Retributioner is a fictional story. It is a story of woman who gets married at young age and later faces mental and physical agony. She chooses to fight back and end the ill treatment by her own way. Retributioner is first story of the anthology – Wrath of Angels
Two days later, her in-laws went outstation for a couple of days to attend a marriage. Her husband left for office.
Next day, she touched her husband’s temple and said he has temperature. She brought the thermometer that showed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. She asked him to rest and he indeed believed thermometer and went back to sleep though he didn’t feel anything unusual. She wore a wicked smile and confidence after fooling her husband easily. The thermometer was actually dipped into hot water before she put it in his mouth. It was an easy to trick but no one doubted the illiterate Ananya who has never fought for her rights or for anything indeed.
Later in the evening, he started to go for office, but she again brought the thermometer that her husband shook well and kept in the mouth for a minute. The moment he took out the thermometer she snatched it and stealthily exchanged it with another thermometer hidden in her saree. He saw the thermometer showed 102 degrees Fahrenheit this time. He was shocked and sat on the sofa to watch TV but avoided to go to the office. She said she is going out to get vegetables in evening. She told everyone she met on the way that her husband is having a terrible fever and she cried falsely to many. She did not say anything to me though as if I knew her intentions through telepathy. The fact is that I knew.
She offered some home-made remedy next day. The “Ukada” or the Ayurveda mix that she has prepared has lots of red chilli powder, basil leaves, high amount of black salt and lemon. His throat burned, he coughed but she coaxed him to drink maximum to cure his high fever. The day went by, she gave him the ayurvedic mix thrice that burnt his throat terribly and later his stomach too.
Her in-laws were scheduled to come at noon, she asked her husband to rest for the day. He shouted not to make more home-made mixes and he will see doctor in the evening. She agreed. When her in-laws arrived she narrated her husband’s high fever and asked her mother-in-law to make the Ayurveda mix. She served them water admiring the Ayurveda knowledge of her mother-in-law, that will cure her husband instantly. Her mother-in-law agreed and started to make the mix. When the mix was boiling, Ananya went to her room to check if the kids were sleeping. She came back after fifteen minutes when the mix was ready but hot. Her mother-in-law asked her to filter it and give it to her husband while she will rest for some time. She went to kitchen broke thermometer into the mix and put the pieces back to the box. The box was hidden in her saree that she planned to dispose later. She filtered the mix and gave it to her husband. This time the Ayurveda mix tasted much better but he did not have time to say this.
He died. They call the doctor to affirm it. They screamed and cried loudly. Family from distant land dropped in and cried aloud. They were shocked to see him die. The colloquies of neighbour were filled with high fever for two days and how it may have led to sudden death. They pitied Ananya for being a widow at a young age and how she will live her life alone. In the evening the body was taken to the crematory and burnt to ashes.
Ananya wore white saree and the meagre jewellery that she wore was taken off. She cried loudly. Her cry was for her victory, for her long-suffering, for her abortions, for her agony, for her fears. She was uncertain of the future but she knew she will handle it. Her in-laws did not talk to the widowed Ananya. The thought to live this house and live elsewhere was discarded immediately. She has three kids, no degree, she has never been to school, no savings, how will she survive. So she stayed and worked her routine quietly. The days become months and months turn to years. She still lives with her in-laws, strangely they never asked her to leave. Her mother-in-law, in fact, gave her some money regularly to buy anything that she wanted. Her kids went to school and were growing up with more care.
We chatted regularly on everything, except her husband. I never found guts to ask about three thermometers neither she have the courage to share. She was not able to sleep at the moment, as when she closed her eyes her husband’s dead face or her husband hitting her played in front of her. She gets frequent headaches due to sleeplessness and migraines that she might have installed. All her kids grew enough to start schooling.
Her elder daughter, who is naughty, charming and caring, turned 15 this year. On her birthday, her schoolmates gift her cat. She loved it and they played and feed her. The Cat now has her family including three adorable kittens. She left the house taking two and living one kitten behind. It has been said that when cat reproduces it changes home for her and kitten’s safety.
Twenty years after her husband’s death, her mind wandered on an early morning from the events that were still fresh. She opened her bleary eyes when the cat, all seven pounds of squirming flesh, climbed onto her belly. Squinting into the sunlight streaming in from the open window, she discovered that she was now the weary possessor of a pounding headache, and at some point, had managed to lose both a tooth and a spouse.
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