Theatre 101 – Day 1

“First day, easy exercise. Look into my eyes, think of the person you don’t want to think of ever and with all the air in your lungs, yell at me – YOU! It’s simple.”

Adrian stood at the centre of the stage, under a single spotlight – nimble on his feet, hair tied in neat pony, back straight as a sentry – like he owned the theatre, its air, its mood, even the people inside. His penetrating gaze scanned through the almost empty seating and stopped at the only person who was eagerly waving her hand in the air, trying to catch his attention.

“Would you like to be the first one?” He scanned through the rest of the seating, fixing his eyes to the farthest end of the theatre, albeit for a fraction of a second. “So be it. Come on up.”

Debbie, trying to act every part of the example she was about to set, walked gracefully to the stage. As she entered, a second spotlight fell on her and followed her as she walked closer to Adrian.

She took a deep breath; put her left hand on her hip and with an exaggerated swing of her right index finger spat out, “You!”

The shrillness of her voice resonated from the walls. Adrian stood like a rock. “A sincere but bad effort.” He spoke softly. “If only you had listened to what I said than just hearing my words before raising your arm in the air, perhaps it would have been an iota better. But that wouldn’t have been a lot either. Nevertheless, thank you for being the only enthusiastic one in this class of zombies.” He smiled curtly.

There was a little stirring in the class as Debbie got back to her seat awkwardly, averting the eyes of her peers.

“Is there a Cassy in this class? The one recommended by the mighty famous Rubello?” Adrian asked, stressing extra softly at the adjectives.

The farthest end of the theatre stirred. “That would be me.” A hand stuck out in the air.

“Step up for us, will you now Cassy. Let me take a good look at you – the girl Rubello staked his reputation for.  What was it he said about you? Beacon of young actors? And where did he meet you exactly? If the talks are to be believed, he met you at a small retail store conning him with a fake discount offer of sorts? Fascinating how the grapevine works. Anyway, do you mind showing us all what he saw in you, wherever that was? Rubello… the acclaimed actor for years, my peer in this very institute thirty years ago… I want to know what’s become of his judgment since.”

Cassy walked to the stage, struggling to gather her thick wavy hair in a rubber band.

“Yeah, so what lines are we reciting?” she asked, rubbing her hands, shifting her weight from one leg to the other.

Adrian arched an eyebrow, trying to make sense of her question.

“You see, I was listening to Eminem on my iPod when someone nudged me to raise my hand. So I have no clue what you said till someone nudged me again to walk to the stage. So what are we doing, fill me in Proff…. Sorry didn’t catch your name. I am Cassy by the way. Nice meeting you. You have a nice setup here. You don’t see us, we don’t see you if we don’t want to. I like it. Convenient.” She winked.

The class erupted in laughter, but one sharp shift of Adrian’s gaze brought silence back again.

“So, you didn’t listen to a word I said all this while?” Adrian asked in a low voice, a strand of hair falling to his face.

“That is correct.” Cassy nodded, hands on her hips.

For the first time since the class had begun, Adrian seemed to lose control of the situation. He fumed and looked around dangerously.

“You… prick of a girl. How dare you talk to me like that! I always knew Rubello’s mediocre acting experience could only manifest into such notions of good acting! Whatever he might be outside, I call the shots in this institute, and I will have you out of these premises before the day ends. It is but my solemn pledge.”

“Why, that would make me 100$ rich! I bet Ruby boy I won’t last a day. I could ask for an extra bonus for winning with such flying colors! We are… what 45 minutes into the first day? How awesome is that!” Cassy chuckled.

Adrian was wild and confused with anger. “You!” He growled, hurt like a child. “You!” He looked at her like he could rip her apart.

Cassy, no longer laughing crossed her arms and stood still. “I think you are not doing it right Adrian, it needs to be louder than that. Fill your lungs and spit it out is what you said, right? Something like this I s’pose.” Cassy stepped closer to Adrian, eyes wide staring into his, arms still crossed, body relaxed and feet light. Her face a stone, only her mouth moved as a deafening, loud and intense voice came out. “YOU!”

Adrian stepped back in shock, a look of pure hatred on his face at the realization of what just happened.

Cassy began to descend the stage, but turned back again. “Oh, and the grapevine is right. I was conning Rubello at the retail store, but the offer was not fake… only strategically worded. It is part of my job. I am a sales girl you see. Rubello told me about you. He told me there’s a weeping woman behind the curtain of your primness.  Be good to Debbie next time, she works as hard as you used to back in your day. You don’t have to be your professor. Be the difference you wanted to see.”

