contribution had been negligible. He had started staying at home to work on his novels, but their relationship deteriorated over the next three months. On 29th of June she informed of her decision of leaving him. It came as a shock to him, but he knew that no amount of discussion shall make her change her decision.

He waited for her to leave the house in a few days’ time. Instead after three days she asked him to leave the flat at the earliest. Only then the realisation dawned upon him that it was he who was going to be homeless. She was just asserting her property rights. He could not prove, even if he wanted to, that it was his flat. So he had no option but to quietly leave it.

He had some savings at that time. He had moved to this quiet place to focus on his writing. The only drawback of this place was that it rained almost throughout the year. It got very depressing sometimes.

He remembered that it was not 29th of the month when he shifted to his place. Perhaps he had consciously planned to avoid the inauspicious date. He had made a conscious decision to submit his manuscript on some other date. His book was accepted and became popular.

That was five years ago. Since then he had published three books, all of them great commercial successes. It was a year ago that he wanted to shake off the curse of 29th and decided to send his latest book to publisher on that date. He assumed that he had avoided the curse of 29th or it was just a superstition .

Normally his publisher got back to him after a few days. But when no call came for almost a fortnight, he had telephoned him. The publisher gave him a vague answer that he had referred the book to the editors, who were taking their time in going through it. He never got a call from the publisher. Instead he got the email that the firm was unable to publish it. Although he was sure that it was one of his better books. But he accepted the decision with equanimity.

He had written two more books, but they had also met the same fate. Finally he had to use emotional blackmail with the publisher. One of his books was published, but it did not sell much. In the meantime, he continued to receive royalty on his previous books.

He would have found it difficult to survive, had he not got a stroke of luck. He was able to get a job which required him to work online on IT projects. He discussed with clients online only. He did not have to travel much, except once in a few months.

He got ready to start work on his latest project. Before that he decided to check on his other mails. Perhaps there were some other emails which might uplift his mood. After deleting a lot of spam emails, he noticed that there was another email from the company he was working with. He knew that he had not exceeded the timeline for the project, so it must be some information.

He again looked up at the calendar before opening the mail. The company had decided to discontinue his services as their client had backed out. They had not only benched him but decided to terminate his contract.

He looked at the calendar. The date of 29th October stared back at him.

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