Atropa Belladonna

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Write about a character preparing a meal for somebody else.... view prompt

108 comments

Thriller Crime Fiction

Seventy-two-year-old Mrs. Sharma, or Sharma Aunty as the neighbourhood kids called her, smeared a dollop of chickpea paste over the Colocasia leaves—Elephants Ears or Arbi leaves in common parlance—that she had plucked this morning from her vegetable garden. She then placed five leaves of similar size one on top of the other, each generously smeared with spiced chickpea paste, and began to tightly roll them lengthwise. Once fully rolled, she secured them with toothpicks and cut the roll into thin slices, which she began frying in mustard oil until each slice turned golden brown and crisp on both sides.

If only Jay were here today, he would’ve devoured the crispy delicacy. He enjoyed it almost as much as their favourite dish, the one they both loved but didn’t speak about. But Jay was long gone, almost a year now, and Maya Sharma had to learn to live alone. For one year, she hadn’t dared to do what they both loved doing, but today, after nearly a month of planning, she was ready to take the risk. It had worked in the past when both of them did it together, hadn’t it? If she stuck to their carefully devised ironclad plan that they had perfected over decades, there was no reason it wouldn’t work now.

As Mrs. Sharma sliced the 200 grams blob of cottage cheese into small square pieces for the other dish she was preparing for dinner today, peas and cottage cheese in a spicy onion and tomato-based gravy, her mind wandered toward her dinner guest. Kabir was a lanky fifteen-year-old orphan, who lived in the dilapidated orphanage located near the public school. These past two months, he had helped Mrs. Sharma tend to her overgrown garden in exchange for fair compensation and occasional free meals. Today was Sunday, a free meal day. While Kabir wasn’t exactly what Mrs. Sharma had hoped for, he would have to do. She would’ve loved to get her hands on Mr. and Mrs. Bhalla’s son, a rotund, fair-complexioned boy of sixteen with an almost baby-like skin, but the boy had parents who would raise hell if he disappeared. It was the only rule Maya and Jay had followed all their lives, one that had kept them safe and well. Never ever take a boy or a girl who isn’t homeless or an orphan.

Humming a tune from a TV commercial for home appliances that was stuck in her head, Mrs. Sharma added water to the two cups of rice in the pressure cooker, closed it and put it aside, ready to be kept on the stove thirty minutes before dinner time. She wiped her hands on the towel, pleased with the preparations for tonight. Her eyes glazed over as her mind wandered once again to the firm, juicy flesh of the young boy toiling in her vegetable and herb garden day after day, the scent of his sweat as he passed by each evening with a breezy goodbye bringing water to her mouth. If things went well today, she’d be enjoying her favourite meal, kept fresh by the human-sized freezer in her basement, for several days, at least a week. If she wasn’t too greedy, she could make it last ten days, she thought dreamily.  

With abrupt sharpness, Mrs. Sharma snapped back to the present. She ambled over to the cupboard over the sink for the final step in the plan. For without it being in its place, her plan would fail. The wooden cupboard opened creakily on its hinges to reveal the two small glass bottles—the poison and the antidote. Both were adequately filled, she observed satisfactorily. The poor boy had no idea what he’d helped her harvest from the herb garden the week before, no idea at all.

Heaving a sigh of contentment, the old woman hobbled out of the kitchen and towards her bedroom for her afternoon nap.

***

The bell rang at 6 o’clock sharp. Mrs. Sharma’s cane made a clickety-clackety sound on the linoleum floor as she advanced towards the front door to open it.

The fresh-faced boy stood at the door with an innocent smile on his delicate lips, a bunch of pink roses clutched in his outstretched hand.

“Oh, how lovely, my dear boy!” cried Mrs. Sharma.

“How is the pain in your legs today, Aunty?” he asked innocently, referring to her arthritis.

“It’s okay today, my dear. Not too bad,” she said. “Come in! Come in!”

