The Circle of Power

She looked at him with pain and fear in her eyes. He stood above her, holding a frying pan by the handle. She was bleeding from the corner of the mouth, where the edge of the pan had struck her last. She lay cowering in a corner as he began his next bout of assault on her. He was drunk senseless, and all he could see was the weak, helpless being he was bethrothed to... the woman he owned, and not loved. What was she for, if not to satisfy his demands whenever he demanded, or bear his frustrations when he was frustrated, or feed him when he was hungry and leave him alone otherwise? Who cared whether she had problems of her own, she hadn't brought enough happiness from her father's home... she wasn't permitted to have any troubles... and here she was nagging him about getting medicines for the baby. He whacked her again with the pan, slitting her forehead.

As she lay bruised and bleeding on the floor, he saw the simple gold band that proclaimed their wedding vows glinting dully on her finger. He saw the more expensive diamond one on his own finger, the one her father had sold his cow to pay for. His ring was the Circle of Power that night.

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He choked with gasps and guttural groans, his face a grotesque mask of terror, his legs kicking wildly at the empty space beneath him. She sat at a distance on the mud floor, calmly watching him hanging by a noose from the hook on the ceiling. A stool stood fallen on the ground below. A short distance away stood her brother, with a nasty expression on his face - one that had anger and satisfaction mingled in a grim smile. She still bore the marks from her husband's assault two weeks back. The scar on her forehead stood out in sharp relief in the dim light of the lantern. As his struggle grew weaker, she looked around her. The TV set,the fridge, the jewellery from their wedding that he had locked up in his cupboard, the money in his bank account and the house.. it would all be hers now, the prerogative of being his wife. She could get a job in the department he had worked in, she knew people there. They would be sympathetic to the plight of the widow whose husband had committed suicide. Friends and family would chip in to help her stand on her own feet.. Being a helpless widow actually helped a lot.

As she looked into his unseeing, bulging eyes and contemplated how he was more a husband to her in death than in life, she looked at the diamond sparkling on his lifeless finger and her own simple ring that promised a new life for her and her baby. Tonight, her ring was the Circle of Power.

8 comments:

  1. quite a disturbing story but liked how it ended. as i said earlier, you write exceptionally well!

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    1. Thank you DJ! You know, you don't have to comment on every single post just for the heck of it though :P I'll still be your fan ;)

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  2. amazingly told, you write very well,Meenakshi. How you connected the ring to symbol of power is excellent.

    Well done!

    And about haiku: Counting syllable is quite easy. Just split into how you would pronounce it and the number of sounds in each line would give you syllables. For example Meenakshi would have 3 since you speak it as Mee-na-kshi. You can also look for the word in online dictionary, in phonetics they break the word as per syllables, like for departure the phonetics are given as [dih-pahr-cher] that means three syllables.

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    1. Thank you Meenakshi - both for your kind words of appreciation and for the time you took to tell me about Haiku. A basic way of counting syllables that I tried was converting the word into Hindi, then counting how many whole alphabet were in the word (disregarding the maatras), but it doesn't always work. I'll work harder at it now though :)

      Thank you!

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    2. Just do it, Meenakshi, it will come with practice, You will be surprised that you no longer count syllables, it will come by on its own.

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  3. Awesome narrative, Mixi. It reflects on reality. I love the way you ended the story.

    I've not written any short stories of late, but here the last one I wrote.
    http://www.gracydsouza.com/2012/10/11/i-played-host-to-ghost-fiction/

    I'm hooked to Haiku these days. It's addictive :-)

    Very well done. Looking forward to reading some more of your posts.
    Cheers!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

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