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Short story writing contest - voting - *CLOSED*

U-No-Poo IF-Sizzlerz
U-No-Poo
U-No-Poo

Joined: 15 June 2007
Posts: 23486

Posted: 12 October 2009 at 6:44am | IP Logged
 
 
 
Aloha! Bonjour! Hello! Big smile The much awaited Voting round for the 'Short story writing contest' is about to begin! :D First of all, my hearty apologies for the unjustifiable delay, it shouldn't have taken so long :(
 
Now, coming to the good part! 7 entries have been shortlisted out of the 21 received! Star The enthusiastic response was extremely overwhelming! Approve Thankyou so much for your great response! All the entries have been evaluated and judged by a panel of 3 judges - Rabia (SuhanaSafar), Chhilt (Chhilt) and Jia (jia..)

All the entries were absolutely awesome and all writers deserve a round of applause for the all hard work put in by them - ClapClap Great work guys! It was hard for us to pick out 7 out of the 21 entries, since all of them were great, so all the people who've not been shortlisted, please don't be dissappointed as it was a very close competition Big smile 


Rules for voting:


1. Vote for only 1 entry for the following categories:

a. Best Concept
b. Best Story
c. Best Writer

2. You cannot vote for your own entry, it will lead to disqualification.
3. Don't make MIDs to vote for more than one entry.
4. Please read every entry carefully before voting. We want the most deserving entry to win :)
5. Voting ends on 19th October, 2009!
6. Post your votes here!
7. You can vote for the same entry for more than one category too :)


Without further delay, here are the 7 shortlisted entries! Big smile


Entry # 1: Checkmate


The brown eyes surveyed the skyscraper which leapt towards the sky, head held high in prudence and efficiency.
 
The man stood across the street watching the tall glass building. Several workers were taking down the metallic letters on the building'''
 
"Boone and Johnson Ltd"
 
His eyes occasionally darted towards the police station at the end of the street.
 
As the half the words disappeared he smiled to himself and sipped his espresso.
 
Two Months Ago
 
"Uncle, you have to help me''"
 
The wizened old man looked at the son of his late partner. Boone Jr. was like his father in many respects ' tall, handsome, athletic'
 
The most striking resemblance was the fact that both were extremely attractive to the opposite sex.
 
His deep blue eyes bewitched the fair sex, disarming them completely; making them fall at his feet with devotion and infatuation.
 
And that was exactly what had got Chaz Boone into hot water.
 
The lady in question had turned out to be more than the ones before her put together. She had laid her hands on his most private papers and was blackmailing him with a breezy pleasure.
 
A trickle of sweat ran down on the Greek-god-like forehead.
 
"I will reason out with this girl." He assured Chaz.
 
He turned his gaze back to the cherry wood table and looked at the design on it vaguely.
 
Many decades before, a similar problem had arisen and Richard Johnson had helped Charles Boone Sr. to negotiate. His sound advice had helped Boone save his reputation.
 
A month later, Richard had met an attractive and vivacious young woman and had promptly married her, and had had a beautiful daughter, Jennifer.
 
With Lila, Jennifer and the company, the incident had been tucked away deep into the recesses of him mind'''.
 
Chaz put the sheaf of papers he had brought along for signature.
 
He signed the papers absently''
 
Chaz was telling him about the worrisome state of the stock market'.But it fell on deaf years'.
 
Chaz was the one who used to keep him updated about the latest trend in the stock market. Apart from Chaz, no one visited the old miser's lonely quarters. He picked up the papers, and looked at one of them, smiling'.but Johnson was too disturbed to notice'''.
 
 
The white pawn moved across the first two houses''the black knight made a move menacingly.
 
It was raining heavily in the city of New York.  The rain whipped on the roads like lashes on a prisoner's back. The pounding sheets of rain had infused a certain uncanny sense of foreboding in the city.
 
In a dimly lit caf, two people were sitting across a table, steaming cups of coffee between them.
 
"Linda'..I cannot believe what you are saying!"
 
The girl smiled sardonically and rolled her eyes at the aged gentleman.
 
She tossed a bundle of papers on the polished wooden table. They landed with a 'thud' that reverberated in the empty caf. Fingers trembling, he picked up the documents and examined them'..
 
She inclined on her elbow and hissed in his ear, "Chaz is cheating you'''."
 
The white pawn slays the black knight as it makes an audacious move across the checked board'''.
 
A nondescript young man is the only other person in the dimly lit caf, eavesdropping on their conversation''
 
He listened carefully, gazing at some distant object, calmly stirring his coffee as he had to report every small detail to the person who had hired him.
 
Johnson, still in shock, did not even glance at him once.
 
Outside, the rain still pours in torrents'..
 
In other part of the city, the owner of a Multinational corporation, Boone and Johnson smirked to himself as he kept the phone down; he had finally got what he wanted.
 
His man had done a good job.
 
Hours later
 
Just next to the PI's apartment lives a lady. The doorbell of her house rings.
 
She opened the door to see the man. He said, "I have the information'."
 
Linda invited him in and offered him a cup of coffee......
 
The white pawn is joined by the white knight, which clears his way, striking down the black figures mercilessly'''
 
The next day
 
Linda was walking by the metro station, when she saw a dead body being carried out of the dump. She hid her smirk in her blond hair.
 
The white knight sidesteps the white pawn. The white pawn is stricken dead by a black pawn.
 
Johnson's house
 
Richard was pacing in his living room, beads of sweat running down his forehead'..
 
He switched on the TV'..The reporter was giving news of the stock market crash in which his company had suffered terrible losses.
 
His gaze turned back to his desk and he held up the DNA test report of his daughter, Jennifer''Her DNA did not match with his'She was not his daughter'.
 
Under the DNA test report lay various accounting sheets.
 
His Company was totally destroyed'..The difference between the actual profits and the apparent profits was one, which he was sure, he could never lessen in his remaining lifetime.
 
Chaz had been dipping into the office funds'.
 
The product of his life worth of hard work had gone up in poof and he realized, he was now all alone in the world''
 
His life was in pieces'His so-called-daughter hated him'she had run away from home at the age of thirteen and to his knowledge was currently enrolled in a drama school in England. He was not going to see her ever again...she had passed away about a month ago in a car accident'..
 
He rose with determination''
 
A fatal ache rose from his chest''With a thud, he fell down on the black leather chair.
 
Boone got up from the chair he was sitting in and walked towards Richard.
 
Casually picking up the papers on his desk and he stuffed them into the inner pocket of his coat. He walked across to the TV and brought the CD out from the CD player'
 
Poor Richard had been too disturbed to notice'..
 
He rushed outside and shouted to Johnson's PA "Somebody help!"
 
The white bishop eliminates the black rook with absurd ease'.the target was near'.
 
Police station
 
"I cannot understand still'the company was doing so well'..I'." Chaz's voice broke off'.
 
The attorney looked at Chaz with sympathy and said gently, "Do you know he has left you his entire property and his 51 percent holdings of the company's shares?"
 
Chaz wiped his eyes. "But what about Jennifer?"
 
The attorney lowered his eyes, "She died about a month ago...."
 
Present
 
Chaz sipped his espresso and smiled. A beautiful brunette walked out of the police station.
 
She removed her sunglasses and smiled at him brightly.
 
He kissed her and whispered into her ear, "Linda, you look better in brown hair than blonde."
 
Linda smiled her characteristic smile.
 
Out of the rest, of significance were the white bishop and the black bishop '''.
 
Three years hence
 
The same attorney was looking at Chaz with sympathy brimming in his eyes'..
 
"Why did the accident have to take her?" he asked to no one in particular before tears welled up in his eyes.
 
