The Moral Decadence – 2/2

I killed the rat bastard! I killed him! Years of trust….decades of friendship…he brought it down in flames. The stupid guy never understood. I tried to convince him…Oh! Believe me, I did. But he just wouldn’t listen, that bastard. So I had to shut him up…unfortunately forever. ”

The whole court-room plunged into shock. Questions raced in everyone’s mind. Everyone was anxious. The courtroom decorum would turn frivolous unless the judge had begun talking.

” Why did you murder him Mr.Walters? ”

” Why? Why??! Let me tell you a story judge. I was an ass when I was a teen. Always flunking school and ever notorious. My atrocities went a little too far when I got involved in a gang. But they’d really skyrocketed when I helped them kill a man. I wasn’t directly involved, I only assisted! Yet, I freaked out after. I was devastated.

But then Bob rescued me. He was my Messiah and my first true friend. Now I am grateful for what he did, alright? But he always kept insisting that I come clean. That the people who trusted me had the right to know, especially my girlfriend. ” Moral Liberation “ he called it.

Now that would ruin EVERYTHING! All the image I’ve worked hard to build would crash and burn. The world doesn’t work that way, you know. It’s brutally judgmental, how you do you think I got the image?

He always insisted, his arguments marred with his naive sense of a ” perfect world “. But the last argument…he took it too far. He said it was high time…that he’d rat me out if I didn’t do it myself. I was infuriated. How could he betray me like that? After all these years!

And to think that he’d blackmail me? The guts of that jerk! In a moment, I snapped. I completely lost it. I picked up the knife and in a few minutes…he was gone. ”

Jack, of all people, was dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe it. How could he defend this man? He was confessing! But he wasn’t yet convinced. He needed clarifications.

” Then tell us then Mr. Walters, how did you manage to escape and appear at the airport at the same time? ”

Walters smiled. And that scared Jack.

” I saw Mrs. Margaret notice me. I saw her run towards the house. Now I had a flight to board at 10, which was my original plan for escape, and I didn’t want any inconvenience. So I had to get rid of her, I had to think quick. And then it hit me!

You see, Bob had a vintage chime clock, a huge one. Just before old Mrs. Margaret barged in with her baseball bat, which I don’t know whom she was kidding with, ”

He turned towards her and laughed. She was obviously pissed off.

” I changed the clock’s dial to a little less than 10pm when it was only 8. I locked all doors when I knew she came in and left silently. Now a little later, probably after she realized she was trapped, she must’ve heard loud chimes that reverberated the empty house, right Mrs. Margaret? ”

She nodded from her bench. Bewildered.

” Seeing the clock she obviously thought it was 10pm. She was too much in distress and honestly, once it’s dark outside, you can barely tell the difference. She got rescued the next morning by a casual jogger who overheard her screams, and she reported to the police that it was around 10pm. It was a shot in the dark, and I’m pretty psyched it worked. ”

The courtroom was dead silent. Not a single soul spoke. Not even whispers. Jack was incredulous. You’re pysched? You Animal! His dream was gone, there was no message. He was upset it turned around this way but on the other hand, he was thankful he didn’t defend a criminal.

The Plaintiff Attorney rose triumphantly, to announce,

” Your honor, the case seems to have solved itself. Considering the testimony presented to you by the accused himself, I believe you must find him guilty. ”

” Taking into account the testimony put forth by Mrs. Margaret and the confession of the accused, Mr. Walters, I pronounce him…

Guilty 

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The Moral Decadence – 1/2

“Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God? “

“I do.”

“Mrs. Margaret thank you for being here with us today. Can you elaborately state what happened on the night of February 28th?”

“Certainly. Ooh it was a horrible night! Horrible…..horrible. It has been six months since, but I still cannot shake off the trauma. It was late at night, around 10pm I suppose when I had heard someone wail. It sounded really familiar and it was coming from next door. I was worried for Bob, I was worried something bad had happened to him. A good man he was really. And I was right to worry.

I peeped through my window and saw hazy silhouettes. They looked like the silhouettes of two men. One was fat and the other slim. I presumed the fat one to be Bob, but I wasn’t sure about the other one. The slim one, with a knife in hand, was repeatedly lunging at the other one. After several swings and misses, he finally struck.

