Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Deadly “One-Night Stand”

THE DEADLY ONE-NIGHT STAND
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From My Creative Writing Archives:

One of my earliest short stories – “Conscience” – passionate romance – story of sleazy ‘one-night stand’...

I wrote this story 22 years ago  in 1995 – on paper – when there was no internet – so – I have revised, updated and abridged the story – to make it suitable for reading on the digital screen.

Dear Reader – Do tell me if you like it...

THE DEADLY ONE-NIGHT STAND – short story by Vikram Karve 

Part 1 – ONE NIGHT STAND

I waited in anticipation.

I was overcome by tremors of trepidation. 

I felt shivers of fear go up my spine.

I secretly hoped that he would not come.

But  he did come.

He arrived right on the dot.

Sharp 10 o’clock at night.

It was exactly as planned.

He said nothing when he entered.

The moment I recognized him – I started to tremble.

But – he did not seem to notice.

He turned around – as if he had forgotten something.

Then he took two quick steps – and he bolted the door.

Hoping to conceal my emotion – I began to talk – talking also helped me gain my composure.

I said to him: 

“Please be seated, Sir. Would you like a drink...?”

“Whisky and Soda...” he said.

He loosened the knot of his tie as he moved towards the sofa.

He sat down – and he gave me an appraising look.

I took my time getting up from my chair – taking care to make my movements deliberately slow – in order to hide my fear and nervousness.

I walked towards the fridge.

My back was turned in his direction – but still I could feel his eyes piercing me.

Soda, glass, opener, ice-bucket and a bowl of peanuts ready on a tray – I opened the liquor-cabinet.

At first my hands instinctively touched a bottle of cheap whisky – but then  I hesitatingly picked out a bottle of the best premium whisky.

After all – this was a first-class client.

And maybe  this would be his last drink.

Let him enjoy it.

I carefully set the loaded tray on the table in front of him – and I sat down on the chair across.

I poured him a stiff drink – and I opened the bottle of soda.

“Put lots of ice...” he said, in a commanding voice.

And then – as an afterthought – he added: 

“What about you...?”

“No...” I said, handing him the glass, “I don’t drink on duty.”

“Duty…? Ha Ha – Duty” – I like your sense of humor...” he laughed. 

Then – he looked me in the eye.

He took a sip of the whisky and closed his eyes with a gesture of fatigue – as if waiting for the whisky to caress his brain.

His was not an unpleasant face.

In fact – he looked quite handsome.

“Without any effort – I could go straight to sleep...” he said – with his eyes still closed.

Then – suddenly he opened his eyes – looked directly at me – and with a mischievous smile – he said to me: 

“Ah – but there is plenty to do tonight – isn’t it...?”

“Yes indeed…!!!” I said to myself, “there was plenty to do tonight.”

In my imagination – I tried to visualize how I was going to do it.

The man shifted on his seat – he took out a wallet from his hip pocket.

He stylishly extracted 5 crisp pink coloured 2000 rupee notes – and he put the 10,000 Rupees on the table in front of me.

I did not pick up the money.

“It’s okay...” I said, “There is no need for you to pay me. The treat is on-the-house”...”

“Who said so...?” he snapped an angrily.

“The person who sent me here...” I answered.

“What else did he say...?”

“He told me that you are a very special guest.”

“And...?” he asked.

“He said that I should be very discreet – and that I should not even breathe a word about you to anyone.”

“And will you…?” he asked.

I paused – and then I said to him: 

“It’s okay. You can trust me.”

The man smiled – and then he said: 

“Take the money. I always pay for everything. I am a man of principles.”

Suddenly – I could feel the venom rising inside me.

Ha Ha – a man of principles…?

My Foot…!!!

Hypocrite…!!!

That’s what he was.

A Bloody Hypocrite…

Where were his principles when he had killed my husband...? 

Where were his principles when he concocted lies and told everyone that it was a gruesome accident...?

Where were his principles when he quickly disposed off my husband’s body at sea – into the Davy Jones’s Locker – buried into the deep at the bottom of the sea...?

Murderer…

Bloody Murderer…

That’s what he was.

An unscrupulous mendacious murderer…

And tonight – he was going to pay for it.

Everything was in my favour.

I had recognized him.

I knew who he was – but he did not know who I was.

For him – I was just a nameless face – a one-night stand.

Yes – for him I was just a one-night stand – to be used, discarded and forgotten.

Though he could not possibly realize it – it was he who had reduced me to this.

And now  he had unknowingly walked right into my hands.

“Is it enough...?” he asked, pointing to the money on the table.

“My normal rate is 50,000 – and some happy clients sometimes pay me even more than a Lakh for a night…” I said.

I wanted to embarrass him – for I had glimpsed into his wallet when he took out the money.

I picked up the 10,000 rupees from the table – tucked them in my blouse – and I said to him: 

“But then – after all  you are a special guest – so I will give you a discount – as I told you earlier – the treat is on the house – so I will consider this as a tip – and even if you did not pay – it was okay...”

He smiled – looking intently into my eyes for a few seconds.

Then he gulped down his drink – he got up from the sofa – and he came around the table and stood behind me.

I sat still – waiting for his next move.

He put his hands on my shoulders – and he said matter-of-factly to me: 

“Let’s go to bed...” 

And so – we went to bed – for a one-night stand.


