The Curse of Faithfulness

“Please have mercy! I need the money to pay the fees for my child!” Ramesh pleaded. “You should have thought of that before missing your loan re-payment date!” Vijay growled, snatching money from Ramesh's hand. “You are nothing but Thakur’s pet dog. He makes you do all his dirty deeds, and like a fool, you do it blindly,“ spat Ramesh, his voice laden with fear. “Yes, I am,“ Vijay replied, his voice neither angry nor upset at the taunt flung towards him. He had heard these taunts before.  "Thakur took care of me when my parents abandoned me. If he asks, I will even lay down my life for him.“ Leaving Ramesh bawling, Vijay walked away, the money tucked in his pocket. Shabash! Vijay! You make me proud,” Thakur roared, clapping Vijay on his back as Vijay handed over the money. Moving closer, he said, “An inspector is gathering evidence against me. The fool is refusing to be bribed. The only way to save me from prison is to eliminate the Inspector. By tonight the deed should be done.”   Vijay nodded, his face impassive.  This was not the first time Thakur had given him such an assignment. Touching Thakur’s feet for blessing, Vijay set off to eliminate the threat to Thakur.  Half an hour later, Vijay’s bike came to stop in front of a bungalow. The naked bulb hanging outside cast a yellow light as Vijay tucked a revolver in his belt. After glancing around to check if the area was deserted, he rapped on the door.  A young woman opened it. “Yes?” she asked. “Call the inspector,“ he said, his tone brusque, his mind fixed on the task ahead. “I am the Inspector“.  Vijay’s eyebrows shot up. Thakur had not mentioned that the inspector was a woman.  Maybe this was the wrong inspector? “Sorry, I think I have the wrong house,” he lied, walking back to his bike. The door closed behind him as he pulled out his phone to call Thakur. Kaam ho gaya?” Thakur asked. “Thakur, this Inspector is a woman…?” Vijay said hesitatingly. “So? Eliminate her. And return fast. I have another task waiting,” Thakur ordered before disconnecting. Vijay turned back to face the bungalow. For a moment, he thought about disobeying Thakur’s orders for once. Of getting on his bike and leaving.   But then he remembered Thakur's kindness when everyone had forsaken him. Steeling his heart, he took out his revolver and knocked on the door again.  When the young woman opened the door, Vijay said, “I am sorry”, before pressing the trigger. As the woman’s body slumped on the floor, Vijay saw a toddler behind her. The toddler, stared accusingly at Vijay, as life seeped out of her mother’s body.  Horror-struck, Vijay ran back to his bike before casting up his accounts. Vijay continued his life, committed to being faithful to Thakur.  But Vijay couldn't sleep anymore. The moment his eyes would close, he would see the eyes of the toddler staring at him.  He had been cursed for his faithfulness.   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!