"I am so sorry for your loss'.But now you must look into your business'Now with Linda gone, you are the sole owner'.."
 
"I don't care for the company; just give me back my loved ones'.."
 
 
Chaz smiled crookedly as he walked down the length of the corridor''
 
"I am a way better actor than Linda ever was''.."
 
As Chaz exited the room, he heard the attorney say, "Poor chap'.Lost his business partner, who was just like his father'married his sweetheart and now she too is gone'.So much money, but no one to spend it on...no one to love!"
 
Chaz's world reeled on the spot. He clutched the wall....Beads of sweat ran down his forehead as he understood the enormity of those words.........
 
The white bishop stood in front of the black king'..Checkmate'''
 
 
Entry # 2: Open Ended Story
 
 
The weather often reflects the mood of the person , and the pounding of the raindrops on the pavement set an ominous scene for the clandestine meeting being held at the appropriately named En Secreto,  a small, intimate and most importantly discrete little coffee shop, tucked quietly into the corner of this busy main street two blocks down from the main financial hub of the city.

Two impeccably dressed gentlemen sat in the corner furthest from the door inside the small shop. None would have given these two men a second glance. It appeared as one of many power lunches that consume New York's Wall Street at lunchtime. However on closer inspection of the men, one would notice the shifty glances and nervous fidgeting being displayed by the elder of the two gentlemen. The second gentleman however appeared to be as cool and calm as possible, as he stared disapprovingly at the behavior of his companion. 

Alfred Smith, had been Chief Accountant of leading software giant, Ansoff, for over fifteen years. He was a family man with twin teenage daughters, a lovely wife and he lived in an upscale apartment in Manhattan. He was slightly overweight which was somewhat hidden under his tailored Armani suits and his receding hairline was beginning to turn gray.
 Life appeared to be good for the law abiding man in his mid fifties. But appearances can be deceiving. Alfred had been secretly embezzling money from his employers for many years now and investing it prudently with his longtime friend and close confidante, Wall Street's, most ruthless stock broker Kevin Rowen.

Kevin is known within the industry as not only ruthless, determined, and heartless but unarguably brilliant. His shrewd investments and his uncanny ability to pick the right stock at the right time was without doubt the most envied skill among his colleagues. And because of his astute business sense, he was also financial adviser to the biggest names in the world of business and beyond. From Drew Barrymore to Warren Buffet, his resume and client list seemed to be a who's who of any industry.

Secrets can be a dangerous thing. Alfred Smith knew the dangers of keeping secrets all too well. His guilt ridden conscience and timid ways made it even more unbelievable that he was about to become the mastermind of the greatest financial downfall since the Great Depression. Ansoff was the largest software developer in the world, with a net worth in excess of 7 billion dollars. On Wall Street, its stock was one of the most sort after and expensive commodity there was. Investment in this company was almost sure to triple the investment however losses would mean the death of the company. His plan to bring  about Ansoff demise must be put in motion today. Time was of the essence. 

It turns out that Alfred Smith was not as good at covering his tracks as he thought.  Whispers that Alfred's notorious activities had been found out had reached his ears early that morning, and hurriedly he called his partner in crime to confer. To save his own skin Alfred had decided that the best way to avoid detection was to bring the company down to its knees. Hard. And seeing as he was chief accountant he had all the weapons in his arsenal to do just that.  All he needed to start the collapse of this Goliath was a David. And that David was Kevin.

Leaning in close Alfred related the news that had rocked his world at the core to Kevin.
"So Al, what am I supposed to do here?  Pull out my magic wand and make this all go away? Or do you want to turn ourselves in? I'm sure that prison would suit you wonderfully." Kevin sneered angrily and sarcastically at Alfred.

" No no no, nothing like that." Alfred whispered hurriedly and frightened. " I need you to use your contacts to start a run on Ansoff's stocks. We need the prices to plummet fast."

" Right Al, like its that easy. Ansoff is the most viable company we have trading on the exchange today. We would need a major disaster to have the repercussions you expect.   A little rumour will not  a collapse cause. You can't save your skin with a plan like that! I would have thought that you of all people would have more sense than that. After all you have embezzled over 500 million from the company so far."

"Its not going to be a little rumor .  Ansoff is not as viable as you may think. The directors have been trying  to cover this up for a while now, but the company is sinking. Its rapid expansion in these third world nations put more of a drain on the company's finances than they expected. The money is gushing out and there isn't a plug in sight. As accountant, I've warned that the company would need to file for bankruptcy in a couple of months time. The board wanted to keep this quiet for awhile and hold its hands until the financial mess is sorted out. They have been able to procure some loans based on their name, but if those creditors knew the real state of the company, that would be the end."

Kevin listened intently and the wheels in his brain started to turn. As irritating as Alfred was, he didn't want him caught. Because that would mean big trouble for him. Helping him launder all that stolen cash would land him a good 10 years in prison.  Maybe a well placed call to Scott Hannigan, MTC Financial's,  trader would be enough to start this avalanche, seeing as Ansoff got it's loans from them.

" Consider it done. Lets meet at Antonio's  on Fifth Avenue at 5 this evening and we'll discuss further. "

The two men shook hands and left the coffee shop, pulling their trench coats close to their faces to avoid the raindrops as they stepped out of the shop. As they left they paid little attention to the man at the table across from where they were sitting, who was engrossed in his newspaper. Had they been paying more attention, they would have seen him pull out his cell phone as soon as they paid their bill, and they wouldn't have felt so confident of a clean getaway just yet.

Across town Roger Varnevic , the millionaire playboy and majority shareholder of Duran Holdings, Ansoff's biggest competitor, smiled to himself as he hung up the phone. Ansoff was crumbling. All he had to do now was sit and watch the show.  He was satisfied that he gotten what he wanted. His mole in Ansoff  had found the cracks and now the would watch the show.  Glancing at his watch, Roger realized that he had just enough time for a couple of meetings before he had to have his final meeting with his mole. Antonio's at 5. Can't be late now can I, Roger smiled as he turned to his computer.

Meanwhile, next door the bell rang. A tall, slim red headed woman whose body language oozed sophistication and danger went to answer the door.

A tall man in a grey trench coat stood at the door, holding a large envelope.
"Here's the information. The target will be at Antonio's at 5 today. My client request that the kill be quick and clean. He doesn't like messes."

The lady smiled, "I don't make mistakes or messes. I get paid to be discrete so tell your client to rest assured, Ivy will get the job down." Still smiling dangerously, Ivy closed the door and started on her plan. Her target didn't stand a chance. He wouldn't know what hit him. The world of business was a mine field of dangers.

 
Entry # 3: Of Conspiracies and Plotting
 
 

A young woman dashed across the street, her bag held over her head in a futile attempt to protect herself from the onslaught of rain. Her run was short, less than a minute long, still she was drenched by the time she stood at the door to Madiha's Masti. She wrung her dark hair, trying to make herself appear more presentable before giving up. It was not as though she needed to impress the person she was meeting anyways, and it was cold outside. She needed coffee, she decided as she pushed open the door. The bell chimed above her, and a familiar head of brown curls exited the kitchen.

The owner of Masti greeted her cheerfully. "So, the usual?" Madiha's eyes twinkled, handing her regular customer a towel she had procured.

The other woman smiled gratefully, putting her bag down onto the counter and slipping out of her orange jacket. She rubbed herself down briefly before asking, "Is she here yet?"

Madiha did not need clarification. There were only a number of people who frequented her cafe as often as this group of friends, and only one other member of said group was here at the moment. "At your table."

