The old man stood alone confronting the headstone. He looked at the name of the girl, who had died in her early twenties. Tears fell. He thought of the betrayal, several years ago. How she had requested him for a hug and a kiss – and when he had relented – how she had screamed out loud that he had physically abused her. That, along with her clothes which she immediately slashed, had made the authorities place the blame on him and eventually expelled him from the institution.
He thought back to how he had received a secret letter of death. He remembered how he first misread the anagram as
Kill the bearer of this letter.
And had proceeded to use it to achieve death. But in the process of delivering it to her he had realised he had misunderstood the handwriting, and then understood the order of the anagram. It actually had read
Kill the reader of this letter.
The papers were laced with potent poison. Anyone who licked their fingers while turning the sheets would die. And so, he made sure the letter reached her. The letter’s addressee which had been
To H. A. Ted 25.8, Praying Tour
Actually had meant,
To Death.. √666 In Purgatory
She had suffered death by reading. A medical examination found one poisoned letter in one hand, and fingers with poison on the other hand. The doctor had announced that the girl had never suffered any assault.
Which meant that the he was innocent.
Acquitted of all charges he had his scholarship reinstated on him. He led a full life. A cursed life, though.
He never sought the company of the fairer sex. Every time he looked at the face of another woman, he could only remember the betrayal that he had faced in his life.
Senile decay made him forget. He forgot to forget her. She suffered death – a punishment too grave for her mistake. And he suffered loneliness – and for what crime?
A permanent decision must never be taken in a temporary frame of mind.
The inscription below her name glowed out to him in the dark as the wizened old man fell. He had lived alone. Now he died alone.
Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Week (June 24 – June 30) – 369 words. And on a personal note, thank God I am done. I just realise that for quite some time my posts have been depressing enough. Please look forward to some cheery and ebullient posts from now on 😀 And thanks for reading. Yes. Guilty as charged. I did overlook the word limit – but I’ve hidden small recaps within this story for any first time readers – and hence the length.
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