Staircase to hell

Karma always puzzled me. I always thought, people were supposed to protect their own interests rather than letting Karma interfere with and constrict their lives. So, I gave less, retained more. Made my partner, my children – the others. I was proud, I was living the most rational, practical life. Until, the messenger beckoned to me and said it was ‘time’.

He pushed me through broken doors and pulled me through lava-hot staircases, till we reached the pitch-black bottom, called hell.

I am trying to help them, mend my ways. But, they can’t see me.

Alas, it is  too late.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and  artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

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The trail to freedom

The soft sun gently embraced the pinks and whites of her tastefully decorated bedroom. She relished it. She didn’t have to worry about the hideous, insincere game of truth or dare, and  sobbing herself to sleep. She had realized, one was never too young or  too old to do or  decode the ‘impossible’. She had read out instructions from the colorful, folded notes in her candy jar and guided him through a chain of to-do’s, that ended in his end. The treasure called life was finally hers. Best of all, it all was done in the spirit of a just revenge.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and  artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

PHOTO PROMPT © Priya Bajpal

Me time

At first, it  was like a film of dust. Hazy names,  wobbly street addresses, difficulty summing-up the correct grocery list.

Then, it was sudden and steady erosion. Forgetting colors, putting gravy before sauteing the vegetables, calling wrong numbers.

Finally, it was like  one where sand dunes looked like real images. She talked to  her long lost teenage son, traveled to Kashmir, even discovered a medicine, from her unloved corner of the corridor. Long   stretches  of indifferent silence brushed aside her vacant words and cries of  pain.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and  artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTO PROMPT © Russell Gayer

 

The tragedy of no more chances

My father said, my uncle  would be receiving  chemotherapy  in the city, every two months. My courage, loyalty or love didn’t push me hard enough to dial his number.

My father talked about my  uncle’s home with a seasonal flower garden, in front, pet hens and pigeons cooing in their coops in his courtyard, a fish pond in the backyard. I had meant to visit, but never had enough time.

One morning, my father said ‘your uncle is no more’. I had meant to reply to his ‘how are you’? That’s the tragedy.

word count  -93

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and  artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTO PROMPT © Randy Mazie

 

 

 

Babu Dinanath’s boots

Munna tiptoes to the staircase in Babu Dinanath’s living room that leads to his bedroom.
Munna hears Dinanath relishing his afternoon siesta. Dinanath’s favourite pair of brown boots stands sparkling near his bedroom door.
Munna quietly puts them in his grocery bag and runs for his life. Munna’s friends waiting in the alleyway near Dinanath’s palatial house cheer for him.

They put the landlord’s boots on a stool. ‘These are the boots that mercilessly punish our fathers when they fail to pay their land taxes’. The farmers’ sons start bombarding the boots with the stones in their hands.

 

Note: Babu was a respectful title used to address a man belonging to the privileged class.
Word count :97
Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and  artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields .
PHOTO PROMPT © Adam Ickes

A day to remember

Wrote something of a story,  after a very long time. And, for some reason, thought of being kind to my long-abandoned blog. The prompt for this story was ‘the night I lost my phone’. I managed to sew- together  some whimsical thoughts.

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A day to remember

I was  more adventurous than my normal self that afternoon. I took my dream of  surreptitiously attending Prof. Sen’s ‘Industrial Revolution’ class to fruition, checked off ‘writing a love letter to my imaginary lover in the class room’ from my  ‘things to do before I die’ list, loitered around in the garden of the huge library, near the university campus, examining its flora and fauna intently, rather than even turning a passing thought to my ritual of examining  the books inside. I then took a bus to the nearest movie theatre, impulsively, and chose a movie in the unfathomable Mandarin language. Quite evidently, even after stepping outside the movie theatre, I was struggling to figure out the rationale behind the sequence of events witnessed on the screen. Head throbbing from the extra-long and inquisitive walk in the library garden plus a movie that was more like a puzzle, I walked to the tea stall, in my bid to counter my frustration, with a cup of strong tea. To cheer myself up, I decided to ‘play’ with my phone, only to be stabbed in my heart (so to speak). My dear phone was  missing from the one bag that I considered to be ‘impregnably safe’. I took the only available course of action- started retracing steps in my mind, in an effort to locate the exact moment of my last rendezvous with the precious gadget. Delusional from the offbeat day, my memory betrayed me. So I physically dragged myself back to the theatre, and resorted to a mendicancy of the most extreme variety. The doorman wouldn’t let me in as the next show was already, one-quarter way through. Eventually, however, my hands folded in the perfect namaskara and the moistness in my eyes convinced him to let me in. Like a blind woman without a stick, I meandered across to the last seat in the theatre where I was seated not so long ago. There was no sign of the phone. While  hurrying down the flights of stairs, the worst thing happened. I tripped over and fell. In a matter of seconds, I lost the ability to stand up on my own. Before I knew, I was in an ambulance, on my way to the nearest nursing home. I prayed to God for the warden to be kind enough to not confiscate my seat in the one-bed, one-chair, one-creaking cabinet of a luxurious room, since I had violated the 10 pm entry rule. I requested the nurse to call my hostel and inform the warden about my predicament. The two months that followed saw me glued to my bed in a semi-handicapped state. For the want of better things to do or a phone to give me sweet company, I started writing, 24/7. The good news is, you might soon see my name peeping out of a shelf in a book store. All because of, the night I lost my phone.

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Note: This story was originally written for https://penmancy.com

 

 

 

One day at a time

Rahul stood aloof, lost in the magic of the greens and browns of the lawn.  ‘Hey Rahul, catch!’ said one child. The flying disc darted across and kissed Rahul’s feet but he made no effort to pick it up.

The other kids kept coloring the front yard with their evening- hues of laughter as they eagerly took turns.

‘Play time over, children’, i instructed, evaluating the swelling shadow of darkness around me.

‘Rahul, you’d have to take your turn at least once, so i can tell your mom, you did’, I said.

Rahul toe-walked toward me, his lips curled into a  beautiful smile.

Word count – 99

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and  artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields .  Many thanks, dear Rochelle.

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy