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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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

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

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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

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