Another smile was flashed in her direction before the young woman picked up her stuff and walked towards the table by the corner. One hand  held the towel to the base of her neck as she continued to dry her hair distractedly.

"Have you seen this rain?" her friend greeted her, staring out in awe at the sleek of water pouring from the heavens.

 
She shot her friend and incredulous look. "Seen?" she scoffed. "I was caught in it, genius." She sank gratefully into the chair opposite her companion. "Why'd you call me here anyways?"
 
A smirk graced the other woman's face, her striking grey eyes gleaming. A rumble of thunder seemed to coincide with the wariness that grew in her friend's heart. The weather complemented her mood. Something was going to go wrong. Lightening lit up the sky, casting their faces into unearthly shadows.
 
"I have a plan," her friend placed her fingertips together. The darker haired girl was half-expecting suspense music to play.
 
"For?" she prompted.
 
Grey eyes lit up with mischief. The other woman did not know if she should be worried or excited. The pair leant forward across the table and began to conspire. They missed an oddly dressed man take a seat the table next to theirs. He leant to one side, his hat obscuring his face from view.
 
He left only when they did, gleefully swinging their hands in time to the song they sang. He walked quickly in the opposite direction. He had information.
 

~~~~~

 
Elsewhere, a young man put a leg onto his desk, frowning at the file in front of him. His secretary paged him, and his frown deepened. He would give anything to have a hot secretary.
 
"Sir, you have a phone call," the tinny voice informed him.
 
He grunted in reply and picked up the phone. "Bass," he greeted curtly.
 
The pen he had been twirling slipped out of his fingers as he sat upright. "Is that so?" he breathed, his lips tilting upwards.  "Good work Humphreys. Remind me to give you a raise."
 
He paused. "Alright then, remind me to start paying you."
 
He hung up the phone, his work forgotten. He stood up, letting the papers fall to the floor. He was gleeful, the rain doing nothing to dampen his mood. He glanced out the high-rise building to the sprawling metropolis beneath him. The Upper East Side was going to be quite shaken up with this news.
 

~~~~~

 
A doorbell rang in an apartment close by. A woman hastily switched off the gas and set aside her cooking before rushing to get the door. She opened it and a figure furtively stepped in, looking around suspiciously. The hat and trenchcoat were a dark brown, and completely wet.
 
"What the -"  she looked in confusion at the man in front of her.
 
The figure help up a hand. "I have information for you," his voice was husky, and the hand did not match the whole picture. The 'man' had dainty hands, too small to belong to a male. The voice too, sounded fake. The woman rolled her eyes and yanked off the hat. Long dark hair tumbled down a familiar face.
 
"Meera," the 'man' whined. "Tum puri effect kharaab kar rahi ho!"
 
"Ravjot," Meera started. "Why are you wandering around dressed like a guy? Aur woh bhi, inn kapron mein?"
 

"Main kissi ka peecha kar rahi thi," Ravjot stated matter-of-factly. "And when you hear what I have to tell you, you'll be thankful."
 
"You were following someone?" Meera asked incredulously. "Why?"
 
"Kyunki mujhe shaq tha," Ravjot paused for dramatic effective. "Aur woh shaq sahi nikla."
 
"Kaunis shaq? Kaisi shaq?"
 
"Bhavna and Nonee are planning something." Ravjot declared. "I overheard Nonee call Bhav to Masti, and got suspicious, so I followed them there today."
 
Meera wrinkled her nose. When those two decided to plan something, things went horribly wrong. "What are they planning this time?"
 
Ravjot hesitated. "Woh kya hai ki, tumhe acha nahi lagega," she bit her lip.
 
"Kya acha nahi lagega?" Meera was getting annoyed.
 
"They'replanningtosetyouupwithafriendofChuck'sandChuckdidn'tknowaboutiteithersoIcalledDantotellChucksothatChuckcould fixthings."
 
Meera blinked. "Again, and slowly this time.
 
"They're matchmaking," Ravjot said. "You and a friend of Chuck's. Chuck doesn't know," she added. "Or didn't. I'm pretty sure Dan's told him by now, and he'll do something, you can be sure of it. Especially since he and Nonee had that fight last week."
 
Meera rubbed her forehead. "Didn't that last disastrous attempt with Asma and Eric teach them anything?"
 
"Well, it's not as though they knew about Farhan," Ravjot commented. The glare she received from her friend made her shrink back. She mimed locking her mouth and throwing away the key.
 
"And then the whole situation with Sameer and Shifali," Meera went on. "They almost broke them up!"
 
Ravjot let her friend rant, biting the inside of her cheek to keep from speaking up.
 
"Ab tum chup chap kharey rahogi ya kuch kahogi bhi?" Meera demanded.
 
"Tum bol rahi thi, toh maine socha," Ravjot trailed off. "Adi ko phone karey?"
 
Meera nodded. "That could work. He is one of the few people who can control those two."
 
A crash of thunder punctuated her remark, causing Ravjot to jump and shriek. Meera smiled grimly as she picked up the phone and dialled the familiar number.
 
"Hello?" It was a female voice that answered. Meera was stunned.
 
"Radz? What are you doing with Adi's phone?" Aradhna sighed at the other end.
 
"Adi's ranting about how his sister is trying to meddle in his life again, and he's convinced she's plotting something," Aradhna sounded bored as she explained things to her friend.
 
"Nonee is planning something," Meera informed the younger girl. There was a beat, then muttered curses. "And Bhav's helping," she added. The curses grew louder and more inventive.
 
"I'm putting you on speaker, I think Adi needs to hear this as well." There was a beep sound, then Meera heard Adi's voice.
 
"What's the brat planning?" his fury was palpable even to Meera, and she was far from where he was.
 
"Don't worry Adi, it's got nothing to do with you," Meera soothed. "This time."
 
Aradhna spoke. "It's you isn't it?"
 
Meera sighed. "Yup. Lemme put you guys on speaker, Ravz has the information."
 
Ravjot bounded over to where Meera stood. "Radzie!" she squealed. "Are you and Adi dating?"
 
There was silence for a second before the two girls could hear peals of laughter over the line. The laughter was dying down when there was a muffled snort from Aradhna, and laughter broke out again.
 
"So no then?" Ravjot was disappointed.
 
"Absolutely not," Aradhna giggled. "I'm still on the BhavAdi bandwagon thank you very much."

Adi's laughter stopped abruptly. "You're supposed to be on my side!"

 

"I'm on the side that allows me to have the most fun," Aradhna retorted.
 
"Guys, focus," Meera scolded. "What do I do?"
 
"Go on the date," Aradhna replied promptly. Meera gaped in response. "Oh, close your mouth sweetie, and hear me out." Meera dutifully obliged while Ravjot wondered how Aradhna could see them from wherever she was with Adi. "Whenever the two of them attempt to matchmake, they follow the same framework. First, they'll arrange an event whereby the two they're trying to hook up will meet. Then, they'll arrange for the two to be left alone. And then, they spy on that couple."
 
"So, what?" Meera queried.
 
"So, you pretend like you don't know what's going on," Aradhna answered. "When whichever one of them calls you up, you agree to the plan, act normal. Then, when the day comes, you embarrass the heck out of them at the date."
 
Meera felt the beginnings of a smile. "That would be fun," she mused. "Can I call Chuck to help? He already knows."
 
"Chuck is one of the best people to help you," Aradhna admitted.
 
"And it's one of Chuck's friends that they're setting Meera up with," Ravjot piped up. "So he can help Meera, inform the guy beforehand."
 
"What's his name?" Aradhna asked, curiousity peaking.
 
Ravjot racked her brains. "Nick? No, no, Nate! Nate Archibald."
 
