Month: December 2018

Satisfaction

(Photo:Yarnspinnerr)

It was noon, the last Tuesday of the month. Moreoverit was Christmas.

The kids had neither a watch nor a calendar. They knew not to read or write either.

But the entry of a trolley into the dim-lit factory, filled with triangular puffs, made them smile, a little extra. They knew the day.

Rectangle puffs, filled with beet-root were provided every last Tuesday of the month. Some ate it as soon as they got their hands on. A few took it to their homes to share with their siblings.

They were five to seven years old.

Daily they worked from early morning in the dingy factories, which gifted them feeble bodies and lifeless eyes. Their only fuel was the wheat bun and water provided in the factory.

 

They eagerly awaited for their share. They knew triangular puffs were egg puffs, a luxury for Christmas.

When they finally obtained their portionthey realized it was just a potato puff.

Definitely better than no puffs!
They smiled once more.

__________________

 

{Written for FFfAW Challenge – 197th}

Beautiful Endings (Setting #writephoto)

They ended it amicably.
Possessing no children was a blessing in some ways.

The procedures took long to finish.
It was dusk. They were a bit tired. Despite that none of them appeared gloomy.

She was alone, so he offered her ride back.
The setting sun, over the hills, presented a fabulous view. They talked throughout.

As the sun set, they explored a contemporary eatery on the way. They enjoyed the tasty continental dish before resuming the drive.

Sometimes endings can be beautiful too.

 

(Written for #WritePhoto)

Broken Memories

bokeh photography

Photo:Sharon McCutcheon 

It was the Christmas Eve. The grand family meeting was going on. 

Grandmas were dancing slowly, occasionally exclaiming, 
“Wow, we’re dancing after a long time!”

Children did their own business which others couldn’t decipher.
Everything was perfect. Everyone was happy.

Then, Irene, my mother-in-lawstarted it, “Get off me…how dare you?!

Though all eyes, and ears, were in Irene’s way, none saw anything.

Irene has been a shy and quiet person always.

 Nothing but bewilderment remained.

“What happened?” 

“These thingsCan’t you see, these sparkly things are coming for me. They’re gonna savor my eyesget them away from me!” 

Is it the lights?” 

“No!!”

“Maybe fireflies!” 

“NO…NO ….These sparkly bits…Monsters!!!

She shouted bringing all the merry to halt. 
Until her death, she kept reciting those words, typical of schizophrenics.

Today my mother joined us for Christmas. 
The way she described our living room, sent chills down my spine.

“Oh!! It’s sparkly…SO SPARKLY!!

{Written for YeahWrite Fiction 402}

The Spy at the Opera

(Photo:Local-life.com)

 

She clutched the opera tickets firmly and stepped into Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, Krakow.
It wasn’t like any other time. For she possessed fewer clues and had to rely more on her instincts.

She looked majestic in the silver, backless maxi dress. She never failed to draw attention anyway.  

She knew the question and the accurate answer.

 

The man in the tuxedo was ogling at her for more than the standard seconds. She knew. She approached.

Balloons. Gold or Black?” she winked.
Purple.” 

She turned back sensing the danger.

The opera was yet to start. But she must leave.

As she hurried out, the doorkeeper asked, “Black or Gold?

The extent of danger was so evident that she transmitted all the secret alarms as possible.

___________

{Written for What Pegman Saw- Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Krakow, Poland}

 

Precious Possession

Copyright – Adam Ickes

They were our mother’s absolute possessions.

To everyone’s despair, they secured a place in the living room showcase. She was adamant.

pair of soiled, spoiled, blood-stained military boots!

The boots of a soldier who died while serving his motherland.

The boots of a beloved husband who retained nothing as a gift to his wife, other than his blood-stained uniform.

The boots of a father who instilled selflessness among the children while sustaining them struggling far away.

It’s humane to gloss over precious things.

{Written for Friday Fictioneers}

Longing to Live

Image result for fLOOD

(Photo: CNN.com)

The weather outside was frightful.

It had been raining incessantly for 3 days.

Whirlwinds were blowing demolishing everything on its way.
No powerno connectivity for 30 hours.
The last he could know was the flood warnings.

But people couldn’t undertake anything as all roads were destroyed.

Water kept rising. The lone old man suffered a panic attack.
Who the life doesn’t fascinate?

Water started rising to the second floor. 

With all the strength he could gather he reached the top.

