Contest 15: An Unlikely Romance

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Contest closed for entries. Final date was Saturday, 25th April, 2015. If you missed this, don’t fret. The next contest will come along shortly.

Welcome, one and all, to Contest 15. If you have missed it, we had some lovely pieces of writing in Contest 14, so head on over there and have a read if you have the time. You may also want to see who won and who got some special mentions.

The topic for this time is An Unlikely Romance.

We have not written much in the way of romance ever since we began to run contests on this blog. So I thought this will be a nice opportunity to exercise those romantic cells that must be hidden in all our minds. The only twist, of course, is that the romance that you write about must be unlikely in some respect.

Here are some ideas

1. In our daily lives we see many couples who make us look at them twice, for whatever reason. The differences may be physical (tall/short, old/young) or psychological (introvert/extrovert, calm/excitable).

2. Some romances may even cross the species barrier. Of course, here I mean the word ‘romance’ to include platonic love. People often love their pets more than they love other people. My grandfather used to love eating chicken, but his rule for the household was that no one would ever kill any of his chickens in the farm.

3. A few entries during our previous contests talked of love between an earthling and an alien.

4. In a fantasy setting, a dwarf may fall in love with a human being. (How would it be if one of the seven dwarfs had a secret crush on Snow White?)

5. What about love and affection towards non-living things? I’m thinking of a teenager’s soft toys, the feelings of an overweight woman towards delectable food items, a house in which a person has lived for years, a soldier’s war medals, and many, many more.

It could be any one, or more, or none of the above. As long as it is clearly a case of an ‘unlikely romance’, you can write about it.

Form

As always, you can write in any form that you’re comfortable with, be it fiction, nonfiction, memoir or poem. The only ‘rule’ is that you use two of the prompts in the list to spin a story that the rest of us would enjoy reading. The word limit is 500 words.

How do you enter the contest?

You have to be a member of my email list to post a valid entry to the contest. If you’re not, please click on the button below to join. This is to make sure that I can contact you if and when you win. Of course, you have my word that I won’t do anything shady with your email address.

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Once you’ve joined the list, entering the contest is child’s play.

  • Leave a comment to this post with your entry.
  • If you leave two comments, they will count as two separate entries. The maximum number of entries you can submit is three. If you leave more than three comments, I won’t tell you off (I’m too nice for that) but I will only pick the first three.
  • If this is your first time here and you’re wondering how this whole thing works, please take a look at Contest 14 and Contest 13 for an idea.

What’s the prize?

The best two entries of the contest will be given Amazon vouchers of 500 rupees each. It looks like this:

Amazon-gift-card
No, you can’t touch it, but you can buy things – especially books! – with it. If you live outside of India, your choices are limited to e-books because Amazon India doesn’t deliver internationally.

How is the winner selected?

Each comment will be rated on three things:

1. Clarity: We should understand what you’re trying to say. Good grammar and punctuation will help. So will a reasonable structure to your entry. Beginning, middle and end.

2. Personal Touch: We’re interested in getting to know you better. So go for depth, specificity and honesty. In narrative pieces, the deeper you take us with you into the scene, the better it is.

3. Beauty of the writing: Make your words sing. Give rich sensory detail. Describe well. Transport us to to your world. Be cogent, crisp and clear.

The above three criteria are ranked in the order of importance. So clarity is more important than personal touch. And personal touch is more important than evocative writing.

Rules/Guidelines/Suggestions

1. The closing date for comments/entries is Saturday, the 25th of April, 2015. The winner will be announced on Monday, the 27th of April, 2015. (Allow a day or two as ‘grace period’ in case there are too many entries.)

2. Sexually explicit or offensive material will be deleted at my discretion.

3. Avoid plagiarism. I will check for it, and remove entries that I think are lifted from elsewhere.

And finally…

Have fun! If you think this is the sort of thing your friends would enjoy, share this post with them and invite them to participate. You can share it with just a click on the sharing buttons below.

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Comments

  1. Dharini.B says:

    One of my favorite pieces from my Teen Ink profile. Hope you like it 🙂

    Frozen

    The soft daylight streams in through the sheer beige curtain and pours into his heavy porcelain mug. The faint but unmistakable scent of coffee lingers in the air long after he has left. I eye the vintage radio on the tabletop that sports round water marks left by his lack of coasters. The sterile wall clock claims to be ten o’clock, and I’m suppressing my urge to correct the time. I sit with his forgotten bunch of keys, waiting for him to come back. The driveway curves away from our house, but I cannot see it from here.

    Meanwhile, I gaze around the room and find a sky blue shirt on the coat hanger. It stands by his large plasma screen that stares back at me in all its vapid blackness. If I squint really hard, I can see a long strand of light brown streak down the back of his shirt. A tinge of jealousy stirs in my stomach, and I try to objectively focus on the color of the hair. Is it actually light brown? Does she color her hair? Or, is it just the sunlight that’s playing tricks on my eyes? Maybe she has dark brown hair like mine. I imagine his veteran hands sail down her burnished locks, tugging and stroking in moderation.

    A gentle breeze rustles the synthetic leaves of the tropical plant beside me. He has had no time for the living, breathing flowers. He has no time to catch the wilting petals. No time to clean up the mess they make.

    The clinking reveille of the door chime reaches my awaiting ears, and I straighten up, tucking those loose strands of hair behind my ears. I can already feel the air stir in his wake as if the cool metallic interior of the house itself is holding its breath to accommodate its master upon his arrival. I can hear his steady footsteps, and I smile that dimpled smile of mine, which I know he finds very irresistible.
    The polished black shoes approach me, and my heart skips a beat as a rogue strand of hair decides to fall over my right eye. But my smile hasn’t faltered. I just keep still and look up at him, while he returns none of my smile. His wrinkled but sturdy hand grabs the keys, and I smile at him just like I always do. All day. Every day. He pauses in his tracks to spare a look at me. At last! A subtle shade of melancholy washes over his handsome age-hardened features as he picks me up by my sleek photo frame and looks into my frozen youthful eyes.

    I see the corners of his stoic lips twitch as he looks away into the bright light gushing out of the window frame. But I can’t hold him. I can’t make him better. I can do nothing about the void that separates our two worlds.

    He puts me down and walks away, and I keep smiling at him.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow!!

      Like

    • This is so beautifully written!

      Like

    • Bhavesh Jeewani says:

      Uff…! This is devilishly detailed. Loved it. Congrats! Dharini.

      Like

    • Hi Dharini! Thanks for sharing this. As people before have said, the atmospheric details in the room are quite nice. I liked the idea of a photo-frame being in love with a human being. Quite creative.

      I thought that there were perhaps a tad too many adjectives in the piece, sometimes two adjectives for one noun (sheer biege, living breathing, cool metallic). Almost every noun in the piece contains a descriptor. On the other hand, the strongest parts of your story are where you combine nouns with verbs (The driveway curves away from our house) with no adjectives. I’m not saying adjectives are bad, but using them judiciously is good practice.

      For instance: this sentence (‘A gentle breeze rustles the synthetic leaves of the tropical plant beside me’) has three adjectives. It would have been a much stronger sentence if you had lost two of them.

      Like

      • Dharini.B says:

        Thank you so much.
        Yeah, I’ll definitely work on the adjectives. I’ve been told this quite a few times, but it’s really hard to get rid of them, you know. 😀

        Like

  2. MEANT TO BE.

    A long long time ago…

    HE:

    The accident was not her fault. I was not mindful of the pedestrian signal going red, and went ahead crossing the road. It wasn’t my fault either. You can’t expect someone having a bad hangover to be alert.
    You should never call girls for a boys’ night stay. They ruin the entire plan. I was highly exuberant the entire week for this weekend night plan. The Friend had arranged for lots and lots of alcohol, and I had arranged for the The Science Fiction Movie
    What eventually happened was that we ended up watching The Romance Movie, and I ended up drinking most of the lots and lots of alcohol.
    The Friend did offer to drop me home that morning, but I insisted on walking, since I knew walking to be my best hangover cure. But this would have applied had I walked with my shoe laces tied, as I nearly saved myself from falling on a grumpy old man, who, smelling the liquor in my breath, gave me the foulest look.
    The lady in the speeding car ran over my foot as soon as it touched the road. It took me a while to sense the pain, and when I did, I wished I was rather dead.
    Someone suggested I go into The Public Library and check if they maintained a first aid. They did.
    After having dressed up my wound, which was more internal, and having emptied my bursting bladders, I used a desk in The Public Library to break my fall and give my spinning head some calm.
    My head was buzzing with a phantasmagoria of all the events that had happened; events not just from the previous night, but random events from my entire life till that day. My parents who now lived in another city, my teachers whose memories still made me smile, my school life that I terribly missed, my friends who had gone on different paths in their own lives, that grumpy old man who I swear I could have punched, the female driver who had proven the cliché, the lots and lots of alcohol (some of which I had seen floating in the toilet a while ago), The Romance Movie which showed how two people who were destined to end up together eventually did because The Hero had written a note in a random book which reached The Heroin somehow, my ex and if I should call her now…
    My eyes landed on a random book lying on the desk, and my not-so-sober-yet brain prompted me an idea.
    I picked up The Book, and flipped through. I smelt the pages, something I do as default for every book I lay my hands on, and realized that it was quite old a print. I picked up a pencil lying on the desk, and scribbled on a random page: ‘This is He. If you are reading this, it means that we are meant to end up together, and hence you are my She. Someday we will meet, and spend the rest of our lives with each other. Hope to see you soon. If you are not a girl, bugger off, this doesn’t concern you.”
    I still don’t know why I did that. I was never a believer of destiny. On the contrary, I had always been more of an advocate for pure coincidences; that they were just that, coincidences, without any reason or eventuality.
    My phone started to ring, and I was shushed by the girl sitting on the desk behind. I scrambled out of The Public Library.
    I would be smelling the pages of that book someday again.

