Strong gust of current, laced with dust ruffled her hair as the bus zoomed past, dropping her at the stop. Settling her unruly locks, she took in a long draw of sunny warm fresh air around her. It was a golden Sunday morning. There was a magical pull in her gait as she started walking down the lane. She was romancing it for the past few weeks…an old, imposing Victorian bungalow towards the wealthy northern end of the city. It had held her captive for long with its rustic charm, not letting her interest go down a notch, even once. Rendezvous with it, every Sunday, had offered her new insight about its intricacy and delicate beauty.

Approaching the old banyan tree which gave a chirpy, rustling company to the old bungalow, her favorite spot, for taking a good look at her muse, she took note of a faint streak of sadness in her heart. For today was going to be the final finishing touches that she was to give to her painting of it.

Her zesty pace was suddenly arrested as she saw a Police van at stone’s throw from the bungalow. An eerie silence had enveloped the passive movement of the policemen in and out of the bungalow. Clueless, she stopped in the middle of the road. Melancholy oozing out of the barbed fence of the bungalow crept through her unsuspecting mind, gripping her heart.

With the throat going dry, she changed her track and turned to a modest café which was nothing but a garage of another bungalow, a few blocks across her muse. The café was a one-man show. She had thought of taking it up as her next project. The fresh aroma of toasted bread and brewing coffee tried to soothe her tensed nerves in vain. Instead, sights of an old lady working in the garden with a beautiful young girl, maybe her daughter, by her side, wafted in her mind. It was this Sunday morning routine of gardening by the duo that had punctuated the charismatic appeal of the bungalow.

“What may be wrong?”, she wondered, a little loudly as she plonked into the iron chair which had made the usual screeching noise. “Something to do with news in today’s paper?”, she mused.

“Early today?”, distracted a voice which suddenly put a break on the fast pace of buzzing guesses that pulled her apart in senseless directions.

“Oh, sorry. Good morning Mr. Jonathan”, she stuttered trying to focus on the present and saw the Café owner, filling the glass of water for her.

“What can I serve you this morning? Sunnyside up with toasted bread and a hot cup of coffee? Or the simple bun maska pav with a steaming masala chai?”, he enquired in his welcoming voice, knowing her preferences from her visits spanning the last few weeks.

“Bun maska pav with a strong masala chai”, she stated.

“In a few minutes. Here’s today’s newspaper to fill in the time”, he said placing the neatly folded newspaper on the table.

Thanking him with a nod of the head, she glanced outside the window that gave her view of the Mansard roof of the bungalow with its dormer windows standing still in a row. The laced, snow-white curtains behind the glass windows barred any and every casual sneak peek. Sighing, she placed her bag on the chair and rested her easel on it. She pulled the newspaper and hastily turned its pages to read the news she had briefly read in the morning.

“Suicide”, said Mr. Jonanthan as he placed the cup with vapors drifting.

“That’s what the paper says. Sad, eh?”, she questioned back.

“Indeed. Not for the reason that is presented but for the reasons that run deep”, he said with a doleful voice.

“Murder?”, she said with fear gripping her soul.

“Its for you to contemplate and police to find out if they can. As you can see that was one of the last two bungalows which stood tall amongst the skyscrapers around. It was an eyesore for ‘FSI’ greedy”, he clarified.

It was the moment of epiphany as her glance met with the posh, modern-looking skyscrapers around the bungalow.

“Don’t be surprised if you find another news of the closure of this café for the same reason”, he said, as if prophetically, making her heart miss a beat…


Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash
Explore previous stories at Stack of Stories

 

Categories: Short Story

29 Comments

Sunanda oke · April 6, 2020 at 7:20 am

Loved this story . A sad truth of what is happening under the garb of modernisation , beautiful structures which brought tranquil to the surroundings are razed to bring in the cacophony of people . Very crisp writing . Keep it up !!!!!

soniadogra · April 6, 2020 at 7:54 am

You are adding some very fine pieces of flash to the challenge. I loved the urgency you created. The suspense and the absolutely placid contrast of Mr Jonathan. Thoroughly enjoyed!

Simon · April 6, 2020 at 7:56 am

That was short and crispy ✨👌😉 Loved it.✨✍️Have a wonderful day ✨💐

purbajune · April 6, 2020 at 9:56 am

Very well written. Crisp and intriguing from the very first word.

matheikal · April 6, 2020 at 10:45 am

A rather menacing end!

jyotiarorablog · April 6, 2020 at 10:50 am

Enjoy reading every next line of the story. Suspense kept it allbuigh. Wonderfully penned!!

