Thursday, December 10, 2009

Short Story - The Barn

Generally speaking, I like waiting. I have to in my line of work. But even otherwise, I like it. It allows me to sort my thoughts, iron them out a little bit. They can get awfully muddled sometimes, these thoughts. Need sorting from time to time. But every once so often waiting can become a real shit job. Like right now. If I’d known that the man meant this place when he said ‘keeping an eye from the barn’, I’d have given the matter more thought than I did before agreeing. My fault too, I suppose. Just that I didn’t expect middle-aged white collared gentlemen to actually keep alive and kicking fucking cows and goats and what have yous in the barns of their fucking farmhouses. And then have one solitary caretaker to clean the place up once in ten years. And hire a lousy broke detective to keep watch from it at the start of the tenth year. Ah, strike off lousy there! I must’ve gotten carried away in the general stink and depression.

I kind of let slip my being a detective, didn’t I! Should be more careful! I mean I know I am only talking to myself. I have developed this habit over the years, one of the things I do while waiting. Talk to myself like I were an external audience. Most of the things I do, I can’t share with anyone else due to, you know, reasons of confidentiality. So I just narrate my exploits to myself like this, makes me feel good. Besides, it keeps my thoughts from straying too much. And then, sometimes, in the middle of the story, the audience in me jumps up and asks a question which I, as the narrator haven’t thought of. And that leads to a train of thought that I hadn’t thought of. Nothing like another man’s opinion! But coming back to the slip of tongue, I like my self-narrations to be suspenseful and intriguing. Like a thriller novel – only necessary information at appropriate times. But never mind, what’s done is done. Let me assume I now know I am a detective.

One of the great things about waiting is observing people. It fascinates me to look at people everywhere. I believe if one looks hard enough, one will find every single man and woman has a reason to kill some other man or woman. I am convinced of this. The more people I meet and observe, the more convinced I am. I know a man I want to kill. If that man comes to know of me, he’ll probably want to kill me too.

Its been over two hours and there’s no sign of anyone yet! Looks like a false alarm, this. So anyway, I was talking about the man who’s making me wait in this shithole. Now, apparently, this chap has this really young beautiful wife. Trophy wife, I’d say from the sound of his voice. I mean, I haven’t met the man but on the phone, he sounds like one of those focused, boring money making machines who derive all their humour from the stock market misfortunes of others. Nothing that would truly interest a young beautiful woman. Other than the money, perhaps. Therefore, the trouble, I should think. Neha, the lady is called. Interesting coincidence, that.

So now this man, Arvind, thinks his wife is cheating on him. Very likely, I think. I personally don’t see any harm in these occasional acts of breaking the monotony. I mean, honestly, how exciting can it be to sleep with the same person year after year, and in this particular case, I daresay without the least bit of adventure on or off the bed? I am having this really cute affair with a married girl myself at the moment. About three months now. Such a nice girl. Visits me thrice a week, always afternoons, and quietly gets down to business. Very little talk. Spends a couple of hours with me, gets up, makes some tea and leaves, closing the door noiselessly behind her. Very much like how the relationship will eventually turn out. If it were not for this silly exercise, I’d be with her by me right now. Sometimes, when I get a little sentimental, I feel like I should murder her husband and take her away. With the experience I have, I am confident of doing a good job. Ah, I hear a car in the driveway! Some action finally!

I can’t quite see the car yet; the car park’s a little out of the line of sight of this rotten fucking wooden window. Admittedly, not the ideal place for surveillance, but what option do I have? At any rate, the front porch and door are right in front of me as are most of the windows on both storeys. Yes, now I hear their footsteps crunching on the fallen leaves strewn across the courtyard. Should spot them any moment now. Good thing, all those fallen leaves. The strange screwy sound of my old camera will be impossible to...hey, wait a minute! What the hell is this? This is his wife? And who the fuck is that guy with him? No, this cannot be true! This can’t be the wife! Oh dear! He said his wife was called Neha! Goddamit! And I thought strange fucking coincidence! Fucking bitch! So its not just me...this fat oversized slob as well! And who knows, maybe she’s got a bloody chest full of them!

Straight down to business, I see. Its been barely two minutes since those two went in. And they’re already on the top floor and...and doing what they’ve come to do! They don’t even close the fucking window...what balls! The bitch! I am going to kill them! The husband can go to hell with his briefcase full of money! I am going to choke the bloody life out of her with my bare hands! No, gloved ones! Hold on, be calm... Take it easy! Where’s the camera, where’s the bloody camera! There! That should make your husband proud!

Been an hour since they went to sleep, I think. Good thing too, I am much calmer now. If they had gone on with the romping and howling much longer...I wonder if she’ll wake up and make him some tea as well. Bitch!

Ah, there’s the tea you fat prick. Yeah, go ahead, sip it like...its all yours!

Gone into the shower now, the two of them. No, strike that. They’re out now. And getting dressed. Hold on a minute! He’s taking out a shirt from the wardrobe! So she allows him to wear her husband’s clothes too! No no, wait. There’s something wrong here. He’s already tried four of them. There’s something wrong! There goes the sixth one, flicked carelessly onto the floor. He’s treating them like his own clothes. His own clothes! Yes, that’s it! That’s it! But what’s the point of this! This...oh my God! Oh my God! He wants to kill me! They want to kill me! That’s what all of this is about! The bitch! She must’ve told him everything! I’ve got to get out of here! I’ve got to get out of here. No, I will go in and kill them myself! Yes, that’s what I’ll do! And nobody could ever connect them with me. There couldn’t even be the remotest connection! Yes, I must look for a...yes here, it is. Fancy that! An axe right by my feet! Yes, nice and heavy! Time to go! No, let me think through this. Could there be anyone else in the house? In the car? A servant? A guard or something? Can’t be, I’ve been here for hours now. Didn’t Neha tell me once about that sinister looking friend of her husband who always stayed with him? Could he be here? Hey, wait a minute! Wait a minute! They want to kill me! They, could he be the...I need to get out of here! Forget the axe. Just, lets get out of here! Run, run run...yes, there’s the barn door...And, oh No!