62 comments

Jul 05, 2020

Crime Romance Suspense

Juliet French glanced at the clock tower as she frantically paced up and down the empty platform. 


It was half past one. The train was late. Or perhaps she was early? She didn't know. It didn't matter. 


Oh Romeo! How much longer must I wait?


She nervously looked around the deserted station. Not a single soul in sight. Was that good or bad? She did not know. She had only one thing in mind. 


Soon he will be here.


A cool breeze blew in from the west. With a shiver, she pulled her coat tighter. She was not used to the cold. To be honest, she had never set foot out of her home this late. But today was different. This was for Romeo! And this was for her love!


Her right hand went to her coat pocket. It was still there. She couldn't wait to give it to him. Her hands trembled with excitement. A smile lit up her face as she thought of that moment. She thought about the welcome she would give him. He would never expect her to be waiting here like this. No. Not after all these years.


Her left hand clenched the heart shaped pendant around her neck. Her lover’s last gift. She remembered those blue eyes tingling with joy when she had accepted his humble present. 


How long had it been? Ten years. Ten years since that fateful day. Life had never been the same again


She still remembered the day as clear as the full moon that was watching over her tonight. It was the day before their wedding. When she heard the news, she was in the spotless white wedding gown, rehearsing for her big day. Rosaline had been the one to break the news. There had been a brawl in the market and Romeo had stabbed Paris. Paris died on the spot. And Romeo got ten years.


She had wept all night. Her wedding gown was all soaked in tears. The wedding ring lay lifeless on the floor. This was not how it was supposed to be. 


She glanced at the clock tower again. A quarter to two.


Any minute now. 


She remembered how her mother had persuaded her to marry again. But she knew that she wouldn’t be able to love anyone like she loved her blue eyed boy. She knew what she would do. She had made up her mind. She’ll wait for Romeo. And so she did. Waiting, day after day, year after year... preparing for the day when she would finally meet him. And then when it was over, she would embrace her lover and find her peace.


“Need any help, lassie?”


She turned around to see a shabby young man approach her. The pungent stench of rum oozed from every cell of his body. 


Just then the dark clouds choked the moon in their deathly hold, draining away the celestial light. An eerie darkness filled the platform.


Where are you, Romeo? Come fast!


“Don’t you know it's dangerous out here for pretty little girls? Why don’t I take you to a safe place? Whatcha say?” asked the drunkard with a goblinish grin. 


Juliet tried to ignore the loafer and walk past him. But he caught her by the arm and pulled her towards him.


“Let me go, you scoundrel!” she said, as she tried to push him away. 


But the harder she tried, the stronger he gripped. For a moment, a deadly thought crossed her mind. She dismissed it immediately. 


No. Stay strong, Juliet. Soon he will come.


And just then, like an answer to her prayers, a sound pierced the veil of silence that enveloped the station. 


The train! It has arrived at last! 


“Seems like your lucky day,” said the ruffian as he let loose his grip and sunk into the shadows.


The clouds eased their stranglehold and a faint ray fell on the platform.


The train halted in the station. Juliet watched with bated breath as the passengers got down. An old lady got out first. Probably Miss Balthazar who had gone to the city to visit her grandchild. Then a family of five whom she couldn't recognise. Soon, the other passengers flocked out of their coaches and made their way towards the exit. But there was no sign of him. No sign of Romeo!


Juliet’s heart sank. 


Did Romeo lie to Father Lawrence? Was he never going to return to his hometown? Would her wait be in vain?


She took a deep breath and glanced at the clock tower once again. It was two o’clock. The train would leave any moment now. The platform was fast turning empty. Behind her, she heard the sneer of the ruffian. 


Should she leave while she still had the chance? Or should she stay holding on to that last ray of hope? 


Her heart was racing. Dark thoughts began to penetrate her mind. How had she not foreseen this? She tried to control her emotions but tears began to well up in her eyes. 


The clouds began to smother the moon again, leaving the platform in complete darkness.


Juliet closed her eyes and said a silent prayer as she heard the train chug away from the station. She heard a chuckle from behind. The ruffian was amused. 


“Maybe the day isn’t as bad as I thought,” he jeered.


Her hand went into her coat. A tear traced its path down her cheek. This was not how she had imagined it. Her fingers brushed against the gift that she had saved for Romeo. All these years, she had polished it, day in and day out, waiting for this day to come. So that she could give it to him as soon as he arrived. And now when that day had finally arrived, she felt so helpless. 


“Come, come, Missy. It’s time to leave.”


