Siddharth Chhadwa, Winner
The room felt cold inside, even without any windows it was a weird temperature that went inside. Maybe it was because all the room was white, the walls, the ceiling, and even the marble on the floor. Tara was weeping as she sat there with a scarred face after Ved brought her in forcefully and locked the door from the inside, the only way in or out of the white room.
The only purpose of the room was for Ved to calm himself, maybe that is why he chose to keep it hidden in his house and only the two were aware of it. But this time, Tara was inside as if for a mistake she made from which Ved brought her in after they got home from a dinner party with their friends.
Tara was just examining the room, the only furniture that the room has been with were two chairs and a table filled with some tools. Ved came in after locking and sat in front of her looking in her eyes and asked.
“You could not speak to me about whatever problems you were facing between us?”
Tara replied with some hesitation “Ved, I tried you were always trying to ignore the problems and you were not even talking to me about it after I told you.”
“So since when is this exactly going on and when was the last time you told me about it?”
“I have been telling you about it for the last 6 months, and last year we also had this discussion.”
“Ok, so tell me TARA! WHAT IS THE PROBLEM EXACTLY?” he screamed.
Tara saw his face and stared at it for a few seconds, as she knew what could happen if she failed to give an answer he would be satisfied with. She could not answer in time.
Meanwhile, Ved picked up a screwdriver from the table and came close to Tara, held her left hand’s little finger, and pierced it through. Tara screamed in pain as he twisted the screwdriver inside her finger and he could hear the bone crack and blood spurt to the floor, it fascinated him as the blood started dropping on the floor and it created a beautiful pattern. He frowned and asked again.
Ved gives her a cold stare. He gets up and reaches into his pocket and pulls out a packet of cigarettes, then he sits and offers her one while his eyes are still fixated on the blood dripping on the floor from her finger. She denies her lights one for himself and takes a drag as he speaks “So basically you have been fooling me all this time and now you are telling me I am the bad guy here because you did not get what you wanted, and you couldn’t tell me as I would hurt you. So what do we do now? You have got yourself here and now THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO DO!”
Ved takes the cigarette bud still lit and presses it on her finger hard enough to leave a mark that stops the blood flowing out, and he slaps her hard, hard enough to make her unconscious. Tara is woken up with a terrorizing pain in her left hand as felt her finger’s bone getting pulled by small pliers as if someone was pulling an extra part of a thread from a piece of clothing. He plucks her nails out and just lets her feel every bit of the pain inflicted on her body. As soon as she felt unconscious again Ved used a different pain to wake her up again and again. He gets a scalpel and cuts her finger off. New patterns of blood have formed, the blood spatters are going on the table, on the wall and the art is being created by Ved, he appreciates himself as he looks at her with all the love in his eyes.
Ved asked her as he is looking at all the blood, “Are you sure that you don’t want to be with such an artist, look what a masterpiece I have created with just one finger of yours, what do you think will happen if I start using my other tools as well.” He picks up the tiny finger and continues, “I think I will keep this little tiny finger as an award I got for all the hard work and my talent that I have displayed today.” He laughs and looks at her. Tara starts getting drowsy after all the continuous blood loss, and she is about to say something but her body does not allow it as she is drained out by all of her screamings and her voice is lost. She takes a glance at the blood near her legs and just in a wave of shock he passes out again as she was trying to say. “I-I d…do-don’t lo…”
Ved lights another cigarette he is looking at Tara. With each drag, he wonders what would be going inside her head right now.
Ved lights another cigarette he is looking at Tara. With each drag, he wonders what would be going inside her head right now. He acknowledges her beauty, she has a bruise on her left cheek from the slap, her eyes filled with tears and smudged mascara which was supposed to be waterproof, he looks at her hair that was cut short, just how he liked it, some loose strands flying across her face, and he tries to put it behind her ears. As he does that his eyes go to her neck which had been hiding a bruise from the straightening machine which she got while using it in the evening before going for dinner. She was wearing a black off-shoulder dress with white flower designs on it. She had waxed her legs just a day before the dinner, so they looked shiny and smooth. He just ran his finger on them. She was wearing a pair of red stilettos, and he noticed that her lipstick too was almost the same shade, and he realized that after a while all of them looked more or less like her own bloodstains from the floor. As he finished his cigarette he threw the bud on the floor beside her blood and put it off by his leg. He went in front of her and let out the smoke on her face as Tara woke up with a cough.
Ved gave an unusual grin, it made her uncomfortable. And she started thinking about what new pain was going to be felt by her body now. Ved kneeled on his toes on the right side of Tara taking care as not to step in the blood, and he looked at her and asked,
“How do you do that? Looking so amazingly mesmerizing! Now after you told me, I found out about your feelings today and I finally realized how aesthetic you look every time you put so much effort into yourself. I am so sorry to make you feel disgusted about your attire and the way you always were. Would you give me another chance? Would you let me prove to you how wrong you are and how I can change everything? I know we have done this twice before but this is the last time, I am begging for your forgiveness.”
He pauses for a brief moment as a tear comes out of his left eye and continues, “Tara I have always been loyal to you, and it was just that once it happened as we were on a DAMN BREAK! And I-”
Tara lets out a disgusted sigh and interrupts him. “I do not care what you do to me, I always knew the kind of animal you were! It is just that I had no idea that underneath all of there was a monster unleashed now. If you want to torture me to death you can go ahead! I DO NOT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU OR THIS STUPID RELATIONSHIP!”
Ved’s tolerance had been lost now, he picked up a hammer from the table and hit Tara as hard as he could on the head as she fell on the floor but he did not stop there. Some of her hair got stuck on the hammer, Ved continued until he heard a loud crack of her skull breaking. And was about to open her head with the hammer when he heard someone calling him.
Tara came back to the living room holding a set of keys and asking, “ VED, where did you keep them the last time you used it and which room are you talking about again?”
Ved’s chain of thoughts are interrupted by her, and he answers“LOVE, it is THE WHITE ROOM.”