The boy entered the house gingerly, lifting his nose to smell the delicious scents coming from the kitchen.

“Yes, the food’s almost ready. Won’t you help me set the table, my dear?”

Kabir followed Mrs. Sharma to the kitchen and helped carry the dishes and the plates to the dining table in the hallway.

“Do you like the roses?” he asked, setting the table for two.

“Of course. They’re almost as good as the ones from my garden,” she said with a chuckle.

“Oh, I would never pluck your flowers without your permission. I got them from the school garden, the one next to my orphanage. The principal is a good man.”

“Yes, Father Anthony. Jay knew him quite well. Shall we eat?”

Kabir pulled the chair back, taking a seat at the small square table. “Aunty, I really appreciate your kind gesture. Nobody has invited me to dinner, ever.”

Mrs. Sharma served rice on his plate. “You’ve transformed my garden. It’s the least I could do.” She paused. “I hope you’ve remembered what we talked about.”

“Of course. I told the warden I’m going to watch a movie. Even bought a ticket, see.” He smiled a boyish smile, returning the ticket to his pocket.

Mrs. Sharma served a large helping of the peas and cottage cheese dish to his plate, ladling the thick flavourful curry by the spoonful. “You know how people are—they would misconstrue my motives. An old woman inviting a young boy for dinner. There must be something fishy,” she says, wagging a finger in his face. “If Jay and I had been able to have children, we’d have a grandson your age by now.”

“This is delicious,” he said, smacking his lips.

“Oh, you must try this,” she said, serving crispy slices of the Arbi leaves. “Jay used to love them.”

Kabir paused chomping and wiped his mouth on the napkin. “Aunty, may I say something?”

“Of course, my dear.”

“It was probably for the best that you and Jay uncle could not have any children. Hear me out, please,” he added quickly.

“I’m listening, my dear,” said Mrs. Sharma, smiling.

“Do you know how many children have disappeared from this town over the past fifty years?”

Mrs. Sharma smiled inwardly. She knew exactly how many. “I’m afraid I don’t know, my dear. Of course, I’ve heard the horrible news of children going missing over the years, but as to the exact count, I have no idea,” she said, sipping her coffee.

“Twenty-seven. Teenagers, all of them. Homeless or orphans—like me—or both.”

Mrs. Sharma thought she saw a strange glint in his eyes. Her gaze drifted to his plate where the remainder of his meal lay. Very little was remaining on his plate, she thought satisfactorily.

Any moment now, the symptoms would start appearing. Dilated pupils were usually the first sign. He’d then start complaining of blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Taking her hand, he’d stagger towards the kitchen where she’d offer him a glass of water for his severely dry mouth and throat. His speech would slur as he’d complain of a debilitating headache. She’d position him carefully near the basement door so that when he finally collapsed on the floor convulsing, she would simply open the basement door and shove his body down the stairs. By then, he’d be extremely confused and begin hallucinating. A smack on the back of the head with the shovel she kept in the basement would silence him into a sleep from which he’d never wake up. The next part of the plan was the hardest for her, an old woman with arthritis, but somehow, she’d manage to lift his lanky body and deposit it in the human-sized freezer in the basement. Thereupon, it was easy.

“Horrible business, all of it,” she cried. “Those poor kids. God knows what happened to them.” She took another sip of her coffee.

For a while, the only sound heard was the ticking of the wall clock and the clinking of cutlery.

“Why do you drink coffee so late, Aunty? Doesn’t it interfere with your sleep?” asked Kabir, finishing his glass of water and refilling it from the jug.

“It’s an old habit, my dear,” said Mrs. Sharma, emptying the dregs of coffee into her mouth.

“You know,” said Kabir, his face turning serious, “there was a girl in my orphanage. Her name was Leela. She disappeared two years ago.”

