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Short story: A loaded gun



By Sukhbir Pathak

It was late evening; I got a call on my landline which I hadn’t used for months. I was surprised to know that it still worked. I picked up the call but nobody replied. I put it back, went to the kitchen to make myself a drink. After all the work I did, I felt like resigning from my government job. It’s sad for an aged man to work for so many hours and still not get enough bread.

I had a little house with an open kitchen. The kitchen had a window from where I could see children play. They reminded me of my daughter. She never cared to call – she had left when she was young. My life had its ups and downs, and whenever life had put me down, I never stood up.

While I poured my drink, I saw a kid finding it difficult to put back the chain of his bicycle. I kept looking at that kid, hoping that he would be able to manage it. The neighbourhood where I resided was very old and less crowded.  I had my drink and adjusted my gun on my waist. I always carried my gun with me – who knows what could happen any moment.

I went outside and while I was locking my door, the kid kept staring at me as if I was going to hurt him. To make the staring friendly, I smiled at him while locking the door. I approached him to offer help. I bent down to have a look at his bicycle. He asked, “Are you here to help me?” I glanced at him and said, “Yes, it looked like you were running out of options, so I came.” 
The kid ran without making a noise while I was looking at his bicycle. A person came from behind and grabbed the gun from my waist and pointed it towards me. It’s dark, nobody is out, the kid ran away and if I made a noise he’d shoot.

Now, I had the gun pointed towards me.