Aradhna gasped. "Nathanial Archibald?" she squealed. "Oh he's so cute, and so sweet."
 
"You know him?" Adi asked her.
 
"Yup, pretty well. He's a good friend of Blair's."
 
And that did explain everything. Aradhna had been living with Blair since their first year at New York University, and even after graduating from NYU, and Blair's engagement to Dan Humphreys, the two still stayed together. So it was obvious that she would have met this Nate.
 
"You know," Aradhna mused. "You and Nate would make a cute couple."
 
"Aradhna," Meera's voice held a note of warning.
 
"I'm just saying," Aradhna defended. "But now we have a plan, I'll talk to Blair, you call Chuck, and we'll send Adi with Starbucks to Bhav so that she'll spill the nitty-gritty details."
 
"Why do I have to go?" Adi asked.
 
"Because, one smile plus a dark chocolate mocha frappe and she'll love you for life," Aradhna explained. "Bye Meera, Ravz!"
 
"Bye you two," Meera replied. Meera hung up the phone only to spot Ravjot giving her a weird smile. "What?"
 
"Nothing," her friend sing-songed. "Can I stay here tonight?"
 
"Oh-kay," Meera gave her friend a look.
 
Ravjot skipped off towards the spare room before spinning around. She grabbed her head. "Head rush," she said. "One more time," she twirled quickly and once again, held her head with a hand. "That was fun," she giggled.
 
"Did you want something?" Meera asked in amusement.
 
"Oh, yeah," Ravjot giggled again. "I almost forgot. I need a change of clothes." She tugged at her wet shirt.
 
"Grab something from my closet," Meera told her friend, picking up the phone and dialling.
 
