Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Tears

                                                                               Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
She looked at the Sun and sighed. One more day was about to end.
‘He would come today, surely. Has to?’
But she knew that she was only trying to fool herself; he would never return.
Still she was not willing to get rid of the hope that she had nurtured for last ten years.
She looked through the window. The Sun had set. She was distracted by something that was sticking to her withered hands.
She washed her hands, repeatedly; but somehow was unable to cleanse them.
That irritated her.
She looked through the window but everything appeared hazy.
**********
A post for FridayFictioneers on a picture prompt

Word count 100

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Birthday

                                                                                       Photo prompt © CE Ayr

Only she knew what it was to be a single mother. But, against all odds, she had managed to bring up her girl. The girl had just turned sixteen and her excitement was boundless.
The blast hit them as they were stepping out of the mall.
The mother regained her consciousness and looked around. She thought everything around her was nightmarishly baffling.  
‘What’s the matter?’ she asked no one in particular.
‘Relax; everything is in order,’ she thought she heard such words.
She looked around.
‘I lost my …I think I lost my…my shoe,’ she stammered and again passed out.
*******

A post for Friday Fictioneers in memory of innocent victims of terror attacks.

Word count 100

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Bumper Crop

                                                                                         Photo prompt © Connie Gayer

He looked at the field and his heart sank. It was again a bumper crop.

He knew that the agent would be unwilling to lift even quarter of the produce. He would have to beg and accept whatever terms the agent would offer. He would not recover even the sowing costs.

The debts would keep on mounting. It had happened with every bumper crop.

Two of his neighbours had already forfeited their lands and lives. Their deaths had left him numb.

He roamed through the denuded field, thinking of the two neighbours who had killed themselves a few days back.
***********
A post for Friday Fictioneers

Word count 100

Saturday, 3 October 2015

That Day

                                                                                     Photo prompt © Marie Gail Stratford

The mouse looked around; everything was spic and span and at its own place. The mouse was pleased with itself; it had finally ensured that all things were as organized as it had dreamt of.

Men had for generations reveled in chaos. But the mouse knew that eventually men will fail themselves. That day it would enforce its will, brutally.

Bit by bit men had begun to depend on the mouse. Bit by bit they surrendered their will. A day came when for everything men wished to do they ‘waited’ on the mouse.

That day the mouse enforced its will.
*******

A post for Friday Fictioneers on a photo prompt.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Provocation


She seemed to be totally unaffected by all the commotion around her. She kept working in a relaxed and sedate manner.

“Don’t be that harsh on yourself, join the party; after all how often do we win the World Cup,” someone tried to provoke her but his effort was half-hearted and pathetic. She knew that they were all deliberately fooling themselves and that, in fact, they were all very angry. But it was not a righteous anger.

It was after thirty years that the football team had a golden chance of winning the World Cup. They were hosting the tournament and they were in the final. Other team in the final was the weakest team in the tournament; it was just sheer luck and some patchy hard work that had enabled it to reach the final. The hosts were too confident of a thumping win.

The game was yet to start but everyone had begun to celebrate. The frenzy had to be seen to be believed. They had waited for many years for this intoxicating moment.

But to everyone’s shock and disbelieve the host team lost and lost miserably.  Celebrations turned into one long dirge.  

No one knew that she was fighting her own ghosts; her younger brother had been killed by riotous fans during a football tournament five years back.

She pretended to remain unaffected. But she was not aware that her sang-froid was provoking them.
*******


Monday, 28 September 2015

Accident

                                                                           Photo prompt © The Reclining Gentleman

“Don’t ever drive if you are drunk, never.”
For his father driving after drinking was nothing but a cardinal sin. But he often ignored old man’s warning and, luckily, on a few occasions narrowly missed hitting unwary pedestrians. 
But one late evening his luck ran out. He hit a young biker who was thrown off his bike with terrible ferocity. He was too drunk to realize the gravity of the situation and did not even stop to look at the victim.
Later the police informed his wife that their son had been killed in a hit and run accident.
***********
A post for Friday Fictioneers on a photo prompt.

Word count 99

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Dream?


He must have been dreaming; he was certain that he had seen her but only in his dream. It was raining and she was peeping through the window. He was sure it was her; it had to be her.

