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fiction, friendship, short story, Story

They Hate My Guts

 

As I follow her footsteps, I can hear the autumn sounds. The rustling of the leaves under my feet, the whistling of the woods almost as if whispering an untold tale. I follow her steps, like I always did, ever since I remember.

She is Suzy, my cousin and best friend, and I am Amber. When my parents passed away, I had to live with my maternal uncle- Suzy’s father. They were affluent like us. I was pampered to the hilt. I was treated just the way Suzy was treated. Her mother, Jane, loved me probably more than she loved Suzy. Destiny however had other plans. Aunt Jane, passed away after two years of my parents’ passing. I felt lonely again. But then something happened that changed my life forever. My uncle remarried to a wicked witch ‘Tranny’. I always called her aunt Tyranny in my head. For some reasons she loved her stepdaughter but hated me to the core, she always told me “I hate your guts”. I don’t know what she meant by that. Gradually Suzy got close to Tyranny, I saw losing my friend. I couldn’t take another loss.

One day I spilled some oil on the steps, and broke a vase next to it. I stood next to the vase, like a statue. Hearing the noise, Tyranny came running soon enough- “what have you done now? you little piece of shit?”. I looked at her and smiled. She yelled some more, “what are you smiling at? I hate your guts”. It used to hurt me whenever she said that, but not this time. She jumped to strike me. I didn’t move, I didn’t flinch, I just smiled. As she struck me for the last time, all I had to do was to nudge her a little. She went tumbling down the steps. I stood up and saw her down the stairs taking her last breath, that moment I knew what she meant when she said to me ‘I hate your guts’.

It’s been 20 years, we are trekking today. We reach the campsite and we start unwinding. We are tipsy, we decide to play the game truth and dare. Everybody is enjoying, taking truths and dares. I see Alex, Suzy’s husband going inside a camp. When I hear everybody yelling ‘Amber, Amber’, I look ahead. The bottle had stopped right in front of me. Suzy chimes, “Only truth for Amber. I hate her guts too much to give her dare”. Something triggers in me that moment. I quietly leave the place and follow Alex to his camp.

 

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The Mystery Continues..

I have been nominated for Mystery Blogger Award by Swapna from thedreamgirl. Thank you so much Swapna. I’m thrilled to be nominated for the award. Here is the cutest little squirrel presenting the mystery blogger award. I love her shades and scarf, she got some style. Don’t you agree?

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Back to business – . Okoto Enigma is the person behind the award. She says- 

“It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.” 

Now the “rules”

1.PUT THE AWARD LOGO/IMAGE ON YOUR BLOG. LIST THE RULES.
2.THANK WHOEVER NOMINATED YOU AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THEIR BLOG.
3.MENTION THE CREATOR OF THE AWARD AND PROVIDE A LINK AS WELL
4.TELL YOUR READERS 3 THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF
5.YOU HAVE TO NOMINATE 10 – 20 PEOPLE
6.NOTIFY YOUR NOMINEES BY COMMENTING ON THEIR BLOG
7.ASK YOUR NOMINEES ANY 5 QUESTIONS OF YOUR CHOICE; WITH ONE WEIRD OR FUNNY QUESTION (SPECIFY)
8.SHARE A LINK TO YOUR BEST POST(S).

Three things about me:- 

  • I’m passionate about reading and writing. If I were to be stranded on an island and I could take one thing and two people along- I would take my laptop with network connection, my husband and my son. I know you didn’t ask ..still thought it’s worth mentioning.
  • I love to travel but I am a scaredy mouse to travel solo. I love to travel with friends and family.
  • I love to solve mysteries especially escape the room sorts. What fun!

Answers to Swapna’s questions-

1) Fire or Water.. which one is your preference?

Water, anyday.

2) You’re cooking the most delicious dinner, who are you doing it for?

I will cook for my son and husband. They eat whatever I serve whether it is delicious or not. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

3)What is your most recent funniest/embarrassing moment?

Hmm.. they are so many. But the most embarrassing moment ever would be when I accidently put my foot in a pool of water (in my defense it was very dark, and the pool wasn’t supposed to be where it was), and my friends suggested me to put the other foot so it doesn’t look odd. In case you are wondering whether I did what they suggested or not.. thankfully better sense prevailed. It stands out as the most embarrassing as well as the funniest moment.

