The Genie

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The Genie

Words 100

 “Dadu, what did you get from the haat*?” His grandchildren crowded him.

Snehlata cracked another areca nut and spoke through a paan* stuffed mouth, “More junk for this junkyard.”

Ignoring her, he held up his treasure.

“What is it?” Rina wondered.

“I know!” Deep’s eyes sparkled. “That’s Humpty Dumpty. They put him together again!”

“No.” Dadu coughed. “It’s Aladdin’s lamp.”

“Rubbish!”

“Didu’s right,” Rina spoke hesitantly, “it doesn’t look…”

“They fooled us all these years.” Dadu spoke in hushed tones.

“Call the Genie Dadu,” Deep urged.

“Genie!” Dadu coughed. “Bring my inhaler!”

Snehlata held out the inhaler. “Dinner is served.”

 ***

*Haat: Local market in rural areas in India

*Paan: a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut among other ingredients such as tobacco. It is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects and prevalent in India since the 3rd Century A.D.

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Sandra Crooks for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

SPF: Laughter the Best Glue

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Laughter the Best Glue

Words 201

“Happy fiftieth.” She placed his morning cup of tea on the table beside him as he sat bundled up in front of the heater.

“You’re losing it woman.” He grunted. “I was born in summer.”

“What!” she halted in the act of sitting down. “Are you…?” she looked at him worriedly before easing down on the chair opposite him. “Very funny!” she huffed.

“Aha!” He chortled. “You thought I had lost it.”

“Aren’t you going to wish me too?”

“Fifty years?” he mused. “Such a long time yet seems like yesterday doesn’t it?”

“You were busy plotting ways to keep me jumping through the hoops.”

“I have been difficult haven’t I?” He looked at her. “What made you stick around?”

“Why did you?” she parried.

“I asked first.”

“Never mind,” she sneered loftily, “I know why.”

“Because I love you?”

“Nonsense! Because you are lazy!” She twinkled. “And you hate any sort of change.”

“But you revel in change.” He peered at her over his glasses. “So what’s your excuse?”

She shrugged. “Same difference.”

“How?” He frowned. “You like change…”

“And you are so unpredictable.” She dropped a kiss on his shining pate. “Besides you always manage to make me laugh.”

 ***

 Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for regularly hosting the challenge (even if I dont always manage to rise to the bait) and the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here

Missed Call

Hello friends, curious about the outcome, I couldn’t resist writing a sequel to last week’s FF: The Helpline Number but I think (and hope) this works as a standalone story as well. As usual thank you for your indulgence 🙂

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Photo (c) Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Missed Call

Words 100

 “Yes?” The portly neighbor’s eyes glistened.

“I’m locked out.” She said. “Could you call a carpenter?”

“At this time?” He opened the door.

She backed away.

But she wouldn’t call him.

 

His house was spic and span. Not a crease out of place. Just the way he liked it. Yet everything looked cold, clinical.

He gave the cushion a restless twitch.

Her inhaler.

 His breath caught.

What if she needed it?

 What did he care?

She had walked out.

Why the hell wasn’t she picking her phone?

 

How careless can you be?” He brandished her inhaler.

She burrowed into him.

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – A story in 100 words or less. Thank you Rochelle for hosting the challenge and the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Helpline Number

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Photo (c) J Hardy Carroll

The Helpline Number

Words 102

It was dark when she let herself into her new apartment. Switching on the lights she gazed around delightedly.

The room was exactly as she had left it. The upturned heels, the dupatta* trailing on the floor, a half-opened book, the banana peel.

She was truly free of that obnoxious odious nitpicking man!

Humming, she threw open the windows.

Neither a ‘garbage dump’ nor a ‘pigsty’ she thought as she put out the trash.

A gush of wind slammed the door shut.

Locked out without her phone!

 Sweat broke out on her brow.

She couldn’t recollect any phone number.

Except for his.

***

*dupatta: a long scarf usually of cotton or silk.

PS: Would you like to know what happened next? Click here 😉

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and J Hardy Carroll for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thanks for reading 🙂

One Step at a Time

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Photo (c) Marie Gall Stratford

One Step at a Time

 Words 100

Top floor! She panicked. Never in a thousand years would she manage to reach her goal.

She spied a signage and sighed in relief. Ah the lift!

She hurried to join the tail end of a long winding queue.

The queue behind grew longer and yet she didn’t move an inch.

Restless and impatient, she chaffed at the wait.

“Want to jump queue?” A voice whispered temptingly.

“How? I am new with no resources.”

“Fresh and resource full.” He leered lasciviously.

No time and miles to go.

Decision made she stepped out of the queue and headed for the stairs.

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Marie Gall Stratford for the photo prompt. To read the other stories or participate click here.

 

One Fine Evening

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Photo (c) Roger Bultot

One Fine Evening

Words 97

What a beautiful evening an exhilarated Suresh thought as he left the office. Just the kind Meera went gaga over.

He couldn’t wait to go home and share the good news. He would hold her in his arms and apologize for his cruel words. He couldn’t take them back but he would make it up to her.

A romantic dinner at the swanky houseboat restaurant.

And a movie.

Her choice.

Oh how her eyes would sparkle!

He willed the traffic to move faster.

“Meera!” He entered the darkened bedroom.

How odd.

Meera’s feet dangled at eye level.

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Roger Bultot for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this photo click here.

Whew! I almost missed the party 😀

Surrender

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Photo (c) Sandra Crook

Surrender

Words 99

 At first she grew in another garden.

Lush green and sprightly, she swayed with the winds, laughing at the elements as they cared for her like their own.

Only she wasn’t.

She was meant for another garden.

It was her prarabhda* to nurture and provide for strangers, to steer them through strife, storm and drought.

Her roots held them together.

Bound and unable to leave she withstood the onslaught of the changing seasons -waiting and hoping for eternal spring.

Years and they passed her by: demanding using cutting slicing.

Until she stopped waiting.

There was beauty in fall too.

***

A/N: Prarabdha is a Sanskrit word meaning commenced or begun. Prarabdha is one of three types of karma (originating from the root kri, meaning to act).

The others are sanchita karma – sum of all karma that has been collected; kriyamana karma, or agamikarma that is currently being created and will yield results in the future.

In Vedantic literature, there is a beautiful analogy. The bowman has already sent an arrow and it has left his hands. He cannot recall it. He is about to shoot another arrow. The bundle of arrows in the quiver on his back is the sanchita; the arrow he has shot is prarabhda; and the arrow, which he is about to shoot from his bow, is agami. Of these, he has perfect control over the sanchita and the agami, but he must surely work out his prarabdha.

Prarabdha karma is only exhausted after its consequences have been experienced or its debts paid. There are three types of this karma:

  • Ichha, that which is personally desired
  • Anichha, or karma without desire
  • Pareccha, or karma that is the result of another’s desire

The yogi who has achieved union with the Higher Self does not experience ichha prarabdha karma but is still subject to anichha and pareccha.

This is my second offering to this week’s Friday Fictioneer’s – sorry I couldn’t resist 🙂 The first one is here but they aren’t interlinked.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Sandra Crook for the beautiful photo. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thanks for reading 🙂