    SHE:

    I never wanted to go to The College. It had a strong notoriety for nurturing rich spoilt asses. I had always dreamt of studying in The Other College since the day my dad’s job transfer made us move to The City. The Other College was quite well known not only in The City, but also in The Country, and I would have loved to have associated myself with it.
    However, as luck would have it, I ended up in The College, because my grades weren’t enough to get me into The Other College.
    Moving from The Other City to The City also meant that it was time for The Boyfriend in The Other City to turn into The Ex.
    The Public Library was not a place I would have been at on that day had I been in The Other College. Because in The Other College, I would have surely made some friend at whose place I could go to prepare for my final exams. But I could never connect with any of the other students at The College and hence never had any close friends there, due to which I had to take refuge of The Public Library to study when my parents started fighting literally over spilt milk. No I wasn’t from a troubled household, and no my parents didn’t fight regularly, and no I did not have any traumatic upbringing. We were a normal family where a fight between parents was rare but true. Unfortunately it had to happen a day before my final exams.
    The general frustration of being a part of The College (and not The Other College), the fact that I was practically friendless, and the fight at home – all of this ensured that I wasn’t in the best of my moods that day. I normally otherwise wouldn’t have rudely shushed a random drunk guy because his cell phone rang in The Public Library.
    By evening that day I had nearly completed my preparation for the exam. I was walking towards the exit when I saw The Book. It was lying on the desk where the drunken injured boy sat that noon, although I hadn’t realized it then. It was a random fiction novel, and I issued it thinking I would read it after my exams.
    I did not read The Book until years, and I never came back to The Public Library to return it.

    IT:

    It was not that long ago when I saw the light of day in The Printing Press. Before then, I was a manuscript, and before that, an idea in the mind of The Author. But I have very little memory of those days.
    I was nurtured and brought up in the imagination of The Author for a few years, before I got a physical form as a manuscript. It took another few years and a lot of being handled by different people as a manuscript, after which I was sent to The Printing Press, where my identity was split into a thousand copies. ‘The Book’ was embossed on each copy, and we were distributed to various locations across The Country.
    I landed up at The Book Store in The City, where I was bought by my first owner, with whom I spent nearly ten years of my early days. I had made quite a few good friends in my first owner’s shelf. We all shared stories written within us with each other.
    Then one day, my first owner decided to donate all his books to The Public Library. I made new friends there.
    At The Public Library I learnt that going ahead I would never probably be owned by someone for long, but would rather have a series of temporary owners who would be issuing me based on their need.
    All we books used to complain that humans treat us poorly, as if they don’t realize we have lives. The folding of the top corner hurt us, and the bookmarks tickled us, but we all invariably preferred the bookmarks. They were good souls, the bookmarks.
    That morning a couple took me from my shelf and sat on a desk with me. They didn’t actually want to read me, they just needed me there to show that they were reading something, while they were actually busy playing with each other’s fingers. This irked me more, because I was in the middle of a very interesting story that a new neighbour book on my shelf was telling me.
    Within sometime, The Librarian caught them kissing and reprimanded them for the same, ordering them to never be spotted in The Public Library again. They left in embarrassment, leaving me at the desk.
    By noon, a limping fellow came and sat on the desk. He buried his head in his hands. He seemed to be in some sort of pain, for he surely hadn’t come to The Public Library for reading books.
    After a while, he picked me up, ruffled my pages, smelt me (which tickled a bit) and then wrote with a pencil on my twenty fourth page – ‘This is He. If you are reading this, it means that we are meant to end up together, and hence you are my She. Someday we will meet, and spend the rest of our lives with each other. Hope to see you soon. If you are not a girl, bugger off, this doesn’t concern you.’
    He left after that, and by evening a girl issued me out. She was going to be the last owner I would ever have.

    A long time ago…

    HE:

    It was raining that night; the kind of rain that carries heavy potential to pull you either into deep thoughtfulness, or heavy nostalgia, if you stare at it too much. I sat near The Balcony, reminiscing younger days and thinking about how life had transformed over these years.
    My parents were as much with me as they would continue to be, albeit not physically. The Friend was no longer in contact since he moved to The Other Country. I met my school friends as often as once in five years. The lots and lots of alcohol in my life were replaced with lots and lots of milk bottles and diapers. Behind me in my bedroom lay a double bassinet in which slept The Twins. On the bed sat She, The Wife, reading The Book.
    Our story of getting together had been a smoother ride than what I had thought it would be. Our first meeting was a coincidence. We were members at The Gym, which is where we first met, and things started moving. Convincing the respective families didn’t take much time and effort after we decided to get hooked. Her grandmother passed away days before the wedding, due to which her family preferred to keep the wedding a low key affair, and not the major fiesta it was planned to be.
    I always had this belief that if a couple has only love between them, without friendship, the relationship then doesn’t last, as love eventually evaporates. What lasts till the end is the friendship. She and I had reached that stage in our lives where our love had more or less effervesced, and our friendship was sailing us through.
    It felt good to see her that night with The Book. I couldn’t recollect the last time I had seen any book in her hands, even though I knew her to be an avid reader when we courted. Marriage and then the kids had gradually moved her away from the things that gave her joy, and it gave me joy to see her slowly re-discover those things.
    I slid under my blanket beside her. She had dived too deep into the world of The Book to be aware of my actions. Something in The Book brought a big smile to her face, almost a chuckle, which is when I realized that the love hadn’t completely evaporated. It still was very much alive, and occasionally made its presence realized.
    “Something funny?” I asked. My words took a few seconds to pull her out of the book and get registered in her brain. “Sorry?” she responded. “Oh! Nothing. Just something stupid. By the way this book is really good. You should read it.”
    For the first time during that night my attention went towards The Book. It felt like I had seen that book earlier somewhere, which wasn’t odd as it was a book and not a random stranger on the road, which is why I didn’t give it much thought.
    “I guess I will read it when I am meant to,” I said in a sly tone, hinting towards the debate we had had a couple of days back. One topic had led to another, and we had ended up arguing on whether us marrying was a mere coincidence or was it destined to happen. She of course advocated the latter.
    “Please, I don’t want to get into that discussion again. Let’s respect each other’s differing beliefs, shall we?”
    “I am telling you, it is sheer coincidence that we are together. I was in a very serious relationship when I met you at The Gym. Had we been destined to end up together, we would have been so since the beginning.”
    “Okay,” she said, not to show she agreed with me, but to put an end to the discussion and get back to The Book.
    “Let’s do this. If any of us gets even one sign that assures us that we were destined to end up together, I would accept defeat. Does that sound fair?”
    “Okay,” she said again, in the same tone, with the same intention.
    Someday I would be proven wrong.

    SHE:

    It was raining that night. I put The Twins to sleep, and retired to my bed. He stood near The Balcony, lost in his thoughts, and I lay on the bed with mine. My thoughts wandered to the past.
    I carried the disappointment of not being able to get into The Other College till that day, and would continue to till the end. It was that very discontent that had driven me towards binge eating, leading to the accumulation of layers on my waist. I eventually ended up enrolling in The Gym, which is where I met him. He was already in a relationship then, a quite serious one, but I couldn’t stop myself from confessing my feelings to him the day he told me he planned to propose marriage to that girl. Somewhere I still carry the guilt for what I did to her, but then I am sure this was meant to be not just for us but for her as well.
    Marriage was a smooth affair, although it could have been rocky had my grandmother not passed away at the right moment. She was against our marriage for reasons better known to her, and she had quite an influence on my parents. I hated her anyway.
    We now lived a picture perfect life of a happy family with He, She, The Twins and The Dog, who was asleep in his shelter outside. He always told me how he believed that love eventually evaporates, and friendship lasts till the end. I guess we were now in that stage of our relationship. I was glad our friendship had had its own time and space to grow, before we had jumped on to love.
    My thought-filled sleepless eyes fell on The Other Book sitting at our corner table, and it suddenly hit me how much I once loved books, and how much I was distanced from them then.
    I got up and opened The Chest lying in the corner of the room. I had got The Chest with me when I had moved to The Husband’s place after our marriage. The Chest consisted my entire book collection (most of which were unread), my childhood toys I was still attached with, some long forgotten photographs, some of my random sketches, and a few other mementos and souvenirs. It would not be wrong to say that The Chest contained me from a long long time ago.
    I made a mental note to rummage through and explore The Chest the next morning, and picked up a random book for then.
    The Book engrossed me from beginning, but what took my attention completely away was a random scribble on a page of The Book. It read – ‘This is He. If you are reading this, it means that we are meant to end up together, and hence you are my She. Someday we will meet, and spend the rest of our lives with each other. Hope to see you soon. If you are not a girl, bugger off, this doesn’t concern you.’
    It was cutely stupid if written by a mature guy, but too juvenile if written by some dreamy teenager. In any case, it made me smile.
    “Something funny?” he asked, startling me. I never realized when he had walked up to the bed and slid into the blanket beside me.
    “Just something stupid,” I said. “By the way this book is really good. You should read it.”
    “I guess I will read it when I am meant to,” He said, in his signature taunting tone. Just a few days back we had had this small argument on whether there is anything as pure coincidence, or whether everything has a reason. My beliefs tilted more towards the latter.
    “Please, I don’t want to get into that discussion again,” I said. I really didn’t. “Let’s respect each other’s differing beliefs, shall we?”
    “I am telling you, it is sheer coincidence that we are together,” he continued. That’s him for you.
    “I was in a very serious relationship when I met you at The Gym. Had we been destined to end up together, we would have been so since the beginning.”
    “Okay,” I said, not agreeing, but rather wanting to end the discussion and get back to reading The Book.
    “Let’s do this. If any of us gets even one sign that assures us that we were destined to end up together, I would accept defeat. Does that sound fair?”
    “Okay,” I said again.
    Someday I would be proven wrong.