4) Books or e-books?

I love both actually. Books because I like to touch and smell my books. Ebooks because I can carry as many as I want without worrying about the space or weight.

5) A circus is in town and you’re hired. What is your act?

Definitely a clown- I’m good at making a fool of myself. What else?

My nominees. I would love to know more about these guys – most of them are my new friends.

  1. Anshu
  2. Akshata
  3. Aesha
  4. Ashwini
  5. Nayantara
  6. Kanika
  7. Lavanya
  8. Sonia
  9. Tina
  10. Shilpa

My questions

  1. If you were to choose a pen name what would it be?
  2. Share your best memory ever?
  3. Tell me about your most romantic date
  4. If you were to act in a movie (or play a literary  character) which one would you choose and why?
  5. What would be the absolute worst name you could give to a child?

My best post from A2Z is  – An Archaic world

That’s all for now! Love love !

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मेरे हाथ

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मेरे हांथो मे रखा था
छोटा सा एक ख्वाब कभी
मेरी अंजलि मे रखी थी
कुछ हलकी सी धुप खिली

वोः ख्वाब हैं क्यों टूटे से अब
वोः धुप भी कुछ मुरझा सी गयी
बस बचे हुए हैं ये हाँथ –
खाली , काले और कटे

 

 

© 2006 Priya Bajpai.  All rights reserved

Read in Gulzar’s voice. 😉 you will enjoy more.

Picture courtesy: Pixabay

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A ‘Thank you’ note

What a journey! Fun, thrilling exciting journey. I had my ups and downs, moments of exhilarations and moments of self doubts. Writing the stories, pushing my limits, writing a good post and thinking ‘wow, I won’t be able to recreate the magic. Writing a not so good post and thinking I’m doomed.  The most wonderful month of this year so far.

In March, Aesha germinated  the idea in my mind to participate in A2Z. In her words I ‘deserve a bigger audience’.  I wasn’t sure whether to take up the challenge or not, as I was busy with my son’s exams. But just at the last moment decided to go for it, prepared myself for the ‘worst-case scenario’. The challenge started, the first post garnered a great response from fellow bloggers.  I knew I have to finish it, no matter what. There was no looking back.

I’m grateful to Blogchatter for providing the platform. Without their constant support, completion of the challenge wasn’t possible. I got the opportunity to showcase my stories and got to know some mind-blowing blogger friends. Sorted alphabetically , one thing I learnt from #BlogchatterA2Z is to ALWAYS sort alphabetically.

 alice in wonderland thank you GIF

  • Aesha – Decoded the midlife like a pro in her blog . A great friend, my reason, inspiration and motivation.
  • Akshata– A slice of life through Myra’s eyes. I have to read the entire journey of Myra. It was hard not to fall in love with this strong character.
  • Anshu– I miss Tara, she had become a part of our lives. I often forgot that Tara was a character.  Thank you Anshu for your support throughout the challenge.
  • Ashwini – I love her views and opinions on feminism which are done with a lot of research. She showered so much love.
  • Balaka– Told the stories of different people she met, she narrated the stories beautifully. Some very interesting character with their stories.
  • Iain– Wrote some beautiful stories from different European countries. Made me wish to visit all the places. I often imagined myself sitting in European countryside and enjoying the beauty. Thank you Iain for your wonderful stories and encouraging comments.
  • Kanika– The queen of puns. I lost an awesome title to her. Presented each post after hell lot of research. Again a constant support, my day was incomplete till she commented.
  • Lavanya – I don’t need to tell her how much I enjoyed her stories, I often hopped over at midnight to see what MataHari were up to. Out and out entertainer.
  • Namy– Beautifully written the poetry for a cause. She wrote some thought-provoking poems.
  • Nayantara – Posts are bible for young parents. Her posts make me rethink about having a second baby. It would have been a breeze with her parenting articles. She is always there showering love with her words.
  • Neha– Wrote about Physical and Emotional Well Being. If we all follow the tips we will be healthy. Always supported me in my A2Z journey.
  • Shilpa–  Loved her artworks. Mixing sketching and writing is like two extraordinary worlds coming together.
  • Sonia– – Her theme was dollop of bengal. A delight to see Calcutta through her eyes. Ever encouraging, waited patiently for my murder mystery everyday. I was often tempted to send her before anybody could read, but I always finished at the last-minute so could never give in to the temptation.
  • Tina– Her stories about ‘An ode to Indian women’ were beautifully narrated. Whenever I was down, her words encouraged me.
  • Varad– Kept me hooked with his stories with twists. Many a times shivers ran down through my spine, reading his chilling stories. His stories I always looked forward to read. he used to be amongst the first ones to comment and the only one to guess the murderer [or so he claims. I dunno 😉 ]

