by Alston Fernandes
Sony, an aspiring writer, found his calling after being cooped up in the house for almost 2 years. He left his job as a senior software developer to try his hand at writing.
Filled with new energy and a twinkle in his eyes, he got into the business. However, Sony didn’t know the A, B or C of writing. The closest he got to writing was essays in school. He read a lot, but reading books and writing one is very different.
A couple of weeks passed, Sony just stared at his laptop and the stationery that he’d bought in a frenzy.
“Talk to me, give me an idea,” said Sony, speaking out loud, in irritation. No idea was forthcoming.
“Was my decision right? I don’t even have a steady income, Should have listened to Pa.”
Clouds of despair gathered in his head.
“Writing doesn’t pay the bills,” said a familiar, mocking voice within.
At that moment, a small ray of an idea popped up. It was like the Gods were being kind to him.
“I’ve got it, I’ve finally got it!” shrieked Sony in excitement.
And with renewed intensity, he punched the keyboard. Letters became words, words became sentences, sentences became paragraphs. The once-blank screen started filling up. After vigorously typing for 3 hours, Sony was a quarter done with his first draft.
Satisfied with the work, he looked at the clock on the wall. It was half-past 10.
“Damn, I lost track of time1”
With a growling stomach, Sony was too hungry to cook.
“Let me order a pizza,” he thought.
Before he could even unlock his phone, there was a text message, with a brochure attached to it.
“Are you Hungry? We’ve got you covered. Try our 7-cheese pizza, it’s out of this world. P.S. Our pizzas are so good, that, they will kill you with their taste. If you don’t like it, then money back is guaranteed. CALL NOW.”
“What a coincidence,” mused Sony. “These marketers can read thoughts now…. No harm in checking them out. I’m starving.”
***30 minutes later***
Ahh! “This looks amazing!”
While Sony devoured the pizza, he was mesmerized by the cheese-pull and lost in its flavor.
Whispered a voice, “How did you like it, Sir?”
The color drained out from Sony’s face, he almost choked out on his food.
“Who the hell are you?” managed Sony, catching his breath.
“Sir, I’m here to fulfill our claim,” said the figure.
“What claim?” blurted Sony.
“Well, it’s mentioned in the brochure, ‘Pizzas so good they will KILL YOU…’ And I’ve seen you enjoying your food.”
One swift blow was all it took, Sony fell to the ground. Darkness spread and everything fell silent.
******The Mysterious Voice*******
This piece was written during the last Short Story Writing Workshop. It has been edited by Rashmi Bansal.