He managed to collect a bottle of white paint, to write “SAVE ME” on the terrace.
helicopter might come for his rescue.

As soon as he reached the external space, the whirlwind blew and a bolt of lightning struck him hard.

Thus everything ended sooner than he expected.

{Written for Today’s Author Prompt For December 21, 2018}

(more…)

Christmas Hopes

(Photo:Akshata Ram)

“Flying the nest is the purpose of parenting!” They said.
She would disagree.
Not a solitary day passed without grief and loneliness.

It has been six years since her two daughters left her home for their new lives.
All festivals passed without notice for six years.

To her surprise, she received communication that both of them were visiting home for ChristmasShe could feel the new surge of energy and joy.

The house needs to be cleaned and painted again.

The cupboard had the Christmas adornments in grim shape.

She managed to buy everything new. She baked their favorite cake and bought new dresses.

Only to know they had to postpone the trip.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Word count-115

{Written for FFfAW 196th challenge}

Deepest Yearnings

SPF 10-2-18 Anurag 3Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi

“What’s the best thing to long for this vacation?” Litta asked Mona.
“An escape from our orphanage!”

“Yay, I announce you good news. We are going on a trip this vacation!
“Really? Litta, I think you are kidding… Mona was half hopeful and half curious.
“No Mona, I promise!”

 

____________

Contrary to what they believed they were taken to a beautiful green hill-top.The valley was filled with houses. For the kids, everything was new and mesmerizing.

An ocean seemed adjacent to the houses. A vast, blue shining water body!
As they settled down under a huge tree’s shade, the lady manager asked the kids.
“What did you like the most?” 
“Everything!” All of them shouted.
But which you liked the most, this hill or the ocean?” 
Silence prevailed. “Come on! Tell me!”She encouraged.
The answers pierced her heart.

We loved houses the most.
“It will be great to live in such homesWe can run or roam until the sea and return. It will be fun!

 

The deepest yearnings were all the same.

The lady promptly changed the topic to snacks and drink.

{Written for Sunday Photo Fiction}

Shocking Messes

Image result for messy living room

(Photo:cloudcanva.org)

Why would you want to be a counselor?”

Merina always remembers how frustrated her mother was when she revealed her inclination.

“You serious? You have umpteen choices to live in peace. Why you like to go to the people who experience depression…or…Or… Abusive behavior…And make yourself deal with hell almost all days?” Her mother had groaned.

Merina stood up for her choice and she won. Accolades followed. 

very flexible work life, contented family life with her husband and a son. A committed practitioner who organised sessions for her young patients and parents to identify the problems at the first stage. She had her own theories which turned out successful on practice.

One evening she came back to her apartment just to see the jumbled living room. She was a bit shocked but more surprised.

On further search, she found that the burglar was so prudent that he made things appear like a failed theft attempt.

The valuables were ransacked from their exact spots without even a clutter.

All the mess was in the living room from which nothing was missing.

The enquiries followed. 

Merina even thought about offering a session to the burglar. People steal due to behavioral problems, for necessities or addictions.

The officials identified the thief.

To her ultimate shock, it was none other than her own son. 

He had admitted the several other thefts committed, some alone, some with a company. Perks for drugs!
Merina felt like a failure for the first ever time.

{Written for the promptuarium prompt Ransacked}

Tears of Joy

grayscale photography of woman carrying girl

(Photo: Caroline Hernandez via Unsplash)

 

The stage was merry.
The audience at the ready
The wide eyes showed worry.

“Don’t fret my angel!”
Mamma patted her darling.

“They may frown, I fear!”
The little one panted,
pulling her tie along.

“You will do well!”
Mamma kept telling.

The little one did well.
Mamma cried tears of joy.
Love always wins.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. )

 

image

Syzygy (Fiction-Queasy)

Image result for Blood Moon

(Photo: Huffingtonpost.in)

 

Once again she was seen smiling and everything seemed normal, at times perfect.

She was feeding the baby putting him to sleep, even planting kisses on his tiny adorable face.

Her colorful garden betokened her aesthetic taste and personal style.

The family rejoiced in the strength of the medicineHer heart pounded with contentment and gratitude.

Life in a feathered nest!

 

 

Out of the blue, the earth pronounced to align between the sun and the moon.

The blood moon made her queasy. 

Queasy pops gave way to antidepressants, which were equally futile.

