A Pick Me Up

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Photo (c) Dale Rogerson

A Pick Me Up

 Words 101

“The meeting is weeks away but Her Royal Highness wants the presentation tomorrow.” I fumed. “And I’ve got guests for dinner.”

“In the middle of the week?” Exclaimed Rita, a colleague.

“Exactly!” I wasn’t done grumbling. “There’s shopping, homework, cooking and he’s working late. Hell!”

“A working mother’s life!” Rita waved goodbye.

I maneuvered the car home, adding one more to my list – couldn’t somebody open the damned gate?

Our neighbor’s son, about seven, tapped on the window.

Now what?

He held up a fistful of crushed periwinkles.

“For me?” I gaped.

He nodded and ran off to open the gate.

 ***

Based on a true incident 🙂

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

 

The Sneaky Ways of Fate

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Photo (c) Kent Bonham

The Sneaky Ways of Fate

Words 102

The train chugged out of the station. He tried to the quell butterflies in his stomach, an alien city, an unfamiliar language. Jobless in Kolkata, fate had offered him a job in Delhi he had grabbed it.

In another part of the country, hectic preparations were on to send her to college.

Tonight, they would take the train to Agra.

Fate blinked. Oops! Her destiny was in Delhi.

“A telegram,” father said, “confirming admission in a Delhi college.”

Fate sighed. Her job was done.

Same city.

Same campus.

Time would lead them to Room 4027.

Biology and chemistry would do the rest.

***

Footnote: The numbers triggered this piece.

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

Thank you for visiting – have a super week 🙂

 

SPF: Accursed

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Photo (c) Mike Vore

Accursed

Words 202

“That house looks eerie.” I said.

“It is haunted.” The villager touched his ears and backed away.

“Really? What happened?” I was intrigued.

“All because of one woman. Curse them all.” He spat.

“Tell me in detail Chachaji.” I offered him a cigarette. He settled himself comfortably on his haunches. He took a deep drag. “Two brothers lived here, Suresh and Ramesh. When Suresh was about 10 years old, they lost their parents. Suresh cared for Ramesh like a son. He refused to get married for fear that his wife may not accept Ramesh. They were model exemplary brothers.”

“Then?” I asked.

“Like any responsible father, Suresh arranged Ramesh’s marriage. Everything was perfect until she was caught.”

“Caught?”

“Caught seducing Suresh.”

“No!”

“She was of course killed on the spot.”

“And Suresh?”

“Suresh’s blameless! His reputation spotless, character impeccable.”

“Why did they leave?”

“The brothers fell out. Accidents happened.” He lowered his voice. “Her ghost forced them to leave.”

“Ghost!”

“Denied entry to even hell, she haunts that house.”

“Suresh may…?”

“She should’ve handled him better. Men are like little children. She has the power to manipulate and incite them. Mark my words, women are at the root of all evil.”

 ***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fictioneer – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting the challenge and Mike Vore for the photo. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thanks for reading – would love to hear your thoughts and reactions 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 158

 

 

And They Lived Happily Ever After

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Photo (c) Janet Webb

And they lived happily ever after

Words 97

“How’s the girl?” They gheraoed him upon his return from the ‘date’, “Should we say yes?”

“She can’t read. And she sneezes a lot.”

“What!”

“She’s weird. She insisted I order. Then she cancelled half the items.”

“Ah the thrifty kinds.”

“I’m starving! A wasted candlelight dinner.” He grumbled.

 

“How’s the boy?” She too was grilled.

“I’m starving.”

“Didn’t you eat?”

“I couldn’t! They are very poor.”

“What!”

“The restaurant didn’t have any electricity; only funny smelling candles which made me sneeze.”

“Did you like the boy?”

“You should’ve let me wear my specs. It was impossible to see anything.”

***

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 156

 

SPF: Look Within

205-07-july-9th-2017

Look Within

Words 194

“What’s the matter?” Madhu asked. “Had a tiff with your hubby?”

“When don’t I?” Trupti kicked a pebble, “All he thinks about is work and money.”

Madhu hesitated. “Perhaps you should…”

“Not you too!” Trupti groaned. “Have a baby and everything will be fine!”

“Perhaps you should learn to appreciate him.” Madhu advised. “Raghu’s a nice boy, steady, decent, doesn’t smoke or…”

“The perfect matrimonial catch.” Trupti sneered.