Leela, forty kilos of delicious deep-fried meals seasoned with basil and oregano that lasted them a week. Leela, the girl her husband had picked up in his truck as she was returning from school late one evening. Leela, the feisty orphan who had kicked and fought and nearly bit Mrs. Sharma’s finger off as the old woman was trying to get her to drink the concoction prepared from Atropa Belladona, a poisonous herbaceous plant from their garden, commonly known as deadly nightshade. The only known antidote was physostigmine, which she’d just drunk in her coffee.

It was important to keep shuffling their modus operandi. Routine is what would get them caught, Jay always said and he was right. It was why they had never used the same method twice to pick up the children.

Mrs. Sharma clicked her tongue in sympathy. “Very sad business, the whole thing,” she said.

“Yes. I wonder what happened to her. Not even her body was found. Authorities believe it’s the same person behind all the disappearances. They’d have to be at least seventy today,” said Kabir, pouring some more water into his glass and gulping it down.

Mrs. Sharma’s gaze flitted to the clock. Why wasn’t the poison working? The numbers on the clock began to blur and suddenly, the whole room was a blur. She rubbed her eyes, her heart racing. What was happening?

“Leela was my best friend,” Kabir was saying. “I’d once made a friendship band for her, woven with multicoloured threads. She always wore it on her wrist. Always.”

The light from the overhead bulb was starting to hurt her eyes. Her throat was parched. She reached for the jug of water, but Kabir abruptly jerked it away, out of her reach.

“Water,” she mumbled.

“There’s water in the kitchen. Let me help you,” he said, lifting her frail body by her arms.

Something was terribly wrong. Mrs. Sharma could hardly put one foot in front of the other. Supported by Kabir, she wobbled into the kitchen and thrust her hands under the tap. The mouthfuls of water she drank did nothing to soothe her dry and itchy throat.

“Call... call a doctor,” she slurred.

“Not so fast. I haven’t yet finished my story,” he said. “So I was telling you about Leela. Do you know what I found in your garden the other day?”

A blinding headache was flashing through her head like lightning, leaving her cold and breathless. She was now leaning completely on the boy for support. Why was he still okay? And what was wrong with her?

“I found her friendship band. She was wearing it the day she disappeared,” the boy was saying quietly.

“What... did you... do?” she stammered, clutching her throat.

“What did you do with her? What did you do with Leela?” he screamed, his voice running through her ears like a jagged knife.

Mrs. Sharma all but collapsed into oblivion.

He let her fall on the floor, where she lay now, her body convulsing.

“I recognize nightshade. I know what you were planning, so I sneaked into your kitchen today afternoon while you were napping and stole the antidote, and replaced it with water. What you added to your coffee was water. I have the antidote here. I added to the jug of water. I know how little water you drink, so there was no chance of you drinking it.”

Through her blurred vision, she saw the boy standing over her with a small glass bottle in his hand, a maniacal glint in his eyes.

"Father Anthony has always suspected you and your husband. When he and I talked about Leela's disappearance, he told me he suspected you guys were behind all the disappearances."

On hearing this, Mrs. Sharma began to cackle, a high-pitched scream forming on her lips.

He was instantly upon her, clasping her mouth shut with his nimble and powerful hands.

“It was you, you and your husband, who made those kids disappear, wasn’t it?” He breathed the words onto her face. “Are they buried in the garden? Tell me, why did you do it? Why?”

The TV commercial for home appliances began playing in her ears and she was in the middle of a meadow approaching a man with an outstretched hand. It was Jay, looking young and wonderful. She took his hand—surprisingly her hand was not old and wrinkly—and together they walked through the meadow towards the sunshine.

And then suddenly, the lush meadows disappeared and Jay and Maya were standing over the edge of what looks like an inverted pyramid with various levels funnelling down to a narrow spot in the middle. As they were perched over the edge of the precipice gazing down at the wretched underground landscape of monsters, fire and sewage, somebody pushed them from behind and they fell right into the second level. Along this level, people were lying face down in a vile slush of sewage, their mouths filled with the product of their excess. While Jay froze in horror, Maya turned around to clamber out of this pit of hell, but there was nothing to latch onto. All the while, as they were getting sucked closer and closer to the slush of sewage, there was a voice ringing in the distance, becoming fainter each second: Why did you do it? Why did you do it?