The garden was in bad.

Thenceforward the baby was fed formula milk.

{Yeahwrite Fiction 401}

The Wheel of Time

(Photo:© Matthew Kennedy, Google Maps)

The jobless Jack was a veteran job-hunter. Living in the shelter home with his dog, Spider, was awful.

Summer was approaching, and he wanted to vacate the shelter home.

He scanned every piece of paper for job ads.

On a day, while standing idly in front of a bar expecting a coke offer, a torn away paper lying on the roadside caught his eyes.

 
He skimmed through it but noted nothing interesting until he was about to throw it away.
On the torn corner was the call for a fire lookout at Big Sky, Montana.

He sensed a skipped heartbeat.

 Definitely not for it is a seasonal offer that wouldn’t fetch much.

But the reminder of his past self,  a twenty-year-old man, who took money out of grandpa’s pocket to take his girlfriend to the fire lookout at Garnet Mountain, just to gaze the stars at night.

{What Pegman Saw: Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout, Big Sky, Montana}

Monsters at the end of the field

three line tales, week 150: a house peeking through
Photo by Jan Genge via Unsplash

The building at the end of the vast farmland was kept out of sight by the monstrous structures, which terrified me.

The view of enormous field growing healthy maize that produces bumper yield was amazing.

The knowledge that those gigantic things were nothing but silos, which gathered grains, produced silage, and remained as signs of abundance, gave me comfort. 

 

{Written for Three Line Tales, Week 150}

Memory in the backyard

 

Eighteen-year-old Andrew was familiar with the upright stone concealed in their bushy backyard, which read “Erected by Cora Kingston in memory of John Yendow.

Everyone in the family was apathetic to his questions on Cora and John.

After many interrogations with the elderly people of the family and the locality, Andrew understood John was one of his forefathers, a spice merchant.

Traces of yellowish parchments in the underground garage, during his thirteen-day investigation, presented Andrew insights.

His forefather was a spy in disguise, who fell in love with a fellow spy Cora, a poetess for the public.

Word Count: 99

{Written for Carrotranch December 13: Flash Fiction Challenge}

The Invite

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Photo Credit: Sunday Photo Fiction

 

“To Mom and Dad…”

Harley started reading his sole son’s much-awaited letter.

The phone communications always ended abruptly on account of “urgent work”.

 “Martha, does our son love us anymore?

Harley’s voice sounded tired while calling out.

“I can’t even see a ‘dear’ expression in his note.

Martha beheld him silently. 

“…We are busy…” 78 years old Harley sighed.

We purchased ourselves a new home at Portland.” 

“Wow!” Harley was seen smiling.

“It’s superbly cozyfully equipped four bedroom home, the type our place has ne’er seen. 

“Martha, did our son really write this? Does he think Seattle is a behindhand place? Between, he hasn’t even asked about us so far.”

“He might be busy, might have scribbled it in the middle of work or sleep…For all that,  he wrote to us,  right?” There was a comforting tone in her words.

“Hmmm….see, he has left us the address, but no phone number…Our son says

Harley read aloud.

….You are welcome to come over any time. “

Harley and Martha exchanged looks. 

Silence prevailed.

Twelve days later they were seen arriving at the Seattle airport for next flight to Portland.

~~~~

(Word count: 189)

(Sunday Photo Fiction – December 9, 2018}

The Wait

(Photo prompt  by Jodi McKinney)

The brief days of the winter made the dusk darker than ever.

The old woman became restless when the clock showed 6.25 pm.

Her grandson was supposed to join her by 5 pm. 

He wanted to enjoy his holidays with grandma at her solitary house in the isolated village.

With each passing minute, her heart became heavier.

All the worst fears crossed her mind.

What if the bus, the only conveyance to the village, has broken down?

She was terrified thinking about the hairpin curves to be covered even without a street light?

Her thoughts were disturbed by a shrill sound from away.

At a distance, she could see two balls of fire approaching.
Oh, just the front lights of the bus!

It slowed down at a distance, and a boy was seen alighting.
After moments, she was hugging his grandson, like her biggest treasure.

{Written for FFfAW Challenge – 195th}

Life Lessons From The Murky Waters

Image result for Murky waters
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Prompt for December 11, 2018-

“There was something moving slowly just under the surface of the water.”

~~~~~~~

Granny, what’s the worst part of becoming an adult? Mira asked playfully.

