Monday, 10 April 2017


I sat gingerly on the couch, waiting for the Shettys to come out. Sub-Inspector Prabhu and Constable Naik were seated on the adjacent sofa, calmly sipping their tea. There was an air of trepidation in the house, and understandably so. We could hear wailing in the rooms inside, and I felt pity for the young lady.

I was growing impatient by the minute. I get extremely edgy and anxious whenever I'm forced to ask my wife to manage our jewellery outlet in my absence - she loves jewellery a lot - but I had no choice. This had been the fourth incident in our otherwise peaceful colony in the past couple of weeks.

The Shettys had moved into their fifth floor apartment in our 12-storied building only about two weeks ago. But ever since they had arrived, weird things had begun to happen. Over the past 14 days, four married women from the building had been found unconscious in the storage room of the Shettys' apartment, severely injured. None of the women could recall how they had landed up there, but they all agreed that they had felt a strong invisible unearthly force pull them away from where they originally were. For your information, one of the ladies had been found naked. I grinned, wondering whether she had been in the bathroom or in the bedroom at the time. Interestingly, all the four women reported that their rings had gone missing. Following an investigation, all the four rings were found on the hand of the Shettys' 17 year old daughter, Anushka. And here's where things get even more eerie and mysterious - in spite of several attempts, the rings would simply not come off. The girl wasn't trying at all. Her parents tried their best, but to no avail. Neighbours and relatives tried their hand, but only ended up hurting the poor girl. At present, a doctor had been called to try his luck, but the screams emanating from the bedroom suggested this was going to fail as well. What was I doing there you ask? I was there to make an attempt as well.

The doctor emerged from the room, all sweaty and red-faced. He looked at us, wiped the seat off his his brows, chuckled and stormed out of the house. I presumed it was now my turn, and so I called out to the Shettys to bring their daughter out. It took them another five minutes to recompose themselves and come out.

There she was, all of seventeen. She was tall and slender, and had features that were 'not like a child, not yet like a woman' - just like other teenage girls her age, She had pretty eyes, cute dimples and a childlike innocence. But she was scared and exhausted. She had been constantly fidgeting with her long braided hair out of nervousness. My conscience pricked me for having landed up there to torture the poor lass, but I didn't want to disappoint the cops. I had to break the ice with the girl and so I thought it would be best to talk to her.

"Are the rings tight?"

She didn't answer.

"Did you try taking them off?"

No response.

"How'd they end up in your hands?"

"He wanted me to keep them", she finally responded.

"He who?"

No response.

"Show me your hands."

She reluctantly brought her hands in front of my face.

I saw her hands. They were beautiful. The fingers were long and pretty, and the nails were painted turquoise. Her skin was clear and dusky. The veins on her hand were visible, but they added a charm that I could not quite explain. I had never seen hands like those in my entire life. I kept staring at those hands - it was as if I had become obsessed. Suddenly, I found myself wishing that my wife had hands like hers.

The silence was broken with the sound of a loud thud in one of the rooms inside.

Although I was stunned, I was still looking at her hands. But what I now saw sent a shiver down my spine.

There were five rings now...and one of them belonged to my wife.

Please feel free to leave comments, whether or not you liked what you read. It's a great way to start a conversation or a dialogue. I might be pretty boring in real life, but I promise I'm a lot more fun in this avatar.

I am extremely grateful to Shipra Bharati for the image. She is a 20-something biochemistry postgraduate, and on her way to securing a second Masters' degree. Although photography has been one of her hobbies since the past 3-4 years, she is keen on gaining some professional training in the near future. Her Instagram URL is

Previous posts in the A to Z Challenge - April 2017:-

A - All Apologies (Poem)
B - Baptism (Poem)
C - Chains (Short Story)
D - Door To My House (Short Story / Sentimental / Philosophy / Wisdom)
E - Evil Eye Deliverance (Short Story)
F - Flight of the Lonely Raven (Poem)


  1. Loved the story! Very gripping :)

  2. Nice twist at the end of the story - well done!


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