    IT:

    Nothing exciting had happened with me after I fell into her hands. She went home that day after having issued me from The Public Library, placed me in her wardrobe full of books, and forgot about me completely until that rainy night.
    I had made a few good friends in her wardrobe. We were later put into The Chest, and transported somewhere we didn’t know. We all had ended up sharing our stories with each other multiple times. The colour of our pages had started to turn yellow because of not having any reader for so many years.
    That night, she opened The Chest and I was glad she picked me. I was craving some fresh air, and a reader’s eyes.
    As she read my story, I noticed the fellow from The Public Library come around and lie down on the bed beside her. He was the same person who had scribbled on my page twenty four. I wondered if they both remembered that day at The Public Library, and whether he remembered that I was the same book he had scribbled into.
    She turned the page to twenty four, and his scribble from years ago caught her eye.
    ‘This is He. If you are reading this, it means that we are meant to end up together, and hence you are my She. Someday we will meet, and spend the rest of our lives with each other. Hope to see you soon. If you are not a girl, bugger off, this doesn’t concern you.’
    She smiled as she read this, and a conversation ensued between them. He perhaps didn’t remember he had written something like that in some book years ago in some library. Even if he did, I was pretty sure he did not know that I was The Book he had written into.
    Someday he will know.

    Somewhere…

    Fate sat behind her desk in her office. She was dressed in business formals, and looked quite young for her age, which was a little more than the age of The Planet.
    The walls of her office were adorned with portraits of various well know existences. There was Shai of Egypt, there were the three Greek Moirai – Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, there were the Norns of the Nordic, there were the Roman Parcae, and many other paintings.
    Fate had just come to know of a malice that was done in the functioning of the system of things, with the intention of credit snatching, to discuss which she had summoned Coincidence and Destiny to her office.
    Coincidence and Destiny walked in together, wishing her. Coincidence was dressed in a dapper suit, and Destiny looked elegant in her smart casuals.
    “I do not intend to take much of your time,” Fate began. “It has been brought to my notice that Coincidence has intentionally avoided a coincidence from occurring between two people, in order to win some credit. Am I right here Coincidence?”
    Coincidence and Destiny worked hand in hand. Destiny would decide on what was to happen, and it was Coincidence’s job to make sure it happens. They both were dependent on each other, and the existence of one was meaningless without the other. And Coincidence used to make work fun by intentionally complicating situations before making them reach the conclusion which they are destined to.
    Destiny would decide that a certain human has to die in the Tsunami, Coincidence had to make sure the human is at the right location when the Tsunami occurs. Destiny would decide a random pup born to a stray dog would end up being adopted by a wealthy family and lead a life of luxury, and Coincidence had to make sure the pup and the family meet at the right place and at the right time. Destiny would decide that an entire race had to be wiped out from The Planet, and Coincidence had to make sure a meteor hits The Planet at the right time on the right spot.
    It was Destiny who had decided for He and She to meet and end up together. So Coincidence made sure they both reach The Public Library that day, and that they both end up enrolling in The Gym, and that her grandmother passes away before their marriage (which was another unrelated decision of Destiny, but Coincidence was allowed to connect two decisions if he can make them interdependent). Coincidence was responsible for him having a hangover that day, and his shoe lace being undone (without which he wouldn’t have stumbled and would have eventually missed the car, not getting injured and hence not landing up at The Public Library). Coincidence was responsible for spilling the milk at her house resulting in a fight between her parents, leading to her landing up at The Public Library.
    Destiny and Coincidence always worked hand in hand. However, Destiny did all her work in consultation with Fate, their boss. Destiny could not pass on a decision to Coincidence to be acted upon without getting an approval from Fate. And Fate gave these approvals based on the larger plans and responsibilities she had, which only she knew about.
    Outside the office, Destiny and Fate were blood sisters, and Coincidence was their step brother. Due to this, Fate’s favour always tilted a bit towards Destiny, although she couldn’t openly and unfairly side her as she was also answerable to The Higher Authorities.
    “I do not understand the reference here, Fate,” Coincidence said. He was being genuine.
    “The reference here is of He and She’s marriage,” Fate said.
    “But I had clear instructions from Destiny that they both were to end up together. And that they both weren’t to interact until a certain age and situation had been reached. And as of now, she is already on her death bed, and he doesn’t have much time left himself. They both are in their old age. I do not understand the reason of this being brought up now.”
    “I have studied the entire case Coincidence,” Fate said. Her tone had changed from a friendly boss to a strict boss. “You added a book to their entire case, and then intentionally drove many of their discussions to ‘coincidence versus destiny’ topics, where the person supporting coincidence had a stronger argument always. What are you trying to do here?”
    Destiny stood quiet and controlled a sheepish grin from getting displayed. She was the one who had made sure this case “Coincidentally” catches Fate’s eye.
    “Fate, we all know that there are only a handful of thinking lives left on The Planet that actually consider my existence to be pure, and not driven by Destiny. Destiny has her own set of believers, which is a humungous majority, all of whom refuse to believe in my sole independent identity. My only innocent motive was to have a couple of them believe in me and only me. I do not believe I have done anything wrong here.”
    “I am to decide that,” Fate stressed.
    “We will take this case to The Higher Authorities to discuss if this motive should be considered innocent and harmless, and what could be the repercussions of you achieving your goal. For now, Destiny, please use one coincidence from Coincidence and ensure things are back on track”
    “Sure Fate,” Destiny said.
    Coincidence chose to maintain silence then, and decided to put his side of the argument in front of The Higher Authorities, who he hoped would be fair and just.
    Fate dismissed them, and they both got back to their respective jobs. But Destiny had a pending task to finish.

    Sometime between yesterday and tomorrow…

    He was now an old withered man. She had died of old age, and her death bed was the final round of their debate. They had not received a single sign throughout their lives which would prove they were destined to end up together. She was proven wrong.
    He had just returned home after cremating her body. He had never felt lonelier in his entire life, not even when his parents had passed away.
    It was a breezy day, so he sat at The Balcony. The breeze got a bit too high, and the frame of their marriage photograph which rested above The Chest coincidentally fell down and broke.
    He walked up to The Chest to pick it up, when he realized there would be more memories of her inside The Chest. He cleaned the glass from the floor, and opened The Chest. The Book was the first thing he saw, as it lay right on top, and he picked it up and smelt its pages.
    He flicked the pages of The Book, when his eyes caught something written with pencil inside. He landed on the twenty-fourth page while searching the pencil writing, and read the scribble:
    ‘This is He. If you are reading this, it means that we are meant to end up together, and hence you are my She. Someday we will meet, and spend the rest of our lives with each other. Hope to see you soon. If you are not a girl, bugger off, this doesn’t concern you.’
    It all came back to him in a flash. The night stay, the hangover, the minor accident, The Public Library, and the random thought which he had acted upon and written this down in a random book.
    A tear rolled down his cheek. He was proven wrong.
    Somewhere, Destiny smiled.

    Like

    • Hey Kalpak! Thanks for sharing this. It was quite interesting, though it is a contender for the longest entry we ever got in our contests 🙂 I loved the piece where Fate, Destiny and Coincidence meet and have a conversation. I thought the story could have been stronger and tighter if you had built it around that conversation. As it stands, it meanders a little, and I found myself skim-reading parts of it to get ahead. Often the best way to tell a story is to choose the shortest, tightest form. Perhaps you can rewrite this as something shorter and send it over? I will be glad to read it again.

      Like

  3. THE SECRET RENDEZVOUS

    Dinner over, I did the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen and got ready to read ‘The Week’. It was then that I noticed a small bowl of rice waiting to be trashed sitting perched on the side shelf. “Oh, no!” I muttered to myself. Dead tired I decided to dispose it the first thing in the morning.

    ***

    The sun rose and so did I. Morning chores over I headed for the bath. It was then that I remembered the bowl of rice. “How come I did not see it on the shelf today,” I thought to myself. “He must have trashed it” so thinking I resumed my trail of thoughts that centered around my daughter who was miles and miles away. The cool water caressing my flushed face felt heavenly.

    The next few hours I was immersed in my files at office.

    Back home, it was the same routine: catching up with hubby dear on work and gossip, watching the idiot box and finally cooking dinner, eating, cleaning and then retiring for bed.

    ***

    The next morning having to attend to some important assignment, I got up earlier than usual and entered the kitchen. The moment I put on the light I found a flurry of activity around the sink. In a flash second something disappeared. I was puzzled. There near the sink, on the kitchen counter were a few grains of cooked rice. But time being short and the work at hand lots, I soon got busy and forgot the incident.

    Day passed and night set in. Cleaning the kitchen after dinner, I remembered the grains of rice and decided to take hubby into confidence but then a long distance call my daughter’s, kept me busy for the next half- hour or so. The grains once again slipped out of my mind.

    ***

    The next morning the kitchen was clean and quiet as usual. Quickly getting on with the morning preparations I put my hand on the tap to wash a glass. It was then that my eyes fell on something. A grain of cooked rice! I was taken aback. How could this be? I called for hubby who was busy with the morning news paper. Rushing in he asked what the matter was. I pointed to the rice grain.

    “What of that?”

    “I’m sure it was not there when I retired for bed yesterday night,” I said.

    “Sure?”

    “Yes.”

    “Then maybe it is some ‘kutti-chathan’s’ doing,” so saying he burst out laughing.

    “What’s so funny?” I asked the annoyance clear in my tone. “Do you know what happened yesterday?”

    “What?”

    I told him what I had seen the previous morning when I entered the kitchen.

    The worry lines on my brow and the puzzled look in my eyes only added to his mirth. With a mischievous look in his eyes he let me into a secret I was not aware till then; his romance with…..

    ‘Looking up at the kitchen wall one day he happened to sight two little things soft and cute with beady eyes. His pair of eyes met theirs and a bond was established. It was love at first sight. That night when he came to the kitchen after I had retired for the night to quench his thirst, he spotted them once again. A thought crossed him and he opened the refrigerator. Scooping up a few grains of rice from a bowl, he placed them by the side of the sink and watched them. They were hesitant at first, but the lure of food was too great to resist. They succumbed and came scrambling down. Within seconds the grains had vanished. The place was spic and span. From that night on his secret rendezvous with the creatures began. Every night he would place some rice. They would come, have their fill and run out of sight.’

