Book Blitz: Unspoken A Bouquet Of Short Stories By Sadhana Wadhawa

Unspoken ~ A Bouquet of Short Stories

by

Sadhana Wadhwa

Publication Date: November 6, 2019

Sold By: Amazon Asia Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Language: English

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Anthologies

Blurb:

The choices we make and their consequences we endure can be numerous. Look around and you will be able to see a different story being woven in everyone’s lives: A woman who took the biggest decision of her life and paid the price, or then someone who had it all till one fateful night threatened to take it all away. Unrequited love and loss, or a second chance at reviving severed ties.
Unspoken brings to you a collection of seven such stories, which take you through the journey of these souls, controlled by the biggest mystery of the universe that we call life.

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Quotes Liked by Readers:

~ “Neither knew where they would go from here except that it would not be anything related to growing apart this time.”

~ “She hugged her tight and announced her name – “Mukti“.”

Excerpt:

She finally settled herself in bed, and out of habit, picked up her current read. Few pages in, she remembered about the next day’s schedule and proceeded to check that on her phone, another habit that she believed helped her to be prepared at all times. And then she stopped! How she wished she had not checked it. At least, not today. The date glared back, mocking her, bringing up unwanted emotions. “Seven,” she whispered. A single tear rolled down her cheeks before she knew it. It would be seven years tomorrow since that fateful day. As always, this anniversary brought with it a full range of emotions: guilt, sadness, and frustration at herself. She had even blamed Kshitij for whatever had happened that day, only to realize it wasn’t really his fault. Even after so many years, the memories of that day have remained imprinted upon her mind.

About the Author

Sadhana Wadhwa is a bookworm, writer, book reviewer, blogger and an IT Professional. Her works have appeared in several prestigious anthologies like Amravati Poetic Prisms and A Book Called Home, among others. When not reading books, she likes to spend time writing, honing her baking skills – a new found liking or simply lazing around.

You can stalk her @

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Phase Four

Mixing it up with the Writer Gal Letters are short stories that I experiment with, for form, for storytelling, for exploring the darkest, most heinous side of human nature. And, because my MA lit prof once told me I could never write a short story.

Phase Four is part six of a short titled ‘Remorseless Beauty.’ I hope you enjoy it.

Short Story (7)

 

“Oh my god. OH MY GOD,” I shook my head in negation as Nurse Theresa explained that Ginger had been let go.

Because well, the common term was, she’d snapped. Right at her sick, beaten daughter’s bedside. She’d started screaming and had to be finally sedated. Which is where she was right now.

Sedated. In her own little room in the psych ward, where she was on suicide watch. It was so pathetic and sad. And who’d have thought something like that was hiding beneath Ginger’s exterior.

Nobody mentioned the nightly visits that Ned the Janitor was paying her. Nobody mentioned anything. It was too horrible. Too grotesque.

Like somebody’s nightmare had come true.

Delilah Appleton died three days after she was hospitalized from severe internal bleeding, multiple injuries and blunt head trauma that couldn’t be detected because she never regained consciousness.

Ginger Appleton had been restrained in a psych room until further evaluation.

After about six weeks, I went in to look at my favorite nurse. She was behind a locked door. A holding cell. Dressed in hospital greens, looking as lifeless as a corpse could look. Her eyes were wild with terror and grief. And something resembling hatred.

I looked at her, and sighed a little.

I have always been aware of my own power. The best and the worst in me. And I have always strived to do better than both. It’s not nature, it is compulsion. It’s what I was born with.

The most destructive of my tendencies, the most perfect of my behaviors, I have embraced them both and made apologies for neither. It’s not an admirable trait, but I don’t want to be admired.

To be figured out, to be understood is just one layer of how we operate. And I like my level better. The capability, the power of illusion, of being able to manipulate destinies is so much more. Ginger and her daughter were the rabbits in my hat.

Breaking her, in the end, had been so easy.

And I went out with Trev on one side of my wheelchair. And my parents on the other. My time in the hospital had been well-spent. And as I locked that picture of Ginger’s snapped eyes in my head for all time to come, I whispered to myself.

Phase Four, check.

I drove away from the hospital with my family close beside me. It seemed, after all, that I could do anything I wanted. To ruin someone, to manipulate their destiny, to be able to commit monstrous acts without a qualm or remorse, what kind of person would do that?

What reasons would there be for doing something like that?

I gave you mine.

I wonder, though, sometimes, is it enough?

FIN

 

Tainted

Mixing it up with the Writer Gal Letters are short stories that I experiment with, for form, for storytelling, for exploring the darkest, most heinous side of human nature. And, because my MA lit prof once told me I could never write a short story.