Part 2 – DEADLY DATE

When I woke up – for a moment – I could not imagine where I was.

The silence was so intense – that I could hear my heart beating.

The room was not quite dark.

The door of the bathroom was partly open – and I had left the bathroom light on.

As I turned – I saw him lying beside me.

I felt a sudden flush of passion.

It was after a long time that I had made love to a man.

I had really enjoyed it.

I yearned for some more.

But – I quickly controlled my feelings – and I carefully observed the sleeping man.

He breathed steadily – like a man immersed in deep sleep – fully satiated.

But I had to be sure.

“Hello...” I whispered near his ear.

No answer.

He was dead to the world.

Very slowly – very silently – I slipped out of my bed.

I carefully bent down near the bedside table.

I unplugged the two-pin electric plug from the socket on the wall.

Then – I carefully coiled the wires around the base of the table-lamp.

I picked up the table-lamp in both hands holding the plug carefully.

I stood for a while – looking at the man to see whether I had disturbed him.

His breathing was as regular as before.

I took a couple of tip-toe steps and halted – took a few steps more and waited – and so on – till I reached the bathroom door.

Then I quickly went inside – and I locked the door.

I yanked out the wires from the table-lamp.

Then – with my teeth – I removed the plastic cladding from the open ends – exposing at least two inches of naked copper on both the wires.

I smiled to myself.

In my hands, was a weapon of death – a set of coiled wires – one red and one black – long enough – a two-pin plug at one end – and the other end was exposed – naked.

I retraced my steps – tiptoed – leaving the bathroom light on – and the door a bit ajar – so that I could just about see slightly.

I put the plug in the socket.

Then I uncoiled the wires – carefully holding one wire in each hand – a few inches away from the naked exposed copper – my hands apart.

I switched on the electric switch with my left toe.

Then – I got on the bed – and I slowly advanced on my knees towards the sleeping figure.

The man was lying on his back – sleeping soundly.

He seemed dead to the world.

Soon – he would actually be dead.

I decided to aim for his eyes.

Simply thrust one live electric wire into each eye.

Hopefully – death would be instantaneous.

The electric current would flow through his brain and kill him on the spot.

Even if death wasn’t instantaneous – at least he would be knocked unconscious – and blinded – and then – I could take my own time to finish him off by shoving the live wires deep into his eyes till his brain got roasted.

I steadied myself – and I moved my hands slowly.

The live wires had almost touched his eyes – when some invisible force seemed to have grabbed my wrists.

I froze.

I felt a turbulence of conscience.

It was as if there were two brains inside me.

One brain pulled my hands back and one inner voice said: “I don’t want to be a murderess. What do I gain...? If I kill him – then what is the difference between him and me? What about his family...? Why should I make them suffer for no fault of theirs? And maybe  what he officially said was indeed true – that it was just an accident – like he had reported…”

The other brain desperately urged me to kill him and pushed my hands forward – and – the other inner voice said“Revenge! Vengeance! He deserves it…”

“An eye for an eye – a tooth for a tooth – do it now – kill him – quickly – fast…” I said to myself.

And slowly – my hands started moving forward.

Suddenly – the man started turning.

I panicked.

In my panic – as a sudden reflex action – I instantly pulled my hands back.

In the confusion – the live naked electric wires touched.

There were sparks of electricity.

And then – there was total darkness.

Short Circuit - the fuse had blown.

My blood ran cold.

It was pitch dark – and I felt scared – very frightened.

There was no movement from the man.

Instinctively – I guessed that the man had turned over on his side – his back towards me.

I tiptoed to the bathroom – retrieved the table-lamp – kept it on the bedside table – and tucked the wires underneath.

Then I lay down on my bed – as if nothing had happened.

The centralized air-conditioning was still on – but the bathroom light had gone off.

It seemed that only the local 5 Ampere light fuse had blown – but I did not know where it was.

I had muffed up a golden chance.

The man was lucky to be alive.

It was his sheer luck!

But – I knew that I would have to try to kill him when I got an opportunity. 

I would have to create that opportunity – and kill him.

I would have to keep trying – again and again – to kill him – for he did not deserve to live.

Maybe – I could try some other technique of murder.

And with these thoughts – I drifted off to sleep. 


Part 3 – EPIPHANY

When I woke up in the morning – I saw that the man was still fast asleep.

Dawn had broken.

I opened the window – and let the sunlight in.

“Who’s that...?” he asked – startled – adjusting his eyes to the sunlight.

“It is time for you to leave. You must go away now...” I said.

I walked towards the sofa – picked up his clothes – and threw them to him.

He dressed hurriedly.

Then – he quickly walked to the connecting door between our rooms.

He opened the door.

At the door – he paused for a moment.

He turned towards me  and he said to me: 

“Good Bye, Mrs. Morris. They told me that you would kill me. I came to find out. But – killing isn’t easy. Yes – killing is not easy. You can take my word for it...”

With these words – he left my room – silently closing the door.

I sat in dumbstruck silence – a deathly grotesque deafening silence.

I never saw him again.

I never want to see him again.

In my entire life – I have never felt so scared – so frightened – the dreadful fear I felt at that moment.

Even today – when I think of that horrific one-night stand – a shiver of fear goes up my spine – a deadly electric quiver vibrates throughout my whole body – and – I resonate with a terrible indescribable fear.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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