But deep within he was shivering; it could not have been a dream. He was quite awake and was enjoying a cup of exotic green tea. She had brought it when she had gone to Japan.

He had been cursing himself for being extremely rash and violent; he had not given her even a chance to explain anything. It had always been like that with him. Every time he had blundered and learnt no lessons.

He had gone back to that tragic moment a hundred times and every time he had found himself guilty of being irrational; he could not find even an iota of justification for his anger.

But now he was determined to change. But he did not know that it was already too late.

He saw her again peeping through the glass, he saw the blood dripping from the deep gash on her forehead; terrified, he could not suppress his blood-curdling scream.     
*************

A post for Magpie Tales on a photo prompt.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Woman in the Garden



For us, engrossed as we were in our haphazard life plans, she was as inconsequential as the flowers blooming in the garden. She had been creating masterpieces for past few months at an unhurried pace. She was completely at ease with her paints and paint brushes and flowers around her. She seemed untouched by the noxious ways of the world.
We laboured from sunrise to sunset, chasing our dreams. It was an endless chase. But that did not bother us. We were sure that all the odds and ends that we had succeeded to accumulate were prized rewards and our incessant efforts were worth their while.
One day one of us chose to talk to her.
‘I too chased my dreams….and for years….till one day I realized that the chase was as worthless as the dreams that I chased.’
‘You seem to be fascinated by these flowers? You keep painting flowers?’
‘They talk to me….of their impermanence.’ She smiled. It was a smile as beautiful as the flowers around her.
******
A post for Three Word Wednesday and FFfAW


Monday, 21 September 2015

Partition

                                                                                            Photo prompt- © David Stewart 

It was after fifty years that he could visit the house where he had spent ten years of his childhood.
Partition of the country had let loose an irreversible process. Millions  of people had been rooted out of the land where they had lived for generations.
Before migrating, his grandfather had handed over the house to a friend, who accepted it like a cursed gift. But the grandfather failed to grow roots in the new land and slowly withered away.
He was shocked to learn that the grandfather’s friend had suffered a fatal heart attack the day his grandfather died.
*******

A post for Friday Fictioneers on a picture prompt.

Word count 100

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Green Light


It was a chilly night and, as always, the room was cold. He had wrapped the quilt all around his head; he was scared of catching the cold.
He thought that he had heard a strange sound, a sound that had distracted him in his sleep. But he was not too sure, ‘No, I was not sleeping; I was only worrying about my unfinished homework.’
He was terrified of his math teacher who loved spanking the boys, even those who did not make mistakes.
‘But I did hear a sound; what was that?’
He adjusted the quilt a bit and managed to create a small aperture and peeped through it.
He froze when he saw a green light shining in one corner of the room. The green light was floating like a weightless ball.
Terrified, he quickly wrapped the quilt around his face. But an overpowering curiosity rose somewhere deep within him. He slowly pushed the quilt away and uncovered his head.
A green light was surely floating in the room.
He tried but failed to wake up his elder brother. He wanted to get up and wake up his parents; but he could not muster enough courage and instead shut himself in his quilt that he wrapped tightly all around himself.
Next morning he thought that his elder brother was unusually happy and boisterous.
‘Did he play a prank?’ he looked at his elder brother; it was the dirtiest look that he could manage.
************

A post for Sunday Photo Fiction on a photo prompt.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Good Samaritan


It was a beautiful day. There was not much traffic on the road. We were enjoying our drive. But we didn’t know that things were about to change.

The clouds came and soon the sky was flooded with thick, dark clouds.  It was late afternoon but day had unexpectedly turned into a night.

The rain came. We kept driving but slowly. The visibility was diminishing rapidly; the rain had very quickly turned into a torrential downpour.

We had to stop abruptly. A huge tree had fallen and had blocked the road.

It was so dark that we could not see as to what was on either side of the road. We had no option but to wait for the rain to stop and for the visibility to improve.

For no apparent reason we were talking to one another in hushed tones.

‘We are stuck in the middle of nowhere, no.’

‘Let us turn back.’

‘Let the rain stop.’

“But…’

A light at flashed at us. Someone knocked at the window.

‘Why don’t you follow me; you must be going to the engineering college?’ it was a Good Samaritan, out of nowhere.