Oh! It was brutal. Utter diabolical. The fat one clutched his heart with one hand and raised the other in a muted forgiveness. But the slim one didn’t stop. Blow after blow. Strike after strike. Blood splattered over the blinds and painted the scene red. He then started to choke the other as he staggered towards the kitchen. And that’s where I saw them.

The fat one revealed itself first and I was right about its identity. And when the slim one slowly came to view, I felt my very foundations shake.

It was Walters. His face was purely cynical. His eyes were possessed. He put all his effort into strangling Bob, like his life depended on it. Bob saw me through the window and his dozy eyes pleaded for help. I cupped my mouth with both my hands and began to sob uncontrollably. I felt sorry for him. I felt helpless.

But all my sobbing suddenly stopped when I saw Walter seeing me. I was horrified. And so was he. A feeling of anger pulsed within me on seeing his pathetic face. I was taken over by a fit of adrenaline and decided to take action. So I ran towards the door. I wanted to scare him off and rescue Bob. I still had hope.

I barged into Bob’s house and it was dark everywhere. I took a baseball bat with me for protection, not that I could use one at this age. Only the kitchen lights were on and I moved cautiously. I peeped in and only Bob was there, lying on the floor. Lying in a pool of blood oozing out of his punctured, mutilated body.

I couldn’t hold my emotions. I was furious. But also scared. I felt like a deer left in a lion’s cage. Waiting to be hunted. But ready to fight. I realized I hadn’t thought this through. Then I heard the door click and I realized I was trapped inside the house. The scoundrel tried to frame me, but blood red footprints outside the house proved my innocence. “

The Bailiff offered her some water. She calmed herself with a deep breath and wiped away her tears.

“Sorry to put you through this again Mrs. Margaret, but I promise to keep this quick. Did you know Mr. Walters very well?”

“Yes, I did.”

“So you’re positive you saw Mr. Walters that night, right?”

The Defense Attorney rose to shout, “Objection your Honor! That’s a leading question.”

“Objection Sustained”

The Plaintiff Attorney smiled. “Let me rephrase it for you, Mrs. Margaret. Considering your age and the low light conditions, are you sure you saw Mr. Walters that night?”

“Yes, I am. I can never forget the look of apprehension when he saw me notice. The dread in his eyes was chilling.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Margaret. You may now go back to your seat.”

Having heard the testimony, the jury was already convinced. But the Defense Attorney Jack Statham had an unflinching countenance. He had earlier talked to his client’s friends and they were all shocked to know this. From what they had told him, Walters seemed like a fine guy.

Moreover, Walters had the perfect alibi. He was at the airport at the time of the murder. His identity was verified by the Customs and these guys don’t mess around. And no, he did not have a secret twin. He checked.

He was fully convinced that his client was being falsely convicted. He’s an honest man who is true to his profession. He helps the weak raise voice against injustice and Walter’s case was an opportunity. He wanted a resounding win. A win that will teach a lesson.

“Does the prosecution have any other witnesses?”

“No, your Honor”

“Does the defense have any questions?”

“No your Honor. We’d like to call upon Mr. Walters to make his case.”

“Permission Granted”

It was going as planned. Walters would present his case, Jack would show security footage from the airport and his verified travel tickets as evidence. Jack wanted this case to serve as an example of how justice will always triumph. He wanted it to be impactful and inspiring.

“What do you have to say for yourself,  Mr. Walters?”, the Judge asked solemnly.

Walters spoke for the first time.

“I confess, your Honor.”

To be continued…

An Unletterd’s Letter

She woke up way before the alarm. At this age, she was getting used to it. The sole purpose of the alarm was to provide her respite from aimless wallowing in the bed on nights she’s afflicted with insomnia.

Things had gotten really tough for her after her husband had passed away about a month ago. Ever since the house seemed too empty, the front-yard looked unkempt, the television set turned rusty and the backyard grass had overgrown. She was a lonely inhabitant of a decrepit house whose existence seemed next to insignificant in the well-to-do neighborhood.

Yet still, she isn’t on her own in this world. She has a beautiful daughter and a 5-year-old grand-daughter. But she hasn’t heard from them in over a year, specifically from when her husband had a spat with her son-in-law. Her husband had turned callous after the feud and had built an invisible barrier for her too. She didn’t have the courage to transgress it by herself, even after he’d passed away. She submitted to that sickly feeling long ago and now vainly hopes for the ice to break from the other side.

