Sunday, August 18, 2013

At The Stroke Of Midnight

At the stroke of midnight, just when the clock stuck twelve, Major Sharma was woken up by the whispers of silent footsteps. Yes, he was sure he heard them correct. His ears had never betrayed him all those years during his role in the army, and they were still as faithful as before.

Could it be the kittens that often entered his house on rainy nights? Nay, not possible, they walked differently, their gait muted. The only motion that could have revealed their presence was the sound of their tails brushing against the dusty floor.

But this sound was different. It was audible, yet muffled. Major Sharma opened his eyes. The room was dark, and he stared and blinked, trying to get his eyes accustomed to the darkness. He couldn't risk turning the lights on.

After what seemed like an eternity, he could make out the shadowy outline of his bed, cupboard and the door of his room. He stood up and trudged noiselessly towards the cupboard, taking out the loaded revolver from the vault.

As he slowly moved towards the main hall of his 4bhk plush apartment, he heard rapid footsteps coming from the kitchen. With the revolver tightly clutched in his sweaty palms, he ran towards the source. It was empty.

And then he saw it - a man walking briskly on the other side of the window. This is the thief.

"Stop," Major Sharma yelled.

For a split second, the world froze. Major Sharma held the gun sharply in his hands,his adept finger steady at the trigger. The thief, with his back towards the window, stood still, as if he was a statue made of wood.

In the very next instance, the freeze melted.

The thief ran across the lawn as fast as he could. Major Sharma's pressed the trigger, aiming at the legs of the running man. However, the thief's left foot betrayed him in the chase, and he fell victim to a rock carelessly lying around in the lawn. He staggered, and stooped low. Major Sharma's bullet failed to differentiate between the thief's legs and his naked head.

Major Sharma ran towards the spot, a sense of guilt emanating in his conscience. For the first time in his life, he had missed his target. Killing a person was what he hated the most; and yet, today, this was what he had done. He turned and started walking back towards the house to call an ambulance, not noticing the loaf of bread that was lying a few feet away from the dead man.

Across the street, in a small make shift shelter, a woman was trying her best to convince her five year old son who was crying from hunger, "Don't worry dear. Your father has gone to bring bread for you. He will be back anytime now."


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.




30 comments:

  1. WOW! I loved this post! How touching....

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  2. This post had me staring at the screen for quite a while after I finished reading it.

    It's so powerful.

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  3. This brought tears to my eyes. Absolutely emotive and poignant story as expected from you!

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  4. So touching. If only he could deliver the bread to his child. This is really a good-read.

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  5. wonderful, my friend, just wonderful :')

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  6. wow, one of the best posts in this prompt :)

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  7. wow! i just felt goose bumps..:)

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  8. Such a beautifully told story...WOW!

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  9. Hunger can be really cruel...Gripping narration Amrit!!

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  10. Amazing write up. The end is so sad and touching! My mind went blank for a moment.

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  11. Brilliant....wat appeared like a horror story, u completely changed the genre towards the end....very good

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  12. Speechless...you're a master at story telling

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  13. Hmmm... I am speechless ! Touched my soul, that all what came out ! Thanks for the beautiful post dear

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