Category: Sudden Fiction

Better late than never

Source: http://mrg.bz/n22FGA

 

The thing he hailed as love started corroding her, from inside out.
Once a quick decision maker was presently a powerless darling.
She had to consult him for everything, even to state if it was day or night.
Her glow faded away with her smartness.

Luckily, it was not too late when she learned to differentiate love from thralldom.
By making a dangerous but successful flee, she allowed him to rust in pieces.

_________________________________

{Sunday Photo Fiction-July 7  2019}

MY DEBUT BOOK

Happy that I have published my debut work “Still Loved Still Missed”. It is a short story collection containing 14 stories and a poem. It has 78 pages and is of nominal price.

It would be great if you can read it.

If you can review it, that will definitely be a bonus and happiness.

Here are the links to purchase the paperback version:

IF YOU ARE IN INDIA

  1. NOTIONPRESS
  2. AMAZON.IN 

  

IF IN OTHER COUNTRIES

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CO.UK

 

KINDLE VERSION

AMAZON.IN  (Inside India)

AMAZON.COM

 

Beware of the old men in suits

Train Station

Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

The old man in the executive suit holding a black briefcase in his right hand, impatiently examined his watch every 30 seconds. From the looks, it was evident he was waiting for his train. Late running trains were unfamiliar to him.

Within seconds two trains passed fast in opposing directions in the adjacent rail tracks. Not his.

“I would be fired today for the lateness!” He told as if to someone, but none indeed heard him as his voice sank in the trains’.

“Martha and kids would be waiting! I can’t be late!“Martha and kids would be waiting! The stranger smirked.

He sat in a vacant chair, cross-legged, his briefcase kept on his right side.

Moments later he smiled recollecting how he and his brother used to catch fish by diving in the deep waters near his childhood home. He was always better than his brother.

When the next train came, he was still demonstrating his skills, made a jump into the water.

A couple of days later a family in search of their missing schizophrenic father received his body.

___________________

180 words

{Sunday Photo Fiction}

Exceptional Lives

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Every time I think of my hundred-year-old great grandmother, I remember her room window. A black-and-white photograph that pictures a woman gifted with a rare beauty, looking out through her window, longing for her long away husband flashes in mind.

After decades, all saw her; a mother looking through the window mourning her gone son.

The youngest generation loved her as their favorite humorist who always sat beside the window.

She had seen so much life that after she was gone, even her window and the bricks of her room started recounting her tales. Something we all like to cherish.

 

_________________________________

100 words

{Friday Fictioneers}

Lasting Love

three line tales, week 159: a little fellow dangling from a graffiti heart
Photo by Nick Fewings via Unsplash

Many marry, just the play of immature love.
Many marry, learn to tie the perfect knot of a hanging rope.
Some marry and find the wedded bliss.
True Love is the last love, lasting love.

____________________________________________________

35 words

{Three Line Tales, Week 159}

Happy Campers in Need

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

 

Our sister’s transformation from a lively girl to a depressed doll took a toll on us.
Our cousin, Rose, who accompanied us in one of the trips could make her smile and talk, a couple of times.
During the campfire, our sister almost danced a few steps. 

Rose was quick to intervene when she kept staring at the fire.
Well, what do you see?”

“Folded human hands, requesting help!”
“Oh! It reminds me of the grilled, spicy corn cobs, so D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.!
“That sounds yummy!” Our sister cried enthusiastically.

Sometimes, all we need is someone to alter our cerebrations.

__________________________

99 words

{Friday Fictioneers}

Cozened

grayscale photo of two men in cave with body of water

Photo:Warren Wong via Unsplash

I had no reason to turn down my boyfriend’s marriage proposal. We had met only two months before. My family disapproved, but he was so kind and respectful. He seemed quite well off though we didn’t talk much on that.
I cried the day he had gifted me the tickets to The Baths, in the British Virgin Islands. He had planned to celebrate our V-Day in my dream destination.

The unique island vibes when coral sands blend with blue water, posh resorts, superb food and snorkeling, everything in our menu seemed mesmerizing. We trotted through the white beach-sand, took perfectly posed, but candid, selfies leaning against the granite boulders.

Passing an abandoned grotto, I saw my man receiving small white packets from a stranger, hiding it and proceeding like nothing ever happened.

In a drug smuggling corridor with a dealer!

I understood the trap I was in, but too late.

_______________________________

150 words

{What Pegman Saw -The Baths, British Virgin Islands}

 

 

Prophecy

Photo Jasper Wilde via Unsplash

The shabby lone woman exited her hut to inspect the sea.

Peculiar shades of red laughed in the horizon.
Birds flapped across the evening sky.

The shore was all tensed up over the impending arrival of a disaster.
Fishing nets had oarfish, which predicted an upcoming tsunami or earthquake.

She, who knew it was coming, fell into a meditative trance.

