The Writer from the Antique Shop
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A Short Story By G.S.Vasukumar
Rajesh was staring at the blank paper of his writing pad before him, seated in his antique shop. He had a pencil in his hand, while his mind was thinking about something quite seriously. Suddenly, there was a flash of some idea in his mind, and eventually it started to get materialize on the blank paper in front of him.
“You know, what?” Shyam said opening the glass door of the antique shop and coming in.
“What is it?” Rajesh asked continuing to write on his writing pad.
“What the hell are you scribbling in that pad?”
“Hmmm…just some notes about some items in the shop,” Rajesh said “You were to tell me something?” He asked lifting his face and looking at him.
How could he tell him that he was working on his new story? It was his little secret as he wrote with a pen name, which was his secret identity as a writer.
“Oh, yes, the famous writer ‘Saki’ is coming to the town hall this evening!”
“What did you say?” Rajesh cried dropping his pencil down in shock. “How could it be possible? This writer never wanted to come into limelight, as far as I know.”
“Maybe she changed her mind!”
“I had thought the writer was male.”
“Even I thought like that until sometime back,” Shyam said “Would you like to come?”
“Yes, What time is it?”
“It starts at 6.30 PM. Let us close our shops by 5.15 and go to the town hall.” Shyam said before leaving. Shyam owned a book shop on the other side of the road.
Rajesh said picking up the pencil from the floor and keeping on the top of writing pad. Something was terribly wrong. How could this lady come and claim that she is the famous writer ‘Saki’ when he was 'Saki'.
He could no longer concentrate on the story which he was writing. His mind was now disturbed with the latest information. He didn’t want any customers in his shop, so he walked to the main door, to switch the OPEN sign to CLOSED.
He started to think fast. He had to meet this imposter and prove to the world that he is the real person. He never wanted to do this, but the circumstance now demanded it.
Later that evening, he went to the town hall along with Shyam. The function went on well. Everyone cheered the great writer ‘Saki’ for her wonderful works. She gave a short and sweet speech, in which she thanked of all her readers for reading and appreciating her works. It had really helped her to grow as a writer.
After the function, Rajesh rushed to the back stage to speak to her in person.
“Miss, I would like to speak to you!”
“Yes, tell me?”
“Urmila, you wait for me in the car. I will come shortly.”
“Sure,” She said leaving.
“Yeah, tell me, what is it?”
“Who the hell are you?”
“It doesn’t really matter whosoever I’m. What does matter is that I’m the writer ‘Saki’”
“No, you are not! I am that writer!” Rajesh cried.
“You should be crazy!” She cried back at him.
“I’m not crazy! I will prove it before everyone…” He said taking out his wallet and searching for something in its pocket.
“Are you looking for this key by any chance?” She asked, taking out a key from her purse and showing it to him.
“Yes, where did you get it?”
“It is my key to the post box no.515!”
“No, you stole it!”
“Maybe, but who do you think people would believe: Me, the most beautiful woman in the town or the silly antique shop owner?”
“You know about me?”
“Yes, I do!” She said, keeping the key safely in the purse pocket and leaving the place.
Rajesh was really depressed with the proceedings. When he told all this to Shyam, he too didn’t believe him. He thought he was crazy and left for his home. He reached the police station to register his complaint. He told the police head constable everything that had happened.
“Well, this is complicated! Do you have anything to prove it?”
“Yes, I have the documentary evidence in the post box no.515, but I have lost the key to this locker! As a matter of fact, she has the key now!”
“Well, I don’t deal with identity theft. However, you can go and meet this person. I think that he would be able to solve your problem!” The constable said, scribbling down some address on a piece of paper and handing over to him.
Rajesh went and met this person and told him everything that had happened so far.
“Can I see something which you had written of late?” He said, after listening to him
“Yes, sir” He said handing his writing pad to him.
“Hmmm…” He said, turning the pages.
“So, will you be able to arrest this imposter?”
“Well, that would take some time. I suggest you come and meet me tomorrow same time.”
“Can I have my writing pad back?”
“You can take it back tomorrow!”
“All right, I trust you. Bye then” Rajesh said leaving.
The stranger went to the next room to meet another person.
“Well, he thinks that his identity as a writer has been stolen!” He replied.
“Is it?” He asked, “What about that pad?”
"It has notes about some items in the antique shop.”
“Where is this antique shop?”
“It is in the church street!”
“I have passed through the church street many times, but never came across an antique shop over there?”
“Yes, you are right! There is no antique shop in the church street. It exists only in his mind. He is suffering from MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder Syndrome)”
“Then what is his true identity? I mean, if he is not the antique shop owner?”
“Actually, he is a writer facing the writer’s block!”
“That means he is not able to write anything of late. So he invented these characters along with the antique shop and eventually, identity theft!”
“You are right! He would be coming back tomorrow for the treatment!”
“Doc, Hope you will be able to get rid of these fictional characters from the mind of a writer.” He said smiling at him.
"I hope so" the doctor said smiling back at him.