By Neel Anil Panicker

The scroll of the screen continued long after she closed her eyes.
For a long time she did nothing, simply sat there in the cold dampness of the basement, her mind in limbo, her senses benumbed, just unable to register anything, make any sense of what was happening all around her.

Could he have done this? Can a man nee a human being be ever so cruel, so  undevoid of any feelings, so…oh my…she was searching…wracking her bedraggled mind but falling short of words…words that would rightly  express the brutality of Askhay’s deeds.

Akshay…as she heard herself expelling his name, her lips went dry.

She found herself palpitating, perspiring, and panicky.

She turned further inward and tapped into an reservoir she didn’t  even know existed.

The words of a spiritual guru she had heard speak on YouTube assailed her ears.

‘All of us make mistakes. That is not a mistake. The mistake is not able to recognise we have made a mistake.
Those who are able to do so are better off once they undo the mistake.’

Yes, she had made a mistake.  She had allowed him to take over his heart and mind. She had been weak enough not to recognise that there dwelt a devil behind that external web of charm and sweetness and care that he had projected. And by doing so, she had allowed an evil to permeate, pervade his evilness onto her soul.

But it was not too late, as the guru had rightly affirmed.
It was to purge the evil that had wrecked havoc and made her life into a living hell.
It was time for vengeance; time to give back all that she had received.
It was payback time.

So resolved, Sara took a deep breath and opened her eyes;  this time her gaze was steady.
This time, as she looked at the computer screen, the rectangular box was no longer an amorphous maze of indecipherables that made zero sense.

Instead, it was, and this became all the more apparent, as Sara flipped one slide after another, that Raghav, this man, this beast whom she had so very foolishly mistaken to be her soul mate, was really a wolf in sheep’s clothing, was one hell of a demon who had not only through his various despicable acts deprived her of all her wealth but was also planning to snuff out her very life.

“You bastard…” The words were an agonising heart  wrenching scream.
But this time the emotion wasn’t one of despondency, of defeat.
It was more a lioness’ roar.
It was a war cry.
It was Sara’s first concrete steps towards reclaiming all that she had lost and of her deep resolve and conviction to bring Raghav to his knees, to destroy him like no other person had done in his two and half score pitiable existence on Planet Earth.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #shortstory

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