She opened her eyes. The train was gone. And there was no sign of Romeo. She felt the ruffian’s hand on her shoulder.


“Come quietly,” he whispered. “We don’t want to create a scene, do we?”


And it was then that she saw him. Behind the pillar...lighting a cigar. Her heart skipped a beat. She couldn't believe her eyes! It was him! Surely it was him. He was finally here!


“Romeo!” she called out.


The gentleman turned in disbelief. Clearly he wasn’t expecting anyone. The ruffian’s hand left her shoulder. 


The mistress of the sky admonished the little clouds and they withered away like dry leaves. The moon’s smile lit up the platform driving away the forces of darkness.


Yes! It was Romeo!


He seemed to have put on some weight and had even grown a beard. But it was him. And that was all that mattered.


She walked briskly towards the one she had been waiting for all these years. Her hand firmly gripping the gift that she had in store for him.


“Romeo, don’t you remember me?” she asked, her voice trembling with excitement. 


His chestnut eyes met her pitch black ones. He gazed at her for a moment, trying to swim past the waves of the last ten years. And then his eyes widened with realisation.


“Ju-Juliet...is that you?” he asked in bewilderment.


BANG!


The gunshot shook the station like a thunderclap. Romeo collapsed to the ground like a man struck by lightning. His eyes looked at her in terror, as she stood there like an Angel of Death with the moon forming a perfect halo around her head. 


"Romeo must die," she whispered.


“No! Pleaaase....don’t...,” he whimpered.


Juliet knew no mercy. Not tonight. She had waited long for this day. This mad dog deserved to die. He had ruined her life! She imagined the pain that poor Paris would have felt when the knife pierced his heart. She pointed the pistol at Romeo’s head. She had been planning this moment for the last ten years. It was the only thing that had kept her going. The law may give this scumbag another chance. But not her! 


BANG!


The bullet pierced his skull, splattering the brains on to the concrete slab. His sightless eyes stared from their sockets into the night sky where the moon smiled her approval. 


Was it worth the wait? Definitely!


Juliet wiped the blood from her face and watched the motionless body that lay before her. She allowed herself a moment to luxuriate in the culmination of a decade’s worth of planning. 


The ruffian stood rooted to his spot, unable to process what he had witnessed. He gulped as Juliet turned towards him with a ghastly grin.  


“Why don’t you take me to that safe place you were talking about?”


The man scampered without taking a backward glance, thanking his mother’s prayers for having saved him from the devil’s clutches. Never again would he set his eyes on a woman.


She could hear the sirens closing in. 


The law was coming! The law! She scoffed at the thought. Late as always!


Her left hand went towards the heart shaped pendant, opening it to see her beloved Paris one last time. Her right hand held the red hot pistol against her temple.


“My love, the wait is finally over,” she said, staring into those deep blue eyes.


BANG!



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62 comments

Niveeidha Palani
06:44 Jul 07, 2020

Hi Joseph, this story was so sad and touching! I loved how you incorporated Romeo and Juliet into this prompt. A lovely twist, and an amazing story! Well done!

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Joseph Varkis
08:03 Jul 07, 2020

Thanks, Niveeidha.

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Niveeidha Palani
09:33 Jul 07, 2020

No problem Joseph,

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Anupama Iyer
04:37 Jul 07, 2020

BANG ! I pulled back as soon as I saw the gunshots! This was beautifully written. Please keep creating more wonders like this!

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Joseph Varkis
04:57 Jul 07, 2020

Thanks a lot, Miss Holmes. Looking forward to your adventures as well. 😁

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Anupama Iyer
05:35 Jul 07, 2020

Hehe ! Sure !

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Len Mooring
02:09 Jul 06, 2020

Great, you fooled me. You could have at least dismissed the ruffian before she did herself. Us writers have a chance of cleaning up society.

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Joseph Varkis
02:14 Jul 06, 2020

Haha...nice thought. Will be reworking this piece. So feel free to give your suggestions. :)

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נιмму 🤎
01:20 Jul 10, 2020

HOLY SHITTT I am shoooook I have no words! I read the title thinking ooh ok a new take on Romeo and Juliet only to find this wasn't a love story at all, this was a revenge story! Crazzzyyy plot twist! I love your take on the prompt, very unexpected and clever! Great writing!

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Vimal Rao
05:53 Jul 07, 2020

What a twist. Superb. And brilliant pace to the story too. Every thing was simply perfect. Feels great when story is flawless. Amazing work. Enjoyed it to the core

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Joseph Varkis
06:07 Jul 07, 2020

Thanks, Vimal, for your kind words. Means a lot.

