Friday, May 6, 2011

Atonement

“… He is a man of unimpeachable integrity and has single handedly steered the Agricultural Development Board to dizzying heights,and has strongly defended this organization in the face of wide spread criticism…”,the speech seemed to have no end in sight.He squirmed restlessly in his seat on the dais listening to colleagues heap lavish praise on him on his retirement day,colleagues he hated,and who reciprocated the sentiment in equal measure. He heaved a sigh of relief as the speech finally drew to a close,and at an opportune moment,made good his escape from the hall and dashed to the parking lot. He was in no mood for felicitations and light hearted banter.Pointless.There were massive plans afoot. Tonight was the night of Atonement.

***

He reached for the glove compartment and took out the syringe and dope.White powder on spoon,lighter underneath,had become a reassuring sight over all these years.Heroin had become his sole existential bond with sanity.He needed something to soothe his frayed nerves,and what better way could there be? The groggy appearance that came along with it was attributed to work related stress.Couldnt have been truer. And his family understood.

He switched on his car stereo and jacked it up to full volume. Mutiliate the stillborn-Necrophagist. The irony was lost on him.

As he shot off into the night,his life flashed across his dilated pupils. A passionate,determined,result oriented recruit,his rise along the echelons of bureaucracy was meteoric. He soon found himself at the helm of the Agricultural Development Board.The first case before him was the crisis situation unfolding at cashew plantations in a small village in Kasargod,Kerala. Eager to make his presence felt,he went in for an aggressive strategy.There was this new chemical making waves the world over. There were health concerns attached,but he chose to overlook them.Extensive aerial spraying was ordered. The results were unprecedented.He basked in the accolades being showered on him. It was then that prosperity gave way to unmitigated human disaster. But by then it was too late. An entire village had poison in its genes.

***

The car skidded to a halt. Frayed ends of sanity-Metallica. He killed the engine and walked up to his house. Empty. His wife and daughter were at their native place,scouting for a plot post retirement. Swell.

Letter,will,cheques,documents. Check.

His hands were shaking violently. He needed another shot of dope.

He was all set to go.

Loaded revolver. Silencer. Trigger. Two bullets to the foot.

He winced in pain as he hobbled across to his arm chair. Two shots to inflict suffering,but not fatal. Pain slowly gave way to ecstasy.The night had begun.

It was time for step two.

Blade. Stainless steel. Two slits to the wrist.

Blood gushed out and made puddles on the floor. He was beginning to lose consciousness. Fleeting images of twisted limbs and malformed bodies darted across his eyes.

It was now time for the coup de grace. The crowning glory. He was known for his style,and today was going to be no exception.

It was cocktail time.

A pint of single malt whiskey.A few drops of endosulfan to taste. Stir thoroughly. One gulp.

The last thing he saw before he passed out was the image of a kid with a bloated head,and a vacant stare.

9 comments:

totalliemeh said...

wow. Absolutely. Very dark indeed. Atonement. whatay title befitting the content.
Heroin had become his sole existential bond with sanity

That was disturbing, very.
(9.5 on 10)

anan said...

nice one da ....:)

Sriram said...

Whoa man. Awesome. Especially the alcohol, dope additions.. seriously added the lets say Tarantino-esque tone to everything, I daresay the story would've been bleak without them!

/urgu said...

Dude.

As Sriram pointed out, slight Tarantino feel. That's one tormented soul you've painted - endosulphan cocktail a bit theatrical but emphatic. Also, that kid with the inflated head - grim memories.

Binsy said...

This was actually the first thing I read today. Took a while to comment due to the sheer darkness of the post and impending coursework deadlines. Though, I seriously have to thank you, because I ended up writing my news feature on Endosulfan. Thought the pace was great, short sentences at it's best. Absolutely appreciate bleakness!

vanwinkle said...

@chyech thank you:)you are very kind:)

@anan thanks:)

@sriram the dope and all were integral to the plot man,no stronger way of depicting sheer hopelessness and turmoil. honoured by the tarantino ref:)

@urgu well he had to end it with a flourish.. :)

@binsy whoa.. nice to know that the intensity came across:)my themes arent always so dark and desolate though:)

ariyathe said...

Wowow that was quite the creeps. Loved the dark theme and the political message, of course. The climax was intense! =)
And I really like how you chose to end it- very powerful.

Great read to start my morning =P !

k.ø.c.h.ü said...

Lord...too much for a first time visitor :)

Dark but bright.

*shakes hands

Srivardhan said...

Beautiful. Intense. Unsettling.
Strikes resonance with the reader's pacing heart. Great piece of work!