June 26, 2021 12:36

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108 comments

Kanika G
00:47 Jun 27, 2021

Author's note: The last paragraph of the story is inspired by the Botticelli Map of Hell, which is based on Inferno from Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. The Botticelli Map of Hell describes the nine levels of hell sinners go through. Level two, where Maya and Jay end up, is the level for gluttons. I hope that people like them, who kill and eat children, end up in a hell like that, or even worse than that.

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Rayhan Hidayat
12:23 Jun 28, 2021

I was gonna write a comment about how mouth-watering the food descriptions were at the beginning, but you know what, I’ve changed my mind… This was riveting. Do children-munchers actually exist outside of fairytales? I hope to god this is a bit of a leap in imagination and not based on a news story or anything like that. One more thing: the nightshade’s scientific name would ideally be in italics. Not a huge deal, but it’s little things like this that can make your writing look that much more professional. Great stuff Kanika! 😙

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Kanika G
09:56 Jun 30, 2021

Hi Rayhan, Thank you so much for reading my story. Your comments always make me smile. :) I think the food descriptions at the beginning came out well, but nobody has mentioned them in the comments. I wonder why. :) I'm not aware of any real-life stories about children-munchers. The inspiration for this was Hansel and Gretel, and not a real-life story (thankfully!). Thanks for the tip on the italicization of the scientific name of nightshade. I'll make the change. Thank you again! :)

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Kristin Neubauer
17:01 Jun 27, 2021

Do people really kill and eat children? Wow, Kanika...this was a shocker, but I loved it. Not for the content of course, it was horrifying. But I loved the unexpectedness of it all the diversity in your writing. This is nothing like what I've read from you before. At the beginning, you lulled me into this sense of this lovely old woman preparing a mouth-watering meal and I felt sorry for her - all alone after Jay's passing. But THEN....you weave in this sinister Hansel and Gretel theme and I could not stop reading. I mean, I couldn't ...

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Kanika G
07:25 Jun 28, 2021

Hi Kristin - Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback! I'm grinning ear to ear after reading it. :D This story was meant to be shocking and as you rightly pointed out, based on the Hansel and Gretel theme. Appearances can be deceptive and sweet, old ladies can be anything but sweet. Thank you so much for your comment! :)

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S.E. Reed
12:37 Jun 27, 2021

Kanika, Are you kidding me?! OMG-- this story! I felt so dirty reading it, knowing she planned on eating the child. I literally started to gag thinking about the smell of cooking child. This bit here: Her eyes glazed over as her mind wandered once again to the firm, juicy flesh of the young boy toiling in her vegetable and herb garden day after day, the scent of his sweat as he passed by each evening with a breezy goodbye bringing water to her mouth. Total shivers!! Ewe gross! LOL You shouldn't be able to write it so beautifully, yet yo...

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Kanika G
07:20 Jun 28, 2021

Hahaha, thank you so much for your feedback. I was aiming for a Hansel and Gretel themed story. I'm glad the story elicited that kind of response. :) It was meant to. I love reading and writing these type of stories (thrillers I mean, not stories about cannibalism) and I enjoyed writing this one. :) Thank you!

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S.E. Reed
23:16 Jun 28, 2021

YES! Hansel and Gretel for sure! So-- question.. Have you ever tried submitting your writing to open call anthologies? There's currently an open call on The Writer's Workout... I thought of you, because you're really able to capture and elicit strong emotion and feelings from your work. I'm throwing my hat into as many places as I can to help build up my name as a writer. You said you've written your first novel and are trying to find a publisher. Which I think you absolutely will. You're really good!! https://www.writersworkout.net/public...