Ravjot nodded and turned and skipped off again, singing something under her breath. Meera shook her head and waited for someone to pick up the phone.
 

~~~~~

 

Three Months Later

 
Adi had an arm wrapped around his fiance, the beam on his face almost blinding. Or so his friends teased him. Bhavna's cheeks were flushed, and she kept stealing glances at the ring on her left hand. Aradhna shook her head in amusement. Another couple caught her eye, and she grinned.
 
Three months ago, Nathanial Archibald and Meera Dave had met up on a blind date, only the people setting up the blind date had not told them of the fact. Still, thanks to some pretty good spying on the part of Ravjot, the two had been warned in advance and had managed to turn it into a double date by dragging Chuck and Nonee along. The entire meal was spent with Meera embarrassing her younger friend, and Nate subtly egging her on. They had parted as friends, but two days later, Aradhna had gotten a phone call from Nate asking for Meera's number. They had never heard the end of it from Bhavna and Nonee.
 
Nate now bent forward slightly to whisper something in his girlfriend's ear which had her giggling slightly. Blair and her new husband only chuckled at the picture, Dan hitting his long-time friend's shoulder lightly to gain his attention.
 
"I cannot believe you Chuck Bass," Nonee seethed from somewhere close to Aradhna. The young woman sighed, wondering what had happened now that had the couple arguing before deciding that it was none of her business.
 
She made her way through the crowd to the balcony, cursing Bhavna for making her wear a dress. It was a pretty dress, but still, she never wore dresses and Bhavna knew that. Her shoulder hit somebody and the glass in her hand tilted. There was a wet brown stain on the young man's once pristine white shirt. Aradhna gasped. She opened her mouth to apologise.
 
"Dekh kar nahi chal sakti kya?" the man snapped, eyes blazing.
 
"Hello," Aradhna retorted, anger overriding common sense. "Galti ho gayi. Lekin tumhe aise baat karne ki koi zaroorat nahi," she sniffed haughtily. "Sadoo kahi ka."
 
"Sadoo?" the man repeated. "What do you think of yourself? The mistake was yours and you're insulting me?"
 
"I would have apologised if you hadn't been so rude," Aradhna replied. "But now I'm glad I ruined your shirt," she bit out. She turned on her heel. Her hair hit the man on his face, and he frowned, but she did not notice as she stalked off.
 
On the other side of the room, Bhavna exchanged glances with Nonee, identical smirks on their faces. Meera sighed and shook her head. "No," she said firmly.
 
"Come on Me," Nonee pleaded. "It worked for you?"
 
"And everyone else you tried?" Meera raised an eyebrow. "Your track record is horrible. So, no."
 
Bhavna attempted to look for backup from one of their other friends but Asma was curled up next to her husband on a chair, one of her hands resting on her now-showing belly. Shifali and Sameer, Prem and Zahra were at the table with them, and the six were deep in conversation. Ravjot was flirting, somewhat successfully, with a friend of hers. Saksham was playing with her hair, and Bhavna had a feeling Ravjot had no idea what she was saying. The rest of their friends were scattered around the room, and they were more than likely to sabotage this plan then to help.
 
Nonee sighed, defeated. "Fine," she groused. "I won't matchmake A with Adi's college friend, despite the fact that Mayank and A are perfect for one another."
 
Meera just looked at the younger woman. "You had better not," she remarked. "Aradhna knows many things about you that would interest Chuck," Bhavna chuckled. "And about you," Meera added drily. The smile fell from Bhavna's face.


Meera shook her head and started towards Nate. She could only hope that they would behave.


Entry # 4: Voice

It was another rainy day. And like every other of its kind, it came like a sheet of gloom that covered the entire city of New York. Whenever this happened, people tended to withdraw into spaces that would lend them some cheer, which is what most of them did that day too. But in a secluded, slightly cluttered street, there was one little group huddled at their doorstep, who knew no semblance of cheer at that moment. Angela's husband, Will, had died that morning, along with their daughter Hailie. The two of them had dropped her at the door of the Legal Aid office, and she had never seen them alive again. She couldn't forget their faces in the dim glow of the morgue, their eyes staring sightlessly at the ceiling as she stood at a distance. Walking out of there, the prospect of facing the world outside had been so frightening that she had almost closed her eyes for fear of what she would see, as though all she ever cared about was in the room she was leaving, and everything outside was just too trivial for her hollow heart to care about, and too hard for her waning strength to bear. Back home, just as she had begun to crumble under the weight of ceaseless thoughts of what she'd have to face at the funeral and after, she had felt a hand tenderly slip through hers. She had looked up warily to see two faces, both with an expression that spoke straight to her heart. She was not the only one to have lost two people she loved that day. She was staring at the faces of her twins, Mark and Chris, two men, still boys to her, who were shedding silent tears for their own grief, as well as their mother's. And it was that sight that broke her, more than anything else. Tears came before she had time even to reach for Chris, who was the one holding her hand. The three of them had sat there in a tight embrace, each attempting to comfort the other as well as himself, in a collective grief, and a collective search for solace.

 

Mark and Angela now stood huddled at the door, seeing off friends and family members who had arrived to pay their respects at the funeral. The only remaining guest now took his leave, and Mark turned to his mother with a sigh. "You're drenched, Ma. Get inside before you catch a cold." Angela barely heard him. He placed a hand gently on her shoulder, "Ma'" She started, looked at him, still a bit dazed, and said vaguely, "Sweetheart, you're drenched'get inside before you catch a cold." They heard a light splashing as Chris came into view, sprinting towards the house. "Here, Ma. Got Dad's stuff from Mr. Greene's office." He looked at her face, lined with so much pain, "It's getting heavier, the rain. Let's go in, come on," he turned away, and went into the house before either of the other two could notice the tears in his eyes. Mark, who hadn't needed to see, gave his mother's hand a gentle squeeze, and went in after him. She stood there, absolutely still. From being a mad rush of thoughts and images, her mind had now gone to being a complete blank. All the guests apart, it was one particular face that kept coming back to her, as she recollected the events of just a few minutes ago. She had seen a big, luxurious car drive up to the door, and had watched a man in a black suit step out of it and make his way into the gathering. His face had at once seemed familiar, although she did not initially understand why. The lone White man in a sea of Blacks, he had drawn quite a bit of attention, not just because of the conspicuousness of his skin, but also because of the expression of very obvious discomfort and contempt he wore as he searched for the woman he was looking to find. Having spotted Angela, he had walked up to her and asked her to step aside for a word in private. He had then addressed her thus: "Mrs. Glover, my name is Ethan Powell, your husband worked for me, he'was a part of my factory workers' Union. So sorry to hear of your loss. Strange how life can take a sudden turn' I have not been in town for the past three days, and thought of coming by here personally to pay my respects. I hope you do not mind, I'ahem'have brought you a little something which, well," and he had handed her a sheaf of crisp bank notes. Silent for a moment, she had looked from the money in her hand to him, and had been overcome by disgust. She knew this man, Will had spoken of him quite often. Will and many of his fellow factory workers had been struggling against his thoroughbred racist policies, denying them promotions or a pay rise for years together, and treating them with the utmost contempt. She had handed the money back to him, and had quietly asked him to leave. His face had flashed a look of absolute outrage, that a Black woman should have the audacity to look him in the eye and tell him to leave. But a woman who has just lost two reasons to live doesn't care much for audacity, or pompous, arrogant men looking down upon her. It was only after he had left that she had realized that his face was familiar for more than one reason.

She raised her eyes up to the sky. Was it true, what everyone said? What everyone had said at the funeral? That there was a Higher power, watching over you? All she could see was heavy, grey-black clouds. Even clear blue sky seemed like a long lost dream. Where was this Higher power? Where had it been when they had needed it most? When Will had sat around for a job for two years, denied so many opportunities because the colour of his skin didn't match that of the people who worked there? Where was it when this very colour had cost him his life, in a silent by-lane, at the hands of seven drunk, white men who had held him down and violated his 12-year-old daughter, murdering her right before his eyes, and then beaten him till life left him too? She put one hand to her head. Too many questions. She turned around, and made her way back inside.

 

* * *

 

It was nearing twilight, as two men sat across a table at a Caf, conversing in urgent, hushed tones. They made an odd pair. This was one of those Cafes frequented by rich, luxurious men and women. Rich, luxurious, and White. The presence of a Black man was therefore something of a revelation. And that too, brought in by one of their own kind: a well attired White man, who sat at the other end of the table. They appeared to be arguing about something, with animated gestures and expressions, although not a word of it reached anywhere beyond the only occupied table next to theirs, where a man sat alone wearing a heavy black coat and a hood that hid his face from view. He was drinking in every word of the conversation. The Black man was saying, "I've been keeping an eye on her. After you met me at about 1.30 outside my office, I went straight to her neighbourhood. She was still busy with the funeral, I don't think she's up to anything so far." The White man nodded, "Hmm'but keep an eye on things for some more time. You never know. They aren't always as savage and stupid as they look." After a few more minutes, the two men stood up, and made their way towards the door. The man in the coat followed. He walked a few paces behind them, and kept himself as clearly out of their vision as he possibly could. The two men parted ways just as the lane ended. The Black man went off on his way to the right, while the White man got into his car and drove off towards the left. The man in the coat made his way towards his bike, and rode off in the direction of the car.

 