It’s just another day in Brookside Avenue, and she withdraws from her bed to do her usual chores. Her feeble limbs barely support her senescent frame. Her once vivacious spirit lately seems to have no impetus to be so. The pedestrian tasks of the day drain her both physically and mentally, yet she wills herself to live on.

She steps out the door, looks at the unkempt front-yard and sighs. The front-yard, like herself, either had no one to take care of or had no one who had cared enough. She walks to the mailbox, as she does every day, with a tiny flicker of hope. She opens the rusty lid and half expects to find it empty. But it isn’t.

She finds some junk advertising mails about a world tour that she’s least bothered about. She almost throws them away in the garbage can when a lavender envelope catches her eye. She halts, holds it cautiously making sure she doesn’t crumble it and walks inside as fast as she can.

She forgets about the chores and even forgets about her morning coffee. She hasn’t missed one in the last five years. She sits on the sofa down the hall and carefully opens the envelope. It has small lavender hearts embossed on it and smells like sweet perfume and baby powder. She pulls out the letter inside and starts to read it.

Dear Grandma,

Its me!! I am dieing to see you. Mom says we’ll all come and tell sorry to grandpa next week. Then we will go have fluffy candy you promised me in the exhibition last time. Can you pleese get me the pony too?

And guess what grandma?? I can right write! I don’t need mum to call you now…we can talk ourselves. We can share…umm…what did you call it? Seacrets? Yeah! Seacrets!

I can tell you about school, my new english teecher. But she’s always scollding me for no reeson. I don’t like her.

You can tell me your seacret recipeas recipies and I won’t tell anyone, not even my Barbie. She told me she likes boys now…..ewwww! So I want a new Barbie too!

I miss your pickles grandma. I miss grandpa. I miss you.

Do you miss me????

Okay mum’s calling me….Sea you soon!!!

Love,

Your Marshmallow.

She pushes the paper away from her face to keep it from getting wet. Tears stream down her face uncontrollably. She doesn’t contain herself anymore, she doesn’t feel the need to. She knows a crisis is about to befall, but that seems the least bit troublesome. She thinks of an innocent 6-year-old who looks up to her, and she would face the storm for her.

It may be tumultuous. But like any other storm, this will pass too. She kisses the letter in her hand and thinks of her marshmallow. Her tiny glinting eyes and her slyly playful smile. She curses herself for being so craven. She never stood up for herself. It wasn’t fair what happened to her, but she felt like she had no choice. No one to help her.

But she was wrong.

She’s had a month to ponder over it by herself. Only now, she is sure. She has a newfound meaning for life. She hopes to present her life as a lesson to her grandchild. She knows she may have nothing to inspire the little kid. But she does have a lot to teach her. She may not be able to tell her what to do, but she can tell her what not to.

She’ll keep her strong. She’ll make her brave. She’ll teach her to be independent. And when she says, “When I grow up I want to be like you grandma!”. She’ll say, “You will child. You will be as wise as I am today, but without having to face the troubles I went through yesterday.

And I will be here to hold your hand and guide you for as long as I can.”

Hell-Bent 1/2

He imagined strangling him.

“I’ll kill you, you lousy freakin’ bastard!”

His mind was re-iterating the horror. Every moment of it, bit by bit.

But that wasn’t all bad for him. For those memories were bitter-sweet.

Horrific as it may be, it wasn’t haunting him.

He liked the sound of the poor guy’s knuckles crack when he crushed his hand under his boot.

The barbarity of the act invigorated his spirit. Fueling raw anger.

One would think that he wasn’t in his senses when he was doing it. But John, very much, was.

He enjoyed every punch. Every smack on the face. Each one more vigorous than the one before.

The wretched guy suffered merciless blows. He had no escape.

He would’ve tried. But a part of him didn’t let him.

‘Let me Go!’, he screamed.

Mustering enough energy to plead for his life.

But John kept pounding him to death, bashing his skull as he lay crippled in a pool of blood.

‘Let me go, Please!’, he mumbled now.

But he kept on with it. He chose to.

He’d live to see his end. He was hell-bent.

Hope 2/3

After a long tiring journey, the bus finally reaches their village. The young girl didn’t know if she was fatigued by the prolonged journey or was just ravenous. It was both.

The young girl’s chest heaves as she embraces the fresh air. Her mother’s face hints a sign of relief. They were finally home, ready for a fresh start. With a new take on life.

They start walking slowly towards the old house they call home. People shoot scornful looks in their direction, she doesn’t understand why. Her mom clasps her by the arm and quickens her pace.