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Vimal Rao
06:09 Jul 07, 2020

Any day, friend Cheers. Happy writing.

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Ken Coomes
18:26 Jul 05, 2020

Powerful story, with an unexpected twist at the end - just like the original. Nicely done. I was going to try offering some minor suggestions on tense switching and grammar, but it looks like Laura did a fine job with some helpful feedback there. Nice job, and I look forward to more.

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Joseph Varkis
01:33 Jul 06, 2020

Thanks, Ken. Really appreciate the feedback. Will correct the grammatical issues. ☺

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Batool Hussain
13:53 Jul 05, 2020

Good job👍👍

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Joseph Varkis
13:55 Jul 05, 2020

Thanks a lot

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Batool Hussain
13:58 Jul 05, 2020

You're welcome!

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Melanie Knapp
22:07 Jul 15, 2020

It's always different every time Romeo and Juliet is written in a story.....

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Djenat Remmache
21:31 Jul 12, 2020

Wow I love the twist ! I was not expecting that ! Good job ps: Do you mind read my first story, and give me feedback. Thanks

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Alex C
20:42 Jul 12, 2020

Wow, Joseph, great writing! Could you take a look at mine as well?

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Jessie Nice
10:12 Jul 12, 2020

Wow, this is beautifully written - I was not expecting that in the slightest! Bravo! A fab read :)

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Joseph Varkis
13:46 Jul 12, 2020

Thanks, Jessie☺

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Parul Srivastava
07:04 Jul 12, 2020

Wow! Loved your writing, Joseph. And the twist was bang on!

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Joseph Varkis
07:14 Jul 12, 2020

Thanks, Parul😊

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Spirited Wings
00:19 Jul 12, 2020

The deep, moving way you illustrated an otherwise tragic story into the ending of Juliet's sorrow and pain was beautiful. I believe that the adding of the ruffian shows that not all is what it seems. You are very talented and should keep adding surprising modern twists to fairy tales or plays written in forgotten times.

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Joseph Varkis
07:13 Jul 12, 2020

Thanks for the feedback, Spirited Wings. I'm on cloud nine😊

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Faye Binx
20:37 Jul 11, 2020

This was a really cool twist. I didn't see it coming! well done

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Joseph Varkis
07:12 Jul 12, 2020

Thanks, Faye. Glad u enjoyed it 😊

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Evgeniia Makeeva
14:38 Jul 10, 2020

Beautifully written story! It was fun to read and I personally enjoyed the reflection on R and J story. Also, great choice of names :)

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Joseph Varkis
15:06 Jul 10, 2020

Thanks 😊

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Charles Stucker
11:50 Jul 10, 2020

With Romeo and Juliet, it is clear there will be a tragic ending. However, I did not predict Paris as the lover. Changing to vengeful woman is a clever remake. You even gave some subtle clues (about Paris- the gun in her pocket was pretty obvious) throughout, as if you frequently write mystery.

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Joseph Varkis
12:30 Jul 10, 2020

Thanks, Charles. Glad to know that you enjoyed it. I don't write frequently but the feedbacks helped me modify my story to add those elements. 😊 So thanks a lot for the feedback.

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Arya Preston
15:33 Jul 09, 2020

I loved the flow of the plot here, especially with the magnificent twist at the end! I do think that there are certain aspects of the story that could have been expanded, for example, Romeo's death scene. You could have explored his emotions as he recognised Juliet's voice or maybe as the bullet pierced his body. Overall, I really enjoyed it - great story!

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Joseph Varkis
15:37 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you, Arya, for your valuable suggestions. Will definitely try to expand it. Glad to know that you enjoyed it. 😊

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Khizra Aslam
13:51 Jul 07, 2020

Loved it ..keep writing and sharing ❤

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Joseph Varkis
15:24 Jul 07, 2020

Shukriya, Khizra

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Khizra Aslam
18:02 Jul 07, 2020

Wow.. you know how to speak Urdu 😀...great!!

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Joseph Varkis
18:26 Jul 07, 2020

😅

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Shirley Medhurst
12:28 Jul 07, 2020

Great twist at the end - very powerful! Well done

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Joseph Varkis
12:30 Jul 07, 2020

Thank you

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Veena Parmar
16:52 Jul 06, 2020

A very clever story, simple and effective! Great choice of title and character names!

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Joseph Varkis
16:57 Jul 06, 2020

Dhanyavad, Veena. ;)

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