“This… You… I… I will not spare you girl, I promise”, Adrian spoke feverishly; sweat trickling from his temple.

“Oh but do spare me please! Frankly, this is a waste of time. You have fun with your art and craft, while I experiment at the truth lab that’s real world. And, here’s my card. Drop in at my store sometime. I would love to have you as one of my closed opportunities! Yes, I am that good.”

She sauntered out of the theatre, humming Space Bound.

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This is my entry for Inspirational Monday this week hosted by BeKindReWrite. I have used the prompts – “woman behind the curtain” and “the truth lab”.

Inspirational Monday 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.

The Brilliant Buffoon

Genre: Humor

“Did you see him? Sitting on the podium picking his nose as the chief spoke! I couldn’t believe my eyes!”

“Who didn’t? His secretary nudged him… too late though.”

“That man might be a brilliant scientist but he needs 101 on social etiquette. I feel sorry for his secretary – desperately trying to keep him from trouble while he handpicks the choicest of moments. Remember him snoring at the charity musical?”

“Matter of time before his buffoonery outwits his brilliance. His poor secretary – always a heartbeat late in saving him from the next fiasco, deserves a new boss!”

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100 words for Friday Fictioneers this week, inspired from real life incidents.

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 an intriguing art form, David Stewart happened to chance upon. Perhaps his photography skills added to the intrigue!

The Prompt:

Copyright – David Stewart

Family

“How was the party m’love?” Dad asked Lorita.

“No place for a twelve year old as I had told you earlier too Dad. I had to baby-sit her all evening!” Stella complained before Lorita could open her mouth. “Jeff was chasing Renae and Maggie and I was stuck with your love.” She continued petulantly, throwing her clutch bag on the couch and sliding her stole to the ground.

“What? Renae and Maggie? You insult me sister. If you didn’t notice, they were chasing me, like the rest of them,” Jeff came out of the bathroom, struggling with one of his cuff-links. “You were the one devouring Scott with your eyes. Too bad he wasn’t paying attention.”

“Enough both of you! You just need a reason to fight. As if you were not noticing, I was talking to your younger sister here. So sweetling, how was your first late evening party?” Dad asked Lorita again.

Lorita took a long breath and rolled her eyes. “It was so boring. Stella told Renae she looked beautiful, Renae told Maggie she looked ravishing and both of them told Stella she had a glow and they all started laughing. Scott came with his girlfriend who laughed like a hyena according to Stella, though she sounded alright to me. And Jeff found a mirror on an adjoining pillar where he practiced his annoying pout ALL EVENING, or at least whenever he got a chance. And you know what was worse Dad? These guys didn’t have dessert! They didn’t even ask me if I wanted to have it! I am never going with them again.”

Stella and Jeff stood amused. Jeff rested his elbow on Stella’s shoulder and whispered loudly in a fake scientific tone “The subject shows human behavior in privacy. Though subdued, almost vegetative in public, it has a great flair of recollecting incidents where it passed unnoticed otherwise.” He slouched and walked closer to Lorita and she started laughing. “Oh look, it has teeth!”

“Get away from her Jeff. She is my fearless child; she has fangs and claws too!” Dad chimed in.

“Come, I will give you your dessert. There’s some chocolate mousse in the fridge.” Stella kicked her sandals aside and walked to the kitchen.

Dad smiled, an embracing warm feeling filled his heart. He loved his kids, and better still his kids loved each other.

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This is my entry for Inspirational Monday this week hosted by BeKindReWrite – first this year (not proud of it). I have used the prompts – “it has teeth” and “fearless child”.

Inspirational Monday is a word-prompt challenge with no 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.

Looking After

Genre: Urban, Slice of Life

“Sweet ma’am, 10 Rupees please, I’m hungry.”  He tapped the car’s window till the traffic signal turned green.

“Not so sweet ma’am, eh?” Latika teased as he ran back to the footpath amidst traffic.

“She was a fat whore! I made no money today.”  He lit a beedi and sat next to her.

“I made a good deal. Bunch of guys liked my gymnastics; gave me 100 Rupees. We can split it” She said, taking the beedi from him.

“Horny bastards! They touched you?” He asked.

She took a long drag of the beedi. “Only with their eyes.”

………..……………….

98 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 Claire Fuller. Amazing art form, there is so much said in it, that words fall short. I felt a strong connection with the prompt the moment I saw it. But my heart sank at the same time, wondering what I would be doing with it!

