Flash Fiction: Yes, I do!

The heavy wooden door creaked as her delicate hands pushed it open.

Alice crept back into the room. It was kept locked for years. Five years to be precise. The air was dry and musky. She wondered how it would feel to live in this room. The household help of the mansion were wary of going near the locked door. She heard them murmur to each other about the haunted room. The maids were tight-lipped around her and no one opened up to her in the last two years. She felt like a queen trapped in a haunted house. Trevor always clammed up at the mere mention of his dead wife, Mary.

Her eyes adjusted to the darkness in a few moments. Moonlight streaked through glass panes of the dimly lit room. It was huge with a king-size bed at the center. Alice tiptoed towards the dressing table across the room. There she saw the gleaming diamond stud earrings she had set her heart on. This was not the first time she had sneaked in. Her heart fluttered with a mixture of fear and excitement. With trembling fingers she reached out for the huge sparkling diamonds.

“I hope you don’t mind, Mary,” she whispered.

“Yes, I do!” A hand burst through the mirror of the dresser, grabbing her wrist.

 

Damn my dream, she thought as she woke up drenched in sweat. Trevor was sleeping peacefully besides her.

 

 

© 2016 Shilpa Niraj, All rights reserved.

Flash Fiction: An Inherited Life

Cottage17

 

Pulling her coat tighter around her to keep out the chill, Bethany walked along the main street towards her cottage. The sun was slowly setting and cast a golden haze over the tree tops. The Lake Valley had always been a quiet little town. The Rowan trees added color to the woodland. Bethany had inherited this cottage a few months ago from her aunt Hanna. She was glad she could get away from a life of being a waitress in Texas and trying to make ends meet. Aunt Hanna turned out to be her savior. She had never met or heard of Aunt Hanna who was a distant relative living across the continent and was surprised to find herself as the sole beneficiary of her cottage and jewelry along with sufficient funds to last for a decade.

When Bethany reached the front porch, she sensed something in the air or was it a hushed movement? She looked around and saw a shadow lurking behind the shrubs a few feet from the gate of the cottage. Was she imagining things? The shadow had disappeared now. Bethany shook her head as she opened the front door. “May be I am reading too many horror stories nowadays,” she sighed.

Bethany carefully tiptoed to the living room doorway and entered the room as quietly as possible. She looked around and told herself to relax.

She removed her coat and made a strong cup of coffee. A sip of coffee made her feel fresh. She worked at the local library and usually carried a couple of books home for herself. At night, reading a book by the fireplace had become a routine now.

Suddenly Bethany felt her heart pounding. A shadow was approaching. She couldn’t see him. He was wearing a dark overcoat. There was mist all around making it impossible for her to see the intruder. She was about to scream when she realized she was in bed. It was just a bad dream that woke her up frequently in the last few days. Was it just a dream or was someone following her?

She shrugged aside the feeling and opened the closet. Hidden below a shelf was a small compartment that was not visible unless you touched the lower side of the shelf. She retrieved an envelope and found some documents by the name of Carla Anderson. She quickly took all the documents downstairs to the fireplace. The fire was still on. She threw the envelope into the fire and watched them burn to ashes. Carla had to disappear without a trace because here, in Ireland, there was no Carla Anderson.

No one should know that she was indeed, Carla Anderson not Bethany Craig, her roommate. People often mistook them for being sisters. There was a striking resemblance between the two girls. Unfortunate circumstances shrouded Bethany’s death.

On a fateful weekend, Carla got involved with a guy from the drug mafia and had somehow managed to escape after two days. When she reached back, Bethany was not around. There was no note left behind. When two days passed without a trace of Bethany, Carla got worried but she could not go to the police, as she was scared after what had happened over the weekend. On the third day there was a knock on the door and Carla was stunned to find a police officer at her doorstep.

“Did Carla Anderson live here?”

“Yes”, Carla stammered.

“I am afraid we have bad news for you. Carla died in a car accident and her face is smashed beyond recognition.”

Carla wanted to correct him that it must be Bethany not Carla but the fear of the mafia and the shock of the news of Bethany’s death kept her uttering a single word.

Taking a deep breath to settle her nerves Carla asked, “How do you know its Carla, if her face was not identifiable?”

“We found Carla’s driving license in her handbag.” He replied.

Bethany must have taken my handbag for the party and my driving license must have been in it”, thought Carla.

She knew she had to run away from the mafia and this turned out to be a perfect opportunity. “Poor Bethany”, she thought.

Both Bethany and Carla had no one else in this world, or so Carla thought. It came as a surprise when a letter of inheritance arrived from Ireland, in the name of Bethany four months after her death.

That was when Carla decided; it was time to start afresh. She knew Bethany wouldn’t mind, would she?

There were no more bad dreams.

 

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

© 2015-2017 Shilpa Niraj, All Rights Reserved.

 

Flash Fiction: Killer of the Diva

Flash Fiction1

 

The cocktail dresses the women wore must have cost fortunes. There were family heirlooms on theirs fingers and necks, sparkling like the champagne in the flutes held by beautiful manicured fingers. The men  in smart blazers were busy building contacts and talking business. There was soft music in the background. Samaira Sarin, the host of this elite party, announced that the manuscript of her new book, Killer of the Diva, was almost ready and would be out for publishing within a month. The book was a work of fiction and yet there were rumors that it was based on the dead star’s life, an incident that occurred a decade ago. People close to Samaira had dissuaded her from raking up the ghosts from the past but she had laughed it off saying, it’s just a figment of my imagination, nothing real.

Preeti Sabeer, moved forward and applauded Samaira for her success. After all, Samaira was a celebrity author and a star in the literary world. Preeti was the wife of Sabeer Arora of the Galaxy Empires. She was his trophy wife. Twelve years younger to Sabeer, she could win people just by a flick of her finger. Such was the power of her exquisite beauty. There was a strange gleam in Preeti’s eyes as she looked at Samaira who was busy chatting with the people about her latest venture.

Ilyssa Parker was also at the party. She sat in one corner of the spacious penthouse owned by Samaira at Midtown Avenue located in the plush and prestigious Platinum Hills. Her expressions were grim as she looked at Preeti.

She could feel something in the air. A niggle in her mind told her that something just wasn’t right. A divorced socialite, Ilyssa was now the owner of a luxury Spa Resort. She and Samaira were friends for almost twenty years now. She still couldn’t forget the night when their friend Sytara, the diva, was found murdered. Sytara had everything to live for. She had just announced that she was in love. Everyone at the party cheered for her. They asked her about the lucky guy but Sytara chose to be mischievously secretive citing that the newspapers shouldn’t catch the whiff of this news. She didn’t wish to have a scandal that could affect her thriving career and stardom. That party had taken place exactly ten years ago on account of Sytara’s new movie release. Those were the last few moments of Sytara’s life. She was found dead that night in the bathroom apparently poisoned to death. Nothing was ever proved and her case file was closed on account of inconclusive evidence.

Ilyssa was shaken out of the past by the sound of a scream. Everyone in the room rushed in the direction of that scream. There was Samaira Sarin sitting on the chair in her study with her head down on the desk. Her fingers were still on the flute of champagne. Someone was checking her pulse and raised her limp head to discover an incomplete manuscript.

On the cover page was typed in big bold letters, “Killer of the Diva” and it wasn’t long before the police found that some pages from the manuscript were torn off in a rather abrupt hurry.

~~~

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

© 2015-2017 Shilpa Niraj, All Rights Reserved.