Wednesday, May 30, 2012

55 word fiction

1. Loyalty
He is loyal to me and rarely complains what food i serve him. In the four years we got together his face sparkles at my sight and accompanies me willingly wherever I want him to. He is unhappy when i fail to respond to his cuddles. Not my poodle as imagined but my dear hubby

2. Jackpot

The neighbour said first thing in the morning "You will hit the jackpot today!" I wondered how he knew my plan to visit Casino. With high spirit I determined to try my luck fully. As I took car out I broke a flower pot by mistake .. My wife shrieked "You have hit Jack’s pot!!!"

3. Stolen kisses
When I move stealthily to her apartment, she takes me in her arms and showers her kisses to my great delight but only when she is alone. Her hubby hates me and shoos me away whenever he sees me. He has a reason. I broke his TV screen once with my tiny cricket bat by mistake.

4. Ideal house
The description in the ad suited my requirements. A house away from others, a garden, long pathway and spacious rooms. Though dark the trees made place cool.The agent showed me all special features and the rent he told was dirt cheap. I knew the answer in the first night itself that it
was haunted.

5. Friendly alert
He whispered to me in the crowded bus stand “Pickpockets are plenty here. Be careful." Immediately I felt my back pocket and sighed with relief. "Thank you for alerting" I said as he came closer and shook my hands. When he took the next bus I felt grateful till I touched my back pocket again.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

55 word fiction

1. My love
I always long to be with you and hold you close to my bosom with my eyes closed. Your music is soft and enchanting sending soothing vibrations all over me. Wishing to sing with you, I draw you close my dainty fingers setting you in action. You never fail to please me, my dear iPad.

2. The stalker
The stalker is unrelenting following me always. I am no young girl, rich or a criminal..But is unfazed even when I am in a group. I told my dad. He advised me not go out or go late in evenings to escape the stalker. The stalker is vigorous early mornings or later afternoons-long shadows

3. Patron
It was hot evening. Only 10 people were in the AC hall.A girl was giving her debut recital. Six members belonged to girl’s family, two hall employees, the mike man and an elderly man the only outsider. At the end family profusely thanked the lone patron. He said it was hot and raining heavily .

4. A suicide?
He saw men walking towards him on the bridge. He quickly climbed the railings, saw the river below and took a deep breath before lifting his folded hands. The men rushed to pull him back and gave money to banish hunger. The next day he waited for some to appear before climbing the railing

5. Who is at fault?
I find the world growing insane. People are intolerant, rigid in views and prone to violence. I avoid such men unless they irk me and many do. When I retaliate, onlookers side with my tormentors making me angrier. To avoid this I become silent making my daughter worried and crying. Tell me who is insane

Friday, May 25, 2012

Call of duty

Suchitra was sitting alone in the corner room of the police station. The room was spacious with a few chairs and a large table. There was a long bench on one side. Luckily it was not hot with the fan in motion. There were constables walking outside in the corridor now and then. She was a tall young woman with long hair with bangs falling on her face and was clad in a jeans and kurti.

It was then a man in his early thirties was brought inside by two policemen and his hand was chained to a chair. They left the room without a word. His face looked youngish, hair well cut and his shirt and pant clean. There was no ruffian look about him though he looked pretty scared. There was an uneasy silence before he broke it.

“You seem a decent girl from a good family. How come you are here?” he asked. When she kept quiet, he added “You don’t have to answer if you don’t wish to”

“Not like that. I was with my friend from US in a hotel last night. There was a raid there possibly because of a rave party going on there. When there was commotion my friend left the room hurriedly as he was to leave for US next day. When the inspector found me in someone’s room, he thought I was a call girl. The inspector brought me here in the morning and is hinting at booking a case against me under immoral traffic act.”

“Don’t you have parents or husband to come to your rescue? It is not good to remain in police station for long” he said

“Yeah, infact I don’t like the leering look of that inspector. I suspect his intentions are not honourable.I am scared. My parents are old in a village. I am single and alone working in this city.” she replied. Then as an afterthought asked him casually “What brings you here? You look a decent and educated guy and give no indication of being involved in any crime”

He was silent and turned his head towards the door.“Don’t be afraid. No one will come. I expect the inspector only in the afternoon” she said

He said in a voice that was almost a whisper”I am not that innocent. I got into this wrong thing by poverty initially.” She cupped her ears and asked him to speak a little louder.