***

Powell smirked as he placed the receiver back on the instrument. His man had done a good job, a second time over. Strange, how handy these middle class kinds could be at times like these. Would do all the dirty work for you, and clean up the mess too. Arranging for the end of Will Glover, on of those absurdly principled men who become an insufferable pain after a while of vain negotiation, had not been an easy task, but Dan Stevenson was a man of resources. He had arranged for a perfect lynching incident. No questions asked. This happened everyday in some by-lane in the city. How many of these miserable creatures could the police track after all? Pity  the 12-year-old had been collateral damage. Minor miscalculation. Had given the group a fair share of fun though, perverts that they were, the lot of them. Things were fairly settled now, as far as Glover's family was concerned. Stevenson had even hired one of their own kind to spy on them, some Black private detective who'd not look an oddity in their filthy Black neighbourhood. And by the account he had given, these people seemed to have accepted the lynching as a lynching and nothing more. Pathetic, miserable vermin, Powell thought to himself. What could they do to a man with his kind of power? Here he was, in a suite in the city's most luxurious hotel. As far as everyone knew, he hadn't even been in the city when it had happened. There was no way they could pin this on him. As he sat there, musing over his success, the calling bell rang to the room right across the corridor from his. The door opened halfway, to let in a man in a coat. "I have the information."

 

***

 

It was nearing midnight, as Powell sat with Stevenson in the warehouse, waiting. Stevenson had informed Powell that his Black detective had finally unearthed a pathetic little scheme to go to the police. Something about knowing that he was in the vicinity when the incident had occurred, claims to an eye-witness and some such balderdash. Powell could have laughed it off. He had made sure no one had seen him when he was there, at the corner of the by-lane. He couldn't trust anyone, not even his White middle-class associate. He had to ensure things were carried out perfectly, and so, had been in his car, as a silent and inconspicuous spectator. But Stevenson had pointed out that it's always better to be cautious. He had a point. Powell asked him to do the needful, as usual. And he was there at the warehouse with him, to oversee that things went the way he wanted them to. Stevenson had arranged for his Black detective to approach Angela Glover as the son of a friend of her husband's who had also been killed by Powell, and to call her to this warehouse under the pretext of giving her some information that could help her link Powell to her husband's death. She had taken the bait. The Black detective was here too, waiting for the fish with the hook. Powell made sure he stood as far away from him as he could, and didn't have to look at his face, which he had thankfully almost entirely concealed under a hood.

 

A car pulled up outside. They were here, Glover's wife and her son. He had already seen one of the creatures Glover had spawned, and alas, he would now have to set eyes on another. Stevenson and he were carefully concealed behind a huge iron instrument, while their man welcomed the woman and her son inside with a smile. He reached in for the documents he had promised them, and in one quick moment, had a gun pointing straight at the woman's head. Powell's insides coiled with pleasure at the sight of fear and outrage on their faces. He let out a laugh inadvertently. Now that things were where he wanted them, there was no harm in being a more direct part of the fun. "Well, hello Mrs. Glover, that your son there? Pity even he can't get you out of this one. I told you that day, take the money. You should've listened, and kept your little mouth shut. But no, you think you're so smart, trying to pull a fast one on me. I'll tell you what you really are: you're pathetic, the whole lot of you. Trying to disrupt Nature's order, getting your 'way' in a world where you don't belong'you and that husband of yours," he scoffed. Then he grinned, and said, "Oh well, I've set that one right haven't I. And all it took was a couple of phonecalls. That's what you wanted to hear, isn't it? Well, here it is. I was the one who had your husband killed. Murdered. Lynched. Take your pick. A few calls here and there, and that was it. And now, I'm doing the same with you. Which is, nothing at all. I never do anything, you see. I'm not even here right now, just like I wasn't in the city that day." Angela raised her eyes to meet his, and the look in them was one so full of loathing, that it unsettled him for a moment. He looked away and directed his gaze at Stevenson, "Go ahead. We're done here." But Stevenson wouldn't move. He was looking directly behind where Powell stood, with a very curious expression on his face. Confused, Powell turned, only to face a gun pointed straight at his own face. His own man stood facing him now, and slowly took off his hood. Powell was stunned. What he was now looking at seemed unreal. It was impossible. How could it be? His man and the lady stood side by side, and just behind them was the lady's son. And the faces of the man holding the gun and the man standing behind him, were exactly the same. I must be going mad, Powell thought. This was a dream. A nightmare he would snap out of in just a moment. But that moment never came. What came instead was the earsplitting sound of police sirens, and the many dark figures that now appeared from behind crevices and corners, running in their direction pointing guns and waving badges. He was saved. They approached the group cautiously and took the gun from the hooded man's hand. But just then, Powell felt a pair of hands grab a hold of him from behind, and handcuff him. "What are you doing?! Do you even know who I am? I'm Ethan Powell. ETHAN POWELL, you hear?! You can't arrest me, you filthy little piece of'" but he was cut short by a sharp blow to his head. This couldn't be happening. He looked at Stevenson, who had already been taken by a pair of officers. He cast about wildly for some kind of an explanation, and his gaze fell on the woman standing in front of him. She seemed to read his mind. "This isn't a dream, Powell. Don't look so disbelieving. This is very, very real. My husband was a good man, and you killed him. I was there. At the counter of the Legal Aid office in the next lane, and I saw what those men did from behind the glass window. I tried to get to them too. It was I who broke the glass that scared your men away. And I saw you sitting in your car, driving away as soon as they were gone. I recognized you the moment you entered my house that morning. I've heard all about you from my husband, Powell. And he's been struggling all these years to give his fellows a better life, with a better place to work, and a better cause to work for. A man like you could never stand that, could he? But his voice was not one to be silenced so easily. Even after he died. I had made up my mind standing at my doorstep, seeing the last visitor leave, that I would not let Will's death be for nothing. Chris had been exiting the same agency your friend here went to that day, and that's where he met him, outside the door. Strange how you claim to be so smart yourself, and yet unquestioningly hire someone during Lunch hour, when no one's working anyway? Your very contempt of me and my kind let you down today, Powell. You didn't know Will and I had twins, did you? You would've known something was odd if you had only been able to stand within a few paces of Chris here, whom your friend hired. But Black people repulse you too much. And this is what you get for it. We may not be as rich and powerful as you, but we can make a living well enough, and set things right where they are wrong, if it lies within our reach. Will's insurance gave us enough to afford a room in your hotel, and that's where we kept an eye on you, and made sure things went the way we wanted them to. As of this moment, there are about a dozen police officers who heard everything you said, along with a tape recorder in my purse just in case. Strange how life can take a sudden turn, right?" She gave him one last, disgusted look, and turned away.

 

***

 

It was another rainy day. But unlike every other of its kind, what it brought with it was not gloom. Angela and her two sons stood just outside their house, eyes closed, feeling the raindrops on their faces. They weren't cheerful, but they felt as though some little blockage inside their hearts had been cleared. Angela opened her eyes and looked up at the sky. It was cloudy and grey-black today too. But she knew, in her heart, that there was a clear blue sky behind it, and a sun that would rise one day, bringing with it a new dawn, for her, for her children, for her people, and for the world.

 
Entry # 5

 
It is raining heavily in the city of New York. The pounding sheets of rain have infused a certain uncanny sense of foreboding in the city. Two people are sitting and communicating in a cafe. Another person is eavesdropping on them. He listens carefully, as he has to report every small detail to the person who has hired him.


In other part of the city, the owner of a Multinational corporation smirked to himself as he kept the phone down, he had finally got what he wanted. His man had done a good job. Just next to his apartment lives a lady. The doorbell of her house rings. She opens the door to see a man. He says, "I have the info"..

The lady smiled wickedly showing all her pretty pearly whites as she let her partner,Robert in.After he had gone she concluded that he had indeed done good work. She was an pretty looking lady of about thirty years but was known as the most successful usiness lady in the town.Robert was a good friend indeed.She was laura jones,the tycoon and Robert her colleague.They had built two separate empires together.

Laura wanted to show everybody that she could do something.This was the desire after being divorced by her husband, John Rogers for another woman .She had vouched to get even with him.Now,she had got an opportunity.She smirked to herself and noted down in a pad that her husband was going to meet some Amanda Ruffnigle at 12:00 at hotel Shining star that day.That was great,she thought.it was 10:00 then and she would easily get dressed in time to make it ahead of her husand and then show him his place for messing round with her

