Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Mystery

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 17; the seventeenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Painting by Rudy Nappi; c. 1963

I entered the apartment, intoxicated. The smell of liquor was strong on my breath. I'd come from a party. I'd been there only a half hour previously. As I switched the lights on in my own apartment, I had a sense of foreboding but as the lights came on and I saw the neat artsy interiors, I smiled smugly to myself and drew myself away from my thoughts.

I'd drunk too much at the party I was at a while ago. A friend of mine had just gotten a job after a long wait. It was something to celebrate. A few shots of tequila and some whisky later, I was feeling pretty good and I had enjoyed myself thoroughly. I called my wife. She'd been staying with a friend of hers for a few days. I hoped they'd been having a good time. She'd seemed a tad bit rude, though. I wonder why.

I entered the living room with the Persian rug that I loved so much. There wasn't a stain on it. I wondered why. Why did this thought come to my head? I don't know. I'm drunk. Nothing can be explained when you're drunk. I called dear Larry to thank him for the best party that I've had in a long time. Pretty damn good it was, too. Maybe I was tipsy but I think I did hear him answer saying I'm welcome for more. Damn right I'm going to ask for more; I'm his best friend, after all!

I entered my bedroom. Alice, my wife, was probably still at her friend's place. What was her name again? She lived in the same building. So who cares what her name is anyway. I just had this urge go to the restroom before I hit sack. Alice does get mad if I drop onto the bed dead drunk. So I did.

The bathroom was a sight. Weird. There was a lot of water in the bathtub, bubbles emanating from it. It was still warm. It was a little red. A reddish hue, maybe? I can't be sure. It's been a while. I do remember Alice lying in it, her head bobbing up and down beneath the water. Her body was naked with deep gashes all over it. Something was written on the mirror and something of the same colour splashed all over the white tiled marble floor. I was frightened. I gathered some of my wits and stepped back. Alice couldn't be dead. I'd seen her not a moment ago, hadn't I?

The hallway in my apartment turned dark. Who did this? I know I was drunk but I couldn't be imagining things already. I couldn't have been hallucinating. I called Larry again. He didn't answer. Was he dead too? Now I was panicking. I rushed to where the phone should be, oblivious in the dark, floundering around. I stumbled and fell on something hard, entangled in something long. It was the phone, with all its wires and paraphernalia. It was disconnected, broken rather.

There was a loud thump at the door. My heart stopped. Was I hallucinating? No, this couldn't be. My wife's dead in a bathtub and now I'm about to be cut open as well. No. WHAM. Something hit me on the head sharply on the back. As I turned back, all I saw was a cold face staring back at me in the semi-darkness. I blacked out.

I woke up the morning wearing a straitjacket, in a padded cell supposedly with a printed letter on my body.
From what I heard from the orderlies, it went like this -

Dear Robert,

I love Alice. You have known that and have ignored it for far too long. You're an alcoholic and abuse her way too much. I can't stand it. I can't tolerate watching and listening as you beat her and rape her every night. I'm always there. I can't help not being there. I live down the hall from you and I'm your best friend, always with you, after all.

You should know that for the past year, more or less, Alice and I have shared some intimate moments together and I am led to believe that she loves me too and therefore, I have asked you on many occasions to reconsider your marriage with her. You're not good for her. You never listened to your best mate. It had gone far too long, far too much for me to take. I had to do something. I tried standing you up. You killed her. You killed your own wife, just because you saw us kiss once? How could you do that? You slashed at her with a kitchen knife; gutted her down in your bathroom. You murderous bastard.

But I understand. It's the alcohol. So I have a remedy. You killed her in the evening. Tonight, we had a party. My party. My new job. You were dead drunk again when you returned home. I told you she'd be with a friend. You believed me. I waited for you. You came. I had you at my mercy but I decided to spare you. I hope you'll be at peace now, in solitude.

Your friend,

As I was read this letter, nothing coursed through me. Not the anger that should bubble like hot lava through my veins. Not the cold icy projections that should cut through spines. Nothing. Makes me think in my most peaceful moments sometimes – what really happened that night?

As the orderly took the letter away after reading it to the patient for the umpteenth time, he looked at the back of the letter, at the little postscript that the patient apparently did not know existed. It said -

In Memory of Alice Roberts, deceased wife of Larry Roberts. People deserve what they get for what they do.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.


vineet said...

unparallel, superv dude,such n impressv flow n felt like geld 2 it,touchmate..feeling shrt of wrds, seriosuly

Amity said...