*I’m sorry if I forgot to mention anyone.

All of you rock, I learnt a lot from you guys. For an introvert like me, this was the best way to engage with likeminded people. Thank you for being there for me. It was great knowing you people. My heart is full of gratitude for each one of you. I would like to end the post with my favorite quote from the movie casablanca- I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

i think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship casablanca GIF

fiction, Murder in a Palace, Murder Mystery, Story

Z to A- Connecting the Dots

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Anna stood in the palace where it all began. Anna knew that the suspects would be reluctant to show up today, hence summoned them through City Sheriff office. Rob informed Anna about the arrival of the suspects. Barring two police officers inside the hall, a larger squad of police was waiting outside the palace, ready to apprehend the killer.

Anna started, “I am glad you all came, not coming would have clearly given it away. Tom, you looked very confident when I first met you. Not so confident today. Are you?  Amy, you pretended somebody you are not, apparently to hide your jealousy and treachery behind the madness.

Mr Clark- everyone suspected you. Mrs Smith changed her will to name you as the inheritor of her estate just few days before her murder. You are the biggest beneficiary, which you claimed you were unaware of. Your sock, which you thought drained out, was found in the drain. We identified it as yours from the pictures of the fateful evening”.

“Absurd, I did not do anything”, said David who was visibly perturbed by the accusation.

“How do you explain the DNA touch report which confirms the sock which had Susanne’s blood strains over it belongs to you? The will clearly is the biggest motive”, Anna charged.

“Arrest him officer, he is the murderer”, Anna screamed.

“No. He didn’t.” Olivia broke down.

“It was me. He was just trying to save me”, Olivia confessed.

Olivia spoke between the sobs, “It was my plan. I made him go after Susanne, sell her art at higher price. I used the money to help Alex in his business. Slowly Susanne and David fell for each other, I didn’t expect that. I asked David about him and Susanne, he skirted by telling me that he was doing only what I asked him to do. On that fateful evening, just before 12 o clock, I didn’t see Susanne or David around. I went to look for them and found them making out in the guest room, next to the living room. Seeing them together, something got over me. I got the meat knife from the dining table and went inside the room. They both sprang to their feet. Before either of them could react, I stabbed the knife right through her heart. While falling she held David’s foot. She wanted to say something but died on the spot.

David was shocked, and I also froze after that. Perhaps, he still loved me and didn’t want me to go to jail. He decided to help me. As luck would have it, just then the living room lights were turned off to usher the new year. While people were still dancing, I quickly washed the knife and placed it back at its place, that’s the reason the murder weapon wasn’t found. David washed himself and drained out the sock. When I came out, still nobody was around and then I shrieked in Susanne’s voice. The lights came back on in a few moments.

I didn’t want to kill her. I couldn’t see him stealing my husband. That note and the mail was sent by me to mislead you. He is innocent.”

Anna retorted, “I knew that you were the mastermind, but he isn’t innocent either. After arriving here on the murder night, incidentally I had to use Susanne’s jacket. In which, I found a crumpled paper. It was from Susanne’s diary. Something was scribbled on it, but not legible. Yet I learnt that she must be maintaining a diary. Next morning when I came to the palace, I looked for the diary and found it in a hidden drawer. I learnt from the diary what she thought about you all. She was remorseful that she took credit of Amy’s song and hence decided to name the other house in Amy’s name. In the Diary it was written how Olivia had confronted her after the Paris trip with David. Though when I asked Olivia, she lied that she never confronted Susanne, which was enough to doubt her. The new will which I found from the Sussane’s drawer and her diary made it clear to me that David should not be the culprit.

