Hello dear Readers! Finally we’ve reached the end of my serialised fiction story, Karma.
But before we find out what happens to Celia and Hamish and their dream house, first, a confession. I wrote ‘Karma’ about a year ago but never finished it. When I decided to serialise it for my blog, I assumed I’d finish it with a well-rounded ending. However, time and life got in the way and I found myself panicking on Friday afternoon about getting the final episode out in time.
So, I wrote it… and it’s a bit rushed… but at least it’s here. Without further ado, please find the final episode of Karma – A Short Story.
Celia sat at the kitchen table waiting for Hamish. She’d dressed for the occasion in her best black frock, sheer stay-up stockings and stiletto heels. Her eyes were smoky, her mouth a crimson slash. She hesitated then poured herself a second glass of wine. Already mellow, she couldn’t afford to be drunk when Hamish arrived but hey, what the hell. She’d earned it after everything she’d been through lately. Celia heard a key in the front door and Hamish’s footsteps heading towards the kitchen. She sat up straighter and crossed her legs.
“Wow!” A grin spread across Hamish’s face. “Have I forgotten our anniversary or something? Where are we going?”
Celia smiled a small, secret smile. “I’m going out but, unfortunately, you won’t be. You’ve got… responsibilities.”
A look of confusion replaced Hamish’s grin. “Responsibilities? What are you talking about?”
Celia opened a shiny, black, patent-leather handbag, removed a bag of white powder using a tissue and placed it on the kitchen table. “It has your fingerprints all over it. There’s no question it’s yours.”
“I don’t understand. I know this already. We’ve talked about it. I promised I’d get rid of it.”
“Ah. Promises.” Celia tapped a long red fingernail on the wooden table. “What about the promise you made when we got married? To love and to cherish, to have and to hold…? Would you call peddling drugs for a dangerous gangster and selling him my house the actions of a loving, devoted husband?”
“Celia? What are you talking about? Are you playing with me?”
Celia shook her head. “I’ve never been more serious in my life.” A car sounded on the gravel driveway. Celia clapped her hands. “Good! They’re here!”
“Who’s here? Celia, are you ok? You’re scaring me.”
Celia fixed Hamish with a withering stare. The doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it!” chirped Celia. She headed towards the front door, heels clicking on the floorboards and opened the door to two women. One sat hunched in a wheelchair with gray hair, thick glasses and wearing a blue dressing gown. The other woman was much younger. Tall and beautiful with thick, honey-coloured hair, she stood behind the wheelchair. “You’re right on time. Please, come inside,” Celia said and led them into the kitchen.
Hamish’s eyes bulged. “Mother! What are you doing here? You should be in the hostel!”
Hamish’s mother stared up at her son with watery blue eyes from beneath a straggly fringe. Her mouth moved but no words came out, only a dribble of saliva. The blonde woman pulled a tissue from her sleeve and wiped the old woman’s mouth.
“Hamish, meet Sonja. She’s your mother’s carer… well, she was your mother’s carer.”
Sonja extended an elegant, white hand towards Hamish. “I am so pleased to finally meet you Mr Hamish,” she said in a heavily-accented voice. Hamish took Sonja’s hand and shook it limply, unable to meet her eyes.
“Unfortunately, Sonja is no longer able to look after your mother,” Celia explained to Hamish. “She has new horizons to explore. That’s why I suggested to Sonja it would be nice for her son to take over. After all Hamish, your mother brought you up for all those years: she fed you with a spoon and wiped your bottom and changed the sheets when you wet the bed. I think it would be lovely for you to do the same for her.”
“You’re mad!” Hamish spluttered. “You’d better get her back to the hostel before they call the police‑”
Celia shook her head. “They won’t call the police. In fact, they were thrilled when they heard a family member is actually taking responsibility for an elderly relative. They’ve got such a long waiting list for beds, they were only too happy to send your mother home.”
“But you know I haven’t got time to look after my mother, Celia! I have to earn a living, look after this house, look after you‑”
“Don’t worry, Hamish! It’s all good. I’ve done the research for you. Did you know that, with your mother’s special needs, you’ll qualify for a full-time carer’s allowance? Isn’t that wonderful? It won’t be easy, but you’ll survive.”
Hamish sank into a chair. “Alright Celia. Joke over.” He ran a hand through his hair and turned a pair of desperate eyes on his wife. “Tell me what you want.”
Celia crossed her arms. “It’s no joke Hamish. If you don’t look after your mother, I’m turning you in to the police with this piece of evidence.” She dangled the bag of powder in front of Hamish. He grabbed for it, but she flicked it out of reach. “Do you really think I’d let you drag me down with you? Look at it this way: at least you won’t be tortured and killed by the Russian mafia or spend the next ten years locked up with murderers and rapists. You should be thanking me!”
“You bitch!” Hamish hissed. “But why? I thought you loved me!”
“I did… once. But you killed it. And that was before I met Sonja at your mother’s hostel.” Celia smiled at the tall, beautiful woman and reached for her hand.
“But the drugs! They belong to Vincent Grant.” Hamish’s eyes narrowed. “He’ll want them back and, when he doesn’t get them, both you bitches will get what’s coming to you!”
“Probably not Hamish.” She glanced at Sonja. “Sonja has some pretty important friends in the Russian mafia who don’t like Vincent Grant very much. They’ve been wanting revenge for the shooting of one of their members for some time.” Celia checked her watch. “Right now, all ten of Grant’s fingers would be lopped off. I’m not sure what bit they want to take off next but I can hazard a guess!” Celia smiled sweetly.
Sonja moved towards Celia and placed a protective hand around her waist. “It’s time we were off Celia, my Sweet. The agent waits for us to sign the final papers.”
“What papers?” Hamish asked.
“Didn’t I tell you? Sonja bought the beach house!” Celia stroked Sonja’s face then turned to Hamish. “And all for me, , didn’t you my Darling? So it’s Farewell, Adieu, Aufwiedersehen and all that, Hamish. Have a wonderful life! I certainly will.”
Celia and Sonja linked hands and walked from the kitchen. When she reached the doorway, Celia turned. Hamish stood forlornly, looking so much like a lost, frightened child, she almost felt sorry for him.
Celia’s gaze turned steely. “Karma, Hamish. It’s called Karma.”
Then she slammed the door and disappeared.