Category: Short Stories

High-and-Mighty

shallow focus photography of dried leaf

Photo:Harli Marten via Unsplash

Her seventy-two winter-kissed body skin glowed with a healthy pink tinge. A little bit of Botox and other contemporary techniques, with the world’s best make-up kits and stylistsabove all a never-ending cash pile is all that it took her to become the talk of the town. Funeral fashion has become lax with Alaena, who pretended death doesn’t exist for her.

Everything came to a halt when a nagging headache conquered her. The pain-averse culture counseled her about the most modern medicine. But who could assure her that it won’t affect her appearance? 

Her Rolls Royce steered to the outskirts.
There lived a wrinkled and grey-haired forty-two-year-old man, gifted for curing any ailment with mere water brought by his patients.

At the door of his mansionAlaena wanted to know his name and affiliation.
“My name is Tomato.” She couldn’t help but laugh. He didn’t mind a bit.

He offered her the loftiest seat and turned back to sit three feet opposite to her.
She couldn’t shift her eyes off his long tail, possessing an arrow at its tipsweeping the floor he walked.

“What took you to my place?” His eyes sparkled like garnet in the light.
When the bemused woman demanded a cure for her throbbing headache, he nodded affirmatively.

With the first gulp of water in her bottle, she felt completely fineMuch surprised and delighted, she thanked him, a rare gesture.

“But man, I am intrigued, why do you look like an old monkey, with that disgusting tail?”
In reply, he consumed the remaining water she had brought.

Before long her mask fell off, her wrinkles became prominent, and her protruded cheekbones, snowy –white hair and sunken eyes gave her the look of a skeleton.

She ran out the door screaming until she fell down dead, covered in the village dust.

Alaena’s Rolls Royce is still parking at Tomato’s mansion.

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

316 words

[For readers’ information, the prompt was to write fiction in the genre ‘Magical Realism’ including the personality trait ‘vain’]

{Written for YeahWrite #404 }

Advertisements

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}

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}

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}

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!