When the IP address revealed your address, it wasn’t difficult to find out who the culprit was. All the evidences were against David, and none against you Olivia. Left with no other options, I needed your public confession to accuse you. That’s why I called you all here to be witness to it. Your confession actually helped me to connect all the dots from Z to A.”

Immediately after, Olivia was taken in the police custody. David too was taken into custody as he was an accomplice to the crime.

The End. 

*This is the chapter # 9 of the series Murder in a Palace


 

(c) 2018 PRIYA BAJPAI ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Picture Courtesy: Created on Canva

Read my previous posts for #BlogchatterA2Z

An Archaic worldBlueprintCrush, DazzledEyesFalling Teardrop…GeishaHorrific HolocaustI’m IIJigsaw PuzzleKiller , LoveMia of MayaNeil’s Shoe , Oseye- Archaic world IIParallel UniverseThe Quiet RoomRain starts to Pour…Shh.. Sleuth is HuntingTwists and TurnsUnicorn FriendsVestigial OrganWhodunitMx. XYou are Dead


if you go through the first chapter you would know. She was clearly the prime suspect.

 

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You are Dead

Next morning when Anna woke up, she made herself a strong coffee. She turned on her laptop to check her mails. She got an email “you are dead” along with a gif.

youre dead wednesday addams GIF

She smiled, she was enjoying the game. She called cyber cell and gave them access to her email id to nab the sender. The cyber cell informed that the IP address of the previous email was not yet disclosed by the VPN service provider yet. They told Anna that the company asked for a written instruction from the National Cyber Crime Unit head-office. They also confirmed that her gif was opened but using the VPN. So, programming the gif didn’t work.

Anna drove to David’s house one more time as she had to ask him questions which she couldn’t ask earlier.

She rang the bell, and David opened the door. He guided her to the living room.
Anna started, “Everybody suspects you.”
“Well that doesn’t make me a murderer, does it?”, David justified.
“Why is everybody doubting you?”, Anna questioned.
“May be they are jealous. Since I am the only one who didn’t feel victimised by her”, David argued.
“What do you know about Amy and Alex?”, she asked.
“Alex is my brother in law but we don’t get along. I believe he loved Susanne a lot. I don’t know Amy that well to comment about her. If I am right, they are seeing each other. However, I also feel they avoid being seen together as a couple. I think they find solace in each other’s company”, David answered, and Anna detected hint of sarcasm in his tone.
“What about Tom?”, She interrogated.
“I don’t understand him at all. Susanne was really upset with him. He used to be busy in his own world. He was going around with other women. And used to doubt Susanne”, he replied.
“What do you have to say about the art collection that you sold her?”, Anna came to the point now.
“What about it?”, David questioned back.
“Were they overpriced or not?”, Anna asked.
“They were. They certainly were exorbitantly overpriced. Every other trader does that. This still doesn’t make me a murderer”, David reacted.
“It could be a strong motive. Maybe she got to know about it? “, Anna asked.
“Anna you are crossing line now. I have been cooperative so far. You are accusing me without any base or evidence. Next time we speak it will be with my lawyer”, with that he got up and opened the door, gestured her to leave.
Before leaving Anna said, “Tomorrow at the palace 10 am. With or without your lawyer, your choice”.
Anna picked her bag and left Clark’s house. She called Rob. He was at office with the party pictures on the day of the murder. She told Rob to call all the suspects to the palace at 10 a.m., the next morning.

When Anna reached office, Rob had already stacked all the information Anna had asked for, on the table. She directly went to the laptop to check the pictures of the murder day. She opened her latest software to zoom the pictures. In few minutes only, she found the yellow sock. Handwriting expert also came up with the analysis about the note’s writer. Now touch DNA was the only important report she had been waiting for.
She thought to herself let’s see who is dead now.

to be continued…

*This is the chapter # 8 of the series Murder in a Palace


(c) 2018 PRIYA BAJPAI ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Picture Courtesy: Canva

Read my previous posts for #BlogchatterA2Z

An Archaic worldBlueprintCrush, DazzledEyesFalling Teardrop…GeishaHorrific HolocaustI’m IIJigsaw PuzzleKiller , LoveMia of MayaNeil’s Shoe , Oseye- Archaic world IIParallel UniverseThe Quiet RoomRain starts to Pour…Shh.. Sleuth is HuntingTwists and TurnsUnicorn FriendsVestigial OrganWhodunitMx. X

fiction, Murder in a Palace, Murder Mystery

Mx. X

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She named the Killer Mx X. X as she didn’t know the name of the killer and Mx for Mix as she wasn’t sure about the killer’s sex either.