“You see I was born in a poor family with aged parents and wife and children to support. I had no regular job. That was when someone from this gang asked me to deliver some packet at some place for a good remuneration. The job was simple and I had to commute unobtrusively and deliver without asking any questions or showing inquisitiveness. I knew that something irregular was being done but I got easy money and the needs of my family were fully met” he said

“You must have suspected what the goods you carried were” she prodded

“Since it was light weight and whitish in colour from the powder that spilled sometimes. I knew it was illegal drugs. But the income was so good that I never bothered to know” he said

“Sorry I forgot to ask you your name. I am Suchitra.You must be knowing generally where you pick the stuff and deliver” she asked

“I am Raj. Yes I know. Why do you ask?”

“Nothing in particular. I just want you to be careful with these guys. They are ruthless. You have a family to take care of” she said. Suddenly she signaled him to be quiet when she heard noise outside.

“Thank you. I am aware and wish to get out of this racket. But you know it is difficult and I would come to instant harm if I desert them. My family would be too exposed to danger. That is what is rankling my mind always. It is like riding a tiger” he said

“Are they only in drugs or anything else?”she asked

“I am connected only with drugs, charas, opium, ecstasy and things like that. I think they smuggle other contraband things too”

“I would advise you to keep safely the addresses of all the places you visit entered in a paper in some secret place in your house. Never trust them. Once they suspect that you may squeal under duress they will kill you” she said

"I am aware and have done it already” he assured her

It was then they heard a ruffle of feet outside. He placed his fingers on his lips and said ‘shhhhh’

The inspector along with half a dozen constables entered the room and stood deferentially in attention with a salute to the woman..Raj was baffled.

”Inspector, take him to your place and get all the details of places from him and carry out the raids immediately. They are ruthless gang. Take a good support staff. I think he will sing otherwise give him the treatment. I want all the people rounded up by evening” said Suchitra,IPS Superintendent of Police.

Raj in swore under his breath “you dirty bitch”

Someone caught him by scruff of neck and dragged him away after a hard slap.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shoba's resolve

Shoba got frustrated that not a bus or a three wheeler was in sight for more than 45 minutes. It was getting dark and the sky was overcast. There were none in the bus stand save two jerks talking loudly and making indecent references to her. She ignored them and prayed that she was able to get out of this place quickly. Seeing her fidgety, one of them came near her and asked for time. When she did not respond, he said to the other the young lady seems deaf-mute. The other one replied that he saw her talking on mobile. With none around they took courage and came nearer to ferret out some words from her. When she took her mobile from her bag, one of the men snatched it from her and said “No tricks come with us and we will let you go safely after one hour”

As she started running away from them with them in close pursuit, a motor bike screeched to a halt by her side. A well built handsome young man said “Vanaja, why are you running? How come you are here?”

The moment the two jerks saw the muscular man on the bike talking to Shoba, they took to their heels after dropping the mobile. The young man said “I could size up from a distance that these spineless roadside Romeos were troubling you and hence pretended as if I knew you.”

She said “Thanks. Your help was timely. I shudder to think what would have happened had you not saved me”

“It is okay. Buses are not frequent in this route. I can drop you or if you are afraid I can walk with you pushing the bike up to the main road.”

By the time they came walking to the main road they knew each other better. Shankar was just a graduate and working as an assistant in a private firm and a single. Shoba on the other hand from an affluent family was an engineer working in a reputed IT company and her parents were hunting for a suitable man. But these wide differences did not deter from their falling in love. The chivalrous handsome saviour in Shankar looked a real hero to her. Shankar too was drawn to her beauty and polished manner. Love is blind and knows no status.

Their parents knew about their fondness for each other. When Shoba took him to her house one day, her dad thanked him profusely for the timely rescue and gifted him with a suit cloth. He thought inwardly that gift squared up the debt of gratitude and that there was no further obligation towards him.

When Shankar took her to his house and introduced to his mother, she was mighty pleased with her beauty and blessed them both with happiness. She had already assumed that Shoba would become her daughter-in-law. But Shoba’s parents were not reconciled to her love with someone who is incompatible in every respect like qualification, job and status. They initially expressed obliquely their reservations about him and her relationship with him. They said she deserved a better person socially and job wise and she should move away from him. Her mom warned her that after the initial fascination, life with him in the later years would not be rosy and would yield place to jealousy and inferiority complex in him. But she would not listen and was adamant that she would marry him only. She was always haunted with the scary thought of how the two jerks that evening would have ruined her but for Shankar’s intervention and felt beholden to him eternally.