Ravish Mani · April 6, 2020 at 11:20 am

Wonderfully articulated the epiphanic contrast 🙂

pythoroshan · April 6, 2020 at 11:58 am

that end is truly scary… mainly because there is a realism to it…

jaya1966 · April 6, 2020 at 12:12 pm

That was a lovely piece of writing Anagha. And you struck the chord right at the end. Tall skyscrapers are indeed killing the old world charm of our cities…

Poorvi Khare · April 6, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Fabulously penned! Loving your stories.

Shweta Suresh · April 6, 2020 at 1:23 pm

That’s heartbreaking. I love the way you described the setting so beautifully. Poo Mr. Jonanthan! I hope a similar fate isn’t what is in store for him. Great story. 🙂

Balaka · April 6, 2020 at 3:38 pm

That is an interesting story. I thought, the story was set abroad, but the mask pav cleared the doubt 🙂

mommytincture · April 6, 2020 at 5:53 pm

So good to read. Beautiful! I can’t really find the right words to express how impressed i am about the way you have meshed up the normal incident with a trend that is a product of modernisation

Keith's Ramblings · April 6, 2020 at 6:03 pm

An intriguing tale with a worrying conclusion. Well done.

E is for…

Unishta · April 6, 2020 at 7:01 pm

I wonder if this current crisis will stop the greed of developers to bring down bungalows. It is a shame how ruthless they are…. especially since most houses are empty.

https://mumbaionahigh.com/2020/04/dealing-with-employees.html

Shreyas Joshi · April 6, 2020 at 9:02 pm

A sad truth we all see but tend to unsee under the pretext of development. What a sophisticatedly woven scenery and delicately balanced yet mind blowing run up to a mind boggling twist to keep you lingering for more! I’m no blogger or an esteemed writer, but this is what keeps pulling me back…an epiphany in the story when you least expected it!!

Gleefulblogger · April 6, 2020 at 10:44 pm

That’s the sad reality, poignant ending. My heart swells with the sadness when read something like this, as I have seen this tragedy up close and personal. You have weaved a lovely story Anagha.

Hope you like mine https://www.gleefulblogger.com/embracing-love-short-love-stories/

Swarnali · April 6, 2020 at 11:31 pm

Loved the climax Anagha. The whole weaving was so beautiful. It was soothing, and the narration was like I am watching a serial episode. Just wow. Waiting for more from you.

Shilpa Garg · April 6, 2020 at 11:49 pm

Aah! This happens to so many people! Sad but true.
A well crafted story, Anagha!!

Varad · April 7, 2020 at 1:04 am

The climax came out of nowhere with a huge bang. This was a great read, Anagha.

alpanadeo · April 7, 2020 at 2:32 am

Thanks to A2Z that I am able to read these beautiful pieces on daily basis. Your word selection is so powerful Anagha. Tall, sophisticated looking buildings/developments have dark sides too. I am curious to know your inspiration behind these stories..how do you decide what write? Each and every story is special and unique in its own way…

msjadeli · April 7, 2020 at 8:05 am

This story has the ring of truth. There are those who will let nothing get in the way of “progress.” So much has been lost — including lives — in its name. You have a way with words.

Suchita · April 7, 2020 at 1:06 pm

The turn from romancing a house to the horror of reality was so gently and masterfully done. Loved it!

jazzfeathers · April 7, 2020 at 1:19 pm

Goodness. That is grim. Still, I dont’ doubt it reflects reality. Sadly.

@JazzFeathers
The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

Natasha Duncan-Drake (call me Tasha) (@beren_writes) · April 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm

Greed in the modern world – such a terrible thing. Makes me hope someone does something to make sure that bungalow stays right where it is forever.
Tasha 💖
Virginia’s Parlour – The Manor (Adult concepts – nothing explicit in posts)
Tasha’s Thinkings – Vampire Drabbles
P.S. Sorry for being late to comment – it’s been a bit mad getting ready for the podcast to drop today. 😂

Gayatri Gadre · April 7, 2020 at 6:06 pm

Lovely read with a sad truth. Enjoyed all your stories so far. Looking forward to the rest of them

Namratha Varadharajan · April 8, 2020 at 12:41 am

That started off like the breeze and ended with a hard blow to the gut! Well done!

Ira Mishra · April 8, 2020 at 3:53 am

Wow your stories are each so good… I really hope you go for publishing a short stories book on these… Your narration is just too good

Pashmeena Chowdhary · April 9, 2020 at 12:35 am

You write wonderful stories..😍 This one was based on a harsh reality.. Sad but true..

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