The whole house echoed on her thoughts and a spine shaking and bloodcurdling laughter.Her maid got frightened and almost broke a plate as she laughed.Then,she went to choose a disguise for herself.Walking slowly to her wardrobe,she at last reached it.She threw down all her clothes and tried to choose one.Her eyes fell on a black formal business suit which was not too flashy and a blonde wig.she applied light make-up as to give a good impression on that Ms. Amanda

Banging the bathroom door she got out and examined herself in the mirro.she looked perfect she decided.She thought that she had had hatched a perfect plan with flaws.As she was walking to her car,she pondered over her plan again.She found no flaws at all.To her it was perfect.She smirked and flung the briefcase over the seat of the car and got in and then looked over to her watch it was 10:45.Just great,she thought.She had enough time to reach there.

She then tried to start the car in a merry mood. To her utmost surprise,the car did not start.In a state of Anger she got up and banged the door,hard.She didn't like it.Kining the rear of the car,she tried to start it again but all in vain.The car showed no signs of starting.She sighed as she called the repairman.While the repairman came and started repairing it,she was continuously glancing at her watch.It had been a minor problem and was repaired within half an hour.

Laura thanked the repairman and started the car when she remembered tht she had forgotten an important file. "So much for the impression",she muttered as she cursed her luck.The file had been kept in a safe and secure place but she herself had forgotten where.She searched a lot for it and at last after ten minutes she found it.Exclaiming a sigh of relief ,she rushed back to the car.She hated that already forty minutes had been wasted and it was a twenty minute drive even with shortcuts.

Laura couldn't Afford to loose any more time if she was supposed to meet Amanda. All the mishaps happening on the same day which she had chosen to visit the deal girl was really uncanny but as sad she had no time to think about it.But it was as if something was trying to stop her from meeting Amanda.An invisible force like wanted to stop her from doing something grave.She brushed away those thoughts and tried to concentrate on driving the car

Laura had been driving the car since fifteen min at raging speed within the limit though.She smirked to see the title of the hotel "Shining star" in big broad glimmering letters.At last she was going to make john see his place. Lost in the thoughts,she looked up.To her horror she found a man standing casually just metres away from her car.There was no one at the road but her,driving and the passerbys.She shrieked and tried to stop the car.

Frantic,laura tried to brake but in that process her car swerved and she could not steer it.Fortunately there were no trees or any cars at that time and her car didn't crash into anything or anybody.All the people crowded her but when they saw that she was all right and thought that she was just newly driving they went away. Hearing no one asking about that man,she felt that something was wrong.

Laura got up and looked around.Her eyes searching for that man.To her horror,he was not there.She recollected his face,calm face.she knew him from somewhere,She just knew him.

*flashback*

Laura is walking around the mansion of her husband,John.

John comes and grabs her from behind making her giggle.She breaks free and runs.After a while she stopped and noticed a picture hung on the corner of a room.

John caught up with her , "Darling..what happened?"

Lara asks, "whose photo is this?"

John very ruefully answers, "This is my brother's photo..my dead brother's who hated me a lot"

*flashback ends*

Laura stopped dead in her tracks.That man resembled the photo and looked exactly like him.He was gone before she could see him.No one noticed him..Could he be..?

She was broken out of these thoughts as her ex-husband's car whizzed by.It was already 12o'clock.Dismayed,she got into her car and drove home after having a small lunch at a caf.

Laura in a state of being dejected..found Robert in her house.He was looking stunned.As she went in,Robert hugged her.

She was stunned as to why Robert was hugging her.She pushed him a little and held him by his shoulder and asked him "What happened Robert ? I have bad news. I couldn't meet Amanda."

Laura noticed Robert's expression turn from sad to confusion to reliveness.She stopped short when he informed her , "It's good that you didn't meet Amanda.I was worried for you because s-s-s-h-h-h-e murdered John for a business deal."

"What?"..Laura exclaimed.

After Robert had left,Laura was left alone,the world was revolving around her.To have escaped by such close quarters had been really unexpected.She didn't know she was happy or sad or grateful to that spirit.She had at last concluded it must be a spirit or it was her own imagination or a guardian angel looking after her.

Whatever it was,she sat there remembering those moments.And she felt very grateful indeed and sad for john just for the sake of Humanity

So,Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment..And so did Laura.
 
 
Entry # 6:


I have the information."  
Neeti eyed the manila folder with apprehension; one hand already grasping her blackberry as she flicked through the officious looking documents.  And there it was; proof that her boss, come best friend, come world's biggest idiot was the real reason behind her worry wrinkles.
 
Sighing, Neeti hit her speed dial and waited patiently for the weary voice on the other end.
               
"Hey Tani; it's Neeti.  I have some news you're not going to like."
*****
 
"You're spying on me?"
 
Karan glanced up from the papers he had been leafing through and raised a brow at the sight of his very wet, very angry wife.  Supporting one of her ridiculously flimsy summer dresses ' which Karan would not have objected to had the rain not been drumming at his window for the past four hours ' and piling up her mass of heavy curls in to a haphazard bun; Tanya Sukhlani hardly looked as formidable as the day she had stormed in to his office three years ago. 
 
Though Karan wasn't stupid enough to question whether she could still reduce the finance department to a cowering mess.
 
                "I thought I had security guards."
 
He replied mildly, lounging in his chair as Tani stormed in; stopping short as she caught sight of his cabin; bearing signs of playing homage to a group of thundering rhinos.  Cabinets were wide open, charts and graphs were scattered across his desk and files were strewn over the empty seats, looking dangerously close to toppling over.  Her gaze finally settled on his crumpled shirt and a day old prickly beard and she glared down at him with all the contempt of a warrior goddess.
 
                "Have you been here all night?"
 
She demanded, eyeing ten years of financial reports littering the seats before she settled for perching herself on his desk.
               
"And unlike you, your employees actually have some respect for me..."
 
"Only because they're terrified of you."
 
"... Which brings me back to my original point ' you're spying on me?  And don't you dare try to deny it Karan because I have proof!"
 
He regarded her calmly, one hand idly spinning the crystal paperweight on his desk; taking his time to reply ' much to Tani's consternation.
 
                "I think its past time I had a conversation with my sister."
 
He replied grimly, completely unprepared for Tani lunging across his desk and grabbing the mobile he had just unearthed from a sheaf of scattered papers.
 
                "You are not blaming Neeti for this!  And stop looking at me like that ' I'm capable of looking after myself just fine!"
 
Karan dropped the phone, reaching for her and pulling her forward until she was sandwiched between his legs.  He glanced pointedly at his grip, fingers easily circling her stick thin wrist
 
"Yeah, I can see that."
 
His tone put the Sahara to shame and Tani struggled against his hold, growing flustered as she awkwardly leant over him, her five month bump making it difficult for the position to be anything but comfortable whilst he kept a vice-like grip on her arm; as if he could keep her right in front of him through sheer force alone.
 
Her hand brushed the stubble of his jaw, momentarily lapsing in the strange battle of wills they had both embarked on since she had announced her pregnancy.  He finally relented, drawing her in to a softer embrace until she was comfortably settled against his chest; fingers idly brushing out the creases from his shirt, soaking in the scent of his barely there aftershave and watching in amusement as his palm uncertainly hovered over her before hesitantly resting against her belly.
 
And though Karan would never be the first to admit it; it did feel good, having her back into his arms after three long months of waking up alone and cold.  He knew he should feel the guilt for the pages of information the Private Investigator had delivered to him this morning.  God knew that everything was complicated enough without him letting his ego get in the way.  But instead he felt oddly relieved that she was here ' silent and probably plotting ways of getting him under a rickshaw ' but still, here with him.
 
He could easily distract her in mere seconds, to brush his fingers across the nape of her neck, unraveling all the beautiful hair until it cascaded down her back even as that willowy dress would be slipping down her shoulder and he would lean forward and'
 
Karan pulled out of his daydream, blinking owlishly as he realized that Tani was calling for his attention, the words sliding of her tongue in sweet symphony.
 
Dear God, he wasn't going to start sprouting poetry was he?
 
"Karan?"
 
She called him impatiently and he snapped to attention.
 
                "I have to get going; I promised Sendhil some help."
 
"I'm sure Sendhil can turn to any one of his two ex-wives for help."
 
Karan replied dryly, realising he's said the wrong thing when Tani pulled away and eyed him coolly.
 
"So you've been keeping tabs on my boss as well."
 
"I like to keep ahead of my competitors."
 
She shook her ahead, unsuccessfully trying to keep a temp on her anger as Karan watched her placidly from his position.
 
                "For God's sake Karan; not everything is about business!"
 
                "At least I don't mix business with pleasure.  Saturday afternoon at a cosy cafe with your boss; how much are you being paid for overtime?"
 