Seeing her obstinacy, Shoba’s dad resorted to some clever moves. Under the guise of helping Shankar he got a probationary officer’s position in a private bank through his friend who was the MD and had him sent to Bombay for training for six months. The young fellow was mighty pleased at the good turn of events. Meanwhile her dad through a contact in Shoba’s IT Company had her sent on a project to Seattle in US. Initially it was for three months that got extended to six months and prolonged further. There she met people of her caliber highly qualified and ambitious, both single and couples. Though she liked US and the great life there, she could not forget her love

Shankar’s MD one day called him and warned him to stay away from Shoba if he wished to retain the position. The distance, absence of regular contact and the threat, he thought would blunt the intensity of love and assured his friend and Shoba’s dad accordingly.

It was therefore a great shock one day after a few months when Shoba’s dad got a printed invitation for her marriage with Shankar at Bangalore with a small note.

“Dear dad,I am sorry to displease you and amma. I have taken up a position in another IT company here at Bangalore a fortnight back and Shankar has resigned that job and joined a reputed financial company here. He is planning to do a management course in the evenings. We have taken a house but will move in only after the wedding. Please do come without fail and bless us. I kept these developments deliberately from you lest you create hurdles. I love you and amma as ever. I need your blessings

Yours as always, Shoba”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A guest post in Rachna says

Ms.Rachna Srivastava Parmar
is a well known blogger with a vast following.
She writes on a variety of subjects of topical interest
She has done me a great honour
by carrying one of my stories Ominous
as a guest post in her blog

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Regret in leisure

Raman sat before dining table for his lunch at 10.30 am as was his usual time after the morning shower and prayer.

“You have not closed the bathroom tap after you had finished your bath. The tank is empty now”Janaki remonstrated with her husband Raman.

“Don’t talk rubbish. I closed the tap when I came out I am always careful” he replied

“We are the only two in the house. I never enter your bath room. The maid said the tap was open with the bucket full. Now she can neither wash the clothes nor the vessels, all because of your carelessness.” replied Janaki.”This is not the first time and it happens rather frequently” she added

“When I say I had closed the tap, how dare you accuse me, you brat?. You always have a notion that you are perfect and others shoddy” he shouted in anger.

“Don’t think by raising your voice, you can hide the truth. If you have forgotten to close the tap, say truthfully that you had and that ends the matter” she said

“Are you obliquely calling me a liar, you good for nothing woman? You eat your insipid worthless food. I am not eating” he said in anger and left the dining hall in a huff.

Janaki waited for 15 minutes and then went near him.”Why do you get so angry for small things? Why do you link eating lunch with such trifles? Please come. It is getting cold. I never meant any disrespect to you” she said softly

With pangs of hunger gnawing his stomach, he quietly came with her and said “Janu, you also eat with me. You must be hungry too. Don’t be upset with me. This wretched temper runs in my family. Sorry, please do not mistake me” he pleaded.

Such tiffs were regular happenings though they never abridged the love each one had for the other. The latter’s parents chose Raman out of three men despite the other two were a shade better than Raman both in looks and job for the only reason their family astrologer said that there was a complete agreement on several counts signifying perfect harmony. That was about five decades back. Though they were loving couple, Janaki never set store much by astrologers since then. The one flaw in Raman was his short temper and his propensity to say whatever comes in mind while in rage without bothering about consequences. The saving grace was that his temper was always short lived and he would soften down regretting for what he had spoken. But words uttered leave their scars.

Raman at 75 had blood pressure problem while Janaki at 72 suffered from fluid retention complaint due to poor functioning of heart. Both were on medication and managing themselves with their children abroad.

Janaki heard her husband shouting at the top of his voice from his room “Where the hell my passbook and checkbook that I left on the table have mysteriously disappeared in this wretched home?”

Janaki did not go to the room and waited for him to trace the books himself.

