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.

……………………………………………………………………………….

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.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

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.

……………………………………

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.

……………………………………………………………………………….

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.

………………………………………

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:


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.

………………………

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.

Undercurrents

It was supposed to be just another drab day at work, and it was living up to it… until he showed up. She heard the familiar voice talking to someone at a distance from her cubicle, close enough for her to peer and confirm it was him. But she didn’t look up, it was work as usual. A colleague, no someone who worked in the same office, had returned from a client project after a few months, so what? Eyes fixed on the computer screen, hands working on the keyboard at the same speed as before; she strained her ears to make sure it was his voice. It was – there was no mistaking it. The game of hide and seek resumes, she sighed, ignored the voice and got back to the endless heap of work.

Where is he sitting today, her eyes swept through the office floor casually as she got up get some water.  The turquoise t-shirt wasn’t hard to miss – he was sitting at the other end, back towards her. She smiled slightly casually straightening her own turquoise colored dress. How they ended up being color coded almost every other day without having talked a single word to each other ever was beyond her comprehension.

She was in a client call when someone called out his name as he was passing by. Before she knew it a group formed around him and they got talking. Gritting her teeth she pressed the receiver hard to her ear and continued taking notes albeit with more effort than before.  She could feel his eyes on her every now and then, but she was not going to acknowledge it.

It was 4 pm, she got up for coffee, smiling mischievously at a little gossip her friend had just told her on the chat, when she saw him standing in front of her at some distance.  Their eyes met, she with her stupid mischievous smile frozen on her face and he smiling knowingly. She casually looked away, met up with her friend outside the cubicle and walked to the cafeteria – like nothing happened… no fresh smoke, none whatsoever, she chided herself giddily.

…………………………

This is my entry for Inspirational Monday this week hosted by BeKindReWrite. I have used the prompt: “Fresh Smoke”.

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

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 Gnarled tree of a young life

Genre: Bizarre (or you can say Fantasy with a bit of Metaphysical thrown in)

On Earth:

Her head was abuzz with hopeless romance again – scared to see her immediate becoming an eternity, she soared high on her thoughts, past the world she lived in, the worlds she had seen. She couldn’t be locked in the paradigms of society!

In Heaven:

Two old men stared at the tree.

“Not as gnarled as yesterday” one observed.

“Yes, I see a new leaf has turned” added the other.

“What do you think?”

“Depends on how far her actions follow her thoughts”

“So young, yet so old and gnarled. It’s a pity”

They moved to the next tree.

…………………..

100 words for Friday Fictioneers this week.

I am worried my story this week is bordering on bizarre and I am going to cheat a little by explaining what I have attempted. (Roll your eyes, but pray read on… :)). The idea is that every life on earth has a corresponding tree in heaven. The health, look and feel of the tree in heaven depends upon the person’s temperament and life on Earth. So if someone is a happy-go-lucky kind of a person then his/her tree would also be bouncing and healthy, if someone is wise and graceful, so would be the tree and so on. The MC of my story is a conflicted person, young of age but aged of experiences, held back while surging ahead – and so is her tree.

There I said it – took only 92 words to explain my 100 word story. (Rolling your eyes again? Actually that’s a very good exercise; you don’t have to thank me, seriously! ). Btw, what should be the genre of this? Mythical? Or is Bizarre apt? 🙂

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 Scott Vanatter with permission-Copyright- Indira:

A quicker way to reach the other stories:

The New Guy

Genre: Drama?

He was coming over the first time. She baked pasta, set the table, put out the wine glasses, remembered his alcoholic past and put them away.

………………………

He dressed in his best shirt, put cologne, checked his breath, stepped out of the house, went back in, took a gulp of vodka and got out again. She had invited him over the first time.

………………………

She smelled alcohol when he kissed her, insisted on taking the food to the porch. He blabbered all evening; every move exaggerated. She stared at the lanterns on the table, mulling if it would come to that.

…………………………………………

99 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 photo prompt comes from Rochelle herself:

A quicker way of reading more stories:


A Closet Love Story

Genre: RomCom, Drama (I guess)

I bought it from a scrap dealer and we built it together. Steve and I…

Steve, my Stevie… He told me he was ready to come out in the open…

Stevie promised while I stared into his hazel green eyes.

Stevie drove while I dreamed of us together.

Stevie lied while I paid his bills.

I saw him with a woman last night. He looked through me.

I ripped the board we had so lovingly put next to the driver’s seat – more women revealed themselves. Women! Liar.

Liar… LIAR! I know he loves me, the coward.

……………………………

96 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 photo prompt is provided by Beth Carter. I just love this prompt. I can’t tell enough how much. I had so many ideas looking at it, I will keep thinking about it for a long time!

The Prompt:

Copyright – Beth Carter

My story this week is as inspired by the prompt as it is (strangely) by the following song:

Quicker way to reach other stories: