The Quiet Grumbler (Voice 3 of 5)

There comes the little lassie.

A 3$ cappuccino and takes the table with the best view for hours at end. Never tips, never returns a smile, and never even looks up from her little notebook to enjoy the view! Such mousie handwriting, I write better when I can barely write.

No such policy to ask her away the owner says. I say, we make one overnight. She and her likes will drive us out of business!

“Can I have a small cappuccino, please?”

Sure you can. I have no say in the matter.

I should change my job.

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98 Words

This is my third entry for Voice Week 2014.

Voice week is a writing challenge hosted by Stephanie of BekindRewrite to experiment with different voices.

There will be 5 installments coming, one each day, from Sep 22nd to Sep 27th.

Previous Voices:

Voice 1

Voice 2

The Reluctant Collaborator (Voice 2 of 5)

If she was just gawky, it was fine… if she was just shy, it was fine too…   but she is gawky and shy and also rude to top it all! She comes to me – not a smile, not a hello… thrusts these papers in my hand … “Give these to your Mom”

All this weird stuff written on them… incarceration, kings and dragons… Pretty impressive writing, but she could’ve added a “Please”.

Calls herself a writer… well she’ll never be successful like Mom with that frown on her face! I don’t know why Mom entertains that loon ball!

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99 words

This is my second entry for Voice Week 2014.

Voice week is a writing challenge hosted by Stephanie of BekindRewrite to experiment with different voices.

There will be 5 installments coming, one each day, from Sep 22nd to Sep 27th.

Previous Voice:

Voice 1

The Derailed Dreamer (Voice 1 of 5)

Crumpled paper littered the floor; she decided it was time for an intervention.

“Anita! Come to your room immediately!”

“Can it wait? I’m heading out to take some pictures. The light is just right.”

“Alright, go on. But clean up this mess in your room once you get back!”

She sighed. Was it her fault? All the books she fed her as a child, and all the “of course darling” to her “Mom, will I also write such stories?”

There was a problem with dreams; they died, leaving emptiness behind. Who knew it better than her?

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96 words

This is my first entry for Voice Week 2014.

Voice week is a writing challenge hosted by Stephanie of Bekindrewrite to experiment with different voices.

I’m not sure if I understand voices, I will try to write five different perspectives. There will be 5 installments coming, one each day, from Sep 22nd to Sep 27th.

A Start…

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen the stars. Clouds wrapped the whole town in a tight embrace, not letting any glimmer of light come through or get out. No Lights, No Lights played on the radio as she drove from the grocery store a few blocks away to home. Normally she would walk the distance, but the prospect of rains and the squalidness of the place in general had forced her to use her car instead.

The song seemed fitting… No lights in your bright blue eyes… She thought of her father, a ghost of his younger, buoyant self. She used to often joke about how she would still be trying to match her Dad’s pace at hikes even after he turned a hundred.  But her father was only half that age and needed support to walk a few steps. Of course, from a philosophical high ground, life is never fair, there’s worse suffering in the world. But to see her Dad dwindle away before her eyes in a matter of weeks as she helplessly watched was brutal in its own right. Her mother was his strength; she was in fact, the binding force that held everything together. Everything was a blur – the accident, the call at midnight, her father’s hollow, sagged face when she met him outside the ICU.

It had been six months since that day but little had changed in the interest of normalcy. What was originally planned to be a few weeks’ stay with the old man kept getting extended one week after another until she finally came to terms with the fact that she had to move back in this dingy town she had been so desperate to leave since she was young.

She didn’t admit it, but all this was taking a toll on her. She didn’t want to be cross with her Dad, she didn’t want to say the things she said to him before dashing out of the house and on to the grocery store. She had rehearsed a calmer, gentler version in her head so many times, but had never said it until now, in the hope of a more opportune time. When her thoughts did find their way across, they came out as a blow, not to heal but to harm. It was all true of course; rage is but brutal in its honesty. He had been selfish, self-consumed, unwilling to look beyond his own grief at others’ plight, at her plight. She had a whole life ahead of her and here she was tending to a perfectly healthy grown man who would not even try to make it easier for her.

As always happens with anger, regret of the harshness of ones actions dawns after nothing can be done to reverse their impact. Her heart sank as her words replayed in her mind. How they would have broken him. If only she held her resolve to let it go one more time, if only she let that moment pass – perhaps this could have been averted.

She could hear music as she pulled in the driveway. More melodious than what was playing on her radio. Imagine by John Lennon was her mother’s favorite song. Her father opened the door as she locked the car, came out to help with the groceries. Clean shaven, swollen eyes… his crooked smile doing a sorry job at hiding his tears.

“I… uh… Sorry” He said pleadingly… “How have you been, hon?”

“I miss Mom”, she cried, hugging him.

“I know… I miss her too…”

“I’m sorry… it’s just a lot to handle” she sobbed.

“Tell me about it. Will you stay with me a little longer? I… uh… will make an effort, I promise”, he said fighting back the tears.

It was a long road to recovery for both of them, but it was a start.

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I am trying to write again… Thanks Ted for looking out for me…

This is for the speakeasy at yeah write challenge #178. All I am hoping is “to get back in shape”!