“Janaki, are you deaf or what? I have been shouting about the missing bank things I left on the table and you are sitting unconcerned.” He said in anger

“What do you want me to do? You kept somewhere and you should yourself find out. I never entered your room” she replied softly

“Come here immediately and help me find out, you lazy bone” he shouted

“I am not coming if you cannot talk properly” she said

He lost his temper and bellowed in rage “Then do not come. You are dead as far as I am concerned. I will learn to manage on my own from now on”

She went in and found that man in mad mood. She went near the table and started searching among the pile of things he had kept on it in total disorder.

“I told you I have already searched. What do you mean by searching at the same place? Do you think I am not smart and you are a detective?” he heckled her

Unmindful of what he was talking about, she opened the drawer of the table and found the pass book and check book on the top.”Here they are” she said and quietly left the room.

It was 6pm that evening. Janaki was lighting the lamps in the puja room. Raman was watching TV. He heard her “Can you get a doctor immediately? I am unable to breathe“ He rushed to her and found her lying on the floor before the gods pictures and gasping for breath

“Janaki, are you okay?”Let me get the doctor. I will be back in seconds” he said and ran to the adjacent apartment where a doctor resided.

Luckily he was available and came rushing. After examining her he said “We must rush her to emergency in the hospital. I will take her in my car Let us get some help to lift her to the car”

Sadly by the time they reached the hospital, she breathed her last with her head on Raman’s lap. The doctors said it was a massive cardiac arrest. Raman was inconsolable and banged his head on the wall in the hospital crying aloud “I killed you Janaki. I know why you left me. It was my bad tongue”

Very often in anger we utter words that we do not really mean but which we can never take back but regret forever. The guilt in Raman’s mind would never leave him like his short temper.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Poetic justice

It was an arranged marriage .They had seen each other in family functions like weddings.Sumithra had no reason to reject when Sundar's family sought her hand. He was highly qualified, not exactly handsome and drew a good salary.Sumi too was well qualified working for a MNC and extremely fetching. They had no occasion to meet each other except for a couple of times before the wedding took place.

It was all hunky dory during honeymoon and the months that followed. His aged mother who was a bit short of hearing stayed with the couple. She was a good lady minding her own business and managed the house with a help. Everything was smooth till one day Sumi had come early from office and resting in her bedroom. She heard Sundar's car and as soon as he entered, he asked why the curtains were drawn making the room stuffy

."Someone from the first floor of next house is always watching our room and so I closed"Sumi replied"How do you know he is always watching unless you also look for him?" he said rather nastily.

Sumi was shocked but restrained her anger and said softly" whenever I come here I find him and so I draw the curtains. I am not able to appreciate your snide remark even if made in jest"

"Why would I jest when you and another man are stealing glances when I am not here? I don't like it. I hope you understand" he said insensitively.Sumi left the room crying at the wild accusation.It was a great jolt for her that a man could be so mean and suspicious and shuddered at the thought of living with the guy for entire life.

A fortnight later she heard someone calling and went to the front verandah. A young man from the opposite house requested her for the mobile number of a plumber who had worked in her house a week earlier. As she was finding the number from the mobile, Sundar who came just then asked her what the matter was.

"This gentleman who is living in the opposite house is asking for the mobile number of the plumber who worked for us" Sumi said.

Sundar turned to him and said in an acerbic tone “We are not running an enquiry cell here. Why do you come and trouble my wife when I am not here?

Both Sumi and the young man were shell shocked at the crude remarks. He quietly withdrew the next moment. Sumi was embarrassed beyond words and looked at her husband with derision.She said “I hate your suspicious nature. I never thought one could be as insecure and doubting as you are."

"Every time I come home early either you are talking to or staring at some man. Do you want me to turn a blind eye to your overtures" he shouted back

At that time his mother came and without knowing the context or hearing what they were talking about said innocently " Our Sumi spends sometime in the verandah to catch fresh air and look for vegetable seller."

"So you spend evenings in verandah flaunting your beauty as a past time, is it" he asked"Fie on you. I hate you. I am not prepared to answer all your perverted questions from a sick mind" she said and ran inside to lock herself in her room.