The sea was calm for the next days until she disappeared from the place.

________________________________

74 Words-Inspired by a recent news

{Weekend Writing Prompt #93 – Horizon}

 

Paper Boats in the Monsoon

Subramanya Bhat

Photo Credit Subramanya Bhat (Photo for SPF)

A delayed child, who never spoke, giggles to herself.
Everyone except me thinks she is defective. None in that big, rich family cared.
Somehow she knew I appreciated her. She hugs my gifts and giggles.

I visited her last monsoon. She was playing with paper boats in puddles of water. She appeared angelic.

A fallen coconut, her port. Boats named in an unknown script. Suddenly she spoke a peculiar language fluently.
The signs were good enough, she was an angel.
She hugged the pink sweater gift and giggled.

A month later saw her lifeless body wearing that pink sweater.

________________________

99 words

{Sunday Photo Fiction – February 10, 2019}

{February 7: Flash Fiction Challenge}

Trails of History

aerial view of city buildings during nighttime

Photo: Andre Benz via Unsplash

The old lady couldn’t interpret the hoopla and the coverage shown in the morning television news. After several minutes, she could realize it was about the series of thefts that happened in Manhattan City. The reporter was describing the CCTV footages that presented a group of people entering different stores stealing items.
Her great-granddaughter was managing a stationery store in the city. But, that didn’t prompt the lady to call her and enquire the matters. 

Hours later, the grey-haired lady received a message from her granddaughter which affirmed the theft in her store too.

Tinged with her own Native American history, she remembered the innumerable thefts and the trails of tears her tribe had to endure centuries ago. Manhattan may be a national treasure today, but it was somebody else’s yesterday. 
Store thefts appeared trivial. 

______________________

{What Pegman Saw-Manhattan Island}

My Granny’s Patio

spf 11-18-18 joy pixley 2Photo Credit: Joy Pixley

A long patio covered with garlic vines where my granny rested in a rocking chair is one of my strongest childhood memories.

I had constantly wondered why my granny selected those vines to decorate our patio of all the flowering climbers. She had told it was because of the lovely purple blooms, as blue shaded flowers were the rarest. I had believed that for quite some time.

As I grew up, I realized those plants resembled my granny in a way. She cherished me so much. She was the family I was closest to. She maintained the serene look befitting an angel and was an epitome of love. It was shocking to know she had beaten up her long-estranged husband, who left her for another when he tried taking away my little aunt.

I know why she had been growing garlic vines. It was a reminder.
Garlic vines are one of the most rewarding plants when left alone. They did emit the intolerably pungent garlic smell only when crushed.

_______________________________________________

169 words

{Sunday Photo Fiction – January 27, 2019}

A Knitter from Eastland

brown and white chapel

Photo by Beau Swierstra via Unsplash

The way Kaisa had introduced herself during our undergraduate course was interestingly informative. She was a cheerful lady in her 30s.

Hello friendsI am Kaisa. I see I am older than you all, but I come from a nation much younger than yours. I come from Tallinnthe capital of Estonia, a remote country in Europe. Many believe we are the defenseless dorp of Russia or just a Baltic hinterland or an idiosyncratic population of renegades. But I oppose, may be humble, but we are unique. A splendid group of people who possess a distinct culture, languagefood and lovely lands. We witnessed various rulersendured a lot. I dream of the day my country is known for the right reasons, not as an appendage of any nation!

My fond memory is Kaisa hand knitting gloves for gifting. 
Before parting she had gifted me a knitted phone pouch. Precious.

_________________

150 words

{What Pegman Saw- Estonia}

 

Still Waters

three line tales, week 156: stars over the sea
Photo by Sam Loyd via Unsplash

The riverside, echoing eerie stories, stood notorious for its paranormal activities.

The still waters that never reflect the starry night skies, the large mangrove trees which hide the haunted palace, the broken statue of a murdered prince which is heard making pleas for help in nights.

Sam and Jill brushed aside all these until they heard mysterious footsteps and disembodied screams the night they had arrived at the riverside. 

_______________

69 words

{Three Line Tales, Week 156}

The Genes

img_2072Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

I enjoyed the way my three-year-old girl, Disha, pointed her chubby fingers towards a painting placed in her pre-school. I have asked her which picture she liked the most.

It was a picture of a girl presenting a flower to a pooh bear.
“That’s an excellent picture!” I congratulated her selection.

She surprised me by pointing to another picture saying,“ No like, no like!”
I asked her why.

“The cow is eating flowers, Mama! No like!!”
My eyes scrutinized the painting. It was a donkey.

I knew correcting my kid was useless, as she thinks she created and named almost all animals and birds. Still, I tried, “That’s a donkey, not a cow, Disha! Look at its head.”

She swayed her head negatively.
A memory struck me.

