Updated: Sep 7
To live life watching the ones you love being abused is a horrible state of existence. There are times when individuals are helpless, and it is their strength that’s missing & there are times when it is their fear that fails them.
“A Monster & An Angel” by Harsha Modukuri tells the story of Avantika’s family being abused by their father until one fortunate night, after which life is back to normal.
Unlike her mother, Avantika stole his luck by coming into his life. Drinking and tormenting her mother were the pastimes of her father. The latter might have given him enough lifetime pleasure, but drinking has taken a greater toll on their lives. Probably his life too.
Avantika grew up seeing and experiencing the pain of her mother. A ‘mother’ in a conservative society should not get a divorce as the children will suffer. Little did she know that destiny had the same plans for her.
Avantika’s father’s death was the greatest relief to her. Though demonic it may sound, it led her life to happy shores, at least for her few years. Her little brother never had the privilege to experience his father’s love. He always thought drinking killed his father, pushing his family to the roads until their grandparents took them in. And after that, life was good, more than reasonable in fact. His mother never cried, and his sister seemed cheerful every day.
But problems have a good way of coming from unexpected directions, and Avantika’s brother had to experience and suffer this vicarious pain because her husband was abusive, and to say the least, he’s exactly like her father.
“You’re allowing him to torment you. Why don’t you get separated?” he asked his sister.
“It’s hard to explain, and I have a little daughter too. I don’t want her to suffer for the things she can’t understand for her age.”
There he knew he couldn’t convince his sister, not even a hundredth time.
“You’re thinking that he was just like papa?” Avantika asked.
“Papa used to drink a lot, I agree, but he never hurt mom,” he said.
Avantika thought “That was what we want you to believe, brother.” They never talked about Avantika’s husband again, and Avantika had some plans, and her brother had some plans too. They never thought that they both were thinking of doing the same thing.
When Avantika was 12, she had a habit of not sleeping early. Sleeplessness was her best friend during those days, and she had none to talk to when she could not sleep. Her brother was a wee little thing, and she always thought it was a boon to be the last born, not knowing everything that happens between the parents. During one of those odd nights, she heard some sounds again from her parent’s room.
It was depressing to listen to her father’s cries and abusive words this time. “Whore”, “What good are you to me when you don’t let me do….”,
“No wonder your daughter will become like you”. “But she is your daughter too!”. “Who knows? They are bastards, not mine. She never gives me any respect!”
She did not expect her father to stoop down to this level, but he only descended further and further.
She strolled towards that room expecting to see the same thing she had seen a hundred times, her father forcing her mother or beating her to the pulp. But that day, it was much worse. The demon was holding something in his hand, the woman’s hands and legs were tied, and her mouth was now closed with tape. To add to that horror, she was half-naked. Avantika’s mother lay on her elbows, tied with a nylon rope and her legs were spread ‘inappropriately’.
He pushed that thing, which might be a sharp object, into her leg, and she trembled with pain. She was breathing hard and sweating, and he was hurting her. When he finished, he slapped her and laughed. To Avantika’s horror, she heard another man’s laughter, and he followed to do the same.
It was the moment for Avantika. Moment of enlightenment. She always wanted to do this thing but had postponed but today, what she saw was brutal and inhuman. She knew that her father was not a good human, but she never thought that he was an animal who deserved to be butchered. She was jumping with extreme anger, with explosions in her mind and thoughts of how her mother endured this torture for years.
She knew that the demon would come back and start drinking, and he even had kept a few bottles and two glasses to enjoy the night in the hall.
Avantika went to her room, took her school bag and searched for a little black bag. She saved it for herself for a long time, but today she decided to use it on someone. Someone who had always promised to hurt her too, while hurting her mother. She walked steadily towards the table and looked at the bottles. She hated the bottles as much as she hated her father. She hastily emptied the little black bag into one of the bottles. That’s it. It was done.
The next day, the demon did not wake up. Everyone figured out that he drank too much and died. Only Avantika knew that her father had taken a tiny precious thing and failed. The truth also died with him, and no one knew that this little girl was the monster who killed her father.
This flash fiction is available in paperback & ebook.