One evening there was a beer binge with office colleagues when someone remarked "Sundar is a lucky bloke. He has very charming and beautiful wife. That is the reason he does not bring her to parties” There was a loud laughter. Her great beauty was affecting his psyche and to overcome the inferiority complex he took delight in taunting her

.They stopped talking to each other and avoided being in the same room. She had caught him as she came out of shower rummaging her hand bag or scanning the mobile phone but had kept quiet. She did not divulge to her parents for fear of causing them anxiety.What turned out to be the last straw was when her uncle's son had come from New York, she took a day off and took him round to various relatives’ houses as he stayed just for a day. When she returned late in the evening, Sundar said "So you had good time with your long missed cousin, did you? Which resort you had visited?"

"Stop your foul mouthed innuendos. I am done with you. You are not fit to be a husband, even a human. Get lost before I become violent" she screamed

"So you have already planned to elope with that so called cousin of yours, is it?" he provoked her further

.She spat on the floor and left the hall.

In the evening he found only his mother alone." what did you do to that girl ?She was crying whole day, packed her things and prostrated before me asking for forgiveness for leaving me alone before she left by a taxi. I don't know what was happening but I feel you were torturing a very good girl. Go, apologize to her and bring her back" his mother said

“You know nothing, she is a girl without character" he said

"Wash your mouth with Dettol you worthless fellow. If you utter one more word against her, I will stop talking to you" she said in great anger.

The stalemate continued for two months till one day Sundar's colleague and her friend Hasina rang up to convey that Sundar has been suspended pending enquiries against complaint lodged by his secretary for cheating and sexual abuse.A poetic justice indeed,she thought.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hook,line and sinker

Anita ,a bit short but beautiful, will be 25 by June and her parents have been pressing her to get married. They were worried as she was not showing any interest. She had no boyfriends too. She was assisting her father in his company at Chennai. It was a large trading firm with many branches across the country. They were very rich.

When they were having dinner, her dad broached the subject again telling"Anita, do not think we are hustling you into something that you do not wish. I will be 65 soon and would like to hand over the reins to you in a couple of years. My health is not that good. Please do not think I am blackmailing you .I give you a free hand to choose your partner. If you wish we can suggest some or you can yourself find one. Our only request to you is do something about it before you turn 25 .Our astrologer tells me that the next two months is auspicious."

"Kannamma, please listen to papa..He is telling for your good only" added her mom very softly.

"Okay, I have hit upon a plan. You must allow me a free hand. I will have an advertisement issued asking applications for a senior executive position in our company..The parameters would be young men above 25 but below 30, professionally qualified, willing to work in Chennai on permanent basis. I will shortlist and call for interview only the unmarried. If I find someone good, you may take over for carrying things forward. Is this acceptable to you?" she asked.

There were thirty candidates in all who turned up. Anita with a MBA in HR took the interviews.

Some of them were not agreeable to a long binding contract and some of them though had the qualifications and the expertise did not impress Anita. There were two who seemed passable but Anita was not wholly satisfied. She almost lost hope till a young and handsome guy entered as the last candidate.

."Mr.Arun, please take your seat. I am sorry you had to wait long for your turn.." she said

"Thanks Madam. It is okay" he said as he settled down

"I have seen your resume. It is quite impressive. I have no intention to test your knowledge. This company that has asked me to select a candidate has certain values and regards itself as one large family. I am to choose one who can merge in it. So my questions may be personal in nature which you should not mind. Okay?"

When he nodded his head she said "I see from your resume you are not married and you are nearing 30.Any reason for being single?"

"No specific reason. I haven't seen yet the lady I am looking for" he said with a shy smile

"That is interesting. What sort of a person you have in your mind?"she asked?

“I thought I am attending an interview for a job and not a matrimonial bureau" he said with a grin

"Not like that. These questions are intended to ferret out the personality traits. You don't have to answer if you are not comfortable with" she said

"Not at all. I am looking for basically a good natured lady who has some aim in life and can get along with people. I mean a pleasant girl who will be a good wife and a mother for our children. Am I asking too much?" he asked.

"Not at all. Let me carry it further. What sort of a figure you would look for, tall or petite?"

He kept quiet for some time and then said with a mischievous smile "Someone like you, Pray do not take me amiss"

"Thanks for the compliment, Arun.One important thing. Would you be agreeable to work in Chennai for the rest of your career?" asked a pleased Anita

"Why not? I belong to this place and love the city" he replied.