    ****
    That night I decided to catch a sight of the two who had so cleverly lured my ever faithful husband. Following hubby on tip-toes I waited for them to come. The ball of rice was theirs in return for a glimpse of them.

    They came…

    I couldn’t help smiling.

    A pair of beautiful white Lizards!

    ****************************

    ‘Kutti- chathan’ meaning : Goblin or malicious fairy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Geeta! I cannot relate to the character’s husband at all because I am terrified of lizards. I am yet to spot a cute lizard, however small or big it may be 🙂 We try to insulate our house from lizards every now and then (by closing all the windows etc) but they always find their way back in, even after being driven out many times. My wife is the man of the house in this respect. She’s the official lizard-chaser. She likes to say I behave like a scared schoolgirl when I see a lizard. She’s right, I do.

      Thanks for sharing. It’s a cute story.

      Like

  4. ALL’S NOT LOST!

    A wisp of black kissed her temples. She caressed it with soft, soothing hands. The strands gave in to her gentle touch. They wound themselves around her beautiful, long fingers. She shut her eyes, felt their rich silken texture. A sigh of joy escaped her lips. She was transported back in time.

    ****

    Walking down the dusty village path, hair swaying from side to side she regaled in the looks of awe and jealousy thrown across her path. A soft appreciative whistle or two added to her joy. She basked in the glory of the tresses that adorned her head, her crowning glory! Her hair was the talk of the village. Never had a lasso been endowed with hair as rich and vibrant as hers.

    A plane Jane she had often wept when a child, but now no more. The disappointment of childhood was well compensated with the looks of envy that followed her when she stepped out. Her thick, black tresses falling in cascades well below her knees made heads turn and eyes stare wide in amazement.

    Then one day she fell ill. Medicine after medicine she drowned but with no result. Her father took her to the big hospital in the nearby town. The sight of the teeming crowds scared her; the smell of medicines combined with that of sanitizers churned her insides. She wanted to run away but her legs would not respond. Test after test was conducted. The verdict was delivered.

    LEUKEMIA!

    Days and months rolled on. She was subjected to all sorts of medicines, tests and treatments. The pain was unbearable at times. Yet she held on to dear life. Finally the battle was won but at what price? Her crowning glory, her hair unable to stand the ordeal deserted her. She looked into the mirror. A smooth, shiny plate in its place stared back at her. She was heart-broken.

    She wept and wept for days at end, hid the mirror deep within an old trunk of clothes swearing never to look into it that gave her so much pain. Envious eyes gave way to ones filled with sympathy. Whistles were gone and in their place came out words of disbelief and sympathy. She wrapped herself in a cloak of agony. She refused to step out. Her family feared she would fall into an abyss of depression.

    Then one day she looked into a mirror quite by accident. Her eyes opened wide in disbelief. Slowly a tear rolled down her cheeks. She caressed her crown gently. It prickled but the prickle sent shivers of joy down her spine. She was ecstatic. A crop of thick stubble covered the crown. A seed of hope was born. She cried out in joy.

    Days and weeks passed by, her mother nourished her and her love back to life. With each passing day the smile on her face grew bright.

    ****

    Months, years passed by. Now five years down the line she is back on the village path with a thick black plait swaying gently behind from side to side. Envious eyes and low, appreciative whistles follow her as she moves on. She smiles. Gently caressing the plait she brings it to her lips. Inhaling the sweet scent of the herbal oil that has nourished it back to life, she kisses it and lets out a sigh of ecstasy.

    The wisp of black, the curl adorning her temple dances in joy. The return is well received and rewarding.

    ===================================================================

    Like

    • Hey Geeta! A good story about a girl’s love affair with her hair. (I think all of us – regardless of gender – love our hair way too much.) I thought the story could have had a more intricate narrative element: what basically happens is she gets leukemia, loses her hair for a while, and then regains it. When pitched against cancer, the hair issue seems a little too frivolous. Maybe I would have preferred that she lose her hair to something less serious? That would lend the story an air of realism, one feels. In any case, thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  5. Romance isn’t really my forte, but here goes:

    Tombre d’amour

    My words are not poetry,
    To be read and sung and painted.
    No.
    Do not mock my pain.
    By pretending to understand.

    She closed the little black journal with a wistful sigh. A week ago, she had found it lying abandoned under a park bench. A week ago, she had had her first seizure. A week ago, she had fallen in love.
    Not with a person. No. But with words.
    I bleed on these pages,
    Verses by verse by verse.
    And at times it is sad,
    And dark and disheartening.
    But it is always so beautiful.

    She flicked through the pages once again, noting how the handwriting changed as she progressed. The poems themselves, changed, sometimes being replaced by entire pages of eloquent prose. It had a humanizing effect on the journal, almost as if the diary itself was evolving.
    You and I? We’ll change the world. You tell me you see no hope. But everywhere I look, that is all I find! Oh, only if you could see what I see. The radiance of these innocent eyes, the curiosity in these freckled faces. Yes. We’ll change the world. Wait and watch. Just wait and watch.
    There were pieces that were in conflict. On one page there was hope, on the other despondency. Similar to her impending medical examinations.
    Why must we suffer for the crimes of another? The journal asked. ‘Why must not we suffer,’ she scribbled underneath, ‘for all the crimes we enshroud?’
    It had taken her a few days to figure out the journal. To know that the journal was evolving. Not because the writer matured but because the writer changed. Like a long kept family tradition, the journal had been passed from one broken soul to another, staying just long enough to have an effect.
    A few days after this epiphany, with her reports in one hand and a blue tipped pen in another, she stretched lazily on the grass.
    They say I will be missed
    But do they not know
    That the sun will continue to rise
    And set
    And the earth will continue to revolve
    And someplace a little girl
    With pigtails
    Will skip to school
    Unaware of my absence
    Oh, there will be no void after me
    Only a moment of strangeness
    In my vicinity
    And then nothing.

    And with this addition, she left the journal where she had first found it. It was someone else’s turn to fall in love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Sania! This is a good piece. I especially liked the last verse, the lines: ‘there will be no void after me, only a moment of strangeness in my vicinity, and then nothing’. We often think that our presence in the world is important, but the truth is that it’s not. The people we think cannot live without us will move on. The world will move on, and will forget us in no time. But yes, after a moment of strangeness. That’s a nice way of putting it.

      I enjoyed your prose and narrative more, but this is also good. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  6. “Things are to be used, people are to be loved”, they said.
    It wasn’t a thing, really. It was my heart. And I loved it more than anything under the sun.
    As it happens every year, it was a boring family dinner on my birthday. I turned 15 then. The only person who could save me from that nerve-wrecking boredom was my elder sister. She very casually walked in and handed me a relatively small sized rectangular box, wrapped in a fancy paper. I gave her a death stare for being ridiculously late and tore open the paper. There, under the colorful paper, laid a black box with white heading that said “Blackberry”
    My journey with Negro (that’s what I called him, though I’m not a racist) started then. I had all my necessary stuff in him. He was a permanent resident of my hand, and our favourite game was cuddling with my fingers on his keys. Whenever I felt he needed rest, He would slip inside my pocket. So it became a habit for me to casually feel my pockets every now and then, to make sure he was safe inside.He was my treasured pastime until one day, I was traumatized.
    He was taking a nap in the back pocket of my jeans as I took an auto rickshaw home.
    I reached, paid him what the meter showed and walked to the lift. As a part of mannerism, I checked my pocket. And this time, it felt empty.
    My heart skipped many beats. I was stupefied. I immediately ran back to catch the same auto, but in vain. Tears slid down my cheeks. I couldn’t imagine my life with him. I was not sure if it was because I loved blackberry, or I loved my sister, or both that I became irrevocably close to him. My parents knew what I would become without him. They kept trying all possible ways to get a trace of his.
    My father, however was parallely counseling me about this unusual romance, yet, I still had a dash of hope.
    After two weeks, my mother ringed up my phone, for nine hundred thousandth time expecting someone would pick it up atleast this time. Finally, at the last moment, we heard someone say,”Hello?”.
    Needless to say, my father negotiated with the unnamed man and got Negro back.
    I will be forever grateful to that man for giving me my happiness back. I am convinced now that there is still a little bit of kindness left in this materialistic world.
    And for me, I was rejuvenated on the reincarnation of Negro, my love.

    Like

    • Hi Sikhira. Welcome to the blog. Frankly, I was expecting to see more people write about their love affairs with gadgets. After all, we spend more time with our gadgets these days than we do with our loved ones. If I had to write a similar love story, I would write it about my laptop. I haven’t yet named her, though. I’m glad your Negro is back with you. I must ask: aren’t you being tempted to replace him with one of these newfangled smartphones? Like an iPhone, perhaps? 🙂

      Like

  7. Wings of Harmony says:

    Since the day she had learned to brave the winds, she was reminded every second of her enlightenment that she must not lure in those who promise of love. It is fated, they said, but fate must be dodged as long as you can.

    You are meant to spread the light and show the way to those who are lost, but never become one of them.

    And she had followed every single rule, with all the strength she had.

    Tonight, however, was different. May be it is the temperature, she mused. Holding the light, as she rested near the window, enjoying the slight breeze that made her glow, she could notice the darkness outside, spreading like a pool of ink across the limitless sky. Something made her shiver, but she could not discern as the stars dimmed and the heat outside continued to stifle the little of fresh breeze that came her way.

    It was then that she heard the soft humming. A constant melody – intoxicating sweet whistling. She tries to tune it out, thinking it is the night and the heat overpowering her senses, but the delicious hum does not cease. She peeks out, realizing that she may attract the wrong ones, but her curiosity gets the better out of her. He stood just near the ledge of her window, whistling a tune that made her want to pull him to her arms, but she remembered of the Fate and retracted.

    He noticed, and moved towards her.

    NO!

    She flared, making him retreat, with hurt in his mesmerizing black eyes.

    Shivering at the imminent possibility of rule breaking, she continues with her assigned purpose, watching him from the corner of her eye, hoping he would not dare come near her again. But the music of his whistling would not leave her soul. She wanted to try, just for once.

    What could go wrong?