Eighty-one-year-old Philo smiled and replied, ” Depends…On the type of person, you are!

“Oh, granny! How do you see yourself? I want to know

“At times I am a carefree soul, other times I am a thinker…And this causes all the difference!

“Brief me more, my dear fat penguin!” Mira pleaded.

“Aww, you silly girl!” Philo laughed and continued, “See, a carefree person is unworried about life. A thinker always finds something to dissect, by pondering…Such a person might answer your first question! “

” Grannyyou already told that occasionally you are a thinker. So how do you like answering my question?

Mira was trying to know more about granny; she wanted to make granny happier.

 Well, I see that…

“she paused.

“…..life becomes suppositional…and….you don’t have solid solutions for everything. It can be maddening when you are forced to make choices…

Both fell silent. Mira was figuring out. Philo was contemplating.

“……Or say, it can be like looking for minnows in murky waters. You think you did the right thing until you get the stingand live with that forever. Got it, dearie?

Mira, the 18-year old, started feeling clueless. But the idea of fishing fascinated her. 

She jumped and asked, ” Granny, let‘s go fishing! I want to catch some minnows. You are my guide.

The enthusiastic granny escorted Mira without questions and hesitations. 

They drove to the lake nearby. Granny rested on a chair placed on the bank and was occasionally heard communicating instructions.

The water was hard to see through. Granny told that it would be fruitless to catch minnows there. But an adamant Mira kept trying. Every time she noticed a slow movement under the water surface, she kept the bait ready.

After a whileshe decided to give up the bait and started fishing with her hands.

As soon as the next movement was observed, she plunged her hands into the murky waters and got herself a non-venomous water snake that tried to bite her.

She jarred and flung it away, enough to startle granny.

Within seconds, both of them started their return journey.

Philo was seen contemplating. Mira was seen figuring out.

{Written for Today’s Author}

Love Rock & Bread Rolls (Fiction-Mouldy)

Image result for basket on beach

                                                                                              (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

Every grain of the beach sand started glistening as the setting sun rays waved them good bye.

The middle aged man and woman found their way towards the rock they claimed as their own. Loving an inanimate object, as hard as a rock, assures emotional feelings attached to it.

It was the prime site to view the sunset, moreover it was where they had declared their love. Good enough reasons to love a big, dull colored round stone which they named as “love rock.”

That rock was their favorite spot for 32 years. Before marriage their beach visits happened every weekend carrying rustic bread rolls, unique to Reiners Bread & Snack shop. They talked, they laughed, and they shared the snack which remained his favorite. They sat silently. They were in love.

Getting married changed up their routines. Their already infrequent beach visits dwindled, it was merely twice or thrice after starting a family.

When life demanded relocation to assume increased responsibilities, they obeyed. The love rock and the bread rolls stayed in their heart but were no more in their life. The couple missed them both very dearly. Fantastic events of the initial decades of marriage gave away to run-of-the-mill days.

The humdrum encouraged them to go back to the familiar place. They decided to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary at the love rock with just the Reiners bread rolls and wine taken in a basket.

In the evening,  they reached the beach. Both of them enjoyed a regained life. They sat on the love rock silently. The sky appeared lovely with a blaze of pinks and oranges.

Suddenly he spoke.

“Will you ever forget me?”

She was startled by the completely unrelated question.
Before she could respond he shivered, went numb and was seen lying on the rock leaving off the snack basket. The bread pieces fell off his hand onto the rock.

A cry for help was all that she could remember. All efforts proved fruitless, for he had started his return journey too early.

Ten days after the funeral she visited the beach. She believed he was still lying there on the rock, expecting her.

All she found were the mouldy bread rolls left by him on the rock.

“Oh dear, you left those for me, didn’t you?” She cried.

“I know…I know…that’s why it’s untouched by ants and birds. You definitely left them for me…”

People noted the woman insanely picking up something from the rock, and eating.

Shamed

                                                                                                                                         (Pic from Google)

Standing amidst hundreds of eyes, the female figure was mercilessly humiliated.

The drape of the feminine figure was undone without a grace.

Even so, no-one heard a screamnot even a sob.

The eternal hell didn’t break loose.

No Krishna appearedThe drape was mere short.

stood there among the spectators, reeling the Panchali humiliation episode from the epic Mahabharata, in my mind.

True that the imminent fall of the drape in public instantly made me uncomfortable.

