September 25, 2012

Flash Fiction: Discovery

Everyone knew that the Babu was hiding something, but Rama didn't think she would stumble into his secret on a quiet Monday morning when the family had gone to visit the temple. She would swear to her friends in the evening that she had found it by accident. But in her heart of hearts, Rama knew she'd been snooping around her employer's house. She had taken full advantage of the fact no one was home that morning. 

She had often wondered what lay beneath the thick mattress of Mr. Chowdhury's bed. Today, she finally discovered it. Upon lifting the mattress, she found herself staring at a photograph. She had wanted to let out a scream, but the muscles in her voice seemed to have contracted. Her eyes had widened with fear yet she couldn't move from her spot, staring at the photograph. It would've been anyone else's instinct to drop the mattress and runaway. But Rama had never been like anyone else. 

With quivering fingers, she picked up the photograph and held it in front of her eyes. Tears stung in her eyes as she recognized the smiling face of the girl in the picture. Rama's whole world was spinning around her, as the memory suppressed over the years sprang back to life in her eyes. 

"Babu! Babu! My daughter is missing. Please help me find her, Babu!"

Those had been her words on that day, so long ago. He had assured her, he would find her daughter. She had believed him. 

Now she knew exactly where her daughter was. For the man, standing next to to the girl, in the picture, laughin at the camera was none other than her employer. He had something to do with her disappearance, he was convinced. She didn't remember their photograph being taken in her presence. She wondered now, rather grimly, exactly what had been going on being her back through all these years. 

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