The Lady and the Soap

It was a serene and lovely day, and she’d decided to make full use of it by spending some time with herself in the Church grounds.

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The Church itself was almost empty today, it being a weekday, which was perfectly fine with her, as she was in no mood for company today.

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This had not been the case when she’d set off from her home. At that time, she’d been looking forward to meeting Martha, and listening to her latest installment of gossip about her husband Alex and his boss Fredrik’s wife Astrid. No no, they were not seeing each other, you dirty mind, they’d started an online business together, Starting-Up or something they call it nowadays, and were selling the same products sold by Fredrik’s company, but at half the price. For Fredrik WAS cheating on Astrid, and she believed firmly in the adage- If you can’t join ’em, beat ’em!

But I digress (as usual). This is not the story of Martha, or Alex, or his boss Fredrik, or his wife Astrid. So forget all you juts read. Just remember this- The lady in the first photograph was looking forward to chatting with people when she left home, but was now in the need for solitude.

And the reason for this drastic change in her mood was that she was sure that she was being followed, and her life was in danger.

She’d noticed them first on a sloping road overlooking the fjord that led to the Church. There were two of them, on a black bike, wearing black helmets and black boots to boot.

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But when she turned around to look at them closely, they’d disappeared.

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She then remembered that she’d seen a glimpse of those men just outside her home also, going at super-speed in the direction of her home while she was walking away from it. It hadn’t troubled her at that time, but now, she was not so sure.

So she sat quietly in front of the Church now, waiting for her friend Stella to drop by, so that she could ask her for her help and advice. And she didn’t have to wait for too long, for not much time had passed when Stella came ambling in.

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She told Stella everything, omitting no detail, howsoever small. Stella ruminated on it for a while, and then brayed, “These men certainly sound like they’re the black sheep in our small, peace-loving community. Let me go and check these rascals out. You wait here till then.” So she waited.

 

After around two hours, Stella returned and said, “I searched low, and I searched lower, but I could not find them anywhere. I’m so sorry for letting you down like this. But don’t worry, let us ask my friend Espen if he can give us a bird’s eye-view of the situation.”

She nodded with some hesitation and much trepidation, and Stella immediately took out a whistle from her coat, and blew on it with much gusto. And lo and behold, her friend Espen zoomed in and landed right next to them.

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Stella explained the entire situation to Espen, and he immediately perked up and said, “Don’t you worry ladies, I shall catch those miscreants within no time and bombard them with questions, and if I don’t get a satisfactory answer, then I shall bombard those men in black again, but this time with the black beans that I had eaten last night, and which are still giving me gas!” So saying, he took off in a jiffy, while the lady and Stella waited.

This time, they had to wait for four hours. And then they finally saw Espen returning, flying almost in slow motion. He tiredly landed in front of them, and said, “I’m afraid my lady, that I’ve failed you. I searched high, and I searched higher, but those black-hearted blaggards seem to have gone underground.”

Her face fell when she heard this admission of defeat. But it was getting late now, and she had no option but to return home. She would barely get time to prepare dinner before tonight’s episode of Sasural Simar Ka, an Indian soap opera which she’d become addicted to since the last five years. It was an accurate representation of day-to-day life of an average Indian housewife, confronting shape-shifting snakes, combating witches, getting converted into a fly, and finally, giving birth to the Devil’s progeny. These women in India have so much fun!

So she started walking back towards home with heavy steps, giving a start at each sound, jumping on seeing each shadow. She finally completed the 10-minutes walk to her home in one hour, but when she reached her front door, she saw something that made her heart jump into her mouth. No, not the shape-shifting snake from Sasural Simar Ka, or a wicked witch….she saw the black motorcycle that had been following her, parked right outside her home!

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She looked around for somebody whom she could call for help, but it was late, and everybody was inside their homes, watching Sasural Simar Ka. She took out her phone to call up the police, but then remembered that the solitary cop in their town had been bitten by a renegade moose whom he’d gone to arrest on the charges of drunken driving, and so was in the hospital, recuperating.

So she had no option but to enter her compound. She opened the gate silently, thanking God that she’d oiled the hinges just last year, and tip-toed across the walkway, towards the front door, when suddenly….

She saw the two men in black standing in front of her. She’d missed seeing them, so intent had she been on looking for them. She started shivering in fright. Seeing this, one of the men came up to her, his hand inside his jacket pocket, no wonder in the process of taking out a gun, and said, “We’ve been looking all over town for you.”

So saying, he took out his hand from inside his pocket. Her eyes were fixed on his hand. She was like a statue, petrified, like a deer on the highway, with headlights in his eyes. His hand came out, and she shrieked….

And the man jumped with fright, and shouted, “What is wrong with you lady? First you make us wait the entire day for a simple delivery from Amazon, and then you almost give me a heart-attack with your scream.”

So saying, he gave her a large box, and a pen to sign the receipt. She breathed a sigh of relief, angry with herself for being such a wimp. Her hand still shaking with the after-effects  of the adrenaline, she started signing her name….when the pen grew longer….and longer….and thicker….and thicker….and within no time, had became a giant anaconda.

She could not move, and kept staring at the shape-shifting snake in abject terror. Her worst nightmare had come true, and there was nothing she could do about it.

The snake reared its head, and swooped down to gobble her up, when suddenly, its eyes bulged with pain, and terror. He looked down with shock, and saw that the lady was holding a large Trishul, or trident in her hands, and all its three points were now firmly lodged inside the his body.

He fell down like a giant tree, right on top of the man who had come with him, making mincemeat out of his bones in the process. The lady was smiling, aware that she was safe now, and she pointed towards the box that he’d just delivered to her. The box was open, and she said, “I’d ordered this trishul from India after watching Simar use it on a shape-shifting snake in Sasural Simar Ka, as I found it to be very cute. Thanks for the delivery!”

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About anuragbakhshi

At the age of 40, I decided to exit the corporate world, and enter the world of stories as a full-time writer. Wish me luck!
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