“Okay, in a few minutes the company's Chairman will meet you to carry this forward. Please wait in the lounge"

After about 45 minutes Anita's father and Arun came out with former's arm around Arun's shoulder."Anita, congratulations. I find Arun a perfect choice by you. I have discussed the details. He is willing.. You may talk to him while I telephone your mom” said her dad.

Shaking hands with her he said "I was not aware of your clever plan. Why not we have dinner outside tonight? I have some personal questions too to ask you. Anyway I am happy I have got the lady of my choice"

Meanwhile her dad was telling Anita's mom “Our ploy worked admirably. Anita fell hook line and sinker for the guy we had chosen."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The tattoo

It was a great surprise for Ashwin to meet Vinay his school buddy after almost a decade at the marketing conference in Bangalore. They had studied together in Chennai for six years and were close to each other Vinay went to another city while Ashwin remained at Chennai. They had lost touch with each other until luck brought them together again. The conference was over with the morning session and they were breaking up after the lunch. Both of them sat in a corner table to exchange news

"Hey Ashwin, you haven't changed much though you look chubbier. You were always a fat boy(chuckle)You look good and cheerful. You must be happily married with kids too. From your card I could see you are in a good position. Tell me all that happened since left each other" Vinay said

"Yes, Vinay I am fine by god's grace. I have a good and charming wife, two kids, a boy and a girl, a nice job and an apartment. Life is smooth and my parents are in village. You must be aware I did M Tech.But you were always smarter than me in every area. Now it is your turn to tell me about you."Ashwin said with a laugh.

"Don't pull my legs saying smarter and such things. I did my management diploma at IIM and have a good position and draw fat salary. I live in Mumbai but tour a lot.My parents are here in Bangalore. There is nothing much to say. Life is a sort of routine for me“ Vinay replied.

"You haven't said anything about your family. What is your wife doing and how many kids do you have? You said you tour a lot and you must visit me next time you visit Chennai"

"No, I am not married" he said as the color in his face changed.

"Why, you are 32 or 33 like me? Any special reason for putting it off. If I remember right, you have only one elder brother."

"That is a long story. When is your flight? Do you have an hour to spare?" he asked

"Surely, I came by my vehicle. I can spare you even two hours. Tell me why you continue to remain single. Do you have anyone in view?" I asked.

"It is noisy here. Let us move to the garden. It is cool there" he said

As they settled down with two bottles of beer, he sipped some and slowly started.

"Ashwin,I am a pretty unlucky chap. loved a girl who studied with me in the same college at Mumbai. She too loved me. An extraordinarily beautiful girl, she was very intelligent and stood high in the class. We used to compete for the first place. a more well behaved person I haven't seen. I doted on her. Though she loved me equally, she kept her boundaries. We decided to marry after we settled down." he paused as he pulled up his shirt sleeve of his left hand to show a tattoo with the initial V in red color.

"Her name starts with V and mine too. We decided to tattoo the initial as part of a deal that we would wait for each other. She was initially hesitant to have it in her arm as it would raise unnecessary questions and instead she had a small V etched in her calf muscle."

"That sounds sweet and romantic. What happened then? Why did you not marry her?" I asked

"Be patient, I am coming to that. When she broached the subject after two years, her dad hit the roof objecting to her choice from different caste. She tried all the tantrums but the old man did not relent. I suggested that she walk out of the house but she refused saying she will not marry against her parent's wishes. She sought my forgiveness and released me from the deal. "

"What happened to her? Is she in touch with you?" Ashwin asked.

"No, that was the last she spoke to me. She severed all contact with me and requested me not to get in touch with her. I can still remember her face in tears as she left sobbing. I learnt later from some common friend that she is married to someone of her parent's choice" he said

"Yes, I agree you are a very unlucky chap. That girl should have had the nerve to walk out but then some are born timid. I think there is little point in pining for her. She must have forgotten you by now. You must find someone, Vinay" Ashwin said

Ashwin forgot Vinay once he returned to Chennai and was lost in the routine. During a weekend he went with his family to Mahabalipuram and walked a lot in the beach and seeing places of interest..It was a very tiresome trip.

As they lay in the bed his wife Visalakshi asked "Ashwin, my legs are paining a lot. Would you mind applying Relief spray? The pain is unbearable"

"Why not, my dear?" he said as he fetched the Relief spray. He pulled up her night gown and applied the medicine. Inexplicably he lingered longer with the spray at the spot where he found a small V in tattoo.