    The crack of the dawn splashes the purple across the sky, as she tiredly closes her eyes, thinking of the mesmerizing black eyes. At least she had something different last night.

    The day was uneventful, since it was only the night that made her feel alive. Especially when those around her, the ones who could not bear the light of their own – the poor ones, they needed her at every step when the shadows steeped in.

    Eager to start once again, she reluctantly lets the breeze caress her, and allows the inky night to challenge her once again. But her heart is pounding.

    Anytime now.

    The fluttering reaches her before he does, and this time she glows with all the love, and the light she had saved for the day when someone would be trying to find a way back to her and not into the night.

    He comes closer, hovering and whistling, his tiny wings a blur, as she glows brighter and brighter, opening up, using all the oil that fuels her, glowing as bright as the big orb that stows her back into the store in the morning.

    They kiss.
    And burn.
    But together they were.
    As The Fate smiled upon them.

    The moth and the flame.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi WOH! The concept here is quite good. A moth and a flame are unlikely bedfellows, and yet they attract one another. There are a lot of meanings a writer can squeeze out of it. What sprang out at me during the reading of your piece, though, is that it is overwritten. I had to focus closely to understand what was going on, and there were a lot of metaphors and adjectives thrown in. I felt that it takes away from the clarity of the piece.

      Sometimes it’s best to go bare 🙂 Focus on pure action, infuse your writing with nouns and verbs, and use the odd suggestive adjective.

      Like

  8. I like to think that I am a pragmatic teen. The epitome of practical. No fluff, and flounce- the very soul of objective, despite being human! No far flung theories, please. Just facts. And hold the drama!
    Imagine my surprise when I crossed paths with a reincarnated partner. There was nothing spiritual or other worldly about him. Quite the contrary. He was vain about his looks, shallower about his possesions. To be fair, he was definitely eye candy, and his two wheeler, a real beast. So, objectivity aside, I mentally pigeon holed him. Weighing a certain amount of situationally inherent intrigue against his more abrasive qualities, I dismissed him as worthy of further thought. He wasn’t my type.
    Our paths however, to my growing chagrin, seemed to cross with ever increasing frequency. I was forced to stop and reconsider a few things. He hadn’t come out of nowhere and yet it seemed like he had. We shared frictional conversations and I couldn’t decide if he was intent on riling me for the simple reason that it entertained him. There was no question about it… our comfort levels were high. You don’t usually see that unless you have known someone for a long, long time. Our conversational impasse was broken by our mutual love of speed.
    I think I came to love that bike more than he did. Schedules apart, our social and friend circles merged.
    Then life did as it’s wont to and I found myself making summer travel plans while he consented to wed another.
    What played spoil sport with the stars?
    I’ll never know.

    Like

    • Ha, this is good, Vinisha, a love triangle with a man, a woman and a bike. Ultimately the final question is whether the man came between the woman and the bike or whether the bike came between the man and the woman. The piece seemed a little hurried and devoid of focus, but otherwise, the idea is very good. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

      • Again, a story that I may re write and edit, Sharath. I thought about a more positive ending and then decided to spin it around as life doesn’t always come in neat packages 🙂 especially for angst ridden teens! As always, thanks for the detailed feedback.

        Like

  9. I peered out through the rain drenched windowpanes. The incessant downpour had started late afternoon and I had been hopefully waiting for it to abate. That was several hours ago however and now I was just daydreaming as waited it out.
    I watched without too much curiosity as the moving company trucks pulled up to the bungalow next door, knowing that I really had nothing better to do. Maybe they’d have a kid or two around my age. Company for me, at last! I glanced back to where the aroma of cooking wafted forth from our kitchen. Should I call out to mom. No. I’d wait and watch for a while more and then get mom.
    The movers were efficient and quick. In less than an hour they were gone. Could not have been a lot of stuff, I figured. The torrential rain prevented me from seeing exactly what had gone by. I watched some more. Hazy lights glowed through the misty downpour, as one by one the rooms lit up.
    It was time to tell mom.
    She nodded and stirred, then stirred some more when I told her about the new folk. Let’s go over right now, I pleaded. She couldn’t decide if that was a great idea or not. She thought they needed time to settle in. They may be hungry, I counter argued, knowing mom had a soft heart. I smiled at her back when she picked up the good caserole in which we usually gifted food. I knew she was grinning too. I had her!
    We pulled on raincoats and she took dad’s gigantic umbrella to safeguard the dinner we were about to share, and walked out inti the dusk.
    Night softly fell as we rang the bell.
    A moment later a young woman opened the door and looked at us in amazement. It was apparent that she hadn’t been expecting anyone. She invited us in. Mom proferred the caserole.
    I looked around. No sign of kids. I sighed and tugged on mom’s arm. My job here was done. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spied the wheelchair. Interest aroused, I pointed and asked whose it was. Mom turned crimson and apologizing profusely on my behalf, backed us out of their house.
    We learned later it was the old man’s. Mom became friends with Laila, while I befriended Uncle Kedar. He was smart, witty and funny. Since I got back from school before Laila returned from work, I often took my evening snack over and shared it with him, while he regaled me with his heroic war stories. He had lost his leg in one.
    Laila was a doting kid and took good care of him ince she got home and the caretaker had gone.
    Time passed.
    I grew up and left home.
    Years later, mom called to let me know that Uncle Kedar had peacefully passed away in his sleep.
    On my next visit home, I went and paid my respects at his grave.
    His tombstone read:
    In memory of my:
    Fearless Soldier
    &
    Loving Spouse
    May we be reunited in eternity,
    Your Laila

    Like

    • Hi Vinisha. Thanks for writing this. I have noticed a few times before as well that your writing sometimes is too broad in scope. For instance, in this case, it would have been better if you had chosen to give us a character sketch of Uncle Kedar as seen from the character’s eyes. Much of the stuff at the beginning is irrelevant to how the piece ends. I get the feeling that you go into a piece of writing from the ‘outside in’, whereas it is perhaps better to choose ONE moment, focus on that, and then build more moments as you need them. That will ensure that your writing has the required focus.

      Only if you can be bothered with the effort, of course 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sharath, thanks for your conatructive criticism. I will probably rewrite it. The premise felt better in my head 🙂 & I cut it short, so it wouldn’t drag on! I agree. It needs fine tuning.

        Like

  10. They say that in every person’s lifetime there exists a potential of seven soulmates. Not one, not two, seven! You’ve gotta me kidding me. What kind of book is this anyway? I peer back in. Are they kidding?
    But, no! It doesn’t stop there. Soulmates need not be romantic. So, siblings or parents or spouses or cousins or even best friends can form soul ties which then bond and bind them together as they flit in and out of multiple rebirths. And souls apparently move from lifetime to lifetime in soul family groups. Wait! The theory gets even more preposterous or intriguing, depending upon your perspective and point of view in any given day. So, imagine my disbelief when I read that your offspring in this life could have been your grandparent in the last, and your parent or sibling in the hereafter. Right! This is not some preposterous supposition by an imaginative author or two, but apparently based on studies conducted by renowned psychiatrists and published academicians, who based their findings on several past life findings. Hmmmm.. here, I’ve simply got to pause for thought. I’m now dying to debate this with someone. Who better then to call than an old, old debating buddy. I haven’t dialed up the number for ages and keep my fingers crossed that it hasn’t changed. He picks up after it has nearly rung off the hook. Skipping all social niceties reserved for folk I don’t know that well, I launch straight into the reason I rang. He hasn’t said a word so far. Of course, I am chatting nineteen to the dozen. Knowing me, he let’s me rattle off what’s on my mind without interruption or trying to get a word in edgeways. I appreciate his calm. I finally peter to a stop as my synopsis runs its course. Well? I inquire. What have you got to say. I hear a sigh. Then an old lady says, “You don’t know, do you dear?”
    Know what?
    It flashes through my mind that I have been talking about everything to a wrong number!
    She continues in her soothing voice, “You called for Paul, didn’t you? He said you would.”
    “He did?” I stumbled upon the words, feeling suddenly bashful at how I’d raved and ranted while she patiently listened to my tirade meant for another’s ears. A Thousand thoughts scrambled across my mind.. apologize dummy, I chastised myself.
    “I am so sorry for …” I began.
    “Don’t apologize dear” she said kindly.
    “Is he out? I’ll call him back later. It’s not that urgent” I tried to salvage the conversation.
    Another sigh escaped her lips, deeper this time.
    “He’s not coming back anytime soon dear. The message he left you was this: See you in the other side, kid.”
    “Take care, dear. Bye now” The line went dead.
    In that silence, I suddenly knew.
    One of my seven Soulmates had passed on.
    Irreversibly.
    Irrevocably.
    “See you on the other side” I muttered.

    Like

    • Hi Vinisha. I thought that once one of your seven soulmates pass on, another comes and takes their place, so that at any given time, you always have seven soulmates living. Clearly from your story, my understanding was wrong. The idea of calling up a wrong number and ranting is a good one, I think one could write some good stories on the same premise. I think you should. As for this story, I would have liked to know more about Paul, the soulmate. Maybe next time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sharath, initially I had thought that you get one soulmate per lifetime. I then realized that you can have many, in different forms. For example, I was the apple of my grandfather’s eye, being the eldest grandchild: I’ve never felt more unconditionally loved. Then, I read about the seven soulmates simultaneously existing, and it began to make sense that all wouldn’t necessarily be romantic attachments. The love that exists however would be what tips us off. Thanks for your thoughts.