I tried to write something different, something more real than fiction, at least in the part of the world I come from. Beggars are very common in India, and while it is very easy to feel sorry for the downtrodden, things are never as simple as they look. Nothing is black and white, only grey and greyer.  The story alludes to the prompt, albeit vaguely. Not sure if anyone else would feel the connection too.

The Prompt:

Copyright – Claire Fuller

Shorter way to get to the other stories:

When Fools Reign

Genre: Mystical Period Drama (I guess)

“Is he here mother?” the petulant voice demanded.

“He is coming”. A sweet voice replied.

Their prisoner was dragged through the corridor.

“Mother!” the boy shouted in a raspy voice at the prisoner’s entry in the courtroom.

“Shh…” the queen held the trembling boy to her bosom.

“I, the king-to-be, shall bring justice”, the boy shrieked, gaining strength from his mother’s embrace. “Guards! Bring my crayons and this man’s photo. The scars on him should match my hand’s trail on his photo. Laugh at me now, you swine!”

The prisoner looked at the eighteen year old boy holding crayons, hiding behind his podgy mother.

“Lordling, I wouldn’t dare”, he said in a low voice.

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My 114 words for this Friday.

I strayed quite a bit from the photo prompt and exceeded the word limit, but hey, I made it!

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.

Click here to get to the main post to catch up on the rules and also entries of very able writers!

This week’s prompt is given by Rochelle herself. Rochelle, apologies for misusing the prompt. The odds of my writing this week were very low and when I got some spare time to write, I didn’t have the prompt, but a memory of it. It was only after I was done with the story that I remembered there was a very “modern” telephone that would make my period drama fall flat. But falling flat is how we learn to walk. And my memory has made me a worse victim before.

The prompt:

Copyright – Rochelle

A shorter way to get to other stories:


Simple Things

Story 1 of 2(100 Words)

I wanted simple things – Scarlett, a farm and a house… mostly Scarlett.

Everything was great till Rhett came in our lives – The big city man of Cigars and Pinstripe Suits.

She left with him to New York City.

Ashley told me Scarlett’s in trouble.

Some said Scarlett deserved it. But that couldn’t deter me from leaving my town and coming to this filthy city of New York looking for her.

Now NYPD is hunting me and there are dead claiming I killed ’em.

Worst part…  Fulton Street or Times Square – coffee is always bad.

Oh Scarlett, what’ve you done!

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Story 2 of 2(100 Words)

Simple things… why can’t we do simple things together?

I remember the scene like yesterday. She was standing near the fire place, the movie tickets turning to ash in the fire where she had thrown them.

Honey, bear with me this once. It’s complicated at work.

She shook her head and with tears trickling down her cheeks, stormed out of the house

I have been looking for her since.

Her phone’s been off. Her friends wouldn’t talk to me.

708 Fulton Street – this was where we met.

I come here every day now. Maybe one day she too will.

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I was musing over 2012 when Rochelle posted the Friday prompt for this week.

The one word playing in my head over and over again ever since I starting mulling over 2012 was “simple”, as the year was anything but that for me, in every aspect of my personal and professional existence.

Like a single torture was not enough, I took the liberty of writing two stories this week with the word as a common theme. Apart from that, these are works of fiction and have no resemblance with anyone – living or dead, connected with me.

Do let me know what you think of them, which one worked better, if any. Also constructive feedback on my writing is welcome. I would be very happy to learn something new.

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.

Click here to get to the main post to catch up on the rules and also entries of very able writers!

This week’s photo prompt comes from Jean L. Hays.

Copyright Jean L. Hays


Sabrina’s Background Check

She was walking sedately inspecting every corner of the house.

Wardrobe big enough for my clothes and shoes – check

Vanity room with a full size mirror – check

Bathroom with Jacuzzi – check

Wooden tiles, no sound of movement – check

Fire Place, good size for aunts Hilda and Zelda – check

Old fashioned chimney opening to the roof – check

Kitchen with hardly anything to eat! Definitely a bachelor – check

The main door clicks.

Oops, what do I do now!

“I smell Sabrina’s perfume. God I miss her!”

He walks in the kitchen.

“Good Lord! Out you go! Wild, scary looking Kitty!”

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100 words for Friday Fictioneers this week.

I tried something different this time. But I don’t want to explain it. Want to see if I made any sense.

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.

Click here to get to the main post to catch up on the rules and also entries of very able writers!

This week’s photo comes from Scott Vannatter 

copyright-scott-l-vannatter

The Right Time

She used to say bad people are exceptions in this world. But the third experience broke her. She came home crying, “I’m the exception in this world!”  I tried talking to her but there was only so much a roommate could do.

