Livin’ la vida Mocha

The last drop of water dribbled from the closed faucet on the empty kitchen sink, just as the quiet snoring of the kids began from next door. The dish washer stopped grumbling after what seemed an eternity and began the silent drying routine. The oven top was shining bright, the kitchen slabs were scrubbed anew and the wooden floor was squeaky clean.

She placed the carafe ever so lightly, the machine began with an understanding hiss like an old ally meeting after an exhausting day in the battlefield. She loosened here hair, leaned on the slab and took in the wafts of coffee rushing to embrace her.

Cradling her hands around the warm coffee mug, she walked towards the TV, only to stop briefly to marvel the neat and speckle free house around her. She dragged her feet gently as she walked, to enjoy the soft crispness of the recently vacuumed carpet.

The leviathan couch flanked by the throw beckoned like a patient lover who’s been waiting all day. Imperial and inescapable, it knew its time had come. She sank in its warmth, realizing full well that she was getting in a trap. She snuggled in the throw, reached for the remote and switched on the TV.

A long swig of the coffee and the invisible lines on her forehead began to disappear…

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My Entry for Inspirational Monday. To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.

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The Secret

He stood at the highest edge of the gabled roof, staring at the fireworks in the starless night. He could hear the claps of the small kids, the laughter of the elders and the all-encompassing din of fused chatter of the crowd that had gathered below. He too could have been down there, sharing a joke with his brothers, ruffling the hair of the kids running past, stealing a glance at the girls from a distance. But instead, he stood at the precarious edge, staring absently at the glittering sky. It was almost like falling awake from a long, deep slumber. He knew a secret that threatened his life, put the peace of his quaint village at risk.

Could he let this go on, be a silent victim and witness this catastrophic success? Or could he be the unsung hero who fights this darkness and never lets anyone know? Deep down, he knew he was no hero. He was but a lowly peasant – illiterate, simple of mind. He had no means to fight the evil whose eyes were set on this village for more than hundreds of years now. Evil… It was the first time he was addressing the Ouyangs by that name… even to himself. The Ouyang forefathers built this village – the little forgetful piece of land in the great province of Sichuan. Every person living to this day revered the Ouyangs as messiahs. He winced at the contrast, half wishing he had never come to know of this deep betrayal.

The sky was abloom with a confetti of light, the bursts coming in quicker successions now, which meant the display was nearing its end, as was his time. He didn’t hear the approaching footsteps, nimble as they were.

“Oh my, the view is exquisite from here. Do you come here often?”  He looked back startled, almost slipping an inch.

“Nín hǎo Master Yiu Choi” .He said deferentially.

“Your predicament was brought to my attention, and I thought it only fitting to meet you at once.” Yiu Choi looked at the shimmering sky and continued, “The time for decision is nigh my friend”.

His heart was racing fast and his mind drew a blank. He was standing face to face with the great Master Yiu Choi. No one knew how old he was, but the oldest of men in the village swore they saw him as he stood now since their childhood. The great warrior had inspired countless songs and folklores. Was he here to assassinate a poor farmer, was this all he was under the screens and layers of reverence and fascination – an assassin at the service of the Ouyangs?

“I will not speak of this to another living soul, I swear” he managed between sobs. Hands folded, head bowed, he begged for his life to be spared.

The last of confetti vanished on its way to the ground, leaving a cloud of smoke behind. If you looked for a little while, you could still make out the path the fire bursts had followed, your eyes still picturing the fireworks like they were still there. People below began to disperse, the kids still lingering wanting to stay out of the house a little longer as patient parents waited.

The placid scene was broken by a loud thud. The quick minded ran to where it came from, as the slow realizers followed. He lay lifeless on the ground, his tears frozen in his eyes. It was the seventh suicide in the last five months. It was plain to see that something was not right if only someone tried to string things together, but the unsuspecting villagers only gasped and covered the eyes of the children nearby.

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My Entry for Inspirational Monday. To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.

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Time Sensitive

She was sitting in the patio, waiting… waiting for more things than she could count on her fingers… waiting for nothing more than she already had… waiting… till minutes turned into hours and hours into days and days into weeks and weeks into months…time was expansive and exhaustive, it was a blink of an eye and the gaze of a face in a picture, staring at you, unblinking… beckoning, beseeching, wanting you back…. Only there was nothing or no one to go back to… for everything was here, in this moment and yet there was nothing…

Can you look back and remember that it was you – in flesh and blood in the memory that clogs your mind? Can you feel the breeze that gave you goose bumps on that windy night at the beach? When you look at your placid hands now comatose on the arms of the chair, do you relate with the firm grip of the knife that they once held? Do you remember the warm, thick blood that splashed your face when you slit his throat open? Do you play that moment over and over in your head? When you sat at the bar and smiled at him? Do you look away this time? Do you decide to sleep the night at home instead? Do you think if you could go back and change one tiny thing that could lead to an altogether different domino effect, you would? But you can’t can you now? Time only goes forward, rewinding is a concept us silly, error-prone humans have devised…

“Time for your medicines!”, a cheerful voice broke her reverie, something for which she was growing more grateful than she showed. The nurse brought the tray with different paper cups holding tablets and capsules of different sizes and colors and a glass of water and methodically emptied one cup after another in her mouth, with interludes of water.

“Would you like to get back in the room and watch some TV? There’s a new season of Archer on Netflix”. She perked up. “Oh wow! I have been waiting for it, let’s go in right away!” The nurse obliged and pushed the wheelchair inside.

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My Entry for Inspirational Monday. To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.

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Of Men and Monkeys

“Aren’t they cute?” She squealed happily pulling her father’s sleeve to get his attention. Her father glanced absently in her direction and nodded only to get back to his book.

‘Look Daddy what they’re doing now! They are trying to copy me! Mmuahh! Oh look, they just gave me a flying kiss back!”

He sighed and kept the book aside, took off his glasses and turned to his daughter.

“I want you to stay away from them. It’s enough that your “scientist” mom gets work home, not in the form of files or laptop, but a cage of genetically modified monkeys that she then asks me to babysit on a Sunday afternoon. I can do without having to babysit you as well. Why don’t you play in your room and leave them be, let me know when your mom’s back, okay?”

“Oh look, they are listening to you so intently! Can they understand what we say?”

“Question is, do you understand what I say?”

She turned towards him, “What are you reading? Would you tell me the story when you’re done?”

“It’s called ‘Of men and mice’… I am close to finishing it, I might tell you the story if you’d be a good girl and go to your room…”

“What’s it about?” she perched on the side of his arm chair.

His wife entered the room just then. “It’s about a beautiful mad scientist and her lab-grown love”, he said amusingly.

“But it’s called men and mice, are there no men and mice in it?” the young girl pressed.

“Smart girl! I will find out once I finish the book” he laughed.

“All yours”, he winked at his wife and lifted his daughter in his arms, grabbed the book and left the room.

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She closed the room behind them and took out a syringe filled with a transparent liquid from her briefcase. Almost on cue, the smallest of the monkeys walked towards the door of the cage with an outstretched arm. As the syringe thrust the last drops of liquid into her, she began talking in a familiar girl’s voice.

Aren’t they cute… Look Daddy what they’re doing now…they are trying to copy me…oh look…they just gave me a flying kiss back…

“That’s enough, thanks”. The monkey walked back to the rest of the group.

She took out a sheet of paper and began scribbling…

Sunday, June 17, 2029: Voice recorded albeit without emotions and expressions but with the right vocal modulations. Another step towards “Living Talking Toms”… still a long road ahead.


My Entry for Inspirational Monday. I used the prompt “lab-grown love”.
To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.

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.