Not A Sacred Game by Amrita Sarkar

Truth can be shocking, loathsome and lethal. As it reveals its ugly face to Aadinath, he realises that there's way more danger than he had bargained for.

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Audra Russell
9 months ago

What a great story. This line: “Religion is a volatile, yet formidable drug – use the correct dose, and rest assured, people will dance to your tunes.” is SO poignant. I stopped for a moment to read it again (I have a thing for beautiful sentences). I’m not sure if I read the other three stories, but I will check, and if I haven’t I most certainly will.

Very well done. Congratulations on your last story for 2019!

Karin P
9 months ago
Reply to  Audra Russell

I agree Audra. That sentence is delicious.
However, Amrita, it felt misplaced. It’s beauty added to its sense of incongruity. My brain couldn’t fathom why – at this point- religion was being brought into the action. It detracted from the tension, for me.
I’m definitely going to re-read from number 1, though. I look forward to it.

Annalie
9 months ago

Sitting upright, watching over my shoulder while reading – great suspense Amrita. I agree with Audra Russel about that special line.

Annalie
9 months ago
Reply to  Amrita Sarkar

Is it ok if I smile the rest of the day now? Thank you for being inspired by my attempts!! 😉

Laura Kirsten
9 months ago

Hi Amrita
A thriller indeed. You created excellent tension throughout the story. I look forward to reading the other parts that make up the whole story. Your stories are always worth reading. Well done.

Deryn
9 months ago

Hi Amrita
It is a testament to your writing that you have so many reads already this evening (my time!) Even if you haven’t read the other parts, although it’s a bit complicated without the background, you soon understand the tension, fear, and sense of disbelief…who did what to whom? Who is the goodie, the baddie? There is suspicion, and disbelief, so much happening at once and I love how the action speeds up at the end. I wasn’t sure if the ‘graveyard shift’ in the mortuary was deliberate irony or not, so might have made that a wry comment by one of the characters or used another expression, but that’s nitpicking. Excellent end to the year! See you back here in 2020, I hope!

SM Prasad
9 months ago

Hi Amrita!
Is it really the final part? I re-read that a few times because I don’t think I’m ready for this story to end. The tension was built up beautifully with taut dialogue and just enough action. We still don’t know what will happen with Hassan, and we don’t know who the wealthy benefactor was that allowed Vijay and Sneha to keep Hassan there. I am glad that certain plot lines were resolved but I feel that there is still more to go. The action is what stayed with me but when I look back, it’s actually a very compact segment of the whole story. So much happened in this story and I have really enjoyed the whole series, particularly how well you have described the setting and the emotions that Aadinath feels for his friend Hassan. Really wonderful story!

Susan O'Neal
9 months ago

Hi Amrita – well this is action-packed! Your dialogue and description is excellent and had me rushing with you to the end to find out what happened. My only editorial comment would be that I think you need to have another look at your continuity – you have Aadinath ‘collapsed into a chair next to [Hassan] and then, after they hear someone in the mortuary ‘We dashed to the adjoining room, but stopped dead at the sight before us. A man stood next to Hassan’s bed’ but I don’t think you have moved your characters away from the bedside… And I wonder whether ‘prisoner’ wouldn’t be better than ‘convict’ to describe the captured Ahmadi? Those little details to one side, as I said at the beginning, this is full of action and feels almost cinematographic as it unfolded. Well done.

HoneyMustard
9 months ago

oh my oh my oh my – this is a great scene! You’ve delivered perfectly in terms of building tension over the past months and then giving us this big reveal scene. You write action very well, Amrita! Please make this into a book?

Hyle Bathurst
9 months ago

This can’t be the end! I need more!
You’ve created such an awesome crime story in the last four months. I cannot wait for what you come up with next year. This was intense and full of surprises.
(–Religion is a volatile, yet formidable drug – use the correct dose, and rest assured, people will dance to your tunes.–) This line is gold!!!
Thanks for sharing! And have a happy holiday!
Hyle

Kim
Kim
9 months ago

Its great to see all the plot threads coming together in this cinematic climax.

All in all, a satisfying resolution to the mystery of who really was the terrorist – and that man being Giriraj was just perfect.

on the critiquing note: have a relook at tightening up some descriptions :
The man on the other side of the door sounded tense(d)
I walked in after Sneha inside a small, dimly lit room. – I followed Sneha into a dimly lit room
Vijay swiftly closed the doors once we entered – Vijay swiftly closed the doors behind us.
sharp scent of disinfectants hit my nose – assailed my nose.

from a plot viewpoint, I think you could expand this without relying so much on backstory to explain the terrorist attempt – I think you might’ve been too much in a hurry to finalise this story, it could easily be drawn out without losing any suspense and conflict – for when you do your next draft.

its been great following you this year Amrita, look forward to meeting up with you again in 2020!

Jes
Jes
9 months ago

Hi. I dont think I’ve read the previous stories or it’s been awhile. I cant remember. Theres lots of action and tension. I loved the beginning the best because the descriptions were great. For example “Alongside the dank smell in the room, the sharp scent of disinfectants hit my nose. ” Fun read, I’ll be reading more of yours. 🙂

maria delaney
9 months ago

Hi Amrita,

I was holding my breath reading. You do know how to bring on the action. I’m always saddened by violence fueled. by religion. Unfortunately, such is life.

We all have our God. Don’t bring harm to yourself or others is a simple rule to live by. The rest is easy. What makes this so hard for some.

Your piece touches on so many places, religion, drugs and there is some devotion to the ones we love.

Great job with your storyline I hope to see more of your work in 2020.