She locked herself in her art studio and called me one day. A barb-wired black and white globe sat atop a red bucket which she was going to replace with a red vase.

“Purged?” I asked. She just shrugged.

I wanted to hug her, shout “I am an exception too”, but it wasn’t the right time. There never came one.

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Those are my 102 words for Friday Fictioneers this week. I just couldn’t trim it any further to bring it to 100!

Do let me know what you think of my post. I welcome constructive feedback, so feel free to throw in your two cents, I am here to learn.

Firday 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.

Click here to get to the main post to catch up on the rules and also entries of very able writers!

This week’s prompt has been provided by Doug. I am very curious to know what was really going on there! Not an easy prompt by any stretch of imagination!

Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Enjoy the beautiful song:

The Loquacious Confessor

Carl and I go a long way. We are more than friends, more than brothers. Our bond is more sacrosanct. Not Batman and Robin kinds, cos we are both Batman material. Of course we are not heroes by any stretch of imagination, but we get along just fine with whoever maintains the ledger of good and bad deeds for God. Or why would Carl still survive after that bizarre accident? Though he is in the hospital, multiple fractures etc.  but he is fine, nothing fatal. And I? I am talking to you, that’s a big thing. I had heard something snap in my back when our car had skidded from the bridge.

God bless you cops to get us out of the car before it became a big ball of fire. It was a fine car, had seen us through good and bad times alike. I don’t recall who we pinched it from, but it was an instant favourite. We knew keeping it would be risky, but we thought, what’s life without risks. We used to often say that if we ever got caught, it wouldn’t be because of any hole in our plan, or anyone ratting us out, it would be because of this damned car. But I have to say officer, that car was something. I bet if it didn’t blow up, you would have taken turns to drive it. Yeah yeah, I know it would have been an evidence. I have been in and out of prisons enough to know that. But that was before I met Carl. Incidentally, I met him inside when I was doing time for a little pick-pocketing. He was haggling over the price of a cigarette with Princy, the boy who supplied such stuff inside… Carl was short on cash. So I bought it for him and that sealed our bond forever. We did our time and promised to keep in touch, which wasn’t a difficult promise to keep since we liked each other a bunch. It’s been over three years since that day and we never got caught until now. We were a good team, Carl and I… not too greedy, not too ambitious. If we got enough to have our booze and impress our girls, we were happy. We always knew this would not go on forever, that we would get caught one day. We were fine with that, I mean, we chose this life, no complains.

Carl was the one with more zing in him. You know what I mean? He was the more likeable guy. More talkative. I don’t talk so much, I mean, what do you say to people you are meeting the first time? But Carl, he was a smooth operator. Oh the cons we pulled together! It took us weeks and weeks to stop laughing at some things… sometimes even more. He was a natural, so he always played the main lead. I used to take up the more concealed roles, like the driver, the laundry guy… the cop… no offence, but I was pretty convincing.

This job was for Carl’s girl. She wanted to even it out with a girl she worked with. We were going to just spook her a little, maybe swindle some money. It was a cheap job, way beneath our standards. But it was for Carl’s girl, so we thought, what the heck… and here we are..

Oh, what was your question again officer?

How do I know Carl?

You see, we are heist-minded.

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This is my strange entry for Inspirational Monday hosted by BekindReWrite.

I am writing for InMon after an eternity! I hope to be more regular with it in future.

The prompt I used is – Heist-Minded.

If you read it, please let me know how you find it. I welcome constructive feedback, so feel free to throw in your two cents, I am here to learn.

Click here to get to the main post to catch up on the rules and entries from very able writers!

Stoned

“This is awesome!”

“Yeah… so awesome”

“See those lights?”

“Yeah… white lights piercing the ground…”

“This is surreal”

“Yeah… so surreal”

“I want to sleep here”

“Yeah… me too”

“I am going to click this”

“No, I am going to click this”

“Ok, you do it”

“No, it’s fine. You do it”

“Alright, let me get the right angle”

“Alright”

“This is awesome!”

“Yeah… so awesome”

……….

……….

“Hello, this is the reception, how can I help you?”

“Hi, I am calling from Room 1206. Those two guys are stoned and in the corridor again.”

“I will send someone right away.”

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I am going through a terrible writer’s block. There seems to be no end to it, hence this piece from my sleep deprived self. I want to sleep everywhere and anywhere these days. And this corridor in the picture seems like a perfect place! Thanks Rich for the nice prompt. Sorry, I couldn’t do much justice to it.

There is a lot of amazing stuff at Rochelle’s as part of Friday Fictioneers just a click away!

The prompt:

Courtesy - Rich Voza