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Kanika G
01:43 Jun 30, 2021

Hey, thank you so much for pointing me to the page of The Writer's Workout. It sounds pretty cool and I will go through it in detail. There's quite a bit of time to submit the entries and they're looking for previously unpublished work. Yes, I agree it's a great idea to submit stories in as many different forums as possible. Somebody somewhere is going to love the story (hopefully). Could you also tell me if there's a central forum/website where you come across all these calls for entries? It would be pretty cool to publish the stories elsew...

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S.E. Reed
14:56 Jul 01, 2021

Hey Kanika! Ive been using a site called Duotrope to find some of the contests and anthologies to upload work on. Also, if you’re on Twitter - use the #writingcommunity to search for opportunities. https://duotrope.com/ So, I’m participating in a 72 hour anthology challenge with The Writers Workout starting this weekend for 5 weeks. So my submissions on Reedsy will probably be later than usual. Hope all is well for you! Have a beautiful weekend. Xo S.E. Reed

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Kanika G
10:19 Jul 02, 2021

Hello! Thanks. Yes, I've heard of Duotrope. I had checked it out long ago. I need to go online again. I'll check out Twitter as well. Thanks! This is helpful. I wish you all the best with the challenge on the Writers Workout!! Have a great weekend. Take care!

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Vivek Sehgal
10:23 Jul 01, 2021

I think this will win or atleast get shortlisted, I have never revisited a story before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Kanika G
10:20 Jul 02, 2021

Thank you so much, Vivek! Your enthusiasm is infectious. :) I'm happy with the great comments I've received on this story even if I don't win. I'm glad you think I can. :)

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Vivek Sehgal
18:17 Jun 28, 2021

My god! So much to say! It reminds me of Assamese movie Aamis, In Aamis, eating flesh is a metaphor of taboo indicating the extra marital affair, it depicts something illicit and full of malice. The descriptions are amazing and the imagery and figure of speech is spectacular. The inverted pyramid is a symbol of Illuminati and what's worse? People eating children, when you mentioned that T.V. commercial it reminded me of Futura melody. The movie parasite did the same, when the family began feeling a false sense of victory they realised wha...

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Kanika G
09:43 Jun 30, 2021

Thank you so much, Vivek, for your wonderful comments. I read them with a smile. I'm so glad you found this story interesting. I will check out the Youtube channel you suggested. Do they focus only on horror/scary stories? Thanks so much for your feedback! :)

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Vivek Sehgal
16:54 Jun 30, 2021

yes! you need to mail them, I wanted to write for them but was busy with my class 12th mess, that couldn't get time.

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T.H. Sherlock
08:49 Jun 28, 2021

So, so dark! This really gave me the chills. ‘Leela, forty kilos of delicious deep-fried meals seasoned with basil and oregano that lasted them a week.’ What a description! It’s the way Mrs Sharma thinks of the children as ‘meals’ rather than human-beings which leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It was brilliantly written and grips the reader from the outset. A fantastic and creepily sinister story. I’m glad Mrs Sharma finally got what she deserved.

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Kanika G
10:02 Jun 30, 2021

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! This story was meant to be shocking and I'm glad it was. Inspired by Hansel and Gretel, it flowed pretty easily. I always appreciate your comments on my stories. Thank you so so much! :)

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Shekhar Gupta
08:46 Jun 28, 2021

Very well written! The ending of the story is a shocker and its the plot, when fully uncovered towards the end of the story, was quite unexpected. A kind of a thriller story. Your writing style is fabulous and praise worthy. Big thumbs up from me.

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Kanika G
10:03 Jun 30, 2021

Thank you so much, Dad! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I hope it was as thrilling to read as it was to write. :)

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Daniel Hayes
05:53 Jun 28, 2021

Hi Kanika, I have to say that I honestly loved this! This was so good, and I really like stories like this. I didn't know where the story was going at first, but I as kept reading, I was surprised about everything. This feels very different from your other stories, but that's a good thing. The ending caught me by surprise. I thought she was going to get him, but he switched everything, and turned it against her. I didn't see that coming :) The writing here is amazing, and I could tell you put a lot of thought into it. This is probably...