Anna got a call from Carl, the forensic expert. He informed about the traces of blood found in one of the wash rooms, which matched with Susanne’s. He also told her about a single yellow sock found in the washroom drain pipe, which had blood stains on it. Blood again matched with Susanne’s. He tried to extract DNA from the sock but no hair or skin was found for the analysis. She asked him to attempt touch DNA analysis, as a simple act of picking up an object or touching a surface can lead to the identification and apprehension of a criminal. Carl also informed her what she already had expected, there were fingerprints of so many people all over the place and didn’t pass as evidences.

Next, she called Rob and asked him to arrange the handwriting samples of all the suspects and get them to the handwriting expert along with the threat note that she had received. Rob informed Anna about the call records. No anomaly except some calls made to a public phone booth by one of the suspects.

She checked for the IP address from where the threat email had originated from. She tracked the email but she couldn’t get the real IP address as the user had masked it using VPN service.

She needed a break from all this. She went to take a shower. Warm water refreshed her and suddenly something struck her. She quickly wrapped a towel around herself and ran to her laptop. She typed an email to the sender of the email. Added a gif with the message I’m waiting for your next move.

 

She encoded the gif image. When clicked on, it could extract the correct IP address, in case the sender had turned off the VPN routing. She also called the cyber cell to help her extract the actual IP address.

Words are windows to mind, words represent thoughts. Anna also looked for word clues, apart from looking for the evidences. Word clues often reveal the behavioural characteristics of suspects. Words could also mislead you, many a times smart criminals might throw red-herrings and even lies. She knew it was important to give the suspects a chance to tell their stories with their truths and lies. This gave her an opportunity to understand the suspects and the reasons of lies. Anna sat with her files, documents, evidences, call records and pages from her diary scattered on her bed. She knew there were some red- herrings as well. Her head was throbbing due to so many dots and numerous unsuccessful attempts to connect those dots.

She stacked all the key evidences against each suspect.

There were several clues against Tom- 1) He was not mourning wife’s death, he even didn’t look sad. 2) His face colour drained, when he learnt about the new will. It appeared like his plan failed 2) He was collecting proofs of David and Susanne’s extra marital affair. Why? 3) He admitted that Susanne wanted divorce, in which case he would be a big loser.

Most of the evidences were against David -1) Everybody pointed towards David. 2) Anna had proofs that David was scamming Susanne in his art-dealings. 3) He had mafia-links, which raised suspicion for the crime 4) Latest legal will of Susanne named him as the sole beneficiary, incase something untowards happened to her.

Clues against Olivia- 1) She said that she forgave Susanne which Anna doubted 2) Anna couldn’t extract much reaction from Olivia about David and Susanne. It almost seemed that it didn’t matter to her.

Clue against Amy- 1) Her call records showed calls on a public booth exactly till the date Susanne died, which was suspicious. 2) Amy was jealous and crazy which was a dangerous combination.

Clue against Alex- 1) He gate-crashed the party and had no other source to corroborate that Susanne wanted him to stay for the party.  2) He pushed susanne to almost death, which he claimed to have no recollection of. 3) Anna’s guess was that the calls that were made to the public booth were for Alex.

to be continued…

*This is the chapter # 7 of the series Murder in a Palace


(c) 2018 PRIYA BAJPAI ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Picture Courtesy: Canva

Read my previous posts for #BlogchatterA2Z

An Archaic worldBlueprintCrush, DazzledEyesFalling Teardrop…GeishaHorrific HolocaustI’m IIJigsaw PuzzleKiller , LoveMia of MayaNeil’s Shoe , Oseye- Archaic world IIParallel UniverseThe Quiet RoomRain starts to Pour…Shh.. Sleuth is HuntingTwists and TurnsUnicorn FriendsVestigial OrganWhodunit