Krupani was the wealthiest man in the village. But his heart was not so generous. He was as miserly as they came. Like many wealthy moneylenders, he made his fortune by extracting exorbitant rates of interest. Krupani and his goons literally squeezed money from the poor souls whose misfortune had driven them to borrow money from the close-fisted Krupani at insane rates of interest.
However, unlike his wealthy peers, Krupani lived in a modest but well-maintained house with bare minimum amenities. He had never married because the very thought about the expenses of marriage and having to provide for a family afterward put him off. But, food was the only exception. It was his weakness. And that was the only cause that made Krupani spend his money.
One day, Krupani experienced a slow but persistent ache in his chest. He didn’t pay much attention to it until it spread to his back. That made the miser rush to the hospital. He reluctantly submitted himself to “prodding and poking by the doctors at exorbitant rates” (in his own words!).
After multiple scans and tests, the doctors declared that Krupani had suffered from a heart attack. Furthermore, they said that he would need to undergo surgery at the earliest to remove the blockage in his coronary arteries.
But Krupani refused to undergo the surgery. He had had enough. The medical jargon did nothing to change his mind. The hospital bill for his short stay had made his eyes bulge from his sockets. He vehemently rejected his doctor’s orders and went home.
The very next day, Krupani’s helpers found him dead in his bed with one hand clutching his chest and the other hand lying open a short distance from his body. The key to his precious safe was in the palm of his outstretched hand. His obsession with money had been the death of him. His soul had departed, leaving behind his body and the vast reserves of money that he had accumulated.
This post was written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #78. Thank you, Fandango for hosting this challenge. The challenge is to use the given picture prompt to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.
For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of an ornate skeleton key in the mostly open palm of a person’s hand.
Too much of anything is a bad thing. One shouldn’t be too much of a spendthrift or a miser! This was a rather dark story but that was where my mind chose to go with this prompt. I was also a bit pressed for time! I hope you liked this one.
We come and leave this world empty-handed. No material possessions accompany us in those journeys. But then again, I am of the opinion that our Karma will always be with us. I have been reading a lot of stories from The Ramayana and The Mahabharatha of late. I guess that’s rubbing off on me.