Getting Back

He walked with nervous anticipation… his hands hanging awkwardly by his sides… his fingers felt like forgotten acquaintance – their movements a vague memory of a subconscious past. He trudged slowly to the farthest room of the house – the place he called his haven amidst madness. Did he still belong? Would he still match up with the sanctity of his refuge? The thought had held him back for weeks. But he had to try, or what was he but another mortal drowning in the sea of life? He had to try… he took a long breath and walked towards the closed door.

One step after another, the door got closer. He held the knob and gave it a twist. It felt like before, but as the tiny dark room showed itself, the hesitation resurfaced. At the centre sat a chair and his violin lay on it, just like he had left it a few months ago, before the accident, before the physiotherapy. He stepped in the room, the door clicked shut behind him. The dwindling light of an impending dusk filtered through the curtains making the shadow of the chair longer, beckoning him.

He held the violin in his hands and sat on the chair, adjusting his spine to its curves. The grip of the violin evoked a flood of memories; his fingers found their purpose again. Holding it in one hand, he strummed a few strings – the awkward spurts of sound brought a smile to his face. Arching his back, he held the violin between his left shoulder and chin and lifted the bow to playfully draw a few strings. The resulting clumsy sound, made him laugh like a child. Nervous, anxious wave of energy ran through him… he had not lost his way after all… It would take a while, but he still belonged… and that’s all that mattered.

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This is a tribute to my blog; I am getting back to writing with the same trepidation as my MC.

It feels so good to write something again! It’s like finding my equilibrium in a way no form of meditation ever can.

Love to all!

Cheers,

Parul

Out of Context!

Genre: Comedy (If you find it funny)

Greg would do anything to make Nancy happy and Nancy would do anything to catch the attention of Rick, and Rick secretly had a thing for Greg.

One day Nancy overheard Rick saying, I’d rather be at the zoo !

Glazed and dazed, Nancy sighed and Greg overheard her saying, I love going to the zoo… such nice animals!

Greg thought, I could do that!

Greg worked all night on his costume – elephants, giraffes, tigers and zebras.

Next day Greg showed up, a placard “FOR NANCY” hanging from his tail.

Nancy didn’t show up at school for weeks… neither did Rick.

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100 words for Friday Fictioneers this week.

I hate myself for not being around for the longest time! I just have been going through a lot of changes I guess… or maybe this is the worst bout of creative block I have had in centuries!

Not the best attempt this, but had to put myself out there before I forget what it’s like to write!

For the uninitiated, in case you are wondering what is going on here, read on. Friday Fictioneers is an excellent forum for people looking to have fun as they learn the nuances of writing. Every Friday a bunch of us write 100 words (no hard rules there) for prompts posted by Rochelle who runs the show.

This week’s prompt is a very creative model shared by our dear friend EL Appleby!

copyright-el appleby
copyright-el appleby

A quicker way to reach other amazing stories:

Blessings in Disguise

Genre: Historical Fiction

Babur sat behind the tent. Inside the chieftains haggled for horses and silver.

Only a few months ago, the 12 year old prince of an insignificant Ferghana had become the ruler of a prosperous Samarkand.

What followed was a blur. He was getting comfortable on his new throne when Ferghana was attacked and as Babur rushed to claim it, Samarkand was taken over by his own cousin.

You have the blood of Timur and Gengis Khan in your veins, greatness awaits you son, his father had said in the garden of Ferghana before passing away.

He fought back the tears.

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My 100 words for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

Babur was the first Mughal King of India. He faced many setbacks before he set foot in India. In fact he thought of coming to India only after facing countless failures in the lands of his descendents. And rest as they say, is history. I find Babur’s story deeply inspiring – not because he was a great warrior or he was a great strategist. He was an average ambitious prince of his time, whom even luck favored at places. What I find most inspiring is his determination to go on despite so many failures, however humiliating. His life story tells that we should keep going despite the setbacks as we can never tell what fits how in the grand scheme of things and which setback turns out to be a blessing in disguise!

For anyone interested in the Mughal history or Babur, I’d strongly recommend this book:  Raiders from the North: Empire of the Moghul by Alex Rutherford.

I know I haven’t been regular on FF or my blog in general. In fact, even this story could have been written so much better had I had some cerebral bandwidth remaining. I have also not been responding to comments on my blog, not been reading as many stories as I would like. I am going to be at my worse behavior this week. I just can’t get a handle on things. But as they say – this too shall pass.

For the uninitiated, in case you are wondering what is going on here, read on. Friday Fictioneers is an excellent forum for people looking to have fun as they learn the nuances of writing. Every Friday a bunch of us write 100 words (no hard rules there) for prompts posted by Rochelle who runs the show.

The prompt this week (which I very loosely referred in my story) comes from Sarah Ann Hill. I find it beautiful and oddly nostalgic!

Copyright – Sarah Ann Hall

A quicker way to reach the other stories:


Old and Dear

She lay supine on the porch. The building looked down on her.

Her granddad – a brilliant orthopedic of his time, had poured all his heart into designing the mansion.