Maria

Jane
9 months ago

Hi Amrita, I enjoyed this part to your story. I must admit I have not read the first three parts so did not have the background. But I still very much enjoyed your fast paced action. There were a few small editing issues but I think Kim pointed them out. There was just one other you may wish to change on your good copy: Sneha placed an arm on my shoulder. – Should be a hand on my shoulder.
Very much enjoyed your story, thanks for sharing:)

Simone le Roux
9 months ago

As always, Amrita, I’m overjoyed with how you share your culture in your stories. I always walk away having learned something. This was a tense, interesting scene with some golden lines and I really enjoyed it! My only hope would be that, if/when you decide to expand this story, you factor the setting into your action descriptions more. A morgue is a fun, creepy place to have a showdown with lots of interesting obstacles like gurneys, medical equipment and even the odd dead body. Keep it up, I loved this!

Peggy
9 months ago

Wow, Amrita! This was full of action and suspense, the perfect ending to your series. Although, I would have liked to know more about what will happen next for Hassan, and Sneha and Vijay, as I’ve come to feel rather protective of them over the series, but I’m glad to know that the threat is exposed and the immediate danger has passed. I do love your stories, and hope to read more from you in 2020! Well done!

Irene
9 months ago

I was caught up in the suspense and each sentence lured me on. I need to read the prior stories to get acquainted with each character. I want to know them. That is signs of a great story. “Who are these people”, as though they are real.

Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait

Another spellbinding creation from you, Amrita! I enjoyed the story and suspense you wove in the short 1200 words allotted, as it had me on the edge of my seat! Good luck in 2020!

Ana
Ana
9 months ago

Hey Amrita, I agree with those who comment in the cinematic potential of the story. You’ve developed so much as a writer in a year, and I don’t mean it in a patronizing way! I believe Sneha should have her own story as well, it’s my favorite character. The action scene is very compelling and it reminds me to a James Bond story. Some parts are over explained or could use some fine tuning ( “Let me guess…you are thinking – why is a priest from the Bhairav Temple pointing a gun at us, aren’t you?”) But it’s a highly addictive and exciting thriller. Congrats! Will we be reading you in 2020? X

Chantel
9 months ago

Hi Amrita
I agree that your tension-building is just superb, and it has been throughout your stories. I wasn’t sure if the ending would be good or bad, and for me that’s a good thing in this context. Well done on this piece.

Reine
9 months ago

Hi, Amrita. This episode kept me glued to my chair! Your suspense is well-paced and riveting. I enjoy your inclusion of words that are natural to your characters, and to yourself, but may be foreign to your readership. The use of these words adds authenticity to your story. Allowing the reader to grasp the deeper meaning in your use of them enriches the reading thereof. Thanks for submitting. Best.

Srivalli Rekha
9 months ago

Hey, Amrita. You packed quite a punch in the last installment. Not the regular type of ending but you ensured the questions were answered. I like this better. It’s more realistic and gripping.
Waiting to read a new set of stories in 2020.

Marilyn Weisman
9 months ago

Oh, Amita, what an exciting story!
It had me reading faster and faster trying to see what the outcome of the confrontation would be.
From the comments above mine, I gather there were earlier chapters to this and I fully intend to find them and read.
This could easily turn into a novel and I would definitely want to read it.
And, personally, I enjoy when women are involved in intrigue stories.

Duane
9 months ago

A fitting conclusion to such an epic undertaking Amrita. As always, your imagery gives such authentic sense of atmosphere that I feel like I’m viewing a scene rather than simply reading it. Having made your acquaintance in reading for 2019, I look forward to seeing what you will offer in 2020. Best of luck and thanks again for sharing.

Seyi
8 months ago

Hey Amrita and how goes it? I have been away from my base and unable to view the latest 12SS offerings for a while. I have been really looking forward to immersing myself in the new stories and your writing is one of the reasons why. You set the scene for this episode very well with some awesome descriptive phrases (“….pain, relief, and fear jostled to claim the tears that welled in my eyes” is probably one of my favorites). The characters are well developed and their motivations come through clearly. The conversation, pacing is great. It’s tough to write action scenes without descending into caricature (I think) and you handle the “DUCK!” scene pretty well but I feel you may need to find a little something extra to explain why Sneha could turn the tables on Giraj so easily (him lifting the muzzle from her neck does nit seem quite enough). I hope this helps and do have a greta end of year and an awesome new one. Regards, Seyi

Seyi
8 months ago
Reply to  Seyi

By the way, is the title of your story a play on the name of Vikram Chandar’s bestselling novel ? (There’s a Netflix series based on it as well, I think)

Jan
Jan
8 months ago

Hi Amrita,
Finally everything is coming together and I am happy that Hassan and his Aadinath pulled through. A few of the readers above mention your reference to religion and how it can be used to delude the masses – and the beautiful sentence you used to articulate this. And somehow for me when I look at little Hassan and how different he is from the family he is from I think on “the sins of the fathers…” and that perhaps a bad cycle has been interrupted here. It is inspiring and uplifting and will stand him in good stead later on as I am sure he is destined for great things.
On the writing – I love your voice and I am a big fan of the images you conjure up and how beautifully you bring them to live.
Thank you for sharing and well done!

Annie Amsden
8 months ago

Loved the conclusion, Amrita! I’m soooo glad you followed through with this story. Will it perhaps be joining The Untouchables on Amazon?

Annie Amsden
8 months ago
Reply to  Amrita Sarkar

Oh yay! I’d imagine for KDP this would be considered unpublished. It’s more of a critique group.