Murder, she thought
by Amit Shankar Saha
Placing the cards on the table she thinks murder is easy. She has already convinced her husband that her plan was flawless. He had put all sorts of arguments against it. He had applied his logic and learning but at the end he had to give in to her. He was not a coward- at least not in front of his wife. He can't be accused of cowardice. Yet his heart was filled with fear, for he was to be the bait.
Whereas his wife, she was confident. Fearless! She knew her cards well and she has placed themperfectly. It's just a matter of time to play them correctly. It was foolproof. Revenge was her motive and she knew how to go about it and get it. Revenge! Revenge on behalf of her husband. Revenge for the insult inflicted and the audacity displayed by Russel. He was their perennial foe and she wanted to get over with him once and for all. Murder, the very idea of it gave her a kind of pleasure. Murder, she will commit. She will be a murderer. It raised her self-esteem in her own eyes. And, except for her husband, no one will know.
The invitation was placed and the victim was to come to dinner. It would be thenwhen she would use the murder weapon: laxatives. Yes, she would administer the choicest and the most deadly of laxatives in such a quantity that would guarantee the success of her motive. She would lace the food with spurge laurel, centaury, fumitory, hellebore, caper spurge, buckthorn and such other herbs. None of these are poison, yet all of these taken together in an undesired amount would work better than any poison. And no one wouuld doubt any wrong doing.
So she marinated well her victim's food, the breast and the legs, with her secret potion. One lick would be enough. She placed the ace along with the joker of the pack and she knew that she played correctly. She has to just wait now for her well placed cards to trap her victim. How nice it would be to see her husband's hunter becoming her prey, she thought. Suddenly she packed her cards and dissolved them, along with the table, in her mind. Pertelote saw Daun Russel skirting the bushes. She directed Chauntecleer and he came out in the open.
(Acknowledgement Chaucer's The Nun's Priest's Tale.)
Amit Shankar Saha is a PhD researcher in English at Calcutta University. He has published online at Muse India, Desi Lit, Desi Journal, Cereration, Poetry, A Long Story Short, Short Story, Story Mania, Our Echo, Creative Poems, Lit Kicks, Authors Den. He also blogs at Amit and Sulekha.