The ornamentation on the pillars was a sorry attempt to conceal the idea behind them – femur – the strongest bone in the human body. The balconies looked like surgically opened human skulls, with some grills fixed in as a last thought in what would have been the eye-sockets.

The keepers of art must weep, she chuckled.

She needed money urgently.

I can’t sell this, she thought desperately, there must be another way.

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100 words for Friday Fictioneers this week.

For the uninitiated, in case you are wondering what is going on here, read on. Friday Fictioneers is an excellent forum for people looking to have fun as they learn the nuances of writing. Every Friday a bunch of us write 100 words (no hard rules there) for prompts posted by Rochelle who runs the show.

This week’s prompt comes from Kent Bonham

A quicker way to reach other stories:


Peace at Last

The edge, the brink, the threshold is where she stopped herself, only to look back one last time, for the sake of those she was leaving behind. A wave of a hand, a tear in an eye, a giddy smile on the lips, she wished them well and onward she went out of their realm. If her feet faltered for what she left behind, her heart hurried to what waited ahead. She stepped in the enlightened foyer – furtive yet fervent, weeping with joy, embraced by the warmth of the glowing light that shined ahead… Peace at last.

days give in to nights

chasing the frailties of life

such a waste of time

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This is an entry for the Ligo Haibun Challenge.

The prompt this week is – Peace.

Besides being my first entry for the challenge, this also happens to be my first ever Haiku! I would love to hear from anyone who chances upon this piece as to what they think of my attempt. I look forward to constructive feedback, so please feel free to provide your 2 cents! 🙂

Thanks a lot Ye Pirate for educating me about this challenge! I enjoyed participating in it… attempted something new too — Haiku!! All thanks to you! 🙂

Ligo Haibun Logo

The unheard Voice

Jan1st, 2013

I am not sure where I left last time; I ate the paper immediately after writing. It is the first day of a new year, but it is hard to tell old from new or new from old. I was fearful all day, averting the eyes of the neighbors, the kids. I can never tell what my eyes betray, what people think I am thinking even when I don’t say a word. Most of the times even I don’t know what I am thinking – my thoughts are sporadic, often blank or about the immediate, rarely vivid. Past is a mist right behind my shoulders but when I turn to look there is nothing, no one I recognize. A familiar face from a lifetime ago of a mother, or a father or a friend, or a brother flashes in my memory… but who it belongs to is hard to tell. Sometimes, the face belongs to everyone I have ever known.

It’s the mirror where the stranger lies – he stares me in the eyes every morning, asks me what to make of this life, if a defiant death would be a better predicament. But I am a coward, I look away.

The dark is approaching; I have to squint my eyes to write. Soon the Sun will turn its back completely and I will be able to heave a sigh of relief. Darkness is a friend; it shuts the eyes of the spies, of the fellow strugglers. Darkness is when tears can flow unabashed and unchallenged. Darkness is when I can embrace my sorrow of the life that is – if it can be called a life.

I will try to come tomorrow too. I have to go now.

Jan 29th, 2013

I am not sure where I left last time; I ate the paper immediately after writing. We live in the midst of strangers; who can be trusted save your own self? Even the children are taught strange things in school – or maybe I am the stranger. No, there is no maybe – I am a stranger. Trapped in the world I had come to fight against… living… or maybe breathing just.

A neighbor was looking at me suspiciously this morning when I was leaving for the mines to work. I just kept walking, didn’t stop to look at him or greet him. Is he from the secret police? But what did I do? Since I was freed from the concentration camp and given the status of a citizen from a POW, I have but kept my peace with the authorities, and the system. Married and with kids, I only seek to die at ease one day – is it a lot? Will I have a natural death or would I be hunted and dragged like a dog one day? BUT WHAT DID I DO???

I will try to come tomorrow, I have to go now.

Mar 3rd, 2013

I am not sure where I left last time; I ate the paper immediately after writing.

This is perhaps my last writing. People are getting suspicious, I see strangers prying into the household, and even my children try to follow me around. Have I voiced my yearnings in my sleep? Do people know? Or am I imagining the worst? I can’t be sure.

I tried to write a few times earlier, only to be intercepted by the inquiring eyes of my eldest son following me wherever I went.

But I had to write one last time, don’t know to whom, as I would destroy this paper as soon as I am done.

Maybe I write in the hope that someone up there is watching, listening what I don’t say, and understanding what I don’t express. Am I going insane?

I have to go now. Goodbye.

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This is my second entry for Inspirational Monday for this week (and on the same day – I am on a roll! :D). I have used the prompt “Familiar Face” in this one.

You can read my first entry for InMon this week by clicking here.

This post is inspired by a book I am reading on North Korea – Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick. We can’t even imagine the harsh reality of the people of that part of the world.

I look forward to constructive feedback about ways to improve, so do share your 2 cents if you stop by!

Inspirational Monday hosted by BeKindReWrite is a word-prompt challenge with no stringent word limit where various word prompts are given to choose from and spin a story around anytime before the next Monday. You have the creative freedom to use the prompt anyway you like. It is an enjoyable exercise and worth trying!

To check this week’s prompts and last week’s entries, please click here.