My five-year-old self who believed all the eggs in our farm was laid by our bunny and the hens were the enemies who came to peck them. None of my family could convince me otherwise, for a long time.

I laughed at the way the genes work.

__________________

174 words

{Sunday Photo Fiction-January 20, 2019}

An Exploration

Image result for Radium Springs, GA

Photo:Simbi.com

Mel and Sas disembarked their unique vehicle. Switching on the internet that works with extraterrestrial intelligence, they confirmed their destination. They have landed on the earth where molten lava inhabits some of the active creatures seen in their native planet.

Nearing the magma, their sensors indicated a temperature exceeding 1600 degree Celsius and the presence of all the radioactive elements they had expected. They wanted to collect specimens of the creatures, resembling fish. After satisfactorily completing their job they headed to their vehicle.

Sas told Mel, “ Just survey the spot history, Mel!
“Okay!”

History revealed the location name as Radium Springs Gardens, some thousand years ago. The place contained hot springs where earthlings used to take a swim. After finding the presence of Radium elementswimming was forbiddenIt remained a tourist destination until the doomsday after which the planet became a ball of fire.

Closing the history, they emplaned.

_____________

149 words

{What Pegman Saw-Radium Springs, GA}

Partners in Crime

Photo prompt by H.R.R. Gorman

Our friend, Gary, paid us a visit after satisfactorily completing a mountaineering attempt.
Being an adventure loving couple, we paid attention to his every detail on hiking and camping.
Our six-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, fell absolutely silent on that day.
We seized upon the opportunity to devise a hiking plan for our anniversary.

The following day, both of us arrived home earlier. Shockingly, our bedrooms appeared messy. We assured robbery until we spotted the robbers.
Our twins with their two friends have constructed an absolute camp house in our bedroom using tissues, bed covers, and pillows. 

Eight little feet were seen projecting out of their tent.
Four crime partners in deep slumber. 

_______________________

115 words

{FFfAW Challenge – 201st}

Colonnades

Photo: Canva.com

Reflecting on memories during the late thirties is like taking a walk through long colonnades. She has felt it a hundred times.

The ranked memories, each alcove created for each event from the childhood, adolescence and the glorious youthful days.
Some nights, when we are all alone, we see a full moon shining through the colonnades; whose solemn look befits all the sweet evocations.
On radiant days, shadowy but warm colonnades remind of the unspoken apprehensions, and agonies we once survived.

Just as the colonnades are magnificent, so are our memories.
Still, somewhere exist fallen colonnades, the vexed memories.

________

99 words

{Flash Fiction Challenge January 17 2019}

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes colonnades.

The Unfortunates

Photo  by Yinglan

From where he stood, the place appeared like a verdant meadow.
The rich kids in colored T-shirts were playing. Their posh houses were visible from his spot. Witnessing their plays, shouts and screams delighted him. 

The winter has caused all the trees to look like tall skeletons. 
It was noon. But the haze didn’t give way to the typical noon-day warmth.
The kids didn’t bother either. What’s more important than playing outdoors with friends?

His stomach grumbled. He hastily moved to the gully side of the meadow.
His ungloved thin hands started sorting the things found there.
Being a ragpicker kid, he was searching for his ‘gold’ in those ditches.

________________

111 words

{FFfAW Challenge – 200th-Photo Prompt}

Heart of Gold

gold-and-silver-colored pendant necklace

Photo:Alex Chambers via Unsplash

As he calculated the hard-saved money under the dull light, his lips curved into a smile.
“Enough for a lovely gift to her!”

His wife had openly alleged that she was unloved by her husband.

Every time she had rushed into explaining about the no-gifts received from him during their one year of marriage, he felt reduced to dead broke. Finally, she had left him to stay with her mother.

Being heartbroken, both husband and wife had started speaking broken English. They started conveying their woes to their non-native neighbors.

 
In an overemotional and exaggerated tone, she said, “You seeanniversarybirthdayvalentine’s day, new year and other festivals, all went without a giftnot even a rose. No more stay with this beggar!” Then she would cry, reminding the worst Pokemon cries.

On the other hand, he would say, “Money comes, money goes, money stays with me not, just like her!” He would sit like a monkey whose only banana was snatched by another.

With six months of diligent effort and having saved enough money to buy her a gold necklace, he headed to the jewelry street of the town. It was dusk.  He dreamt that the moment she would set her eyes on the necklace, she would seize her bag and return with him.

As he proceeded, a hand as smooth as rose petals, snatched his wrist. 
Coming back from the dream world, he observed a pretty damsel.

Overwhelmed with griefshe informed him about her mother being hospitalized for life-saving surgery. If she couldn’t collect the needed money within an hourshe would lose her only family. As it was dusk, no one was ready to lend her a loan*.

 She offered him her 30-gram gold chain and begged to give whatever money he had to save her from becoming an orphan. At the minimum, he was spotted in the jewelry street.