Hmmmm...who did it?

It's a beautiful narration D2, a gripping story of another show of domestic violence...

But I found some kind of a confusion in the end...

Nevertheless, its an interesting plot for a mystery take here!

All the Best for BAT D2~

Miss D said...

The interesting question is why exactly is Robert a patient.
For being physically hurt by Larry or some other mental ailment which is left for the readers to guess?

and as usual, splendid piece of work!!

D2 said...

@vineet : Thanks for the appreciation, mate. :)

@Amity : Thanks a lot. :)
However, if you read between the lines, you would see that there is in fact no confusion at all. And inspect the names properly. All the best to you too.

D2 said...

@Enchanta : If you look at the names and the one in bold in the end, you'd notice that the patient's name is not Robert, but in fact Larry Roberts. I hope that clears up any doubts that you may have had earlier. I added the few lines at the end for that very reason. Glad you liked it. :)

Miss D said...

Holy Moly!!
This is GOOOOOD work !!
I wonder how I was so unobservant ?!

Standing ovation for the concept.

MuddassirShah said...

I concur with Enchanta
Nice nice :)
and the painting is wonderful

Someone is Special said...

wonderful plot.. nice mystery..

All the Best for BAT..

Stop by,Someone is Special - The Mysery

--Someone is Special--

D2 said...

@Enchanta : Thanks. :)
And that's quite alright. I tried t surprise. :P

@Md. Muddassir Shah : Thank you so much. :)

@Someone is special : Thank you. All the best to you too.

Purba said...

Chilling story

adarshs said...

a really nice post my friend....felt quite confused for some time bt i did work it out, i think....a case of dual personality mayb!!

D2 said...

@Purba Di : Not too icy, I hope! :P

@adashrs : Thanks, mate. And yes, you worked it out correctly!

Cherry Blossom said...

What an interesting plot D2. I was totally engrossed till the end and got goosebumps after the concluding part. A well developed plot with excellent narration with a gripping concept. All the best to you.

D2 said...

@Cherry Blossom : Thank you so much. All the best to you too.

Kshitij KK Khurana said...

Great job D2! Really good job on this.

I admit I did get confused like others here... but went through the comments section and sought clarity.

Fine job!

D2 said...

@Kshitij : Thanks a lot. I can only hope that the post wasn't too confusing so as to call it mundane!

Maddie said...

Nice! Chilling! Wonderful flow!

All the best!

D2 said...

@Maddie : Thanks a lot.

aativas said...

Initially I was confused. Then I thought I understood it rightly. Then again I am confused. That is bit too much mysterious :-)

D2 said...

@aativas : Well I'm certainly glad it piqued your curiosity! :D
The title is, after all, The Mystery!

Alcina said...


Was different from what all i read till now..

Nicely penned down..

All the best for BAT-17 :)

D2 said...

@Alcina : Thank you. I did my best.
All the best to you too. :)

Dr. Pratibha Singh said...

very different and interesting story with ups and down.ending is superb.
all the best for BAT.

D2 said...

@Pratibha : Thank you so much.

Yamini Meduri said...

a bit confusing at the end but definitely interesting..!!!

All the best for BAT dear..!!!

Yamini Meduri - The Mystery

Yamini Meduri

D2 said...

@Yamini : Hope you succeeded in finally understanding it!
Thank you for your wishes.

Srikanth said...

MPD.. cool concept.. Didn't realize it until I read the comments.. Your post reminded me of the movie shutter island.. I meant the mystery.. Good luck

Rocksa said...

Hello D2!

I see the word confused put to frequent use! Would it be a relief of sorts to hear I wasn't confused? :D Well plots like this are definitely ambiguous in nature but then a lot depends on the interpretation as well.

A lot of people told me 'The Secret Window' movie was too difficult to decipher but it is one of the best movies ever made as far as I'm concerned :)

Like that movie, your story forces a reader to think and if someone ain't ready to do the thinking,that is sad since that is the bottom line of a mystery story!

ATB with BAT :)

D2 said...

@Srikanth : Yes, Multiple Personality Disorder it is. Glad you deciphered it!
Shutter Island's plot is a lot more intricate, of course.

D2 said...

@Raksha : I am so very glad that you recognized the mystery. All such stories must be ambiguous, as you rightly said. It's nice to have a reader who can sift through the duality. :)

Yes, Secret Window was certainly very thought provoking. But it's quite obvious at the end of it. Johnny Depp does a great job in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's book.

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