 Did I do something against it? NO!

Simply because…

I was buying the drape that female mannequin was wearing!

A winter getaway

WOW: Write About The Sounds You Hear

An escape from the hustling and bustling city to my grandmother’s lovely village was something I constantly dreamt.

The humble village where the sun’s radiance reflected the gentle heart of the villagers and the breeze accompanied us like a faithful companion. The fresh air greeted us with flower scents; it was the haven of the chirping birds that hummed melodies that no other instruments were capable to play.

Walking alone or sitting serenely listening to our thoughts seemed a maddening exercise in the cities. The outdoors offered sounds of roaring machines, moving motors or chattering people. All we obtain to breathe is the polluted black air. Things were the same if you escape to a lush park. The indoors marked the rumblings of a high-pressure, target oriented workplace. Or we can hear the constant uninteresting conversations sprouted either from our own house or from the neighbors’ flat. Or the screams of those kids who ne’er enjoyed active spaces.

The village wakened me up with the symphonies of nature. Life became marvelous.
Close by my bedroom window there was a Java Apple tree,  full of pink delicious fruits. The various colored birds feasted on the fruits taking turns and made love. I could sit all day near the window and observe them. I was listening to my mind, without actually making an effort.

The views were enough to strike a chord.
A gentle reminder to find a soul mate and to have a family.
A notice that devouring good food, having sound sleep and merrymaking with friends is a sure-fire good life scheme. No bonus for sacrificing one’s life for the company’s growth.
My mind noted and conveyed the things I was missing in my hectic corporate life.
What a pleasant way of life!

NB: All should escape to a lovely place often to be in tune with our own selves, to discover what the mind has to tell and discover our calls.

{This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.}

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Caged

(Photo by Boris Smokrovic via Unsplash)

 

The caged but hungry butterfly felt dizzy consuming the artificial liquid fed by the girl, shouting “drink and be merry!

When booze-free, it could sense the precious nectar of a nearby flower that was moving dilly-dally in the breeze.

It tried passing through the cage with all its might only to fail, then cried, “nothing in life is as sweet as freedom!

~~~~~

{In response to Three Line Tales, Week 149}

The Return

The first time he had come to Frankfurt was to pursue his post graduation.
After years, when he returned his homeland fetching a good job opportunity, he had satisfactorily completed his postdoctoral studies.
He expressed a dozen reasons to thank the place.
For him, Frankfurt was all about royale and resilience.
All around he could view only monumentous and prestigious structures.
The once war-destroyed city later emerged as a dominant spot.
The once love damaged man could find solace in its warmth.
The pleasant neighborhood and the scenic beauty made Frankfurt very dear to him.

When he explored the place as a dying wish, after 42 years, all he could see were the royal remnants looking humble amidst the multi-storied contemporary architecture. 

Heights don’t guarantee mojo!” The old man sighed. 

{In response to What Pegman Saw: Frankfurt, Germany}

Sky Lanterns

Image result for single sky lantern
                                                                                                                                          (Photo : From Google)

“Good, your first baby is doing great!”                                           The doctor exclaimed during my seventh month scanning.

Felt happy, still anxious, for we were expecting twins.
His face grew grim suddenly.
“I am sorryI am so sorry! He murmured.
Our world seemed to be collapsing.

Soon after my delivery, they brought us our healthy little one.
There was joy. But our hearts were hardened to heartily enjoy.

An experienced nurse carefully brought a trolley decorated with flowers and toys, and there laid our stillborn.
Writhing in unspeakable agony I could look only once. 

After the obituary and cremation, we reached the lush valley with our healthy baby.
The approaching evening greeted us with a rosy sky.

We lighted a sky lantern. As it flew up, it’s believed the dear baby we lost is promptly returning to heaven.

To this day, sky lanterns remind us of disenfranchised sorrows human lives are bestowed with.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

{Based on a true incident}

Chaos

                        three line tales, week 148: gulls over a stormy sea                                                                                                                                                           (Photo by Lalo via Unsplash)

From my standpoint in the ship, towards the left, there’s my ex-husband flirting with his young girlfriend, and that naturally prompted me to turn right. 

saw the monster sea waves terrifying the swooping seagulls, but some swam over the tough waves expecting a good fortune, just like  the girl who found her way amidst my chaos.

Only the callous can fish in troubled waters.

{Written for Three Line Tales, Week 148}