Tainted is part five of a short titled ‘Remorseless Beauty.’ I hope you enjoy it.

 

Short Story (8).png

Three hours later, I sat in a state of shock while Principal Stevens explained things. Things like an internet profile, abuse of school property and gang rape echoed in my aching head. And I didn’t really understand anything. I couldn’t understand anything at all.

“Mrs. Appleton, do you understand what I am saying?”

I said nothing. Words like expulsion and lawsuits were ringing in my ears. And I still couldn’t comprehend anything. My cell phone, the one I had finally switched off in desperation, was an accusation as it sat on the oak table of the Principal’s office.

I heard THE VOICE in my head. It was all I could hear.

The principal shoved a monitor to my face. Just to get me to focus. And there it was. My picture and my profile. Nude. Bare. Laid for all to see.

Tainted. Wrong. WRONG.

The scream rose in my head again. The Principal clicked a button and Del’s beautiful face filled the screen. And the five words that were in screaming bold letters, they filled the rest of the page. I shook her head. How could this have happened? Who would do something like this to my baby girl? Who would be so monstrous?

“I’m sorry,” I said dully, for lack of anything else to say.

“Mrs. Appleton, I am sure you appreciate the gravity of the situation. You do, don’t you? You can understand why Delilah can no longer study here and I know, I know it’s a hard time for you now. But we at Hemery have enough problems and enough statistics to deal with. Delilah invited this trouble on herself and we can’t help her anymore. With her substance abuse and everything else…” Principal Stevens trailed off.

“Del, where is she?” I whispered.

“In the Trauma ward of Hemery General. I am so sorry, Mrs. Appleton. I wish–” The Principal shrugged. What could he say, exactly?

I nodded, even though the pounding in my head increased unbearably. “Someone can take you there, Mrs. Appleton. Although I think, Social Services is getting involved. Someone’s there right now, taking your daughter’s statement, if I am not wrong.” He added almost as an apology. An afterthought

I barely heard him.

Where did I go wrong? How could I face my baby now? The tears started again. I broke down. It was embarrassing and no one seemed to want to stop me. To give me comfort. The curse of a world that had seen it all. That could only condemn and judge.

I wanted to tell them, I DIDN’T DO IT. I am not that woman. I AM NOT! You know me. I am part of your school’s Booster Club. But who would believe her? There were phone calls. Emails. There was legitimacy to everything. And who would believe a Scarlett woman? So I didn’t protest. What was the point? And now my baby, my little girl, the tears came down in full force.

What had they done to her!

Monsters.

Vicious monsters. MY GOD…where was the justice in all of this?  Where was God when you needed him? Why didn’t he come to help my fourteen-year-old daughter?

####

Ginger walked in a daze to the bed of her traumatized daughter. She looked so pale, so lifeless, breathing through tubes. The nurse she was, the mother she had been cried out at the small form that lay on the bed. And there was a dark-dressed woman who was looking at her curiously. Distastefully.

That lady from Social Services.

Statistic. They were just another statistic.

Like the lives of Grace and Delilah Appleton had been reduced to two profiles on the most popular pornographic site and whatever judgments the authorities could make from then on. The School. Social Services. Every person with a penis who had access to the internet. The Hospital Board which would soon get to her. Now that everyone knew her big secret. The courts, if the school was anything to go by, would come after her too.

Prison…..Ginger started hyperventilating as spiraling images of disaster started hitting her, one after the other. All of them more horrific than the next. What was she going to do? WHAT WAS SHE GOING TO DO?

Ginger screamed then. As if she couldn’t stop screaming …

Eyes wild with unseen terror. Face tearing up in pain and agony and anger. Her body collapsing under the terrible strain it was under. And all the while her daughter, victim of a vicious gang rape lay in her semi-conscious state and breathed through tubes while a monitor beeped for her. The lady from Social Services asked for help and figured this one was a lost cause before anything could even be implied.

She thought as to what she could put in her report and not condemn the daughter to prison…

To Be Continued…

The Red Crayon

Mixing it up with the Writer Gal Letters are short stories that I experiment with, for form, for storytelling, for exploring the darkest, most heinous side of human nature. And, because my MA lit prof once told me I could never write a short story.

The Red Crayon is part one of a short titled ‘Remorseless Beauty.’ I hope you enjoy it.

Short Story.png

Proper destruction requires careful planning. But it was going to be fun. Careful planning always was. Ultimately, it all comes down to creating the perfect lie. The perfect illusion of truth. A truth constructed like a hall of mirrors so that you entered a naïve little innocent looking for a fun ride, and by the time you came out, you were unrecognizable.