When they finally reach, they find their house much worse than what it had been a year ago. It was more of a rural shelter than a concrete structure. It barely qualifies to be called a house, but it sufficed. No wonder why no one had cared to occupy or demolish it. Nevertheless, it would be their haven now. But God knows it wasn’t meant to be.

A faint knock on the door catches their attention. “We have visitors already?”, they wondered in amusement. The young girl hoped that it would be uncle Stan. He was a long time family friend and had been the pillar of support for their family. The faint knocks stopped and loud thuds took over. Her mom and she were now scared.

She went to the rotten wood door to unlatch it. It was uncle Stan, and behind him was the entire village. An angry mob ready to take charge. Her mom was perplexed, unaware of what was going on. She steps on the front porch and sends the little girl inside to take care of her sister. And then the shouting begins.

“You brought shame to our village”

“You were knee deep in adultery that’s why your husband left you.” Her mom had a sudden moment of realization. “So that’s what Harry told them to keep himself alive?”. The village was more inclined to believe men, so she’d have no use trying. Only uncle Stan knew the truth, but apparently, he couldn’t convince anyone.

“You’re not fit to stay here. Have you no shame to come back?”

“She’s not even worthy of being alive. Better kill the two-faced bitch.”

“Yeah. Yeah. Let’s kill her!”

Then they charge on her. The little girl sits inside shocked at the sight of her mother being dragged away. Her mom’s blood-curdling screams render her motionless. Her mom struggles to look back and orders her to run away. But she was too baffled to move.

“Of what use are these little bastards? Let’s kill them too!”

Some of the villagers rush inside to get the kids. Uncle Stan tries to intervene, in attempts to save them. After all, it’s what her mom would want him to do. He suffers a number of blows but he doesn’t back down. After a long struggle, he feels a little relieved that he could at least save the girl, a redemption of sorts. But that feeling was only short lived. It begins to dawn on him that he couldn’t save her little sister.

Why Gossip is so Hip?

I think gossip is shallow. I think it’s pointless. It wouldn’t harm anyone if missed, but is missed by no one. It seems like there’s no escape from it. No respite from the constant nagging. Insignificant aspects blanket us, but I wonder why people choose to acknowledge them. One might argue: You’d have to know what’s insignificant to know what isn’t. It might be true, but that doesn’t imply that we make it a habit to blab about the superficial aspects and side-step the truth.

Gossip is rooted into our voguish lifestyle. Sometimes we may not even initiate it, but not being able to refuse it, is also a crime in itself. What I hate the most about gossip, is that it affects my opinions about people. I like my opinions (of people) untouched, unaffected by the views of others. But negative gossip comes in the way. Nothing good comes out of it. It spoils my perspective and the way I think. Personal stuff about people, of which I can guarantee no authenticity, requires me to challenge what I think of them, questioning my self-formed opinion of them. I don’t like that.

I fear what people talk about me behind my back. Truth is, I don’t think I want to know. Cause I’d have this constant nagging in my head which would prevent me from being me. It breaks trust and widens the rift. It isn’t fair to the people who confide in us.

Nobody likes a know-it-all. Nobody can trust someone who talks out of turn. People tend to gossip because they surrender to the temporary pleasure it provides. We feel tempted to quench the thirst of our inquisitive minds. Curiosity can lead us on a wrong path sometimes. And as the saying goes, ‘Curiosity killed the cat’.

Although, I have been presented with a different perspective too. Gossip can in some ways help. For example:- Suppose your colleague in office recently lost her husband leading to depression and indifferent behavior in the office since the past few days. If you were to know this fact through gossip, you’d have a chance to understand the situation and show sympathy towards her.

But if you think about it, you didn’t necessarily need to know that through gossip. It was a fact that didn’t really require discretion. It could’ve been politely put forward to her colleagues. Maybe they could ask her to take a break while they cover for her or they could find other ways to cheer her up. Although gossip did help, it didn’t have to be in the picture.

Gossip may not seem all bad, it never does. But it isn’t exactly a healthy habit for a stable society. I feel it robs us of the chance to frame independent perspectives on people and the world around us. The mere fact that it is an act that requires secrecy suggests that it might be wrong. The fear of being overheard only proves it. I personally feel that it is important to curb it and bring it to a bare minimum. I think people do realize this but I still wonder why gossip is so hip.