        Like

  11. Pratyusha Sen says:

    With a desire to behold his beautiful little angel, Edward entered his daughter’s room with small tender steps, heedful to not make any sort of noise. He approached the rectangular cot in the middle of the room with an ineffable smile on his lips.
    He stood beside the cot, bending over it marginally, and watched his tiny bundle of joy sleeping, with a slowly forming curve on her small, almost untraceable lips.
    My angel must have felt my presence, thought Edward.
    ~~~
    Although she tried to run as fast she could, it was impossible for her to match steps with her father, who was holding onto her right arm while they kept running after the ice-cream truck on a fine Sunday morn.
    “We missed our ice-cream, Daddy,” whined the seven year old girl, in her remarkable cherry-sweet voice. Her blonde pigtails bounced to and fro, as they tried to catch the truck.
    “No, sweetie. We’re going to have the large blueberry sundae today, alright?” Edward replied and glanced back at her, and found his daughter giving a puzzled expression. Coming to a halt, Edward scooped her up and enclosed her in his arms and they kept running till the truck stopped at its next stop.
    He put her down on the pavement and ordered the promised ice-cream.
    ~~~
    Pulling herself out from the warm embrace of her mother, Britney asked, her voice coated with anxiety, “Are you sure, he’s going to make it before it’s time, Mom?”
    “Did he ever fail to fulfil his promises to you, dear?” Her mother, a woman of appealing nature, answered with a smile. Shaking her head sideways in response, Britney kept her eyes and ears open for any signs of her father’s arrival.
    A middle aged man wearing a dark blue suit, a briefcase in his hand came running inside the lawn of Britney’s school, making her ocean blue eyes glisten in gaiety.
    “I almost lost hope. Thought you wouldn’t be able to make it,” Britney fluttered the words out of her mouth when Edward reached them.
    Flashing his sixteen year old angel a brilliant smile, though messed up due to exhaustion, he replied, “I would’ve come even if I was sent to on moon,”
    ~~~
    Strolls in their garden, sprinting after the ice-cream truck, Daddy-Daughter dinner dates . . .
    Edward, now a man with a few strands of grey hair, recollected those events in his mind as he walked his angel down the aisle to hand her over to a man who would give her even more love when he finally ceases to exist.
    He twisted his head a little to look at her. Adorned in a picturesque white gown, Britney has never radiated that amount of happiness as she did that day. At the end of the aisle before placing her hand in the man’s hand, Edward leaned in closer to her and placed a kiss on her cheek softly and said, “I will always love you, my darling,”

    Like

    • Hi Pratyusha! Thanks for sharing this. A similar theme to one of the earlier entries, where ‘romance’ doesn’t have to be of a ‘romantic’ nature. I did wonder about the names of the characters, and the fact that it appeared to be set in a white country. Is that because you lived in such a setting? Or do you prefer to set your stories there? In any case, what I found missing here was a sense of conflict. There appear to be no spots on this moon at all, which is fine, but if you wish to write good stories, you should learn to center them around a point of conflict.

      Welcome to the blog as well. Hope to see more of you around here 🙂

      Like

      • Pratyusha Sen says:

        The names are like that because I like to set my stories there. 🙂 Yes, there was a word that I missed which I realized later. But then, I had no options to edit. 😦 And I understood what you said about the sense of conflict in a story. Will keep that in mind. Thank you. 🙂

        Like

  12. Maitreyee says:

    We met at our favorite Rendezvous
    He was wearing yellow,
    Looking hot and tempting,
    I could smell him even from a mile,
    His presence made my knees weak,
    How much I had craved for him!
    I had known him since I was a child,
    It was love at first sight!
    My Mom had introduced us,
    Since then, we have been lovers.
    I went closer,
    He was inviting,
    Our bodies touched and he kissed me,
    Starting with my lips,
    Tickling and teasing me,
    Then he moved inside my mouth,
    My tongue wanted to savor every bit of him,
    I quickly swallowed him,
    Moving my eyes to the next one,
    The next one was more tempting than the first,
    Moans escaped my mouth as I savoured my second Noodle! 😛

    Like

    • Hi Maitreyee. When I was writing the post for this contest, I thought I would see a lot of food-related romance stories, but for some reason yours is (as yet) the only one so far. And yes, I understand your love for noodles. I love them too, probably more than I should 🙂

      Like

  13. Araadhana says:

    She was far too innocent for the world she was living in. She couldn’t even lie for her expressive eyes always gave her away. I watched her get manipulated, abused and made to forget the spark within her. She was a powerful being, capable of wonderful things. I ached to see her pain. If I could, every part of my existence would have come to her rescue and would have freed her from her troubles. Her two young children hid behind her as her husband screamed profanities and hit her again and again. I couldn’t bear to watch anymore. I summoned my powers.

    “Wait Michael. You are aware of the contract we are bound to. You cannot interfere in a human’s life until it is asked for.” I gasp in frustration. “Gabriella, I can’t let her get beaten up again. She is in danger, he could kill her!” “He won’t. He can’t. I understand your love for her. But she must invoke you on her own. She has the power and she must recognize it. This is the path she chose. You are aware that the Angels of the higher realm….” “Yes I am aware of our ridiculous codes!” I now looked at her delicate body strewn across the floor near the unlit fire place. Tears ran down her eyes as she silently wept. Her daughter stroked her head and put her curly head against her bosom. Her son with his big eyes watched his father throw her blue vase across the room, shattering it. The vase was given to her by her mother. Her one and only memory. Spitting out one last word of abuse, he stormed out of the house.

    “Mama we’ll buy a new house and live there. We won’t take daddy with us. You, me and Teddy. Mama I’ll buy you a new vase in our new house.” Her daughter tried hard to console her mother. But her sobs wracked through her fragile frame. She desperately gathered the broken pieces of her mother’s vase and held them to her heart. Her son now looked at me. He had the gift of sight. He couldn’t speak yet for he was too young. But his eyes unmistakably asked me why I didn’t protect her.

    I couldn’t stop myself. I sat between her and her daughter. I gathered her into my arms. She wouldn’t be able to notice. But she would feel my love and how torn up I felt inside. Her children snuggled closer to us. I put my arms around them too. Gabrielle, giving me a pitying look, disappeared back into the Realm of the Angels, leaving me in a world which now felt far more my own than the Realm itself. Someday my love would realize who she is and call for me. She would then live in joy and I would always watch over her, as a guardian, as a friend, as a lover, as anything she would ever want me to be for her.

    Like

    • Hi Araadhana! Thanks for writing in. This reminds me a little of this old movie called City of Angels which had Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. It is a love story between an ‘angel’ and a human being. Many of the themes that you bring up in your piece have also been handled in that movie. If this topic interests you, do watch it.

      Like

  14. beauties are found in every ages and in every forms . those see no gender no religion no faith because they are the escthetics those are of nature . those are born
    like free souls . like winds and clouds they can be felt or seen . but beauty remains in the eyes of a viewer because it needs a beautiful mind to see a beauty.
    the ascetics or properity of a body mind or soul are just way too substancial and material thoughts because a beauty sees none of them . it is like a gift that one is born
    with. in the same way the beauty is in thoughts that keep people together. they call it love.an emotion that only a lover could understand.it comes in different forms
    and has no norms . and so were stanley and steffeny in love. a love that was true? even stanley or steffeny may not answer that. but the love was eternal. all physical affairs never
    mattered for stan or steff . the only thing that matterd for them was the love ,the freedom, the comfort they shared.each face beatiful each thought beatiful and clearly loved by another.
    they loved each other no sooner as they saw the other’s face.a love that was there since their infancy,puberty or adulthood.a love when found could not make another lolita.
    it was not their fate neither destiny but a law of nature that two bodies made of same basic elements can never become one physically. and the physical meeting is like skew lines they meet
    at a point and then seperate in a way that they could never meet again. thier thoughts may remain the same and minds captured by another but at a point two bodies have to part.stef and stan were no different for nature
    because stef had a chronic curse that was congenital and inevitable.it was the curse of death . a death that would come to her anytime without a warning.but when the curse became true it killed only the body of stef.
    becuase its not only the body that lives.its the thoughts those live along with body and makes it a spirit. tho her body was dead and her actions of the physical world stopped,she was alive in the thoughts of stan. and unless
    she was alive in stan’s subconcious his concious mind went to a sleep a sleep that seemed to be incessant . his body will move but wont travel.his eyes can see but not the real. his earls will hear only the voice of stef.
    time passes but nobody knew how long was the time and even if knew nobody cared to bother about the time.and the time came when stef felt the touch. the touch that was no ordinary but a touch of love a touch of caress all over his
    body.with his eyes closed he just felt the touch. without knowing who was it touching him,comforting him,caressing him,loving him. he decided to live this dream with his eyes closed and not to open then because he dint want the dream to
    to break.coz for the moment he was in heaven.just thinking about the touch of love .unaware it was the love of a masseur the touch of a masseur eric,who was hired by his family to touch his body to comfort it .every evening the
    a dream came true for stan now. in form of a touch of love.doesnt matter whose touch it was but it was too comforting for him.but it was not only stan who liked to be comforted.while touching stan, eric was in a state of esctacy.
    not the body but the beauty of stan took him. he wanted to love stan . to posses him to touch him to comfort him forever. the same what stan wanted with his closed eyes because he dint want his dream to break.
    the love grew harder and harder and the dreams looked to become true one day.however eric knew that it may not come true.its just a utopia if they ever live together. however love also invokes a desire for two bodies to become one
    a desire for two bodies to meet and rest in eternity and it was making eric too desperate. he could not stop himself .he lost his contol.his oath for no sex with customers and kissed the body lying naked and in a state of submssion in front of him
    but thenn he dint stop . stan didnt open his eyes. he felt the touch the kiss. a kiss that made him think of stef.he thought may be it was his dream . may be stef kissed him in his dream. but no sooner did he open his eyes
    he fell in love with eric.Eric saw that stan has opened his eyes and he was taken aback. First he feared for his job and then feared of not being loved back by his love. The love that was never confessed. Stan took Eric in his arms and kissed him back, for him it was a dream coming true, something he could only have dreamed of .stan now desperately wanted that touch but eric never came back. he asked him family about the messeur and told them he was in love with him.
    his famiy thought that he was talking absurd.however they got their boy again thinking with concious and with no more thoughts of stef. they thought of the society and what woud they say if their boy marries another guy
    a masseur.so they made up a tale . a tale that was a lie. the said that it was the daughter of their family friend who was in love with him ever since she was a kid but he never noticed her due to stef. the one who massaged you was no other than
    rose.and it was no guy. stan could not believe them. but they said it such a confidence that it made him believe. but when they met stan understood it was not the same touch. he said you are not my love.he once agian hurt and alone
    left his house. to find his love. to find eric.he went street to street in search of love but finding love is not so simpe. so he just closed his eyes once again coz he understood he will find love only in dreams.stan lied in his bed with his
    eyes closed to dream again to kiss again to love again. in another dream.

