The ash from his cigar was ready to fall. A glass of beer, half empty was kept in front of him. John was sitting in a dingy pub which was filled with small wooden tables hosting the lower middle class section of the neighbourhood. He had the money to splurge in a fancy bar, but he preferred the anonymity and the fact that he could contemplate without any disturbances. He made a rewind to the time he lost his control over himself. It was the first time that he had lost control over himself. He couldn’t figure out the reason of his outburst.
With a buzzing mind he paid for the beer and the cigar and left the pub. It was cold outside, the warmth inside the pub made it impossible to imagine that a cold this severe awaited him. He allowed the biting winds to pass through the thin cotton shirt he was wearing. Absent mind he had left his home, he even forgot to put on a coat to defend himself from the cold. He liked the cold weather, a sort of remorse he was doing to save himself from all the guilt and agony inside his heart. He felt numb to his core. He couldn’t see a sign of hope in the darkness that was slowly descending in his life. Walking, he came outside his house. Took out his keys and swung open the door. He went to the couch and dropped himself down.
He had a loving wife, two daughters and a bird that always woke him up at the crack of dawn. John was a painter by profession and earned enough to buy a mansion and a fancy car to travel. His daughters were twins and he loved them immensely. His wife was a caring young woman who only lived for her husband and her two little daughters. John’s career was growing by leaps and bounds. His skilled hands painted master pieces.
But talks were around that he was slowly losing the ‘gift’ he had, his paintings were becoming similar by each passing day. He was steadily loosing his creative instincts as a painter. But he was not ready to give up. His wife tried to persuade him to change his career path and do something else that could bring him back in the market, something creative and different. But John stuck to his decisions. As they say-“A great artist is either before his time or behind it”, John was an example of this. He remained obstinate and had started loaning a lot of money to maintain the lifestyle he had. His wife inquired about the money but he gave her only lies. The money he borrowed was piling up. People had started coming to his home and threatened him to take his wife and children away. Some of them told him to file for bankruptcy to return their money. He was loosing his ability to think. He couldn’t see his wife and daughters suffer because of him. Weeks passed, his situation became from bad to worst. There was no way out. He still thought that an artist should always remain faithful to his art and considered changing his profession as an insult to his talent.
One night when he came back home, wasted and aggressive, his wife demanded explanation for all that was happening. She was tired of the crisis she was living in. She wanted an answer, only John was not ready to give any. Intoxicated, he hit her so hard that she collided with the sharp end of the table and fell. Blood oozing from her forehead, she looked at her horrified daughters and closed her eyes. His daughters couldn’t bear the pain and started hitting the killer of their mother. Without thinking he took out the gun he had just purchased from a local dealer to shoot the people who were torturing his family. He got the gun fitted with a silencer to save the ‘drama’, the sound would cause. He didn’t think twice before pulling the trigger and shot his daughters right in their chest. Surprisingly for a new shooter, his aim was perfect. His family now lay on the ground next to the pool of blood  in the room. He lost his senses and fell to the ground.
The chirping of the bird woke him the next morning. What he saw made him think that he was in a dream. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He went to his wife, picked her in his arms and pulled her hard to his chest. He was waiting for her to open her eyes. He tried everything, but in vain. He went to his daughters and pulled them up to see their faces. He brought some water and sprinkled on their faces to wake them, but he had lost them, forever. He was seeing his world fall apart. He experienced a gut wrenching pain and a scream of utmost pain escaped his mouth. Everything came rushing back to him, the drugs he had taken, the gun he had freshly purchased and the anger that made him blind.
But he couldn’t stay there any longer. He had to take a quick decision, a decision that could save him from a death sentence. He went to his backyard and looked for a spade. His wife had a keen interest in gardening and he hoped to find some gardening tools that could help him dig up the ground. He found a medium size spade stashed in the corner of a small cage that contained all the tools of gardening. He started digging, it was difficult at first, it was the first time he was using a spade, he always watched his wife doing little things in the garden while he sipped his tea. Things were different now and he needed to be fast at this. It took him 4 hours to dig up the hole. He went inside and one by one placed the bodies in the hole. He filled the cavity with mud and went inside.
He lay on the floor, next to the pool of blood for the next couple of days. Not knowing what to do and how. Many people came, rang the door bell and banged the door. But he couldn’t muster the energy to answer them. He made up his mind, he couldn’t lie there forever. He needed to get on with life. He shaved, took a bath and made one final call before leaving for the pub.
There he was, sitting on the couch, waiting for the next big step. Even in the middle of the winter, he was sweating, shaking with fear. He was not sure of what would happen to him now. Finally the door bell rang and he stood up. Saw himself in the mirror, adjusted his glasses and went to answer the door.
The future stood facing him, the recipient of his last call was waiting for him at the door, the Police.


9 thoughts on “Guilty

  1. WOW! I sure wasn’t expecting that! He shot his children! This is a story that leaves you speechless with horror, and sadness. What a desperate situation for a stubborn man! I agree with your first commenter – very powerful writing.

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