A charming damsel in distress! His simpleton village heart melted.

Intending a purchase of 24 grams gold necklace, an offer of 30 grams gold chain for lesser money appeared a profitable deal!

As the damsel ran away with his offering, he felt contented.

The following day, he went to sell the gold chain only to find it was a beautiful strand of rolled gold.

_______________________

382 words

{YeahWrite Fiction Challenge 405}
Genre Prompt: Comedy
Personality Trait: Impulsive

*In many cultures, lending money or items in the evening is considered a taboo.

In Search of Organic

spf january 6 2019 ce ayr

Photo Credit: CE Ayr

The bone-creaking old man was desperate. His noisy joints and spindly legs were limiting his movements. 

“Only broth can save you,” assured his trusted healer. “But mind you, the lambs must be completely grass-fed, organically grown!”

The old, but rich man set out with his dearest companion to purchase as many lambs he could get from the sheepfold on the outskirts, which guaranteed to provide organic cattle.

The direction board helped him reach his destination.
He paid no attention to the huge waste bins at the entrance

Just before fixing the deal, a garbage picking van made an appearance at the gateHis gut instincts made him limp towards the entrance. 

Huge trash cans filled with numerous bottles and covers of the hormone drugged feed were being collected by the van driver.

Money can’t buy health!” Muttered the old man while getting into his SUV.

_____________

145 words

{Sunday Photo Fiction – January 6, 2019}

Sweet Tooth

PHOTO PROMPT © Priya Bajpal

Saras has learned the lessons only a toothache can teach, promptly to disregard when the ache is gone. The fifty-eight-year-old woman can’t quit the sweet stuff. 
A tooth removal was essential. Being a heedless patient, her dentist has stopped exchanging pleasantries. Services weren’t denied, thanks to the Hippocratic oath.

At the clinic, while experiencing excruciating pain, her eyes fell on the multi-colored candies kept in a jar on the pebbled surface teapoy. 
Before leaving after the procedure Saras queried someone if she could take some.
“Of course!” 

Candy-like papers with dental health tips left her bitter for the remaining day.

________________________________

100 words

{Friday Fictioneers}

 

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 }

Peek-a-Boo

Photo prompt by Jodi McKinney

The terrified couple plodded into the refugee campNeither they nor the others memorized exactly the sequence of events since the last 30 hours.

Hurricanes weren’t new. But that time they had walked the delicate rope between life and deathThey had the slightest worry about their ripped off house and the wrecked farmland. But they mourned for their only kids- cows, goats, horse, rabbits, a puppy, and a cat. None made it.

At the camp, they received food and essentials, were even tested for infectious diseases. Though touched by suicidal ideation, none cried.

The woman looked out of the window to find a peek-a-boo session by the sun and the dark clouds. She smiled. The husband looked at her questionably.

One of the nurses enquired. “Miss, you are expecting, right?”
“No.” She answered surprisingly fast.

The nurse smiled. “Yes, absolutely, you are. I know it’s challenging. Things will turn out fine, but only with your care.” 

When she had left, the woman smiled more beautifully increasing the perplexity of her husband.

______________

Word Count: 171

{Written for FFfAW Challenge – 199th}

Absolute Decimation

Image result for st. helena islandPhoto: Queensland.com

What hurts more, the pain of heartburn or that of a heartbreak?

Napoleon was seen staring through his bedroom window. A steady downpour has created a fog. His weary eyes couldn’t be fixed on anything he could believe as the skyline, let alone identify the boundary of Saint Helena Island from all other presences.

He was scared of throwing up. The image of a military leader! He held his breath.
If he didhe won’t be fined either! A scoffing reminder about his exile.  

The growing pain above the belly button didn’t concern him much.
But …..Josephine! Her shrieks on the day their marriage was annulled, echoed in his earsIt was raining back then, too.

Bitter remorse overruled him with a tinge of intense despair.
He was shivering, his soul withering. The rain became intenser.

His head turned sideways, the blood arrested face fell into a deep slumber.

___________

Word Count: 150

{Written for What Pegman Saw}

Depth Images

PHOTO PROMPT © Russell Gayer

 

“Mom, do you ever think of dad?”

The seventy-eight-year-old mother retained a dazed look at her son’s query. They were walking up the valley towards the pale mountains.

“No!”

“Why?”

“We never enjoyed that connection.” 

 His mother was seen grim-faced and silent. 

To his surprise she continuedpointing at the mountains.

“Your dad was like those mountains. He wanted attention and adoration. Somehow, he gained it. I waslike this valley, always unnoticed, unattended and unappreciated. Everyone forgets mountains are inseparable from valleys”. She paused. “… It’s good that he’s no more…!

Alan credited the unfathomable depths of human relationships.

_______________

Word Count: 100

{Written for Friday Fictioneers}

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}