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“Paranoia” by Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

We thought you’d remember us.

Trisha dreamt her kid tumbled down the stairs and opened the flesh below his knees. She’d woken up, sweating, trembling, and his sharp cries ringing in her ears.

The next afternoon, as they left the local mall, the memory like a framed photograph still nailed to the insides of her skull, she recognized the bobbing head of her kid hopping down the white stone steps. Trisha leapt in an attempt to grab him but knocked him over, and there he was, wailing, blood everywhere.

Soon, the neighbour’s dog was squelched under a mini-van. Angry wasps attacked an old woman who’d poked the hive with a stick—she was dead and it made the local news. Trisha dropped a kitchen knife on her foot while chopping carrots. A Russel’s viper bit the gardener of their countryside house in India, left him foaming from the mouth under the scorching sun. Her twenty-year-old nephew was mugged, beaten, stabbed, and left to die by a couple of gin-soaked thugs in the wet and dingy streets of East London.

Trisha didn’t want to sleep. She was terrified more of her nightmares would manifest. She would lie awake for as long as she could beside her snoring and oblivious husband. But then she’d fall asleep, and dream.

We thought you’d remember us. We remember you.


Trisha dreamt again. Vivid as always. But this was good.

Her husband was on top, and he wasn’t the lifeless machine she was used to. His muscles shifted under his smooth sweaty skin while he fucked her, smiling, breathing heavily, the scent of his favourite musky cologne lingering in the room. Trisha didn’t want him to stop. She squirmed in her sleep, moaning, her cotton panties wet. He grabbed her breasts, her tiny, pointy… those weren’t her breasts!

Trisha looked around frantically. She didn’t recognize the stained green wallpapers or the red neon lights bleeding through the shabby white lace curtains or the soft hum and the occasional clunk from the air conditioner. She was horrified, but he continued to fuck her as if he never noticed—smiling, breathing heavily.

We thought you’d remember us. We remember you. We remember the sight of your muscles shifting under your smooth sweaty skin while you fucked her, after you’d finger-fucked her whilst twisting her perky little titties, making her feel things she’d never felt before. We know she breathed in the scent of your musky cologne determined to remember it. We know she ignored her usual amusements: the nasty green wall, the stupid red neon lights outside the shabby white lace curtains, the barely-functioning air conditioner. We know she’d fuck you every day had she not been pimped out to the fat bald uglies that grunted like breathless pigs as they emptied themselves inside her in less than thirty seconds.

Trisha sat up, shaking. Her husband was about to cheat on her the next evening, fuck a small-breasted woman like he’d never fucked her—with heat and love. She glared at the back of his sleep-enveloped head and fumed. Then she smiled.

She used to stand before the bathroom mirror and stare at the dark green woven into her hazel irises, unsure where that green came from. Dr Barnes was a tad confused. He tested her eyes, and suggested she get thoroughly checked, but she was fit as a fiddle. Then came the dreams, the vivid nightmares, haunting her, chasing her into dark corners and rattraps. She hated the dreams, hated herself, and when she suspected her new set of corneas could be responsible for the sudden clairvoyance, she cursed the donor and wanted to gauge her eyes out. But now, she could catch her husband in the act, and she smiled.

We thought you’d remember us. We remember you. You adored us, said we were the most beautiful things you’d ever seen, that we reminded you of oases in the Sahara; you said we looked sad and it broke your heart, that you’d love her and fuck her every night if you could… just to see us laugh over and over again.


“Surprise, darling! I brought you your favourite sandwiches,” said Trisha, swinging open the glass doors at her husband’s office and prancing in like she belonged.

He was shocked for a split second and his secretary was amused.

Trisha left after lunch, having noted the small breasts on the red-head. She lurked outside the building all day while the kid stayed with the sitter, but her husband and his lover took different routes. He returned to the house and headed straight to his study, unaware that Trisha wasn’t home, unaware that she crept in twenty minutes after he did while he was crouched before his laptop, typing away.

We thought you’d remember us… You didn’t.

Trisha felt invisible. She wept and screamed silently in the shower. He was about to fuck his secretary that night, yet there he was, calm… typing, typing, typing.


The detective raised an eyebrow. “What?”

Last night, your wife read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to the boy and put him to sleep. She doesn’t know… she doesn’t know… her boy only scraped his knee at school, the neighbour’s dog is still yapping away in another house, the wasps chasing the old woman was a cartoon illustration on Facebook, her foot was never sliced open, the gardener died of a sun-stroke, and her nephew was an extra on TV in a police procedural. Last night, we watched your pretty face contort in confusion and anger as she accused you of fucking your small-tittied secretary. And we liked it…

“The woman says the flying monkeys from Oz are after her—”

We tried. We tried so hard. We baffled Dr Barnes. We thought you’d remember us, but you didn’t recognize the little dark greens peeking through your wife’s hazel irises, part of the same deep green that you claimed reminded you of oases in the Sahara.

“She the one that killed her husband with a meat tenderizer because she caught him cheating, uh… in the future?”

We thought you’d remember us…

Tejaswinee Roychowdhury is a Bengali-Indian lawyer, writer, poet, and occasional artist. Her fiction has been/will be published in Muse India, The Unconventional Courier, Misery Tourism, Alphabet Box, Borderless Journal, Kitaab, and Active Muse, among others. Currently, she's a fiction/screen/stage editor for The Storyteller's Refrain. Find her tweeting at @TejaswineeRC and her list of works at


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