    Like

    • Hi Vibhor. There is clearly a story of loss and redemption here. But you need to work on first organizing the story in your head, and then choosing the starting and ending points before you begin so that you don’t wander off on tangents in the middle. Also, your writing should get more organized in the sense that you should use paragraphs to flow from one thought to the next. The story is there, you just have to work on how to tell it best. Let me know if you’d like more help with this. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  15. Bhavesh Jeewani says:

    It was by accident that she walked into my life. The Deva’s, those immortals, felt threatened by me, a mere mortal. My physical might and gargantuan build was unmatched and nothing like they had ever seen before. The ground beneath my feet trembled when I gave it a thud and with it the heart of every Deva trembled. I could summon the tempest at will in one deep inward-outward breath motion.

    I was so unlike any of my contemporaries, that the Deva’s were convinced that I was either under penance for a great curse or was feeding off the nectar of an equally virtuous boon. To prevent me from challenging their supremacy, the Deva’s chose her. The treachery of the Deva’s and Devi’s alike had her sent to me and thereafter she became my constant companion.

    I then lived a dormant life, barely being of any use to anyone. As if the curse of being born a mortal was not enough, I now felt entrapped in a labyrinth of curses. It seemed like a forced marriage to me. However, with time, she had a calming influence on me and I became less destructive. With no worldly contact, I was detached from the yearning for power and felt myself evolve. I would be away from her once a year, when all I had time for was my appetite, before her dainty arms beckoned again. I began liking her as I had transformed to someone who was now incapable of any wrong-doing. I submitted to her completely and lost command over my senses. I felt one with the Lord himself. My worldly life before had been rich in conflict and I struck fear in all and sundry. I was now but a peaceful soul, in resonance with my being. I dreamt a thousand dreams and found solace in the thought that in years to come, my life and love for her will symbolize the virtue of inertia in the lives of people.

    I was taken from her forcibly by my brother that day. I knew my time had come. I knew I would be no match for the mighty and virtuous enemy. I had reasoned with my brother to set right his misadventures and seek forgiveness from the Lord. My pleading had fallen on deaf ears. I followed my Dharma and ventured into battle, with the resolve to destroy the enemy and bring glory to my brother – who, I knew, was wrong and trapped in false deathly arrogance.

    In battle, I was slain by the Lord himself, and it became a day of celebration for me. I fell and as my crimson eyelids shut, I saw myself in her arms. Only this time I would be with her forever, not needing to awake in the land of the mortals.

    Like

    • Hi Bhavesh. The piece was written reasonably well, but you could have made it a touch clearer about who the person is. I am going to guess and say Kumbhakarna, but not knowing anything about his wife, I couldn’t quite place the story of their meeting and union. Either way, the ‘romance’ angle here was not strong, nor did it comes across as unlikely. Maybe I’m reading it all wrong. Maybe you can shed some light? I read the entry a few times and I still cannot be sure that I’m doing it right.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Like

      • Bhavesh Jeewani says:

        Hey Sharath! Yes, I was indeed talking about Kumbhkarana. I was referring to his romance with sleep, but it didn’t come across. In hindsight, yes, I could have made it more clearer.

        Thanks for your feedback.

        Like

  16. Sweet and Sour
    Jay was in his usual alcohol induced stupor at Beanie’s when he saw her walk up to the bar counter. She got herself large rum. ‘’Wait, is she walking up here..?’’. The anticipation raised a few notches as she passed a few empty booths and paused near the one that Jay was sitting in.

    ‘’Jay, Is that you..? ‘’, she asked slipping in to the seat beside me.
    ‘’Yes’’, he mumbles trying to recollect her as he brazenly gawk at her exposed cleavage.

    Dim lights highlighted the glow of her angelic face as she brushed a few strands of her lush brown hair away with the casual wave of a hand. Her curvaceous body seemed to be constantly struggling for freedom from the confines of a low neck red tank top over skimpy denim shorts.

    ‘’Guess you don’t remember me, I’m Nikki, and we met at Alias’ birthday party last month’’; She was saying. ‘’ We spoke for a bit but then you vanished before we could exchange numbers.’’.

    ‘’I didn’t vanish, me and Seema we going at it like rabbits in the guest bathroom’’, was the spontaneous response that rang in his head as he said ‘’ Aah, I do remember… Sorry I had to rush away that night as I got a call about a friend getting in to a road accident and had to dash to the hospital.’’

    ‘’Oh you poor thing, Hope he is OK now….? ‘’ she said putting her hand tantalisingly high on my knee.

    Jay’s bad boy good looks had always won him the affection of women though he remained unattached while playing the field. Growing up in a broken home and seeing his mother entertain a string of men for material gains behind his father’s back had left him emotionally scarred, detached and numb. To him, women were objects to satisfy a physical craving not to mention the monetary and other benefits that came with a lot of those liaisons. He even had a red book that chronicled his escapades and the number of conquests stood at 29.

    ‘’Nikki could be 30… She might even be different as she was sort of appealing to me in a special way that I hadn’t felt before.’’ he thought just as she asked him ‘’ isn’t it getting too noisy in here..? We could take this back to your place.’’ She said, as her hand drew suggestive circles on my thigh while she dragged seductively on her Marlboro.

    Her naked body moved down his and she took him in her velvety mouth. His ascend to the heavens was cut short by a sharp prick… ‘’Ouch, careful …’’ he cried out loud as red dots began to appear where her teeth had grazed his hardness. ‘’Sorry….’’ she crooned as she dabbed them away with a tissue before easing herself on top of him.
    ‘’Let me get a condom’’, said Jay
    ‘’ It’s OK Jay, I’m on the pill..And moreover I want to feel you deep inside me. I wanted to do this all evening…’’, replied Nikki all the while teasing and caressing his body.

    Jay closed his eyes as their bodies locked in a delirious waltz to glory.

    He woke up to an empty apartment as apparently Nikki had let herself out. Normally he preferred it that way though today he felt a strange sense of wanting to wake up beside her. Jay went to make his cup of coffee and found a note on the table…

    ‘’ Jay, I guess you must be basking in the glory of another conquest. What I didn’t tell you was that I am Nimmi’s sister. You remember Nimmi right? Your girlfriend from college or so she thought, the poor girl. You used her, dumped her and went out of town and guess what she did… She lost her sanity and killed herself. I wanted to find out what is it about you that might be worth dying for… Anyways, interesting night- thanks. By the way, just for your info, I am HIV positive. ‘’

    As darkness filled his eyes, the radio was playing knocking on heaven’s door……

    Like

    • Hi Narayan! This reminded me of a movie called ‘Dus Kahaaniyan’. One of the stories follows pretty much the same theme, but with a few different details. Since I’m on that tangent, it’s a nice movie. You should watch it.

      With your piece, I found the shifting between first person and third person a bit jarring. I think you may have written this story as a first person narrator and then changed it to third person. But it looks like you’ve forgotten to replace the ‘me’s. At first I thought there were three characters involved: Jay, Nikki and an unnamed first person narrator. There are also more ‘telling’ elements than showing elements in your story, especially where you write Jay’s attitude towards women. I thought that could have been communicated through showing more effectively.

      Other than that, it was good. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

      • Thanks Sharath.. And yes, spot on.. Started out as a first person narrator and then changed it.. I realized about the ‘me’s post posting and then couldn’t edit it further 🙂 … Shall attempt a version fixing these and also incorporating more of the showing elements regarding jay’s attitude towards women… Appreciate the feedback…

        Like

  17. Me and my Minnie

    It was Christmas night and not a mouse stirred. Except for me. I knew from the moment that I first touched her that there was static electricity between us. I am a mechanical, roller ball mouse and she is my mouse pad. I called her Minnie.

    It took a few weeks for things to break into a smooth roll between me and Minnie. She tended to be a little uneven and unpredictable at places. But there was really nothing that I couldn’t iron out in a few days. We enjoyed each other’s company. Whether it was the hard workout we got when Charlie played a first person shooter game or whether it was the endless hours of nestling on her bosom when Charlie played his racing games. We seemed to be made for each other. The best part was the understanding we seemed to share between each other that is so essential for any mouse and mouse-pad relationship to work. We shared the burden equally. There were times where I would pull in a little to ease out the bumpy ride and there were times when she would stop being so edgy and present a softer side to me.

    Things really moved to the next level the day we went for our first outing. It was a counter-strike tournament. Everyone, including Charlie, expected us to get creamed. But by that time, me and Minnie were like this well-oiled machine that could out-slick any move that a teenager can come up with. We grinded against each other like never before and man, did the sparks fly. We moved like one entity as Charlie managed to knock the rest of the competition out of the park. He won a trophy and we both got a shiny sticker each. We took it as a sign of our formal marital commitment to each other.

    It has been five years since that day and we have remained ever faithful to each other. The shine may have worn off the sticker but my circuits still clock up only for my Minnie. She was no less loyal to me. Charlie tried to replace me with other fancy optical mice. But Minnie would have none of it. She would not let anyone but me caress her. No other mouse would be allowed to read the fine wrinkles that had now begun to form on my darling mouse pad. Charlie kept trying to replace me but Minnie was stubborn. Things finally took a decisive turn when Minnie almost managed to open Charlie’s minimized webpage when his mom stepped on his room. I think Charlie finally got the message.

    He relegated us both to his upper shelf were we both spend our retirement days in peace and tranquility. We both look down proudly as the future generation carries on the mantle with our Charlie as I rest myself peacefully on my eternal companion Minnie, my first and only mouse pad.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I have no clue where this one came from, but here goes:

    There are two ways to kill a demon. The first one never works. And the second one demands five hours of incessant chanting on a specially made altar.