We all looked at one another unsure of what we ought to do.  We eventually decided to follow him.

But he moved to quickly we were not able to keep pace with him. Soon we were alone on a narrow road in a dark forest.
******

A post for FFfAW on a photo prompt

Friday, 11 September 2015

A Boat Ride


We were a gang of three but only one could swim. He was a cadet of the naval wing.
He borrowed a boat and took us for a ride. Unexpectedly the clouds came, wind rose and the rudder came unstuck; we could move only in circles.
There were no life-jackets. That was a fatal error. But there was a glimmer of hope for it was still not dark. 
‘Search party would come,’ he said.
But he was worried. His coach was impartial and ruthless in dealing with errant cadets; he had lied while borrowing the boat that we all could swim.
                              
(The story is based on a real life incident of school days.)
**********
A post for Friday Fictioneers on a photo prompt and
Three Word Wednesday; word prompts- fatal, glimmer, impartial.

Word count -101

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Conversion
There were no more than hundred families of non-believers in that town. But all these years they had no conflict with the believers.
One day the believers said, ‘You have to either convert or leave.’
Although they were elastic in many of their habits yet the non-believers were deeply attached to their culture.   
It was not an amusing situation; the believers were serious. The non-believers got terrified. They hid themselves in their houses; held discussions and came to a heart-breaking decision.
It was no use leaving their homes; they chose to convert.
Now they break the eggs the believers’ way.
******

Three Word Wednesday; word prompts- amusing, elastic, deeply.
Word count-100


Silence of the Valley


Everything was quite, unusually quite. Or so she thought.
Having lived all these years amidst the noise and cacophony of her city, she was struck by the silence of that place; the hills on one side and the sleepy valley stretching in front appeared to be smiling at her confusion. She had not known that some parts of earth were, even now, beautiful and peacefully quite.
“How I wish we had come here earlier?” she said to him.
He didn’t say anything. She was too overwhelmed by the beauty of that place to see that his eyes had turned hard and cruel.
“We must come here, again.”
He didn’t respond. She turned and looked at him and froze in terror.
******

A post for Magpie Tales on a picture prompt.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Flowers


As he entered the room they stopped talking. Every one of them looked at him. A pregnant silence had descended in the room. But their eyes could not remain quite. The eyes were open in a kind of mock surprise.
They knew that she had spurned him. They had warned him but he was too confident of his charm; it had never failed him. But it did fail. He felt shattered.
“Now you would like teach her a lesson, no?” asked one with a sneering smile on his face.
“That won’t behove you; just let it go. There are any number of girls in the town, no?” said other.
“Don’t do anything rash or foolish. Just give her some time. May be she will have a change of heart,” this was the one who really hated him.
“Why would I do anything rash or foolish? Rather I would send her flowers; every day and day after day,” he said with an exceedingly warm smile.
They were all disappointed. They had not expected that he would take her rebuff that sportingly. They were wishing that he would retaliate and do something foolish and nasty.
“Flowers?” they could not believe him.
Only he knew that she was allergic to flowers and that he was going to make her feel miserable; every day and day after day.
*******
A post for Magpie Tales on a photo prompt.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Justice

                                                                                              Photo prompt © Clair Fuller
He had piteously pleaded his innocence. But the evidence arrayed by the police convinced the judge. He was found guilty of raping and killing his daughter.
He was sent to the jail for life. But it was the shame that broke his heart.
He was released from the prison when a serial killer confessed that he had raped and killed many girls since his twentieth birthday. Many unsolved cases attained finality with his confession.
The father too was found innocent after fifteen years in jail. But he did not leave the jail. He died on the day of his release.
*******

