The Necklace

Ravi couldn’t believe his luck as he eyed the necklace lying under the rotten garbage. His eyes glistened with greed and he moved his tongue over his lower lip. He didn’t mind the putrid smell that invaded his nostrils. Neither did he mind the maggots swarming the bin and moving up his arms. He moved aside a few polythene bags and dove his hand deep into the bin to rescue the piece of jewelry. A grunt escaped his mouth with the effort but he smiled as his fingers hit the chain.

Siya will be so happy to see this. Bet she would even forgive me for forgetting our anniversary, he smirked.

Taking a tissue, he wiped the delicate golden chain carefully, all the while admiring the teardrop pendant. It was blood red in color and was sparkling like a ruby. He couldn’t help but think how it must have cost a fortune.

Pleased that his cleaning efforts gave very desirable results, he pocketed the necklace, walked up to the garbage truck and drove away, daydreaming about the expression on his wife’s face when she would see the necklace.

When he got home Siya was busy cooking dinner and didn’t pay him much mind until she felt him slide something on her neck. She touched the golden chain and exclaimed at the sparkling pendant.

“Oh my God! This must have cost a fortune! How did you afford this?”

“It looks beautiful on you”, Ravi sidestepped the question.

She smiled and nestled against his arms, feeling his strong muscles hold her close.

They forgot all about dinner and rushed to the bedroom.

As Ravi undressed he heard Siya curse loudly. Strange. She never curses, he thought.

“Honey, Please help me take this necklace off”, Siya called after him.

He went to the bathroom, wishing to take off more than just the necklace.

“Shoot! The clasp’s broken”, he exclaimed as he examined it.

“You have to take this off”, Siya panicked, “It is getting tighter by the moment!”

Ravi struggled with the clasp some more but finally gave up. He tried to pry the necklace off his wife’s neck but the chain that had looked delicate proved to be as strong as a vice.

“Quick”, Siya panted, out of breath. “Ï can’t breathe!”

Ravi realized that the chain was getting tighter and it was now cutting into his wife’s neck even though she was clutching it with both her hands. He joined in her efforts and sliding a finger under the chain, tried to break it. He had expected the chain to snap at this but it didn’t. Grunting, he applied a bit more pressure and suddenly yelped as the chain cut through his finger. Siya shrieked as she saw his finger fall to the ground and the blood spurted on her face and neck. Horrified, they saw the blood move towards the pendant and disappear as if the pendant was sucking it up.

Panicking, Siya doubled her efforts to break the chain even as her husband stood in a corner horrified at the sight. Her voice was sore with all the screaming and her breath came in pants. Blood started dripping from the cut on her neck. She fell to the ground with the effort as the cut now became deeper and blood started squirting from her neck. There was no mess though because the pendant drank it all up as it increased in size and shone more brightly.

Punishment

Bobby felt an elbow poking him on the side and heard his friend whisper, “Get up, Bobby! Mr. Jones is looking at you.”

It took huge will power to open his eyes and as soon as he did, he stared right into Mr. Jones’ eyes. Bobby squirmed, shifted in his seat muttering a ‘Sorry, Mr. Jones’ and looked down at his open book. History was his least favorite subject and add to it Mr. Jones’ boring drone of a voice. Of course, the tiredness due to last night’s party was no help either. Bobby felt his eyelids droop as he listened to the events leading to the Battle of Plassey.

“Get up, Bobby. Class is over. We have to go and make the project. ” He felt another poke at his ribs and grunted. “Get up!” He felt Sid shaking him. “Okay, okay I’m coming!” He shouted at Sid with his eyes still closed. Bobby heard Sid walk away showering the choicest expletives at him. I’ll get up in just a minute, he thought, as he allowed the quiet room envelop him into bliss.

A coughing fit woke him up. He cursed under his breath and reached for the water jug on his bedside table. Wait. There is no bedside table. Puzzled, he tried to get up but fell on the ground as he hit something. “Shit!”, he exclaimed as his eyes got accustomed to the dark. I am in the classroom,he thought.

He suddenly felt weak in the knees, and his heart seemed to jump out of his body. He ran to the front of the classroom, hitting the occasional bench now and then, and turned on the light switch. Nothing. He flipped the switch several times with the same result. He then ran to the door and turned the handle over and over again. Locked. He banged his fists on the door and shouted, “Help! Is anybody there? Please help me!” He kept on shouting and banging the door, sometimes with his fist, at other times with his feet. He started to cough again with all the shouting and grabbed the teacher’s table for support when he thought of the windows.

He walked over to them and opened the glass panes. A breath of fresh air entered the class and with it some light. He looked down at the grounds as a thought of escape came to his mind. Can I jump? No, It’ll probably be my death. He sighed and brushed that thought aside. He shouted again, several times in fact, for help. Maybe the gatekeeper or the gardener will hear me. How come the peon never saw me sleeping in the class, he wondered. He must have forgotten to look here. He cursed the wretched peon under his breath and concentrated on shouting for help. He didn’t see a light or hear any sound. Crying, he slid to the ground and sat sobbing for a long time. Mum, Dad. Please come looking for me, he prayed.

A sudden noise startled him, and he got up to his feet in a jiffy. He ran to the door and started shouting again. “Help! Please! Anybody there? I’m stuck in the History room.” He heard the shuffling of feet as somebody walked toward him. Relief washed over him as he heard the sound and banged the door again to let the person know where he was.

He heard a key turn in the lock and the door opened. Bobby blinked several times as the light from a heavy duty torch hit him in the eyes. Shielding his eyes with his hand, Bobby looked at his rescuer.

“Mr. Jones! I am so glad to see you! The fucking peon forgot to look in the class, and I was trapped here for ages. Thank God you’re here!”

“He often does that. Forgets to look in the classes, I mean,” the history teacher offered.

“He should be punished for that, don’t you think? I mean, what if I had died here?”

“Yeah. Maybe. Talking of punishments, Bobby, don’t you think you ought to be punished for sleeping in my class?” asked Mr. Jones as he revealed a butcher’s knife in his right hand.

“You must be joking, right?” Bobby panicked and began to back off from the teacher.

“No, I’m not”, said Mr. Jones as he struck with the knife.