    I threw my bag in the car. My mother’s favourite wooden box tumbled out.
    ‘Not now, Fluffy.’ I said, tucking it back into place.

    Right, demons. Killing one just takes a hell of an amount of work. You’ve got to get the pronunciation, the enunciation and a lot of other ‘nunciations’ correct and did I mention the specially created altar? Let’s not even go into the intricacies of that.

    My first stop for the night was The Pot. The lowlives hung about here. But I was here for someone special. My heart fluttered at the thought of the impending meeting. I checked out my make up in my compact, grabbed my bag and headed inside.

    So what do you do when you face a demon? Get the hell out, that was my dad’s advice. But I’ve stupid-ass decision making skills, so that went right out of the window. Anyway. When I had my first face off-

    I spotted him across the room. Glasses. Collared shirt. Even from that distance, I could hear the stammer in his voice. For the briefest instant, our eyes met. I smiled and walked out.

    So yeah. The first time I saw a demon, I didn’t quite know it was…well dangerous. Stupid-ass survival instincts too, I suppose. But I digress. So we were standing face to face, well my face to his questionably scary snout. Questionably. Stupid-ass…ah forget it.

    I felt his presence behind me, the soft crinkle of autumn leaves under his loafers. Inside my backpack, I felt the ancient wooden box warm up. I quickened my pace and started looking over my shoulder, with increasing frequency. His footsteps quickened in response.
    A turn in the alley was coming up. If I walked fast enough, I just might make it.
    I slipped inside, undoing the zip of my backpack. I took out my box at the same time he came, a lecherous smile on his face.
    “Hello beautiful.” He whispered, stepping close.
    “Hello to you too.” I whispered back, my fingers undoing the clasp of the box.

    Well, the questionably scary snout was accompanied by questionably adorable eyes. And as he snarled and growled, his five inch long claws tearing at the carpet, I just reached out and…pet him. And that my friends is how I came across Fluffy, my own demon in a box.

    I stared at Mr. Glasses’ bloodied, unconscious form for a good two minutes before I called the ambulance.
    “Next time, know who you’re messing with.”

    As for you, maybe I’ll catch you another time and tell you the tale of the box? It will end with less bloodshed. (Questionably)

    Like

    • Hi Sania. I enjoyed this story. The demon-hunter comes across as a quirky character, and I also liked the whole surreal feel of the whole setting. I think it will work better as a longer story, where you can develop the nature of the relationship between the demon-hunter and her Fluffy. But for now, I suppose this will have to do. Oh, yes, the story of the box too – maybe next time 🙂

      Like

  19. “Year 2010, September the 22nd. 6:37 PM,” Tara said to Nick, who was pressing a lot of buttons on the machine with his mechanical fingers. She brushed the hair back that was falling on her face. An avalanche of emotions passed through her. The date and time were forever etched in her memory. How could she forget when that was the moment that ruined the rest of her life.

    “Come on, Nick! Have you entered the parameters?” she said to her robot anxiously. “I can only keep the core activated for another five minutes!”

    “Ummmm hang on,” Nick reflected. “Didn’t you tell me it was in December that you actually asked him for -”

    “I know what I’m doing, Nick!” she cut him. “Just enter the date and time I gave you!” Her brow twitched, she was finally doing it!

    A couple of seconds passed as Nick kept pressing away at the buttons, the movement in his fingers creating a faint buzz.

    “Affirmative,” muttered Nick finally, and turned around. “Are you in position?” She nodded. Nick held his left hand up in the air, his fingers in a fist. “I’m pressing GO in five, then!”

    As he counted to five slowly with his fingers, Tara wondered if this would actually work. Well, if it doesn’t, life would go back to normal. She would probably abandon her research facility as well. But if it did indeed work, she didn’t even want to think about the possibilities!

    “Three, two…”

    All she gets is five minutes, though. Five minutes to set everything right.

    “ONE!” bellowed Nick and pressed GO. White light erupted from the core and filled her entire vision, blinding her. But when the brightness subsided and she was able to open her eyes properly, she found herself standing in the lawn outside her house. She sighed as the realization hit her that the research lab didn’t exist in 2010.

    The sun was about to set on the horizon, the sky was a beautiful orange. She walked up slowly to the front door. She could already hear loud voices from the drawing room. Any moment now!

    She tiptoed up the stairs and crouched her way towards the window and listened.

    “HOW DARE YOU!!!” came a female voice from inside. It was her own. So he’s already accused her.

    “Are you actually denying it, Tara??” This time it was Aditya’s voice. She shuddered, it had been years since she’d heard his voice.

    “What should I do to make you believe me, Aditya!! How many times have I told you that he’s just a colleague! Yes, I understand he called me yesterday at two in the morning but it was only because he made a breakthrough in time-”

    “BULLSHIT!!” Aditya was becoming restless. “I don’t believe a single word of that!”

    The Tara outside the window crouched to the front door and slowly stood up.

    “Then I have nothing else to say to you, Adi.” She heard the younger Tara say. “I’m not going to defend myself anymore. Take it or leave it.”

    It was time. She pressed the calling bell on the door and tiptoed across the porch quickly to the other side of the house.

    She heard the door click open and somebody walk out. But right then, the world around her started to collapse. Her five minutes were up. Darkness surrounded her rapidly and the next instant, she was peering into the optical lenses that were Nick’s eyes. She was back in 2019.

    “Did you do it?!” Nick asked with a raised voice.

    “YES! I think.”

    She sprinted to the house. If she really did it then that should mean –

    “Hi darling,” Aditya was standing at the kitchen counter. “I just made Apple cake! How’s your experiments going?”

    Tears welled up in Tara’s eyes. This was what she had hoped to achieve, but actually seeing him stand there, knowing that they are still very much happily married, it was a bit too overwhelming for her. She went up to him and pulled him into a tight embrace, never wanting to let go.

    “It all started with what happened right after I told Aditya to take it or leave it,” she explained to Nick later that night. “He gave me an utterly disgusted look that devastated me inside out. It just made me feel worthless. And my love towards him got extinguished, just like that. The seed for getting a divorce was planted in my head right then. He did apologize profusely later, but things could never go back to normal again. We eventually got a divorce. So I thought, I need to go back in time and prevent myself from looking at him. I pressed the bell to divert my attention at the exact moment. And it worked!”

    Like

    • Hi Uday! This is a good story, but hardly original, I suppose, what with so many time-travel stories already written by many. My personal preference in stories like this is the ‘immutable past’ format, where the past is set in stone, and everything is already part of a loop. So your character goes back in time and rings the bell, but also in the past, the younger Tanya remembers someone ringing the bell during her argument with Aditya. It’s all accounted for, and cause and effect chase one each other and go round and round and round…

      I see that you like science fiction. You should write longer stories in this genre. There are not many Indian writers trying their hand at it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Sharath! I did fear that maybe I was playing it very safe.

        But you know what, I actually can’t warp my head around ‘immutable past’! Unless you consider time as a straight line and that everything that will happen in future has already happened, it’s just a matter of us reaching there. I much prefer the notion of time-travel creating alternate realities, like a different branch altogether in the fabric of time. So yes, this story was basically an exploration of that. Thanks though, I guess I do have to write more in this genre as I enjoy it a lot! 🙂

        Like

  20. The breeze carrying her scent is growing heavier on him. He is sitting on the porch outside the house and watching aimlessly into the dark pitched living room.His thoughts are always around her where ever he goes and now his eyes as well are embraced by her silhouette. He can not think of anything else than tracking her slender body movements in the house.He sees her going to every nook and corner of the house to gather his stuff for packing. He would turn up sooner or later than a year again but he knows that she never felt longed to see him. The slightest sound of her footsteps amid the crickets’s chirping suggests her arrival outside incoherently.

    His eyes were more than comfortable as he kept looking into her eyes glowing in the cool moon light. Probably it is getting better than when he was in the desert and watching the moon from his camp. He almost stumbled upon on that- the question of beauty. He quickly avoids that by closing his eyes once and tries to think whether any other resting place that can also be an inspiration for his next trip.There is just a smile in her face which does not oppress any of his passion unlike his first love.

    For a new age traveler like him, she is the best partner not in wandering but in love. He never tries to inflict any bit of travelling interest in her.He knows that she enjoys always being a resident of her native.He knows that she cannot get enough of watching the tree in her porch growing, kids in her neighborhood making faces while going to school. He likes her being that way,secretly hoping that she never changes her mind on this.

    He understands the real reciprocation of love is not asking her to become co traveler.

    She passed on a small tumbler of juice and sat across him. They can not find words to speak so they stare at each other. He observed her hair, neatly combed, well plaited and coiled to the back of her head. He can observe the stark contrast of his unkempt, coarse hair to hers. He had countless experiences of air going past and through his hair when he rides on his bike. This could be the probable reason behind his high raised hair line, he chuckles inside and looks at her temples that have been kissed by him many times. Both of them raised from chairs and move closer to hug each other. He finds the bike keys in her hand as she kisses him passionately. And he starts off to unknown destinations where he may find only the moon as beautiful as her.

    Like

    • Hmm, an interesting attempt to tell the story of the lone traveler. I felt this entry was much better than what you wrote for the previous contest, Yaswanth. There is more coherence to your words, and the structure is much better. The story has potential too, between a man who is bitten by wanderlust and a woman who is content with routine and the simple life. There is a lot of room for conflict here, so I hope you will write this as a longer story and see what happens. Let me know if you need any help 🙂

      Like

      • Hi Sharath,Thanks for the review. You can see my struggling to write fiction. May be I need to start with some courses on fiction and also need to write frequently. I am so thankful to you for your offer, I would like to get some tips from you, probably after investing some more effort and improve myself.

        Like

      • Hi Yaswanth! At the risk of coming across like a salesman, you can get my ‘Fiction Writing Starter’ toolkit for free at the below link. Just leave your email address and first name, and you will receive it in your inbox. It contains a lot of helpful information for someone just starting out.

        http://eepurl.com/1i0tL

        Like

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