“Was there someone else?” A sudden doubt assailed Madhu.

“I don’t get this marriage business. Why can’t we lead our own lives, the way we want to?”

“Because each of us is incomplete.” Madhu said. “See that wall?”

“You should see it in spring, it turns orange…”

“Ever wonder why the creeper grows up?”

“To avoid getting trampled or munched up?”

“Not just security but also the space to showcase herself.”

“Yeah right!” Trupti scoffed.

“It’s there,” Madhu pointed out. “It’s up to her to utilize it.”

“What does he get?”

“She’s the wall’s raison d’etre, and also gives it stability and keeps it grounded.”

“But are they happy?”

“Nobody else can make you happy. You have to teach yourself to be happy, to be content.”

***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for the photo and hosting the challenge. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt, click here.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 155

 

 

Miscarriage

“Next!” The judge banged his gavel.

A grubby girl barely out of her teens was led in.

“What’s the charge?” the judge peered at her over his spectacles.

“She is guilty of killing her own child your honor.”

“Is this true?”

“No, no,” the girl wept, “it’s not my fault.”

“It is entirely her fault your honor.”

“No! It isn’t! I didn’t even know I was pregnant.” She pleaded.

“Do you deny you had a baby?” the judge asked.

“No.”

“But you didn’t know you were pregnant?” The judge said.

“I didn’t! I had severe stomach pains and then there was blood….”

“Lies your honor, all lies.” The lawyer thundered.

“Silence! Where’s the father?” asked the judge.

“I don’t know.” She whispered. “I was raped.”

“Is that why you killed your baby?” The judge said.

“I didn’t kill it.” she insisted. “They said it was premature labor, a miscarriage…”

“Miscarriage! She murdered her own child, an innocent baby and threw it into the garbage. The proof is on your table your honor.” The lawyer said. “This is murder most heinous, your honor and deserves the highest punishment.”

It’s not my fault.” She shrieked.

The judged banged the gavel. “Silence in the court! There is incontrovertible proof of guilt. You are a murderer worse, of your own child. And for that you are sentenced to 30 years in prison.”

***

Based on a true story published on 7th July 2017. My nerves have been jangling ever since.

Stumped

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Photo (c) Claire Sheldon

Stumped

Words: I plead guilty

 “Why did you call the office landline?” She kicked off her heels.

“You weren’t picking your mobile…” He straightened the penguin.

“I was in an important meeting…!” Her bag was next.

“It was a question of our son’s future.” He fiddled with the pen stand.

“What if you were in a meeting? Would you also have left it?”

“Of course! I know my priorities.”

“Then why didn’t you check the admission papers before leaving?”

“Why didn’t you?”

“If I have to do everything, what will you do?”

“Put the blame on you.” He grinned.

“Very smart.” She seethed.

“I am glad you agree.” He smirked.

“I wonder you can say that after today’s fiasco.”

“I am not such a fool as you.”

“Are you calling me the fool?” She clenched her fists.

“I chose you. You chose me. So who’s the fool?”

 ***

A/N I overshot the word limit heavily but with a purpose – a bit of any experiment really. And I would appreciate your help. It’s about the dialogue tag. I used the first one (she kicked off her heels) to denote who’s speaking. And then I felt like adding a few more and ultimately went overboard. But I am not sure if they worked or not. In fact I think it didnt add, perhaps even detracted. But this is something that I have been wrestling with. Also is it okay to use just one dialogue tag? Wouldnt it have looked odd? Questions, questions and I am quite stumped 😉

What do you think? Could I request you to read it again minus the dialogue tags and let me know your thoughts? But I understand that you may be too busy. Thanks a lot for visiting – have a great day 🙂

 

Stumped

“Why did you call the office landline?” She kicked off her heels.

“You weren’t picking your mobile…”

“I was in an important meeting…!”

“It was a question of our son’s future.”

“What if you were in a meeting? Would you also have left it?”

“Of course! I know my priorities.”

“Then why didn’t you check the admission papers before leaving?”

“Why didn’t you?”

“If I have to do everything, what will you do?”

“Put the blame on you.”

“Very smart.”

“I am glad you agree.”

“I wonder you can say that after today’s fiasco.”

“I am not such a fool as you.”

“Are you calling me the fool

“I chose you. You chose me. So who’s the fool?”

 ***

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 154

Thanks for visiting, have a great day 🙂