It’s why I do what I do. Sure, I enjoyed the game. And it was about seeing how well I played, how many moves I could make before somebody caught on. But…like a magic trick, I made the rabbit appear out of the hat. And everyone just saw the rabbit. No one saw the hat.

People don’t really want the truth. They prefer the lie.

You see, in truth, it was about getting away with it. And what you can do. Proper destruction meant stretching the limits, ripping the fabrics of reality and creating the most believable illusion.

Why do I do it? I ask you, dear reader, Why not?

#####

It started when I was four.

I had broken a crayon in the kindergarten class mom sent me to because she couldn’t stay home and take care of me. I had friends, I was friendly and curious just like the others in my class. Belinda, Melissa, Georgia, Aaron, Nikhil, Harun.

I had no motive to do it. Everybody liked me. My teacher adored me. They thought I was sweet and nice and I had a beautiful smile. I suppose, I still am. It’s nice to be thought of that way. Knowing what I have inside of me, knowing what I am capable of…damn, now I am getting ahead of myself.

So, anyway, I was four. The red crayon broken. Done that on purpose. And the girl sitting next to me, coloring inside the lines of her blue unicorn looked at me and smiled.

“It’s alright,” she said. Then she handed me her red crayon. “You can use mine.”

I smiled. Broke hers too. She started crying. The teacher, Mrs. Gupta, came over to see what the fuss was about. And the girl said, I broke her crayon. And then I did it. I said those words that gave me a taste of what I could do. I smiled my beautiful smile, and spoke, in a really wobbly voice.

But she did it first.

She broke my crayon, so I broke hers back. And I started crying too. Wailing actually. Tears are so easy. Tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of rage and frustration. Tears you cry when your stomach hurts so bad you want to rip it off. Tears of pain because you can’t live with the things that are inside of you.

That day, I cried, because it was needed. Boy, did I kick up a fuss. And, of course, the teacher never punished me. Or her. The girl never spoke to me again. I think, she was the only one, the only person who saw me for what I truly was. The perfect mirror.

A red crayon-holding girl, who was coloring a blue unicorn who didn’t want to be my friend, because I lied. I had lied so well. So convincingly. She was half right. I did it for all those reasons. And one more.

Because I couldn’t help myself.

I don’t want to bore you withthe details of who I really am. About what inner monologues go on inside of me. Suffice it to say, the day I broke the red crayon, twice, I knew. What I was capable of. What I could get away with it.

Everything. Anything.

Hearts and morality don’t bother me. Neither do right and wrong. I believe in the absolute sole value of my life based on one single rule. Why not?

It’s incredibly selfish and incredibly simple. I am not talking about ethical follies like murder, robbery, and all that pathetic anti-social crap that criminals go through to justify their behavior. I am not talking about psychiatric crap like being the best that you can be, although it rates way up there. I am not talking addiction or lying or adultery. Or any of the other million vices that we are capable of.

I am talking about things that are beyond being a pathological liar or a sociopath. You could classify me as both. It doesn’t matter. I am who I am. I don’t love misery. I have not had a rotten childhood. I like being happy, and I like people.

Sociopaths manipulate people because they don’t like the state of equilibrium the others exist in. The state of balance that they themselves can’t have because of whatever motivations have set them on their retarded path.

I don’t want people to suffer because I take vicious, voyeuristic pleasure in their pain. Not a psychopath either, for the very same reasons.

You’ll be thinking now. Okay! Big deal! She broke a crayon. My mom’s favorite perfume bottle. A fucking video game. A boy’s heart. I did all of that.

I even broke my car, wrapping it around a tree because I was too drunk to see where I was going. And of course, I wanted to see what would happen to me if I drove the car into a tree. Why not? The car got totaled, I ended up in the hospital. And I was grounded.

I got away with it, though.

And there, when I lay in bed for about two months. I figured out several things. I wanted to go to college. And become whoever made me the happiest. I wanted a gorgeous job, a pricey apartment with a view, a generous credit allowance and a man who adored me.

The time I spent in the hospital, I also realized I was deeply bored. Single linear trajectory towards a single linear goal. So, because it was no fun sitting there, plotting my own future, I decided to do something else. An experiment, if you will.

The nurse’s name was Ginger. She was sweet, a little fat, very motherly towards me and very understanding about the sneaky visits that my boyfriend Noah used to make every night. Or, almost every night, once the cast was off. Now, he made me happy. And I love him. We are engaged now.

So why did I do it? Why did I manipulate Ginger, the sweet and understanding nurse to take her own life? Well, you can actually see it. For yourself.

To Be Continued…