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Kanika G
10:09 Jun 30, 2021

Hi Daniel, Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I really enjoy reading and writing this type of story that has suspense, a thrilling element and a fast pace. This story flowed very easily and I finished conceptualizing and writing it in 4 hours. I wish all stories flowed so easily. Thank you so much for stopping by. :)

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Daniel Hayes
15:09 Jun 30, 2021

That's wonderful when a story can flow so easily. Sometimes writing comes easy and sometimes the words are hard to find. This was a great story, and you wrote it so effortlessly. :)

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Kanika G
09:25 Jul 01, 2021

Absolutely right and well said! Thank you. :)

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Bhaskar Kaushesh
10:28 Aug 26, 2021

Woah! Knowing me you would know how i found this story to be intensly dark and ghory. But since thats what you wanted this story to be like i think you did a great job. M not reading it again though :-)

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Kanika G
10:01 Sep 15, 2021

Thank you for your comment. :)

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Ravi Srivastava
05:33 Jul 27, 2021

Kanika, once again a crisp, tightly woven story from you! The human mind is very complex and capable of the most diabolic plans. The story reminds me of a human-eating master and servant duo in Ghaziabad( or NOIDA) whose story had hit the news some years back. (They were caught and brought to justice). Incidentally, the 'arbi-patta' snack n the initial part of your story has been always been a favourite snack of mine!

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Kanika G
10:31 Jul 28, 2021

Thank you so much, Sir! Yes, I remember reading the news about those cannibals. I'm glad they were caught. Yes, the arbi-patta snack is a favourite in my home too. We all love it and that's probably why I featured it in the story. Thank you for your wonderful comment. :)

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Hadiya Rudolfo
14:29 Jul 09, 2021

Quite frankly, I loved this. So much imagination and thought. A few execution issues, sure, but a well-developed story overall. I could not help the glee buoying within me at every twist and turn. A lovely story, truly.

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Kanika G
06:20 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you so much for your comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. I'm open the hearing the execution issues you talked about. I'm always up for critique if it helps me improve my writing. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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Hadiya Rudolfo
16:00 Jul 16, 2021

Hi, Kanika. My apologies for not responding sooner. I have since reread your story with a critical eye. 1. When Kabir enters and the word 'innocent' is repeated, was that done on purpose? After rereading it, I could understand now that is probably how Sharma Aunty saw him. 2. When everything started to be a 'blur' for Sharma Aunty, how would you have described that 'blur'? What is a more explicit way in which you can describe that sensation? 3. Similarly, in the last paragraph, to emphasize the sudden change in her perceived reality, it ...

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Kanika G
07:32 Jul 17, 2021

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide the detailed critique. I will look into them. All very valid points, although I would not call them execution issues, rather ways to improve the prose. Thanks again!

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Hadiya Rudolfo
15:16 Jul 17, 2021

Fair point. No problem. Feel free to return the favor. ^_^

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Kanika G
15:52 Jul 20, 2021

I will soon. Thank you so much! :)

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Pahani Wijeratne
12:17 Jul 08, 2021

Greetings, dear writer!- This is such a beautifully written thriller. As I read, my eyes twitched to the shocking plot of this story, but I couldn’t stop reading it. I love the way you wrote this story, and honestly, I had chills running down my spine. The diversity, creativity, structure, and flow of the story are all on point! I love how the teenage boy fought back, and fortunately, did not fall into one of the old lady’s traps! I must say, this is a spectacular read. It is indeed a great horror story! The format in which you explained how...

