The old man stood as if he was confronting the headstone. The grave was of a girl who had passed away in her youth. Her name brought back memories that were stained with the pain she had wrought onto him. He remembered it like yesterday: her advances, his refusal, and the consequent betrayal.
How she raised the suspicions of the authorities towards him and got him expelled because she wouldn’t take no for an answer. He then remembered the bargaining and the way out that was offered to him – to deliver a letter to the head of a notorious institution. It would have been made him the messenger of his own death. His initial folly while decoding the message made him read the message erroneously.
Kill the bearer of this letter.
He thought he was going to be killed when the letter was delivered. But it took an accident to the postman to give him the opportunity to redirect the mail. It was that shot of adrenaline that made him able to read through the message with clarity
Kill the reader of this letter.
The papers had been laced with a potent poison. It would seep through the skin of anyone handling the letters. It was sheer luck that he had decided to wear his woollen gloves while travelling. He had switched the letters, thus ensuring that he got away with revenge and a scholarship.
This was his life. A full life. And yet, a cursed life. He was never able to seek the company of women after that. Every time he met one, he could only remember the betrayal that he had faced in his life.
Neither of them had been able to live the life that they needed to. It was because of permanent decisions that were taken in a temporary frame of mind. Her name glowed out to him in the dark as if beckoning him to the next life. The wizened old man fell.
He had lived alone. Now he died alone.
On a personal note, I realise that some of this stuff is quite dark. Murder, vengeance, false claims to derail a character, and so on. Please don’t take inspiration from these characters. It’s always better to communicate with those whom you have a problem with. If they’re not open to it, it’s better to ignore them all.
I did overlook the word limit this time, but I wanted a way to finish this story and tie up any loose threads that I might have missed out before this.
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