A post for FridayFictioneers on a photo prompt.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Propasals
Princess Zeena looked puzzled. King Zeeza had cursed her for not being ugly.
‘Is it my fault if I am beautiful and not ugly?’ she wondered. Her luminous face reflected a tear stain. Ironically, this stain made her finally chiselled face look more bewitching.
The king had received proposals from all neighbouring kingdoms. Five princes had heard of Zeena’s beauty and every one of them was eager to marry her.
No prince was willing to take a no for an answer. They were all sons of mighty kings. They were arrogant and commanded superior armies. Every prince was prepared to wage a war to force his  proposal on King Zeeza.
Zeeza’s kingdom was small and peaceful; people were fun loving. They made the finest wines in the world that were exported to different foreign lands. The kingdom was rich but lacked military power. For centuries they had not faced an enemy.
Zeeza was worried for he knew that the threats he faced were not hollow.
His thinking was no longer lucid; the fear had clouded his reasoning and he began to curse his innocent daughter. It was feckless of him to blame the girl, for her beauty was a divine gift.
The princess was not actually a dumb girl; she was intelligent and had been a winner all along. As soon as she regained her composure she said to her father, ‘Don’t you worry, father. They will not wage a war on us. Tell them, I will marry the prince who is bravest of all. He who can defeat the others can happily wed me.’
The king was taken aback; he knew that she deserved someone better than any of the five arrogant, ill-mannered princes who were desperate to marry her. 
*******
A post for Sunday Whirl

A story that must include---puzzled, superior, foreign, luminous, winner, hollow, feckless, stain, lucid, dumb, chiselled, wine

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Dress
When she saw her prized dress she was dumbstruck. It was an expensive thing and she had to struggle for months to buy it, cutting on every avoidable expense, day after day and week after week. But that was not all; she adored that fancy costume. She almost broke down.
She knew who the culprit was; she had known it all the while. An anger rose in her heart, slowly but surely; an anger that could burn anything that came in its way.
She looked for him in every room and there were not many rooms in that house. She found him reclining in her grandmother’s chair; he was dozing, completely unaware of what was about to befall him. 
Her anger exploded like a volcano. Terrified, he tried to plead innocence.
‘Even if you kneel before me and lick my feet I will not spare you, not this time.  This is the third dress that you have spoiled,’ she screamed at him, her eyes burning with tears.
But he was a cool, clever cat; he knew how to mollify her even when her anger was beyond her control.
He let out half a purr and looked at her with eyes that were bewitching.
‘You nasty, scoundrel,’ she shouted and caught him by the neck. 
This time the cats's charm had failed.
********
Word prompts- kneel, nasty, purr


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Complacent

Photo prompt © C E Ayr
No one was even willing to listen to him.
In fact, everyone derided him, ‘Only your study is true? Everything else is baseless?’
“I don’t know; but my studies reveal that we don’t have much time left. It’s a ticking time bomb. ’
They laughed at him and went on with their usual chores.
Five hundred days later they realized that they had only fooled themselves. The seas had suddenly swallowed huge land masses.
The leftover portions were hit be storms and freaky weather.
In his log cabin, high up in the mountains, he could only mourn at their folly.
********
A post for FridayFictioneers on a photo prompt



Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Decent Ghost
‘Believe me; I can’t harm even a fly. You don’t have to get scared of me,’ he said as politely as he could while trying to hide his rotting bones in a sack cloth.
Blood froze in our veins. No doubt he looked fearsome. His very presence in the room was reason enough to generate a terrifying feeling in all of us. We were all silent like a grave. We did not dare to even breathe loudly. We looked around, innocently.
His laugh broke the silence, ‘Why are you looking around? You think you can escape your fate? No way, at least not without my help. You have yet not met my friends. They are all dreaming of a great feast. Mind you, it is not an empty threat. They are all blood-suckers and love human flesh. Not me, I am not like them. I have always wanted to be an engine of change and revolutionize my society with new ideas. I have been persuading them to forget that, in their previous life, they were human beings. But they have always disregarded me. They look at me with contempt and disdain. Appalled by their callous behaviour, I decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike. It did effect them and, for some time, they were  torn between their hatred for me and their nascent desire to change.’
His talk was so engaging that, for some time, we forgot our fear and looked at him; we all wanted to him to finish his story.
But he would not continue.
'Did you eventually succeed?” asked one of us.
‘You could have easily guessed if you had been listening to me attentively. Sometimes I think that my friends are not in the wrong; no one respects a decent ghost. You men fear only flesh eating, blood sucking ghouls,’ he sounded distraught.
We felt guilty but that did not assuage his hurt feelings.
‘I will leave you to your fate and my ghoulish friends,’ thus saying the ghost left the room.
*************
A post for Sunday Whirl
A story that must include feast, laugh, generate, escape, veins, way, sack, broke, empty, ghost, engine, torn.
My post for Sunday Photo Fiction

