The contest topis is:
Write a short story within 1500 words based on the following prompt.
There are two men sitting in the booth of a diner eating dinner together and talking. A woman sits outside in a parked car, watching them through the window. Who are they? What is their relationship to one another? What are the men discussing? What is the woman thinking? What does she do next? Write a story that opens with this scene and explores these questions.
They were seated by the window. Yet, they did not notice the black Mercedes as it came to a stop stealthily across the road. They were busy talking about the ‘good old days’. It was past midnight and there weren’t many people in the restaurant.
They were on their fourth drink, or the fifth one; it didn’t matter. They were on a nice high chatting up about old friends; old memories; old crushes; old adventures while digging in to grilled sizzlers and a beef steaks.
“It wouldn’t be too long before they walked out”, she thought to herself as she watched them from the Mercedes. She was dressed elegantly in a beautiful black chiffon sari.
She was six when her parents had taken her to the zoo. That was the first time ever that she had encountered orangutans. As she stood looking at the primates she noticed one orangutan staring at her. She felt a strong connect; a bond towards it. And thus began her love for orangutans. Her visits to the zoo increased.
She read up all that she could about orangutans from the local library. Her father, encouraged, got her more books about the pongo primates. She studied them all up. If she was ever asked anything about orangutans, she would respond accurately. She knew all about their anatomy; physiology; their ecology and behaviour. Everything.
They became her passion. For every dress-up party she would go dressed like an orangutan. She would swing on window grills and try climbing the doors. She would squeal, “look, dad; look, mom, I am an orangutan.” They thought she was cute.
Year 1996 – the year of paramount joy - The year when Dunston Checks In released. She was elated when her dad took her to see the film. She watched every scene awestruck. She envied the kid in the movie who had befriended the orangutan.
She wailed and cried the next day insisting that she wanted a pet orangutan. Her parents tried reasoning it out with her and finally settled at promising to get her the video cassette for the film as soon as it released; and they did.
Soon she knew the film frame by frame. She watched the hindi version of the film too – Ek Bandar Hotel ke Andar and memorised it as well.
Her obsession with orangutans just grew uncontrollable with time. When she got access to the internet, she would spend all her time reading up and researching about orangutans. She had read every book available on orangutans; seen every documentary on orangutans.
Every film with the remotest connection with an orangutan had been watched – Babe: Pig in the city; The Animal; everything. She even went to the extent of watching all Kishan Kumar films because she thought he had an uncanny resemblance with the orangutan.
He parents got her married to a wealthy man when she grew of age. The unfortunate guy had not the faintest of ideas about her obsession.
The man was quite taken aback when she had insisted that they go to
Borneo for their honeymoon. He
agreed nonetheless. Once there he was amazed to see her enthusiasm to visit the
Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Her reactions to the orangutans
But when she insisted on going every single day of their honeymoon to The Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, it kind of irked him.
As months passed by, it just got exasperating for him. She conversed about orangutans on social visits; her facebook profile picture was of an orangutan; she even spoke about them during lovemaking.
He tried to be tolerant. But when he realised that she was secretly deriving pleasure from the Amul Macho orangutan ad clip on her phone, he realised that he had to put an end to this madness.
Now our lady, amidst all her tantrums and obsession, was a very docile woman. And soon the man managed to discipline her well.
He was probably right at getting irritated with his wife’s obsession but he increased her misery by throwing away all the films and videos that she had collected. And slowly with time she stopped talking about orangutans.
A few years had passed by. The man had done well for himself and was a good provider. She was a good wife and served him well. Yes, she was dominated by him and she let that be.
One fine afternoon, while he was at work and she was surfing the television channels, she came across a documentary film on orangutans. She lapped it up like a thirsty animal; drinking in every details that the film had to offer.
Once the film ended she moved to the local news channel to be struck by the news of a giant orangutan having escaped from the local zoo. Oh, how she wished it would find its way to her house. This was turning out to be a good day.
And suddenly there appeared the trailer of a film -Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. The. Trailer. Showed. An. Orangutan.
It seemed like ages that she had watched a film with an orangutan. She had to watch this film. She just had to. All she noticed in the trailer was the orangutan. Not even Sunny Deol, whom she adored for the orangutan fist and feet pound dance, he always danced. Just the orangutan.
She had to see this film. But, there was no way she could go alone for the film. He would get mad at her if she even attempted it.
She had to plan this out well. She knew if he had the slightest inclination that this was about an orangutan he would never agree. Rather, he would be furious. She needed time to think. She hoped he would miss the trailers or posters of the film.
She was ready. The man was about to experience the most sensuous evening of his life. Once he was satisfied like he had never been she cuddled up next to him and said to him coyly, “Suniye ji, it’s been a long time since you’ve taken me out for dinner. How about a good dinner and a movie date tomorrow, hmm?”
He smiled back at her. It had worked.
“Ok,” he said, “which movie?”
“Umm, not too sure, but Priya had called today and was speaking about a movie she saw. Erm… I think it was something like Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. Sounds like a weird name though; you might want to check for something else.”
Amongst all her friends, she knew he was fond of Priya.
“No, let watch this Yamla Pagla...,” he responded.
Her heart skipped a beat. It had worked.
“I will pick up the tickets tomorrow,” she said.
“No, don’t bother; I will pick it up on my way to work.”
“Alright,” she said. She didn’t want to sound too anxious.
The next day morning as he left for work; she reminded him about the movie tickets.
She waited till she knew he would have had reached work. Then she called him, “Have you picked up the tickets, ji?”
“Yes, I did. It’s an eight o’clock show. I will pick you up.”
“Oh, I will drive myself to the theatre; you don’t bother,” she replied. She didn’t want to take any chances.
Her hands trembled as she disconnected the phone. She couldn’t believe her luck. All day long she flitted around; humming. She watched the trailer again and kissed the television screen every time the orangutan appeared.
This was a special day. She started dressing up early. She wore her favourite black chiffon sari.
Suddenly the phone rang: “Oh, darling; I have to tell you this. I met this really old friend of mine. He had dropped in to work. I will be going out for dinner with him tonight. I am sorry. We will make it to the film and dinner tomorrow, alright? Bye.”
Her eyes welled up as she disconnected the phone. It was heart-wrenching to watch her then. She cried and wailed inconsolably. “He knew,” she thought, “He knew it was about the orangutan.”
“He did this deliberately to torture me,” she said to herself. Her eyes flashed. She was wild, wild with anger now.
She got out and stood by the car. It was quite dark; she was sure she couldn’t be seen. She watched them as they walked out of the restaurant; she pulled out the gun and took her aim. She was about to press the trigger when she felt the presence of someone beside her. She slowly turned; the gun still in her hand.
What she saw softened her eyes with passion; her heartbeat increased with exhilaration.
But it was too late. He was already threatened by the gun in her hand. He pounced on her and slammed her head against the car with all his might.
The orangutan walked away with a growl.