He tilted his head, flashing a smile that struggled to look anything but cold.  Tani's mouth tightened as she struggled to remain calm.
 
 "If you must know...I was asking for a loan."
 
"Married to a millionaire and asking a stranger for $3,000.  Really Tani, you could have spared at least a thought for my reputation."
 
Her brows slammed together.
 
                "There are more important things in life Karan.  Like; oh I don't know ' how about the fact that I'm pregnant but can't even think about leaving my job because I have to pay for the stupid lawyer's fees...or what about my parents who haven't spoken to me in two years because I made the MISTAKE of marrying YOU..."
 
She turned on him, chest heaving under her tirade as Karan could almost feel the caps in her speech as she punctuated each word with a jab in to his arm.
 
                "...Or how about the fact that none of my clothes fit me but I can't buy a new wardrobe because I can barely afford the rent on my apartment..."
 
Her words trailed off into dry, racking sobs; one hand clutching his desk even as the other landed shakily on her belly.  Karan was beside her in a heartbeat ' anger forgotten as he clasped her hand; barely wincing at the death grip.
 
                "Tani it's ok...ssh...relax..."
 
He pulled her in to a one armed hug; cradling her under his chin as she grasped his shirt and stained his tie with her tears.
 
                "Tani listen to me..."
 
Soft fingers lifted her chin; barely brushing loose strands of hair as his palm embraced her cheek.
 
                "I'll cancel all my meetings ' this weekend.  We'll go wherever you want...London, Paris ' just name it and I'll take you shopping.  I'll make it up with your parents; I promise...just please, please..."
 
She sniffed glancing up at him through watery lashes as he pulled her closer.
                "Please..."
 
She pulled away, backing up as shaking fingers scrubbed at her tear-stained cheeks.
 
                "I-I have to go.  We'll do this later."
She spun around, hurrying out of the suddenly confining cabin, leaving Karan watching long after she had disappeared.
 
Entry # 7:

It is raining heavily in the city of New York. The pounding sheets of rain have infused a certain uncanny sense of foreboding in the city. Two people are sitting and communicating in a cafe. Another person is eavesdropping on them. He listens carefully, as he has to report every small detail to the person who has hired him.

 

The girl studied the menu. She was young, dressed in a stripy cotton sundress, with her blonde hair worn in two messy bunches. The pink polish on her nails was chipped as a result of constant biting.
 
"Mmm, I'll have a strawberry and cream frappucino. Tha sounds nice, doesn't it, Danny? Or maybe caramel? Let's ask the wait-"
 
"Liza, you're not listening to me. Forget the frappucino. This is important." The man leaned towards her, forcing her to look up into his eyes. By contrast, he was smartly dressed in an Armani suit. He was dark-haired, attractive in a rugged style, and in his late twenties.
 
"I don't want to listen," she answered petulantly, slurping on the remains of her third drink.
 
"It's only a small operation. You won't even feel it. I promise. Come on, Liza, this is the answer to all our problems. Ju-"
 
"Do you love me?" she interrupted.
 
"Of course I do, Liza, just please, listen to me. This wi-"
 
"OK."
 
"Y-you're ready? You'll go through with it?"
 
"Yes."
 
***

 

 In other part of the city, the owner of a Multinational corporation smirked to himself as he kept the phone down; he had finally got what he wanted. His man had done a good job. Just next to his apartment lives a lady. The doorbell of her house rings. She opens the door to see a man. He says, "I have the info"..
 
"Come in," she ordered, her voice deficient in both warmth and concern.
 
 Sam tried to concentrate on his job, but his thought kept moving onto a tangent. She was a striking woman; unusually attractive even dressed in a high-necked black dress, her hair pulled back into an austere bun. He curiously wondered what was thought she was entertaining; certainly, her face betrayed nothing. Her expression didn't change throughout his dialogue. He finished his news and there was an awkward silence. She handed him a wad of crisp 20-dollar bills. There was no need to count them.
 
"Here is your payment. Speak of this to no-one. You may leave."
 
 
***
 
They wheeled her out of the operation room. He sat beside her bed and squeezed her hand.
 
"See, Liza, it was all ok, wasn't it? Don't you feel better now?" He continued to ramble into the awkward hush, "Everything's all right now. You know, now we can be togeth-"
 
His voice faded away. He couldn't gloss over the fact that something was wrong. Liza seemed to be made of stone.
 
She couldn't answer. After a few silent minutes, he walked away. A few minutes later, another visitor entered.
 
"How are you feeling, Liza?"
 
Her words tumbled out in a rush: "I did it, Dad. I did what you wanted. I did what he wanted. I did what everyone wanted. Everyone except me."
 
"Liza, it's not like that. This is what's best for you."
 
"I don't want to talk Dad." She turned her head away. After a few minutes, he left too.
 
***
 
Peter Roberts, owner of Shell Ltd, the biggest corporation in the market, was for the first time in his life, regretting his decision. For the first time ever, he wished that he could undo time. He wished he could go back to that moment and take back his decision, take back his money, take back his order.
 
///
 
Peter Roberts coldly examined the man who stood before him. Danny Tovey. 28. Unemployed. Married to Helena Rubinsten. The facts ran through his head as if they were data from a projectfile. But this was no business venture. This concerned his daughter. And her future. And they could not be compromised with. He took a deep breath, restraining his fury, and began to speak.
 
"I know what you've done. You're the father of my daughter's child. And now it's your responsibility to convince her."
 
"I don't understand, sir. Convince her to do what?"
 
"For an abortion." There was a pause. "I know you. I know you have no choice. If Helena finds out, you will be left nowhere. Everything you are is due to her. Without her, you're nothing. And with your memory, my daughter will be nothing."
 
"Sir, I-"
 
"We both know that path will lead you nowhere. There's only one thing stopping both of you from moving on in life. Sort it out."
 
He strode out without a backward glance.
 
///
 
He buried his head in his hands. What if instead of giving his daughter a future, he had taken away her life?
 
***
 
"Get out of my house."
 
"Helena, I-"
 
"Don't you dare come back to this city."
 
She stood facing the fireplace, back poker-straight, eyes paper-dry. Even when she heard the door slam, she didn't move a muscle or let one tear escape. She had been betrayed by her husband. But she had to be strong, she had to move on. The world would never know that the world-famous designer Helena Rubinsten's heart would never be whole again.
 
***
 
Mr Roberts,
                   I'm leaving. I know I'm to blame for this mess. But so are you. So is Helena. The only one who is blameless is Liza. She deserves just one thing. The truth. The truth of the matter is that we both loved money and reputation more than her. I can't face her. So you do the right thing, and tell her the truth.
                                                                        Danny
***
 
It is raining heavily in the city of New York. Liza stands in the middle of the street, eyes closed. The water seeps inside her clothes, chilling her skin, soaking the red cotton of her dress. Soon she is so drenched that even her tears are undistinguishable from the raindrops on her face. But the truth doesn't wash away so easily. She has no-one. Her father deceived her. The man she loved used her. Her child was murdered, by her own hands. She has nothing.

*******************************

HAPPY VOTING EVERYONE! Smile

Thanks
Neeta :)


Edited by -Neetz- - 20 October 2009 at 6:20am

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gk_09..KaJenDelena..payal_r~*LoVeLy*~nondescriptDark Lovemissindia26-.nandini.-Anhdara13tes_v1Aisha1996anon.DUGGUlicious-Lipsa-mysticgoryfilmsDelena-ciousisomers*Nishi*Rozain-Rinky-Wrackspurtindiandoll89

iTangled_25 IF-Stunnerz
iTangled_25
iTangled_25

Joined: 08 December 2008
Posts: 41633

Posted: 12 October 2009 at 7:50am | IP Logged
I did not make it Unhappy

No matter, i will read and vote asap Big smile

Thanks Neetz Big smile

PS: could u please increase the font? of the enteries? Embarrassed


Edited by Steff_DMG - 12 October 2009 at 7:52am

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-Lipsa-

Tomiko IF-Sizzlerz
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Tomiko

Joined: 21 October 2005
Posts: 22162

Posted: 12 October 2009 at 8:02am | IP Logged

Great, this is up which means my studies are going for a toss!LOL

Good luck to all the entries that got finalised - will read and vote as soon as I can!Big smile

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-Lipsa-

U-No-Poo IF-Sizzlerz
U-No-Poo
U-No-Poo

Joined: 15 June 2007
Posts: 23486

Posted: 12 October 2009 at 8:15am | IP Logged
Steff - Shall do :D Thanks for pointing it out :)

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kautilya04 Goldie
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Joined: 09 October 2008
Posts: 2289

Posted: 12 October 2009 at 8:49am | IP Logged
Congrats and best of luck to all the short-listed candidates Big smile

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-Lipsa-

chhilt IF-Rockerz
chhilt
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Joined: 07 January 2008
Posts: 6450

Posted: 12 October 2009 at 9:18am | IP Logged
a. Best Concept -  Entry #1
b. Best Story -  Entry #5
c. Best Writer -  Entry #2

Great job everyone!


Edited by chhilt - 12 October 2009 at 9:27am

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U-No-Poo-Lipsa-

Anhdara13 IF-Rockerz
Anhdara13
Anhdara13

BollyCurry Screen Writer
Joined: 19 May 2008
Posts: 9017

Posted: 13 October 2009 at 12:48am | IP Logged
congrats on the shortlisted, and good luck!

a) entry 1
b) entry 4
c) entry 7

Love,
Radz

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indiandoll89 IF-Addictz
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indiandoll89

Joined: 15 January 2006
Posts: 52777

Posted: 13 October 2009 at 7:31pm | IP Logged
Awesome job on all the entries! Big smile

And congrats to all the people who got shortlisted!

a. Best Concept-Entry 3
b. Best Story- Entry 4
c. Best Writer-Entry 3

Congrats to everyone again! Big smile

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