Enslaved

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Photo (c) Dale Rogerson

Enslaved

Words 102

“There!” Mohini huffed from the gentle climb on to the dam, “This is where I grew up, beside the mighty Ganga. Beautiful isn’t she?”

Sia blew on the bubble till it popped. “Sure.” She ruminated, busy taking selfies. “The mountains in the distance look better. She’s too dull and bloated, like an over-fed slithering python for my liking.”

“She wasn’t always like this. She was free, fresh and sparkling, singing her song while skipping and dancing her way over boulders and stones.“

“What happened?”

“She was dammed up for the greater good.”

“How much longer Mohini?” Her husband called. “I am hungry.”

***

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. If you want to read the other stories inspired by this prompt (or add your link) click here.

SPF: The Perfect Getaway

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Photo (c) Anurag Bakhshi

SPF: The Perfect Getaway

Words 205

 “Did you switch off the gas?” Shefali asked.

“Gas? I think so,” he mumbled.

“Dhruv!” she fumed. “I better ask Sushil to…”

“You left the keys with Sushil?” Dhruv was annoyed. “You know I don’t like him. And for God’s sake don’t text and drive.”

“Your darling Trisha was unavailable.” Shefali sniped.

“You could’ve left them with Mom.”

“Yeah right.” Shefali snorted. Her phone pinged. She turned to Dhruv. “The gas wasn’t on.”

“I told you so!” Dhruv gloated.

“But the iron was.” Her eyes flashed.

“How dare he go into our bedroom?”

“He saved our house from burning down dammit!”

“He’s lying! Deliberately trying to wreck our vacation.”

“That’s your boss, kicking up a fuss about leave.” Shefali gunned down the road.

“It was because of the deadlines!”

“Don’t push me Dhruv! I know what’s going on between you and her.”

Her phone pinged.

“Sushil again?”

“Just my whatsapp friends.” She giggled. “They are so jealous.”

“Why not send them photos?”

“Great idea!” She pulled over.

They cuddled and clicked selfies.

“Let me take some of you against the scenic backdrop.” He clicked. “A little to the left. A bit more to the back.”

That’s all it took to push her over the edge.

***

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

 

 

The Age-old Ban

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Photo (c) Dale Rogerson

The Age-old Ban

Words 102

 

“What a historic day*!” Rohan exulted. “We are free! The society has been forced to accept us.”

His wife swallowed. “Co…congratulations.”

Rohan looked at his watch. “Why aren’t you ready?”

“I thought you’d be out celebrating with…with your boyfriend.”

“Don’t think so much.” He snapped. “Get ready.”

“I…I don’t feel like…”

“Did I ask you?”

“Fine!” She stood up. “Let’s go.”

“Are you crazy? Go to a family function dressed like that? Wear the red and gold silk sari.”

“That’s so bling!”

“I don’t care.”

“Take Ma, she’s dressed.”

“She’s overdressed.” Rohan fumed. “With Dad gone, it’s time she wore sober colors**.”

***

*Earlier this month, in a (welcome and long overdue) landmark verdict, the Supreme Court in India overturned the controversial section 377 a 158-year old law against consensual gay sex. The judgement heralds a new dawn for personal liberty and a major victory for the LGBTQ community.

**In India, widows were (are) supposed to wear only white and red is the prerogative of married women.

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.

Full Moon

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Photo (c) Gah Learner

Full Moon

Words 102

“Why are you packing?”

“I’ve had enough.”

“But why? You know I love you!”

Love?”

“Yes. A thousand times yes. My love for you shines brighter than the moon.”

“That I agree.”

“Then…?”

Your love lives off my love. No wonder it’s fickle and ever-changing.”

“Don’t say that!”

“Why not? It’s the bitter truth unlike your sweet lies. Your game is up for I can see through your fake protestations of undying avowals of love.”

“Don’t be so mean. My love for you is pure!”

“The only thing pure about you is the darkness of your soul.” He picked up his bag.

***

Written (after an eon and this one too almost slipped out – or perhaps it would have been better if it had missed the bus) for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Gah Learner for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

 

SPF: Reality Bites

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Photo (c) Anurag Bakshi

SPF: Reality Bites

Words 101

Amidst thunderous applause Kali walked up to the dais to receive her award from the President of India. Not just a wife and mother, she was a woman of substance – of the likes of Madame Curie. Pride and exultation filled her as she surveyed her family cheering and clapping until their throats and hands were sore.

“Wonderful groundbreaking work Madam,” the interviewer gushed. “You are truly an inspiration for all women and we are extremely proud of you.”

“Thank you.” Kali said modestly.

“Tell us Madam who was your inspiration on this long and difficult journey in a male dominated field?”

“My inspiration?” Kali laughed. “Everyone!”

“That’s interesting. Could you elaborate please?”

“I was named Kali because I was dark. I was also given other names because I was fat and short.” Kali shrugged. “Rejected by suitors and reviled by society I turned to my first love, academics.” Kali smiled. “So here I am.”

“What about your husband?”

“He’s been a pillar of strength all throughout. He took care of home and children while I slaved away in the laboratory…”

 

“How long does it take to make a cup of tea?” A querulous voice demanded.

“Coming.” Kali switched off the gas.

***

Written (after a long time!) for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Susan for hosting the challenge and Anurag for the awesome photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

 

 

FFfAW: Achilles Heels

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Photo (c) Yinglan

Achilles Heels

“Flowers? I hate flowers.”

“But…but all girls like flowers.

“And that is your first mistake. I am not ‘all girls’. Besides I am allergic to flowers.

“I am sorry. Next time I will get chocolates.”

“Chocolates are very fattening. They give me a migraine too.

“Umm so what should I get?”

“Why should you get something for me? What do you want in return?

“Me? Nothing. I was just…”

“Just what?”

“Why are you so suspicious?”

“Because no one ever does anything just like that?”

“You are such a cynic.”

“Yeah so? Got a problem with that? I didn’t ask you to stay.”

“Fine I am leaving.”

“Good riddance…”

“I heard that. And just for that I am not leaving.”

“You were looking for an excuse weren’t you? Why do you put up with me?”

“I also wonder. You are one the most annoying persons I have met.”

“I did warn you that I am a very difficult person.”

“One whom I cannot live without.”

“What do you know?”

“Let’s go shopping.”

“Shopping? I don’t much care…”

“Shoe shopping.”

“Shoes?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t need shoes.”

“Okay.”

“Well maybe I could just look at them.”

***

Written for FFfAW challenge – a story in 175 words or less (I confess to overshooting the mark this week to 194 words 😦 ). Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting this challenge and Yinglan for the beautiful photo. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Caught in the Middle

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Photo (c) Ted Strutz

Caught in the Middle

Words 101

“When is Deva coming?” Arnav asked Khushi.

“He hasn’t confirmed.”

“I’m booking his tickets.” Arnav fumed.

“But…”

“Does he plan to come after Diwali?” He silenced her.

“Why did Dad book my tickets?” Deva blasted Khushi. “I told you I would manage.”

“So what if he booked?” Khushi soothed.

“But Mom, I have a presentation then! Please cancel it.”

“If I cancel, he may not get any tickets!” Arnav warned Khushi. “It’s Diwali.”

“I’ll manage Mom.”

“How?” Arnav grilled Khushi. “Teleportation?”

“Mom please tell Dad to chill.”

“High time Deva grew up Khushi and acted responsibly.”

“Mom perhaps I’ll skip Diwali.”

***

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