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Kanika G
06:23 Jul 10, 2021

Hello Pahani, Thank you so much for your wonderful comment!! It really really made my day. I was grinning after reading it and kept smiling all day long. You've pointed out everything you loved about the story and that's something every writer loves to hear. I am so grateful for all the words you've used to describe your reading experience. Thank you so so much!! :)

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Pahani Wijeratne
06:55 Jul 10, 2021

Hi, Kanika! Of course, it’s my pleasure 😊 Thank you for your kind words, I really love everything about this story:) It was really pleasant to read! God bless and enjoy writing! 🌸

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Abhishek Todmal
09:38 Jul 08, 2021

Hi Kanika! This was a fun, enjoyable read and very well written! As some have pointed out, I began with nothing but a building sympathy for Mrs. Sharma, but how quickly I rectified my haste. I have briefly flirted with poisons, not through experience, but rather through research, and Atropia Belladonna I have encountered along the way. This was borne primarily through an interest in wanting to write a murder mystery, with Mrs. Agatha Christie one of my favourite authors :) This was fun to read, as I shall say again, and I wish you all the ri...

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Kanika G
06:31 Jul 10, 2021

Hi Abhishek, Thank you so much for your lovely comment!! It really made my day. :) I'm happy you enjoyed the story. Poisons, yes, many of Agatha Christie's books featured poisons. I also love her writing, although I haven't read her books for many years now. But I have a collection of most of them (somehow the TV adaptations aren't all that great). Let me know if you have any luck with the literary agents. There was only one who wanted to represent me and his contract wasn't very author-friendly, so I chose to not sign up with him (I can ...

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Abhishek Todmal
08:06 Jul 10, 2021

Hi Kanika! I hope this finds you in good health and spirits! Thank you for your kind words, firstly. I dearly appreciate them :) I quite admired the way you've written your profile also. It would be a wonderful thing to connect through e-mail. Should it be okay if I write you a message with my name and a short hello? I'd be most grateful and would love to hear of your experience / journey with your writing. (Agatha Christie, in addition to crafting the most wonderful plots, also was a devilishly good writer, I agree. I have so far not chan...

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Kanika G
13:59 Jul 10, 2021

Yes that would be fine, Abhishek. I've been sending my.manuscript to everyone for six months now, so I can share my experience. I'd like to hear about your experience too. Take care!

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Vijeni Selvam
04:05 Jul 08, 2021

A shocking thriller! Especially, the way it was uncovered in the end! Great work :)

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Kanika G
06:32 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you so much!! :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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Ramona Taylor
03:57 Jul 08, 2021

A well crafted tale, but…eww! I was glad she didn’t get away with this last one, but began thinking he might be on to her. Also interesting alluding to Dante’s Inferno in depicting Hell. Much distaste I have for this subject, yet you kept me reading it, by your writing skills.

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Kanika G
06:33 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you so much, Ramona. I always appreciate your comments on my work. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. :)

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06:58 Jul 07, 2021

I loved this story! It had such great descriptions and authentic dialogue, I couldn't look away. I also liked the reference at the end, it tied nicely into the story. Keep writing :)

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Kanika G
06:36 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. :) I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I'll be sure to check out your latest story soon, once I'm done with this week's submission.

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Samson Lake
23:11 Jul 06, 2021

This story is surreal. It makes your skin crawl but you help and go back to it. It really is beautifully written

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Kanika G
06:37 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! :)

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Shante Mc
14:19 Jul 06, 2021

I love uncomfortable stories. This was a great one! The last paragraph was an interesting twist I didn’t see coming as well. You’re attention to detail in your writing is wonderful. Great job!

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Kanika G
06:39 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you so much for your lovely comment! It made my day! :)

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Joan Wright
21:49 Jul 05, 2021

INTRIGUING! You did a great job of developing your characters. I loved the ending although do admit I guessed at it early. Your words painted pictures. The clickety clack of her cane, the descriptions of the meal she was preparing, and the smell of her sweaty victims. Well done.

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Kanika G
06:42 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you so much, Joan! I'm happy you enjoyed this story. It was a pleasure writing it and the story flowed easily. Thanks again. :)

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