Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Samreen - A short story

Written for Sunday Scribblings prompt 'Grounded' and Carry On Tuesday 'When I think of home'


When Samreen came to London she thought her life would change. She was right. But her life changed in a way she never expected. Phil promised her the earth, but what she got was a world away from her dreams.
          One winters morning she sat curled up in a corner of her room, her arms gripped tightly around her. Upturned furniture and smashed ornaments littered the floor. Her bruised face throbbed. When she thought of home, a haze of sadness and longing shrouded her. She had no choice, she had to return.

                                     *


Now she felt safe. Her brother Prateesh took her in, and she realized that Delhi was really was where she belonged. Gradually the hurt subsided, and for the first time in months she was out of harm’s way.
It was a while before she ventured out into the streets. When she did, the noise, the smells and frenzied activity raised her spirits. Why she ever left, she could not understand.
          One day whilst strolling down the street she heard someone call her name; she couldn’t make out from where it came. She looked this way and that, but saw no one she recognised. And then suddenly a hand gripped her arm. She found herself staring into the eyes Phil, the man she thought she’d left behind. His eyes burned into hers and a mordant grin spread across his face. Terror flooded her body. She snatched her arm from his grip; where she found the strength from, heaven knows, but she did and she ran as fast as she could along the crowded path dodging this way and that and crashing into startled people as she went. She dared not look over her shoulder; all she knew was that she had to get back to the protection of her brother’s house no matter how she did it. She needed to cross the street and she did so blindly, rushing between tuc tucs, cycles and cars. The sound of blaring horns was deafening as bemused drivers swerved to avoid her. Somehow she made it to the other side, but still she didn’t look back; a few minutes more and she would be back to safety. But her body was aching with the effort; she was out of breath, exhausted. She dived into an alleyway and fell against the wall, panting, her face wet from perspiration.
          She stood there for a while before daring to peep around the corner of the building. Then she heard footsteps close behind her. She froze and suddenly everything around her moved in slow motion and she could hear nothing but someone breathing in her ear and the thumping of her heart. Then her legs gave way beneath her and she was caught just before collapsing onto the ground. She screamed and tried to struggle but could not find enough strength to do so. She slowly raised her head and looked into the face of the man who held her; Prateesh, her brother.
          The relief was overwhelming and suddenly she started to laugh hysterically. What happened earlier must have been her imagination playing tricks with her. Surely Phil hadn’t travelled here to continue his torment. As Prateesh held his sister in his arms she felt the cloud of fear begin to drift away.
          It was then the horror returned. She began to shake and raised her arm pointing to the other side of the road. Her brother asked what she was seeing, and she told him that her tormentor was standing watching them. Just at that moment a truck pulled up in front of them, blocking the view. Seconds later it edged forward. He was nowhere to be seen. Prateesh told her that she was imagining it.
          Then all hell broke loose. Cars were skidding to a halt and a cacophony of horns and voices filled the air. Phil was rushing towards her lunging into tuc tucs and leaping over the bonnets of taxis. Several cyclists crashed to the road and a scooter smashed into a stall scattering fruit all around. Then it happened. With an agonised screech Phil’s body flew into the air. Everything went eerily quiet as shocked onlookers gathered around his limp body which resembled a discarded rag doll. Grounded. A crimson pool formed around his battered head.
          Samreen put her arm around Prateesh and they began to walk home. Home at last; the place where she belonged.

6 comments:

  1. Very dramatic and also very well written...

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  2. Oh yikes... Well, I guess that nasty Phil got his just deserts.
    Yes, well told.
    Welcome back from your travels Keith :)

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  3. Fast moving and gripping. Well done.

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  4. Her fear was so palpable, great atmosphere. It is always good to read a story and want more.

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  5. Great story - I think I was holding my breath while I read this waiting to see what would happen!

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