A Stray Shot

‘What do you say? Is this a decent place? Can we choose to settle here?’
‘Do we have a better alternative? At least here they have no time to think of us.’
‘Time is one thing they have in plenty.’
‘They are busy hunting and killing one another, and they are at it for generations.  Of course we have to remain wary of stray bullets and bombs.’
‘It’s surprising that they have learnt nothing over the centuries.’
‘Perhaps it’s God’s way of punishing the depraved souls.’
‘But let us not talk about these stupid creatures for, in spite of them, we are going to have beautiful time together.’
‘Yes, our love will overcome all hardships that we have to suffer and for no fault of ours.’  
‘But why do they think that we are symbols of love and peace?’
‘Because we truly are,’ said she-dove and her love made her mate feel proud and happy.
He looked into her eyes; eyes that were brimming with love when, to his horror, a stray shot killed her.
*********

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Plastic Balloons


The collection of the plastic balloons was just captivating. It had become the star attraction at the carnival.
But what surprised everyone was the ‘Not for Sale’ placard that was displayed along with that fascinating collection. Children were particularly disappointed. Little kids were rather arguing with their parents. They found it difficult to resist the temptation of owning at least one of those beautiful balloons.
Many parents were willing to buy the balloons and at any price. But there was no one around with whom they could negotiate or bargain. That was mystifying; no one knew who owned the balloons. Even carnival manager was of no help. He didn’t know when and who had brought the balloons to the carnival.
‘That’s a serious security lapse,’ commented a distraught parent. His little girl had been pestering him for the aeroplane-shaped balloon.
And it turned out to be tragic security lapse. The bomb hidden in the cluster of balloons exploded when there were about twenty people close by. Few survived.
***
In memory of innocent people killed in the bomb blast in Bangkok yesterday.
A post for FFfAW on a picture prompt.
 My post for Magpie Tales and 3WW


Monday, 17 August 2015

Murder in the Bedroom

It was a gruesome scene. The man had been stabbed with a kitchen knife. The body bore multiple stab wounds. The blood was splattered all over the bedroom.
But what surprised the police officer was the attitude of the murdered man’s wife. She was found in her bedroom, peacefully enjoying her smoke; she had wrapped her eyes with a black herbal eye wrap. He tried to speak to her but her responses were extremely cool and calculated.  
The officer could not find even a single piece of evidence that could lead him to the killer. Needle of suspicion, of course, pointed to the wife.
‘You didn’t share his bedroom?’ the officer said in a sneering tone and tried to provoke her
‘No, never.’
Her sang-froid irritated him.
‘Why?’
‘None of your business; you suspect that I killed him but you can’t find any evidence against me, no? I feel so sorry for you.’
‘We will catch the killer; eventually they all make a mistake and get caught.’
She smiled at him; it was an enigmatic smile and that made him angry.
******
A post for Magpie Tales on a photo prompt and

Three Word Wednesday –word prompts: enigmatic, gruesome, irritate.


Tell me a story

                                                                                          Photo prompt-© Madison Woods
‘Grandpa, tell me the story when moths entered your room.’
‘I have already told it.’
‘You went to sleep, halfway.’
‘We were out for dinner; my seven brothers….’
‘You had seven brothers? How old were you?’
‘I was five …’
‘I am also five.  I have no brothers, why?’
‘Ask mama; let me finish the story, when the dinner was served…’
‘Who served the dinner?
‘If you interrupt….’
‘………..’
‘Suddenly hundreds of moths entered the restaurant.’
‘Last time you said they entered your bedroom?’
‘No.’
‘Yes, I remember every word.’
‘Tell me, then.’
The child began  the story; the grandpa was soon asleep.
*******
A post for FridayFictioneers on a photo prompt

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Game


She was coy but demanding.
‘Sure, I’ll get it for you. I can pluck it any time you want,’ he was confidence personified.
‘You can’t even reach it.’
“Promise to be my mate and you will have it.’
‘I do.’
He smiled at his cleverness.
‘I am waiting,’ she said impatiently.
He too was waiting and he didn’t have to wait long. As the clouds covered the moon, he brought the glass bead that he had hidden in his burrow for such an eventuality.
She was amazed to hold the moon in her little squirrely hands. He had won, again.
*********